Today I will talk about one of the most popular topics in the world at this time… KETO. Well, actually I don’t consider myself full keto because I break some of the rules, but I am doing very low carb ( between 20-30 a day). Now I know you are dreading this, thinking I’m going to go over this wonderful weight loss journey and explain that this is such a spectacular way of living (it is… well it can be) but I am here to let you in on the real life parts of this lifestyle.
Let me preface this by saying, I do not struggle with weight. I don’t have a ton of weight to lose. I am a relatively little person. I mean that I am 5’1 and average about 130 lbs. I fluctuate a few pounds here and there but because I am the size of a 5th grader I notice those few pounds very easily. I am thick in the arms and legs and my weight loves the go straight for those two areas first then my lower belly. My boyfriend says I’m dense (he thinks it’s kind of a compliment. I on the other hand do not.)
I do however struggle with food. I LOVE food! Just about any kind of food. But, my problem is that I always want to change the way that I eat. I do research on a diet or “lifestyle” and I go full force. I fear that if I mess up once then I gain back anything that I’ve lost and it’s all been pointless. So I end up obsessing about every little thing I put into my mouth (that’s my anxiety kicking in too). Many times after a few days or maybe a week, I give up. The stress of what I can and can’t eat overpowers the desire to lose weight and be healthy. I started the low carb thing mostly because I noticed the biggest aspect that had an impact on my weight was sugar. Carbs break down into sugar so I figured if I cut out carbs it would help. I did quite a bit of research, followed some FB accounts and talked a lot to my dad (he’s a health nut and has been doing keto for a while). I had already given up sugar ( i say sugar but I really just mean desserts and sodas) so I decided I could do this too. I’m in about 3 weeks and here are the things that I’ve noticed.
I’ll start with the cons. The first few days you feel like garbage. I had heard of the “keto flu” so in my head I had imagined I would just feel tired and kind of groggy….NO! I was crabby, irritable, moody and so very tired. My head felt like it was in a constant fog. I almost felt like I couldn’t formulate words properly. After a few days (up to 2 weeks for some) it goes away and one day you wake up and you’re like “oh thank God I’m back to normal”. Next, I was so hungry! When doing keto you do low carb but higher in fat and lots of protein. The fat part was so hard for me since I had spent most of my life being told fat foods were bad for you. Needless to say, I was eating low carb but not getting enough protein or fats. I would walk around all day thinking of eating and hoping that one of the donuts from the break room would magically find it’s way to my desk. Thankfully I got through that phase and now it’s not so bad. Another part of this change that was hard for me was trying to figure out what all had carbs in it. I downloaded an app and would check everything before I would eat it. There are so many things that have a great amount of carbs: corn, beans, fries, rice, lots of veggies and fruits. Not to mention, sweeteners and creamers for coffee. I started drinking coffee less than a year ago and drinking black coffee was non-negotiable. I naturally went into panic mode about my restrictions but eventually I found a balance of what I could eat. A shocker for me was the bowel changes. I know I know that’s TMI but I feel like I need to speak of this so everyone out there that is getting started can be expecting this. You, most likely, will NOT go number 2 for a few days. Your body is changing and freaking out and decides to clam up. Even once you become adjusted to the lifestyle change you will not go number 2 quite like you used to. The biggest con for me was that I had expected immediate weight loss. I had read so many stories about people losing weight after a week or 2 and that just did not happen for me. I was super disappointed but I kept trucking along. And I’m glad that I did.
After the moodiness and hangriness ( i don’t think that’s a word but I’m rollin with it) wore off I started to feel great. I had energy again and I actually started sleeping through the night, which is a rarity for me. My skin started to look brighter and honestly my dark bags under my eyes started to diminish. They are still very prevalent but not nearly as bad as they had been. A huge difference I noticed was the lack of bloating in my belly. I had always felt like I was chronically bloated. It never went away. And now I never feel bloated, even after I eat. Speaking of eating, after the realization of what had carbs in it, I also realized what foods were fatty that I was told I could eat. (Now, I am doing a version of dirty keto. I am not doing the clean eating version of keto. That version does not work well with my busy lifestyle.) I can eat a double, bacon, cheeseburger from Whataburger, add avocado but get no bun. How glorious is that?? I can eat wings at Buffalo Wild Wings (just be careful on the sauces because several of them have a lot of sugar). I can get a side of ranch with things and I can eat cheese and eggs all day long ( we have chickens so the egg part is awesome). I do suggest still keeping up with what you eat on an app so that you know how much fat and protein you’ve gotten for the day. I’ve learned which sweeteners are best to use (my favorite is monk fruit). I’ve made Swerve (another type of sweetener) cookies and chocolate peanut butters cups. They are not as good as the originals but if you have a bit of a sweet tooth these will for sure hit the spot. Going back to the bathroom thing. Yes, you do not go like you once did but, for me, there has not been any constipation. My tummy does not feel hard and uncomfortable. But I think this is because I drink so much water throughout the day. I have not lost much, if any, weight, but I feel different. I feel like my pants aren’t as snug. And maybe my shirts aren’t so tight around my arms. I’m sure some of that bloating has subsided in my whole body so that’s the changes I am feeling.
Overall I have to say this has been a good change for me. It feels like something I can keep up with and make into a realistic lifestyle for myself. I like the things I am seeing so far and I don’t think I have a lot of restrictions. I can enjoy going out to dinner with my family and even enjoy some treats throughout the week. I’m always on the go on the weekend so sometimes I cave a little bit, but I make sure to pick right back up on Monday. I hope I can maintain this lifestyle. I’ve never followed through with a diet before but I have faith in myself this time.
If you have any questions for me about this let me know. If I don’t have the answers I will ask my dad (he’s basically a walking keto encyclopedia).