When I first changed over to the Ketogenic Diet, I did so purely on my own. I didn’t have help, or anyone’s brain to pick about it. I just had to sort of figure things out as I went. A couple of months back, I posted a how-to article for those interested in this way of eating, aka “WOE.” (You can access that article by clicking here.) Since that time, I have had even more success with weight loss and health benefits from living a clean, ketogenic lifestyle.
I began this journey on March 8, 2017. Since then I have lost 30 pounds, and I have shed 15 inches overall from my body. I am still not quite to my goal size/weight, but I am well on my way (just 20 pounds shy of my official goal). Along with the fat loss, I have experienced some desired results with my hormones and with my issues due to PCOS and Adenomyosis symptoms. I am experiencing regular, and much lighter periods, with much less pain than ever before. I feel like I am having somewhat “normal” periods for the first time in many, many years, I haven’t had a migraine since May, and the all-over shooting pain that I would have for two weeks of every month has completely disappeared from my life…and I know that this is all because of Keto…namely, the absence of wheat and grain from my diet!
Going Keto hasn’t been a seamless effort, as I have had to learn by trial and error, doing a ton of “Googling” in the midst of it all, but I do feel that I have finally got this thing mastered. So, I wanted to just take a little time to share my victories, failures, and the lessons learned from all of it, with those of you who may be on a similar journey and could use some tips to help you along your way.
- Meals: The most important part of this lifestyle is finding some easy, delicious, go-to recipes. I have a Pinterest board dedicated solely to this WOE, and there are endless amount of Keto recipes, but I have a few that are tried and true that I am sharing below in the “links” with y’all today. However, I do like to keep things as simple as I possibly can with meals. The more complicated and stressful a “diet” is, the more likely we are to just give up on it, right? So how do you keep it simple with Keto? Two things: meat and veggies. Refer to your favorite Keto food list (click here to access mine), choose a meat and a few vegetables, and cook them up your favorite way. I prefer tossing my veggies in some olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic, and oven roasting them until they are little crispy. Sometimes I take them out a little early, grate some fresh parmesan or cheddar cheese on top and return them to to oven for the last 5 minutes or so. Delicious…every time! For meats, you can grill them, pan sear them, roast in the oven, slow cook in a crock pot…really just whatever suits your time-frame and your palate. Figure out what works best for you and stick with it. Be creative with herbs and spices too! Don’t be afraid to season, season, season! And don’t forget, butter is your friend (a pan seared steak with butter and herbs is a favorite around here)!
- Plateaus/Stalls: Know this right now…and just go ahead and accept it…prepare for it…you WILL stall out from time to time. I have had two or three periods of days and even weeks where I lost absolutely no weight whatsoever. I have even fluctuated up to 7 pounds up then back down to my current low within a week. This is why, even though weighing yourself is important and gives you a feel for what foods will make you retain water and feel bloated, you can’t always trust in the honesty of the scale. It doesn’t always reflect your fat loss. Keep eating within your macros, consume clean food choices, and stay active. You will absolutely see results both on and off of the scale! I promise! There is something called a “whoosh” that takes place after a stall almost every time, and if you just hang on and trust the process, you will get your “whoosh” and feel that gratification you need to stay motivated! (Click here to read more about this.)
- Intermittent Fasting: I started practicing intermittent fasting to get over my first stall, and when I realized how easy it was for me to do, I decided to do it most days. I have never been one to want to eat anything at all before lunch, and I have always hated feeling like I have to force myself to eat when I am not necessarily hungry yet, so this system works very well for me in my daily life. However, if you are one that wakes up hungry, this may simply be a discipline that you will want to employ when you need to get past a hump in your weight loss journey. Basically, you just stop eating for a 12-16 hour period of time and allow the remainder window of time for your calorie consumption for the entire day. So, I take the last time that I ate in the evening, and I don’t eat for the next 12-16 hours. It is quite easy to do, because this type of fast happens mostly when you are asleep overnight. Anything over 50 calories will break a fast, so usually what I do each morning is have a cup of coffee with some heavy whipping cream in it (which is less than 50 calories). That is all I need, plus lots of water, until I begin eating around noon or so. For an even better explanation of IF, click here.
- Cheating: I feel compelled to stress to you…DO NOT CHEAT! It is almost never worth it. It will most assuredly cause you gastrointestinal upset, bloating, water weight gain, lots of discouragement, and make you have some serious cravings for sugar and carbs! However, let’s be honest and realistic here…cheating happens. When it does, the best thing to do is get a good fast in, and jump back on the Keto train. Don’t let it get you down…even if the scale goes up some. It isn’t fat gain…just water. Remember that. Also please note: IF YOU HAVE A REGULAR CHEAT DAY EACH WEEK YOU ARE NOT LIVING A KETO LIFESTYLE. DON’T CLAIM IT IF YOU AREN’T GOING TO LIVE IT!! JUST CONSIDER YOURSELF EATING LOW-CARB AND GO ON WITH YOUR LIFE. Keto is short for “KETOSIS” and if you are cheating regularly, there is no possible way you are staying in Ketosis or becoming fat adapted. Kinda defeats the purpose…don’t you think?
- Eating Out: I’m here to tell it…eating at restaurants can be Keto friendly! You just have to be careful about ingredients (less is more), and steer clear of foods that have sauces, rubs, and glazes. Grilled meats (especially fish) are a safe bet, and a Caesar salad and/or some steamed or grilled veggies. At a Mexican restaurant, a great option is fajitas. Just make sure you tell them no beans, no rice, and no tortillas. Get your fork and some hot sauce and dig in!
- Snacking: People always ask me what I eat for snacks. Truth be told, I don’t do a ton of snacking, but when I do get the yen for something between meals, or in the evenings, I have some favorites:
- pork rinds dipped in sour cream or guacamole
- uncured beef sticks, salami, ham, pepperoni (etc.)
- dill pickles
- full fat cheeses
- roasted, salted almonds
- peanut butter
- NSVs: Non-Scale Victories – events that make you feel confident and motivated…even when the scale isn’t moving. Examples: before and after pics, smaller clothing sizes, compliments, overcoming cravings, turning down junk at parties and such… These victories are vital to your success, because the scale sometimes lies to us. Make sure you share these NSVs with friends and family. Give yourself those well-deserved pats on the back as often as you can!
- Recipe Links:
I would also like to link you over to my Keto pin board on Pinterest. Click here to visit it. There are tons more recipes that I have saved, as well as a lot of great Keto advice articles. I am constantly adding to my board, so follow if you want.
Also, Stephanie (Nitty) and I (Gritty) had recently posted a blog detailing our successful endeavor into a few Keto recipes that looked good to us. You can access that by clicking here.
I hope this update has been of some help, and (as always) feel free to contact me with any questions you may have about this way of life. Also, like and share on social medias, please and thank you!
I am still on this journey of mine, so I am sure there will be more updates in the future. So stay tuned! Keto on!!