My Keto Experience

So, a bit of a change from my usual programming, but I thought I would tell you a bit about my recent experience going keto! I still have a full week to go on the diet, but I truly can’t say enough about this diet.

A fun fact about me – I used to be 50 pounds heavier. I have kept the weight off for almost 10 years, and now flucuate around a lean 135lbs (I am 5’9 and relatively athletic). Having battled with PCOS most of my life, I find it very hard to lose stubborn belly fat; I get intense sugar cravings and have a tendency to throw diet plans out the window at the slightest tempting. Although I love running and working out, and do so at least 4 times a week, I find it really tough to lose weight these days. Being in quarantine the last couple of weeks, I have found it super hard to resist over-eating; I do a Peloton workout every day and try to run 3 times a week, but when there isn’t much to do except cook and bake my waistline was struggling. Although I totally believe this is an important time to do whatever makes you feel happy and safe, for me the extra poundage was getting me down. Cue the keto diet.

A few of my friends had tried this diet and LOVED it, so I thought I would give it a go. The idea with keto is that you can basically eat as much fat as you want, but your carb limit is extremely limited. There are many opinions on this, but I stuck with the 20 net carb rule (carbs — fibre = net carbs); for reference there are about 20 carbs in one small apple. This means that most fruit with the exception of a few berries, and all but the leafy green veggies are out, and meat and cheese are in. If you are someone who eats a real ‘carnivore’ type diet, this is a great one for you; I, for one, am a big fruits and veggies gal, so it took some getting used to (believe me, making my coffees and tea with whipped cream instead of unsweetened organic oat milk was a real adjustment!). The results, however, were well worth it.

I could not believe it when I stepped on the scale on the one-week mark to see that I had lost 4.8 pounds. In one week! Now, I realize that most will say its an unhealthy amount to lose, but here’s the thing – almost all of that is water weight. The idea behind the keto diet is that, when your body has no carbs to burn, it burns fat for fuel. In the first week, though, with a lack of carbs, it first turns to water. Now that I am on week 2, I am losing a healthy 1.5 pounds a week, and I can physically see the fat loss around my tummy. My energy levels have been great, and I am still able to lift the same amount of weight/reps as I was before with no added difficulty.

I have continued running, though in the first three days I didn’t feel great adjusting to that amount of fat. Further, I’ve kept my protein intake relatively high, which is a controversial move. I am testing my urine with keto strips twice a day to make sure I’m in ketosis, and have not had any ‘cheat’ meals (I always hated that word – you shouldn’t feel guilty for eating something that makes you happy!). Needless to say, I have never felt better – zero sugar cravings, amazing sleep, feeling very ‘clear-headed’ – its truly been incredible to feel the transformation. With PCOS I get dramatic blood sugar spikes, and this has completely eliminated that issue altogether! I am planning on sticking with the diet for one or maybe 2 more weeks (I don’t believe in being too restrictive on yourself, and this diet involves a lot of MyFitnessPal logging which I don’t think is sustainable), but its been a wonderful sort of ‘reset’, and something that I will definitely come back to from time to time. So tell me: have any of you tried eating keto? If so, I would love to hear about your experience in the comments!

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