I’ve been eating a ketogenic nutrition plan for about 7 weeks now and I’ve lost approximately 20 pounds. You can find my first post about eating keto here.
By deriving between 50 and 75 percent of my caloric intake from fat, 15-20 percent from protein, and the rest carbohydrates, I’ve shed twice as much weight as I gained after relocating to Southern California in October of 2017.
Here’s a before and after photo for comparison.
As you can see, I’m looking much healthier even in black and white. I attribute it mostly to the change from a carbohydrate-rich intake to one that is relatively void of carbs; I’ve stopped eating any rice, potatoes, cereals, sweets, and sweetened-foods and have substituted walnuts and almonds as my go-to snack foods instead of chips, cookies, and chocolate.
I haven’t had a potato chip, a Frito, a Cheeto, a slice of bread, or even a granola bar in seven weeks. It sounds like a sacrifice…like I’d be starving all the time, right?
But the opposite is true. Because I’m consuming more healthy fat (avocado, olive oils, nuts, etc.) than anything else, my body burns fat instead of sugar supplied by carb-heavy foods and I don’t feel hungry.
It’s about getting into ketosis
Ketosis is when your metabolism is in a fat-burning rather than a fat-storing state. When there isn’t any sugar available to burn, your body burns fat by liberating ketones in the liver. You can think of ketones as the burnable components of fat.
Ketosis is a normal metabolic process. When the body does not have enough glucose for energy, it burns stored fats instead; this results in a build-up of acids called ketones within the body.
Because I’m no longer consuming so many carbs (I’ve been very hardcore about this), I’m in ketosis and I’m burning fat while I work, while I eat, even while I sleep.
The other morning I got up and went to the bathroom sink to say hello to my wrinkles, as usual, and looked at myself in the mirror. For the first time ever could see where my frontal bone (my forehead) angles toward my ears. That’s when I really knew it was working.
The hardest part of going keto?
For some, it would probably be giving up the bread, rice, potatoes, etc. But for me, the hardest part has been giving up the after-dinner bowl of cereal that’s been a part of my nightly habit for as long as I can remember. I mean, I LOVE a bowl of cereal after dinner. Raisin Bran, Cheerios, HoneyBunches of Oats with Almonds…total yum! Oh, and Karen’s popcorn…OMG, I love popcorn, too.
As you can tell from the left side photo above, all of the above loved me, too.
But seriously, it hasn’t been very hard at all. By consuming so much fat, I don’t feel hungry. One a good day I’ll eat two solid meals and some snacks.
Here’s why my typical food log looks like:
Breakfast – 2 cups of Bulletproof coffee: brewed coffee with a tablespoon of MCT oil (medium chain triglycerides), a tablespoon of unsalted organic butter, three Splenda packets (I like it sweet…like me), and some half-n-half. But I usually don’t eat anything because I’m no longer hungry in the morning. I’ll have another cup of Bulletproof coffee at work and then drink about 16 ounces of cold water off and on before midday.
Lunch – I don’t have a noon meal because I’m not hungry. The MCT oil, butter, and caffeine from the coffee tend to take away my appetite. I’m not even tempted to take a donut when they magically appear in the office. About 1:30 or 2p I’ll have whatever I brought from home. Usually, it consists of a few slices of cheddar cheese or Swiss cheese, maybe some two or three scrambled eggs with some sausage and avocado or a can of yellowfin tuna packed in olive oil and an avocado. I’m really into avocados. I also take a 15-minute walk around outside where I work at this time.
Dinner – Sometimes I won’t have any, especially if lunch was really fatty. But if I’m hungry I might have a couple of eggs, or some baked chicken (skin crunchy), or seasoned salmon or ground beef. I’ll add some veggies, but not the ones that are high in sugar like potatoes or beans. I tend to eat more tomatoes, onions, broccoli, bok choy, or spinach.
Snack – If I feel like a snack, I’ll have about a cup of plain, full-fat yogurt with Splenda mixed in because, without a sweetener, plain fatty yogurt is disgusting. I could splash some Vanilla powder of cocoa powder in their, too I guess.
And that’s what I eat pretty much every day. Eating out has been super easy, too. I just order whatever I used to think would be bad for me and remove what I no longer eat. I can get a dry double cheeseburger with veggies and just throw away the buns. Easy, peasy.
Exercise and alcohol
Alcohol (beer, wine, spirits) are empty calories. That means they typically pack a lot of calories without any nutritional benefit and that’s why moderate to heavy drinkers tend to gain weight.
I don’t drink any longer, not because I don’t like to drink, but because my goal to lose 50 pounds is so important to me that I don’t want to interfere with it by drinking a beer once or twice a week. Karen and were in Del Mar, a beach town south of Orange County last weekend, and I drank several glasses of both red and white wine.
Both were yummy, but I know that I can’t get into that habit again until I lose my 50 pounds and I can add some of the foods back into my regimen. It would be too easy at this point to fall back into bad habits.
As far as exercise is concerned, I haven’t been working out since I started this because of a back injury. My 20-pound weight loss has been relatively workout-free. I know that sounds really strange, but it’s true.
My back is doing much better and I’m going to start back at the gym very slowly. I’m interested to see if that accelerates my weight loss. I need to build up some additional muscle mass so I might see a slowing of the weight loss because muscle is heavier than fat.
Some additional resources
If you’re interested, here are some blogs that I’ve been reading for information on eating keto:
I’ll post another update when I reach another milestone.