Loosing weight and being thin again has been at the back of my mind ever since I had my kids. Once upon a time I was 120 lbs, fit, and fabulous! I loved my body but I got lazy, stopped working out everyday, and didn’t eat a very healthy diet. Once I got pregnant with my first daughter I started to eat healthier and ditched things like soda. But I still craved the occasional McDonald’s vanilla ice cream cone. Once in the drive-thru I had to remind myself that I wasn’t there for the fries and the burgers!
I never dieted in my 20’s. But at the same time I didn’t live a healthy lifestyle either because sometime I’d have cinnamon rolls or rocky road ice cream for dinner. I stayed thin mainly because I ate little, exercised a lot and maybe my metabolism was jut better. Either way, I didn’t look at food as a source of a healthy body and lifestyle, it was a means to end my hunger and I ate whatever I wanted, even if it was full of sugar, starch, and carbs.
Fast forward to my 30’s and I started to look at food differently. I wanted more healthy choices for my children. We ate out less, never introduced them to chicken nuggets, and kept soft drinks far, far away from them. I started to cook at home more and felt that the change was a good one because it was better on our wallet and our food tasted better than anything we bought in a restaurant. I think that’s because I can control what goes into our food as well and I know how sanitary it is because I’m the one cooking it. Still, I had trouble loosing weight.
Past Challenges and their Pitfalls
You may be familiar with some of my other challenges, such as the Micronutrient challenge. I still like the concept of this kind of lifestyle change because it actually is a very healthy solution. When I was taking the vitamins and eating all-natural organic foods I felt wonderful. I didn’t need several cups of coffee to get me through the day or snacks in-between meals. The problem I have with this kind of eating is that it is very expensive. It’s expensive to buy foods that are labeled “organic” and “grass-fed.” It’s expensive to buy the vitamins as well which will run you approximately $40 a month. Lastly, it is very, very restrictive and you can say good-bye to eating out as you will find absolutely nothing you can eat without tearing it apart beforehand. Plus, your waiter may not like all the “changes” and “special requests” you would have to make to a simple salad just so you can eat it. It’s so restrictive it actually made me a little depressed to spend so much of my extra money on food.
The Gabriel Method is a great way to get you in the mindset to eat heathier and work out but you need an eating plan and a work out plan to go with it. It sounds great to meditate on your body and what you want to look like but you still have to get there. Working out everyday seems like a good idea but when you workout, your body burns muscle first and then fat. You also want to eat more when you work out and can end up making some bad food choices. You may be toning muscle, putting your body through some healthy physical activities, but can still put on weight because of what you put in your mouth after your work out. In fact, working out doesn’t necessarily mean you will loose fat either. I found that out after 6 months of doing cardio and yoga 4-5 times a week for at least 30 minutes each session. I started to tone my legs and arms but I was gaining weight, not loosing it. I became frustrated and mad at myself and started to think I was doing something wrong until I read this article and found out that I did exactly what a lot of other people do as well: increased eating because I increased workouts.
Going Keto for 2018
I chose the ketogenic diet by accident. My job requires me to keep a health log of my activities in order to get a discount on my health insurance. I need to monitor the amount of “steps” I take so I wear a FitBit that is synced into our company Virgin Pulse account. I downloaded an app called MyFitnessPal and decided I would track everything I eat and set a goal to lose at least 1 pound a week by restricting my calorie intake to only 1,260. Needless to say I almost starved the first 2 days and then I thought about the ketogenic diet and started reading and drooling over the pictures of all the delicious foods. Count carbs instead of calories? I can do that. I can still cook with butter and eat chocolate? I can do that too. I already loved fats, eat very little fruit, and wanted to get away from carbs anyway. But how to start? And what to eat?
My first “diet” week started off with counting calories and I realized on the first day that my food intake is actually pretty crappy. On Saturday, January 6th, I logged 185 carbohydrates and 47 grams of sugar. My protein was at 98 grams and my fat at 103 grams. This looked like a typical American high-fat-high-carb diet (SAD) to me and I was very unhappy with what it. Over the next few days of logging in my food and steps I noticed that my carbs and sugar started to decrease but I felt better and fuller through the day. Yesterday I logged 63 grams of protein, 44 grams of carbs, 18 grams of sugar, and 53 grams of fat. I also went from 147 lbs to 144 lbs in a total of 8 days. I didn’t take a picture of the 147 lbs. but I did take pictures of 146 and 144 taken on Thursday and Friday.
What is Keto?
A basic description of a ketogenic diet is one that is high in fats and low in carbs. It’s already known that carbs aren’t as good for you as you think and the Standard American Diet is flawed as a high fat-high carb diet that keeps people overweight and unhappy. Cheeseburger and fries anyone? Would you also like a chocolate milk shake or diet coke with that? See the problem here? high fat-high carbs. When you decrease the amount of carbohydrates and increase the amount of fats, you put your body in a state of ketosis. This means your body is running on “fat” not “carbs” and you then start to actually burn off fat as your body starts to use it’s fat stores as energy. The benefits lead to a loss in body fat, more energy, lower insulin levels, less hunger, and a healthier you! It’s also a plus for people who are borderline-diabetic which is a huge draw for me because I know way too many people who are in the category or are already diabetic.
The difference between a Ketogenic diet and a Paleo diet is mainly that a Paleo diet focuses on ancient eating habits that include things like root vegetables. Even though it is also a high fat, low carb diet and restricts sugar, they also typically don’t drink/eat dairy because ancient people probably didn’t either. There’s a wide array of Paleo diet types as well. You can read more about it HERE.
The difference between a ketogenic diet and Atkins is that in an Atkins diet, you typically eat more protein. Carbs are still regulated in an Atkins diet however fat is consumed much less than a Ketogenic diet. You can read more about the differences HERE.
Like other past challenges you can expect me to check in on a weekly basis. I will try to post pictures of what I eat and this time will incorporate pictures of the scale when I weigh in weekly. As far as recipes go, I will try to make some that I find online so that I can share my experiences with all of you. My goal is to stay under 35 grams of total carbs. That is including subtracting net fiber from net carbs. I plan on loosing at least 17 pounds of fat by May 1st. So far I have been bringing my carb intake down little by little every day so I haven’t experienced any headache side effects however I did notice times of aggrevation. For more information and recipes on the Ketgo diet, click HERE.
Wish me luck!