Tomorrow I will achieve one month on a ketogenic way of eating (WOE). I’ve mentioned the keto WOE in a couple of my weekly tales posts but haven’t talked about why and what it’s doing for me.
What is Ketogenic Way of Eating
There are a ton of resources online in terms of blogs, news articles and youtube videos about the ketogenic diet but I wanted to give you a nutshell definition.
It is a high fat (70% or more of your total calories), moderate protein and low carb diet. I count net carbs and limit myself to 20 carbs maximum daily. Most days I don’t go above 15 net.
When I saw my doctor in January she stressed I needed to do something or she was going to have to put me back on metformin as my HbA1C had gone back up to 6.0. I had gotten it down to 5.6 three years ago after losing 40 pounds (which all came back).
I still didn’t find the right solution for a few months but after a co-worker shared her 70 plus pound weight loss was from a keto diet I was convinced it would work for me.
Top 10 Keto Lessons
It is Not Hard. I was convinced a keto WOE would be hard and I would be sacrificing good food. On the contrary I can’t believe what good food I’m eating every day.
Hunger Changes. I used to go from no hunger to “starving” quickly. Then if I didn’t get food, I’d get hangry which my poor husband knows very well.
Now I’m able to go hours longer between meals and even when I feel hungry, it’s never as intense as previously.
I’m Enjoying Cooking. I used to hate cooking but I’m enjoying making the keto recipes. Maybe I’m just picking the right ones but there haven’t been any disasters yet and everything’s been tasty.
Dinner is prepared as fast as I could run out and buy something and it’s cheaper so that’s a win-win.
It’s not Just about Weight Loss. Yes, I want to lose weight (and am) but it’s really about my long term health. Ketogenic diets reduce inflammation caused by sugar in our bodies. It’s been used to successfully impact many diseases including metabolic syndrome (me), arthritis, autism, cancers, and seizures, diabetes, fibromyalgia, etc.
Napping Not Required. By not indulging in carbohydrates for lunch resulting in afternoon drowsiness I have energy throughout my day. It’s amazing (to me) what a difference a change in food can make here.
Although I miss the somewhat guilty pleasure of a Sunday afternoon nap, I just don’t need it.
It’s Not Expensive. You can make a keto diet expensive with all the supplements, coaches, food plans and more products available. But none of that is necessary.
You can find free suggested meal plans online and eat food from regular grocery stores with few exceptions. I buy some things online because I don’t want to make my own ketchup, etc. but that’s for convenience primarily.
Filter Out the Noise. There are a lot of keto experts online and if you listen to them all you’ll just give up. Find a couple that you can relate to and understand and stick with them; at least in the beginning. Two of my favorites are Dr. Ken Berry and Kristie Sullivan.
I also recommend joining a couple of Facebook groups if you use that platform. My favorite group is Keto for Women over 50 (yes you have to be a woman and over 50 to join).
KISS. The kiss principle (keep it simple, stupid) has been super helpful this past month. I’m not trying to replicate my favorite dessert or make any complex recipes at this point. It’s also way to early to even think about intermittent fasting.
Instead of rushing to buy every product listed as must have by keto “experts” I’m just getting the staples I’ll use over and over again.
New Language. Although I’ve tried a low carb diet before and was vaguely familiar with the term ketogenic, it comes with its own vocabulary. Here are just a few acronyms and terms I read daily:
- Fat bomb
The list goes on and on. Ketogenic forums has a good list of translations but don’t be afraid to ask when coming across a term you don’t know. We all start out ignorant of them.
Anyone can do it. There’s no special talent, degree or socioeconomic status needed to start following a ketogenic WOE. You just have to be committed and stick to it 100%.
Have you thought about a ketogenic diet?