A couple days ago I teased you about the fact that I've started a new diet and have been losing a lot of weight in a short period of time. Believe it or not, that picture above is a meal I've had on this diet and I consider it "diet food". Hard to believe, right? Well, not exactly when you understand the diet I'm on. (By the way, that's a hamburger patty, fried egg, bacon, cheddar cheese, avocado, and mayo).
I had been doing a lot of research about diet and exercise and kept coming back to a diet known as a ketogenic diet, or Keto for short. I'll give you the source of the same place I found out about it. The /r/keto subreddit on the social news site Reddit.com:
The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet. It has a lot of health advantages compared to the standard western diet. Most people do keto because of the weight loss, but it also has other health advantages like lowering risk for heart disease, diabetes, cancer, stroke, and much more.
Low-carb diets are essentially programs that lower carbohydrate intake below 100 grams; strict ketogenic diets are a subset of low carb diets that typically only allow < 50g of carbohydrates per day. The general recommendation of /r/keto is to start with 20g of net-carbs per day. This limit does a good job of eliminating junk foods, refined carbohydrates and any other “fattening” foods.
The full premise of a keto diet is far more than just weight ratios, it is a lifestyle about overall health. The diet promotes long, intense bouts of energy, an increase in healthy, delicious food and an overall better outlook on your life. It is easily sustainable with a plethora of options and often is an answer to improving health that many people struggle to comprehend at first. A Ketogenic diet is not easy and will test your willpower but transforms the way you think and understand about yourself, food, and health in general.
So there you have it. I have been doing this diet for about 5 weeks now. Once I week, I've been keeping a journal of my weight loss and thoughts while on the diet. Here is that 5 week journal thus far (which I'll update here once a week as I get it written, likely every Wednesday as that is my one-week cycle day):
Keto Week 2: 350 > 338 - 12 pounds lost, 2 this week. I'm feeling really good on this diet and really comfortable with it. I notice my overall mood has been much more even. I'm not near as tired as what I used to be and I don't yawn near as much. My appetite is...interesting. There are times when I can go 16 hours between meals and not feel hungry, and other times I can go only about 4 hours before I want to eat again. I don't snack hardly at all, though, so that helps a lot. And even when I do, it's usually something like a cheese stick or a piece of ham and I'm good to go. It's hard to tell for sure, but I think my "keto-breath" has gotten better. Drinking a lot of water helps, and hoo boy do I drink a lot of water. Having very little carbs in my system and therefore virtually no glycogen stores means that I don't retain water like I used to, so it's a necessity to drink 4 - 5 liters a day. It also means I'm up a couple times during the night to pee, but that's manageable. Right now, I'm in a gray area between the very beginning of the diet and what is called being "keto adapted", which means my weight loss is very little if at all (it honestly fluctuates a couple pounds up and down every day), so it'll be interesting to see where I am next week after 3 weeks on the diet. So far so good though. The first week was tough, but I think I'm finally getting the hang of it.
Keto Week 3: 350 > 332 - 18 pounds lost, 6 this week. I think I'm finally keto-adapted. If not, I'm awfully close. I'm kind of shocked that I dropped 6 pounds in one week, but I don't think I'll keep up with that. Looking at myself, I don't think I look much thinner. Maybe a bit in my face and my sides, but nothing dramatic yet. One cool side effect has been forcing myself to be more inventive in the kitchen. Since ingredients are somewhat limited, I've had to find interesting and new ways to create meals and foods that work with this diet. For example, today I made something similar to a cinnamon roll using flax meal. I couldn't believe how fluffy it came out and how delicious it tasted! The next step will be to start incorporating some exercise once it warms up just a bit more. I'd really like to get back into running, biking, and swimming and really push myself in some triathlons later this year. I'm even toying with the idea of trying Redman [Ed. note - local iron-distance triathlon. I did the 1/2 iron two years ago, and it nearly killed me] again...but that's a ways away. Finally, I want to brag on [my wife] just a bit. She's been doing this right alongside me and not only has she lost 12 pounds, but her blood sugar has been consistently under control since we started! I'm so proud of her and can't wait to see her endocrinologist's reaction when she goes to see her next month!
I'm so pleased with the decision I made and the change in lifestyle. It's something that I adapted to quickly and can see sustaining for a long time. I understand that it may not be for everyone, but for me, it's perfect.