Hey hey! So as you may know already, I gave keto a try these past few weeks! I wanted to try this style of eating simply to see if I felt any different / better. I had my thoughts about it prior but I find it unfair to draw conclusions about something without actually going through it myself!
First off, I did NOT do this to lose weight. In fact, I ensured that my calories stayed the same to prevent that from happening.
That’s is one thing I want to be clear about, no diet is magical in the sense that being on that diet causes you to lose weight better or faster. Being in a calorie deficit is what causes weight loss across the board. This is why I never recommend someone tries a specific diet with the sole purpose to lose weight. You can do that without the headache/restriction by simply tracking your calories and macros (protein, carbs & fat). This method is much more realistic & attainable for a majority of people too!
So what IS the keto diet anyway?? Essentially, it’s just eating super low carbs, moderate protein & high fat. The purpose of this is to switch your body’s primary fuel source to be fats rather than carbs.
Prior to keto, here was my average intake:
Switching to keto, here was what I aimed for:
50g carb (30 net carbs, which means I aimed for 20 of the 50g to be fiber)
**These #’s are specific to my body & goals.
I did weigh myself daily to ensure my weight was staying stable AND to see if calories being the same, there was any ‘magic’ to keto. I also kept everything else the same in terms of exercise / general movement to control all variables possible. I did lose about 1.5bs the first week (then it stabilized), which I am certain was just water weight because carbohydrates hold water. Since I was drastically reducing carbs, I obviously was going to drop water. Although this was just MY personal example, it did conclude my hypothesis that calorie intake is king when it comes to weight loss.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to what I noticed / my list of pros and cons.
Satiation without bloat. Bloating wasn’t a huge issue for me prior but it is normal for everyones stomach to distend a little after they eat (I mean you’re literally putting food in your belly haha). With keto, I noticed that I felt satiated after a meal but my stomach was less distended. This is largely because high fat foods are more dense (take up less space per calorie than carbs). However, during my final week I was SO bloated so….
Having the opportunity to explore new recipes! It was just fun searching for something different than my norm : )
ALLLL the fats. 130g was surprisingly hard to hit! Especially since it was about double what I was eating before. I was shocked how much fat I truly had to eat to hit that #. I mean who doesn’t love avocado, almond butter, cheese, bacon, olive oil etc. That was a lot of fun haha.
So. damn. restrictive. 50g carbs adds up QUICK!!! And some people need to be even lower than this to get into ketosis. I literally wasn’t able to eat certain vegetables because they put me over my carbs. Fruit wasn’t even an option! RED FLAG RED FLAG!!! This is was very frustrating for me. Having to restrict vegetables is just plain silly in my opinion.
Restriction in general is never something I do well with. I have no problem avoiding foods that don’t react well in my body but because I don’t have any gluten or grain sensitivities I just ended up getting angry that I couldn’t have them. If I didn’t have a good relationship with food, that would have 100% resulted in binging.
Leading from that, it was also super hard to get in adequate fiber without going over my carbs (because a lot of fiber comes from veggies). I probably averaged about 10-15g fiber per day and this caught up with me the third week, my digestion was horrible. I truly wouldn’t have pooped on my own if it weren’t for my beloved Opti Greens!
It was expensive. A lot of the reason being I do my best to purchase high quality meat and dairy products. Things like nuts and avocados are also pricey! I never once was able to stay under my $60-$80 budget. I’m sure there are ways to get the bill down but it was still drastically more difficult.
***I can also see how this would perpetuate or develop a good / bad mentality with food over time. I know better than this but I see it ALL THE TIME when people try these crazy diets. It can really damage your relationship with food & how you view it.
Overall, I really didn’t feel any different or notice anything beneficial from it! However, I do know many people that really enjoy keto as a lifestyle because it makes them feel so great and they do actually experience huge changes in their skin, energy, digestion etc. There’s definitely something to say for bioindividuality.
**I also want to note, the benefits people may see from keto (clear skin, better energy, reduced inflammation, to name a few) may not actually be from being in ketosis but rather, from the elimination of foods they may have been intolerant to (grains, gluten etc). Correlation does not equal causation!
I personally enjoy (and my body seems to enjoy) a good balance of protein, carbs & fats. It allows me the most flexibility to eat the foods I love and that feel great in my body. I also love the fact that I can live my life with literally NO foods being off limits. Freedom at it’s finest : D
TLDR (too long didn’t read):