If you’ve been paying attention to my Instagram stories, you’ve probably seen me mention starting the keto diet and amping up my workouts. I wanted to give you guys some background on why I started, my results after being on the keto diet for 30 days, some frequently asked questions about maintaining the keto lifestyle, and some of my favorite keto recipes that are helping me stay in shape! Get ready for a long post because we are diving in!
What is the Keto Diet
In short it’s a diet that focuses on fat first, and virtually eliminates carbs from your diet in an effort to get your body to burn fat as it’s primary fuel source. I’m not going to go into all the details of the diet because there are A LOT so I’d encourage you to do research
Why I Started the Keto Diet
Even though I’ve always been in relatively good shape and maintain a regular workout schedule, I noticed that my weight had been slowly creeping up over the years. It was a tiny bit at a time, but I noticed it sticking, especially after I started traveling more and getting into a new relationship which meant lots of time indulging! I had been yo-yo dieting, losing weight fast when I wanted to shape up for a trip or through the summer, then packing it back on pretty much as soon as I started eating normal. I did juice cleanses back to back, which have a place in your regimen but are not a sustainable way to maintain weight. At my most extreme I was calorie counting with My Fitness Pal and logging less than 1,000 calories a day! It was tough, ineffective, and I was miserable.
I noticed a lot of friends, acquaintances and coworkers mentioning being on keto and loving the diet and results, so I started observing how they ate and what they thought about keto as a lifestyle. I wish I could say I carefully prepared to start the diet, but I actually dove in and quit carbs cold turkey while on a trip to LA! I instantly noticed how carbs are EVERYWHERE and how intense it would be to really track them. But I also enjoyed being able to eat foods I loved that I had deprived myself of when on my strict, low-fat diets. I ate real bacon, full-fat dairy, a whole avocado a day, and snacked on nuts. While at a Mexican restaurant one night in LA, I didn’t even miss skipping tacos and ate a huge bowl of carnitas and sautéed veggies! Overall even though I wasn’t eating any carbs or sugar, I stopped missing them after a few days and instantly felt happier!
Have you seen results from the keto diet?
My results have been amazing! On my other diets I would barely lose a pound a week, and often it was water weight. In one month on keto I lost 6 pounds and 3.5% body fat! Yes, I lost that much weight eating bacon, cheese, and burgers! I expect to plateau pretty soon, especially because I’m already pretty close to my goal weight, but I’m so happy with the results.
Did you have any weird side effects from the keto diet?
If you Google keto side effects, you will find a LONG list of side effects, everything from bad breath, keto crotch, fatigue, dehydration and constipation. I did not experience any of these! I changed my supplements which helped keep things balanced, so I take omega 3’s, fiber, and magnesium. I also manage my sodium intake by drinking bone broth or salt water and the only time I got a keto related headache was after cheating aggressively and slamming a piece of birthday cake. Which brings me to the next question!
Can you have cheat days on the keto diet
In short no! If you are in ketosis and cheat, you will immediately be knocked out of that metabolic state. Yes, you can recover and get back in, but for best results you really need to stay consistent. My goal was to go 45 days without cheating, but I only made it 30! I do plan to have a few cheat days around my birthday and a trip in June, but for the most part I plan on making keto a consistent lifestyle choice and permanent way of eating.
So what can you eat on keto?
Staples on my grocery list every week are ground turkey, different types of cheeses, deli meat and nuts for snacks, salmon, leafy greens, zucchini or zoodles, eggs and avocado. I intermittent fast 5 days a week so don’t really do breakfast. Generally speaking I’m not a fan of processed foods or carb/sugar substitutes, so I focus on foods that are nutrient rich, satisfying and naturally high in fat and low in carbs. Some of my favorite recipes are Bolognese sauce with zucchini noodles, bacon and cheddar frittatas, roasted salmon with avocado salad, and a big, cheesy, messy lasagna with zucchini cut into planks instead of pasta. Typically, lunch is a big salad with leafy greens, a whole avocado, some protein, and olive oil, blue cheese or ranch dressing since I love them and they are high in fat but low in sugar. And when I have time I experiment with recipes as long as they don’t call for ingredients that are weird or overly artificial. Last Sunday was classic fried chicken but using almond flour instead of white flour, and keto “ice cream.”
Does the keto diet interfere with your social life?
Keto really hasn’t interfered with my social life at all, but you do need to exercise discipline when dining in a group. It’s tough when sharing apps or small plates, or when you are dying to pick at your friend’s fries! Usually when dining out I’ll look for fish and veggies, steak or a burger with no bun, or something like that. There are usually plenty of options to choose from. Drinking a lot is discouraged on keto, but I’m not giving up everything! My new go to drinks are vodka sodas, tequila and fresh lime juice, or whiskey on the rocks. I also have taken to keeping little packets of stevia on me, so I can add a sprinkle to a drink and make it taste more like a cocktail without adding sugar.
As much as I love this diet, it’s definitely not for everyone and everyone experiences it differently. Make sure you do your research on what the keto life is really like and if it’s for you. And if you have more questions or want to learn more about my keto meals in real time, follow me on Instagram!