I personally have never done the Ketogenic Diet, it is just not for me. One of my clients, Sabastian, has been doing it for 6+ months and I thought who better than him to commentate on his journey with Keto to help anyone who considering it.
Over the past six months I’ve had some great success with the ketogenic diet. I’ve been able to cut around twenty pounds and drop my body fat percentage by about four percent. I’ve also been weightlifting at least five days a week and have been able to continue to eat enough to continue to have muscle growth. I feel throughout the day I have more energy and it’s been consistent weight loss using this diet. I’ve done fad diets and diets similar to this before but I’ve by far had the most success with this one. I don’t know if that’s because this diet is the best for me or the easiest or I’m at a point in my life where I am more motivated and organized than before but it has worked for me. I want to stress that, it worked for me,
everyone has different bodies and needs and will experience different success with different diets. I just wanted to write out what has helped me be successful with this and what I continue to do going forward to maintain.
The basics of the Keto diet are low to no carbs and high fat and protein. Its very similar shopping and thinking to the Paleo diet with some more restrictions. The idea is that if you deprive your body of carbs, your body’s main source of fuel, long enough the body will then utilize fat as a power source and you will slowly begin to burn through you fat stores. The first week or two I was aggressively tracking every single thing I ate. I was reading lots of labels and using meal tracking apps like myfitnesspal to track everything I was taking in. I read that to enter ketosis you need to eat less than fifty carbs a day. I decided that I wanted to be under twenty five just to be sure. I had to seek out more expensive whey protein at GNC that had less carbs to maintain my caloric intake in the morning. I at no point tracked calories during this. I figured out what routine meals I could make easily and consistently that met my carb requirements. My first ten pounds dropped off in the first month. It was quick. The next two months I was losing around five pounds a month. I wasn’t discouraged by the slow weight loss. In my experience losing weight slowly and consistently was better than quick cuts because I put weight back on quickly after quick cuts.
I did experience a bit of what is called the keto flu. It’s a sickness associated with your body going into ketosis. At this point my body had used carbs for fuel for twenty seven years so cutting them almost completely out does cause your body to panic a bit. Going into ketosis also makes your body burn water at a higher rate. My experience with the keto flu was mostly bad headaches. By upping my water and
sodium intake I was able to mostly block it out. Now I am drinking water constantly. I have a bottle that I fill all the time. Sometimes multiple times an hour. It helps curb food cravings and it helps deal with the change in the body.
Preparation is Key
What has lead to a lot of my success has been being boring. I generally eat the same thing every day. I was able to pinpoint meals that I like, that were easy to prepare, and most importantly easy to pack for work. With that I can ensure that I am within my range daily and it’s easier to shop. When I pack and prepare I prepare three meals for the day and multiple snacks.
Breakfast: Bacon and Scrambled Eggs and Cheese w/ Hot Sauce
Lunch: Pork Chops w/ sriracha, Steamed Asparagus, Cheese*
Dinner: Grilled Chicken w/ mustard and sriracha, Steamed Asparagus, Cheese
Snacks: Whey and Peanut Butter Protein Shake, cheese sticks, celery and guac, almonds, hard boiled eggs
*if unprepared or extra hungry* spinach, egg, cheese, bacon, vinegar, ranch salad from cafeteria
Note: Everything has a good flavor, nothing is bland.
Eating Out: Steak and vegetables, Caesar salad without croutons, wings (non-breaded), Chipotle Salad
I will occasionally deviate from these standard meals. It was a challenge early on determining what is and isn’t keto but I can pretty easily find something I like most places I go now. The biggest fear was turning down friends from work who wanted to go out for a beer or food after work. In the beginning I didn’t drink at all and that did help me lose a lot of weight. I highly recommend not drinking at all on this diet. Again life gets in the way and people go out and you may want to drink and low carb drinking does have its challenges. The easiest beer has been Michelob ultra. It is the lowest carb beer but it also doesn’t have great flavor. Miller lite is a bit better and has about one more carb per beer. People recommend doing vodka with soda water and lime juice as a mixed drink that is zero carb. My go to has been either drinking whiskey straight or mixing whiskey with diet coke. All and all I recommend not drinking more than once a week, but you can do it and still be keto.
Most people I know who have done this diet do hit a plateau eventually and I anticipate that coming soon. It has been very beneficial in cutting weight and getting my diet to a more consistent point. It has helped be much more disciplined about my diet and spend less money on a week to week basis. It’s made me look forward to spoiling myself with double chicken and no rice or beans at Chipotle. I plan in the
next month to slowly introduce carbs back into my diet. I’m sure I’ll keep my carbs low and I think I’m planning on not eating carbs after lunch to minimize the amount but I know long term the diet I am currently on will not be sustainable.
One of the more annoying things is everyone has had a comment whenever I mention that I am
on the keto diet. Unless it was relevant, like explaining why I don’t want to eat the free cookies someone brought into the office, I have tried to not bring it up. A lot of people still feel the need to make a comment about their feelings about my diet, either from some second hand info they have about it or some doom and gloom article they read about the diet. I try to ignore it though as much as I can. It’s working for me and I feel that I have done adequate research about the diet before going into it.
Overall, these are some things that have helped me and worked for me. At the end of the day it’s important to find and research a diet that works for your particular body type and your particular goal. Don’t fall for sales tactics from companies like Herbal Life or It Works! That sound too good to be true. Like anything it’s important to know what your goal is before you set a roadmap on how to get there. I’m at a point where I’ve hit my goal weight, which was an arbitrary number that I set at the beginning when my only goal was to lose weight. I’m now just pushing to maintain and see what I can do to cut my body fat
percentage. I’ll keep pushing with the diet as long as it’s working towards my goal and modify as needed.