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I started the Ketogenic Diet this week and am down six pounds. This post describes what the Keto Diet is and what I ate this week to have success.
This week we started the Ketogenic Diet and I am thrilled to say I am already down 6 pounds! I recognize a lot of this might be water weight, but it is still great to see the scale going down even while eating a bunch of really yummy food.
What Is The Ketogenic Diet?
The Ketogenic Diet is a high fat, low carb, medium protein diet with the aim of changing from getting your energy from sugar to getting your energy from fat.
Most people are sugar burners. They go through their day relying on the energy produced by carbs and sugar. When eating carby foods, your body produces glucose and insulin, which are pretty easy energy sources for your body to burn through.
Your body loves sugar. The problem is that if it has a bunch of sugar, it has no reason to burn fat. So guess what? It gets stored in (and on) your body.
To make things worse, excess glucose (sugar) is also stored as fat. Once stored as fat, you run into the same problem as with fat in general. Your body keeps looking for sugar to burn and when it runs out, it will look for more sugar, not fat.
So the excess sugar you ate will not be burned. Instead, you find yourself craving more carbs! The cycle starts again. (Dang that giant bag of M&Ms stuck to my butt).
But how do we get to the point where we can burn the fat instead of sugar? Because, I don’t’ know about you but to me the process of just storing more and more fat is getting me nowhere.
The “trick” is to eat less carbs so you body goes into ketosis. When you eat less carbs, your insulin level drops and this allows your body to start burning fat instead of sugar. Fat is broken down in the liver, resulting in the production of ketones. These ketones then become the source of energy for your body.
There are many health benefits of the ketogenic way of eating. In addition to weight loss, one that I am looking forward to is mental clarity. I’ve read several sources that state that people feel much more clear in their thinking on this diet . They also report an increase in energy.
Although the weight loss is attractive to me, the benefits of increased mental clarity and energy are what have me the most motivated.
How The First Week Felt For Me
It can be scary to start a new way of eating, especially when you read online that there is a potential for feeling like crap. Sugar addiction is real and I have to admit, I was a little scared to stop eating sugar. I thought I would crash big time and have headaches and be unable to function.
I did experience that for one day. My brain was super foggy on day three and I had trouble comprehending pretty simple things. I was TIRED. At one point one of my colleagues asked me about my dogs and it was like he was talking in a different language. It took me a moment to process. (I knew then it was time to go home haha).
The next day I was fine. I have not even had cravings for sugar! I can’t believe it. I’m rarely hungry and have not struggled at all during my first week.
My scale has gone down about a pound a day (yes, I realize it is likely mostly water) and I find myself less tired during the day and evening.
Usually by the time I get home from work after my giant commute I am exhausted. This week I’ve been able to come home and get some blog work done and have not felt so tired. This is a great bonus!
What Do You Eat on The Ketogenic Diet?
When doing the Ketogenic Diet, you focus on macros. Macros are fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. As mentioned in the beginning of this post, the Ketogenic Diet is a high fat, low carb, medium protein diet. I suggest finding a macro calculator to find out what your macros should be on the Ketogenic Diet.
Here is the Keto calculator I used to figure out mine.
Once you know what your macros are, the next thing is to know what kinds of food you want to avoid. You want to have your carbs be pretty low (approx 25).
This means you need to avoid food with sugars such as candy, bread, pasta, beans, grains, and fruit. This also includes those “healthy” sweeteners like maple syrup.
Instead, you will eat meat, dairy, high fat things like avocados, coconut oil, and sweeteners like stevia and erythritol. I used Swerve Confectioners Sweetener this week and it was awesome! I could sense no weirdness from it.
Other ingredients I purchased to make some of the recipes are:
What We Ate During the First Week That We Liked
In order to help you get started, I’ll share some of the things we ate and liked this week on the Keto Diet.
Snacks are of course the most important, right? For snacks we ate the following:
- String Cheese
- Cheese Curds
- Celery and Almond Butter
- Peanuts (in moderation)
- Raspberries (in moderation)
- Low Carb Butter Cookie Energy Bites (OMG yum….though my husband finds them “mealy” lol). The remind me of pecan sandies. You will need a few good ingredients for these:
- Keto Pancakes with Cinnamon Syrup from this cookbook (page 21) were amazing.
- Easy Low Carb Breakfast Casserole was so good. I loved that it had spinach and red peppers in it. We ate this for lunch the next day as well.
- I wish I could remember where I got this idea because it was a nice refreshing lunch. I took a cucumber and sliced it in half lengthwise and scooped out the seeds to make little boats I then put dill mustard (try this it is great) in one half and then hard salami and sharp cheddar. I actually liked it better like this than with bread! Warning: bring a knife and fork because if yours turns out like mine the “sandwich” won’t stay together that well haha.
- Salad with hard salami and cheddar with a taco dip dressing made of sour cream and taco seasoning. I made this at the last moment before work because I didn’t plan correctly, but it turned out so good I had it for two days last week.
- Burgers with buns made with “fathead pizza dough.” These reminded me of red lobster biscuits (though flatter). We enjoyed these quite a bit and had burgers a couple of times.
- We also made the above buns into a pizza crust and had a pepperoni pizza. I think I made this too thick and did not cook it enough but it was still very good. The bonus was that I found THE BEST PIZZA SAUCE I’ve ever made. It was also the easiest pizza sauce I ever made. I just had to use my handy sous chef. This made it take about 10 seconds to prepare once I had the ingredients.
- Keto Chicken Fajita Bowl. Ah-maz-ing! My husband made this one and knocked my socks off. It was SO DELICIOUS.
Things I Learned:
Although I used my bullet journal to meal plan last week, I need to do a better job of preparing this week, especially for lunch. I had to bring lunch every week and could not rely on last minute going out to eat so I started my days late which resulted in me getting home later (which I hate). That said, as mentioned above I still had a bunch of energy so that worked out well!
In order to prepare this week, I cooked a couple of pounds of chicken breasts in my Instant Pot. I put them in the Instant Pot with a can of chicken broth and some salt and pepper and set it for high pressure cooking for 36 minutes. I then waited about a half hour for a slow release and the chicken breasts were tender and easily shredded. The plan is to use the chicken in lunches throughout the week in salads and other things (probably mostly salads).
The other thing I learned was I do not need sugar to keep going. In fact, by day four I was not craving sugar at all. I don’t feel hungry. I’m not having sleepy crashes during the day. I feel pretty good! I’m excited to keep going with this.
6 pounds lost tracked in my bullet journal: