Over the past few months I have been on the keto diet. This diet was originally used for patients with seizures, the keto diet has proven to be effective for many other diseases and its great for weight loss as well. After reading article after article on the diet and its benefits I decided to give it a try.
What is the ketogenic diet?
The keto diet involves eating high amounts of fat and protein with very little carbohydrates. That’s the simple way to describe it.
The diet is simply a way to get your body to enter a state of ketosis where your liver begins to produce ketones. In this process, your body begins to use fats as the main source of energy. This is a very delicate state that your body needs to enter however. Getting into ketosis takes some careful planning and calculation but once you get the hang of things the process gets a lot easier.
In this post I have pretty much outlined my entire experience with the program from when I first started out to where I am today.
Preparation and planning
For the keto diet I knew that I needed to get most of my calories from fats, then proteins, then lastly carbs. Its touch to make this change however because we live in a society where most meals contain a large amount of carbs so I knew that getting started would be a bit tricky.
When I first started out I simply threw away all the foods that contained carbs. This would help me resist the temptation to binge on carbs to begin with. All the sugary foods that I had in my house I immediately threw out and made sure to only keep the most wholesome, most natural foods.
When I planned each and every one of my meals I made sure to shoot for 75 percent fat proportions and 25 percent protein proportions. I knew that it next to impossible to avoid carbs entirely so more realistically my diet included maybe three or 4 percent carbs as well.
The first week
The first week of my journey was extremely difficult.
I was completely stripped of energy. Even though I was consuming a large number of calories I was felt completely drained of life. From what I understand, the body goes through this phase of fatigue mainly because the body is normally used to using carbs for energy. When you remove all the carbs from your diet, your body has to struggle a bit to find a new source of energy. Your body will go through a state of limbo where it has to adjust to using fat as energy.
After about the second week I moved into ketosis. My body felt super drained for the first two weeks but after that I was in the clear. In this stage of my keto transformation I began to feel amazing. I simply felt more alert and focused than normal. My thinking is that when you are constantly eating refined carbs and sugars you tend to develop a constant brain fog. However, with this keto diet I didn’t feel drowsy at all.
The other strange thing was that I didn’t feel hungry that much at all. Typically after three hours or so I would begin to start craving food again. With the keto diet however I could go for 12 hours at a time if I wanted to and not feel all that hungry.
At the gym I did not see too much of a difference in terms of stamina or strength. However the one effect that I noticed was that I felt less tired after a full workout. By the end of the day I even felt as though I could workout again if I really wanted to.
My keto journey had its ups and downs but for the most part I think it went well. I was able to achieve my goal of losing 5 pounds in the first 90 days of the keto diet.
However, I don’t think I can continue this diet for forever. This is mainly because in a world that is full of carbs, it difficult to avoid foods with carbs. Keeping your carb intake at a minimum can be extremely challenging especially if you are traveling or have a busy work schedule. For instance, if I am at the airport and all there is to eat is a sandwich, if I eat that one sandwich I fall out of ketosis and I have to start from scratch again.
All in all, this diet was a great way for me to lose some fat (which was my goal) but ultimately, I don’t think I am interested in making this diet my lifestyle since I have already reaped the benefits. Life should be lived and staying on a diet for the rest of your life is no way to live. Putting limits on yourself will never allow you to enjoy the freedom you deserve.
For anyone out there who is interested in the keto diet I would advise them to do two things. One, I would tell them to have an end goal in mind. If your end goal is to lose 10 pounds in three months then stick to that goal. If your goal is to simply stay on keto for 2 months so that you can cut after bulking season that’s great.
The point is that you should have a destination that you want to arrive at. Don’t just go out on this diet if you aren’t hoping to achieve anything from it. Secondly, I would say that this diet isnt for everyone. If you are serious about doing this you need to make sure that you educate yourself on the process. It’s a fine line between ketosis and a non ketogenic state so being sloppy about implementing this diet will get you nowhere.