Well my guess is you have heard about the Keto diet or maybe just read this and are a little curious.
Keto changed my life – No Doubt about it!
A few fun facts about me and then I will get into my thoughts regarding the Keto diet.
I am 56 years old, Type 1 Diabetic and had a double knee replacement 2 years ago. Starting weight of 246 and I am 6’. I was looking for a way to lose weight and control my blood sugars. My downfall is I am a poor eater, don’t like vegetables and pretty much anything that is healthy. After searching for a pizza and burger diet and having no luck, I started looking into Keto and how it could help.
After 6 months on the diet (that’s a bad reference as I now call it a way of life) I dropped 60 lbs down to 185 lbs, went from a size 38 to a size 34 and they are a little loose. I was also able to stop using my insulin going from an average of 7 shots a day to 0. I have never felt so good with so much energy. Even after a 15 hour work day and physically tired I can still feel the fire burning inside. After 2 years now I have the same results. My weight has balanced at 192 and still without the insulin.
The first thing you need to understand about Keto is it’s not a diet but rather science. You can’t cheat science. The normal workings of your body is you eat your carbs, fats and proteins, during your digestion you use the carbs you eat to breakdown the food and make glucose which is then distributed to your cells as food. Whatever is not used is stored as fat for a rainy day. As those rainy days never come you keep storing fat until you become obese in some cases.
Why does your body store fat? It is a precaution against being left without food for days. Keto is a backup ability your body has to survive and in my case the way I survive every day. Depriving your body of carbs has the same effect as the deserted island does, it does not allow the body to breakdown food and create Glucose. When your body can’t make glucose it signals the liver to go to work. Your liver can call for the stored fat (or fat you consume) and make ketones for your cells. Your cells learn to switch from Glucose as food to use ketones for food.
Few facts about ketones, Your Liver produces some ketones on a daily basis as you brain does not use glucose for food but rather ketones, your body does not store extra ketones for the future, rather only producing what is needed for the body at that given moment.
One of the first things you will notice on a Keto diet is you are not hungry. I often can go with eating only one meal all day. Not by trying but just simply I am not hungry. I hardly ever have hunger pains and find myself pushing myself to eat. Remember that on a keto diet, when your cells need food the liver simply produces the ketones your body needs, no more, no less. No sluggish feeling after eating. I also find I don’t over eat, rather just enough to get some food in me.
So how do you do a keto lifestyle? Consume as close to zero carbs as you can. Now you will find a lot of good keto food with a couple carbs, so let’s say in the initial phase stay under 15 carbs a day. As you get more into it you will be able to add more.
The basic matrix is 80% Fat. 15% Protein. 5% Carbs. You can use an app called myfitnesspal which is a free download. It can help make sure you achieve the right mix. If you consume too much protein, your body can convert the extra into Carbs and we don’t want this to happen.
Some good Keto foods are MCT Oil – This is a medium chain oil from Coconuts. Medium chain oils can be used right away by your liver to produce Ketones right away without further breakdown. Like instant energy – much better than a Red Bull!
Nuts, except for cashews, are a good snack. A lot of keto folk put butter in their coffee for added fat, I myself prefer 0 carb heavy cream. When I eat steak, I like to put butter on each bite. Root vegetables typically are not allowed on a Keto diet i.e. carrots and potatoes. Most vegetable are good, just remember to check the carbs.
Everyone is different but it takes me about 2 days to get back into Ketosis. You can purchase keto strip from the pharmacy to help tell you when you are in ketosis. As you get more into the diet there are other more accurate ways to regulate your ketosis levels and I will get into that at a later date. Some people say they get the “Keto Flu”. This typically can happen in the first couple of days, you just feel a little down and sluggish as your body converts to using Ketones. It goes away typically in a day. Typically this only happens the first time you transition into keto.
Keto is a great diet (way of life) for many ailments and weight loss. Next time I will get more into Keto recipes I have developed or come across to help better embrace this type of lifestyle.
Remember on a Keto diet FAT is your best friend!