45 Days of the Keto Diet

45 Days of the Keto Diet

In my overly ambitious goals post, I said that I wanted to lose 50 pounds this year. Almost two months into 2018, this number is still super intimidating to me. In fact, I keep remembering it as 40 instead of 50, but nope — it’s right there on the page. Fifty.

I struggle about blogging and discussing weight loss, because it’s something I tend to get hyper focused on. This is not my first rodeo, but I really want it to be my last attempt to get down to a smaller size. Even as I type this post, I started to write “get down to a size that I’m happy with,” which is the wrong answer.

My entire life, at all kinds of different sizes, I’ve always felt big. I’ve never been happy with my size, no matter what it was. That’s a fundamental problem that I’m finally addressing, but it’s not an overnight fix. I need to weight loss attempt to be different in the previous ones in how I measure my own worth.

The success is not in the pounds lost. The approval is not achieved through compliments by family and friends. I know those are the wrong answers, but I’m still searching for the right ones.

Me & Maxine Hong Kingston included for no other reason than I’m working to be okay with seeing a side profile view of myself.

Through this search, I’ve drastically changed my eating habits. Since roughly January 6th, I’ve been following a Keto diet. Since I don’t track my calories and macros yet, I do what they call “lazy Keto.” This means that I’m estimating, and that I’m roughly trying to stick to under 20g of carbs a day. If you’re not familiar with counting carbs, let me tell you — under 20g is hard.

At my best on Keto, I do a ton of low carb cooking and meal prep. I’m a pretty good cook, and being prepared with home made, high quality foods that I truly enjoy helps me be successful. Cooking also lets me feel like I’m not depriving myself of my traditional carb heavy favorite foods, so if I can’t imagine eating another scrambled egg for breakfast, I make keto muffins instead.

Cinnamon Swirl Keto Muffins

At my worst on Keto, I eat a lot of burgers (sans buns) and side salads with ranch dressings. Even on a diet, I love to go out to eat with friends and there are sometimes where I’m out running errands and wanting to pull through the drive through. In those times, I allow myself the treat but I don’t ever cave on the bread option. I pull the bun off the sandwich or burger to give to the dogs later, ignore my friend’s fries and happily sip diet coke. The first month this felt terrible, but honestly now eating tasty food that I didn’t prepare is a treat in itself… even without the bread or potatoes.

“Mexican Pizza” with ground turkey crust and salsa, avocado, sour cream & lettuce on top. With Chocolate Peanut butter flourless cookies

For the most part, Keto has been ridiculously easy for me to stick to. I have cheated three times since Jan 6th. Once, I was two weeks in and honestly just wanted to eat some pizza and popcorn with friends. I decided that to be successful in this, I have to admit that I’m not going to go the rest of my life without eating popcorn at a movie… so if that needs to happen occasionally, so be it.

This past weekend was much harder. Through a mix of not being prepared with Keto friendly foods and my general “I’ve been doing this for almost two months and it’s not new and shiny” anymore, I went a little rogue with the diet for a day and a half.

Spaghetti Squash Chicken Alfredo

The good thing about Keto is that your body happily adapts to the diet (at least mine did) if you stick with it. My appetite went down, energy went up and carb cravings went almost totally away. The bad thing about Keto is when you introduce an excess of carbs, your body IMMEDIATELY switches gears. So my 1.5 day of eating carbs & sugar immediately made me more tired, hungry again and resulted in a 5 lb water weight gain literally overnight.

So now I’m back on the straight and narrow, and resolved to continue this. It’s not an easy diet, but it’s been one of the easiest for me to follow overall. A lot of nutritionists argue that completely eliminating an entire food group is an unhealthy way to diet. I’m not saying they’re wrong, but calorie counting simply doesn’t work for me. Even though I live my life in a gray area, when it comes to dieting I need a black & white regimen. Keto does that for me, at least at the moment.

Cauliflower Cheese ‘Breadsticks’ with No Sugar Added Marinara

I’m hesitant to say how much I’ve lost in these past 45 days, especially since right now it feels like a lie with the recent post-cheat-weekend-weight-gain. Instead, I’ll share these pictures and update on the blog again after another chunk of time has passed.

This probably isn’t the greatest picture, but I don’t take true progress photos. Dec to Feb — of course I am holding food in both photos. (Friends cut out for privacy… I promise I don’t usually pose by myself with food pictures LOL)

 

24 thoughts on “45 Days of the Keto Diet

  1. Interested to hear more about your adventure with Keto as you go along. While I’m not interested in going super low carb I would love to reduce my carb intake (and up my healthy fats!). Becoming confident in your body is such a journey, one I still find myself on despite the fact that I’m a smaller size than I can remember being in high school. In my head I’m still able to find plenty of flaws with this body despite being able to say I would be so happy if I could just maintain this the rest of my life. I struggle with getting too controlling with my calorie counting versus enjoying my life – it’s a tough balance. Maybe some day I’ll figure it out!
    You should share some of these recipes! The muffins and cauliflower cheese breadsticks in particular are making me hungry looking at them, lol. I do love a good spaghetti squash too!

    1. These are the cauliflower ones – https://www.jocooks.com/healthy-eating/cheesy-cauliflower-breadsticks/

      And here are the muffins – https://divaliciousrecipes.com/creamy-cinnamon-swirl-muffins/

      I think the cauliflower ones are undeniably good, but the muffins might be an acquired taste. When I first started making anything baked keto, it just tasted so EGGY to me. Like, they use a ridiculous amount of eggs in everything to cut down the carbs. Now I’ve gotten used to it, but there’s a perspective shift there!

      Body confidence is so individual and yet universal at the same time. Lately the topic has been fascinating me a bit, probably because of my own weight loss journey. I’ve been doing a lot of off-the-blog writing about it.

      1. Thanks!

        Ooo the “breadsticks” don’t look very difficult either (I’m can cook somewhat but I need specifics and prefer easy recipes!), definitely going on my list to try!

        A bit weird but I follow a lot of people on Instagram who are in the weight watchers community because many talk about body confidence and trying to catch your mind up with your body as far as how different you look. Also many have a pretty good approach to balancing life and eating well/losing weight or are working on it. Plus they share a lot of great recipes!

  2. I get really caught up in the number of pounds lost… and get frustrated very quickly. Instead, I’m working on being a healthier version of myself through being more active. So far (the last 8 months or so), I’ve done really, really well. The few times I’ve weighed myself, I haven’t lost any weight, but I know I’ve gained a TON of muscle.

  3. I need to get back on the wagon. Not keto because carbs are life. I’d rather make bad things fit my calorie allowance than deprive myself of things I love…within reason. I think it’s interesting to see how different things work for different people. Jason made the faux breadsticks once and I loved them, but I’ve mostly just adapted to eating pasta without bread…the horror! He said the ones with cauliflower were too much work. 😉

    1. I think cauliflower stuff is pretty easy if you start with riced cauliflower, which grocery stores have now. It’s a little more expensive, but totally worth the hassle for me since my food processor is super small.

      1. I think he riced it himself, so that was likely part of it. He’s a lot better at dieting than I am because he’s fine with just meat and veggies. I get to the point where I’d just rather not eat than look at another chicken breast. hahaha

  4. I love the keto diet, but when I fall off the wagon, I fall off hard and feel gross and quickly remember why I like eating low carb, lol. Those “bread” sticks look amazing! Have you tried fathead dough? So amazing and versatile!

      1. I think it is! I really feel great when I stick to it. I try to keep my carbs below 30 net per day, because much lower than that is really challenging! But generally, I just try to make sure I’m always below 50.

  5. Great job! I still swear by the 21 Day Fix nutrition plan to instill clean eating practices coupled with learning proper portions for weight loss. However, right now I’m using those principles coupled with the weight watchers app because I don’t have the time that i used to to plan & prep & cook. Down 7 pounds in a little over 2 weeks! With baby 2 nearly weaned it’s time to get back to a less fluffy weight. Bottom line, if the goal is to lose the weight for the final time then finding a way of eating that works for YOU is what matters! For me, weight is tied to health and of course self image and I know while I might get to “goal” weight range it’s going to be a lifelong journey because it takes daily attention/discipline to not just lose it, but maintain it.

  6. It’s funny – I was just reading an article about the keto diet this morning and it made me wonder how it was going for you. I tried it years ago and couldn’t get past the first few days. I felt like crap, and got tired of people affirming that I looked like crap, too. I could only take so many “do you feel ok? You look like you don’t feel well” comments. So I’m counting calories. That’s far from a perfect system, too. I guess if it was easy, we’d all be thinner.

  7. Stanford School of Medcine just came out with a study (600 participants) on Low Fat vs Low Carb Diets. I wish they had done a no diet control. My cousin did Keto (coupled with biking and walking to classes), he was pretty obese and lost a ton of weight and even after adding in normal foods has managed to keep it off. After seeing his success I’m definitely a believer!

    1. I participated in that study with my now husband! We were the low-carb group, my friend was low-fat. It was *really* hard at the beginning, when we were at 30g max per day. Not something I think I could stick with long-term. Instead, I started seeing a nutritionist in October and have been following the diabetic guidelines, which is 45g carbs per meal, for a total of 135g per day. Right along the lines of what we ended up at the end of the study. So far so good, I’m down 20lb minus a detour in January when I was out of town the whole month dealing with a family emergency.

  8. You are perfect just as you are. You want to change and you are changing, so that is great. But please don’t forget that you don’t owe anybody anything and you are doing this because you want to. Nothing more, nothing less.

    Also, gimme those caulisticks!!

  9. I should look into this, I need to loose the rest of the baby weight and am not sure patient to just ‘wait for it to come off’ … I try not to obsess with my weight but how my pants fit

  10. I’m currently on a high-protein version of keto for this prep. All changes tracked in photos on my IG as of the end of January have been while on keto. It took some getting used to initially because of how insanely active I am between weight lifting, cardio and just my job when I’m up to 14 hours on my feet (according to my Fitbit, I spend up to 5 hours a day in the cardiac fat burn zone on work days. That’s not counting workouts, where I’m often at my cardiac threshold, especially as of this month.) “Atkins flu” really is a thing. I had the worst brain fog the first week, and workouts made me feel like going into hibernation. I nearly burst into tears at one training session during that time period because the workout felt so goddamn difficult. Once I got the swing of adding more (healthy!) fat to my diet, it became a breeze. No cravings whatsoever and workouts stopped feeling impossible. Once I adapted, I’ve continued gaining strength while on it.

    I like the way I feel on keto way better than I did on high carb low fat during my off season this past winter, and it continues to prove that for whatever reason, my body does better on low carb than high carb.

    Like others have said, the most important part of any diet is finding out what works for *you* in the long term. That’s what makes it a lifestyle change vs a temporary diet. It sounds like you’re on the right track! (And do know that no one is perfect 100% of the time!)

  11. My best weight loss recommendation is not to go by weight. Go by measurement. Measure yourself now, neck, chest, braline, waist, hips, butt (widest), thigh, above knee and calf. Choose a left or right side and stick with that side. Write them down. Measure as a routine, or just measure again when you are needing a kick in the pants or you’re feeling some progress. Your weight is not as accurate a measure as how your clothes fit and your actual size. Best of luck. I too am on a journey.

  12. I know you can do this. My goal this year was the same – but my overall goal is to “be a better rider”. The weight loss isn’t the end result – it’s feeling healthier and stronger and being a better partner for my horses.

    🙂

    Good luck!!

  13. Photo: Milkos / Getty Images So you’ve decided you want to try out the high-fat, low-carb diet, better-known as the fat-burning ketogenic diet. Whether it’s to lose weight, have more energy, or fuel workouts differently, going keto is a popular choice right now. But figuring out a keto meal plan on your own is no easy feat, especially since eating a diet super high in fats doesn’t come naturally to many people who are accustomed to the traditionally carb-heavy American diet. (It’s especially hard if you’re vegan and want to try keto. ) But this should help: Keto experts explain how to set yourself up for success, plus provide ideas for exactly what keto foods to eat when you’re first getting started. (While you’re at it, check out these low-carb keto drinks that will keep you in ketosis. ) Have a Keto Meal Plan When it comes to starting the keto diet (or any diet for that matter), there’s one thing all experts agree on.

  14. Regardless of loss or gain, posting about your weight loss journey is a brave thing to do. It is something that is incredibly personal. I can only imagine the pressure sharing with the world would add. Obviously, I don’t know you, but I hope you continue to courageously fight or the goals you want to achieve! Rock on!

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