Time To Make Some Changes – The Keto Diet
The one thing that I worried about the most after having a hysterectomy has happened, I have been gaining weight. And I know this is partly because I have been a lot less active than I was before surgery, but haven’t changed my eating habits, so I have gained weight. And I am done. I want to be healthier, and I want to be fit. So I have decided it’s time to make some changes in my eating habits, along with my activity level.
I stepped on the scale for the first time in a long time, and it told me what I didn’t want to know. I have hit 180 lbs. That is only 20 lbs away from 200. And I have been there before, and I promised myself I would never get there again.
My sedentary period has been due to recovery, as well as furthering my education. I know this. But it has also given me the excuse to be lazy. Instead of going out to ride for an hour, I have chosen to binge watch a series on Netflix or Amazon. I have not been happy with how I look in my videos, and even photos. So it is time to change that.
And now that I am trying to be more active and look for opportunities to do things it’s harder. I cleaned the barn yesterday from top to bottom, and I was exhausted. Yes, I did a lot of work. But I think the extra weight I am carrying around made it more challenging.
But I am making some changes in how I eat for good. And the first change I have implemented is cutting out the excess sugar. Sugar is my nemesis. I love sugar. I would typically start the day with a cup of coffee with half and half and of course, sugar. And I find that when I start my day with sugar, I crave it all day long. And on top of that, I am hungrier and eat more throughout the day.
So by not starting the day with two spoonful’s of sugar, I am starting the day off better, and not as hungry.
What Is The Keto Diet
And In my quest to start eating better, I looked into a diet that is really popular right now, the keto diet. And while it is more of a lifestyle, and changing the way you eat long term, it is still a diet. Have you heard of the keto diet? The full name of it is the ketogenic diet. And it was originally designed for children who were having severe seizures. They would be admitted to the hospital and put onto this ketogenic diet. Which would force the body into burning fat instead of carbohydrates. It showed great success to help these kiddos with the seizures they were having.
And after that, there were study’s completed for adults to see the effect the diet would have on different health conditions. It is a low carb, high fat diet that shifts the body away from burning carbs and instead burns fat and ketones. This type of diet is helpful for chronic conditions such as diabetes, epilepsy, and even Alzheimer’s disease.
The keto diet typically contains 75% fat, 20% protein and only 5% carbs. Which is difficult for me, because I love my bread and pasta. But with the right mindset, I can do this!
Foods To Avoid
In order for this to work, and to put your body in a state of ketosis, you need to cut out a lot of the easy, processed foods that are cheap, easy to prepare and readily available for busy people. I found this list of foods that are bad from the website Health Line:
- Sugary foods: Soda, fruit juice, smoothies, cake, ice cream, candy, etc.
- Grains or starches: Wheat-based products, rice, pasta, cereal, etc.
- Fruit: All fruit, except small portions of berries like strawberries.
- Beans or legumes: Peas, kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas, etc.
- Root vegetables and tubers: Potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, etc.
- Low-fat or diet products: These are highly processed and often high in carbs.
- Some condiments or sauces: These often contain sugar and unhealthy fat.
- Unhealthy fats: Limit your intake of processed vegetable oils, mayonnaise, etc.
- Alcohol: Due to their carb content, many alcoholic beverages can throw you out of ketosis.
Well that sucks. All of the things I love are on this list. So then I decided to look at what I could eat on a keto diet.
Keto Diet Friendly Foods
Here is Health Line’s list of approved keto diet foods:
- Meat: Red meat, steak, ham, sausage, bacon, chicken and turkey.
- Fatty fish: Such as salmon, trout, tuna and mackerel.
- Eggs: Look for pastured or omega-3 whole eggs.
- Butter and cream: Look for grass-fed when possible.
- Cheese: Unprocessed cheese (cheddar, goat, cream, blue or mozzarella).
- Nuts and seeds: Almonds, walnuts, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, etc.
- Healthy oils: Primarily extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil and avocado oil.
- Avocados: Whole avocados or freshly made guacamole.
- Low-carb veggies: Most green veggies, tomatoes, onions, peppers, etc.
- Condiments: You can use salt, pepper and various healthy herbs and spices.
And depending on which keto diet website you look at, some of these foods aren’t on their list. So by doing a lot of web based research on the keto diet, you can modify it to fit your needs, which is what I am doing. I will try and stick to the keto guidelines as much as I can, but sometimes you just can’t.
As an example, after my husband, my second mom, and I went for a hike in Garden of the Gods, we went to my dad’s house for dinner. I had to eat, I was hungry! But in order to keep my body burning fat instead of carbs, I limited my plate as best I could. It worked out ok. My meal was not completely keto friendly, but I made it work and still ended up losing some weight. I think it was all of the walking we did in the park that helped.
Low Carb Foods
But How about a list of low carb foods to include in your low carb diet?
There are many options for this, which I am not going to list out. But I have found some really great websites that have lists upon lists of low carb foods.
These are the 3 websites I go to a lot when I am trying to figure out this whole keto diet thing. And when I am looking for recipes these are my favorite websites:
- All Recipes
- Taste of Home Keto Recipes
- Keto Bootstrap – They even have meal ideas for weeks at a time.
Keto Bootstrap is probably my favorite website to visit because of the extensive library of recipes they have. Eating better doesn’t have to be boring. You can eat good while still losing weight, at least that is what I have found so far. And all of these websites offer the recipes free, you don’t have to join anything. I really like that!
Or if you like to have physical books with recipes, so you don’t have to do the searching, here are the top ones available from amazon:
- The Easy 5-Ingredient Ketogenic Diet Cookbook
- The Complete Ketogenic Diet for Beginners: Your Essential Guide to Living the Keto Lifestyle
- Keto Made Easy: 100+ Easy Keto Dishes Made Fast to Fit Your Life
- Ketogenic Diet Cookbook: 500 Ketogenic Diet Recipes
Baby Steps To Better Health
I have only been doing this for two days and I have lost 3 lbs. I know that won’t happen every day, but it is a good start, and motivates me to continue doing what I’m doing. It will be nice though to be able to say good bye to the fat rolls!
And including more physical activity will help too. So making time to get out and explore, going for hikes, and even doing yard work will all help.
And I can get some great photos while I am out exploring too!
And having my husband take pictures of me while I am making these permanent changes will also help me to continue doing what I am doing. Thanks Dale! And if my clothes get baggy, then I know I am improving. I can’t wait for that to happen.
A Sample Day on the Keto Diet
And if you are the type of person who wants to see what you can eat while you are on the keto diet, here is a glance. This is what I prepared yesterday for the day. I didn’t really eat lunch, because I was busy working in the barn, But I made up for it at dinner with a huge steak. It was delicious.
- Coffee with heavy whipping cream
- 2 eggs
- 3 slices of bacon
- 2 ounces of cashews
- 8-ounce New York strip steak
- 1 medium sweet potato with 1 Tbsp. butter
- Water intake for the day: 96 ounces (with mio – I love my mio water enhancer)
- 1 cup green beans
Total calories in for the day: 1137
Total calories burned: 1213 (Cleaning the house, mucking stalls, and cleaning the barn.)
Total steps for the day: 10,420
Now this isn’t typical, as far as how much activity I have not been doing for the last several months. But I am going to try to have at least 30 minutes of activity a day. And by this I mean increasing my heart rate, instead of just sitting around so much. And for the day, my calorie intake was pretty low. This is probably because I was so busy, I didn’t have time to think about eating. I know this will not be an every day thing. But my goal is to stay below 1550 calories a day, easier to do with an app. I track everything I eat, and do with the My Fitness Pal app.
I can’t wait to see where I am a month from now. Hopefully I can keep this going. And even though it’s difficult for me, I am going to take this one day at a time. No easy task. But hopefully this is something I can stick with. You will have to come back a month from now to see how it’s going, so stay tuned!