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In January I decided to go on a diet. I was serious about it and I needed to lose weight. I was so tired of being fat, tired of looking at love handles, and I really wanted to have a flat belly again. I downloaded an app to help me out and I started to count calories. I decided that I would blog about my weight loss journey as well.
The first few days were hard, and I felt hungry all the time and it totally sucked. But if you must starve yourself to lose weight, you do what you got to do right? Then I read an article that changed my life and I quickly changed over to a Ketogenic diet.
What is the Ketogenic Diet?
There’s a lot of buzz about the Ketogenic diet (keto for short) and I’ve read negative and positive articles. I read how some people think it’s all about eating bacon all day and how that can possibly be hazardous to your health.
In a nutshell, Ketogenic is a high fat, low carbohydrate diet but it isn’t about eating grease. Weight loss is achieved by forcing your body to start burning fat instead of carbohydrates for energy.
You may be thinking that it is counter-productive to eat more fat if you’re trying to burn fat, but it isn’t. Successful implantation of this diet will signal your brain to move into a ketosis state to obtain energy for itself and the rest of your body.
Ketosis means that your body is burning fat for energy instead of relying on carbohydrates. Sounds pretty cool huh? Well, it is.
8 Things that Happen While on a Keto Diet
I’ve been on a Ketogenic diet for 4 months now and I’ve lost 15 pounds so far. This is considered a steady, healthy weight loss and I’ve done it all with eating foods I love. I’ve learned a few things along the way as well.
#1 – Keto Flu
The first thing that happens is the most noticeable; the keto-flu. I don’t think there’s any way to not go through the keto flu but the amount of time you spend in it is different for every person. Some people experience it for a few days while others it can take a few weeks.
It took me 2 weeks to get through it. The keto flu involves periods of flu-like symptoms such as body aches, cramps in different areas such as your back, dizziness, light-headedness, cloudiness, tiredness and sometimes you just feel weak.
While this is enough to turn some people off, I encourage you to go on as there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Once you go through the keto flu, you come out the other end with more energy and focus than ever before. Now your body is burning fat for fuel and no longer relying on the carbs.
#2 – Water is your best friend
Drinking water is going to be more important than it has ever been before in your entire life! Your body will thrive at its fullest if it gets ample amounts of water. Don’t like water? Learn to love it.
There are lots of “water flavoring” options on the market these days so just pick one that is sugar-free and go.
I drink approximately 8 glasses of 16 ounces of water every day. You can drink red wine and some beers but alcoholic drinks will dehydrate you fast.
I’ve noticed that while I can enjoy a glass of red wine, I must drink at least 8 ounces of water for every 4 ounces of wine that I consume. I don’t know what the medical or scientific explanation is for this, I just know that it is a fact.
H2O will be your best friend and drink of choice. So cheers to nature’s fruit juice!
#3 – No more Mid-afternoon naps
Most of us don’t get to take naps after lunch but boy do you want to on a regular American diet. Carbohydrates are to blame for feeling tired mid-day after lunch and when you go Keto, all that goes away.
Switching to a low carb diet will ensure that you have energy after you eat. There’s no need for your body to store carbs in any way. Burning fat instead of carbs is somehow easier for your body to do.
It’s a win-win situation because now you won’t feel tired after lunch. You can keep going and your focus is still there.
#4 – Leave your guilt behind
When I started the Keto diet, I’ll admit that I sometimes felt guilty to cook with butter or olive oil. I’ve been programmed to look at fat as a terrible thing all my life.
Now that I was embracing fat, sometimes it still felt strange to be enjoying a cheesy bowl of mixed vegetables alongside a juicy piece of steak. I was eating delicious food that I didn’t have to feel guilty about anymore just because it was loaded with calories. After all, we’re counting carbs here, not calories.
#5 – You cook more with healthy fresh ingredients
Since ditching high-carb foods such as rice, bread, and kinds of pasta, I realized that I was filling my plate with more vegetables to make up for the rice I usually had on my plate.
I noticed that I went grocery shopping a little more frequently as well because I was using more fresh ingredients than ever before. I found myself making delicious salads loaded with avocado, cheese, chicken, and creamy fatty dressing.
I also learned how to substitute and create dishes of fatty goodness one would feel guilty eating if they were counting calories instead of carbs.
I consume healthy oils from eating fish, using olive oil and natural butter in my cooking, and adding a little coconut oil to desserts and my nighttime tea.
Did I mention bacon grease or lard anywhere? No, I didn’t.
# 6 – Bad breath, get a mint
One way to know if you are in a ketosis state of fat burning is if you have bad breath. Apparently, if you have bad breath while on a Keto diet and it isn’t due to gum disease, then you’re doing the diet right.
Bad breath is one of those side effects of ketosis. My advice is to always pack a pack of gum for those possibly embarrassing moments when you’re the person with bad breath. This is the only known negative side effect of ketosis but if you ask me, it’s worth it. I just chew a piece of gum before I talk to people.
#7 – No subscriptions, no special food to buy
One of the best things I love about Keto is that you are not joining a special weight loss group or paying a nutritionist to tell you what to eat.
You’re not paying someone else to track your weight loss or keep you in their weight loss plan. You’re not spending money on specially packaged food that you can only buy from a representative.
It’s a diet that you can totally do on your own with your own food. It’s a diet where you make the calls and you decide what to eat and what not to eat.
In addition, there’s more than enough resources online to have you cooking like a Keto-pro for years. So stop throwing your money away and go Keto!
#8 – Keto forces you to cook
There’s no “prepackaged” keto diet plan, complete with every meal, frozen in a box for you to eat.
Keto forces you to cook your own food and get good at it. It forces you to make better food decisions with vegetables, meat, and fish.
I’ve eaten out less while on this diet and cooked more. I’ve made delicious meals that my family has enjoyed as well. It’s been a wonderful experience to hear your children ask for seconds and your husband praise your cooking skills! (Insert pat on the back here).
Do you have a problem dieting because you’re eating something different than the rest of your family? Stop! With Keto, you can make a main dish every night you all will love! No more lonely diet plans, no more eating alone, no more bland, tasteless foods, and no more endless salads topped with a measly piece of chicken and no dressing.
Put some avocado on it and feel good about it!
It takes time to lose weight
I’ll admit that during the four months I’ve been on Keto, I’ve had episodes of doubt, days I ate carb-filled pizza, and I’ve gotten sick with a cold twice and had to stock up on foods full of carbs such as orange juice.
Nevertheless, I stayed the course. I got back on the Keto wagon again and again. And you must do the same too if you want to be successful.
Eating out at restaurants can sometimes be a challenge because you don’t really know what the carbohydrate count is in every meal. But you can make educated choices and sub out the fries for veggies.
In the end, I found the Ketogenic diet to be easier to stick to than a traditional calorie counting diet. I eat my fill at every meal with food that tastes great and I don’t feel one ounce of guilt.
I can cook one meal instead of two different meals. And I don’t have to join a weight loss plan or eat someone’s preservative packed frozen dinners either.
Keto has given me the freedom to choose all while teaching me to eat better while I lose weight. If you ask me, Keto has been a total game changer.