It’s that time of year! We’re a week into 2019 and it’s time to assess whether we’re holding to our New Year resolutions. Don’t be dismayed if you haven’t yet. We’re only a week in so it’s not too late to get on track.
I’m not one for resolutions. There’s something about the extra baggage it carries which doesn’t sit well with me. What I rather do, and it’s down to semantics, is make a personal promise to myself for improvement. This year my promise is to concentrate on my health and I’ve decided to kick that off by initiating the keto diet. I’m doing this for a number of reasons. My primary goal isn’t weight loss (though that is a huge plus) instead, I want to focus on making smart decisions to perform better cognitively and physically and the ketogenic diet is how I want to do that.
I won’t go into explaining how the keto diet works or the benefits. There are hundreds of online resources that will do that for you. Instead, I want to focus on sharing my personal experience – the challenges and the results.
I decided to kick of my keto goal on the first of January. In full disclosure, I failed the second day. After a night of drinks I convinced my husband, who is my fellow keto companion, to take me to Maccas because it was life or death I have a bacon and egg McMuffin with 2 hasbrowns. Yep, I know… not the best start but meh.
I got back on track and the last week has been a challenge. The first couple of days I craved sugar like their was no tomorrow. Going without carbs hasn’t been to much of a challenge with the exception of my absolute love for white rice. I’ve had meals of high quality grass fed steaks, salad, bacon, eggs, lots of avocado and my fave bulletproof coffees. I’ve also started drinking lots of water, which I had little of previously, to keep my hydrated and fill my belly.
My husband and I perform daily ketone tests (using blood analysis), take our blood pressure and weigh ourselves. It’s a means of tracking our wins and keeping an eye on results when one of us caves and insists on having a bacon and egg McMuffin. I’m proud to report that 7-days in I am in ketosis. This morning’s test resulted in my best ketone reading yet of 1.5. I’ve lost 1kg (though weightloss isn’t my motivation) and my husband has lost almost 5kg though his keytone reading is lower than mine at 0.5.
My challenge and the side effects of Ketosis
The biggest challenge was my cravings for anything with sugar. I wanted softdrink and icecream every minute of every day over the last week. As I mentioned, I caved and indulged in a maccas breakfast meal without regret. I also snuck a sneaky drink of Pasito but aside from that I’ve been a good girl.
I’m now on day 7. Notice I didn’t start the recount given my dalliance? This is because I recognise there are going to be speedbumps and falls along this journey and I refuse to punish myself for them. I’d rather continue on the journey because every decision to continue is a step in the right direction for better health.
I’ve decided to make my primary meal of the day breakfast. I dish as big a meal as I can and eat what I can. This gives me the energy to get through the day and as of today I have limited appetite after my meal. I’ve had lots of fluids that include and number of bulletproof coffees and I might have a light snack this evening if I get hungry.
I haven’t gone through a keto flu. Actually, I may have but the symptoms I’m experiencing don’t seem like their the full keto flu. My mood fluctuates and my concentration has been a little limited but I haven’t had headaches, lethargy or the other symptoms. What I think has helped me sail through today without issue is my ketosis test taken at lunchtime today. I measured at 1.5 using a home blood test sample and that was all the motivation I needed.
What has helped me survive the first week of Keto
I think the main thing that has helped me has been the avoidance to put undue pressure on myself or submit to the label of ‘restarting’ after I caved in for a Maccas run or softdrink indulgance. I’m focused on the positives rather than what would be considered failures. I’ve also avoided trips to the gym and strenuous activity in an effort to avoid hunger, increasing lethargy, or the false belief that I deserve a treat because I worked hard.
I’m not saying this strategy will work for everyone but it’s working well for me 7-days in.
I’ve allocated breakfast to be my primary meal. This fuels me for the day and takes little time and resources to prepare. I grab a dinner plate and fill it with as much food as I can and don’t stop eating until I’m fuel. I also have 2 bulletproof coffees in the morning and as of today I found that water is the only things I need to keep going.
One of the benefits I’m proud of is that I’m drinking a lot more water than I use to which was close to nil. I’m feeling so much better for that alone and am thrilled with the benefits I’m seeing so far.
A sneaky reward which is a keto win... Beer!
I’m in the Bay area east of Brisbane city. Imagine my joy when I heard a company in Burleigh on the Gold Coast was manufacturing 0 carb beer. I shit you not. My husband and I decided to call into our local BWS this afternoon and imagine my joy when we found this elixir of keto joy on their shelves.
Bighead is a 0 carb beer and I’m planning on smashing through them tonight. They’re 4.2% alcohol per serving and I’ll be interested to see what my ketone reading is tomorrow. I’ll let you know in my next update.
In the meantime, Happy New Year and both Craig and I are wishing you the very best for 2019. Thanks for joining me on this journey and I look forward to sharing many more updates with you this year.