Trying the Keto (Low-Carb) Diet

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This week I started a low-carb diet called the Keto Diet. The basic gist is that you eat 23g or less of net carbs (carbs minus dietary fiber) each day. You also need to eat enough protein that your body doesn't start cannibalizing your muscles, along with a few other macros you need to pay attention to.

When I first heard about this diet on a mommy forum, I was a little concerned because I remembered in the back of my head something about how the brain eats sugar and carbs, and you need to feed it enough. I found out after some research that's not strictly true. For those of you who didn't click on that link, here's the tl;dr version: Your brain is a bit lazy and loves feeding itself simple sugars when they're readily available. For the first four days or so that you deprive it of those sugars, it really struggles. This is when you'll have cravings and feel like you have the flu almost. But if you can make it through that to the long term, your brain stops petulantly demanding easy food and starts feeding off the ketones, which are the byproducts produced when fatty acids are broken down by the liver. In fact, research has shown that low-carb diets can bring about improvements in cognitive functioning compared to normal diets. That's great news!

Pictured: The bottom half of my hourglass needing work.
So I jumped in with both feet and started tracking everything I eat in the My Fitness Pal app. This app is particularly useful for a keto diet because it will keep track of your carbs and other macros for you! You just navigate to your diary (in the left menu) and scroll to the bottom. There you'll find a "Nutrition" button. Click on that then select "Nutrients" in the top menu. Here you'll find nicely listed for you all the macros you care about, plus some extras. Specifically, you'll see a line for "Carbohydrates" followed by "Fiber". Subtract the Fiber from the Carbohydrates to get the net carbs you've eaten that day. The lower, the better, but try to stay below 23 net carbs.

Due to this new diet (which precludes lots of fruits and basically all sugar and flour), I've had to spend more on groceries this week than I'd originally intended, what with staging a shopping intervention in order to break my shopping addiction. However, I made sure to make a list of items we needed with my husband beforehand and bought *only* the items on that list. So I felt it was successful!

I've lost a few pounds so far, but I know right now it's mostly water weight, etc. I'm really looking forward to the non-scale victories: Fitting into my old clothes, liking full body pictures of myself again, and other things like that.

For instance: I do not like this picture of me. I weigh significantly more and you can tell.
Wish me luck!


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