Friday, September 16, 2016

Ketogenics. It's a Balancing Act

Trying not to be this person

So, it's Day Whatever-I've-Stopped-Counting of my commitment to a keto lifestyle. I've lost and gained and lost. Good news is that I've lost more than I've gained. Also, someone pointed out that the bathroom scale is not a friend.

To look at what I have learned and am appreciating about this eating regimen (I love that word), I have to admit that I am more pleased than I expected to be. For one thing, whether or not I lose weight as fast as I want, I am still doing my body (and health) a lot of good.

Pros:

  • I don't feel as tired as I did when I was eating so many starches and processed foods.
  • My hair loves the keto diet. I think because I'm getting so many good oils in my diet, my hair is staying healthier and more hydrated - even on the days when I don't get enough water.
  • My blood pressure is down.
  • I am losing inches faster than I am losing weight. (I really do need to come back and do an update on my measurements, now that I am thinking about it.)
  • I'm saving money on groceries. Lots and lots of money.
  • I'm losing my taste for sugar/sweets. (More on this in a moment.)
  • I'm breaking the connection with "bored eating".
Cons:
  • It's tough finding the right combination of macronutrients for my personal needs and goals.
  • I'm having to get used to grocery shopping in a new way. There's a lot of time spent reading and comparing labels for everything I buy to eat. This goes even for the things that keto allows.
  • No one else in my family practices the keto lifestyle. That makes it tough to store and prepare food because of sharing storage space (for foods) and finding time in the kitchen.
  • I'm experiencing a sharp decrease in appetite and sometimes have to make myself eat.
  • The first couple of weeks was tough because I was quite physically exhausted and felt sluggish.
The positives are definitely stronger than the negatives. All the Cons are things that I can work around or count on improving as time goes by.

You notice that I mentioned I am losing my taste and cravings for sugars and sweets. Do you remember how when I started low-carb eating I spent so much time crying about my Almond Joy coffee creamer? Well,  I broke down yesterday and picked up a bottle. My intention was to just have some as an every-now-and-then treat. 

Guess what? The first time I treated myself, I used the usual amount (about four tablespoons, which is a lot I know) and... Ugh! Too, too, too sweet. I had to dump some of the sweetened coffee and add some fresh black brew. Still, the taste wasn't the same. I almost couldn't bear the smell of it eiher.

What this tells me is that it's true that every change takes time. It's been not quite three weeks of limiting and then cutting out the flavored creamer. In the meantime, I've been using heaving cream, butter and, in rare instances, a little bit of sugar substitute. I must have gotten used to that because it now is preferable to coffee with flavored creamer. Instead of the Almond Joy, I think I will try "treating" myself by adding a little bit of brown sugar in with the cream and butter.

When I tell you that my hair loves keto, I'm serious. I'm going to find a photo from at least a month ago to compare with one I'm going to take today just for this post:

August 15th 2016
September 15th 2016




















By the way, I am using the timestamps form my camera. Just lucky that I found the "Before" photo that was from this date last month. I literally paused in the typing of this post to go and take a bathroom mirror shot for you! (My face has slimmed down quite a bit, but I covered it up because I'm not doing makeup-free photos today. LOL)

When I say that keto is a balancing act, I'm talking about getting the ratios of protein/fat/carbs regulated. Not only is this tricky (because it varies from person to person), but it's also ever-changing.



One of my Instagram buddies was doing keto long before I started (and that's one reason I started following him on Instagram) and he is always tweaking his ratios. Everybody I know of (all only online for now) doing keto mentions hitting plateaus, intermittent fasting, egg fasting, and fat fasting. That's because the way the diet works (basically burning body fat for energy rather than storing it) depends on your energy output and calorie input. I guess this is true for any kind of eating plan, but because keto is based on burning fat, the balancing act is trickier. (I hope that all made some kind of sense!)

I've gone through stages of getting too much protein and not enough fat. That's why I had my first stall in weight loss. Now that I am getting more fat in my diet, I need to concentrate on calories. I need to make sure I am getting enough. This is tough because, like I mentioned a moment ago, I have a decrease in appetite.

This is the way my usual day goes with food:

Breakfast - coffee with heavy cream, butter & maybe some coconut oil. No food. I am not a morning eater.

Lunch - if I eat anything, it's usually a brat that I slice longways down the center so I can fill it with about a tablespoon of cream cheese. (Lunch is easy for me to skip because I am usually writing or running errands. I'll make do by warming up my morning coffee.)

Dinner - An Atkins frozen entree. IF I EAT A MEAL. Lately, I've been snacking instead. I like to eat baby dill pickles and green olives with a bit of cheddar cheese, or a handful of raw almonds and about eight or nine mini-pepperoni slices.

My biggest water intake is from the Pellegrino mineral water. Love that stuff and, thanks to Costco, I can get a case of the 25.3oz bottle for around $20.

Sometime this week, I am going to make some cream cheese/cacao powder fat bombs. I will add some coconut oil, Kerrygold butter, and some sugar substitute. I can snack on those when I just don't want to eat.

I'm glad that the seasons are changing because I can use the winter "down time" to lose more weight. God willing that we are all still here, next summer... my skinny jeans will be in full effect.

Peace
--Free

P.S.:

I know that I have been skimping on product reviews. Sorry, but I will try to get back to them soon. My Amazon Prime is up for renewal in October and I honestly can't say yet if I plan to re-up. The shipping and other restrictions on Alaska customers is just annoying. Even though businesses usually give me codes for free products, if I don't renew Prime, I will be doing fewer reviews since I won't have the free shipping. Prime shipping has gotten so slow and unreliable that, for the annual fee, it's just a bust.

P.S. to the P.S.:

I made the lemon and cream cheese fat bombs. OMG, SOOOO good. One problem: I didn't add enough coconut oil and they stuck to the pan. I think they were supposed to be done on the cookie sheet and not in muffin tins...

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