October 2019 – What works and doesn’t work for me on Keto

I have been living a Keto lifestyle for 3 years, I am healthy, and this way of eating is sustainable.

It is 3 years today since I changed to a Keto lifestyle, I’ve lost 75lbs – I still have 25 or so to go.  But the benefits go far beyond weight loss.  Inflammatory pain caused by severe arthritis in my knees, caused by falling so often growing up, is just about gone.  Brain fog is gone.  Involuntary napping? A thing of the past.

So here is my October 2019 Update on what works and doesn’t work for me as far as how I approach Keto.

An original article from 2016  found here: 

1. I remind myself to EAT MORE FAT. I avoid trans fats and limit any fat from nitrate infused meat such as smoked sausages and bacon. I eat them in moderation. I still use Unrefined Virgin Coconut Oil, Avocado Oil, and Butter as my main oils. I use dairy fats, such as heavy cream and cream cheese, in moderation. I do not use anything that has ‘low-fat’ on its label when that item naturally would have fat in it.

I do not use Olive Oil for cooking, only for salad dressings. Research the dangers of cooking with high heat Olive Oil.

I now use Avocado Oil more than I use Coconut Oil for frying.  I am a bit tired of coconut oil’s flavour.  I use MCT Oil in my morning coffee. I used to poo-poo MCT oil but it actually works better for me than coconut oil.  Warning – use small amounts of MCT oil until your body adjusts.

2. Three years in, I do have to remind myself about calories.  However, within two weeks of this diet, my body self-regulated and tells me when I have had enough. I must pay attention to that voice!  Eat to satiation, not to the point of feeling stuffed.  Don’t stuff my emotions in a spoonful of something yummy, even if it’s Keto,   I have to pull in the reins, but I by no means am eating anywhere near what I used to eat in a day! I’m feeling quite satisfied at the end of every day. I made a self-imposed rule that my kitchen closes for business, outside of water or clear hot beverages, at 3:00 PM each day, due to my digestive issues. I now realize intermittent fasting DOES work for me if I do it properly.  When I am tempted to break that rule, I make a yummy tea for myself.

I still eat under 20g of net carbs a day; I eat a moderate amount of protein a day as well.  I have to watch my protein intake, as it has become comfort food for me,, when I am stressed. I reach for cheese way too much. Too MUCH protein can cause your body to convert that extra protein to glucose which will stall weight loss as well. I pull out my digital food scale if I am in a weight stall or I notice a bit of pain returning.  Who knew grams were so much easier to calculate than cup measurements?

Net Carbs –  I have to remind myself to NOT be lazy in calculating net carbs on labels. They sneak in there!!  Always look at serving sizes. They are always way less than the average person would consider ‘a serving’.

Subtract any fibre listed from that first number. That is your net carb. You are allowed 20 net carbs per day for this diet to work, especially if you live a sedentary lifestyle.  You might get away with up to 50 gms carbs per day if you are highly active.   If you go over that, the high-fat diet will just make you fatter.

I remind myself of what made me fat.  Sugars, both natural and refined, are what made me fat.  When I also cut ALL grains (rice, wheat, oats, barley, quinoa,)  and starchy root vegetables I also saw a dramatic difference in my energy and how I felt in general.

3. I try to eat or drink most of my fat by mid-afternoon.

4. I need to get back on the bandwagon when it comes to drinking more naturally non-caffeinated beverages. Water, herbal teas

5. I make sure to get enough salt! I had to give up my repulsion of salt, My father was a salt addict and died of a massive heart attack due to his carb addiction combined with abnormally high salt intake. 3 years into keto and I still am not a fan of salt (taste-wise) but I do use Himalayan Pink Salt.

7. I LISTEN TO MY BODY even when it is telling me something different than what armchair ‘experts’ on the Keto Diet would try to say to me.

8. I discovered a year ago that I can practice Intermittent Fasting, a common practice for many Keto dieters to help lose weight. I fast about 18 – 20  hours a day. I have a keto coffee at the 20-hour mark, then a larger meal about 3 hours later.  I am NOT hungry at all, it was all mind over matter at first.  If I feel like I am snacky, I drink a mug of spicy tea and that usually does the trick.  If not, I will have a SMALL serving of protein. I am not rigid with my fasting protocol.

9. If I happen to be somewhere that Keto will simply not work, I just eat low-carb as I can and I always get back on track quickly.

Case in point, I was away for two weeks and was run off my feet going to meetings and such.  I found a good meal replacement Keto shake I could make for breakfast at my Airbnb. For the rest of each day, I ate healthily, even if my daily meal plan included a bit higher carb than usual for me. I did NOT use this time as an excuse to ‘cheat’ or to have a ‘holiday’ from giving my body the best fuel possible.  Any higher than normal carb items were all nutrition dense and not just empty calories. Those items were easily found, even in the catered meals we were served that did not cater to special diets. I ‘could’ have prepared lunches to take along with me but as I am disabled, I had to remember  I had a limited amount of energy resources.

I have learned to appreciate the beauty of a lovely decorated cake as an art form and I would rather LOOK at art than eat it.

What doesn’t work for ME

1. Eating too much bacon or any fatty food in one sitting is/was not good for my digestive system. (wah!!!)  Still true, but I no longer need Ox Bile.  I do recommend it to anyone who has had their gall bladder removed for at least 3 months into keto, however.  It will help with any digestive issues you might have due to the lack of a gall bladder.

I truly see Keto as my permanent lifestyle. It’s easy for me to maintain.

©2019 Katherine Walden

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