Monday, 3 March 2014

A Week of Keto

For those of you that found this from your google search, you may have already started a ketogenic diet and wondered if it gets better or you maybe wondering how you might feel after a week on it.
Most people start a keto diet because of the supposed enormous health benefits or because of the promise of fat loss, anyway while I was experiencing mild side effects of the diet I noticed it was difficult to find  detailed accounts of people's experiences while on a ketogenic diet. Here is my experience.

For those that love their carbs and sugar, the keto diet is a restrictive one. I don't see myself as having a crazy sweet tooth but sometimes it is hard to walk by the chocolate in the shop and here's a tip: do not allow yourself to get hungry in town, there will be little you can eat on the go.

My first day was quite easy, I'm not a massive eater of carbs. I had a little cream in my coffee as milk is a no-no and poached eggs before I went to work. However having black coffee at work was hard. For dinner I had roast chicken, gravy and veg.

The next day Tuesday, I felt full of energy. I'd only had a couple of eggs for breakfast and coconut oil in a cup of green tea and yet I was not hungry for a very long. A ketostix test showed I was in deep ketosis I know many people think that ketostix are not reliable but they are fun in a kind of weird way! I needed to pee and drink a lot although this calmed down the further the diet went on. I also had a very salty taste in my mouth for a couple of days which again went away. I made pork loin steaks with salsa verde for dinner and it was very nice. This is the good thing about this diet, you can have some really nice dinners as long as they don't have carb heavy accompaniments. I would definitely be lying if I wasn't thinking about naughty foods though. One thing that has kept me motivated to be good on this diet was Pancake Day! I'm coming off tomorrow and then I'm going low carb until the next carb up.

Each day on the diet got a little better as we found out we could eat things like greek yoghurt and small amounts of blueberries which added some much needed variety. Wednesday, I unfortunately felt a bit lethargic and nauseous but wasn't sure if I could attribute this to keto. Thursday I felt better but still a bit blah for want of a better word. I normally don't eat before a gym session but I felt like I needed something to get me out of the house, so I had a scoop of peanut butter. Nut butters such as peanut and almond are a life saver on keto as long as you do not go crazy. The sticky almost sweet texture in your mouth feels so good. I didn't manage to complete my workout as I felt so low on energy. I decided it was possible that I wasn't getting enough potassium as you can lose a lot of electrolytes on keto. I picked up steak, spinach and avocado and mushrooms as the last three are meant to be high in potassium. I found it difficult to eat the avocado on the side as I only really like it as guacamole. I think it tastes like soap by itself! I felt much better on Friday and read somewhere that a small amount of very dark chocolate is acceptable on a keto diet, so I rushed off to buy Green+ Blacks 85%. I had just two squares as I was scared I might kick myself out of ketosis. By the way once you get used to the taste, you may find you prefer the taste of dark chocolate as it really does give you an intense chocolate hit. Just let it melt on to your tongue!

 I have read some people's accounts of being kicked out of ketosis by greek yogurt or some other innocent food but then I read they were eating it sweetened with sugar free syrups. I think sugar free syrups and drinks kick you out of ketosis because they can produce an insulin response. My advice is to really forgo anything with artificial sweeteners as the whole point of the diet is to eat fresh and wholsesome foods.

On Saturday I felt much more able to complete my workout, although it was tough. After my workout we ate sausages, egg and cabbage with bacon and again a very small amount of dark chocolate.
Yesterday was the most fun day of the diet, as we discovered dry sparkling wine has a very low carb count,
we had a bottle of Prosecco with our roast beef, and maybe overdid it. It was our first drink in a week and we seemed to get very drunk very quickly. In fact we were hammered!

Luckily this morning, I woke up hangover free and pleased that this is the last day to get through as I am missing milk and fruit and other things. Pancake Day cannot come quick enough! I'm pleased that I had the self discipline to stick to this for just over a week, although it can be restrictive I think it's excellent that I've only really put whole fresh foods in my body and consumed little to no sugar. That has to be a good thing.
I would like to continue a low carb diet where I eat under 50g of carbohydrates ( which is higher than the 25g I've eaten this week) most of the week and then carb up on weekends. They say you only live once and I always associate the weekends with indulgence so carb ups are the perfect excuse! A lot of people say they have a really great workout after a carb up

 I don't think I'd like to do the keto diet 365 days a year, but I definitely could stick to 4 or 5 low carb days a week. I think it'd be a lot easier to behave when you know you have designated days to eat what you want.

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