In yesterday’s post – I touched on the basic concept of Keto and why it could be beneficial. However, today I want to go a bit more into the research I have done that led me to the choice of testing it out in my own life.
First off, what exactly is the Ketogenic Diet? Well, many healthy people choose to monitor their food intake by calculating their macronutrients, or “macros” for short. Macros are just a fancy word to divy up how much protein, carbs and fat a person eats. They are the building blocks of most meals.
Most Americans seem to center their diets around carbs, whereas most fitness trainers and bodybuilders will tell you to center your diet around protein. The Ketogenic diet, however, advises people to center their meals around…wait for it…..f-a-t. Good fat of course, but fat.
For a Ketogenic diet, protein would make up the next piece of the pie, and finally, carbs would be quite minimal. For instance, the average person in Ketosis tries to stick to 15-30 grams of carbs per day. Just to give you an idea of what that might look like, an Orowheat hamburger bun contains a whopping 40 grams of carbs, whereas 1 cup of spinach contains 1.09 grams of carbs. Which begs the question – could I even do this?
When it comes my food own journey, lately, food has become lackluster, a duty, and for anyone who knows me – that is totally not my personality. I am all about food! As a kid, I was raised in a home, where I was fortunate enough to have a mom that wanted me to eat healthy, so I grew up on a diet of things made from scratch, and veggies were required, though she always tried her best to make them yummy for me (and NOT by covering them in cheese either). So, I had a good start. I have ALWAYS loved food. I tend to experiment and play in the kitchen – and with few exceptions, I will try most any food.
When I was first married, I went through the whole gamut of naughties – you know the way to his heart, right? Lol!
Then, I was connected with a trainer about 5 years ago who put me on a very strict meal plan. For years my diet consisted of chicken breast, sweet potatoes and asparagus, 6 times a day. There were a few variations, but that was the gist of it. Oh the headache. At first I saw amazing results, and felt great. However, in recent years, my body just stopped responding to the meal plan. Now, I must be clear – my workout schedule reverted back to the classic, irregular, once or twice a week, if that. As a result, I decreased my calories, sometimes barely even breaking 900 in a day. And yet, I continued to gain. I just couldn’t figure it out. I was eating lean, I was consistent, and kept my insulin levels regulated. What gives?
Fast forward to December 2017, where my boss gave me consitent updates about the amazing results her roommate was having on Keto and how odd it seemed. Eat more fat – lose more fat? You mean like fois gras, and butter and stuff? And bacon? This is absurd – I was very skeptical.
So here we are in February, now that my trainer and I nearly have the routine worked out, I decided to tackle my food and make adjustments. So I asked her for any suggestions she may have, and what does she suggest? KETO. That crazy absurd, trendy, Keto diet? You mean the bacon diet? I asked her my questions about heart attacks, and how it would affect my kidneys and my liver, etc., which she answered, and then she referred me to this book:
Incidentally, the image here has an affiliate link to buy the book on Amazon. I priced the book at Barnes and Noble this weekend, and it was about $10.00 higher there.
Anyhow, I was itching to learn more and got right to work digging in.
In a nutshell, by increasing the healthy fat intake, you make your body convert from burning sugar, to burning fat, which turns out to be a more stable form of fuel, causing an improvement in performance helping to regulate insulin, and dropping stored fat reserves.
So, after doing my research, here are a few reasons why I decided to give it a try:
- Diabetes: While I do NOT have diabetes, most everyone in my family does, which does not bode well for yours truly. Did you know the Ketogenic diet was designed to reverse diabetes….without meds?
- Psoriasis: While I do not suffer from psoriasis, there are those in my family that do. Seemingly, the KETO diet helps the body repair skin conditions.
- Alcohol: I want to get away from alcohol. We have gotten accustomed to drinking a few glasses of wine with dinner each night, and even though it’s red wine – it’s excessive. Once a person is in ketosis, and has been for awhile, a slip up in the sugar/carb department actually makes you ill. Like REALLY sick. So, no “cheats” allowed, which I need.
- Digestion: by cutting out grains and sugars, it allows your body to repair a leaky gut and can help with overall digestion problems. Lately, I have not been doing great in this department – which could be due in part to the roundup used in our food (extra wine, too many grains, etc.). Either way, I have been eating organic breads and pastas, trying my best, and it’s just not cutting it.
- Inflammatory Issues: My grandmother recently passed due to Alzheimer’s, which, along with diabetes, is an inflammatory disease. With Alzheimer’s, a key component is heavy metals in the brain (ie. aluminum). Seemingly, KETO helps detox heavy metals and improves inflammatory based health issues.
- Hormonal fluctuations: Seemingly, the good fats help repair the endrocrine system, and our endocrine system controls weight loss – ie – cortisol, insulin, melatonin, thyroid, etc.
- Sleep Patterns: Lately, I have become one of those that wakes up at 3:00 AM, eyes wide open, and can’t get back to sleep. This comes down to hormones in part. We already know about the connection of melatonin and vitamin d in relation to our sleep patterns. However, another contributing factor is our estrogen-progesterone levels, which again, are regulated by our endocrine system. How I would love to get some decent sleep again!
- Weight Loss: Last but not least – the vain girl in me is intrigued with the concept of quick results. I am ready to get my girly goodness back!
So now that I’ve done a bit more digging, I think I am willing to give it a try. We shall see what a month will bring. After years of asparagus and chicken breast, the meals look amazing! I can’t wait!