Keto Week 3 – Oh There It Is!

Finally got the big drop I always expect and look for in the first week. Keto and my body is a weird combination. I’m down 4 pounds this week, that’s 10.5 pounds so far since I started.

This is the easiest diet I’ve ever followed. I know that’s not the reputation keto brings, but for me, with all the other ridiculous extreme programs I’ve followed in my life, this is easy. I eat meat, full-fat dairy, veggies, whole eggs, nuts, and dark chocolate. Most of these have been off-limits to me on most other programs I’ve done. The only thing I miss is fruit, but when I’m missing fruit I just stuff a little more cheese in my mouth and I forget it pretty quickly. And eating in a restaurant is easy on this program. That’s not something that’s ever been the case on the other diets I’ve followed.

Keto isn’t my long-term plan, btw. I am very aware that eating like this isn’t going to be healthy for me long-term (colon cancer in a direct maternal line to me, I’m very aware). My plan is to follow keto long enough to drop the excess weight I’ve gained over the last 3 years, then transition to a healthier, moderate low-carb plan where I can eat more veggies and fruit on top of my healthy proteins and fats. In fact, over the last week I’ve been modifying my intake to include more fish and poultry and less red meat. Red meat was easy in the beginning, but I need to make it a once-in-a-while thing for me. Except for bacon, I eat that every morning with my eggs.

But that’s all getting ahead of myself. This week I’m just happy to have finally seen the kind of drop I was expecting at the beginning.

Advertisements

Keto Week 2

This week I had some significant challenges – a weekend getaway to Medieval Fantasy Land (aka a weekend re-enactor event), for one. Which meant staying in a hotel, and possibly some challenging food pusher situations. Fortunately, I had a plan and executed it perfectly. It helps that I was having so much fun and so busy all weekend that I wasn’t even thinking of eating!

Although keto does allow for some alcohol – spirits such as vodka, gin, whiskey, etc, and some dry wines, I elected not to drink any alcohol regardless. Even though everyone else was, it’s perfectly easy to drink club soda or other bubbly water in those situations where drinks are consumed. Mostly I just didn’t want to take the calorie hit and tempt fate with a migraine. I sort of failed because Sunday morning I did wake up with a migraine (fun hangover?!) but otherwise I don’t regret that decision at all.

Another thing my husband and I discovered is that Red Lobster doesn’t suck nearly as hard as they did the last time I was in one, well over 10 years ago, and they have lots of keto options!! Shellfish is a keto dream – lobster, shrimp, crab, dunked in some melted butter – boom keto dinner!

In fact, all around I find this an easy diet to stick to, the foods are tasty and I’m rarely hungry. Honestly, being able to go 6-8 hours between meals feels like a superpower. When I was doing low-cal/low-fat I had to eat every 2-3 hours or I got shaky and weak. It was kind of a constant hassle, having to eat so often.

Ok, I’ll quit stalling, this weeks results are: down 1.5 pounds.  Keto total (2 weeks): 6.5 pounds

(MFP thinks I’ve only lost 3 because I forgot to reset it when I restarted keto. pffft)

Pretty good! We are still in the “may just be regular body fluctuations” zone (hey, I have a big zone), but I am committed to giving this a fair try, at least a month or two. And this morning while I was exercising I was reminded of a great quote: “Success is a process, not an event.”

Keto Restart: Week 1

Ok, now that I’ve let a whole week pass on this round of keto, I find I’m quite pleased with this week’s results: down 5 pounds! Hooray! Good work, body! Keep it up!

In my last post I noted that my body did something ridiculous but that it was probably just water shifting around, and indeed I was right. That was a weird anomaly and not on my normal trajectory. I was so suspicious of it that I didn’t even note it down in MyFitnessPal – I knew I’d be crushed to have to post a gain next time I weighed. (Also my scale might be haunted) It did bump up again, but not as high as before. So instead, I got to post a loss this morning, even over a holiday weekend!

And friends, we had an epic party at our house on NYE, with a bartender and all the best people I know. It was marvelous, and I drank seltzer water mixed with shots of straight vodka (keto-approved booze!) all night (what’s all this about getting drunk harder/faster when you’re in ketosis? I couldn’t catch a buzz at all), but only a total of about 3 shots because I was having too much fun to remember to refill. I stayed good and hydrated though!

I’m ready for 2018. I took the last two days off from exercise because of everything else going on (throwing a party, cleaning up from a party). But I woke up energized this morning and took on a kickboxing workout and kept up the whole way! I’m getting my endurance back this year.

This week’s challenges includes a re-enactor event all weekend at a hotel, but I’m going to make a plan for that to keep on keto. I’ve done it before with even more restrictive programs, so I know I’ll be fine.

What does your 2018 look like?

That can’t be right

You ever step on the scale and just go….No. That’s wrong.

I did it this morning. I’ve been back from vacation and doing keto again for four days now. This morning, just to check in and see how things are going, I got on the scale and it said I was down 8.5 pounds. No way, body, stop messing with me.

I mean, obviously that would be awesome, because I gained 6.5 pounds on vacation, and wiping those out plus another 2 would seriously make my day. And yeah, when you weigh yourself the day after a transcontinental flight, like I did Tuesday, you are always going to be retaining a ton of water. But…wow.

I am optimistic for the first time in a long time. Because keto is, right now, and maybe only today, doing the thing I was promised – fast weight loss, feeling energetic and good.

It’s the second part I’m most amazed by, though. The first time I did keto earlier this month I suffered badly from “keto flu.” This time…not so much. I felt a little headachey yesterday (regular headaches, not a migraine, and if you know my history of chronic migraines you know a little old regular headache doesn’t much faze me), a little tired in the evening, but that’s been ALL.

And for the last two days I’ve woken up at 6am full of energy to take on the world. I am back to my harder workouts – two days now of kickboxing workouts FTW! I’m still rebuilding my endurance, but having a body that feels like even trying at all is a huge improvement!

I expect my body to probably regain a bit by the time I check in again next week – that is water weight without a doubt that’s been coming off these last few days and things need to equalize a bit. But, good start, body! Let’s keep it up!

Back from Vacation and Ready to Tackle Keto Again

All right, when last I left you I’d been doing keto for about a week. I did another week, and lost another pound (2 week loss = 3 pounds). I was somewhat disappointed because I’d heard about how amazingly fast loss could be with keto.

Then I thought about it a bit. I know my metabolism is shot from decades of hardcore dieting. And compared to not doing anything, a loss of any kind is a fantastic result. And compared to the last time I followed “my usual” plan that’s always worked for me in the past -the low cal, low fat, counting calories, meal replacement, being hungry all the time, method I’ve used for about 15 years – it’s an absolute success. Because the last time I tried my usual methods for two weeks I gained 2.5 pounds. Really! Ha!

Ha ha! Yes! Fake laughter hiding real pain!

So if I consider that in those two weeks I could have lost nothing by doing nothing, or I could have gained 2.5 pounds by starving myself and tracking every bite, keto put me ahead of the gain. (Edit: I mean to say game, but I’m going to leave it as is, because it amuses me) And if what I’m going to see on keto is slow, steady loss then, well, I AM IN.

Me and my super handsome husband in Salzburg

Anyway, I did it for 2 weeks then I went on vacation to Austria for a week and a half. It was magnificent, we saw the Lipizzaner Stallions, and the Kunsthistorische Museum, the Natural History Museum, a day trip to Salzburg, the Naschmarkt, the Wien Museum, every Christmas Market in Vienna (I counted, um, at least 6, plus the one in old town Salzburg). I considered trying to do keto on vacation for about an hour, but once I got there it became plain that it would be impossible. Because in Austria the four food groups, based on my observation, appear to be: kaiser rolls, sausage, coffee, and cake (honorary mention for pretzels). So much cake. And so good.

It was a great time. And now I’m home and I started back on keto the day after we got home, so right now I’m on day 2 of the rest of my life. Maybe? I’m willing to give this a good long time to work. Perhaps most of 2018 if that’s what it takes. I’ll keep you all posted.

Extended Fasting – 4 Day Fast

(aka: I continue to experiment on me)

So this week I tried extended fasting. I did a 4 day fast. Here’s how it went weight-wise:

Day 1 weight: 228.5

Day 2 weight: 223.5

Day 3 weight: 220.5

Day 4 weight: 219.5

On day 4 I broke my fast and ate a very reasonable dinner of beef kabobs, asparagus, caprese salad, with some nuts and cheese as an early appetizer (to break my fast slowly) and a square of 85% chocolate for dessert. I expected to gain back some weight as I went off the fast and my liver re-started glycogenesis and began storing more water for it.

Day 5 weight: 219.5.

Didn’t regain. Yet.

It wasn’t impossible, I just didn’t eat after dinner Sunday until dinner on Thursday. I was promised all sorts of things about how the fasting experience would go and those were mostly lies.

  1. They say that after day 2 the hunger goes away. NO.
  2. They say that after day 2 as your brain transitions to running on ketones you get amazing mental clarity and focus. NO.
  3. They say you get tons of energy as your body starts pumping up adrenaline and growth hormone. NO.

Basically, I didn’t get any of the benefits that are promised from extended fasting, other than weight loss. And I still expect that I will gain back a bit of that.

I eagerly awaited the loss of hunger and increase in mental clarity I’ve been assured would kick in on day 3, however day 3 was the WORST hunger yet – late in the day I felt weak and shaky, and day 4 was also bad for hunger, to the point where what I’d intended to be a 5 day fast was cut short. This being my first attempt at extended fasting I didn’t really know how long I’d last, so aiming for a 5-day fast was pretty arbitrary. I will say I noticed a slight increase in mental focus – on food.

So, IDK if all those promises about hunger going away and mental clarity are just pretty lies ginned up to get people to give it a try, or if for people with normal metabolisms (mine is NOT) that actually happens, but it sure as hell didn’t happen for me.

During the fast I consumed water, coffee, tea, cider vinegar sodas (soda water plus cider vinegar and a pinch of salt), and bone broth (only on days 3 and 4 when I finally got it made…hmmm, wonder if that was actually contributing to my hunger instead of helping?)

I’m pleased with the loss, but I recognize it may have been largely water. I am not sure if I will try it again. If you are feeling the urge to come into the comments and freak out on me about fasting please go read about it first, because there is tons of literature about it and it’s not dangerous for otherwise healthy overweight people – quite the opposite. Further updates as events warrant.

Loss Has Resumed

Slowly, but it has resumed. Considering that I do not consider myself on a diet, any loss at all is great. This morning I was down another half pound, which I am pleased with. Here are the changes I made this week:

  1. Spiked my insulin one day last week. That’s right – I purposely went out and ate bread with dinner, and had ice cream after. I don’t know if this is a scientifically proven method, but I sure enjoyed it.
  2. I stopped fasting. I had a suspicion that the fasts were too hard on my body, so I gave them up and focused solely on eating only 3 meals a day no snacks, and avoiding sugar, refined carbs, and sweeteners.

And that’s it. I know my body pretty well after all these years, and I had a strong suspicion that the fasts weren’t doing what I wanted anymore, and I was right. So this week I am going to keep on trucking just like this.

This way of eating has been a revelation to me. Even more, I’ve managed a transition I never though possible. Not only can I go without snacks between meals, I don’t feel any discomfort doing it. Conventional diet wisdom tells you to eat every 2-3 hours, and I’ve been doing that for almost 15 years now. But it had become a real burden – I didn’t go anywhere without packing snacks, and if I went too long without eating I started to feel light-headed and weak, similar to how I imagine a low-blood-sugar crash feels.

Now that I have accustomed my body to whole foods and longer periods between meals (and yeah, those first few weeks WERE hard, I will freely admit it) I can go as long as I need or want to between meals without crashing, getting a headache, or feeling overly hungry. I am no longer a servant to my body’s constant desires.

As an example, last week I was invited to speak at a large gathering for work. I was on the schedule for 11:30am, however since it was a long list of speakers I figured they would be running late. I ate breakfast that morning around 7am, and when I showed up at 11 to prepare for my speech it was clear that I would not be speaking at 11:30, they were already 3 speakers behind. They had also opted to work through lunch to get all the content in before they lost the room later in the afternoon. I was able to hang around and wait until my turn, do my presentation, and take a barrage of questions without any issues. I don’t think I got to lunch until 2:30 or 3pm that day – and I was fine! Previously I would have had to sneak out while I was waiting to eat a snack just to keep from crashing – maybe more than once, but now that my body has transitioned to this new program I had no problems going 7-8 hours between meals!

It feels amazing, it feels like a new lease on life – I feel free! I don’t have to lug around snacks everywhere I go! I don’t have to constantly plan to eat, I can not eat if it’s not convenient and be fine! I finally have control over my body again, after years and years of being in service to its whims and desires.

Also I cook with butter and olive oil, I eat all the full-fat dairy I want, nuts are a regular snack, I eat avocados like I’m not scared of them anymore, and I don’t count calories. I don’t feel like I’m on a diet. I feel like a normal person and for me that is a BIG DEAL. So even if I hadn’t seen any kind of loss this week, I’m going to stick with this program. For me it’s a revelation, and it’s how I want to live.