Who likes dieting? Yeah, right. Of course… NO ONE.
But for some of us, it is a must. Because we love food, we are social people and our metabolism is not working as generously as it does for others.
I’m now 36 years old and I have tried any kind of diet possible out there, on and off, since I was 16. And let me tell you… Nothing worked like KETO did.
I want to talk to you about my KETO journey. What you SHOULD do and what you SHOULDN’T do, based on my own experience. I will give you some recipes, some links to help you prepare you for Keto and also will give you some #hashtags to follow on Instagram.
I have lost 16 pounds (~7 kg) in 2.5 months. I lost 10 pounds of it during the first week. If you stick to the rules religiously, you will get results. But KETO is a difficult diet to do for a lot of people.
Why Some People Think Keto is Difficult?
- You need to weigh your food. Why? Look at number 2.
- You need to count your macros. You need to know how many calories, how much carbs, protein and fat you are eating every day. There are many apps for that including Mymacros and Fitnesspal. Internet has pretty much has nutrition facts for all kinds of food. We need to make sure we are getting enough fat and protein, getting no more than 20g carb and not going above your calorie limit.
- You need to do meal prep. Otherwise, you will fail. Because of number 1 and number 2, eating out is not a great option.
- No Cheat meal allowed in KETO.
- Absolutely NO alcohol.
- Absolutely NO sugar.
- If you are a fruit lover, sorry. Only berries are allowed (And Avacado!)
- Well… No fruit rule of course comes with no fruit juice rule.
- No Soda.
- It is an expensive diet. On top of buying meat, cheese, organic vegetables, almond flour and nuts, you also will need to buy some nutritional supplements.
Why KETO is good then??
- Rapid weight loss gives you motivation. The first week, if you are doing everything right, you will lose 3-10 pounds, which is the water weight. Even though it is not the fat burn, it still makes you feel better and focus on your diet.
- The food is delicious. In comparison to other diets that I have tried, Keto has a lot of options. Steak, wings, eggs, bacon, cheese, butter, peanuts, almonds, these are all Keto friendly. Tell you this; anything with butter and cheese on them eventually tastes good.
- You feel full very quickly, even when you don’t eat much. In other diets I tried, this was my biggest problem. Half of the time, I was hungry. But on KETO, I never feel hungry. Never.
- You feel more energetic, the heavy feeling that carbs give you disappears. I had bloating and gas problems, they are all gone. It also balances your blood sugar levels. It also improved my stomach and sleeping problems. My skin got smoother healthier (see pphotos below, no filter in either! My dark wrinkles disappeared and my skin got smoother-PS. Can’t believe I’m sharing my ridiculous photos with you, haha).
Who SHOULDN’T Do Keto Diet?
- People with High cholesterol
- Growing Kids
- People with Thyroid problem
- Breastfeeding mothers
- People with Type 2 Diabetes (KETO is good for Type 1 diabetes. My dad has it and KETO worked on him so well. He lost 10 pounds in a month and he used to get 38 units of insulin a day, in a month he took maybe 65 units in total!)
- People with no gallbladder
- Although there is a myth that KETO might affect kidneys in a bad way since it increases the acidity in urine, doctors are conflicted about this. As long as protein intake is moderate, keto diet is safe they say.
So, what is KETO diet anyway?
This is what http://www.ruled.me says:
When you eat something high in carbs, your body will produce glucose and insulin.
- Glucose is the easiest molecule for your body to convert and use as energy so that it will be chosen over any other energy source.
- Insulin is produced to process the glucose in your bloodstream by taking it around the body.
Since the glucose is being used as a primary energy, your fats are not needed and are therefore stored. Typically on a normal, higher carbohydrate diet, the body will use glucose as the main form of energy. By lowering the intake of carbs, the body is induced into a state known as ketosis.
Ketosis is a natural process the body initiates to help us survive when food intake is low. During this state, we produce ketones, which are produced from the breakdown of fats in the liver.
The end goal of a properly maintained keto diet is to force your body into this metabolic state. We don’t do this through starvation of calories but starvation of carbohydrates.
Our bodies are incredibly adaptive to what you put into it – when you overload it with fats and take away carbohydrates, it will begin to burn ketones as the primary energy source.
How Do I Know my Daily Calorie Intake and Macros?
There are many ways to calculate your daily calorie intake. It depends also on how much activity you have in your life. The more active you are the more easily you are going to burn fat. If you give a 500 calories deficit a day, you should be able to lose 1-2 pounds every week. Here is the link I recommend to calculate your macros: https://www.ruled.me/keto-calculator For example, tight now, when I enter my info these are the macros that are calculated:
How Do You Track Your Macros?
This is a screenshot from the app that I use. If you are not technology friendly, you can use an excel sheet instead.
Once you create an entry in your app and save it, next time when you eat it, it will be already there for you.
One thing that you should not forget about your macros:
Only count Net Carbs! Net carbs means that you need to substract any fiber or sugar alcohol (not sugar!) from the total amount of carbs, that is the net carb. Keto only cares about the net carbs.
Common Mistakes in KETO
- Eating not enough fat: “Fat is bad!” is ingrained in our brains so much that we fear the fat. But fat is the only source your body can use to make energy during Keto. You need to give it the fat it wants. This is why having set macros in the beginning is important. Don’t hesitate to put an extra splash of olive oil in your salad, or have extra butter in your eggs.
- Eating too much protein: When people deprive themselves from the fat, they tend to turn to protein instead. However, eating too much protein is neither healthy nor helpful for weight loss.
- Not counting calories: The dilemma is we need fat, but high fat foods have usually high calories. So the ‘amount’ of food is important.
- Not drinking enough water: It is super important that you drink a LOT OF WATER during the day because KETO makes you lose a lot of water. Water molecules clinges on carbs in your cells and if there is no carb, then they are set free. You need to hydrate your body, otherwise you cannot function (And yes, you go to bathroom a lot during KETO :D)
- Not taking nutritional supplements: Fruits have electrolytes that are necessary for our bodies and during KETO we are deprived of them. So, we need to get electrolyte supplements.
- Forgetting about gut health: Try to stay away from sweeteners and try to use bone broth in your cooking. More information can be found here:https://drjockers.com/keto-diet-bad-microbiome/
What Are the Side Effects?
There are some side effects that I experienced.
- Keto Flu: During the adaptation phase, people commonly feel brain fog, fatigue, dizziness, intense hunger, irritability, and depression. It lasted 3 days or so for me. I was going to bed at 9:00 PM and I was getting mad at unnecessary things!
- Bad Breath: I did Keto twice. In the first one, I had bad breath and in the second one, I did not. I learned that bad breath is normal because Ketosis occurs when your body breaks down fat for energy. Fatty acids are then converted into ketones, which are natural chemicals your body produces when you burn fat for energy. These include beta hydroxybutyrate, acetoacetate, and acetone. That is why it smells bad.
- Leg Cramps: Low carb diets causes rapid water loss, that is why your electolides such as Zinc, Magnesium and Potassium get washed out of your body. If you do not replace them, you get cramps. Especially because I was working out, I got a lot of cramps in the beginning until I figured out what the problem was. After starting the take supplements, cramps disappeared.
- Hair Loss: This one is going to scare a lot of people, I know. It scared the hell out of me too, believe me. It can be due to many things but I suspect that mine was the stress that my body underwent during the rapid weight loss. I lost 1/3 of my hair. I will be honest, it was scary but I see that new hairs coming out and the doctors say the hair will come back in 3-6 months. I take Biotin and electrolide supplements. So I will keep you updated on that later. You can see my sad hair loss in the below picture (Also consider that I had a hair cut).
Where to Start?
- First, read more about Keto from here, and calculate your macros and calorie goal here. Write it somewhere.
- Take pictures of yourself in a way that you can see the change later from the front, side and the rear view.
- Follow all the #keto accounts on Instagram. My favorite accounts are: ‘@thejoeduff’ for amazing dessert recipes and ‘@stay_snatched’ and ‘@flavcity’ or ‘@keto.meal’ for Keto meals in general.
- Make a weekly meal plan and do shopping. Sundays are the best days for cooking marathon for me.
- While cooking, add your meal logs in your macros app. What are the macros per each serving?
- Start your diet not TOMORROW but TODAY. If you want to decide on ‘when is the best time to start a diet’ please check the beginning of my other post here: When to start dieting
- Weigh yourself every Saturday, in the morning, naked and after you use the restroom, on an empty stomach. Record this weight in your macros app. Take a photo of your body from each side, every Saturday. The first week, you will start losing way on your third day.
- Please please please remember to drink lots of water. Carry a bottle with you everywhere.
- Compare your weight and photos every week.
- Do not forget to recalculate your macros once you start losing weight. Because the lighter you get, the less calorie intake you need to lose weight.
What to cook?
I have tried a variety of different recipes, mostly from basic Google search or Instagram search. I have already told you my favorite accounts on instagram. You can also follow me ‘@eceketo’ on Instagram. Definitely follow instagram for motivation and recipe ideas 🙂 . I gathered my favorite recipes here: KETO_Cookbook_EceGurler
Also, you can look at the meals I cooked before and have an idea:
I sticked with the rules and I got results. The first week will be tough, but then you will get used to it and it will get easier, fun and you will feel much better. Just don’t forget to count your macros, get your supplements and drink your water!
You can do this!!!!