It’s a new year! And for a lot of us, that means the annual New Year’s resolution to lose weight.
If you’ve followed me closely, you may already know that I follow a Keto WOE (way of eating) and I want to emphasize that it’s a way of eating, and not a diet. For me, Keto, even though it is the trending “diet” right now, is not temporary. It’s not a quick fix, but rather a long-term lifestyle change that I follow.
Why do I follow Keto? Because, sugar is bad. That’s it. And I’m an addict. Just like smoking, drinking or drugs, sugar is my drug of choice. I know that sounds extreme and a little dramatic, but I seriously had the hardest time quitting sugar. It was a rough week when I decided to quit drink Coke’s, although I loved them dearly (specifically, Coke in a can or from McDonald’s. Why are they so good?!)
Cookies, cake, pie, ice cream- I love them all. I’d eat them everyday if I knew it weren’t killing me. (Again, dramatic, I know).
But, seriously, there are documentaries out there that talk about sugar and the effects that it has on our bodies. There are tons of studies out there, too. Just do a little research and you will learn so much!
Not to mention, that sugar is in EVERYTHING. Everything! That’s probably the hardest part of doing Keto, is when you realize that things you would’ve never imagined to have sugar, do. It’s so frustrating. But, once you get settled into Keto, it’s amazing how much better you’ll feel.
**Of course, with any dietary change, you need to consult your doctor (I am not one LOL) I find it amusing that I really need to say that**
So, here are some quick facts about the Keto diet.
The Science Behind Keto
I’m not a scientist, nor do I fully understand the process, but this is how it works:
Restrict carbs –> Glucose levels fall –> Pancreas converts fat into fatty acids –> Liver converts fatty acids into ketones –> Ketones result in more energy.
The Keto Goal
The general consensus with Keto, is to stay under 20 grams of carbs each day. Some people consume more, some people consume less, so you’re able to tweak your eating in order to see what works best for you.
It’s also important to factor in what your goal is- are you still wanting to lose weight or are you in maintenance mode? When you achieve your goal weight, you can likely increase your daily carb intake slightly.
Most people following the Keto WOE, follow a “net carb” calculation. That simply means that you take the amount of carbs, and subtract fiber and/or any sugar alcohols from the product. This is somewhat controversial, as there are products out there that are considered by most to be keto-friendly, but have ingredients that are not keto-friendly (like tortilla wraps). My suggestion would be to do your own research and determine whether or not to incorporate them into your WOE.
LCHF: Low Carb, High Fat
To be successful with the Keto WOE, you not only need to restrict your carbs, but you also need to increase your fat. I know, it sounds crazy, because we’ve spent the last 400 years talking about how bad fat is, but for some reason (again, not a doctor), this works. There are a ton of “fat bomb” recipes out there that are great for upping your fat intake and are also super yummy (think peanut butter cups).
The theory is that when you restrict carbs, your body will begin burning stored fat for energy.
The Keto Flu
A lot of people will experience what is called the “Keto flu.” I, personally, never experienced it to the extent that I would compare it to the flu, but some people do! The Keto flu means just that- you’ve started the Keto WOE and you feel like you’ve been hit by a truck. For me, my symptoms were very mild (I just felt tired and crappy), but the symptoms usually go away after a couple of days. There are also ways to combat the Keto flu, by adding electrolytes, Keto-friendly veggies to your diet and drinking plenty of water.
Now, this is where it can get a little confusing. You will hear a lot of people talk about “macros” when following the Keto WOE, and that’s simply short for “Macronutrients.” Macros refer to your intake of 3 things: Fat, Carbs & Protein. Some people not only track their carbs, but also track their fat & protein intake. You can find “macro calculators” online that will help you determine how much of each macro you need to achieve.
Sugar alcohol is the key behind “sugar-free” products that are still sweet. There is a very important PSA in regards to sugar alcohol, though:
Some people will have adverse reactions to larger amounts of sugar alcohol, and that reaction involves frequent and urgent trips to the bathroom. Not everyone has that reaction, but I’ve seen plenty of posts from people who learned the hard way, to not eat the whole bag of sugar-free candy, even if it is carb-free.
That’s it guys. There’s a very basic write-up about the Keto WOE! If you’re interested in learning more, you can join my (free) Keto support group: The Keto Life on Facebook. It’s a group dedicated to recipes, support and encouragement!
You can also follow my Pinterest board dedicated to the Keto WOE!