So yesterday, I started a whole thing about how I’ve been eating low carb keto for the last month, and whoa! is there a lot of different information out there when you google ‘ketogenic diet’. Bacon, burgers, meat-head muscle bound lifters, all sorts of crazy pants things that could really confuse people. Especially when I say things like I’m trying to stay under 50g of net carbs a day.
JENN YOU ARE CRAZY AND YOU WILL DIE! WHAT ABOUT THE WINE! <<< everyone in my life.
Yeah, I realized that just throwing that number out there is frightening and a tad irresponsible because it doesn’t explain the difference between macros and dietary fiber not counting as carbs, blah, blah, blah. Details.
As someone with food issues in the past, I am always hyper aware of ways of eating that are really just perpetuating a disorder in disguise. To me, and this is only my opinion, when you restrict entire food groups or make anything ‘bad’ you’re just being disordered unless you have a genuine sensitivity to things. As a kid, I was tested for food allergies and it showed sensitivity to ERRYYYTHANG from oats to corn. My scratch test looked like I had been attacked by a tiger with a steak strapped to my wrists. My mom was of the general opinion that it was all hocus pocus and I just continued to eat a normal American diet, but in looking back and doing research on clean eating starting last summer, I determined that I really did have a biological sensitivity to these foods. After all, I did develop a life threatening tomato allergy at the age of 33 after a lifetime of pasta eating in an Italian household.
This is the part where I could go on and on forever about the food supply and how awful it is, but I’ve already written about that, and that’s kind of delving into ‘personal belief system’ territory, and that’s for you to determine for yourself. I can tell you that the times in my life where I was my healthiest physically, emotionally, and mentally were when I did not eat refined carbohydrates. These were the times I was on the Atkins diet and when I was vegan. So obviously my body responds very well to a protein/plant based diet.
The turning point for me recently was when I took soccer pictures with my son. Now I had stuck to eating clean, but because I was also going through a major life change, I had turned to comfort foods (like copious amounts of egg white delights and wine) and when the pictures came back, I looked bloated, pale, and not very well. I was shocked. Absolutely shocked. A life of sugar and carbs had not done me any favors. Something had to change.
I was also inspired by another health blogger who had ‘gone totes hard’ for 8 weeks and when it was all said and done, nothing about her body composition had changed, but then you saw other women that had done an 8 week challenge looking amazing, so I wondered to myself what I could get done in 8 weeks. I didn’t want to look like the ghost pale younger sister of Jabba the Hut anymore, that’s for damn sure.
So armed with what I just described, I started doing real research. Not just cutting diet plans and training regimens out of magazines, but looking at me as a whole person. I’m tall, larger build, muscular, a volume eater, crazy busy, and not about to pump chemical shakes and meal bars into my body. I talked to my running coach, bounced some ideas off the nutritionist at the gym, kept on researching and came up with my plan. A ketogenic inspired way of eating, where I would limit my net carbohydrate intake in order to stay in ketosis. Ketosis is keeping your body in a glucose depleted state in order for your body to burn fat as fuel.
Now this is where the confusion comes in because we’ve heard this before with the Atkins diet and we were all lining up in the McDonald’s drive thru ordering double quarter pounders with cheese, hold the bun. Bacon for breakfast, lunch and dinner! Slather errrythang in mayo!
But the idea is to eat clean and be gentle to your body. That’s where ‘macros‘ come in… a lot of time you’ll see bodybuilders call this the ‘clean bulking’ diet or other names like that. Simply put, it’s eating a diet specific to certain ratios. I know, I told you there would be no math, so this website completely breaks it down for you. You enter a ton of information including measurements and activity levels, then it gives you this rad graph and tells you what ratios you should eat. For example this is what it tells me to eat:
*Generated by [Keto Calculator](http://keto-calculator.ankerl.com) 7.4*
* 2127 kcal Goal, a 15% deficit. (1736 min, 2502 max)
* 50g Carbohydrates
* 100g Protein (70g min, 116g max)
* 170g Fat (127g min, 211g max)
Let me tell you…I’m a hungry girl, it is nearly impossible for me to make the 1736 minimum calories I need to eat. I eat like a damn horse all day, and barely squeak out 1800 calories.
Like yesterday…here’s what I ate:
2 egg omelette with 1 slice yogurt cheese
1/4 cup mixed nuts
3 thick slices turkey, 3 slices colby jack cheese, hard boiled egg, 1/4 cup almonds
Quest Bar (kills the chocolate craving)
2c salad greens, 4oz top sirloin steak, 1/2 avocado, 1 slice fresh queso crumbled, 2 tbs fresh Caesar dressing
And of course, I drank mineral water, Zevia, and Iced Tea sweetened with organic Stevia throughout the day. You HAVE to stay hydrated on this plan or you’ll fry your kidneys; especially if you’re really active. Also keep in mind that fiber doesn’t count when you’re counting carbs, even though they will be listed as a carbohydrate on a food label. Fiber is free! Fiber is good! Ya gotta poop, yo! Fat is also good too, so don’t worry about that so much. Your body is going to need it to burn.
So far? I took my 3 week progress shots today (which I’ll post when my 8 weeks are up) and my mind was BLOWN by the change in my body. Leaner, more sculpted, ain’t nothing giggling, and I must be cuter because dudes are hitting on me like, whoa. There was also a study released today that people on Gluten Free diets don’t have ‘brain fog’ and other day to day mental junk going on. So there’s that. You’re not specifically going gluten free on this diet, but you’re not getting much gluten, so by proxy you should get that benefit too, right?
If you decide to try this plan, read your labels. There are sneaky things in food. Take Zevia and Vitamin Water Zero for example, no calories, but 4g of net carbs. Same goes for condiments. Try to make your own or buy the freshest possible because sugar loves to hide in sauces, dressing and condiments. A great app to track your carb intake is the ‘Carb Master’. Super easy to just plug in what you’re eating, and it keeps track of everything for you.
In closing, just wanted to put out there that I’m not a dietician or giving medical advice in any way, but this is what is currently working for me and I wanted to share that with everyone and maybe clear up some misconceptions about what a keto diet is, and how it varies from your average Atkins diet. As always, if you have pre-existing health conditions, you need to check in with your doctor first, and not everyone can handle an eating plan like this.
So in 5 more weeks, I’ll post all of the pictures I’ve been taking so you can see what 8 weeks of dedicating yourself to fitness and eating right can do. Until then, I’m gonna finish this water and keep on keepin’ on.