LCHF = Low Carb, High Fat
I have gotten a couple of PMs about getting into LCHF and thought I would share with everyone. Getting into the the LCHF lifestyle has been simultaneously extremely difficult and rewarding at the same time. It took me at least half a dozen attempts to get into this way of eating before it actually “stuck.” I would get to day 3 or 4, get a screaming headache +/- monster cravings and cave in…usually with either a snickers bar (or 3) or a slice of cake (or 2). Finally, I decided I had to get through this when I stepped on a scale that read 146lbs, which is the heaviest I have been outside of pregnancy. My BMI technically placed me in the overweight category. And it was the final impetus I needed to kick off The OFF Project. I want to hit 40 and be, well…fabulous.
I had to take away any chance of failure, so I ate the same thing everyday for the first 7 days, to kick in the process of ketosis. For breakfast, I drank a Venti Americano with Half & Half and no sugar. Lunch was a romaine lettuce salad with grilled chicken, red cabbage, shredded cheddar cheese, one boiled egg, walnut pieces, cucumbers and ranch dressing. Dinner was salmon (baked with a bit of olive oil drizzled over the top, and lemon pepper seasoning) along with broccoli or cauliflower and another salad. Twice, I substituted seared tuna steak for salmon. I got into ketosis around day 5 and was in deep ketosis (the dark, dark purple reading) by the end of the week. My goal was to eat no more than 20g of net carbs per day (Total carbohydrates minus fiber). Depending on the contents of my salad, staying below 20 wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be.
That being said, my energy level was crap in the beginning. I didn’t understand why, so I researched, read and stalked just about every LCHF blog and forum out there. The reason I always felt like I was getting run over by a truck everyday? I wasn’t getting enough fat. The key to weight loss on any ketogenic diet is making sure you are getting enough quality, healthy fat. You have to eat fat to burn fat in the absence of carbohydrates and moderate protein. Another key: moderate protein. If you do low carb with high protein, you might as well be eating the very carbs you are trying to avoid. And if you eat too little protein, the body will start to break down lean muscle which is far worse, in my opinion. I currently keep my protein intake to around 75g per day. I drink my own version of bulletproof coffee (made with grassed butter, coconut oil and a tad bit of vanilla extract) which has helped with my fat intake (along with some yummy bacon for breakfast from time-to-time).
I wasn’t going to do this, but I feel like transparency is a great tool to understanding. So…here are my before and after stats. Keep in mind that I am 5’4″ (64 inches) tall:
- Weight: 146 –> 129
- BMI: 25.1 (Overweight) –>22.1 (Normal)
- Chest: 34.5 –> 32
- Hips: 38 –> 35
- Waist: 31 –> 28
- Arm: 11.5 –> 10.8
- Leg: 23 –> 21.5
I am at a point where I don’t necessarily want to lose any more weight – I just want to minimize my body fat % and build lean muscle which, in reality, will likely lead to weight gain. I don’t have the courage (yet!) to post pictures, but I will…in my own time. This journey has been just as much about building self-esteem and confidence as it has been about “hitting numbers”. Let me know if you have any further questions! I am happy to answer what I can, and point you in the direction of all the resources I have used to this point!