I was a fad dieter in a former life. You name it, I’ve probably tried it. Cabbage Soup, Lemonade, Fruit Fasting, Fat Flush, Paleo…Most of the time, I did lose weight, but it always came back like a boomerang with a vengeance. And I would always end up weighing more than when I started, with lower self-esteem than a self-proclaimed “confident-in-my-skin” person should have.
And then I found the ketogenic lifestyle. This is a lifestyle for sure. This is not some fad diet or quick weight loss scheme. It requires dedication, willpower and strength. And, if done right, your body will thank you for it.
Q: So, why the switch?
A: I was a major sugar addict. Plain and simple. If sugar was in the first three ingredients, then it was more than likely mine to devour. At the end of my 3rd year in pharmacy school, I found myself 12 lbs heavier than when I started, with a bloated mid-section, and a very boxy shape…neither of which are super sexy.
The first thing I did was work out. And I got stronger. And it was awesome. But I was still heavier than I wanted to be. And I couldn’t understand why…then something clicked. It’s funny I’ve been in school for YEARS, but often only apply that knowledge to others. And then my internal voice started screaming at me what we all know, “You workout to build muscle, to get stronger. You eat to lose weight.” But I was through with dieting, since it never worked permanently for me. So, the only thing I could do was work on changing me…and that’s how I got to ketosis. I needed something that was going to lend itself to a different way of life, break the cycle of sugar addiction and reliance on processed foods for false satisfaction.
I am not going to expand via diatribe about what ketosis actually is…I will leave that to these links: Ketogenic Diet Resource and The Paleo Guide to Ketosis. I personally believe these do a great job of providing objective information about ketosis. But in a nutshell, the focus is high (good) fat, moderate (not high) protein and very low carb.
I used this Ketogenic Calculator to get a customizable breakdown of my daily, targeted macronutrients. For me, I set my attributes to lightly active, with 25% body fat. I also set my target carb intake to less than 25g/day (net or minus fiber). For most people, eating less than 50g/day seems to be enough to enter ketosis. The calculator let’s you know the minimum and maximum amount of daily protein based on your individual parameters, and you can select within that range. The calculator then lets you know your target fat intake. For me, I am around 70% Fat, 20% protein, 10% carb.
It has only been a couple of weeks (I’ll have to put another post about those first few days), but it seems to be working. My stomach is flatter than it’s been in the last 4 years. I do not crave sweets like I did in the past. I have increased my water in-take. And the foods I chose to ingest have little to no processing. I started this part of my “natural” journey looking for [yet another] weight loss alternative. My goals and priorities have no changed…I want to hit 40 and be in the best shape of my life! 2 more years to get there! Wish me luck 🙂