As I mentioned in my previous post, my husband and I are currently on a Keto diet. I’m sure most of you know what that is since it’s been one of the trendiest diets for a few years now so I won’t get into too many specifics. (I’m also not a doctor or scientist. This is just what I’ve learned from doing my own research and none of this information is meant to be advice and should not be taken that way.)
At the very core, Keto is a low carb and high fat way of eating. It forces your body into using its own fat stores for fuel instead of the traditional carbohydrates. There are multiple ways you can take that rule and apply it to how you eat. There’s clean Keto which focuses on eating whole, high quality, low carb, minimally processed foods. Think grass-fed beef, free-range eggs, healthy oils like olive and avocado, etc. It usually involves a lot of meal planning and keeps to the traditional Keto macros of 5-10% carbs, 10-20% protein, and the remaining is fat. There’s also dirty keto, sometimes called “lazy keto”, which allows for a lot more processed, convenient, inexpensive foods. Think tons of bacon, burgers, cheese, fat bombs, etc. Most who choose this way of eating keto are more focused on the carb counts instead of tracking the protein and fat. As long as they keep under a certain net carb count, 20-50 depending on how strict, it still works. And a lot of people will do different combination of clean and dirty – it’s really whatever works for them.
We started with a more clean way of doing keto in that there was a lot of meal planning and calculating macro totals so we could see if we needed more or less of something. We needed to figure out and experiment with different foods to get our ratios balanced correctly so meal planning just made sense. The first week was rough, but after that it was a lot more fun. We ate veggie loaded omelettes, burrito bowls made with a super easy instant-pot carnitas recipe, fat-heavy soups. We discovered the wonderful world of chaffles, which are egg and cheese “waffles” that you can do a ton with. We made egg sandwiches with them, “bagels”, reubens, you name it.
As we got used to eating this way, we gradually shifted to a more dirty keto style of eating. And it wasn’t even intentional. It was easier to eat the same kinds of food each week since we already knew what the macros were. But that led to boredom with the food. Which led to more snacking on cheese and beef sticks and salted almonds. Which led to more convenience food like buffalo wings and burger patties. I don’t think I saw a vegetable on my plate for a good two weeks in a row. And I don’t feel good about that. We also just had a friend recently diagnosed with very, very high cholesterol, and not only is he in good shape, he’s a few years younger than us. That is really scary and it makes me want to go back to a more clean way of eating.
After a cheat weekend on our anniversary where we ate anything and everything that we’d been missing since we started Keto on August 1st, we each gained 8-9 lbs in pure bloat and water weight. That was two weeks ago and I still have a couple lbs to go. And to be honest, I have not been great about tracking anything since that weekend. I’ve been snacking more, drinking more wine, and in general I just got super lazy and was really close to giving up completely. (Which is a big reason I started this blog. I don’t want to give up and go back to where I was!)
The plan is to gradually add the veggies and good fats back in and start tracking everything to ensure we’re sticking within our macros. I want to limit snacking as much as possible, or maybe have one day a week where we have snacky foods instead of meals so that we don’t feel deprived. I don’t know. This is very much a “learn as we go” type of process. It’s not going to be perfect and I need to keep reminding myself that this is as much, if not more, about the journey as it is about the destination.
See you next week.