Hello, friends! You’re probably thinking… why is this chick giving me tips on starting something if she didn’t even stick with it? Keep reading and I promise it’ll all make sense.
If you’ve followed me on Instagram the past few weeks, you know that I decided to try the hyped up Ketogenic Diet. You also know that I recently switched back to my Paleo lifestyle after 3 weeks of being keto. Now, before I go on, I want to point out something that I preach and teach every single day to myself & clients which is “LISTEN TO YOUR BODY”! With so many diets, fads, workouts, and people’s opinions on them… only you truly know how you body feels when you make lifestyle changes.
The reason I started the Ketogenic Diet to begin with was because I had read a lot about it, heard friends talking about it, and wanted to see what all the hype was for myself. For those who don’t know what a Ketogenic Diet is, think high fat, low carb, moderate protein intake. If you were to put that into a percentage breakdown: 70% fat, 25% protein, and 5% fat. Check out this article by Precision Nutrition which breaks down the science behind Ketogenic programs & PN even share their thoughts on the diet from all aspects.
Lastly, before diving deep into my experience, know that if something sounds too good to be true, is a quick fix, or fad, that it’s not a lifestyle you’re building. Rather, creating short-term success (if you’re lucky). At the end of this post are my 4 Tips to Starting a Ketogenic Diet aka things I wish I knew before going in.
If you’re still with me… time to buckle-up buttercup.
Let’s start by saying, overall, I definitely didn’t hate the diet but I also wouldn’t tell someone who they must go on it. If you’re considering it, I would just make sure before starting anything that you’ve done the research & truly find a reason that this way of eating adds value to your life. For me, there were a few clients & followers asking about it and I wanted to know on a personal level how to answer specific questions, what it felt like to be on a new diet, and give anyone my honest feedback from experience. Being in this industry as a fitness professional (lol, I sound so snooty) & nutritionist, I want & need to be the guinea pig over y’all so we take out that step of “failure” and get straight to it to give my clients real results.
Let’s break it down by week.
Week 1 – Struggle Bus
At the start of the diet, I knew it’d be a HUGE HUGE HUGE lifestyle change and it was. Before, my diet consisted of primarily veggies, proteins, and fruit while steering clear from most red meats grains and especially dairy. On the ketogenic diet, dairy is allowed as long as it’s high fat (cream cheese, whole milk, etc.) but the issue is I can’t eat dairy and just about 99% of the recipes online contained some form of it. Still steering clear from dairy, I had to adjust for that with copious amounts of red meats like bacon and bison.
Not only that, but I would subconsciously fill up on nut butters throughout the day, log it through MyFitnessPal to stay in my macro range, only to realize I’ve made it an entire day without eating ONE vegetable but already hit my carb intake for the day. Needless to say it gave me a mini freak out.
Week 2 – Full Steam Ahead!
After much planning and adjusting, the start of week 2 was when I began to really get the hang of things. I knew when to avoid spoonfuls of nut butter and instead replace them with vegetables (since carbs were limited), tracking meals became second nature and even experimented with “fat bombs” to help curve my sweet tooth which you can watch here! Hell, I even started to feel great in workouts and could see noticeable results in the mirror and on the scale.
While I was in fact getting the hang of things and actually enjoyed the food I was eating… hello bacon everyday, all day! It felt like I was on a diet. And I know that’s a super silly thing to say because duh, it’s a diet! But I’ve actually never counted my macros before this, nor paid THIS much attention to what I was eating. Fast-forward a few days and we get to the end of week 2 and my thoughts are… neutral.
Week 3 – Why am I doing this?
It’s the start of week 3 and I’m already seeing results, feeling good in the gym, but still felt like it was a hassle to keep up. Eating fat & avoiding most vegetables is what every child dreams of, yet as an adult I find so off the grid and it’s the exact opposite of everything everyone tells you NOT TO DO! I began by taking a step back and really analyzing what was going on. Turns out, I kept going back to my first statement and routine at the begging of this post, which is to listen to your body.
Leading up to the end of week 3, it was clear that this wasn’t the diet for me. I followed the rules, tried the tricks, and gave it a fair shot. Sometimes I did in fact enjoy it, but in the end just felt like it wasn’t something I could keep up longterm in a mentally healthy way.
Food is something that I love and enjoy. A good meal is the center piece of most iconic holidays and how people celebrate being with loved ones! Do I live a rather healthy lifestyle? Yes. Do I love chocolate so much that I’d marry a triple chocolate fudge cake if given the opportunity? Hell yes. When you learn to balance your life, you honestly start to enjoy it more. So, I personally don’t do well when someone or something is telling me how to live because I’m a rebellious child and beyond that, cutting things out cold turkey isn’t always an effective fix.
On the other end of the spectrum, there are still times I catch myself snacking straight from the pantry for no clear reason. Which is an unhealthy habit to be building. Being on this Ketogenic diet, although restrictive with the types of foods, did teach me how to manage my meals and really appreciate what I’m putting in my body for fuel. The occasional snack parade will probably still happen every once in a while but I’m more mindful now than I was.
In Conclusion, I’m not writing Keto off as the enemy, nor am I saying it’s going to change your life. I’m simply saying it all comes back to if you’re listening to what your body needs and if it feels good than go for it! Below are just are just a few tips that I learned along the way and wish I knew before starting the diet:
4 Tips to Starting a Ketogenic Diet
Do Your Research.
And then do some more research! You can never be to educated and you’re completely changing your diet, which is kind of a big deal.
This includes gathering recipes (go-to and off the grid), getting rid of the “no” items in your pantry/kitchen, logging meals in MyFitnessPal a week before hand to make sure you are hitting your numbers and on track (aka less anxiety).
Probably my biggest tip to any diet and life in general because your cells need water to function properly, your body is able to flush out much easier when hydrated, and sometimes when we think we’re hungry, it’s actually our bodies telling us we’re dehydrated!
Go into it with an open mind.
No matter what you’ve read online, your body is different. Don’t expect to go into it and have life changing results, but also, don’t go in already counting yourself out. Pretty much, if you do decide to try a keto diet, go in as Switzerland and give it a fair chance!
It’s OK if it doesn’t work for you.
Did it work for me physically? Yes, I lost some weight and looked more toned. Did it work for me mentally and fit into my everyday life? Not necessarily… You have to be okay with things maybe not going to plan and figure out what’s important to you.
Well, that went on quite longer than anticipated, but there was a lot to be said! I hope y’all enjoyed reading about my adventure & took away a few valuable tips and lessons overall. I’m not here to spark debate or put anything to shame, simply just giving you my opinion and experience in words.
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