Let me start by saying, I LOVE FOOD, but I have on and off had an unhealthy relationship with food. I’ve realized over the years that what works for me is meal planning and prepping food ahead of time to help me make better decisions.
My lifestyle is go go go, always on the run….. to a meeting, to get the kids from school, to shuttle one to dance, one to hockey, being a mom is a busy life! Add in being a busy entrepreneur and it’s basically a recipe for disaster for me. I grab food on the go, I eat in the car and I LOVE to snack. I can get by on just pretzel sticks for the next 4 hours right? Nope….cause what would happen is I would find myself in Starbucks filling up on scones and frappe’s.
I’ve tried all sorts of diets over the years, some with success but long term the one that always works best for me is cutting back the carbohydrates. I decided to try the Keto Lifestyle after indulging all summer (I’m not sorry I did, I just know I need to get back on track). Summer was filled with ice cream cones with the kids, sangria at bbq’s, chips at the park, you name it I had it! Years ago before I had children I successfully followed the Atkins diet for years and had great results with it. It helped me lose 20lbs to go from a size 12 to an 8. When I became pregnant I decided it wasn’t best to eat that way for the baby so I added a lot of carbs back in. So much in fact I put 55 lbs on with each pregnancy.
I successfully lost the baby weight with both kids by following Weight Watchers back then but I just found I couldn’t stick to it. Because it allows you more carb options I found I would follow it until I lost the weight then slip off the wagon very easily. They recently changed their program to allow you less points per day and I decided this year I just couldn’t do it anymore. I felt like I was starving all the time and living off carrot sticks and roasted chicken.
I started the Keto diet 2 weeks ago and wanted to share my thoughts on it for anyone else who is like me and has struggled with sticking to an eating plan. The first thing I did was sign up to Diet Doctor so I could learn more about the first two weeks of this lifestyle change. I also leaned on my clients at Ketocule (we work with them on their social media) with any questions I had.
I decided to just cut everything cold turkey. If this is not something you think you can do you can also ease yourself into this way of eating. For the first week I ate 20g of carbs or less. I cut out sugar, artificial sweeteners, breads, pastas, fruit and switched up my eating completely. My breakfasts were no longer toast or cereal, they were bacon and eggs everyday. I’m not going to sugar coat this, it is VERY HARD to cut all of these out at once. It made me so tired, so cranky and no fun to be around for the first 3 days, but I knew it had to be done. By day 2 I got a headache and had a stomach ache from the changes (the Keto flu), by day 4 it had subsided. With any changes to my eating I find the first 3 days to be the absolute hardest. I felt sorry for myself, I think I even cried because I wanted treats so bad! But after the first week it got easier. The great news was I lost 4 lbs and I was down inches already in the first 7 days! I felt less bloated and gassy as well which is huge for me, I’ve always had all sorts of stomach issues.
I found it much easier by week two. I had already figured out some meals I liked, I was in the groove of cooking things ahead of time and the best part, I wasn’t hungry anymore! I could eat a meal and be full for hours on end, I didn’t have that 10 am, 2 pm, bedtime snack anymore cause Sometimes I would mindlessly eat so becoming more aware of this was also a factor to weight loss. By week 2 I had more energy, I didn’t feel tired during the day and I felt much less foggy. Not only did I lose weight the first week but I was also feeling better in so many ways! Weigh in after week 2 saw another 2 lbs lost and more inches gone, I wasn’t noticing the difference in the mirror but I did in the way my clothes fit. I have found some great ways to enjoy foods I love by just cutting out the breads etc. I even enjoyed panckaes (keto friendly version) a couple of times for breakfast!
The Hard Part:
The hardest part for me so far has been cutting all liquids and sticking to just water. I loathe water, I would rather have a mouth dryer than a dessert than drink a glass of water. But when I took out sugary coffee drinks, smoothies, and pop I had to drink something! I found sparkling water more tolerable and I added back in one coke zero a day after the first week if I wanted it. I am not a coffee drinker so I have been experimenting with different drinks to try and find something I can enjoy. There is no way I can drink straight black coffee (which has no carbs) so i’ve tried a few different things now including mixing with half unsweetened almond milk, soy milk, and adding oodles of cream. I’m still trying to find something I truly enjoy because I spend a lot of time in coffee shops throughout the week. I can easily cut out alcohol, since having my daughter I have quite an intolerance to it so it’s not something I drink often anyways. I really do miss those frappes. So I know I can’t cut them out completely, but as I go along and lose a few more lbs I will add a modified version back in once a week so can satisfy a craving.
My end goal is to get another 4 lbs off and to maintain the weight instead of yo-yoing. I love sweets and treats so I won’t cut them out completely, but I will be eating them in moderation. I’m hoping to get back on track to making better choices in restaurants, at home and most of all keeping up the routine of prepping food ahead to stay on track. One of my biggest tips I can share is to cook 2 packages of bacon on the weekend and freeze it. Its so much easier to pull 2 pieces of bacon out in the am then having to cook it everyday. Little things like this help a lot with keeping yourself on track. No more excuses of I can’t find the time to do it.
I want to thank my husband for his patience with me and my mood swings. He understands the process and has successfully lost 30 lbs since April on the Keto diet. When he first told me he was going to do it I didn’t believe he could stick to it, he loves potato chips way to much! But he did, and he’s much happier and healthier because of it.
A lifestyle change is an individual journey, everyone has to do what is best for them. I’m not saying this is the best decision for everyone, but I know it has been the best decision for me at this time.