The Ketogenic Diet - First Week Lessons Learned

7:31 PM AirplaneFoodCritic 0 Comments

I started the Keto Diet one week ago and in that time I have learned a lot. Despite having researched online, I found some things I missed and had to learn "the hard way". I will share those with you now.
I don't think bodies even look like this anymore. Are those abs between his boobs?

1. Your body needs time to adjust

First thing (and I think quite important) is that because of the high fat consumption, your body will need a little time to adjust. And I am talking about bathroom time here. I was on my second day in and I messaged my friend who is my inspiration for trying this whole diet out. When she heard I was going to give this a try to help fight my pain too, she came through like a champ with recommendations, links, books and recipes. She mentioned in passing, "Oh, and of course you can't just do the full diet right out of the gate or your stomach won't be able to handle all that fat." And I tell you, practically the moment she told me that, my stomach turned on me. I spent the rest of the day nursing my poor confused stomach. It took me three tries to walk my dog that afternoon because I kept having to drag my poor corgi back home so I could be near a bathroom. Perhaps having the butter-coconut oil-heavy cream-coffee every day was a bad choice to start?

So my advice here is to be aware of that. If you have the ability to be very close to a bathroom, and you don't mind the upset stomach emergencies, by all means, start with the butter coffees and heavy creams. But if you, oh, I don't know...have a should do a little ramping up by slowly introducing more fat into your diet. You can do that by adding more and more to your lean protein and veggies. This way you are still carb-free but the fats won't crash your stomach's party. Also, if you were to add fats to just a regular diet, you are just eating a ton of fat but your body is still burning the carbs as fuel.
That is too much chicken. Chicken breasts give me too high a protein to fat ratio.

2. Proportions are still important.

I actually read this on most of the websites already but, like #4 below, I did not believe it. There is a reason that the Atkins diet sort of fizzled out. That reason is because people were allowed to eat any amount of the "acceptable" food without limits. That behavior can start with weight loss (and perhaps corresponding lowering of pain) but you will plateau or even gain weight after a period of time. Also, it is important to stick to the amounts of protein, fat and carbs that you calculated are best for you. I(I put a good calculator link on my last entry) Eating too much protein can cause weight gain even if you are totally eliminating carbohydrates from your diet. Of course, eating too many carbs is an obvious issue too.

About the fifth day in I went to a summer bbq at my brother's house. I did not eat any carb-rich foods but I did eat a lot. I also had a lot of wine which is normally alright in small doses but I don't think I can physically do small doses when it comes to wine! I looked at the scale the next day and it was the first time that my weight didn't go down. It took my body a couple days to recover. I don't know if I kicked myself out of ketosis or not but it was a noticeable set back.

3. It is hard keeping proportions accurate!

This should be more of a sub-section of #2 but so far I am having a difficult time keeping my protein numbers down. Or should I say I have a difficult time keeping my fat levels up. Despite adding in the occasional butter coffees which I drink solely to raise my fat intake since it does not have much nutritional value as a meal. This is the reason you might see a lot of recipes for "Fat Bombs". I will start to incorporate those in another week or so. I am a little weary of starting to add the sugar substitutes to my diet right away. I want to keep as true and clean as I can for about the first three weeks when I will add those in. It is just a personal preference. I created a calculator so I can add my meals and get a percentage calculation of fat, carbs and protein. I see that I am way to low in carbs and way way way too high in protein. I had to skip the chicken because I do not like the skin or the thighs, which are the parts you really want. Who would ever think that I am trying to stay away from lean meats?
This Swiss cow eats a lot of grass. She would make great butter.

4. Grass fed butter is not just butter

Everything I read while researching this diet used the term grass-fed butter rather than just saying butter. I dismissed this as just buzz word woo like "GMO's" and "Organic". I bought the regular unsalted butter (because who wants salt in their coffee?) and it has been fine but as you will see in #5 below, the grass fed butter actually has a purpose. It has nutrients in it that you don't get many other places in the diet. So Kerrygold is in my fridge now. It took a little searching on the label but I found where it says it is grass fed. I will explain a but more about nutrients below. Ghee is also a good sub for regular butter for the same reasons.

via GIPHY I gets the crazy legs when I don't have enough potassium!
5. Supplement right away

If you are like me and have little quirks about your body like the crazy legs at night (RLS) or you need melatonin to fall asleep or if you know (or your doctor tells you) that your body doesn't function properly without certain vitamins, minerals or other such supplements, you should start taking them right away. This diet does lack in providing all that your body is used to or requires in some areas. For me, it was Potassium and Magnesium. I, once again, didn't really believe what others were saying and also I was lazy in going to the vitamin store and I paid for it with no sleep. When my body does not get enough K and Mg it keeps me up all night either twisting, turning and kicking my husband or, if I am feeling generous, I will get up and walk the halls all night in order to keep my body from twitching and itching on me. If you do buy supplements, you have to remember to make sure to check the nutrition or additive label to make sure you are not adding un-calculated carbs to your diet. I found that there are many means to get potassium into the body and they all seem to have the same effect so I bought the Potassium Citrate. Whatever potassium you choose, you will see that they only come in 99mg doses which is only 3% of your suggested daily intake. I have chosen to take three of these spread out over the course of the day because I really need my potassium. If you choose to do the same know that it is not recommended to do so on the labels. My understanding is that it can't be processed quickly in the body and as a result creates an acid that can irritate our worse.

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