My Journey with Keto
Months ago, I began my journey with the keto diet. My weight was causing me so much physical, mental, and emotional stress that I wanted to take some sort of action to correct it.
Since starting I have managed to lose over 70 pounds and, somehow, corrected my issues with GERD. I am in the best shape I have been in my life, my liver and pancreatic enzymes returned to normal; it has opened more doors to become more athletic and has greatly improved my self-confidence and body positivity.
I won’t go too far into the specifics of the diet or my methods here because I am not trying to provide any manner of medical or dietary advice. This is merely a telling of my experience with keto.
Why I decided to start a keto diet
I started this after watching a YouTube video from someone I had been following for many months beforehand. He spoke about his own journey on keto and losing 130 pounds himself without much in the way of exercise.
I had known him to be one to heavily research for his videos and this was no different. He talked about being a Type 1 diabetic and how keto had changed his health around, even to the point that he didn’t need to dose his insulin as often because he didn’t need it thanks to not consuming so many carbs.
Talk to a doctor first
So, after watching the video and hearing all his research on the subject and his own testimony, I decided that I would try it.
Granted, I did what I do not recommend anyone do: I started the diet without consulting my provider first. I highly recommend anyone considering this diet to talk with their provider to make sure that a keto diet is something that will benefit them and talk about how to do it properly.
Increasing my fat and protein intake
Given my age and lack of serious health issues, I figured I could start and not have too many risks. So, I adjusted my diet, increasing my fat and protein intake while lowering my carb intake to less than 15 grams of net carbs a day (I say net carbs because carbs from dietary fiber and sugar alcohols like erythritol don’t count against your daily carb intake).
I noticed results relatively quickly, dropping 10 pounds within a week or so. Of course, this was water weight because ketosis (the process the body converts over to while on this diet) not only means you burn fat instead of carbs but also affects your ability to retain water.
The mental and physical response
On that note, I found myself to be more thirsty than hungry on keto. I was drinking water instead of snacking as I did before the diet which leads me to another change I made - learning to eat to live instead of living to eat.
I learned to pay more attention to how I felt and found the difference in being "hungry" because I was bored and just wanted the action of eating and being ACTUALLY hungry and needing to eat.
Because you burn fat much slower than you burn carbs, I found myself eating much less in the beginning because I had my own fat reserves to burn. Over time, I increased the amount I ate because I had less and less fat reserves to burn but I was still losing weight.
Increased energy and feeling better about my body
I also felt an increase in energy and started taking regular walks throughout my day to burn the extra energy I was experiencing. This led me to be much more active than I was before and more willing to leave the house.
I wanted to be out and be seen because not only was I feeling better physically, but better mentally and emotionally because I grew much happier with my body. I went from wearing baggier clothing to cover my weight, to wearing tighter fitting clothes and putting much more effort into how I dress.
Taking a break from keto
I am, however, currently taking a break from keto. The diet worked well for me and I enjoyed it, but periodic breaks are necessary for certain processes.
As I mentioned before, please talk to your provider if you are interested in keto and be sure that it is something you can physically do. I have gotten amazing results but diets like this are not for everyone.
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