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Carbs are my friend! I love carbs! I not only love carbs but I also love sweets and sugary foods. It is safe to call me a sweet tooth. How was this sweet tooth going to survive on the Keto diet, with no sweets, and only consuming 20 grams of carbs per day?







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Carbs are one of the three macronutrients found in the foods we eat, the other two are protein and fat. They have 3 main categories; sugars, starches and fibre.This healthline article by Kris Gunnars,BSC gives a breakdown on what carbs are and their health benfits.


My life could be divided into 5 stages based on my relationship with carbs.


Stage 1: I love ALL carbs, and my body can handle it. 
During this stage, 80% of my diet was carbs. Gosh! I loved carbs and my family and friends knew it. It was more than love, I would call it an addiction. When my friends/family and I went out to eat they would pass the sugar packets to me, as soon as we got seated,  before we ordered our drinks. They joked that I had sugar with my tea or coffee. After our main meal, if the waiter asked if any of us wanted dessert, my answer was usually yes!! I was physically active and I somehow managed to burn through the carbs I ate. I generally maintained the same weight and felt great.


Stage 2: I love carbs, and my body holds on to most of the carbs I eat.
At this point, I consumed high amounts of carbs (80% of my diet) but lived a very sedentary lifestyle. I was on bed rest for part of my pregnancy. After my daughter was born, I did not bounce back to being physically active due to back and pelvic pains. This resulted in my gaining 57 pounds in one year. I felt exhausted all the time. I knew I needed to lose weight but was not sure how to. Taking a few minutes walk every day helped, but that was not enough to burn all the carbs calories I ate.


Stage 3: I love carbs, but I have to let go of some of my carb friends.
Halfway through my weight loss journey, I was working out and not getting the desired results. I did an inventory of the foods I ate on a regular basis and cut out rice, wheat products: bread, bagels, chapatis (Kenyan tortillas), Mandazi (similar to donuts) and ice cream. That helped reduce a big portion of the carbs I ate, but I was still consuming a whole lot more without realizing it. I was more concerned about total calories I consumed than the carbs. I thought I was on a low carb diet, but I was still consuming high amounts of carbs. I was eating healthy foods, I just seemed to be drawn to foods with high carb content. Some carbs were obvious but others were disguised in foods that I thought had no carbs.


The obvious high carbs are in;

  • The starchy foods like bread, rice, pasta, cookies, potatoes, sweet potatoes, cereal.
  • Drinks like sodas, and fruit juices.
  • Candy, chocolate, and ice cream.
  • Sweeteners like sugar and honey.


However, I didn’t consider the number of carbs hidden in plain sight in foods like legumes, corn, fruits, veggies, and milk.



I lost weight but I never seemed to get rid of love handles and belly fat. I felt tired most of the time and eventually, my weight plateaued.


Stage 4: I love carb, and they loved me back, but its time to let go, this time for real!
When my husband and I started researching the ketogenic diet, we found that we needed to reduce our carb intake to 20 grams of carbs per day for the diet to work for us. It was a very low amount based on what we were already consuming. I was forced to start accounting for every carb I ate, knowing it all would all up. I started looking at food labels and consulted google for nutrition facts on foods that came without food labels. I shifted my focus from calories to carbs. I was surprised to learn that,

  • 1 tablespoon of honey has 17grams of carbs, while 1 tablespoon of organic sugar has 4 grams of carbs. When I started drinking homemade lemon and ginger water, I would add honey to improve the taste. By the end of the day, if I had 5 glasses of the lemon & ginger water, I would add a tablespoon of honey to each glass. That’s was 17grams of carbs added to each healthy drink, which added to 85 grams of carbs.
  • Beans have more carbs than protein, and the macros vary depending on the kind of beans. 1/4 cup of pinto beans has about 22 grams of carbs, 14g fiber and about 10 grams of protein. 1/4 cup of cranberry beans has 26 grams carbs, 11 grams fiber, and 10 grams protein. So when I was eating beans as a protein source, I ended up consuming plenty of carbs. (carbs-fiber=net carbs)
  • One medium banana has 23 grams carbs. If I ate two bananas per day, that would be 46 grams carbs.
  • I made fruits, veggies and yogurt smoothies most mornings, and when I added up all the carbs in the ingredients, they came to around 50 grams.
  • A slice of bread can have as much as 23 grams of carb. Some have more and others have less, depending on the type of bread. And who eats only one slice of bread?
  • If I added raisings to my salad, I didn’t consider that a small box of raisings has 11 grams of carbs.


In the next few days, look at the carb content in the foods you eat on a regular basis. You may be in for a surprise. 
For breakfast alone, I was consuming over 20 grams of carbs, not counting the carbs I consumed throughout the day, for snacks, lunch, and dinner.

This is the stage I started the Keto diet and my relationship with carbs was altered.. forever!


Why does our carb choices matter?

  • The body converts the carbs we eat to glucose for energy and leftover glucose is stored as fat in our body as fat. If we eat more carbs than our body can use for energy, we eventually develop health issues.
  • When starting on the Keto diet, the goal is to get into nutritional ketosis and stay there. When in nutritional ketosis, the body uses fat as a primary energy source, because carbs are scarce. The reason why low carb consumption is recommended is to allow the body to deplete it’s glucose reserves and start burning fat for energy instead of glucose. When you sustain this for a while, the body adapts to burning fats for energy.
  • I was determined to get rid of stubborn belly fat, get off the weight roller coaster and get to my weight goal, and feel better overall.


How did my carb choices change? 
With only 20 grams of carbs allowance, I focused most on more nutrition and fewer carbs, therefore eating veggies like kale, broccoli, spinach, cucumbers, cabbage, cauliflower, peppers, onions, and fruits low in carbs like blackberries, blueberries and avocado, in addition to healthy fats and a little bit of protein.
The sugar and starchy foods were out of the menu.
Now I’m in,


Stage 5: I love carbs, and I choose my carb friends wisely.
How do I survive on a few carb? I’d like to say it’s willpower, but it’s mainly the power of being in ketosis. When in ketosis, I have no food cravings, I’m no longer addicted to sugar and starchy food.
My belly fat is gone, I’ve maintained a healthy weight, and I have energy and mental focus! My seasonal allergies are gone, back pain and pelvic pain is gone too! I’m not on survival mode anymore, I’m thriving.
This is the stage I’m having most fun since I started my weight loss journey. I have discovered my Keto Carb Limit. How much healthy carbs per day I can consume without gaining weight. Knowing this puts me in charge of my weight. Weight gain and weight loss are no longer a mystery.
Is giving up most of my carbs worth it?
Yes! there are lots of keto friendly snacks,desserts and ice cream in the market, which makes the keto more sustainable. 


What are you willing to give up to get to your health goals?

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