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First month on the Keto diet.
Posted by RACHEL MATHENGE on NOVEMBER 3, 2018
Amazing Lifetime Deal
The day was finally here. A new beginning, the day my eating habits would change forever although I didn’t know it at the time. My husband Charles and I decided to get on the keto zone diet using Dr. Don Colbert’s guidelines. I was about four years into my weight loss journey and had lost close to 50 pounds and gained about 10 pounds back and plateaued for a while. Needless to say, I was ready to venture out and do something totally out of my comfort zone to get to my healthy weight goal.
We chose to start the keto zone diet on a day we were home. We had already got rid of all the tempting non-keto foods like bread, chapatis (Kenyan tortillas), ice cream, candy, cookies, and chips, and bought keto friendly food. Armed with measuring spoons and cups, ketone test strips, measuring tape, and a bathroom scale, we approached this diet like a science experiment. We recorded our weight, waist, hips and thighs measurements. Yes, this sounds a bit too much but I needed to make sure I had all the evidence since I was putting this diet on a one month trial.
So, how did the first month look like?
What changed most was our food choices.
These were our macros:
The first morning on the keto zone diet, I was ready for free range eggs, veggies, and bulletproof coffee. We love coffee so this worked in our favor. You can find plenty of bulletproof coffee recipes online, and we tried a few but settled on the simple combination of Coffee,1 tablespoon MCT oil and 1 tablespoon avocado oil. The key here is to get a good blender and blend the ingredients together. Whether you love coffee or not, you will be surprised by the outcome. The MCT oil and the avocado oil gives the coffee a smooth enhanced flavor. The coffee was surprisingly filling, and we ended up not eating the eggs and veggies. (If you don’t enjoy coffee, you can add MCT oil to your low carb breakfast, smoothies etc). One experiment complete, many more to go! We are not heavy breakfast eaters, so this worked for us, and it still does.
( Caution on MCT oil, some people are sensitive to MCT oil, so start with 1/2 a tablespoon per day, see how your stomach handles it and increase the amount gradually. If sensitive to MCT oil, try MCT powder)
We kept lunch and dinner pretty basic. We ate veggies and quality protein and some healthy fats. The bulletproof coffee left us full until lunchtime. We did not feel the need to snack between meals. When hungry instead of reaching for a snack, we ate a full meal. We had dinner early enough to allow 12 hours between dinner and breakfast.
At first, I felt like there weren’t enough veggies out there and thought we would get tired of eating the same thing over and over. Before the keto diet, our to go to veggies were carrots and peas. Those were now out of the list because of their high carb content but we could still eat green leafy veggies, cabbage, green beans, zucchini, green, yellow and red peppers, onions, tomatoes, and cucumbers. I later learned to like mushrooms, cauliflower, and red cabbage. We also ate berries since they have low carb content.
Before the keto zone diet, my meat shopping comprised of walking around the meat fridge at the grocery store and looking for the best looking but cheapest meat I could find. Now I was focused on the nutrition quality although I was still concerned about paying a little bit more. How would I keep up with the higher prices? My genius husband assured me that since we were not spending money on snacks, the budget would balance out! And it did!
Protein became the tastiest surprise! We bought grass-fed beef, wild caught fish, free range chicken, and eggs. It took a little research to find which stores carried the meats we wanted at a cheaper price. It turned out that these meats actually tasted better. I couldn’t believe I missed out on this great tasting food for all these years, not to mention all the quality nutrition found in nature that was now present in the food on our plates. Then it occurred to me, I could not approximate how much an ounce of beef, fish or chicken was, so I needed a food scale.
Fats were easier to implement than I initially thought. Measuring oil by tablespoon made it easier. I prepared most meals with one or two tablespoons of olive oil, or avocado oil, and sometimes coconut oil or grass-fed butter and then I would add a tablespoon of avocado oil to the food on my plate. This worked well when I needed to prepare the same meals for us and, our kids and friends who were not on a diet, and customized how much fat each one of us ate by adding avocado oil to the food on the plate. My friends were usually curious and welcomed the idea of adding a little bit of avocado oil. (Avocado oil does not alter that taste of the food but enhances it). Avocados too came in handy as a source of healthy fats.
Earlier I mentioned ketone strips. I was very curious to see how long it would take us to get into nutritional ketosis. When in ketosis, the body releases ketones which are passed out of the body through the urine. The keto strips tell you how much ketones are in the urine, by holding the ketone strip through the urine stream. It took us two days to get into nutritional ketosis. The time it takes to get into ketosis varies from one person to the other. You can buy ketone strips at the pharmacy or some health food stores.
When in nutritional ketosis, I went from being tired all the time to being energetic and mentally focused, no longer needing afternoon naps. Charles and I did not have food cravings or get the keto flu! We stayed full longer and when we got hungry, we ate a full meal instead of snacking.
We also noticed our food portions were much smaller. The first time I served Charles keto dinner he looked at me and asked: “Is this all we are eating today?” I replied, “Yes, its 10 grams carbs, 8 ounces protein and 2 tablespoons of fat!”, trying to make light of the situation. We then said grace and proceeded to eat dinner. Halfway through dinner, he admitted he was full and struggling to finish his food. This is when we both realized we have been eating too much food, and our culture of serving our husbands a mountain size plate of carb-loaded food was out of the window.
One of the things that helped us stay on track was meal prep to ensure that when we were hungry there was food ready. Many nights I would prepare meals for the following day after we had dinner.By the third week on keto Zone diet, meal prep was easier. Meal prep no longer felt like a math class or a science experiment. I had learned to approximate ingredients and did not need to measure ingredients all the time. I kept a notebook and recorded all the different ingredients I measured for a quick future reference.
I felt better overall and I was losing weight. One morning I forgot to take my seasonal allergies medicine, and by evening, to my huge surprise, I had no symptoms. I have not needed to take the seasonal allergy medicine on a regular basis since. Maybe this diet would turn into a lifestyle change, I was convinced it would, but could I live without some of the foods I already loved like bread, ice cream etc? Time will tell.
At the end of the first month, we took our measurements again. We had evidence that for sure the diet worked. Charles had lost 10 pounds and I lost 12 pounds, and we both had lost 2 inches around the waist. We decided to continue on the diet for one more month, and get to our healthy weight goal.
Whether this will be a short-term diet or lifestyle change it’s still too early to tell. We will keep you updated.