Our Ketosis Diet Experience: One Month Update | Enduring All Things

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Our Ketosis Diet Experience: One Month Update

Well guys, Pearson and I have officially been on the ketosis diet for over a month now! Actually, it's been more than five weeks. We started on Monday, March 12th. So I thought it was time I gave a little update!

Since I know you're dying to know numbers, I'll mention those first.
My husband and I have been on the Ketosis diet for one month now. We started the keto diet to get healthy and jump start our weight loss. Here is what our experience has been. Including our physical changes, other positive changes, mistakes we've made, struggles we've had, and next steps.

Physical Changes

Though it's not been as drastic of a change as I'd been hoping for, I've lost 6 pounds and about .5 to 1 inch in every measurement. However, I haven't measured myself since April 1st. I have weighted myself more recently than that, but that hasn't changed since April 1st. Actually, that's not entirely true. It has changed a lot. In fact, almost every time on the scale it says something different. But it hasn't been lower than it was on April 1st. But that's okay. Just the fact that the scale fluctuates so much proves that it's not a great measure of progress. Which I've always known. But I still can't help but step on it (far too often) and hope for good news.

But I digress...

Pearson has lost 13 pounds. And he didn't measure himself at all, so I don't know how he's doing in inches. But I must say he's looking smokin' hot! LOL Seriously though, I can tell a big difference when I look at him and when I hug him. He carries all of his weight in his gut so when he looses it, it's easy to tell. His shirts fit better now and he has to pull his belt a lot tighter than he used to. And if he doesn't wear a belt, his jeans fall right off! I want him to try a smaller waste size but he hasn't been able to yet.

Speaking of clothes, I can wear two pairs of skinny jeans that I own that I could not fit into back in February. Not only that, but they're actually comfortable! Oh and my belt is a couple notches tighter now too.

On top of all of this, we both feel so much better! Pearson talks about how he can bend over and tie his shoes now without pain and discomfort. I feel more comfortable in my clothes both physically and mentally, which is a huge victory for me!

Other Positive Changes

We are eating all of our groceries before they go bad! This hasn't happened in... Well maybe ever. Vegetables have always gone bad in our home before we eat them all. And most recently, pretty much all of our groceries were going bad before we could eat them.

This is probably a whole post for another time, but the last year (or really longer than that) that we were in Ohio, we at at home maybe once a week. Maybe. And we would go grocery shopping and buy some good food with good intentions, but when it came time to cook said food, we would decide to go through a drive through instead. There are a lot of factors that I suspect went into forming this bad habit but I won't get into all that now.

The point is, we're eating all our groceries including the produce now and that makes me and my finisher personality incredibly happy!

And this brings me to my next point... We stayed within our budget in March! And that's counting the fact that we paid about $800 in taxed (we always owe, but that's another story), and we bought 4 new tires for our car without planning to.

Going along with the above, we had formed some terrible spending habits toward the end of our time in Ohio. Eating out was just one of the problems. Though it was absolutely the biggest spending problem. So now that we're on this "strict" diet (more on that later), we aren't spending money on restaurants. But on top of that, the discipline we've had in our diet has easily spilled over into other aspects of life. And it's awesome!

Another perk is... Pearson cooks! It's amazing! haha And he's a better cook than me! We've sort of unintentionally split up the tasks by him doing all stove top cooking and me doing all baking and anything else. And we both do our own lunches. I do most of the cleaning now which is fine by me since I'm home during the day.

In the past we haven't had any kind of "rules" for splitting up household tasks like this. At least not that we stuck to. I'm seeing a trend here of things we did very very poorly in the past. The last couple years of grad school really did a number on us.

And lastly, I've been able to somewhat narrow down what's been causing my stomach issues. I haven't gotten it all figured out completely and I still want to get some intolerance tests done (once we have more money in our HSA), but I am getting a better idea of what makes my body feel good and what doesn't. And I think this can be chalked up to the fact that I'm paying attention to what I eat and since I'm eating at home and focusing on a specific diet, I know exactly what goes into my body with every bite!

Mistakes We've Made

Mistake number one: Eating a ton of packaged cheese. Actually, while I type this, I'm eating string cheese, I kid you not. Anyway, when we first started keto we thought "all proteins and fats, that will be easy!" And it is for the most part. But we fell into the trap of thinking all proteins and fats are good and any amount of proteins and fats are good. Wrong.

Now string cheese or Babybel or any other packaged cheese is okay in moderation. They make a good little quick snack, for sure. And if you're wanting to stay in ketosis, they're certainly better than chips or crackers or anything else with a lot of carbs. But they're not okay to just snack on non-stop. We would be watching TV in the evenings and by the time we went to bed we had each eaten at least 6 packages of string cheese. Whoops.

Instead we should be eating healthy fats. Like avocado, oils, fish, and nuts. Which brings me to my next mistake...

Mistake number two: Buying and eating the worst kind of nuts. So I have always loved cashews. They have always been my favorite nuts. Always. So when I needed some kind of easy snack (that wasn't cheese) to eat on keto, I got cashews. And yes I knew that they had about 8 grams of carbs, but I didn't really think there was much other choice.

It turns out, cashews are probably the worst of all the possible nuts we could eat. They have the highest number of carbs. Who knew? I just thought all nuts had about the same number of carbs and that I would just have to limit myself really well (which I also failed at).

Mistake number three: Too much protein. There were a couple times over the last month where I brought home a rotisserie chicken from Costco and we ate the whole thing for dinner. And nothing else. That is a lot of protein for two people for one meal. On keto you're supposed to eat as much fat as possible, then supplement that with protein, and eat as few carbs as possible. So while a meal of nothing but protein sounds good in theory, it's really not that great.

Mistake number four: Not eating enough. Yes, believe it or not, I think this is part of why I'm not loosing the fat as quickly as I would like. I'm just not very hungry on this diet. I've never been a breakfast person, meaning I've always struggled with eating breakfast. Also, a lot of people do intermittent fasting with the Keto diet. So I've been purposely skipping breakfast. But then I wouldn't really be hungry for lunch either so I might eat something small at like two in the afternoon and then have whatever we fix for dinner. But when your body is in "starvation mode" it tends to hold on to body fat for fuel. So lately I've been making myself eat a bigger lunch.

Mistake number five: Not eating fatty enough meat. One of the biggest all encompassing struggles with this diet is changing our mindset about fat being bad for you. Usually, when I would go to the store, I would shoot for getting the leanest protein they have. We always ate lots of chicken and if I got ground beef, I tried to get the lean percentage in the 90s. Not anymore! 73%/27% is best but that's actually hard to find. So we've been using 80%/20%. The most frustrating thing about all of this is they don't sell fatty meat at Costco. We buy almost all of our groceries at Costco but they have only 93%/7% ground beef. So we have to make a special trip to Walmart for our beef.

Struggles We've Had

Drinking enough water. Drinking enough water is something everybody should be doing. And I think it's something a lot of people struggle with. But on keto, you have to drink even more water than you would otherwise because your body stores glycogen in water. Then your body burns the glycogen, but doesn't replace it because you're not eating carbs. But then the water doesn't get replaced either.

Of course there are many other benefits to drinking enough water like curbing appetite, and just making your body work better. But those are important regardless of if you're on Keto. But there is a danger here. If you start to drink too much water and not replenish your electrolytes, you can get the Keto flu. I haven't had trouble with this. Probably because I never drink enough water. But...

Pearson got the Keto Flu. There were a couple days in the second week of our diet that Pearson felt light headed and sick. He was drinking A LOT of water and even though we were taking electrolyte supplements and salting everything, he still felt bad. So he started to be more diligent about getting all the electrolytes he needed. He got some potassium salt as well as potassium supplements and started eating more avocado and spinach and hasn't had trouble with it again since.

HVMN has a great guide to Keto Flu here!

Eating out or with friends. As I mentioned earlier, we've actually done a good job of not eating out very much. However, we have gotten plugged into a church and a young adults group and they do a lot of activities together. In fact, there are two weekly bible studies we attend that include dinner. It's hard to eat at a potluck and avoid carbs. And it's hard to tell your friends you're on a special diet and ate before you came for fear of judgement and questions. It's just hard. But we're giving ourselves grace for these times. And we're trying to find balance in our "cheat meals."

Snacking. I have such a problem with mindlessly snacking in the evenings. Especially when I'm not really even hungry. This may seem to contradict the point I made about not eating enough, but the problem is, I don't eat enough good stuff during the day and then I snack on the easy, packaged foods right before bed. I also have had a hard time finding good snacks. I have a hard time with most vegetables. They upset my stomach really bad. So I'm left to nuts and cheese (which I always eat too much of). I still haven't quite figured this out.

Next Steps

Moving forward the biggest thing we're going to do is keep going. We will keep learning about best practices and keep at it. While aspects of this diet are hard, as far as diets go, it's not that difficult. I mean you get to eat cheese and bacon! And being on it together has helped so much. In the past when I've tried to eat healthy, I always failed because Pearson wasn't on the same page. We didn't help each other out!

We're also going to continue to try new recipes. As with any diet, we've gotten tired of our go to recipes. So I need to find some more that we like that aren't too difficult to make. I will write another post with some of our favorite recipes so far.

And lastly, we're adding exercise. Neither of us really exercised in the first month because we wanted to let our bodies adjust before doing too much. But this week we both started doing more. Pearson has been using the incredible workout facility at Intel when he gets off and I've used the elliptical and stationary bike at our apartment complex's workout room as well as some things at home. I'll also write another post about the workouts I've been doing.

So there you have it. That's what our experience has been so far with keto. To be honest, I didn't really mean to write this much but that's okay. Be looking for some more keto posts in the future! Overall I'm feeling pretty good about it if for no other reason than the fact that it's made us more disciplined and I am actually keeping track of everything I'm putting in my body!

Have you ever done the Keto diet? What was your experience? Do you recommend it?
Thanks for reading!

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