My Keto Journey

4 Weeks In

It’s been four weeks of strict Keto and my body is quickly changing for the better. I am getting used to this new way of eating and to be perfectly honest, it hasn’t been very difficult to stick to it because the food I am eating is actually super delicious. Yes it’s difficult to resist the temptation of carbs sometimes but the alternatives to carb loaded foods are actually tasty and I don’t feel like I’m missing out, so to speak.

When it comes to body transformation, the numbers speak for themselves…

Body Fat %39.839.838.7
R Thigh26.52625.5
L Thigh26.2525.525
R Calf16.516.2516.25
L Calf16.7516.2516.25
R Arm1212.2511.75
L Arm1212.2511.75

Unfortunately, I don’t have an after picture to share quite yet. I will be taking one at 6 weeks with the exact same bathing suite I wore in my before picture. I can’t wait to share the transformation.

My Keto Journey

Day 21: 3 Weeks In

Three weeks, come and gone. I have stuck to a strict Keto diet for a full 3 weeks now and I can say that I feel a huge difference in my energy level, in my eating habits and in my alertness. I’m on the ball so to speak.

I’ve been learning as I go and although I have purchased numerous Keto cookbooks, I have yet to try the delicious recipes. I have to admit that I have been winging it. Mostly because of a lack of time. Somewhat because I usually don’t have all the ingredients on hand. Renewing my pantry with Keto friendly ingredients has been a process.

I have noticed that my macros are often slightly off. This is because I have, over the years, developed a habit of consuming high protein meals. I often forget to incorporate higher amounts of fat into my meals.

I am missing bread a lot and am looking to try some Keto friendly bread recipes to satisfy the cravings. I am not yet brave enough. I am a little scared that it will leave a bad taste in my mouth (no pun intended). I love bread, if Keto bread doesn’t live up to the expectation, it may ruin it for me forever. Perhaps I will gain courage in the coming weeks.

My Keto Journey

Day 20: Family Get Together

It’s the beginning of spring and each year, as a family, we celebrate Norooz. Better known as the Persian new year. Every year, we get together at my aunt’s house for a lunch. We each bring something to eat and have a feast. And I’m not kidding when I say feast. I usually don’t bring anything because my mom cooks enough to compensate for 4 families. This time around, I had no choice. Very few people are eating Keto in my family. Other than my aunt and myself, everyone else is perfectly happy with high carb foods. Which means they are also cooking high carb foods. I wasn’t taking chances so I cooked myself, and for whoever wanted to have some, some saffron chicken thighs with asparagus.

I was happy to see that there were quite a few Keto options on the menu including kababs, grilled chicken, fish and shrimp. Yum. I was able to have a nice plate of a variety of goodies that fit into my Keto macros.

One thing I have learned so far on Keto is that you get full fast and for quite some time. It becomes difficult to “stuff your face” so to speak. Something that in my family, especially at get togethers, we excel at.

I found it easy to say no to birthday cake later in the afternoon. This is a sure sign that the reason I am doing this is stronger than the temptation of going back to old habits. As Keto becomes more lifestyle than “something I’m trying” saying no to carbs will get easier and easier. Who knows, maybe I will even get to a point where there’s no temptation or cravings for carbs at all…

My Keto Journey

Day 19: What Am I Doing Wrong?

I’m very aware that the first week to ten days, I was losing water weight. A whole 7 lbs the first week and 1 more the second week. So far nothing this week. As a matter of fact, my weight has been fluctuating up and down. Give or take a pound. So what’s wrong?

Weight fluctuations are normal and anyone will go up or down a few pounds during a single day. However, when you are starting a Keto diet and your fat burning mechanism is in swing, weight loss shouldn’t abruptly stop. It may very well be a clear indicator that something is a little off.

Consider how much water you are taking in. For myself, my water intake had decreased slightly going from approximately 48 oz to 32. When I am talking water, I am not considering liquids such as coffee or tea. These beverages are diuretics and often will dehydrate you more than they hydrate. The water I drink is just water often with collagen or amino acids mixed into it.

The next hypothesis is that the macros are off. There are two possible scenarios: consuming too many carbs and being pulled out of ketosis or consuming too many proteins that the body then turns into glucose for storage. Either way, this leaves the fat intake too low for the body to get into ketosis. In my case, I already consume quite a bit of protein, so the possibility that my protein intake be a little hight with regards to the amounts of fat I am consuming is very likely.

Today, I am increased both my fat intake as well as my water intake. I hope to see a change in the next few days. Positive change of course. I will re-evaluate in a few days and adjust accordingly.

My Keto Journey

Day 18: Thank You, But No Thank You

After 17 full days of strict Keto eating, and a body that is consistently in ketosis and in the process of Keto adapting, I was almost completely thrown out of ketosis with one sip of tea today. Bad!

A colleague of mine offered me a tea. He brought it to my desk all smiles and I knew it was Persian tea from it’s nice and rich aroma. It was so kind of him to think of making me a tea. Since it was very hot, I let it cool down and decided I would drink it after I ate my lunch.

I love Persian tea. I was really looking forward to drinking it once it had cooled down. It took me only one sip to realized that my colleague had put crystallized sugar in the tea. One of the ways Persian tea is traditionally made, with Nabaat inside. I spat it back out immediately and went to rinse my mouth from the residual sugar. No way was I taking any chance of my body reverting to processing glucose for fuel now. I’m too close to being Keto-adapted.

I admit I felt bad and a little sad to throw out such a great tea, especially since it came to me with such care. The moral of the story is, not everyone will realize you are not having any carbs. It’s your responsibility to know what you are putting in your mouth.

My Keto Journey

Day 17: Craving Something Sweet

You know how it’s nice to have a dessert after a meal. It helps change the taste left in your mouth by the food you just ate. It’s especially helpful when you have had a ton of garlic. Well in recent days, I have been missing that something sweet after dinner. It isn’t always easy to find Keto approved sweet treats. Most, you have to do it yourself. I had made a recipe of peanut butter brownie bites last week. They were good, but they had turned out a little too soft because I only had liquid stevia on hand.

As I am leaning, I am also searching for recipes that fit the Keto lifestyle but also allow me to enjoy some of the foods I love and cherish without having to give them up entirely. Like desserts and sweet treats. Pinterest is a great way to find yummy treats. I have yet to try any of them.

One thing I did find that is satisfying my urge to eat something sweet is 70% cocoa Lindor chocolates. It’s my daily indulgence. I will only have one a day and when I am having it, I enjoying it to the fullest, allowing it to slowly melt in my mouth. Chocolate is obviously one of the things I won’t give up on.

They say that if there’s a will, there’s a way. Well, I have the will, so I’m finding ways to have my sweet treats. Keto friendly sweet treats that is.

My Keto Journey

Day 16: Making My Choices for Me

As the days go on, I am realizing that Keto, much like life itself, is about making choices that bring you closer to where you want to be. I want to be healthy, vibrant, energetic, and full of life. These key points as well as many other aspects are what prompted me to dive into the Keto lifestyle. These same goals and desires are what are keeping me going even when the tortellini I am making the kids is smelling so yummy.

Essentially, my desire for my health outweighs the desire for instant gratification and giving in to the temptation of something sweet or the wonderful aroma of carb rich meals. I’m not really ready to go entirely without the things I love. I’m thinking chocolate here. So I find alternatives that work for me. Things that are low carb and still satisfy me. For instance 90% cocoa chocolate. (Believe it or not, I have had to hide my chocolate because my daughter ate the whole bar I bought last time).

Keto friendly isn’t bland, or bad tasting, or boring. As a matter of fact, it’s some of the yummiest food I’ve had. The challenge of getting creative with what I can eat has me trying all kinds of things. I believe the word “diet” has a negative connotation that leads us to think depravation, or restriction. With the Keto diet, I have found this to be furthest from the truth. On a daily basis, I get to eat tasty, colourful and flavourful foods that I am loving. As my knowledge expands, so does my menu. The best thing is that the family is now tasting and liking the “Keto Food” I am making. There is hope in reducing their carb intake…

My Keto Journey

Day 15: Weigh-In and Measurements

The first two weeks of my journey are behind me. I have followed the rules and I get to reap the benefits. This morning I got on the scale and I grabbed a measuring tape to take my measurements. I was curious about my progress and I’m sure you are too. So here it is:

  • Weight 180.8 lbs – down 8 lbs from my start weight
  • Neck 14″ – was 14″
  • Chest 41.25″ – was 41.5″
  • Bust 42.5″ – was 43″
  • Waist 36.5″ – was 38″
  • Abdomen 39.5″ – was 41″
  • Hips 45.5″ – was 46.5″
  • Right Thigh 26″ – was 26.5″
  • Left Thigh 25.5″ – was 26.25″
  • Right calf 16.25″ – was 16.5″
  • Left calf 16.25″ – was 16.75″
  • Right arm 12.25″ – was 12″
  • left arm 12.25″ – was 12.25″

I am extremely happy with these numbers. Who wouldn’t be considering the effort I am putting in is pretty minimal. I can’t wait to see the results in another two weeks.

My Keto Journey

Day 14: Two Weeks In

Tonight marks the end of 2 weeks of Keto. Strict Keto. I am finding Keto to have its goods and its beds, its pros as well as its cons. There are foods I will miss for sure. Yet as much as I will miss these foods I have yet to catch myself wishing for the end of my Keto lifestyle.

I am calling it a lifestyle on purpose here, because my intention is to make this change for the long term. Not to worry! I will not be on a strict Keto diet for ever. I will be on strict Keto for a maximum of 90 days. I will determine this as I progress through the months, through my weightless, as well as by how I am feeling physically and mentally. After this “adaptation” period, (FYI: Keto adaptation does not take a full 90 days) I will begin the process of Keto Cycling. This will allow me to incorporate up to 2 days per week where I increase my intake of healthy carbs to 80-100g per day. These days should be far enough apart that my body returns to ketosis in between. I am not quite sure how this will fit into my lifestyle yet and which days I will choose for Keto Cycling. The truth is, I don’t need to decide now. I’m not there yet…

Tomorrow: measurements, to compare with when I started.

My Keto Journey

Day 13: Remember How It Feels

Carbs are everywhere. Yummy tasty carbs. Foods and meals that I have loved and adored and that I can no longer enjoy. Yes, I know, it is my choice. I am the one choosing strict Keto. Obviously, I can’t complain about it. If I really dislike it all that much, I can go back to eating all these beautiful, tasty, carb rich foods.

Usually the temptation doesn’t last very long. Whenever I feel momentarily tempted to eat carbs, be it picking at my children’s plates of fries, finishing their pasta meals or just grabbing one of the delicious croissants that are in full view on the dining room table, I can’t help but remember how all these foods make me feel after I eat them. Sleepy, sluggish, full and bloated. All things I have not felt in almost two weeks.

So far, remembering how I feel after eating carb rich foods has been enough to deter me from the impulse to just grab something and enjoy it. I have to say that going Keto has so far required a lot of discipline on my part.

You have to remember that in my household, most of the foods consist of carbs. This isn’t going to change any time soon. Even though I am now quite carb conscious, I don’t feel Keto is the way to go for my young children. They are all strong healthy little ones bursting with energy. Let them have the carbs for now… There is no need for them to go cold turkey Keto like I chose to do. In time I will adjust the family’s eating habits to move towards a more Keto lifestyle for everyone.