Monthly Archives: September 2015

Here’s the Skinny…

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Hey get it…Skinny? HA!

Okay, I’ve had a lot of friends and coworkers ¬†asking what I’m doing. ¬†So I figured I’d do a blog post, and put it all in one place for ya’ll. I’m in NO WAY an expert on this, and I’m still learning myself…but here’s what I’ve been doing, and I’ve had good results so far.

Results- 20ish lbs in under 2 months. Down 2 sizes. Off all diabetic medication, blood pressure medication removed and lowered (was on a mix with hctz, the hctz has been removed). Thicker hair, nicer skin, more energy. When you get sick, you don’t get as sick as usual.

Diet Name- Keto, Ketogenic, or Atkins, though Keto and Atkins are different.

What it means- Ketosis is when the body burns fat for energy. On this diet, our body stops using carbs for energy, and turns to our fat stores.

Basics- Remain under 20 carbs per day during the first two weeks of the diet. Cut all as much processed food as you can. Eat as much organic as you can (although my wallet can’t handle it). Eat no grain. Eat no sugar. Eat no fruit.

After the first two weeks, some people can raise their carb intake to 50. Some people can add in berries and other fruit.

Pretty much read every damn label, and google everything you eat… “How many carbs does a …….. have?”

If something has over 3 carbs per serving, I try to avoid it.

You eat fat, lots of delicious fat. I honestly don’t keep track of mine, but it’s suppose to make up a large portion of your diet. You need to stick to natural fats, like butter, bacon, avocado, olive oil, coconut oil (which honestly I can’t stand anymore).

People will talk about Net Carbs vs. Carbs. During the first two weeks “induction” I stayed under 20 grams. Now, I weigh what makes up the carbs and make a choice from there….Net Carbs are…. Carbs – Fiber – Sugar Alcohol (NOT SUGAR, Sugar alcohol, which is usually just found in sugar free products). Now, when looking at a nutrition label, under CARBS will Be FIber, Sugar, and then Sugar Alcohol if it’s in there…. If a product is made up of mostly fiber, I’ll think about eating it, because the Net carbs would be low….but if it’s made up of sugar, I avoid it. Sugar Alcohols are a grey area for me. I try and stay away from them, because they can cause you to stall…they can also cause you to poop. A lot.

So, what have I been eating?

Eggs, Bacon, Mayo, Pork Rinds, Steak, Chicken, Pork, Sausage, Cheese, Almond Milk, Coffee, Tea, Salads, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Chives, Tomato, Avocado, Heavy Cream, Sugar Free Jello, Cream Cheese, Summer Sausage, flavored waters, sour cream….I made pancakes the other night with protein powder…I eat a lot of pickles.

There are SO many recipes out there, honestly this way of eating is very easy. Yes, it’s a pain to give up sugar and wheat…but honestly you won’t miss them. If you get desperate, and you don’t have a wheat sensitivity like I do, you can order things like Carb Quick, which will let you make low carb goodies like bread, pancakes, muffins, etc.

When I first started, I had what they call Bullet Proof Coffee every morning to help keep me full…these days I’m in the phase where I just don’t want to eat anything…which sucks…so I haven’t been making it, but I digress… It’s coffee, heavy cream, 1tbs butter, and sweetener (I use equal). I use to put coconut oil in it, but I can’t stand the taste anymore of it. I would also add protein powder in the beginning, and throw it in the blender to make a frothy coffee smoothie.

A lot of this is about meal prep. Have a plan, it makes things more simple. If you don’t plan ahead, you can still eat out if you need to. Fast food is easy, just get rid of the bun, side salad, and get either water or unsweet tea then use sweetener. Like today, I went to Arby’s for lunch. I had a Ruben, got rid of the bread and put the meat cheese and sauerkraut atop my side salad.

So, what’s the catch? Because you KNOW this diet works, you’ve seen me every day (assuming you’re a friend reading this…if not, I promise someday very soon I’ll post some pics). So, it’s too good to be true, right? Only a little…there are some cons…Here they are.

It’s expensive in our area. I’m not going to lie, my bill for 2 people a week to eat has gone from about 80 to 150. My fiance decided to join me on this diet because I was pretty much just cooking it nightly, so he had a choice to join or diet otherwise. It’s a lot of meat, and a lot of veggies, and a LOT of cheese. Cheese isn’t cheap. If I were back north, I’d shop at places like Aldi’s or Save a Lot. They’re just not around here, so it’s hard. I shop sales (like Publix for bacon, they have buy one get one sales), or I go to Wal-Mart early Sunday morning when they mark the meat down.

You’re going to feel like serious shit the first two weeks doing this. Some people go through it faster. I was so sick from the diabetes when I went through induction, I didn’t really notice any difference from the “Keto Flu” to what I was going through. You will feel lethargic, and cranky, and like shit, you may get headaches too and muscle pain. Once you’re through induction, you’ll feel a million years better. I promise, it’s worth it.

You need to drink a lot of water to keep the ketones flushed…which working in a place like Express Scripts isn’t the easiest thing to do.

You do need to eat, even when you don’t want to. And you have to get your fat in. On weeks I slack and don’t (like this week for example) you may gain a little, or not lose at all. We have to eat the fat to keep our bodies from eating our muscle…so eat the damn fat to burn the fat. (Google fat bombs)

You may poop a lot. All the fat keeps your intestines nice and lubed up, so be prepared for that.

You may not poop a lot…and this SUUUUUUUUCKS. Constipation is a struggle on this diet, and I’ve had it myself (TMI, sorry trying to be real). If I don’t take my magnesium supplement daily, I’ll get back upped, and then I have to spend the night with Miralax…and that sucks ass. It takes a week to get myself back to normal again and my stomach hurts the entire time.

Leg cramps suck. You’ll get them. Some people fight them with pickle juice, others with supplements.

Odds are you’re going to have to start taking a daily vitamin if you’re not already. I take a women’s multi, magnesium, and Vitamin D (unrelated to the diet).

Your hormones are going to get fucked up, even if you’re on the pill. I had my period twice this month. and I’m on the pill! So be prepared for that. When your body burns fat, it releases stored hormones in that fat, and it’s going to happen, and there’s not much you can do about it except deal with it, and know it’ll even it’s self out in a few months…fun fact, your fertility can go up too during this diet. Don’t worry, your birth control is still working, so don’t panic.

So that’s pretty much been my life for the last two months. It really is easy, don’y be scared by having to cook, or try new things. There’s so many fantastic recipes out there, all you have to do is search for them.

Do some more research about it, you’ve got the name and the basic info now. Make a choice for yourself, and I’m happy to help. It’s not for everyone, and sadly doesn’t work FOR everyone. If you’ve any sort of health condition that’s made worse by inflammation though, this is worth a try. It’s worth a try for hormonal conditions too (Hello like most of my friends have PCOS too.). Do the research, see if it’s right for you. Talk to your MD if you feel the need to.

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Why Keto Sucks

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So, in contrast to my last blog about why the Keto way of life is amazing…I’m going to present the down side to Keto. I try and be realistic in life after all, and with all pros come cons. Some of these are funny, serious, annoying, and could be a little TMI for some people…so you’ve been warned.

The first and probably most horrific thing about the Keto way of eating is the dreaded “Keto Flu”. It’s very much real, and it very much sucks. I was so sick when I started keto, I honestly can’t tell you if I suffered from it myself, or if I was just in my “normal” state of unhealthy suck. This “flu” is the result of your body detoxing from sugar and carbs. As your body moves into the fat burning stage of Ketosis, you feel like death. For some people it’s much more serious than others, but most experts suggest keeping activity levels low during the first two weeks of induction, because you just won’t have the energy. Most everyone agrees this is the worst part of Keto, but once you’re past this stage, you feel like a light goes off inside you, and you’ve more energy than you’ve ever had.

Body Smells…oh gosh…I don’t know if it’s because my sense of smell and taste have heightened more than their already natural high levels…but oh Gods, I’ve become hyper aware of my body scents. You pee starts to stink from the ketones being burned, and you start to panic, thinking you’re turning into that smelly person in the office bathroom. Being a lady, when your pee smells, your lady parts smell too, so of course you become paranoid about that too. No one wants their junk to smell funky…I’m not sure if men really have this issue just due to the way our parts are shaped. I’ve started carrying wet wipes with me to keep daisy fresh. Your arm-pits also start to smell funky. Some people much worse than others. More than a few ladies I’ve heard from in support groups have reported having to switch to prescription strength deodorant to handle it. I’ve been fortunate on that part so far thankfully.

Your periods will get messed up. Doesn’t matter if you’re on the pill or not, it’s going to get messed up. Mine came 4 days early and lasted 2 days longer than normal, and I was miserable. It was heavier than normal on the pill, and sucked big time. As your fat is burning, it’s releasing stored hormones, thus it can give you surges, and poof, f-ed up cycles. Most women report this only lasting for a few months.

From here on out…they’re less gross…

Itchy arm pits. OMG make them stop itching.

Things you once loved taste like crap. I was just out at a Mexican place, and decided to have 1 chip with some Salsa. I ended up eating only about half the chip. It tasted like shit. I’ve had this problem with other foods I decided to have one bit of. They’re just not the same…which brings me to the next point…

You seriously mourn the foods you once loved. I miss loving pasta…I miss loving french fries, mashed potatoes, bread, bagels, donuts…etc…But the thing is, I don’t miss eating them. I just miss loving them. I know they don’t taste the same, and that it’s a waste of time for me to even try to eat them.

Shopping takes three times longer now, because you have to be super aware of what’s in your food. You’re constantly paranoid about hidden carbs or sugars in your food. You read every single label, and find yourself becoming rageful that there’s randomly sugar in things that don’t need it. I’ve found myself slamming a block of Wal-Mart brand cream cheese down and going “WHY THE FUCK IS THERE SUGAR IN THIS?!?!” Out loud…mind you it was 7am in the deep south on a Sunday, the store was empty so no one saw me, but still, what the hell? After awhile you’ve learned what you can and can’t buy, what’s safe and what’s not, but that first month sucks, and if you switch stores to search for new Keto friendly goods your shop time goes right back up.

Speaking of food…it sucks because you’re not hungry. You have to remind or force yourself to eat at times. If you don’t eat, your weight loss can stall, this has been my problem lately. I haven’t been eating what I should be, because I haven’t been hungry. So this week, I haven’t lost at all. This is a serious problem for people with bloodsugar issues. Before I got off my medications, my sugars would plummet because I hadn’t eaten, and no matter how much I would eat, the carb count would never be enough to bring my sugars back up.

Sweet things become too sweet. If you do make the choice to have a little something, like chocolate…ow. Just ow. I use to keep a couple pieces of Hershey brand chocolates on my desk from an award I’d gotten at work. I’d use it in an emergency if my blood sugar dropped. Holy shit, did that stuff end up hurting my teeth the couple times I had to use it before I sucked it up and got glucose tablets. I’ve since switched to 90% dark chocolate or higher. I actually do love milk chocolate, so I’m planning to make my own.

You start to become a little snarky about other people’s health and body. Even if you’re no where near in perfect shape yet, you become hyper aware of others. You see someone else over weight eating like crap and go “OMG! How are they eating that shit, don’t they know what it’s doing to their body?” or “OMG, that person is a metabolic time bomb!” I actually had this thought about a new co-worker when I went to clock in. I’ve had to remind myself not to lecture, or judge. I’m not thin (yet), and I feel bad having these thoughts about others, but they happen constantly.

You start to notice things in your body, and you wonder if you’re just wanting to see them, or if they’ve happened. So you wait and wait and wait for someone to say something just to known you’re not paranoid.

You stare longingly at clothing stored away in your closet, and the anticipation of fitting into that piece of clothing is crushing. On the flip side, the victory when fitting back into it is amazing, then you move on to the next shirt or pair of jeans and it starts all over again. I’ve one dress I keep trying on weekly. I can fit into it, but don’t feel comfortable in it, so I keep trying because I want so badly to wear it comfortably for the first time.

Your sense of smell and taste become heightened. Now, I’ve always had a crazy sensitive nose and tongue. I can smell people entering a room, and I can taste something, and start to break down the seasonings for you and other ingredients…welcome to my world, people. It’s both a blessing and a cruse.

This one’s super annoying…People will start to ask you “OMG, what are you doing? I need to lose weight myself and you look amazing! Whatever you’re doing is working, you have to tell me!” So you start to tell them, and get one of two responses, but they’re always the same.

  1. A look of horror- followed by: “OMG, I can’t give up carbs, that’s crazy!”
  2. A look of horror-followed by: “OMG! You’re crazy, I was told/read by/that (fill in the blank) that your diet is super unhealthy and will (fill in horrible thing here) to you!”

And seriously people….You JUST said how fabulous I look, clearly this lifestyle works.

The last one…

You’ll start joining online support groups. They’re mostly great! You can find like minded people, all doing the same plan and going for similar goals. You can swap recipes, which is seriously the best thing ever when you’re new to the plan. The down side…you start to roll your eyes at people, and become a little snarky. This far, I’ve been able to keep my mouth shut on forums and posts…but OH MY GOD….here’s an example of one post I had to stop myself from commenting on…

“I’m addicted to soda, and don’t want to change what I eat so don’t try and stop me. But what can I do to do this diet and lose weight fast?”

What can you do to succeed on this diet? Nothing, because you’ve already stated you’re changing. Quit now, move on, save yourself the trouble because this is about changing yourself and your way of life, not about a quick fix. It’s a life style change, and those who do succeed on Keto, then go back to eating crap, do regain the weight.

Other questions that annoy the crap out of me are from people who don’t bother reading intro posts. 99% of questions are answered in files on pages and forums. They break down the basics so everyone doesn’t have to keep answering the same questions over and over and over again. READ SHIT PEOPLE. I swear if someone asks what WOE means one more time…or asks the difference between Grams and Net Carbs, I might scream. JUST READ.

So there you have it…some of the reasons that this Keto plan is just the worst thing ever. People should be prepared, I mean I wasn’t warned about some of this stuff when I started the program, mostly the snarky thoughts that start to come with it…

Oh, I forgot, there’s one more drawback of Keto… You seriously can’t stop talking about Keto.