28 June Keto Curious – I Quit

It’s official. I’ve called an end to my keto experience.

Why? Stick around to find out.

First, as mentioned previously there is continuous forethought and effort involved. Planning meals, menus and shopping. That meant tracking all the elements of the diet. Ensuring enough of the right fats and proteins. And in a household where no one else is keto minded or supportive, it’s an uphill climb.

Second, I heard complaints of mood swinging. I would have my cheat days and my keto numbers would be reduced. Getting my numbers back in line seemed, from other peoples observations, to result in being grumpy and moody.

Third, I hit a plateau at 7 to 8 pounds maximum loss. 5 in the early stages and very few beyond that. It was a lot of continual effort with little additional benefit. I felt it was unsustainable. I resolved myself to resigning from keto.

My assessment of Keto. It does have value. BUT you’re much more likely to be successful with a supportive household environment where it can be a permanent adoption and you can focus your efforts on the details and nuances to persevere and overcome hurdles.

14 May Keto Curious Progress

I started my journey on May 7th. I did it cold turkey and with calorie reduction. I decided the first few days I would run at deficit of 500 calories. I based my daily caloric budget on my Fitbit, which adds calories with activity.

At the same time, I re-introduced magnesium supplements into my regimen. According to Tom Delauer, taken before bed, it could help with sleep among many other things. Here’s a link to the one I first heard about Magnesium. I saw an amazing improvement in my Fitbit measured sleep score.

I also decided that the first week of keto, I would take it easy on workouts. Last thing I needed was to get faint or suffer in the middle of one of my routines away from the house.

My beginning was a bit awkward in the bathroom. I had the runs for periodically through the second day. Not painful, but I was definitely losing fluids. From what I understand this is normal. My gut felt a little off, but not painful. Then I was a bit constipated for a day or two. And now I’m normalized.

The first few days after the initial 48 hours, I was mindful of my gut. My gut was still a bit off but not painful and no discomfort. Just different.

I ate well and really began to understand that being satiated on keto was a real thing. I didn’t always have a breakfast right away in the morning because I would still feel full from the night before. If I was late for a meal, I never got that ravenous discomfort or headache like I would with processed carbs.

I also spent part of this time on my own spreadsheet and sorting out how I was going to track what I was eating. I wanted it to be simple with what I had on hand so I didn’t have to spend a lot of money. I decided on two sets of measurements. Those I would perform frequently [as much as daily] and those I would perform less frequently [like weekly]. Frequent was weight and BIA (bio-impedance analysis) from my current floor scale. Less frequent measurements include: Height, weight, BIA, neck, belly button, waistline and bicep. I’ll go more into my logic on why these some other time. Ultimately the logic was collect enough varied metrics so that if I didn’t see progress in one area, I might with another.

I normally started my day with scrambled eggs that included cooked (wilted) spinach, chopped peppers, occasionally a few cherry tomatoes and maybe some black beans.

For lunches, I mixed it up with various salads using canned tuna or leftover beef or chunks of chicken breast. I made sure the sauces were keto friendly. My two favorites: Italian dressing – made from a packet using virgin olive oil and red wine vinaigrette. Store bought spicey buffalo sauce.

I also busied myself reviewing keto recipes. It adds to the variety of what you have available. There are tons out there on the web and on Youtube. And of course with substitution of some ingredients there aren’t many recipes that can’t be created in a keto friendly fashion. Exact replicas, no, but reasonable enough to satisfy most cravings.

As for weigh ins, I do them first thing in the mornings. Same is true for my measurements as best as I can achieve. I know the the BIA (bio-impedance from my scale isn’t to be relied on.

Of course, the wife is appreciating the fact that I am cooking far more often since I want more control over my diet. Getting to the 14th wasn’t that hard.

Keto Curious prelude

Let’s jump right in. Why am I keto curious? I’m newly retired and I have a spare tire of at least twenty pounds. I can no longer run or jog without severe knee pain which makes big calorie burn sessions more challenging without large investments of time.

The extra size and weight make me uncomfortable. Compared with my age group, it’s not so bad. But my internal need say it’s too much. I’ve been carrying this extra weight since 2011 of course with periodic fluctuations. For a period of time after quitting alcohol and all those extra calories, I lost weight, but progressively I’ve inched back up.

I took a few baby steps in preparation. Trying to remove junk from my diet. Like using Stevia sweeteners for my morning coffee. Or curbing my pizza intake to half a pizza, rather than a whole pizza. But, without removing things altogether, I was still consuming breads, cakes, and sweets along with suffering from severe cravings for them.

I wasn’t successful at dropping the terrible twenty pounds. In fact, for nearly a year, I was stuck at a fixed weight that I could never get to swing more than a few pounds and can easily be attributed to water weight.

In the meantime, I did some reading and looking around. Keto style diets seemed to be the oldest and most validated actual diet programs out there. Apparently the principle of ketogenic dieting has been around since 1921 and been utilized to great success for diabetics and athletes.

There are other programs out there with a successful track record. But this one seemed to personally be the best fit for me.

My original source information came from Tim Ferriss “4 Hour Work Week” and “4 Hour Body”. (By the way, NONE of my links in this article are affiliated with me in any way. I receive no compensation directly or indirectly). His principles are simple and ultimately is a variation on the practice of a ketogenic diet that he terms the slow carb diet. Satieting carb cravings with the use of allowable carbs.

Next was a few small keto magazines from the grocery store checkout. Which were far more about recipes rather than day to day principles and practice.

Ultimately, my best source came from YouTube. His name is Tom Delauer. I like his channel because it is filled with years of videos beyond what any book covers and clearly he knows more than the superficial common information. And if you see him, you can tell he knows his stuff. He is bulk, buff and can talk circles around nutritional and diet subjects. Some of his explanations can go very deep in the tech talk.

Here it is early May. Wish me luck.

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