Keto. Is it worth the hype?
I made a lifestyle change when I returned to New York from my holiday break in California. I decided to try out a Keto Diet. I wouldn't necessarily call it a diet, as I am not planning for this to be temporary. I am obviously no expert on the Keto Diet but I am doing everything I can to educate myself along the way. Basically, Keto is a high-fat and low-carb diet. Also, sugar is a no-no. The hardest part about starting? Getting my body to go into Ketosis, which is state that your body needs to go in so that it uses fat to fuel your body.
I will say that since I started Keto, I have noticed how unhealthy my eating habits used to be. I snacked a lot throughout my day and since I work at a desk most days, it was easy to lose track of what I was snacking on and how much. I did not eat the most nutritious snacks either. I have been recovering from various injuries and this made it hard to exercise regularly to burn off the extra calories I was eating. Going from dancing nearly everyday of the week to now barely finding the time to get in a quick workout took a toll on my body. I did not feel good and I had gained 15 lbs since moving to New York.
I had been eating Keto on and off my first month, as I did not want to just throw away all the food I couldn't eat anymore. This lifestyle change allowed me to look at nutrition labels in a different light and actually pay attention to what I was putting into my body. This meant I was in and out of Ketosis.
All that being said, I have not been following strict guidelines. I had been eating mostly the same foods I already normally ate but I had to exclude food that had large amounts of carbs (rice, pasta, bread, etc). I did some research and discovered some alternatives on the internet and since I am a visual learner, YouTube has been a great help.
I will say that I craved sweet foods a lot during my first few days and I found it hard to eat enough fats. Oh and I definitely got the "Keto Flu." I felt nauseous and had headaches here and there but all of that quickly went away when I found my balance.
So what exactly has happened to my body since then? I have lost exactly 10 lbs. I don't feel that I look different and I totally forgot to take "before" photos. I measured myself last weekend and found that I lost an inch on my bust, an inch and a half on my waist, and an inch on my hips. This was a huge deal for me because my waist and hips have been the same measurements for years! How do I know this? I've been fitted and measured for clothes and costumes for as long as I can remember. To see a change in this convinced me that something about this lifestyle change was working.
I also do intermittent fasting (IF) and have been doing it since I was in undergrad. I start eating at 12 pm and stop eating at 8 pm. This would include not drinking things that could break my fast. I did not do it continuously though, as my last two years in undergrad had physically demanding dance courses and I needed some fuel before class. Today, I still do not do IF continuously, as life happens but I try my best to stick to it when I can. I personally make exceptions for special occasions or family gatherings. Doing IF and Keto at the same time has been easy for me but I feel like this was only the case because I've done IF before. I have heard that some people do not do IF at all while doing Keto but some also find it easier to do IF after doing Keto for a while.
IF has helped me be more mindful when eating and helped control my poor snacking habit. I feel like I should mention that I still get my daily calorie intake in. Sometimes when I tell people about my eating times, they think it's unhealthy but I am still eating what I need for the day and this is personally what works for me.
I look forward to seeing what this new month brings and I look forward to writing more about my Keto journey!