When we started going keto we heard lots of people say that they were able to stick on it permanently (or at least much longer than other diets) but even I was a bit hesitant. I knew it could either be a phase or a lifestyle change. Thankfully, because both Husbeast and I have been doing it and we made a lot of changes, it’s become more like a lifestyle change. It’s now been over two and a half months since we started keto. That’s longer than I’ve done any diet before. So how has it been going?
Ease of use: Once we got the, “So what do you eat on keto?” question settled, it was pretty smooth sailing. We restructured our shopping, cooking, and eating habits. We haven’t added too many new foods, but we have eliminated a lot. The kids are still doing carbs, but a lot more limited than they used to. We also added more veggies and proteins.
Progress: after the initial weight loss, we both started stalling. So we started tracking with the My Fitness Pal program. I had dreaded tracking but it wound up being so much easier than I thought it would. With the help from other keto dieters, we found a way to alter the macros to make them keto friendly. I even found a calorie recipe analyzer online that I could use to figure dinner recipe nutritional information. So with tracking, both of us have continued to see progress. I am currently down 16 pounds, a pants size, a shirt size, and a few inches in some dimensions.
Well-being: when started out we heard people talking about the diet giving them less hunger and more even energy levels, but being hypothyroid I wasn’t sure it would work that way for me. The first month there were lots of cravings, but they actually diminished significantly after the first month. Now I am only really bothered by carb cravings when the objects of my desires are in front of my face! (Bakery section of the grocery store: I miss you!) To our delight, both of us are experiencing reduced hunger levels and much better energy levels. I started getting dizzy spells a couple years ago, even leading to me fainting in public last spring. The cause was never determined, I even tried a few odd drugs to help with it, and we never figured out the cause. But after I’d been keto for a month it struck me: I hadn’t felt dizzy or light headed in weeks! So I think switching my metabolism to fat-burning instead of carb-burning helped even out my energy and made my body happier. Husbeast used to need a nap after work nearly daily, and the last month he was able to nearly stop altogether. Even my PMS symptoms have been reduced.
Exercise: I’ve been doing high-intensity interval training on my elliptical and am enjoying getting in better physical shape. We hope to add in weight training as well with our resistance bands, but in the meantime twenty minutes on the elliptical has helped with everything.
Nutrient fine-tuning: Due to interactions with medications, Husbeast has had awful leg cramps at night, so he’s been trying to add extra nutrients (Sodium, magnesium chelate, potassium, and B12) to stop those. That’s been the major downfall of the diet for him, but he’s still hopeful he can figure out what his perfect balance is so that he can get a sound night’s sleep.
Sticking to the diet: We both experienced getting kicked out of ketosis when we had a cheat day on Christmas break, re-experiencing keto flu going back into ketosis, and that’s been good motivation to stay on track. My Fitness Pal tracking helps give motivation as well. We still plan on having cheat days every so often, maybe once or twice a month.
Keto faux-carb meals: when I miss something it’s usually not too hard to find a keto recipe that delivers the same ‘feel’ with plenty of taste, I just have to have the motivation to cook it. But here’s been some new favorites:
Zesty Cheddar Bisquits (at the time of this posting the website is down. But I will repost the recipe later if it’s still down because these are GET IN MY BELLY delicious.)
Low Carb Raspberry Cheesecake: This is the best cheesecake I’ve ever had.
Keto Pizza: I’ve done this a few times, and last time subbed some of the flax seed with almond flour to experiment, and liked it better. We weren’t crazy about the broccoli one, but good old mozzarella and pepperoni is sublime!
Keto Pancakes: my new favorite way to eat eggs!
Fried Cheese: No recipe link here because all you do is get a slice of cheddar and literally fry it in a frying pan, flipping it when it gets stiff. Unless you hate cheese, you will love it.