First off, Keto was not the original plan. In fact, going on Keto for 30 days was completely spontaneous, as most things in my life are. But, miraculously, I lost over 10 pounds in about a month, just by cutting out bread and sugar and eating cheese instead. In this post, I’ll share why I went on Keto, what happened when I went on Keto, the pros, as well as the cons, and my overall thoughts. I will also share what I ate on an average day, as well as link some yummy recipe for those of y’all interested in this diet!
Why I went on Keto
If you didn’t know, I’ve been on a weight-loss journey for about 8 months now! For about 3 months, however, I plateaued, fluctuating between 178-182. My goal since the beginning has been 160, which is what I weighed at the start of college. For a while, I got used to this plateau and decided that maybe, I was just supposed to stay at this weight.
It wasn’t until one day, when I was finishing up my Camp Gladiator workout and feeling completely dead that I thought to myself, “If I’m doing this much work during exercise, I deserve to reach my goal weight.” I shortly began calorie counting, eating less bread, and continued exercising at least four days a week. After about a week of this, I found that I had not lost a single pound.
That’s when it hit me: I was maintaining. My body was comfortable, and therefore it remained stubborn. It wouldn’t let go of the extra weight without a fight.
One random day, I thought of Keto. My parents both went on Keto, and my roommate had gone on Keto once before, so I knew of it briefly. I did some intense research for two straight days, writing down everything I’d need to know before starting Keto such as the warnings, the science, the exact macros and so forth. I went to Sprouts, stocked up on food, and began the very next day.
I was ready to see changes, to finally drop those 20 stubborn pounds. Whether the diet worked or not, at least I’d give it a try.
What is Keto?
Keto is high fat, low carb, and sort-of-low protein.
Keto macros are:
Basically, you can’t go over approximately 50g of carbs each day (which includes sugar, because sugar is a carb).
Carbohydrates are the body’s energy source, so when you take away the carbohydrates, your body burns the fat you eat plus the fat you have stored. Basically, once you go into ketosis, your body is constantly burning fat to use as energy. But, in order to stay awake, you have to eat really, really high amounts of healthy fat.
Healthy fats include:
Cheese (okay it’s not that healthy but I love cheese so it’s fine)
So, while you can’t have bread, milk (high in sugar), candy, or even apples (high in carbs), you can have all of the cheesy eggs and bacon and salads you desire!
Keto is not a long-term diet, and doctors recommend staying on it for up to 6 months, although some people make it to a year and end up just fine. It is solely a quick way to lose weight and kick your metabolism into shape.
The cons of Keto
1) Keto flu
Yes, you heard that right. There is such a thing as a Keto flu. Basically, your body goes into a little bit of a shock when suddenly, your carb intake has completely disappeared. Your body spends one day to one week sorting this out and learning how to use fat as energy. Basically, it’s a combination of sugar withdrawal and your body’s response to a lack of energy.
The symptoms include lightheadedness, nausea, thirst (Drink tons of electrolytes!), irritation, etc. For more on keto flu, check out this post by Wholesum Yum here.
2) Lots of cooking and meal planning
There is a lot of cooking involved in Keto. You can’t just grab a quick bite, unless it’s a cheese stick. I do a lot of meal prepping and planning on Keto. And while I spend a lot on groceries, I do spend much less eating out!
3) Less endurance/energy
With an absence in carbs, you’re not getting as much energy as you’re used to, so you may feel more tired than usual. Also, during workouts, you may not have as much endurance or stamina and may tire easily, which happened to me during the first two weeks. Just remind yourself of this when you feel like giving up on a workout–be gentle with yourself, and move at your own pace.
4) Difficult for social gatherings
Before any social gathering, which right now is just playing Dungeons and Dragons, I have to really prepare. I usually make some Keto cookies in preparation, and chow down some leftover chicken before I arrive. Also, be aware of the temptations! They’re everywhere.
The pros of Keto
1) Incredibly fast weight loss
The first week, I was already losing weight. In total, I lost 10 (now 11) pounds during one month of Keto, which is insane to me. While it’s mostly water weight, it still dropped insanely fast. Keto is a great way to boost weight loss and dive in head-strong.
2) An excuse to eat whole and nutritious food
I don’t remember a time when I ate more salads in my life, and enjoyed eating them. As I’m writing this, I just finished up a delicious Antipasto salad with Salami (10g of carbs), which tastes just like an Italian sub, but on a salad!
While salads don’t sound as fun, I’ve come to really enjoy them at lunch! They fill me up and don’t make me heavy like sandwiches do. I eat tons of veggies each day, and a lot of eggs and whole foods. Because of this, my skin has cleared and my bloat has gone down. It’s wonderful.
3) You never (or at least rarely) feel deprived
Since this diet is high fat, you’re allowed to eat cheese, beef jerky, pork rinds, smoked salmon, and all sorts of Keto deserts! I’ve never felt deprived (unless at the grocery store walking through the bread section). But, then again, did you know Keto bread exists? Yes, it does!
There are loads of yummy recipes (which I’ll link below) that will help you push through the cravings.
4) Reduced blood sugar and other health benefits
Keto, and consuming low sugar in general, offers so many health benefits, such as reduced blood sugar, an increase in good cholesterol, and a strengthened immune system.
5) Decreased appetite
This doesn’t happen to everyone, but personally, I noticed a huge decrease in my appetite while on keto. I’ll eat chicken and veggies for dinner and only finish half of my plate before feeling full. And not in a bloated, stomach-cramping kind of full, but a filled and happy full. My meals have been cut in half. But, I still eat the same amount of calories, which is very important.
What I ate (on average) in a day
Coffee with a splash of heavy cream
Scrambled eggs with cheese and spinach cooked in olive oil with a side of avocado or sausage
Salad with baby spinach, feta cheese, almonds, raspberries, and lite red wine vinaigrette.
Coconut chia seed pudding and a cheese stick or Slim Jim
(To make coconut chia seed pudding: Pour one cup of coconut milk into a mason jar, then add two tablespoons, or more if desired, or chia seeds and stir. Add monk fruit sweetener or stevia. Then, store in the fridge overnight. It’s so good!)
Parmesan-crusted tilapia with stir-fried bell peppers
I also would drive up to In & Out much too often and order a Double-Double, Animal Style, lettuce-wrapped. SO GOOD!
I absolutely love Keto. I love cooking and planning meals, so taking time out of each day to craft something for myself was never an issue. I was able to eat cheese, meats, even Keto bread, which tasted divine. I found tons of yummy recipes that my roommates who weren’t on Keto ate and enjoyed. Also, I lost 10 pounds in a month, which is absolutely crazy.
I counted my macros and calories in the beginning, but then just got too busy. I have no idea how much fat or carbohydrates I ate each day, but I still had no problem losing weight by just avoiding bread and sugar and snacking on cheese sticks. While everyone is different, don’t feel too stressed about perfectly counting your macros, because I definitely didn’t!
If you’re interested in beginning Keto, I’d definitely recommend giving it a try for 30 days, or even a week if you’d like. I’d only suggest doing tons of research, shopping and meal-planning the week before, and preparing for the Keto flu by stocking up on electrolyte water.
My experience with Keto flu was pretty bad, but not terrible. I drank a ton of water and still felt slightly dehydrated for about three days. One night, I got bad nausea and stomach cramps and had to go to sleep early, but awoke feeling fine. I also experienced muscle spasms. But, after these symptoms went away, I was back to feeling great!
After some thinking, I’m not sure that I will continue Keto. After having been accidentally knocked out of ketosis a few times this week, and with an upcoming trip with my boyfriend happening soon (We’re going camping!), I’m easing off it for now. In fact, I may try Intermediate Fasting for 30 days, then compare the two diets! Be sure to follow me on Instagram to stay up to date with my progress and what I end up doing!
Also, one last thing that I was hesitant about including…
In the beginning, I didn’t receive the feedback and support I originally hoped for. For a few days, I contemplated Keto thoroughly and deeply considered stopping after three people came to me and told me to stop. I felt alone in my health journey for a brief moment, and a little embarrassed, too.
In this day and age, diets are seen as toxic, and in a lot of ways, they can be. This is why I didn’t start one, or even dramatically change my eating habits at all until 7 months into my weight loss journey. At first, I wasn’t even going to tell anyone I started a diet in fear that they’d judge me, but I suppose I just got too excited and couldn’t hold it in anymore. I was trying something new, and wanted the world to know!
In turn, I was told to love myself more, to stop being so hard on myself, to eat whatever foods I wanted because I deserve all the food I want. I was told, “I can’t imagine eating all that fat” and “I would never deprive myself of bread”. And while these people were all coming from places of love, I simply told each and every one of them, “I’m going to do this for 30 days, just 30, because this is my journey, and I want to try it.”
I wanted to include this to remind you that it’s okay to want to lose weight in a healthy way. You can lose weight and still love yourself all the same. But of course, maybe that’s just my opinion.
Best of luck to you if you decide to pursue this diet. If you don’t receive the feedback you wanted from the people in your life, just push through, just for 30 days. But if not, no worries at all. You are beautiful, no matter the size.
My favorite Keto recipes!
But honestly, just look up literally any recipe with the word “keto” and you’ll find it, I assure you.
I hope you enjoyed this beast of a post, and feel inspired to start keto yourself! Also, let me know if there’s anything else keto-related you’d love for me to discuss on here!
Probably dreaming of bread for the next month,