Keto: Round 2

I tried Keto for a week and lost 15 pounds. Yes, that was in just 7 days.

If you didn’t read that post yet, click here. If you did, you’ll have seen that I made a few mistakes. My main goal is simply to find a healthy diet, and for me I believe this means cutting out sugar. While I would like to lose some weight, I would like to do so in a healthy, maintainable way. So I’m going to try a low carb diet again, but I’m going to make some changes from the first time.

  1. First, I’m not going to limit myself to 20 grams of carbs or less.
  2. I will not eat low carbs on days I have hard workouts.
  3. I will plan ahead this time. At least I’ll try.

To get into my first change, I understand the “research” shows you should be under 20 grams of carbs to be in a state of ketosis, which is the goal of the keto diet. While I feel this is attainable for a week, I do not feel this is sustainable long term. I also struggled to get the amount of vegetables into my diet with this restriction and I believe the nutrients found in vegetables are essential and shouldn’t be ignored or even replaced with a multivitamin unless absolutely necessary. (Seriously, the best source of nutrients is the food itself, not some pill or gummy.) I’m going to raise the limit to 35 grams of carbs. This is still low-moderate carbs, but will allow more vegetables in my diet and feels more sustainable.

While I am looking for a diet that is sustainable long term, I struggle with this as an ex-trying-to-be-current athlete. What I mean is I was always an athlete as a student and could eat anything I wanted and stay relatively thin and now I’m out of school and still workout hard but not as often so I try to call myself an athlete but I can’t eat what I want without getting obese but still need to fuel my hard workouts. Sorry, I speak in run on sentences so I might as well write in them.

I tried a vegan diet for several months, but I found that after long intense workouts I didn’t feel I was recovering properly. But I recently discovered that a keto diet will not fuel a long, intense workout at all. I’ve decided to try carb cycling, which is where you cycle between eating low carbs and higher carbs depending on the day, week, etc. On days when I have intense workouts scheduled I will be sure to eat plenty of carbs to fuel the workout. On days when I have a more relaxed exercise routine or none at all, I will stick to keto.

On those days that I follow a low carb diet, I will plan ahead. There’s nothing worse then telling yourself you can’t eat more than x amount of carbs and then every single item in your pantry has more than that amount in a single serving. I think buying plenty of chicken, steak, and turkey, and then freezing it so it is always on hand, and also canned tuna (my favorite for a filling low calorie meal). While cheese is an easy keto snack (most types have no carbs) the amount I was eating it in was definitely not good for me. (Semi tangent here but studies show sugar and saturated fat are equally bad so lets be careful on the keto diet to focus on lean meats and unsaturated fats.) I will have to think up some  equally satiating snacks that have less carbs and healthier fats.

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