If you follow me on Facebook, Insta or Twitter you may have noticed that lately I’ve been banging on about dieting again, but this time it’s different. You see, I’ve found a way of eating and exercising that I’m truly in love with and I’ve managed to stick to this with more discipline than anything I’ve ever done…and it’s showing results, too!
The first part of my new lifestyle is my eating plan, keto, or a ketogenic diet. The principle is that by restricting carbs and eating a high fat, high protein diet you force your body to access glycogen which is stored as fat, which in turn gives you weight loss and retrains your body about what to burn and what to store. It’s great for type II diabetics and is also what Dr. Michael Mosley is promoting through his “Eight Week Blood Sugar Diet” book (I HIGHLY recommend this as a starting point if you want to learn about keto eating). At the moment, I eat under 20g of carbs a day (just for perspective, one baked potato contains roughly SIXTY grams of carbs, which would be three days worth for me!) and aim for around 100g of protein and 100-120g of fat. Once you realise that fat doesn’t make you fat, it revolutionises what you can eat!
Limiting carbs means that I have to be a lot more creative about cooking (and also means that bacon and eggs feature heavily in my life right now!) but it’s actually been a lot easier than I thought. For instance, I’ll occasionally cook a roast for the family, except I don’t have potatoes or Yorkshires, however a big plate of roasted meat and veg is still a delicious meal and feels like SO much less of a compromise than “diet food”.
Many keto-devotees don’t calorie count if they’re eating it as a lifestyle rather than weight-loss aid, but I’m currently limiting myself to 1300 calories a day because I had a total of 5 stone to shift. However, most people advocate working out what your TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure) is so that you can work out exactly how many calories you need to eat just to exist.
The next part of my lifestyle change is exercise. Before now, exercise has been a dirty, dirty word to me. I’m naturally incredibly lazy, so moving around until my heart pounds has never appealed to me, but I’ve found something I really enjoy and seem to be pretty good at – weight lifting. I’ve always been disproportionately strong for a 5ft 4in woman so turning that into something I can use to improve myself has been a real joy. I’m using the StrongLifts app which gives you a workout-by-workout breakdown of what lifts to do and what weights you should be moving, and I just love it. I’m getting almost as much satisfaction from seeing how much I can lift than I am from seeing how much weight I’m losing. It’s actually an incredible way to burn fat, but before you ask, no, I won’t end up looking like a bodybuilder – it takes RIDICULOUS levels of exercise and protein intake for that kind of physique!
Which brings me onto the money shot of any post about dieting – my weight! When I started in January, I weighed 14st 7lb – not the heaviest I’ve ever been but a full 5 stone heavier than I’d like to be and enough of a shock to make me get my arse into gear. I started in earnest with diet and exercise and after sticking religiously to it (and I mean genunely religiously, I’ve not had a SINGLE cheat meal in this time) I’ve already shifted 15lb, taking me down to 13st 6lb.
I still have a long way to go, but when I think about the fact that I’ve already lost over 20% of what I need to, it really bolsters my enthusiasm. Keto is a lifestyle that I can see myself sticking to for years to come, even when I’m trying to maintain weight rather than lose it and I’m really hopeful that I can reverse my diabetes too. I’ve had a lot of help from Husband, my friend Katy and a couple of Facebook groups I’m in, and I’m still having to think about basically every single meal but I’m hoping in time it will all become second nature (I already feel like I have an encylopaedic knowledge of the carb content of every item in Waitrose!!).
A lovely knock-on effect is that it’s given me so much more energy (I know it’s a massive cliche, but it’s true!) and lifting weights has improved my cardiovascular fitness on almost a stealth level. I decided I needed to get moving more as I’m very sedentary on a daily basis so I re-started the couch-to-5K app that I’ve neglected for about 3 years and I didn’t, to my MASSIVE surprise, die during my first run! Husband has kindly treated me to a pair of proper trail running shoes because pavements don’t really exist where we live, as well as some proper socks, and I’m already feeling enthusiastic about running more. Also, I’m really hoping to join a netball team again once as that’s something I used to love doing.
I feel like I don’t even know myself any more, but that’s such a good thing! I used to dream about the cheat meals I could have when I got to my desired weight but now I just keep thinking about how much weight I’ll be able to lift or the nice clothes I’ll be able to finally fit into.
As a side note, I thought I’d try to keep diet and keto recipe posts to a minumum on here because it might get boring, so I’ve started a dedicated keto lifestyle blog, which you can find at The Keto Life. It’s very sparse at the moment, but I’ll be doing more recipe posts and updates as an when they happen.
Thanks for reading and if you have any questions or want to get started with keto, leave me a comment or hit me up on social media.
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