5 articles Tag eating

Why I’m Back on Keto

Back in January 2017, I decided that I needed to take my health a lot more seriously, and I started dieting and exercising in an effort to lose at least 4 stone. Given the fact that I’m a type 2 diabetic, I decided after a lot of research and advice from Husband that a low-carb, or ketogenic, diet would be best for me and I started cutting down drastically on the amount of carbs I was eating. I also started a program of weight lifting and the weight started falling off of me. I noticed a change in my shape in just a few months and I was really enjoying lofting heavier weights each time I went to the gym. For more information on the ketogenic diet, see this.

However, halfway through the year, a few things happened – my birthday was in June and then midway through July I went through some pretty bad stress, and the whole thing knocked me totally off the wagon. I’m an emotional binge-eater and when my willpower reserves are low, it only takes the slightest thing to make me revert to negative behaviours. Husband tried to gently warn me when I was at the beginning of the slide, but it didn’t sink in and 18 months after starting, I’m now back to the weight I was when I started.

Why I'm Back on Keto

We had some friends over a couple of weeks ago to watch the football and they asked how I was going with the gym and diet, and I had to admit that I’d let it all go, but while I was talking to them, I realised how much I’d missed it all. Overeating actually gets really boring after a while and I’d been enjoying lifting weights while I was doing it, so I made a decision. I needed to get back to it.

This time, however, it’s a little trickier. I’ve started eating keto again and I’m definitely felling better for being on a low-carb eating plan but the gym side of it hasn’t fallen into place yet. Maureen can only really be left alone for an hour at a time, and the gym is a 20 minute drive from home, which means I’d have 20 minutes to workout, unless someone is at home to puppy-sit.

However, from next week, Burrito Baby is going to be going to a childminder for one day a week, which means that as well as being able to get some work done without an endless stream of Sam and Cat playing on Netflix int he background, I’ll also have a bit more time to exercise. Husband got my bike out of the shed recently and bought me a new chain, so this weekend we’ll be fixing it up so that I can at least start doing some cardio a few times a week. I’m excited to get back into it, as not only is my physical health better when I exercise, but my my mental health seems improved too.

Have you ever tried a ketogenic diet? I’d love to hear about it, so please leave me a comment below.

My New Keto Lifestyle

KetoIf 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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What I’m Doing Now – A Meme

God, I love a meme, especially when it means I get to talk about myself, so when Sally from Who’s the Mummy (aka. The Ubiquitous One) asked if anyone would like to be tagged in this one, I was that annoying kid at the front of the class with one hand in the air (and a buttcheek lifted off of the seat so as to make the aforementioned hand just that little bit higher than everyone elses) yelling “Me, Miss, ME ME!”. So, here we go:

Currently I am:

Reading: Reading? What’s that? My beloved Kindle has been sorely neglected since BB came along and the only chance I get to read is when I take Sausage to her weekly musical theatre class. And then it depends on whether I’ve actually remembered to charge my Kindle. When I do get a chance, I’m still wading through Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin.

Listening to: A lot of dance music. I think it’s a summer thing; I dream of laying on some Balearic beach somewhere while Tiesto DJs in the background. Oh, and BB (or ‘She Who Must Be Obeyed’) seems to love MTV Dance, so I don’t get a lot of choice.

Laughing at: The current series of Louis CK’s TV show, Louis. He’s probably my all-time favourite comedian and after seeing him at The O2 a year or so ago, I still find him “HILARIOUS” (That’s actually a Louis joke…) NSFW

Swooning over: Is it cheesy if I say ‘My Husband’? It is? Well, tough, it’s true. We’ve been married for 8 years this August and I’m just as in love with him now as I was back then – he still gives me proper butterflies when I glance at him.

Planning: SUMMER! We’ve got a chart on the wall counting down to the summer holidays and I simply cannot wait until we get Sausage to ourselves for almost 7 weeks.

Eating lots of: Bacon (Yes, that faint groaning sound you’ve been hearing whilst reading this is the active narrowing of my arteries). Husband bought 5lb from an online butcher before I realised we didn’t have room for it in the freezer, so we’ve been working our way through it for the last week. It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it…

Feeling: Snotty. Sausage has tonsilitis and every time she gets it, I end up with some weird coldy-virus thing, too. It’s cool though, I’m having my first night out since Burrito Baby was born tonight so burgers and beer are BOUND to help.

Discovering: whether or not we’re cut out for home educating. We’re not very happy with Sausage’s current teacher and we’re genuinely wondering if she’d be better off being homeschooled for a while.

Looking at: Reddit. It’s genuinely one of my favourite places on the whole internet. What’s not to love about a place where you can read just about any topic you can think of, whilst simultaneously looking at pictures of squirrels stealing Cheetos?

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Wearing: A pair of chino shorts and a black and white stripy vest. It was my 30th birthday last week and I got some money to spend on clothes, hence my uncharacteristic smartness.

Cooking: See the aforementioned bacon…we’re currently looking for bacon related recipes as we’ve actually achieved the impossible and ended up sick of bacon sandwiches. I KNOW.

Wondering: How to have my hair cut when I go to the hairdressers tomorrow. Should I go for my tried-and-tested long layers, or mix things up a bit (for ‘mix things up a bit’ read: cling desperately to my 20’s with wild and inappropriate hairstyles that I won’t be able to replicate myself once I leave the salon)

Trying Out: Loom bands. I may be a little bit hooked. Ha! Hooked! Geddit?!

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I’ll get my coat.

Now, because this is a wonderfully memetastic post, I get to tag three other bloggers:

Annie at Minisaurus

Vicky at A Cupcake Mum

Donna at Mummy Central

Can Cook, Don’t Cook

Food is something with which I have a complicated relationship but if I were to try and put it in a nutshell for you, it’d go something like this; I eat too much of it and I like all of the wrong things. That’s not to say that I don’t like healthy food, but I have this addiction to junk that probably goes way back into my childhood, when money wasn’t hugely abundant and things like KFC were a real, once-in-a-blue-moon treat. Now, the idea of takeaway still gives me a tiny, illicit spark which is ridiculous because a) I’m a grown up and b) I usually regret eating junk immediately after finishing the meal.

The thing is, I love to cook. I’m not saying I’m very good at it and I’ve probably had more disasters than successes in the kitchen, but for me, there’s nothing more satisfying than making something for my family which is nutritious and prepared with love. But, I do have a few problems in that area. See, while I consider myself a food-lover, I probably have a rather unsophisticated palette, which means that I don’t do much inventive or off-the-cuff cooking as I simply don’t know what goes with what. I lack the confidence to experiment and to be honest, a modest family food budget doesn’t really extend to celeriac-related accidents when I have hungry mouths to feed and a limited time in which to do it. Obviously, Husband cooks dinner too but we both work and it’s only fair that we share the load.

And there’s the other thing; that mother of all bitches – TIME. I now work until 5.30pm, which means on a good traffic day, I roll in between 5.45pm and 6pm. Sausage is on a medication for her asthma that can’t be taken until 2 hours after she’s eaten which means our window for dinner is relatively small if I want my 4-year-old to go to bed at a reasonable hour. This, again, limits me in terms of experimentation.

Despite all of this, something I heard on Food and Drink last night (does anyone else absolutely adore that show?) really resonated with me and that’s that involving kids in their meal preparations can really set them up to have a healthy relationship with food. If there’s one thing that I really don’t want Sausage to inherit from me, it’s my weight and food issues so, really, the crux of all of this is this:

Husband has bought me some beautiful cookery books recently and I plan to use them to learn how to cook with different ingredients and hone my skills in the kitchen, but I need to learn to cook healthy, well-balanced, time-moderate food which Sausage can get involved with and won’t break the bank, for our day-to-day lives.

I’m sticking a linky below. It’s just a one-off thing but if you have any recipes at all that you think fit the bill, I’d love it if you’d leave me the link. I need to make some serious lifestyle changes and if there’s one thing that the last few years has taught me about the blogging community, it’s that you’re a super helpful and supportive bunch.

Thanks.

Silent Sunday