6 articles Tag keto

Five Tips To Improve Fast Loss Even More

Improving fat loss is something that you can do in a lot of practical ways.  You probably are wondering how you are going to make the right decisions, but you can actually do all the things that are listed below.  They will make you into someone who is in very good shape, and you will find that you could completely change your whole lifestyle if you are really focused on fat loss.  The people that have committed to what they need to do are going to feel like their whole routine is new because they have more energy and a better body.

  1. Ketos

You could go to a place like mrketo.com when you are ready to start looking at ketones and keto products.  There are a lot of ways to get this into your system, and you have to try to use the coffee, the powders, and the products that you could put into your sauces.  The keto product line will force your metabolism to rise, and you will burn fat when you are not even trying.  You can keep your metabolism high at all times, and you will be in a much better place mentally because you can tell that you are losing weight.  People with a high metabolism lose more weight generally, and they always feel like they can conquer that next task.

  1. Running

Running is something that you can do in your spare time, on your break, or when you are on the treadmill at home.  The person who is running gets a lot of activity into a small period of time, and it could be something that you do regularly because you know for a fact that it is helping you make changes to your body.  It also supports your gym workouts.

  1. The Gym

You have to have some sort of circuit workout that you will do at the gym.  You will be in a place where you can get your gym workouts to be much easier, and you will notice that you can do them in just half an hour.  You are not spending all your time at the gym, and the gym has a lot of other options that will be just right for you like the pool and the racquetball courts.

  1. Yoga

You have to consider going to yoga because it is so good for your body.  You will feel much more flexible, and you will feel like you have seen a massive change in the way that your body works because you feel more limber.  You also learn how to breathe in these classes, and you can release a lot of stress in these classes that you would have had to hold onto otherwise.

The people who want to improve their fat loss the most will need to be sure that they have found a way to do all the things on this list.  You do not do them all at the same time, but you will do them in stages so that you can be the healthiest version of yourself.

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.

Making Our Own Raw Chocolate with Indigo Herbs

Indigo Herbs Raw ChocolateSince I’ve been on a ketogenic diet, I feel like I’ve learned a lot about nutrition and what we should be putting in our bodies, which in turn has made me hyper-conscious about what is in the food we eat. Even on a rare “cheat” day, I’m checking labels and have still been known to shun food which are pure sugar or artificial ingredients, which is why I was really intrigued when Indigo Herbs offered to send me one of their raw chocolate kits, containing everything we need to make our own raw chocolates.

So what, I hear you ask, is raw chocolate? Well, the guys at Indigo Herbs say it a lot better than I can:

“Much of the Cacao bean’s natural goodness gets destroyed in the heating process of conventional chocolate making. Consequently the feel good factor often experienced when eating chocolate is significantly more noticeable with raw chocolate because much more of the feel good chemical compounds remain intact. The Cacao bean is naturally so rich in nutrients that when the ingredients are handled and processed at low temperatures, these micro-nutrients remain available.”

The kit was really beautifully packaged and would make an excellent gift for an health-conscious foodie, and it was so simple to make that I let Sausage and Burrito Baby help too. The instructions on the kit are really clear and concise and I think Sausage could actually have managed all by herself if it wasn’t for needing me to sort out the bain marie. We made them at the dining room table and the whole room smelled AMAZING by the time we’d finished.

In terms of taste, the chocolates were genuinely some of the best I’ve ever tried. The brazil nuts and goji berries, combined with the slightly bitter raw chocolate flavour made them feel decadent and satisfying – there’s no way you could over-indulge on these because one or two is enough to well and truly satiate your sweet tooth. Before I cut carbs out of my diet, I had a monster sweet tooth and could eat chocolate almost endlessly, but eating a diet which consists mostly of savoury food has sort of reset my taste buds, making even the smallest morsel of sweet food enough.

Obviously, the beauty of these chocolates is the ingredients. There’s literally nothing in them which isn’t totally natural and the sugar comes from agave nectar which is a low-GI sweetener and doesn’t cause spikes in blood sugar. Nutrition-wise, the chocolates have 72 calories per portion, which is made up of 4.9g carbs, 3.1g fat and 1.2g protein – perfect for someone like me who is on under 20g of carbs per day – keeping these in the fridge to have with a cup of coffee as an afternoon pick-me-up would not only be a welcome addition to a largely savoury menu but is also a real morale booster. There’s huge mental value to being able to treat yourself to something which is basically guilt-free when you’re on a restricted diet.

I’m genuinely really impressed by the kit on so many levels – it looks good, it contains everything you need, its easy to use and the results are fantastic. I’d be thrilled to receive one of these kits as a gift and also love the fact that I feel confident in giving them to my children because the ingredients are all natural. Thanks to Indigo Herbs for introducing us to raw chocolate – we’re definite converts! (Get Your Raw Chocolate Kit here)

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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Ignoring the Scales (For Now…)

Ignoring the ScalesAs most of you probably know by now, I’m on YET another weight loss mission having failed about a million times in the past, but I’m doing something a lot more enjoyable and sustainable this time in the hope that I can stick to it. I’m following a low sugar, high fat (ketogenic) diet as it’s been proven to reverse type 2 diabetes, something which is hugely appealing to me. I’ve got a family history of type 2, so theres still a chance I’ll need to be medicated even when I’m down to a healthy weight, but there’s also a good chance that it will reverse altogether.

Willpower is something I’ve struggled with in the past because food is as much of an emotional crutch to me as just simple nutrients but I’m at a point where I’m just so bloody bored of gorging on junk food all the time and the prospect of dying in my sixties (if I’m lucky…) because of a lifetime of greed is enough to make me get off of my arse.

One thing that I’m trying not to do is micro-manage my weight. Every time I’ve ever ‘dieted’ (I put that in inverted commas because I don’t actually see keto as a diet, it’s an eating plan that we should probably all be following on a much more regular basis for optimum health benefits), I tend to get fixated with the scales and weigh myself on a daily basis. This is negative for two reasons – firstly, not all victories happen on the scales. I’ve also started weight lifting, and this usually adds muscle and makes changes to the shape of your body, things which aren’t always positively reflected in terms of “weight”. Secondly, it puts me into a downward spiral of demoralisation.

Today is a prime example. Last week, I made a grand declaration that I wouldn’t be weighing myself until my birthday in mind-June, so that I got to see one big change rather than lots of little ones. However, curiosity after a week of eating well and exercising got the better of me and I stepped onto the scales and happily discovered that I’ve already lost half a stone since New Year’s Day ( YAY ME!). But this is where things go wrong – I weighed myself AGAIN this morning, only for the scales to show I’ve gained two pounds back again.

I can already feel the disappointment weighing heavy on me, even though the logical part of my brain is trying to tell me to chill the f*ck out. This is a marathon, not a sprint. SO many things can play a part in such tiny changes like hormones, water retention, even down to what clothes I’m wearing. But all of the logical explanations aren’t snapping me out of it.

There are various issues that I’ve had when it comes to weight loss, and keeping my head in the game after even the most minor of disappointments is one of the biggest. In the past, if things haven’t gone my way then it’s completely turned my head back around to the “screw it, I may as well binge again” mindset and that’s the demon I’m battling today, but battle it I shall. Instead of letting get the better of me, I’ve had coffee and biltong, I’m drinking water, I’ve taken my supplements and I’m going to the gym before I collect Sausage from school. As long as I stick to that plan and don’t wake up in an hour buried under 800 empty crisp packets, I reckon that’s a win…even if the scales ARE trying to sabotage me. Forgive me for tearing the arse out of the metaphor, but I think this is all about winning the little battles in order to win the overall war against my own laziness and greed.

I think i’ll start weighing myself either weekly or fortnightly – I need a little bit of feedback, just to motivate me and assure me that I’m moving in the right direction, but a six month wait will just be torture!

Tune in next week for “How to deal with toddlers who try to force feed you Quavers when you’re on Keto”. LOL. Not really.

Bread Maker Low Carb Recipe

bread maker low carb recipeFor the past year and a half, Husband has been on a kick to get himself healthier by watching what he eats and doing a combination of running and weight lifting; he’s done amazingly well and his fitness levels are really impressive. I’m usually the main cook of the household so it’s been my mission to find as many new and varied recipes to keep his diet healthy but interesting as there’s nothing worse that the same 5 chicken breast dinners on rotation when you’re trying to improve your health!

One of his main requirements is to keep his carb intake as low as possible, as new research shows that it’s not fat which causes weight problems but carbs and refined sugars, which can make eating anything bread-based really tricky. However, investing in a bread maker has really helped because it means we can make our own low-carb loaves without needing to worry about finding pre-made ones in the shops. Here’s the recipe we use:

Low Carb Breadmaker Recipe
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A low carb recipe for your breadmaker
Author:
Recipe type: Low Carb/Keto
Cuisine: Bread
Serves: 1 loaf
Ingredients
  • 1⁄2 cup water
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon butter or 1 tablespoon margarine
  • 2 tablespoons Splenda sugar substitute
  • 1⁄3 cup ground flax seeds
  • 1⁄4 cup soy flour
  • 3⁄4 cup vital wheat gluten flour
  • 1 teaspoon dried yeast
Instructions
  1. Using a 1 pound capacity bread maker, combine ingredients according to order given in bread maker manual.
  2. Select 'light' browning setting.
  3. Don't remove bread until it is cooled.
  4. Cut into slices, and store, covered, in the refrigerator.

It’s such a simple, easy to make recipe if you have a bread maker, which is basically zero effort but yields a really decent loaf of bread without the worry about going over daily carb allowances. We tend to use erythritol as our sugar substitute because it’s a sugar alcohol and doesn’t cause a spike in sugar levels, which is exactly what you want if you’re trying to maintain ketosis in your body.

If you’ve got any questions about the recipe, using a bread maker, or just fancy a chat about ‘going keto’, please do leave me a comment below. Happy baking!