During my time no-living around the internet I repeatedly came across something called the keto diet. I had no idea what it was, so after I did probably something like a Wikipedia search I decided to add it to my bucketlist. Having had a failed 3-day attempt somewhere around April or May I decided it was time to do a proper attempt on October 13th, 2018. The goal was to try the diet for a three month period since by that time I should be properly adapted and reaping the benefits of the diet.
The Keto Diet
Before I started the keto diet I repeatedly told myself “I’ll start on monday” and then monday came around and I told myself “I’ll use this week to create a good diet plan”, and then the week was finished and I had done absolutely zero. The problem I had before I started was that I tried to have a perfect plan regarding my nutrition. But it so happens to be that I’m absolutely bored out of my mind by nutrition and all the contradicting messages. So I decided to just start and figure things out as I went along.
See, the tiny bit of research I’d done brought me at least an idea on what to eat for breakfast. Being able to start the day was most important, as I couldn’t go out to the store at 4:30AM. A coffee with butter and MCT-oil, also known as a Bulletproof coffee, and a protein shake would eventually be my go-to for the entire three months I tried this diet. From 6AM to 2PM I had to work so I decided to bring along some cheese, meats and nuts. I boiled two eggs and that would be it for me.
One thing I was particularly cautious about was the keto-flu. The adaption period where your body still screams for the carbohydrates you previously indulged in. Nausea, dizziness, headache and weakness are some of the symptoms along many more. Luckily I didn’t experience the keto-flu badly although I notice a few changes. In the first probably two or three weeks I felt like I slept very lightly, waking up repeatedly during the night. I noticed constipation and the occasional irritability. The inevitable weakness compared to a carbohydrate-rich diet was something that eventually threw me off of my gym-grind. But besides all that, and a sporadic hunger feeling, I barely noticed any negative side effects from starting the keto diet.
Counting my macro’s was absolutely necessary as it helps you with clarity on how much you eat and can still eat during your day. I weighed everything and used an app on my phone called MyFitnessPal to track everything I put in my body. I weighed myself daily, under the same circumstances so I quickly noticed any differences which would reflect whether or not I ate according to the diet. As time went on I noticed whenever I ate something that I shouldn’t have because I’d get tired or my mood would drop.
As you might know, the keto diet is all about fats as opposed to a standard diet that revolves around carbohydrates. But maybe more important than fat is protein, as a lack of protein will make you burn muscle. So my primary focus was reaching my protein goal and filling the hole with fats. So my diet focused a lot on meats, nuts, eggs and a twice-a-day protein shake. Thanks to my mom, who eats low-card due to Diabetes, I was able to get bread that was very low on carb that I could bring along to work where I can’t prepare entire meals. Here are my go-to foods while on keto:
Bulletproof Coffee (about 20-25gr butter and 20-ish MCT-oil)
Protein Shake (low carb, max. 2gr of carb per shake)
Oopsie bread (self made, low on carb, carb amount changes due to switching ingredients)
Baked or boiled eggs
Meats like salami
Green vegetables and small amounts of cauliflower
Any low-carb meat like chicken or mine-meat,
Mayonaise to add fats and taste
Nuts: walnuts, Brazil nuts, Pecan nuts
Eventually I fell in a sort of habits that was often consisting the same types of food but maybe in different variations. I noticed I started to get a bit tired of the keto diet because it’s so restricting and I personally didn’t experiment with different things. My mother would often try to find new recipes for bread or dinner. However, the bread was often decorated with the same types of foods. I definitely owe much to my mother since she persistently tried new things and helped me in that regard.
Like I mentioned earlier, I didn’t really notice many negative side effects from the keto diet. Actually, I didn’t really notice many differences in positive regard either. Aside from my mood that seemed to be slightly more uplifting and my energy moderately raised, I didn’t notice any of those “promised” side effects. Since I originally started the diet hoping to find massive changes in my body and mind, you might say I’m somewhat disappointed. For example, I was hoping my eczema would be less prevalent but I didn’t notice any difference. The longing clarity of mind wasn’t experienced either, which I really hoped for.
I didn’t experience any extreme cravings for certain foods and I was able to very strictly follow the diet up until a few days before Christmas. Once I finally gave in to cheat once the floodgates were open. Originally I was able to stick to my diet because of the positive streak I was on, that eventually went away and so did my persistence. So basically the last month was sporadically lived on keto or on anything I could find.
At the start on October 13th, 2018, I weighed myself at 84.6kg. After three months, on January 13th, 2019 I weighed in at 76.2kg. Since I weigh myself daily I notice the shifts in weight, which are probably mostly because of water. Surprisingly weight can differ more than 3kg easily which makes it difficult to find consistent numbers. However, I mostly float around 75-78kg’s. Anyways, weight isn’t important to me, it’s more so how I look. If I’m physically fit at 85kg I’m happier than when I’m not fit but 80kg.
At the start of the diet I measured 90cm around my waist, and on the last day I measured 82.5cm. I tried to compare pictures, but I personally don’t see much difference. However, I do notice a difference in my clothes. I had to get a new belt because I could literally fit a fist between my pants and my body. My shirts are more loose and I’ve been noticing that previous shirts are now very big. So in that regard I do notice a nice difference.
To me the keto diet was very interesting since it’s basically a new lifestyle. Although I didn’t notice many of the positive benefits talked about everywhere I did notice more subtle differences. Like I said, mood and energy slightly uplifted, although only noticable once I steered away from the diet for a day or so. It’s the perfect way to loose weight because it’s very difficult to get to calorie goals if you’re planning on building mass on the diet.
I personally got a little bored eventually because I basically ate the same things and found that there was a lack of variety. This, of course, is my own doing and I could’ve put more effort into finding ways to make it more exciting. One of the struggles I had was that my keto-tryout period was right inbetween Christmas and New Years so I had slip ups, and once they came around it was easy to keep falling back into them.
Although the results, besides weight loss, were relatively small, I’m planning on doing other keto periods in the future. Even months into the diet I found eating habits that were potentially knocking me out of ketosis. So I’ll be more cautious in the future. I find the diet very helpful but it may be incredibly demotivating if you just start out trying to get a work out routine. However, I do have to say, running was a lot easier on the diet but weight lifting was demoralizing in my opinion.
Great lessons were learned as I explored a new lifestyle while also learning more about nutrition and the effects of it. The future holds more attempts that should be more thought out and properly planned to hopefully create better and more noticeable results. I noticed that once I fell of the diet it was easy to splurge in bad foods because I held back so long. So keep notice that once you start a diet, that you often fall back into old behaviors, potentially worse, that lead you right back to where you start. But in the end I think trying out the keto diet may be worth it. Obviously get professional advice before you start or try anything!