Who wants to write about weight loss? Hmm? Rather than listing what to eat and give you recipes, I would rather write about my efforts with keto to have a healthier lifestyle. (I will, however, slip in my favorite menu items and hacks.)
A bit about me first. I am a wife, daughter of parents in their 80’s (one with dementia, one with multiple health issues), a mother of two (more about them later), a sister to four siblings, a retired health professional, with college degrees. I am an avid reader, love theater, movies, sports, music, and beach life. My hobbies run the gamut from crafting, walking, swimming, to volunteering at the senior center and church.
My keto journey begins probably like thousands of others who are seeking a healthier future, take off some weight, become as active as life demands, be around as healthy as possible for family. That’s not terribly unusual, right? Like others, I have considered and tried numerous weight loss plans in the past 15 years. Remembering the low-cal diet, grapefruit diet, apple cider vinegar diet, metabolic system weight loss, HCG injections and supplements, Fen-Phen, just to name a few. Add in spin classes, CrossFit, cross training, and swimming laps, I had to find what works for me.
So far, that doesn’t sound so different than so many others who want to get healthy. Let me say now: Choose what works for you. Make sure your life is conducive to your choice. Have your circle of support, a weight loss buddy who shares your commitment.
How to begin? Let’s start with the texts with my cousin. He went from size XXL to Med with keto and exercise. My sister had been texting with him for 2 weeks. In those two weeks she had lost 10 lbs. I joined in the conversation while the three of us discussed that maybe our “family genetics” allows us to be successful with this type of weight loss when others diets have failed us. Now I know that my success is more about following clean keto rather than dirty keto for the duration.
Before jumping in and giving you specifics on my experiences, let’s agree that there are many, many resources available online to learn about the keto diet. There are Keto cookbooks for 2 (over 50, women, etc), keto desserts, keto bread and pasta. There are also keto tracking apps and logs. Find one that you like and give it a try. I suggest using one that specifically calculates total carbs, net carbs, and your macros (fats, proteins, calories) in grams. I also highly recommend a food scale that weighs in grams, ounces, and fluid ounces. To measure your body’s ketones you will need urine ketone sticks found at any CVS, Walgreen’s, Target, or Wal-Mart pharmacy section. These tools help immensely. (Optional: finger prick blood ketone monitor and ketone test strips.) Lastly, if you are dieting, you will need a reliable scale for tracking your weight, and a tape measure suitable to measure your waist, legs, etc.
I started a strict keto diet on May 26, 2020. The “pee stick” showed I was in Ketosis in 3 days reading the stick at 3+ by all accounts, that would indicate that I had been on track for the first 3 days. I needed to find a combination of sweetener and creamer for my morning coffee. I tried multiple combinations of Equal, Splenda, monk fruit, etc. In addition to coconut milk, coconut cream, almond milk, soy milk, and other non-dairy options. Did I mention I have an intolerance to the A1 protein in cow’s milk? It’s not a true dairy intolerance because I can eat some cheeses without gut-wrenching abdominal distress.
I settled on Pyure, an organic blend of Stevia and erythritol, and Ripple unsweetened original pea milk. Yes, pea milk, from the yellow pea protein! It tastes good in coffee and doesn’t curdle when stirred. Anyway, coffee, Check ✅ Did I mention that practicing clean keto is not cheap? The new pantry items are more expensive than you’re used to and the items you need may require that you find them at more than 2 stores. (I have a list where I find my favorite items. More about that later. )
Allow me to digress for a moment. Back to the three way conversation with my sister and my cousin. It was at that time I realized that I needed to read books (not ads) about the science and physiology around keto as well as food and menu items. So I bought several books written by a renowned M.D., a Nutritionist, a Ph.D in health science and holistic medicine, as well as a mom who is a chef. I also bought books with menu plans and recipes for every meal, including desserts and eating out options. While my sister was informed by reading online “how to lose ten pounds in 10 days” and “lose fast eating keto” types of articles, I was not. Not surprised, she did lose a pound a day for 10 days, then slowed to 1 pound every 3 days, then 1 pound a week. (Certainly some of early weight loss is water and your body’s adjustment to keto.) It worked for her! So, what I’m saying is that it’s best for me to do my own research and understand the science behind Keto. I found, in summary, that some of my favorite foods were off the table (pun intended) as well as restaurant options, not a problem during Covid-19 stay-at-home practices. Oh. Did I mention I don’t eat beef or pork? I do eat eggs, poultry and seafood. This makes family meal-planning tricky, always making two separate meals. No worries, I’ll do what we need to make it work.
Milestones. Sharing these with you:
May 26 start date Day 12 -14 lbs. 3 Wks -16 lbs. 5 Wks -19 lbs. 7 Wks -21 lbs. 9 Wks – 30 lbs. 11 Wks – 33 lbs. 12 Wks – 35 lbs. I’m not done yet. For a lasting change, I will stick with it until my goal weight. After that I plan a long transition to regular modified family meal planning. We have a plan. Check ✅
By writing this, I hope to share some insights that help you on your journey to a healthier life. If you are happy to lose 10 or 40 pounds or more, I hope you find my notes helpful. Feel free to leave helpful comments and queries that arise throughout your journey.
At this time, this blog has no endorsements for books, reading materials, websites, weight loss plans, or products of any kind. Thank You.