For the longest time, I had mentally placed “going Keto” alongside pseudo-diets that promise pounds of weight loss per day with next to no effort. It’s always been pretty clear to me that the only way to lose weight was to put in the work. Besides, how could I eat all the fat I wanted and still lose weight?
I was willing to take a shot at it. My body mass index was much higher than I wanted it to be and I needed to lose a few pounds for summer, so I started up research into Keto diets. What I ended up learning over the course of that 4 month period challenged my notions of dieting and exercise.
Here’s what happened:
I Found the Truth About Keto
When starting on my Keto diet, I didn’t really have a clear understanding of what it means to go on Keto. All I had heard was that fats were good and carbs were bad—which was almost the exact opposite of what I figured I would need to do to lose the excess weight.
I learned that Keto was short for ketosis—a body process that essentially forces your body to run off of fats instead of sugars. By drastically cutting down my carb count, I would force my body to enter ketosis and begin to use the fats as energy instead.
Initially, it was hard to get around to the idea that I could eat tons of fat without gaining weight. But once I realized that ketosis allows your body to burn fat all the time, things started to make a little more sense.
I Sorted Out My Macros
What I also didn’t realize was that there was a specific science behind going Keto and that I would need to calculate roughly how much of each major macronutrient I would need to eat in a day. Protein, fat, and carbs make up the three “macros” of Keto, and it’s vital to learn your macros.
I used an online calculator and put in my general health information to figure out just how many of each I needed. As it turns out, you need to keep your carb levels quite low, your protein intake generally normal, and bump up that fat intake.
When I started to compare my macro results to my favorite foods and ingredients, I quickly realized that this was going to be a lot harder than I initially through.
Most of my favorite foods include pasta, pizzas, and other carb-heavy meals. These would have next to zero protein, a little bit of fat, and a massive amount of carbs. Forget limiting my intake of these foods. I would have to completely cut them out!
I took a short cheat sheet of recommended Keto foods to the grocery store and started adding up my macros. It was a little funny having to do a bit of mental math in the store, but if I was going to go on this diet, I was going to do it right or I wasn’t going to do it at all.
Once I had my food set up, it was time to enter ketosis.
I Discovered that the Keto Flu is Real
There was a little footnote at the end of every article and blog post I had read about ketosis, talking about a little thing they called the “keto flu.” Apparently, as your body burns the last of its sugar and glucose stores, it’ll initially struggle to “flip the switch” and enter ketosis. The net result is a series of flu-like symptoms.
Not everyone experiences the Keto flu but I sure did.
I felt hunger pangs quickly and had a raging headache. Since I had to cut out sodas (and caffeine alongside it), I was tired and didn’t get much work done during that period. I also was much more irritable and would have given anything to eat a pizza. For a few days, I almost thought I wouldn’t be able to tough it out.
I Settled In
Like with everything, however, I got over my Keto flu symptoms and felt like I had entered ketosis. From here on, I would just need to settle into planning my meals out and maintaining this state.
What was surprising was how easy this process was after I had made that initial hurdle.
I made a deal with myself to avoid stepping on the scale every day to track my progress, and I took on the Keto diet without checking in for about two weeks. By the time I was ready to get on the scale, I did not doubt my progress.
I was feeling better and getting used to doing the math on my macros. I could tell when something was more carb-heavy, or when I needed to pick up beef jerky or nuts to supplement my fat intake. I even picked up some keto chocolate chip cookies to satisfy my sweet tooth.
The more time went on, the easier it was to hit my macros and keep on the diet.
I Lost the Weight!
I had a modest weight loss goal of about 10 percent of my body weight, and in just 4 months, I managed to hit that target!
I didn’t understand how easy it had been until after I tried it. I always thought that I needed to put in hours of work in the gym just to shed a few pounds, but I never realized that losing weight started in the kitchen instead.
Of course, with a lighter body and more energy than ever before, heading to the great outdoors was more of a desire for me. I was able to enjoy my summer without worrying about my weight, and I was feeling much more energetic. Even without all the caffeine and sugar.
My little Keto experiment turned me from a critic into a believer. What I thought was a fad diet isn’t a quick weight lose plan. Entering into ketosis and mapping out your macros for the day is a good amount of work and takes some getting used to.
But if you manage to do it, and do it consistently? Then there’s no other way to say it, the Keto diet works.
Was this article helpful and informative? Leave a comment with your thoughts in the section below.