So you’re thinking about Keto, now what?

Time to make a stand….Adventure-begins

The holidays are over…. New Year’s resolution has been made & broken in world record time…warmer weather is coming and every day that passes brings that nagging reminder that you promised yourself that THIS was going to be the year that you turned your life around, lost weight and felt better about yourself.

What to do?

There are endless programs, diets, supplements, videos, blogs ad nauseam…and you’ve honed in on “the ketogenic diet”. Great! It’s wildly popular these days and a friend or two that you know of has had some success, but how exactly do you go about getting started on the keto diet?

On your marks….

This could be uncomfortable, but essential to getting started on the keto diet…or any other plan for that matter and that’s to get all the ugly truth about yourself out and record it….everything…photos too. Saying that you should consult a physician might sound so corporate cliche, but that’s a great idea, getting full blood work done too…. I regret not doing this.

Tape-MeasureRecord it all….weight, meaning jumping on that scale in the bathroom that you’ve been avoiding like that damned mirror. Grab the tape measure from the sewing kit that you’ve never opened and measure neck, waist, hips and record it all. There are several excellent apps that you can use like MyFitnessPal to record your measurements. Don’t forget the pictures….(oh the bloody camera, along with that bathroom scale and the friggin’ mirror…these are not my friends!). Make sure that you take a picture of yourself…without clothing…PG13 rated photos make the most sense…the idea is that you want the whole truth….the ugly truth that you’ve been hiding from…but it’s OK because it’s going to get better

Then the journey begins…..

Get Set…..

OK so Keto….just eggs, cheese and bacon every day and I’m all set, but eat a Ham-steak-Eggs-Green-beansbanana and I’m doomed? Huh…how does this actually work. While eating eggs, cheese & bacon are OK on the Keto diet and bananas are certainly frowned upon, this is going to require that you make some specific and measured choices…you’re going to need to educate yourself…you’re going to need some help.

Fortunately, there are tons of great free apps & online resources available to help you getting started in the Keto Diet. On a basic level you essentially want to monitor Macros (Fats, Protein & Carbohydrates), typically the breakdown of food that you intake should be made up of 70% Fat, 25% Protein, 5% Carbs…or thereabouts give or take a few points between Fats/Protein….almost everyone agrees that carbs need to be kept to 5%.

This is where your smartphone can become your friend (even if you’re still not happy about the bloody camera). Download an app (MyFitnessPal , Carb Manager, Loseit etc choose one…) to record your food…all of it….don’t make that face…this is crucial. In order to know what foods you can and can’t have you need to know immediately and keeping score is the only way to stay dialed in. Eventually you’ll get the hang of what you can & can’t have without recording every item, but when you’re getting started on Keto….you have to record.

Go…..

Here’s where the rubber meets the road. Challenge yourself. Make a commitment to yourself to go 30 days….30 days when you will stay with the macros of 70% Fat, 25% Protein, 5% Carbs….all the food that you take in must be recorded and the food must stay with in those macros….for one month. Who can’t do something for one month? Anything? Heck I endured a month of power watching “Sabrina” because my wife loves that show…who can’t avoid bread, rice pasta for one month?

Gamification

 

Gameifcation…make this challenge into a game…what can you eat while staying low carb? Well we already said bacon, eggs & cheese…check.

  • Steak… I like steak
  • Chicken who doesn’t eat chicken…(vegans I suppose, but that’s another post)
  • Fish
  • Cruciferous vegetables, like Brussels Sprouts, Broccoli, cauliflower (This is where the MyFitnessPal app comes in handy)

It’s not that hard to do even if you out and about with friends going out to dinner and such. Ordering a steak with vegetable sides and side salad in place of the potato or pasta side is completely acceptable in social situations. And although I personally recommend abstaining from alcohol during the challenge (lowers your resolve), certain alcohols in moderation can fit into your daily macros….(Vodka, club with a twist of lime comes to mind for me).

Every day will be different and some days better than others but for 30 days…. I’ve endured construction on the Belt Parkway for 30 years and somehow managed to survive…staying Keto for 30 days…piece of cake…well, Keto mug cake that is 🙂

That’s another part of the “Gameification” can you replace the staples of your former eating habits with new “Keto Friendly” versions? Keto Mug cakes, Bulletproof coffees, Fat Bombs and other hacks can get you thru the challenge when you feel yourself struggling…you’ll have fun making them and feel great that you stayed on target despite feeling like you’ve cheated.

 

Conclusion

At the end of that month…if you’ve been diligent go back and take all of those measurements again…look for that tape measure from the sewing kit that you crumpled up in disgust and tossed in a drawer a month ago…step on that bathroom scale again…look into that damned mirror…take another semi naked PG rated selfie. At the end of my 30 day self -imposed Keto challenge I had lost 12.5lbs…that was proof of concept for me and a light bulb went off in my head….not just about losing weight and eating low carbs. The light bulb that went off was that I had a strategy to take control back…what else could I apply this strategy to? Not to mention that If I can lose nearly 13 lbs in a month…what if I could do this for 2 months or 3?

There’s an old diet cliche that goes like this….“the best diet you can go on is the diet that you can stick to”….boy is that the truth. Simon Sinek is one of my favorite authors and in his best-selling book The Infinite game he describes the differences between finite games like football or basketball where there are agreed upon rules, time limits and en eventual winner based on the rules…and infinite games like business or marriages where there are no rules or time limits and there are no winners/losers…the goal of the infinite game is to continue to play. Diets or nutrition are infinite games, you don’t win at a Keto Diet or Paleo Diet…you continue to eat natural whole foods and limit intake of processed foods and sugars.

So that’s the ticket…my strategy for getting started in the Keto diet…it’s evolved into a lifestyle change and the best part of my journey (which ain’t nearly over, Jack!) is the feeling of taking back control. Sticking to my challenge for the 30 days and seeing tangible results gave me the resolve to continue today and the courage to try other challenges and a strategy to help me achieve.

Go ahead…nobody is watching…challenge yourself to do something great!

19 thoughts on “So you’re thinking about Keto, now what?”

  1. I went keto about 3 years ago, quite possibly the best diet to follow. In the process I lost about 40lbs., also I learned that flaxseed could be used for many things than just making cold-pressed oil. 

    Your blog was fun to read as it shows that a lifestyle change can happen, but only when there is a commitment to make it happen. My favorite thing about keto is eating bacon. Yummy!

  2. I have been looking for information about Keto diets for a long time and specifically when reading your article I really like the idea and the focus on measuring everything.

    It’s true that if we don’t do it, we don’t have a good record of what we do (and what we don’t do)! I really like the application of MyFitnessPal! There I even found that I can search all Subway sandwiches … and with a single click … load the one I ate! I love this application, it makes tracking very easy.

    And I will go for my tape measure as you follow it! It scares me about the photo … but I will do it!

    The annotations of the measurements of our body should we always follow it with the same frequency? Or have you experienced making it less frequent as you go? How do you handle the fact of not being obsessed with the measures?

    Thanks a lot
    Pablo

    1. Pablo…thank you for the read and the feedback…I break out the measuring tape no more than once a month when I take another picture…it gets easier 🙂

  3. Hey, I enjoy a lot while reading your article on keto diet. I hear many time about keto diet. Now after reading your guide I am thinking about going Keto. Now I know that there are tons of great free apps & online resources available to help me getting started in the Keto Diet. Now I will try my best. Your guide is very helpful for me to going Keto. We continue to eat natural whole foods and limit intake of processed foods and sugars.Keep it up for everyone.

    1. Thank you Harish for the read…feel free to reach out to me if you ever have any questions…I’ll do my best to assist!

      Bob

  4. Interesting post thanks.

    Are you able to tell me why I would consider Keto rather than Paleo, What are the major differences in the range of foods and nutritional value, and what are the attendant health benefits or risks that might recommend Keto more to me than Paleo?

    Are they not really the same thing, just different labels for a low carbohydrate diet?

    If I asked you why you chose Keto over Paleo what was the single most important factor that led to your decision?  What would be your answer?

    1. Keto & Paleo are similar….Keto allows some dairy & sugar free sweeteners where Paleo does not. Paleo allows for natural sweeteners (sugar), fruits & starchy vegetables where Keto does not. In the end for me the decision to follow Keto was because execution was simpler…stay within the macros: 70% Fat, 25% Protein, 5% carbs….using an app to track all food intake made it easy to stay within the macro range.

      Thanks for the feedback and the read…!

  5. Hi,

    As someone constantly looking for ways to either lose or maintain his weight, I’ve heard a lot about the Keto diet. I know there’s some controversy around it. Some people strongly recommend it, while others do not. 

    So, let me get this straight. For 30 days, my diet has to consist of 70% fat? Isn’t that too much? Carbs would just make 5% of the total. Isn’t that restricting carbs too much? 

    When I start a new diet plan, I always have terrible headaches and feel irritable in general. I’ve read that’s it’s gotta do with carbs.

    Would you recommend I see a dietitian before and during the process? What are we supposed to do after the 30 days you mention? I don’t want to try a yo-yo diet. I know it’s all about changing your habits, but boy is that hard!

    I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks!

    1. Great feedback….thank you for the read.

      Headaches, irritability….sometimes called the Keto Flu…some people do experience this in the beginning. I’ve read accounts of people comparing it to withdrawals…withdrawals from sugars, processed foods. I personally experienced a few days of feeling sluggish, but nothing I couldn’t power thru and considering that I was near 300 lbs it wasn’t all that bad.

      Seeking help from a dietitian, nutritionist or any expert is always a good move in my opinion. I think this post speaks to more to making a stand…taking back control…great point you made on the 30 days challenge, what do you do afterwards? For me the 30 day challenge gave me the confidence that I was on the right track and a strategy that I could follow that worked…I’ve been on Keto now for 21 months and have lost a little over 80 lbs….I recently dipped into Onederland (the scale read me back a number that begins with a One) and have been hovering between 197 & 202. 

      Hope this helps….feel free to reach out any time.

  6. Thank you for the great tips in going keto and why you should record your weight and measurements so that you can feel like you are in control of what you want to do and what you need to do to get there. I think that recording is a very crucial step in achieving goals. Do you think that you need to record to be successful or it just helps a lot?

    1. Great questions…

      Here’s my thoughts…with any change in lifestyle that improves your well being there is going to be a struggle. I’ve struggled with weight all of my adult life and some of my adolescence. At times over the last 21 months, I’ve been frustrated…not pounding down half a pizza and a pitcher of beer with friends can be frustrating when you step on the scale and you’re not seeing immediate results…tracking weight and measurements and the damn selfies help chronicle your progression. My experience with the Keto diet yielded great results that 1st month…that’s typical for most people…a lot of it is water weight….but after that, the fat loss can be gradual….peaks and valleys…the chronicling of my journey helped me get past some of the valleys…I highly recommend it.

      Thanks for the read!

  7. Hello. It’s really ironic that I’m eating pizza while reading your post 😊 thanks for writing a highly entertaining and informative article. Your own testimony of losing 12 pounds a month is inspirational. I think that’s what I gained in the past 2 months since I stopped smoking. I have a question – what’s the difference between Paleo and Keto? I believe they are quite similar.

    Thanks!

    sunny

    1. Keto & Paleo are similar….Keto allows some dairy & sugar free sweeteners where Paleo does not. Paleo allows for natural sweeteners (sugar), fruits & starchy vegetables where Keto does not. 

      For me….I decided to follow Keto was because execution was simpler…stay within the macros: 70% Fat, 25% Protein, 5% carbs….using an app to track all food intake made it easy to stay within the macro range. That’s not an indication of which diet is better…the better diet is the one that you can follow on a consistent basis. 

      Quitting smoking is a daunting task and I applaud your efforts…stay focused on your goal, it will add years to your life to spend quality years with friends and loved ones…

      Thanks for the read….

  8. What an inspiring post. January has come to an end and yes, this is the time for us all to take charge of our health. I know, I am too ate and drank way too much over the holidays. I think I am just going to take it one week at the time and take it from there.

    What is your favorite Keto recipe that is simple and you can just keep eating it without getting bored. I like to ask people this question because some days I just ran out of ideas and just want to have my go to dish that is keto, simple and tastes great. 

    1. Great question and thank you for the read….

      My go to simple fast and easy recipe is to take a vegetable pack sold at local supermarkets…typically has broccoli, cauliflower, snap peas, brussells sprouts etc…add olive oil and season to taste (I like spicy), then cut up a slice of bacon or two in a frying pan and let it start to sizzle…everything tastes better with bacon…dump in the vegetables and add some sort of meat…varies from time to time…chicken…stir fry beef….sausage…whatever I have handy and then I just stir fry it up. I’ll add Braggs liquid aminos in place of soy sauce, but no too much…I don’t like a soggy soupy like meal…I like for some crunch factor with my vegetables. Typically this meal is higher in carbs depending on the vegetable pack that I find…but I tend not to stress over carbs that come from cruciferous vegetables. Usually completed in under 30 minutes and I’ve experimented enough at this point with seasoning that it comes out yummy.

      Hope this helps…feel free to ask questions anytime 🙂

  9. Hi

    You have a great way of expressing the benefits of keto diet. It seems  a good way of doing  the diet by taking  the 30 day challenge to see if it works or not, but we are all different  to each other. It seems that it is more trying to change the thinking about the way we eat and stick to it. This is hard to do in real life but with the tips in this article makes it seem like fun to try. I think must people fail in their diets because of the strict rules they oppose on people, instead of being flexible. My question is do you recommend the keto diet if you have health issues such as diabetes?

    Thank you

    Antonio

    1. Thank you for the kind words and your unique insight…you’re really spot on…It’s not about the Keto diet, it’s more about changing the way we think about how we eat and making a change….to date I’ve lost over 80 lbs…when I think back to my heaviest weight (nearly 300 lbs) the thought of losing all that weight was daunting,…. more than I could wrap my mind around….so I would not think about it…avoid posing for photos…ignore the bathroom scale…but like the old adage “how do you eat an elephant? – One bite at a time!”. The 30 day challenge is a bite that I could execute and once I saw some progress, I got momentum and thankfully I’m still riding that wave because I’m not done.

      As with any diet or nutrition strategy, you should consult with a professional (doctor, nutritionist etc.) especially if you have been diagnosed with diabetes….do the research, get the info you need, then…this is the really important part…take immediate, measurable & meaningful action…good luck and god bless!

      The Keto Diet for Diabetes

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