Food. We need it to survive, yet in today’s day and age we struggle to keep a healthy balance between overeating, healthy eating, and finding a balance. My story has many ups and downs and I am still looking for a perfect balance. This is why I want to share my story about eating low carb or Ketogenic.
I struggled with food and overeating since a young age. I never really knew it was an issue until a few years ago when I focused on eating healthy. After my second child, my husband and I decided we needed to shed a few pounds. I was never really unhappy about the way I looked, but knew my pants size kept increasing.
We started by adding in some light exercise after Christmas. That New Year’s Eve, a friend who had recently lost a lot of weight invited us over and we had some great discussions. She mentioned a few cookbooks and I got started on my healthier eating journey. I cannot believe how little I knew about food! From that moment on, I have been working towards a healthy food relationship. Some times are more successful than others and I struggle with the very busy times like holiday’s and stating a new school year at work.
How I am Healthier
I had finally lost my first 20lbs before I found out I was pregnant with my third. After gaining back the 20lbs and a ton more, I was ready to get to work after having my last child. I started following low carb/Keto and worked out every day. Almost a year later I ended up losing a total of 60lbs! I did gain 10lbs back over the last 5 years, but I have kept myself at a steady range and at a much healthier weight than before! Being healthier was my main goal and getting my body back on track with hormones was very essential.
[/caption]What I find myself going back to time and time again is eating low carb or the Ketogenic diet. I stated with low carb due to a diagnosis of PCOS(polysitic ovarian syndrome) after having my second child. A lot of research says that diets lower in carbs and higher in healthy fats can help with fertility and other issues related to PCOS.
Since then, I either stick to a strict ketogentic diet which consists of approximately 5% daily carb intake, or eat about 80% low carb and 10% flexible. Now, I am not a nutritionist or a doctor. You should always consult your doctor before starting any diet. My doctor suggest I try this diet due to my insulin levels and issues with fertility. When I get off track at times, which happen since we are human, I can tell physically and mentally. I am tired, emotional, I break out, and I feel foggy. This is one reason I always seem to go back!
Here is my current status.
[/caption]What are the benefits?
There are many documented benefits of eating a Keto diet, some of which include:
- Weight loss
- Increased fertility
- Decrease in cravings
- Stabilizing hormones
- Low blood pressure
- Better cholesterol
- Increased memory and clarity
- Decreased inflammation
- Better mental focus
These are just some of the benefits. I have personally experienced almost all of these.
What is Ketogenic?
I will spare you the technical talk so here is the basic information. When eating a Ketogenic diet, your main focus is to eat as many of your carbs from vegetables, preferably green leafy vegetables. You will also be eating a lot more fat. I add more fats into my diet by adding grass-fed butter, olive oils, avocado oil, coconut oil, and fats from eggs and fish. The low amount of carbs coupled with the high fat intake puts your body into ketosis where your body burns fats instead of carbs. Everyone has a different amount of carb, fat, and protein ratios depending on how active they are and what their body needs.
I personally found that eating 10% carbs, 35% protein, and 55% fat worked best for me. Using MyFitnessPal to track your intake at first is very important. You should learn as much as you can about carbs and what foods they are in. I had to make many adjustments to my carb intake depending on my needs. Now I can easily make a meal plan for the week without entering all of my food.
How do I get started?
Again, I am not a doctor. This is what has worked for me. Eating Keto has made it much easier to control my appetite and lose fat/weight. I never thought I could eat so few carbs, but it was much easier than I thought. Knowing what is healthy to swap out, I can now make almost anything into a normal Keto meal. I eat pizza(cauliflower or low carb wrap crust), pasta(Zoodles), and rice(riced cauliflower). I even have some bread recipes. It is all about what ingredients you use. Plus, every meal is very satisfying since I am using fats in my meals. I have put together a free 5 day meal plan to get you going as you do your research. Check out my Pinterest board Keto Recipes for inspiration and links to great information to get you started. Remember that knowledge is key! Also, be sure to check with your doctor about your plans. Be sure to look through my recipes that are family and kid approved!
Here is a one week plan to get you started, and some of my favorite recipes.
Keto Waffles: I used this recipe, but swapped out butter for 1/3 cup of heavy whipping cream. I made 3 different toppings:
1) sunny side up egg,
2) homemade blackberry jam, and
3) homemade whip (heavy whipping cream + 1 packet of Splenda in small shaker bottle. Shake until fluffy.)