The Ketogenic Diet, oh how I love it and will always be grateful for it. Thanks to the Ketogenic Diet I was able to learn so much about my digestive system, what foods work for me and my body, how to keep myself satiated and not obsessing over what was going to be my next meal, and how, when necessary to really get the fat off.
But, unfortunately, after all my efforts I have come to the conclusion that it is not something I can sustain. I’d like to tell you about my experience with the Ketogenic Diet, what I’ve learned, my results and what my eating habits look like now.
A Little Background Info
For as long as I can remember my relationship with food has been the love/hate kind. I am passionate about cooking, nutrition, health, wellness, and often trying new foods. Food has always been there for me, regardless of what was going on in life, be it good or bad. I can count on the feeling of pleasure or reward when I indulge in the foods I love.
But, being that I grew up in a day and age where society told me not to love my curves, thinking thinner is better ( thank goodness that has changed!) and all the while still trying to figure out what food intolerance(s) I have, food was, at times, also the enemy. So, for years, my desire to #findthebalance was a struggle.
To begin, I actually started the diet on a whim. I had been told that I may possibly have PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) and Endometriosis. Trying to lose weight had always been a bit difficult so finding that out, I finally knew my hormones were to “blame”.
Starting the Ketogenic Diet, I was very optimistic, I had done my research and it was said to be a great option for my diagnosis. Keto is known to reduce insulin resistance and increase weight loss, which in turn balances hormones.
This was definitely the case for me, right away I began to see results. My muscle definition was growing and my waistline thinning out. The usual cravings for sweets slowly diminished, and still, I got to eat bacon, cheese and loads of avocado. I began to love myself and feel confident in and out of clothes. I lost a whopping 12Kg (roughly 26.5 lbs) in just under 2 months! I was sleeping better and my skin was clearing. So, basically, I was a very very happy lady.
The Ketogenic Diet is still just that, a diet and quite a strict one. Yes, I got to eat all the savory, delicious foods but there was still so much that I no longer could eat. Having such restriction, as soon as I “messed up” I felt disappointment and discouraged with myself, which for my mental health was doing no good.
Once I had been on the diet for around 4 months I began feeling burnt out. My energy levels in the gym were diminishing although my muscle strength was increasing. I would avoid certain social settings just so that I didn’t have to say “no thank you” to the foods there and then explain why.
I also felt I was missing out on so many foods that I really quite enjoyed. This year I dove back in and decided to give it another go, but once again I just felt too confined. The biggest confliction for me is the fact that there are so many foods on the “do not eat list” for Keto that do so much good for my health and wellness.
The Ketogenic Diet is a great resourceful tool that can be used for weight loss and balancing hormones but (for me, personally) not for long-term use. There are many health benefits to this diet and plenty of people who have made it a way of life so yes, it is possible. As for me, I will continue to use all that I learned from the Ketogenic Diet and integrate many things into my daily eating habits.
My Eating Habits Now
As far as what my eating habits look like today, thanks to the book Body Love by Kelly LeVeque I am learning more about which foods do what for our bodies and how to best put them to use. I am trying to incorporate The Fab Four (protein, fat, fiber and greens) into each meal to keep my blood sugar levels balanced while keeping me satiated for long periods of time and I continue to try to keep my carb intake lower. I also intermittent fast roughly five days a week and have been loving it.
With these tools, I am able to eat more of a variety of foods, not get bloated and gassy, and don’t notice any of the bad symptoms I had before I even knew about The Ketogenic Diet. On occasion, I enjoy my glass(es) of wine, I eat the pasta or the pizza at the dinner party and I don’t feel the guilt afterward because I know I am able to get back on track quickly.
My relationship with food is becoming more of a healthy and stable one. This is still an ongoing learning process which never ends but, thanks to the Ketogenic Diet I have gained many tools I need and it guided me in the right direction.