After 30 days on the ketogenic diet, here are my results and takeaways:
RESULTS: In 30 days I dropped from 188 lbs 20% fat, 39% muscle (38 lbs fat, 72 lbs of muscle) down to 173 lbs 16% fat, 41% muscle (28 lbs fat, 72 lbs muscle). I cut 15 pounds of body weight (Likely 5 lbs of water weight) and 10 lbs of fat without losing any muscle or strength.
HEART HEALTH: I have eaten more bacon, cheese, eggs, and pork rinds in the last month than the past 30 months before. Shockingly, my blood pressure and heart rate actually improved! Dropping from 125/78 and a resting heart rate of 58 down to 116/64 and a resting heart rate of 54. Other than having pork proof genes, I have been having salads, broccoli, and spinach every day, so that may have also contributed.
DIET TRACKING: I can’t say enough good things about MyFitnessPal It is free, incredibly intuitive, and made tracking my diet effortless. Did you know that a single ounce of water chestnuts contain 10 carbs? Having the quick reference saved me from several inadvertent carbsplosions, I have a certification in sports nutrition, and I was still constantly surprised by how many unexpected carbs foods were hiding.
KILLER KETO RECIPES:
If you are looking for high protein / low carb recipes, these are my favorite resources. I particularly like AllRecipes.com because it makes it so easy to see each recipe’s crowd-sourced reviews.
- AllRecipes.com — Keto Recipes
- Epicurious.com — 36 Keto Recipes That Are Actually Delicious
- TheInspiredHome.com — 31 Tasty Keto Recipes for Dinner and Dessert
- PerfectKeto.com- 26 Keto Dinner Ideas to Give Your Friends Food Envy
FOOD SUBSTITUTIONS: Many people have asked me about food cravings and I honestly haven’t been longing for bread, pasta or sweets. There are keto-friendly versions of most foods, so I rarely felt deprived. A few of my favorite swaps are:
- Sushi >> Sashimi
- Sweet BBQ >> Dry Rub Ribs
- Pecan Pie >> Pecans
- Chips >> Pork Rinds
NEGATIVES: Keto flu is real. I had a nasty headache and low energy for a day as my body transitioned from burning carbs to fat for fuel. I did not change my full body workout routine (45 minutes, 3 times a week) during the diet, the only change was what I ate. My energy levels have been fine for normal exercise, but I hit a wall at 60 minutes, so keto and endurance training don’t mix for me. It can be tough to get enough electrolytes without any fruit so switching to potassium chloride salt helped.
As happy as I am with the overall experience, I am still glad the diet is over because I am sick of riding the grease train. Living off bacon, eggs and cheese was heaven for the first few weeks but anything gets old over time, and by the month’s end, chewing my bacon-wrapped burger became a chore, rather than the sinful indulgence it should be. I’ve heard horror stories of digestive turmoil, but I have always had a cast-iron stomach and didn’t have any ill effects. I’ve also heard of people hurting their kidneys with an excess of protein, so make sure you don’t overdo it and drink plenty of water.
CONCLUSION: Thank you to everyone for the advice and support. If you live for bread, fruit, and chocolate, this probably isn’t the diet for you. But if you love meat, cheese, and fibrous veggies, and your heart and cholesterol can take it, then keto is neato!