Hey. Hi. Hello!
Now, I don’t know what death feels like, but I think right now I’m pretty close. I haven’t left my bed all day, except for the 20 minutes that I tried to sweat out whatever sickness I’ve got inside of me. I want to eat, but also don’t feel great after eating. I want to sleep but feel gross doing that. So, I’ve opted for sitting up and watching the new Sabrina series on netflix while gently sipping ginger ale.
I thought while I was in this state of half-death, I would try and at least be a little productive. Thanks god my fingers still move because truly the rest of my body does not want to. If this is my last post then so be it, at least the world will finally know my true thoughts about something I found to be a truly awful experience.
If you’ve read the title then you already know what this is about. Basically, this past month I embarked on a journey with the Keto Diet. Being in the fitness community I’ve heard this diet talked about a lost recently. I’ve even watched as some of my favorite social media people started their own journey on this diet. Naturally, I was intrigued.
If you don’t know much about the keto diet, short for ketogenic diet, I’ll start by filling in some basic background information, and then we’ll get into my truly disastrous experience on it.
The premise behind this diet is that it is low in carbohydrates and high in proteins and fats. Many people will compare it to the Atkins Diet. However, the main difference here is the emphasis on fats in the keto diet, whereas the Atkins is just an emphasis on lower carbohydrate intake.
The idea behind the lower carb/higher fat pay-off is to induce your body to switch the way in which is produces energy. To make a long and boring story short, your body has three different ways in which it will make energy, depeding on the available nutrients and the activities your body is undergoing. ATP is the fastest release of energy, with anerobic glycolosis and aerobic phosphorylation following suit, in that order.
Carbohydrates are generally considerd the fuel that helps for quick bursts of energy (sugar is found within the carbohydrate family), while fats are the slow-burning fuel. Instead of being released for quick energy, fats are broken down slower, so rather than breaking down fast for immediate energy use, it’s more of a gradual release of energy over time. This is the principle idea behind increasing fats in this diet. Essentially, you’re training your body to switch to a slower-release energy in hopes that you will maintain energy throughout the day rather than having peaks and valleys.
The ketogenic diet has become a huge fad recently, thanks in part to the tremendous number of individuals who spout stories of immense weightloss. Even when I was talking about how I was going to try this diet at work, everyone seemed to have a story of someone they knew who lost 15+ pounds while on this diet.
However, the funny thing is that there are really no substantied scientific studies in regards to the effectiveness of this diet. People who support this will point to the studies that also support the effects of this diet, but nothing is conclusive here. That’s why I wanted to try it out for myself. I also wanted to try it because so many females think that a quick solution to losing weight is by cutting carbs out of their diets, along with hopping on a treadmill for hours a day.
Every body is different. Meaning, every body will respond differently to each nutriet. Some people metabolize carbs really well, while others don’t, meaning they stay in their body longer and build up excess stores. I happen to be the latter of these, although carbs and I are buddies so I could never give them up for long.
Now that we have all of that mumbo jumbo out of the way, let’s talk about my actual experience.
I’ve done no-carb diets before, so I already knew how my body was going to respond to not having them. However, I’ve never been a person who liked fatty foods. I also suffer from high cholesterol due to genetics, so that was something my doctor (and my mom) was focused on as I started this.
The hardest part at the beginning was the meal planning phase. I knew that if I didn’t have a meal plan going into this then I was going to be successful. So, I ordered a bunch of recipe books of Amazon, scoured pinterest for recipes, and sat down to write a plan. Immediately I realized that this was going to be hard. All of the recipes were some version of “butter/garlic/parmesean chickn/shrimp/pork/turkey”.
For breakfast during the first week, I ate two eggs with some smoked salmon. By day five I was gagging to keep everything down. I HATE EGGS. Eggs with some bread is fine. EGGS BY THEMSELF?! Hard pass. Even smoked salmon started to get to me. I had to revise my game-plan, and revise it fast. I also made a grave mistake this week by adding guac into my meal preps on the first day. So, by day two, the guac had gone bad and I had to reasses what I was going to eat for food.
Day two was the worst day. I woke up with a major headache, and felt like I was hungover all day. Working 8 hours on my feet while having to deal with customers all while going through ketosis was not what I wanted to do. It was terrible, I didn’t know how I was going to go on. So, I took the opportunity of any slower moments to research good snacks for keto. Since I struggled to find full meals that I wanted to cook, I figured if I could snack throughout the day then I would be ok.
The rest of the first week went by pretty fast after that, but so did the money in my bank account. Being on this diet is fucking expensive. There are so many substitutes you have to buy if you want to maintain some sort of normality in the things you eat. I also stocked up on keto snacks from amazon, which were like $30 a piece. How any has the money to sustain this past a few weeks is literally beyond me.
By day 7 I had found a great overnight oats recipe that I would top with cacao nibs, like three strawberries, and a boatload of whipped cream. You can’t have too many strawberries on this diet, BUT YOU CAN HAVE A WHOLE FUCKING CAN OF WHIPPED CREAM. If that doesn’t tell you how messed up this is, then I don’t know what will.
As week two rolled around, I started to feel gross. Every morning I woke up and could barely drag myself out of bed. My work-outs felt half-assed and not great, and I felt sick to my stomach. I almost called out of work every single day because I didn’t think I could manage that walk, let alone standing all day. I so desperately wanted to quit, but at this point in time I had already invested in a keto meal service that was coming the next week.
Since I was struggling so much to cook keto foods, I decided to take new measures. I really enjoyed the concept of Icon Meals, since it was great tasting food delivered to my door without my having to cook anything. I did some research and found a company called Keto Fridge. They followed the same concept as Icon Meals, but for the keto diet.
Naturally, I went crazy. I ordered one of everything, include keto cheddar biscuits, keto pizza, and keto donuts. It set me back over $200, another example of how heckin esspensive this shit was. Since I had this coming on Tuesday of my third week, I knew I had to stick it out through until then.
When the delivery arrived, my spirits were lifted a bit. The food all looked delicious, and after trying one meal, it seemed to taste good, too. I still felt like absolute garbage everyday, but at least I knew I could stick on my diet for one more week. However, I told myself once all of this food was done, so was I.
I was scared to start eating carbs again, because all the research about the keto diet says you can get really sick and experience the “keto flu” after going back to normal eating patterns. I’ve never had the flu before and sure as heck didn’t want to get anything freaking keto flu, but I looked past that for the sweet taste of Ben and Jerry’s and Mac and Cheese.
When I tell you I felt like a million bucks the next day, I mean it. I didn’t feel bloated, I didn’t feel achey or sick. I felt amazing, and had one of the best workouts I’ve had in a while.
In the end, while I may have lost 15 pounds and dropped down to my goal weight, it wasn’t worth the internal pain I was going through. Just like any diet, it’s supposed to be sustainable. I don’t know how anyone could sustain that, so hats of to you. Going into this I knew my body wasn’t going to be able to handle the higher levels of fats that I was introducing it to, and I was right.
Would I recommend it? No. I didn’t make it the full month because it sucked. Sure, I looked fucking amazing, but I’d rather feel amazing and have a little extra carb stores to burn in my body then look amazing. But, am I definitely going to cut carbs out of my diet in the weeks leading up to my high school reunion? You bet your ass I am, people gotta know I’m doing better than them.
Until next time!