Keto is not about weight loss. It is about brain health.
Turning around the brain will be miraculous for many.
Many of the folks at the office know I am touting the benefits of a ketogenic diet. Even though I have been low carb for eight years, I didn't get to the level I call “Serious Keto” for one very simple reason: I didn't think I needed to do that. But Wow! I am pretty happy with the outcome.
I first did low carb after reading Dr. Wolfgang Lutz' book: Life Without Bread. I followed his 72 gram plan. I soon discovered I felt very good when I averaged 50 – 60 grams of carbs a day. People noticed the weight loss and I believe I was at good place as long as I kept track of my carbs each day.
I didn't concentrate on increasing my fat intake. I figured that would happen naturally with the food choices I was making. My fat level was around 80% if I was concentrating on it and recording what I ate. Increasing your fat intake is not that easy. Even 80/20 ground beef is low in fat. And forget chicken. Hardly any fat in it at all.
Now, I stumbled across Dr. Darren Schmit's YouTube Channel and learned about the Keto ratios and why you have to be more specific with keto. I learned about the different ratios from his channel and also looked up information at The Charlie Foundation. I decided to try a 2:1 keto ratio and surprisingly, I lost more weight and had a flatter stomach. That was exciting but even better was the realization that I could fast 16-18 and hours a day and not worry about blood sugar drops. This was a huge benefit because I often was late getting to eat lunch at work and I developed a frustrated mood of overwhelm and anger. I was an angry maniac if I missed or delayed my lunch.
I feel sorry for anybody who is at the mercy of a strict eating schedule because they are hungry in a few short hours. I can only imagine how kids feel when they are in school not feeling well and being criticized by adults. I think this a sure fire way for kids to create a low opinion of themselves and underachieve.
I'm pleased to know I am more sure that I have reduced my body's inflammation levels and feel a greater sense of calm. Let me describe some more interesting changes I have experienced since going specific keto late in August of this year.
No more protein powders
I used to enjoy a chocolate protein powder break during the day and purchased many different brands. But now, I have no interest in them. They too easily throw off my keto balance. And we know those powders lack fat so I would have to bump up my fat eating something else. In reality, I don't miss it. I especially don't miss the high price tags. Since I am fasting sometime during the day, it was unnecessary to shorten the fast with a protein drink. Looking back, I used to be ravishingly hungry very soon after drinking a so-called meal replacement shake. They just didn't live up to the name. While, there are some low carb meal replacements made with pea protein, I'm just so fatigued by the vegan craze. They are still missing fat. It's not worth it to throw off my keto count for a food that is still highly processed. You many have a different experience with drink powders, but I am better off without them.
It's hard to believe, but I avoided all squash until Thanksgiving. I didn't want it. The carb count is too high. I easily crave high carb foods with just the smallest, teeniest taste. I did enjoy them over the Thanksgiving weekend (and the cravings crept in), but now I pass them by when I walk through the produce section. The same goes for sweet potatoes. Yes, they are a favorite of the paleo crowd, but the carb count is just too high to manage the specific keto numbers that have given me great results. I also agree with Dr. Georgia Edes that eating plant foods is more problematic than eating animal foods. We already know grains and legumes are major inflammation sources and must be avoided, but each of us has to figure out individually what plant foods don't serve us well. For me that's squash and sweet potatoes. (Dr. Georgia Edes also has great lectures on YouTube.)
No more hot bar at Wegmans
Another crazy notion coming from me, but when you feel good you want to stay that way. I used to pay $9 a pound for the creamy soups and chicken salads because they were low carb. But, the fat counts were too low and it's all made with soybean oil (No thanks). It's nice to have an instant meal and Wegmans makes it very convenient, but it's just as easy to go home and whip up a keto salad and save a lot of money.
No eating out
I have no interest going out to restaurants. I used to hate waiting for my food to be ready (remember that was my hypoglycemic red flag). Now I don't want to eat cheap ingredients such as grains, soybean oil, fake butter, corn products. I'd rather not eat the foods that create the oxygen depriving toxins of inflammation when I can make the foods I prefer at home.
No more meal obsession
As strange as it sounds, I'm not bored with the same old leftovers at home. For one, I'm not thinking about food all day long. I used to make my breakfast, pack a lunch, and plan my dinner as soon as lunch was barely down my esophagus. Does this sound familiar to anyone? Planning your next meal when you just ate takes away so much time from doing other enjoyable activities. We were told ages ago to eat three meals a day and add in some snacks just in case we needed them. Dr. Eric Berg said it best in his videos: with that much frequent eating, the pancreas never gets to rest. It is squirting out insulin nonstop. Now that I'm living the opposite experience, what possessed us to become such slaves to meal timing? Yet, we swallowed it hook, line and sinker. (And our chronic sickness proves it.) Some of you reading this are wondering what has come over me. The meal timing paranoia with snack obsessions is a true ball and chain. This is a great new freedom. I would call it food independence.
I don't spike up with frantic feelings
The sudden mood swings and brain fog when your blood sugar drops is so unwelcomed. It is oh so wonderful when that feeling is gone. If you've gone into panic mode because your low blood sugar has triggered you into sprinting to the nearest coffee house or vending machine you know what I mean. When you feel the whole world is attacking you and there's a reflexive urge to fight back with insults, sarcasm and meanness, you have the hypoglycemic episodes that are leading down the path of Type II Diabetes with heart disease. Now, when something blows up in my schedule and changes my plans, I say, “Hey, no problem.” And I mean it. I'm not freaking out with weakness in my legs or the feeling that I am going to faint. I'm actually more efficient with my time because my brain has its preferred fuel: fat and ketones. I also wonder how many relationships can be saved with keto brain healing? Stress tears families apart and ruins marriages, but healthy brains can face it better. (Future blog)
The constant urge to pee is gone
Ladies, you know what I mean. Carbs make you pee. This is a nice change. I mentioned the ball and chain earlier. Keeping track of bathrooms is another ball and chain.
Lost my taste for dark chocolate
The ultimate paleo treat is dark chocolate but I don't care for it anymore.
If you want to learn more, ask me about the Keto Krunch Club.
--Your Health Freedom Advocate