What I learned from Ketogenic Dieting
Carbohydrates are a problem. At least for me. So out of necessity I searched for a short-term solution where I could cut carbs and lose weight too. I am getting to the point where I need to settle in on a long-term alternative for my diet. This is a good time to reflect on where eating and maintaining Ketosis arrived as a tool for me.
I began with strict daily calorie counts. 25 grams maximum of carbs. To reach the level of fat burning I wanted, my ratio of 4% Calories from carbs, 15% from protein and 81% from fat was what I followed. So, with about 2000 calories daily, I had 77 grams of protein and 184 grams of fat to eat.
Was it hard? You bet it was. Finding enough fat to eat seemed almost impossible. The shock for me was realizing how much the typical American diet is high carb and “low” fat. What was good for me is that I reached Ketosis quickly and saw early weight loss. I did not stay on it very long because of the health risks people around me kept reminding me of.
I found that using a dieting app was indispensable. After looking around a bit I went with Lifesum. The choice of diets with the app were a factor for me. I soon switched to their Ketogenic easy. This meant I now got to eat a whopping 100 grams of carbs each day. My ratio changed to 20% calories from carbs, 15% from protein and 65% from fat. The bad news was that my protein stayed at 77 grams per day. The shift up by 75 grams of carbs was offset by a reduction in 35 grams of fat down to 149 grams a day.
While that may seem easy as the name implies, at first it was hard for me to get up to 100 carbs. I began with the idea that by eating about 4 times I could average about 25 grams of carbs per meal. This average was significant for me because I was wary of how large swings in carb consumption would affect blood sugar.
One of the biggest benefits from this new diet was that it led me on an unending search for healthy, convenient, nutritious and consumable sources of carbohydrates. So many of these foods checked off some of the boxes but not all. They might be extremely hard to prepare, or even harder to digest! Some are delicate and challenging to use. It seemed like the window of when they are ripe, and edible was so small that if you didn’t have a backyard garden full of trees giving birth to them the moment before you ate some, then forget it.
Another benefit was that I lost weight, and on a gradual timeline. I learned over time how I would be able to maintain my goal weight once I reached it. With the 2000 calorie plan, any day I burned more than I consumed contributed to my weight loss. The app was a big help with measuring my daily calorie burns.
- Eat at least 4 meals at regular intervals. If fasting, plan the fasting periods with care.
- Avoid unhealthy calories. These can lead to very bad consequences. Take the time and make the effort to find healthy types of fat, protein, and carbohydrates for your diet and then eat them in healthy amounts.
- Counting calories is a good habit to have. Knowing how much you are eating keeps you out of danger.
- Counting the calories that you burn each day has huge benefits. This lets you know if your amount of exercise is contributing to a healthy lifestyle or an unhealthy one.
- Healthy dieting can provide better alternatives than caffeine and other stimulants people depend on.
- There are so many things to learn about diet and exercise that can impact not only your health but your brain, your skin, your energy, even your sleep.