I TRIED A KETOGENIC DIET FOR A MONTH, AND...
The month of September is closing out and for those of you who don’t know, the month of September I implemented the #RHKetoChallenge on my Instagram feed, eating a ketogenic diet from September 1st and will be eating a ketogenic diet for the duration of the month.
At least…that was the plan.
But I’m feeling so many physical benefits from eating this way, I think I’m going to keep it going!
You can read MUCH more about a ketogenic diet on this blog post. But here are the basics. If you decide that you want to try a Ketogenic diet, you can use this Perfect Keto Macronutrient Calculator to track your fat, protein, and carbohydrate consumption!
A ketogenic diet is the elimination of carbohydrates entirely or eat in very small amounts. The main macronutrient is dietary fat, usually 70-75% of total daily calories. The rest is broken down into 20% protein and 5% carbohydrates.
A typical breakfast might be an egg over a bed of leafy greens with three tablespoons olive oil, ½ avocado and ¼ cup blueberries. Lunch might be an arugula salad with almond slivers, roasted salmon, olive oil and avocado.
Choosing high quality fats is the healthiest way to approach ketosis through choices like avocado, unrefined coconut or MCT oil, chia or flax seeds and grass-fed dairy products. When you are on a ketogenic diet, your body is forced to burn fat for energy instead of the glucose that comes from carbohydrates. Glucose is not stored in our bodies like fat which is why we get hungry in order to replenish glucose stores.
AND KETOGENIC DIETS PROMOTE WEIGHT LOSS BY:
- Suppressing appetite. You feel full longer due to changes in our satiety (hunger) hormones like leptin and ghrelin.
- Decreasing fat storage. Through a reduction in the process called lipogenesis, when sugar from carbs and processed foods that is converted into fat.
- Increased fat burning. When in ketosis, our bodies increase the amount of fat burning even during rest. Particularly excess abdominal fat, which is inflammatory and increases risk of metabolic syndrome
For most of 2016, and part of 2017 I was consuming a mostly vegan plant-based diet. And while I felt really good for the most part (good energy, felt good about my food choices), I often felt snacky. Like I would eat lunch and shortly thereafter want something to much on. Eat dinner, and then want some ice cream. That sort of thing. And I was gaining weight. Not a lot, but I was starting to feel kind of uncomfortable in my clothes.
In switching to a ketogenic diet this month, I found my blood sugar far more stable. I was able to get throughout the day without snacking, without sugar cravings (although I will always eat dark chocolate every day), and without wanting to eat everything not nailed down upon arriving home at night. The diet also eliminated urges to eat refined carbohydrates, and also eliminated the constant thoughts about food because I just wasn’t hungry! My energy was great, and somehow incorporate animal products like grass-fed meats and grass-fed dairy didn’t disrupt digestion as I assumed it would. And while it is 100% possible to eat a vegan or vegetarian ketogenic diet, I found it much easier to stay in ketosis by adding in high-quality meat and dairy.
If you suspect you have blood sugar issues like my Caligenix DNA test revealed that I do, this may a great diet for you to try. If you aren’t terribly handy in the kitchen, or you find tracking macros overwhelming like I do, I found the organic ketogenic meals from Green Chef to be the PERFECT solution! Not only are the macros for the meals already figured out by their team of chefs - taking the guesswork out for keto newbies like yours truly - but the signature differentiator between Green Chef and other meal deliveries is that Green Chef is heavy on USDA certified organic vegetables, which is how I prefer to eat. In fact I ended up setting aside some of the vegetables in a couple of the meals just to make sure I stayed in ketosis because there was such a high volume of beautiful, fresh organic vegetables! (Each meal is 2 servings, and Green Chef recommended cutting the provided amount of vegetables in about half to stay in ketosis).
I’ve historically been wary of recommending meal delivery services like this because not everyone is handy in the kitchen, but these three meals required minimal kitchen skills, and hardly any prep time. I timed each one, and the meals were prepped, cooked, and plated all in 30 minutes or less. And it was such a relief to not have to worry about what I was going to eat while I adjusted to this new way of eating. Score!
Each of the 3 meals I tried were also SO delicious, and it was really fun to try things I wouldn’t normally eat - like the Lamb Shakshuka with jalepeno-cilantro cauliflower rice.
Also, Green Chef offers several different types of meals, not just Ketogenic. They also have Omnivore, Carnivore, Gluten-Free, Vegan, Paleo, and Vegetarian 2-person and Family Plan deliveries. Green Chef food porn here. I came away really wanting to try more of their meals for SURE.