Hello!!! Sorry this is a super delayed follow-up. But I hope that between Part 1 and Part 2, your curiosity about the ketogenic diet has been piqued and you Googled it. There is plenty of information about it, yes, but if you want to know more, read on.
Before anything else, let me tell you things about myself and how I eat.
- I love carbs, super! I love rice! My favourite cuisine is Chinese and I love pastries. So yes, the ketogenic diet was not a walk in the park to me. But I stuck to it for at least two months! And I can already say, “Who you?” (as per my keto coach Aimee Diego, hehe) to rice!
- Since I first went on this diet in October, I lost 8-10 lbs. You may hear that other people lost 8-10 within their first week on keto. But you should know that I don’t easily lose or gain weight. Ewan, basta ganyan ang body ko. I mean, I am unlike others who can quickly lose or gain 10 lbs in a week. However, when I gain or lose even just two pounds, it’s very evident. Like when I lost 4 lbs before my wedding (almost 10 years ago), my wedding gown couturier expressed surprise because my measurements shrank. And when I gain even just 2 lbs, my jeans would feel tight or my arms look would inflated.
- I was a “lazy keto-er”. Meaning, I didn’t count my calorie intake, and just estimated my macros (macros: protein, fats, and carbs intake), although I was careful about my carb intake. There are people on keto who count everything. It may be more effective, but I’m busy and didn’t want to spend so much time analysing everything. If you want to monitor your calorie and macros, you may download the Keto Diet Tracker app. I used this but only to give me an idea of how much carbs I can eat everyday based on my current weight, estimated body fat percentage, weekly activity level, height and goal.
- By the way, I stand 5’3″-5’4”. When I began keto, I was approximately 130 lbs with more or less 24% body fat (I visually estimated it via the app). I had a moderately active lifestyle (I would be on the elliptical machine for 3-5 hours/week), and my goal was of course to lose weight. According to the app, I should consume no more than 17 grams of carbs. So that’s what I was very conscious of: my carb intake!
- As far as I know, I have no health problems: no high blood pressure, no heart conditions, etc. I did not consult a doctor before I went on keto. If you want to take safety precautions, go get an executive check-up first.
- Other diets I’ve tried are the USANA & Herbalife diets. Didn’t stick to them because when you run out of shakes, nganga ka na. At nagsawa ako sa shakes.
- As of the moment, I’m no longer on ketosis but I no longer eat as much carbs as I used to. I’m neither losing nor gaining weight. However, I want to lose more weight thus I am hopeful I’ll return to ketosis some time soon.
- When I was on my 2nd week of keto, I also did intermittent fasting (aka IF), doing the 16:8. Meaning, I only ate between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. (8 hours) and fasted for 16 hours. I survived by drinking green tea (and occasionally, coffee) with Stevia sweetener (0 carbs) in the morning. IF was difficult on the first two days, but it became a piece of cake afterwards. I was afraid I would get hyperacidity (because I have a history), but surprise, surprise: no hyperacidity whatsoever! Until now, I do IF. It has become my lifestyle.
Why or how the keto diet works
As you may already know, the ketogenic diet is a high fat, medium protein and low carbohydrate diet. As in your meal should be 70% fat, 25% protein, and 5% carbohydrates, that’s why it’s also called the LCHF (Low Carb High Fat) diet. The short explanation of why it makes you lose weight (relatively) quickly as far as I know are because:
- Carbs are what our body primarily uses as fuel. Carbs that aren’t used are stored as fat. Now when we deprive our bodies with carbs, we leave it with no choice but to use stored fats as fuel. That’s why our fat deposits get depleted even without exercise. You will NOT get into ketosis by simply cutting back on rice or sweets—you need to really lower your carb intake (I did 17-20 grams). While you may lose some weight by slightly cutting back on carbs, it won’t be as fast or as much as if you enter the state of ketosis.
- Fats are more filling. Therefore when you eat fats, you feel full more quickly. Carbs, on the other hand, aren’t just less filling than fats—they also make you crave for more carbs!
(For a more detailed/“scientific” explanation, check THIS.)
My #KayaKeto Survival Kit:
Before going on keto, I recommend shopping for keto friendly food first. Because when you go hungry, chances are you’re going to eat whatever’s in sight, right? Go to a big supermarket with a variety of food choices. Make sure you have water when grocery shopping (if you get hungry, drink! You may realize you’re not hungry after all) As a rule of thumb, I always check the label to specifically check the carb content. If you live in Metro Manila, lucky you because there are plenty of special stores for health buffs. But if you’re provinciated (read: tagaprobinsyana) like me, look for the nearest Healthy Options branch.
Here’s my #KayaKeto kit:
|1||Zevia Zero-Calorie Soda Drinks||from Healthy Options; satisfied my sweet cravings after a fat-filled/protein-filled meal na nakakaumay. Stevia-sweetened, unlike Coke Zero that’s sweetened by Aspartame.|
|2||Desiccated Coconut||available in supermarkets; planned to use this for keto-friendly macaroons and other desserts but I still haven’t|
|3||Tuna in Can & Corned Beef||available in supermarkets; I would eat this with keto pancakes or wrap them in lettuce/lollo rosa with lots of mayonnaise and eggs|
|4||Himalayan Pink Salt||got this from S&R–the one in Healthy Options is crazy expensive! Pink salt is way better than white salt because it contains more minerals, which also helps you more when you’re getting the keto flu. For more info about Himalayan Pink Salt, check THIS.|
|5||Vanilla Extract||got this from Healthy Options. BE CAREFUL because the “vanilla” you see in most supermarkets are just “vanilla flavour” and NOT real vanilla extract. The flavoured ones are full of sugars. Anyway, I use this to add flavour to my desserts|
|6||All Purpose Cream||available in supermarkets; I put this on desserts and even some dishes. Super important to me|
|7||Extra Virgin Coconut Oil||available in supermarkets; EVCO helps you get in ketosis much faster! I would drink at least two tablespoons every morning. I don’t breathe when I drink it, then would drink water or tea right after because the aftertaste makes me feel like throwing up!|
|8||Olive Oil & Extra Virgin Olive Oil||available in supermarkets; I use the Olive Oil when cooking, and the EVOO in salads. By the way, EVCO & EVOO help a lot when you’re constipated (which really happens on the first days of keto)|
|9||Jell-O||available in supermarkets; CAREFUL: not all Jello is good because some have high sugar content or Aspartame. Don’t get the JELLO pudding because it has Aspartame! You can make your own Jello pudding using Stevia|
|10||Baking Powder||available in supermarkets; very important when making instant pastry and desserts|
|11||Unsweetened Natural Cocoa||available in supermarkets; with a few packets of Stevia & other ingredients, I get to satisfy my chocolate cravings|
|12||Stevia||available in supermarkets; probably the most important item if you want to survive keto!|
|13||Shredded Cheese||available in supermarkets; I use this on my vegetable salads|
|14||Cream Cheese||available in supermarkets; I use this on salads and in some desserts (esp the best keto pancake recipe!!!)|
|15||Butter||available in supermarkets; make sure it’s NOT margarine! best if grass-fed. I use this in my tea/coffee and when cooking|
|16||Mayonnaise||available in supermarkets; another MUST HAVE! I survived eggs, tuna and salads because of mayonnaise! It made my breakfast and salads satisfying! Make sure it’s REAL MAYONNAISE ha?|
|17||Amberlyn Almonds in Belgian Milk Chocolate||available in Healthy Options. OMG, these chocolates are sooo delicious! The best for me! Super! Careful not to overeat, though!|
|18||Almond Milk||available in S&R and Healthy Options; can be used as milk substitute. Aaaand, it’s delicious with fresh coconut meat. Problem is once opened, you need to consume it within 48 hours and has to be refrigerated.|
|19||Cheese Triangles||available in supermarkets; I snack on these|
|20||Almonds||available in supermarkets; I snack on these|
|21||Coconut Flour||available in Healthy Options; when making pastry & other desserts, this is a must; way cheaper than almond flour!|
|22||Almond Flour||same use as Coconut Flour|
|23||Coconut Oil||available in supermarkets; I use this when frying and as oil of some keto desserts; don’t use CANOLA, SUNFLOWER or VEGETABLE OIL.|
|24||Gatorade Active Water||available in supermarkets; it supplies my electrolytes; cheap alternative to the expensive Zevia soda drinks|
|25||Kimchi||available in supermarkets; helps hasten ketosis and aids in digestion. Ready vegetable and satisfies my sour and spicy food cravings|
|26||Green tea||this particular brand I got from S&R, but there is plenty of green tea in supermarkets. Green tea is my morning staple (instead of coffee) Plus, green tea helps boost metabolism|
|27||Berocca Multivitamins||available in drugstores; because the keto diet restricts some vegetables and many kinds of fruit, I couldn’ gets enough vitamins thus a multivitamin is IMPORTANT! Moreover, a low carb diet would make you feel energetic all the time. The Vitamin B12 & iron in Berocca help me fall asleep more easily and more deeply. I drink it 30 minutes before I sleep. By the way, I chose Berocca because it’s like I’m drinking juice at night. 🙂 My favorite is Orange.|
|28||Bacon||available in supermarkets; easy & delicious and contains almost no carbs!|
*Those in RED are must-haves.
Aside from these, stock up on leafy vegetables as well. In fact, you can eat leafy vegetables as much as you want! The darker/brighter the color, the better.
However, stay away from grains (like rice, obviously), root crops (no potatoes or squash, limit your carrots) and legumes (no beans, munggo, etc).
In Part 3 of my #KayaKeto series, I’ll share some of my easy tried & tested keno-friendly recipes and random tips and tricks that helped me survive. 😉
Baboosh, and have a great, carb-free week ahead!