Keto Diet Week One – My Observations and Confessions
Okay so here’s the truth… This first week on the Keto diet for me was sort of like putting one-toe in the water. I like to test things, so that’s what I did this week. I tested foods, tracking, cheating, and almost no exercise. I read article upon article… I still feel like I’m educating myself for this lifestyle change. I only lost one pound this week, but I am not going to complain because I can pinpoint the reasons, and to prove it, I’m making some changes this week.
I am now labeling week one officially my keto diet warm-up week. Here’s what I did and did not do this first week on the keto diet and what I learned from it:
Tracking is critical when you are first getting started.
I did not track my food this first week. More specifically I did not track my macros. Macros is short for macronutrients. The more I read the more I learn. Macros are tracked in fats, carbs, and proteins. Based on your weight/size, your balance of macros will be different than mine. The goal of the keto diet is to hit those marcro targets to send your body into ketosis.
I am still trying to understand the science behind ketosis, but this article, What is Ketosis, will help you understand as well as I do. It has to do with the way our body turns input into glucose and the way we burn our body fuel (fat).
This first week, I did not put the effort into tracking my macros. I ate a very low carb diet all week and observed 95% of the keto diet plan (more on that a bit later). I made Keto friendly bread, creamers, and other recipes. But at the end of the day (or week), I did not track a thing. So if I’m being honest, I was not really following the keto diet.
Minimal cheating is still cheating.
This past week I see a few areas where my cheats were minimal but they were cheats none-the-less. My husband wanted to order take-out. I tried to order as keto friendly as possible. I ordered a buffalo chicken salad with grilled chicken. On its own would be okay, but I used the provided blue cheese dressing… a cheat. If I’m going to go down that path I need to have some of these pre-made keto approved dressings on hand.
Then, last night I had low-carb cauliflower crust pizza. A fully keto approved recipe, but I over indulged throwing my macros out of balance (which I wasn’t tracking but I see the error of my ways now).
Third, I had some sugar free, stevia-based dark chocolate this week. Which is also keto approved, but I probably need to limit this to one day a week to make it special and to have it feel like a cheat. I ate less than the recommended serving each time, but I also did it 3 times this week, and all after 8pm. (Another no-no.)
Lastly, the first 2 days, I was still using my sugar-free powered creamer. I have officially (as of yesterday), switched to fully keto approved items like Truvia or keto only creamer recipes.
All of these things combined, I am quite certain, prevented me from putting myself into ketosis.
The keto diet is a commitment and takes thought and prep-time.
This observation is a-okay with me because I love to cook and bake. To me a fun Sunday is time spent in the kitchen. I also love to test recipes (and make videos of myself doing so to share with my community). I’m just getting started with these keto recipes, but I’m having a blast doing it. I am researching recipes and trying a lot of new things. I’ve created a new Pinterest board for my Keto Pins – more than recipes – articles too.
You’ll want to invest in things like Stevia-based sweeteners, Almond Flour, Xylitol and other oddball ingredients. Oh and buy lots and lots of eggs. I make sure I have 18 in the fridge at all times. (Or raise chickens… I live in a condo so I can’t but I highly recommend it if you can.)
Hitting your macronutrient targets is a big deal.
Tracking your macros is probably the most important element of success. When I combine all of the above points: keto approved recipes, not cheating, and prep and planning – they sound good right? Wrong! Here’s a perfect example… This morning I spent time packing my breakfast and lunch for work – all keto approved items.
Then I sat down and entered my breakfast and lunch into the tracker app and was blown away. (I’m using the Keto Diet Tracker app by the way.) What I found was, that while all these items are keto approved, they are throwing my macros out of balance. So yes, this is low-carb, but by itself uses up ALL of my protein macros for the day leaving me with fat and carbs only. What the heck?
So I’m not going to fully scrap my breakfast and lunch – though I may skip the cheese stick and leave that for tomorrow. But I have to figure out how to hit my macros today and not go way over on my proteins…
So I went back inot research mode – how do I hit my macros when all I have left is fatr and carbs? Check out this article: Out of a Macro? Here’s What to Eat.
It saved my day… I needed to find some foods that are healthy options with fat and carbs that are low in protein – enter sweet potatoes… That’s what for dinner (as of now). Thank goodness I love sweet potatoes! It will be baked with some full-fat butter and chopped pecans, and I can even sprinkle a little cinnamon. Sounds delish!
Looking forward to week two:
I’m ready to tackle week 2. This week I will hit my macros as closely as possible for 7 straight days. They say it takes your body between 2-7 days to hit ketosis. I’m going to plan for 7, but I’m also going to play by the rules this week.
I am loving the foods, and feel that this is sustainable for me for the long-haul. My goal – lose some weight over the next 90 days and then figure out what maintenance mode looks like. But for this week no cheats, and avid tracking.
I will be introducing exercise back in starting next week. I want to be able to give feedback on the food intake and macro-balance without the exercise component… and then we’ll go from there.