Are you as confused as I am when it comes to what to eat to feel good, lose weight, and get healthy? Tell me if this sounds about right…
Don’t eat any refined carbs, like white bread, white rice, or pasta. Instead you should only eat whole grains, like stone ground whole wheat bread. Except then you’re subject to wheat belly so you should avoid wheat. Try a high protein super grain like quinoa, but not too much because we’re ruining the economy of the Peruvian people who have relied on this grain for generations. How about just skipping grains and going to fruits and veggies? But make sure you’re not eating anything that has been genetically modified. In fact, you should buy organic whenever possible. Although organic is often a scam if you visit the factory farms that are deemed organic.
And the list and debate goes on and on – from cage-free to free range chickens, from soy-is-a-hormone-disruptor to soy-is-a-protein-alternative, from organic milk to dairy free. I feel like I can do anything morally, ethically, or nutritionally right.
For this reason, I want to start by saying that finding a healthy lifestyle is not a diet and it’s not a book. It’s a journey to find what works for you, your health, and your budget.
I completed 30 days of the Whole30 plan about a year ago and felt pretty good. I didn’t lose much weight. I cooked A LOT and made more things from scratch than I ever thought possible. I learned to like spaghetti squash and mastered the art of making mayonnaise. The idea is to eliminate a lot of inflammatory foods from your body for 30 days (like wheat, grains, soy, dairy, legumes) and slowly introduce them back into your diet.
At the end of 30 days, the only thing I found that didn’t make me feel awesome was wheat. I’m not gluten-intolerant or anything. I just feel better when I don’t eat wheat. Unfortunately, wheat is in everything I love like pizza and pasta.
This year, as my weight started ballooning back up as I added so many “forbidden foods” back into my diet, I realized it was time for a change. I’d been hearing about the low-carb, high-fat diet, also known as the ketogenic diet and it piqued my curiosity. When I saw a friend recommend The Keto Reset Diet as a good starting place, I ordered the book and let it collect dust for a few months.
When January finally rolled around (and I literally rolled in with it), I knew it was time to make a change.
I’ll admit that I wasn’t that keen on reading up on the science. I get how ketosis works. You’re basically depriving your body of carbohydrates for fuel and making a biochemical change that forces your body to start using stored fat for energy. It’s a process that is designed to protect us in times when energy isn’t immediately available. But so many of us carry excess fat that we don’t really need, why not try to burn some of it off naturally?
The keto reset diet starts with a 21 day meal plan that is designed to wean you off of carbs. While a full ketogenic diet usually requires you to eat 15g or less of carbs per day, the 21 day introductory plan has a higher threshold allowing for sweet potatoes and other higher carb foods. I bet you weren’t thinking about sweet potatoes as carbs but this plan is not just about low carbs – it’s about where those carbs come from, ideally fruits and vegetables.
It’s not all meat and vegetables though. There’s room for flavor in the form of fat. Yes to butter and bacon and cheese and cream. There are actually specific ratios to follow (called macronutrient counts) for those that are seriously tracking their ketogenic diet.
That’s the end goal of the keto reset diet. Spend the first 21 days weaning yourself off of carbs while priming your body to start burning fuel for energy. And then go full on keto.
For me, I started the diet, liked the food I was eating, didn’t really miss much, and started losing weight. But was I losing the right weight?
When I started the plan back on January 2nd, I took stock of myself: body weight, body measurements, and percentage of body fat. In three weeks time, I lost 8 pounds, 9 inches (total), and 3% body fat. So where does that leave me?
I’m not interested in restricting myself further or counting everything I eat. This plan is working naturally for me because I’m cooking more at home and I’m enjoying my food. And with the high fat content, I enjoy the taste and feel full and satisfied with smaller amounts of food.
I don’t have any dramatic before and after pictures to show you. And the only reason I’m writing about it is because I didn’t find much about this specific plan before I started. In fact, the only thing I could really find was what a bad idea this type of eating is for you because it’s just not sustainable. Well, I’m here to tell you that it is happily sustainable.
Don’t worry. I still plan to enjoy pizza and french fries once in a while but seeing the cause and effect on my body of this type of eating (and watching my jeans get loosed) is all the proof I need.
If you are thinking about starting this diet or have questions, I’m happy to answer based on my own personal experiences. Scroll down for more examples of the delicious things we’ve been eating on this plan.