You might remember that last June, Daniel and I started something new: a ketogenic diet. We had both been struggling with discipline regarding food, and truthfully? I didn’t even care about how unhealthy I was. I knew my choices weren’t wise; I just didn’t care. But we reached a point where we both knew that something had to change. After seeing the results from a couple of friends who went on Keto, Daniel basically pushed us into it after our Colorado trip – and I am SO GLAD he did!! It was incredibly hard, but also incredibly worth it. I lost 30 pounds in a little over 3 months. Months later, it is still surreal to say that!
I was nervous in the beginning because of how many foods we had to give up. Tortillas, pasta, chips, potatoes, sweets – how would I survive?? My sugar detox was rough, and there were a few days when we didn’t feel great as our bodies adjusted to less calories and basically no carbs. But I can confidently say that if and when I diet at any point in the future, it will always be Keto. True, we had to give up a lot of things we liked to eat, but we were also allowed to eat a lot of things you wouldn’t normally eat on another diet, like butter, fatty meats, and dairy!
Again – I won’t lie and say it was easy. But after the first week or two, we fell into a familiar, comfortable rhythm. I understood what we could eat and what we couldn’t; I learned how to meal plan and prep; I found sugar-free desserts that satisfied my sweet tooth; and I lost almost all of my unhealthy cravings and gained more self control than I thought possible.
One of the best things to come out of the experience, besides the weight loss and healthier perspective on food, was getting to share it with others! I was so thankful for the advice we received from our friends, and I was so excited to jump on that train and be that helpful person for someone else. When you start something new, it always helps to hear tips from people who have already done it, so here are a few things that made the process easier for us!
1. This website.
This was my go-to for almost all of my Keto questions. Using the macros calculator is an absolute must to get you started, and the articles about food do’s and don’ts were super helpful.
2. This macro meal planning template.
Before I found this worksheet, I had to do all the macro math by hand. As long as you know your protein/fat/carb intake, all you have to do is type it in once and the formula calculates your totals for the week, including calories! This was an absolute Godsend.
3. Finding good recipes.
I cannot explain how overwhelming it was to keep track of my macros before I found Keto-specific recipes with the macros already listed. I was putting every single ingredient from a recipe into MyFitnessPal and dividing to find out the serving size. It was EXHAUSTING. When I discovered that I could search for Keto recipes, it changed everything. There are dozens of blogs who specialize in low-carb recipes, and they include the macros and nutrition facts for each recipe!! Some of my favorites were Low Carb Yum, Low Carb Maven, Peace Love and Low Carb, All Day I Dream About Food, Kasey Trenum, Ditch the Carbs, and Ruled.me. We were also really thankful for flavored sparkling water and chocolate chip cookie dough fat bombs!
Even though I used it more in the beginning before finding the excel template and simpler recipes, this was still really helpful throughout our diet. I used it to look up foods we hadn’t already eaten, or whenever we went out to eat. I also used it to find out the macros for recipes that didn’t have the nutrition facts listed.
5. Doing it with someone.
Dieting, reading through a Bible study, exercising, praying, traveling – honestly, this tip works better for just about anything. Daniel hit his weight goal before me, which meant I had about a month of a half of doing Keto by myself. It was much easier when we were both eating the same things, because we didn’t keep stuff we couldn’t have in the house. When he quit, it was so hard to watch him eat food that I couldn’t. Especially if you’re married or have roommates, just know that it is easier to stay disciplined when they are eating what you’re eating. But even if your spouse or roommate isn’t participating, having a Keto friend to hold you accountable definitely helps.
6. Seeing the weight loss in the mirror, not just on the scale.
Seeing numbers go down is one thing. But looking in the mirror and seeing your body transforming is another. I started to see a new person with each week that went by, and that felt absolutely amazing. I had more confidence in myself than I think I’ve ever had in my whole life, and that felt even more amazing!
If you’ve been on Keto before, what is your favorite Keto-friendly recipe? Please share!