Hi Three to Five Tribe! As I announced last week, I temporarily adopted a Keto lifestyle back in February in order to consume more healthy fats. (The things you have to do for your health sometimes). Here are five lessons I earned from adapting a Keto lifestyle for the second time.
5 Lessons I Learned from the Keto Diet
#1 You Are Probably Eating Way More Carbohydrates and Way Less Fat Than You Think
Before I actually did some nutritional math and calculated how many grams of fat, protein and carbohydrates I was consuming on a daily basis, I thought I was a fat burner. Boy was I wrong! On Keto, you should be consuming a high fat diet with moderate protein and minimal carbohydrates. Roughly 180+ grams of fat, 70 grams or less of protein and 40 grams or less of carbohydrates. When I calculated my macros (fat, protein and carbs) on any given day, I was roughly consuming 40 grams or less of fat, 100+ grams of protein and 160+ grams of carbohydrates. (And I thought I was a fat burner – hah!) 🤦🏼♀️ I am not a fan of calculating anything: calories, macros, portions, but if you are looking to get an accurate data sample of where you are at in a certain area of your health, then I am all for it. Hey, if I didn’t conduct any nutritional math, I would not have realized the severe lack of calories, and subsequently healthy fats in my daily diet, which ultimately acted as the catalyst for my Keto journey part deux. If you are doing it for all of the right reasons, don’t be afraid to do some calculations.
#2 You Drink A Lot of Water on Keto
It takes roughly 2-3 grams of water to process and digest just 1 gram of carbohydrates, so when you consume carbohydrates, whether they are simple carbs from bread or complex carbs from vegetables, you retain water. When you adapt a Keto Diet, it’s critical you properly hydrate as having an adequate amount of water in your system will help your body properly digest all of the healthy fats you are consuming. However, since you are simultaneously cutting carbohydrates, there aren’t any macronutrients in your body to absorb the water. Translation: You will be drinking a lot of water and going to the bathroom more frequently. Hey, the bright side of Keto is you are well hydrated, but since you are so hydrated you have to make sure you have enough electrolytes in your system. In order to make sure you have enough electrolytes in your body to functionalists properly, add a dash of Pink Himalayan Salt to your glass of water as it is high in minerals.
#3 You Will Most Likely Experience Keto Flu
Even if you have adapted a Keto Diet in the past, you will most likely experience Keto Flu yet again. (Ugh, yes I know, it’s a drag, but it’s a sign you are headed in the right direction!) What’s the Keto Flu? When you are a sugar burner and your body is accustomed to receiving a steady state of carbohydrates throughout the day, it kind of freaks out when you stop giving it carbs. For the first 2-4 days after adapting a Keto Diet, your body is confused and has no idea where to get its energy. Your body acts like an small child who missed a nap and is throwing a tantrum because you won’t give it the candy bar it so desperately wants. 😭 Thankfully, after about 2-4 days, your body gets sick of it’s own bullish*it sob story about how it can’t get energized because you refuse to give it carbs and eventually wises up and decides to start using what you are giving it as fuel (healthy fat) and thereby energy.
#4 You Can Still Enjoy Carbohydrates
After my first round of Keto back in 2016, I developed a fear of carbohydrates. I was fearful I would consume too many of them thereby kicking me out of Ketosis. Even before I started my second round of Keto, I was concerned and anxious I would miss my roasted vegetables far too much to successfully achieve a state of Ketosis. However, I realized if you take the time to plan your meals and your macros, you can still enjoy roasted veggies, Brussel Sprouts and broccoli included. 😊 (Thank goodness!) You also get really good at deciphering which vegetables are naturally low in carbohydrates (hello roasted cauliflower). 😍
#5 Keto Teaches You Accurate Portion Sizes
Part of me wanted to migrate back to a Keto lifestyle because my macro portions were out of control. It was typical for me to easily consume 12+ ounces of wild caught salmon for dinner with a side of roasted broccoli, 6-9 heads of roasted broccoli to be exact. (Yep! True story). It’s a far cry from my days downing bags of Tootsie Rolls, but everything in moderation, even good for you foods like vegetables. Keto helped me return to normal portion sizes and made me realize how little protein and carbohydrates I need at any given meal when I am focusing on getting an adequate amount of fat each day. Plus, since I am getting a sufficient amount of fat, my body doesn’t even feel the need to eat that much protein and carbohydrates anymore. I am perfectly satisfied after 3-6 ounces of salmon and 3-4 cups (not heads) of broccoli.
Whether you are adapting a Keto lifestyle for the first time or the umpteenth time, take into consideration these five Keto lessons before you go all in on that Keto lifestyle.
Learning from Keto three to five lessons at a time,