1 Month Keto Progress and a Linkup

Health and Fitness Linkup

Today’s post is all about my Keto progress!  A few people have asked me about my progress or what Keto even is (especially on Instagram, so many people were curious) so in today’s post I’m going to take everyone’s questions and put them into one post.

*Disclaimer*

Please keep in mind I’m not a doctor, or licensed in anything health related, I’m not a nutrionist or dietician.  Please make sure to check with your doctor prior to making any changes to your diet or exercise regimen.  Please also note that this post is soley based on my opinion, and any research that I have done online.

*End Disclaimer*

Ok, now that I got the numerous disclaimers out of the way, let’s move on!

Today I will discuss, what the ketogenic diet is, why and how I started it, and what my progress has been so far, on and off the scale, and how I would compare it to other diets that I’ve done.  A lot of you have asked what’s keto or have never heard of it, or have been misinformed as to what it actually is.  It’s not just a low carb diet, although that is part of it.  I know that keto has turned into a fad diet, but when I talk to people who did the “fad” keto, it’s not entirely the same and when they don’t even know what ketosis is, it worries me a little.  Keep reading to find out more!

What is the ketogenic diet?

The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet that in medicine is used primarily to treat difficult-to-control epilepsy in children. The diet forces the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates. (off of Google)

From all the research that I’ve done and all the podcasts that I listened to (Joe Rogan’s podcast has a lot of interesting health ones, if you want a list of doctor’s that he had on the show, I can definitely provide that to you) the main purpose of the keto diet is to be in a state of ketosis.  Here’s Google’s definition of ketosis:

A metabolic state characterized by raised levels of ketone bodies in the body tissues, which is typically pathological in conditions such as diabetes, or may be the consequence of a diet that is very low in carbohydrates.

When your body reaches a state of ketosis it has raised levels of ketone bodies, and this is also when your body starts burning it’s own fat instead of glucose, or in other words, carbs. 

When I was doing research as to why some doctors will treat epileptics with the keto diet, I couldn’t really find the exact reason why, but from what I did read, there’s something that happens with the brain which helps stabilize whatever misfires are happening when you have seizures.  Now, please don’t quote me on that because I don’t have the source for that.  I’m going off of memory here.

Why did I start keto?

Well, I didn’t just fall into the fad of the diet.  There’s an actual purpose to this diet for me.  Back when I was first diagnosed with Epilepsy in 2005, I did a ton of research and found the keto diet.  I did a lot of my own research about it and even watched a documentary.  When I had asked my neurologist about it to see if we can give it a shot, he said no because it’s not for me and because I had already started medication.  So I kept taking my medicine and kept the keto diet in the back of my mind for years.

Fast Forward to a few years ago when I asked the neurologist about the keto diet yet again, and again I was shot down.  Last year I had asked about the keto diet, and again was shot down.  No. No. No. You see, I would prefer to go a more natural route than continue to take medicine.  However, I would never risk completely stopping my medication intake unless my doctor said we could try it.

Then, on Thanksgiving 2017 I had a seizure.  You can read that whole post here.  The doctor immediately increased my medicine, after 12 years of taking the same dose.  The worst part, is that I would now have to pay DOUBLE because there is no single pill for my dosage, it’s two pills split up into two separate doses.  I asked the doctor one more time about keto and the implant and he said no to both.  Then when all of my test results came back he stated that everything was normal and that I would just need to take the higher dosage.  No further testing to see if maybe something else is causing issues.

I decided to take manners into my own hands.  Now, just fyi, I DO NOT recommend you doing this, this is just me being a rebel.  I continue to take my medicine, but I decided trying the keto diet at the same time won’t hurt.  Maybe it will help along with the medicine, or maybe it will somehow readjust everything in my body.  I was told when I was first diagnosed that it’s possible for me to grow out of this type of epilepsy, and even though it’s been almost 13 years, I’m still crossing my fingers.  I still have hope.

How I started keto

Ok, so as I said earlier I did A LOT of research (from November to January, not including the many years of reading about the keto diet prior to this recent seizure).  I found this keto calculator which was able to help me figure out exactly what my grams of fat, protein, and carbs were supposed to be in a day.  I did thorough research so that I did it right and without any ketone supplements.  Everyone asks how I was able to kick carbs and sugar (even fruits) and I said because I’m doing this for my health and I really just HAVE to try and see if this changes anything.  I’m no doctor, but I definitely feel a change.  I was also able to get in a state of ketosis without ketone supplements!  I was super excited when this happened.

I started looking up what other people were eating for the fat and protein intake because I’m not into super fatty meat unless it’s bacon, or sometimes when I eat beef.  I read that my favorite meat, liver, was really high in fat, but the downfall is it’s also high in cholesterol.  So, I can only eat that every once in a while.  I’ve been sticking to mostly red meat and fish to be completely honest, and my fat has been coming from avocados, and dairy.  I try not to have too high of a dairy intake because dairy is also high calorie.  You have to be extremely strategic with this diet.

The first week I kept it super simple and ate eggs for breakfast, and then above ground grown vegetables (they tend to have less carbs) and the fattiest fish I could find; salmon.  Then I would eat avocados and fatty deli meat.  Even though I was doing everything by the book, I still ended up with keto flu!

What’s Keto Flu?

Exactly what it’s called.  It feels like the flu, and it’s thanks to keto lol.  When your body is adjusting it’s having a hard time because now all of the sudden it doesn’t have enough glucose to burn, so it has to start burning it’s own fat instead.  This takes a toll on your body.  I felt so lethargic.  I couldn’t work out, and to be honest, it’s been really hard for me to start up again haha.  Eff you keto flu!!!!  I read that the best thing for keto flu is to drink bone broth.  I didn’t try this, I just toughed it out and kept saying it will be worth it in the end.  It definitely was.

Is it like Paleo?  Can vegetarians/vegans do this diet?

I’ve never done Paleo so I can’t really answer this question truthfully.  To be honest from what I’ve read, I would have to say no, it’s definitely a different diet, but I’m sure it’s just as difficult.  My vegetarian friend tried this diet, but he just could not get enough protein in his system since he couldn’t eat meat or fish.  I read that vegans shouldn’t try this diet because there is no way they will be able to get the proper intake of protein and fat.

My Progress

In one month here are my stats of what I lost:

Weight 13lbs

Left Bicep 1 inch

Right Bicep 1 inch

Chest 2inches

Waist 3.5 inches

Hip 2.5 inches

Left Thigh 1.5 inches

Right Thigh 1 inch

Left Calf 0 inches

Right Calf 1 inch

As for progress regarding my epilepsy, which is why I started this diet.  I feel more alert, and more on point.  When I wake up in the morning I don’t feel as foggy and I am on my feet faster than before.  I wake up faster.  I only use one alarm instead of three.  I’m still nervous because of my last seizure but I’m definitely feeling a lot better with this diet.  I’m not as tired and I don’t have that crash after I eat.  However, when I did “cheat” one day and have Halo Top ice cream I felt like poop afterwards.  Even though it’s supposed to be a healthier version and it does have stevia in it, I just didn’t feel normal and it did slightly kick me out of ketosis.

Comparisons

This diet is not like any other diet I’ve done.  If you want to read my last comparison between workout programs, you can click here.  As for this diet, I actually really like it.  I do sometimes miss greasy NJ pizza or ice cream (especially ice cream cake), but I like the food with this diet better than the 21 day fix.  Yes, it’s more annoying because I have to weigh everything as opposed to just “if it fits you can eat it” containers.  I prefer being able to eat an entire avocado in one sitting, instead of only eating not even 1/3 of it and throwing the rest away because after a few days it goes bad.  I like being able to eat fatty meat and not 93%-98% lean (percentages vary with meat during 21DF).  I love cheese and I’m able to eat that on this diet, more than I was able to with the 21DF.  The part I did like about the 21DF is you had an entire booklet telling you exactly what you can and can’t eat during the 21 days and it came with workouts and support groups/coach, whereas keto I did all on my own.  I know a lot of people who end up not continuing with keto because it’s too hard.  I’m not going to lie to y’all, it is hard in the beginning, but the end result is so worth it.  The crazy part is, if you’re looking at it from a weight loss perspective, I lost more weight and inches in one month of keto (with maybe a total of 5 days of working out the entire month due to the keto flu) than I did when in a month of 21df and that’s including working out everyday.  The thing is, both diets/programs are completely different and I can’t really say which one I would recommend (based soley off opinion, not medical expertise) because each person is different and each body is different.  You may do keto and feel like absolute garbage, but if you do the 21DF you’ll feel like you’re on top of the world and vice versa.  That’s why when people ask me which one I recommend I say I really can’t do that.  I personally prefer the keto diet, but that’s because I like the food on the keto diet more, and I also feel much better than I did with 21DF.  That’s just my opinion though, not a recommendation.

Are you still doing keto, or is it just a one month thing?

So, I’m still doing keto.  Some doctors in the research I’ve done have said that you shouldn’t do this for more than 3 months and others swear by this as a lifestyle so it’s really hard to actually say which route would be better for me.  However, I think since I have epilepsy I’m going to continue it, however I have decided that I will allow myself a few more cheat days than just once a month.  I don’t know how long I will do this for, so we shall see!

*Disclaimer*

Please keep in mind I’m not a doctor, or licensed in anything health related, I’m not a nutrionist or dietician.  Please make sure to check with your doctor prior to making any changes to your diet or exercise regimen.  Please also note that this post is soley based on my opinion, and any research that I have done online.

*End Disclaimer*

Ok, so now that I got all of that out, let’s move on to the weekly linkup!

xoxo Monica

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15 thoughts on “1 Month Keto Progress and a Linkup”

  1. Good for you for taking matters in your own hands with your health! I totally get how frustrating pills can be when they are that expensive. Struggling with this with my boys and there ADHD meds. I see results already! Thanks for sharing and I wish you continued success with the diet. Praying that the epilepsy goes away.

    https://www.kathrineeldridge.com

    1. The costs of these pills keep increasing too. I’m not sure how it works with your boys’ meds, but I can’t take a generic version (I’ll seizure) due to something that’s different in it from the brand name, so I have to take brand name pills. What I’m paying in a year is absolutely insane, and it’s WITH insurance. And thank you, I’m too praying that the epilepsy goes away because this is something I really don’t want to deal with for the rest of my life.

  2. Monica, thank you for sharing this! I am so confused as to how this diet is “dangerous”. It sounds like you are getting all the nutrients you need and that it is pretty balanced with proteins, vegetables, and dairy. Although, I am no expert either! But good for you for trying it and staying committed. You look fabulous!

    Shelbee
    http://www.shelbeeontheedge.com

    1. From all of the research I’ve done, it can be dangerous if your body isn’t “made” for this diet. Every one’s body is different. I may react really well to this diet, whereas the next person might get severely sick because their body needs more carbs than mine does. With Keto, a lot of people take vitamins to help as well, because it is hard getting some nutrients and they also say that you can increase your cholesterol. I have low cholesterol so I figured I’d give this a shot. I also took a health DNA test a few months back and what my daily intake should be based off of strictly my own genetics is what my intake is with the keto diet specifically. I take extra things like Fish Oil and I want to start taking MCT Oil. I’m not discrediting any doctors because I’m not one and obviously don’t know nearly as much as they do. I will say that I feel a hell of a lot better.

  3. Interesting read. You know, every time I tried a low-carb diet I felt so weak and lethargic now I know why! Thanks for sharing!

  4. I think it’s good that you are trying different things. I know as a western taught medical practitioner, most disregard diet. Yet food can be your medicine even more so than your medicine!!
    So good for you Moncia!! It’ll be interesting to see how it continues and I hope you keep us up to speed!!
    XOXO
    Jodie
    http://www.jtouchofstyle.com

    1. I’ve tried many different diets and it’s really true when they say that it’s 85% diet. Whenever I change my diet I feel so much better. Keto has been the best so far in terms of how I feel, but when I did the 21 DF, I felt great too. As soon as I eat something that isn’t healthy I just feel terrible. I think that’s why a lot of people nowadays are always so tired, not just because of lack of sleep, but because they aren’t eating properly.

  5. This is so interesting. I’ve heard this can really be a good diet for the right person. I personally don’t think I would do it because I have high cholesterol, runs in the family, and I HAVE to have carbs. I get really shaky and feel like I’m going to pass out if I don’t get enough. I think this totally works for you and I am so glad it’s working!

    http://www.mylittlenest.org

  6. Good for you for trying to improve your health with your diet. I tried the Atkins diet years ago and it didn’t work for me, and that’s when I ate chicken and fish. I definitely couldn’t do it now, I love my carbs too much anyway!

    Emma xxx
    http://www.style-splash.com

  7. I love the Keto diet. Pounds and inches melt away and I feel so much better. My joints don’t hurt and like you say you are so alert when you wake up. Keeping to can be hard in social situations but it is very much worth doing in my opinion.

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