On January 1, I decided to kick off the new year with committing to a ketogenic diet for the month. I have done keto on and off since October and really enjoyed the small amount of time that I gave it a try. So, here we are again! Today we’re going to recap my one month keto results, along with helpful resources, tips, and the foods I eat!
Let me get this straight – while I did want to lose a few pounds this month, I really wanted to have more energy and try as best as I could to suppress my appetite. I am sugar and carb addicted like everyone else in America, and this seemed like the best way I’ve found to really help battle the addiction.
Another thing I’ve been struggling with is how sedentary I’ve become since working from home. I would just sit and eat a bunch of snacks while working, and I feel like I was always hungry and tired! Keto is a great option to keep me full and energized.
I have done a round of Whole30 the past two years in January, so I am sticking with tradition in staying with a program for the first of the month, but I wanted to shake things up.
What is the keto diet?
Firstly, I am not a medical professional, dietician, or nutritionist. Do your research, talk to your doctor, and do this at your own risk. Here are two articles that break down the keto diet and its benefits pretty well.
- Ketogenic Diet Benefits for Weight Loss, Fighting Disease and More
- A Comprehensive Beginner’s Guide to the Ketogenic Diet
The ketogenic diet, or keto diet, is a low-carb high-fat diet. Based on your weight, you try to stay under a certain amount of net carbs (carbs minus fiber) for the day. You also try to hit other macros like fat and protein. My daily goal is to stay under 19g net carbs, hit 59 grams of protein, and consume 130 grams of fat per day. I use the KetoDiet Tracker App on my phone to keep track of my macros and goals for the day. Using MyFitnessPal is another option, but it’s harder to calculate net carbs (which, again, is carbs minus fiber).
Staying under your net carb goal puts you into ketosis, where your body burns fat instead of glucose. Read those articles above to get that scientific portion explained! (Because, again, I am not a nutritionist.)
A ketogenic diet is a little controversial, as it tends to go against traditional rules of nutrition. It’s not something I can do for the rest of my life, and I had to be realistic about vacations, get-togethers, parties, etc. But it does battle the carb and sugar addiction, and I am eating lots of healthy foods.
I committed to 31 days of a keto diet, with the intention to see how I felt at the end. If I wanted to keep going, I would. We go to Disney in February, so I am definitely not going to worry about anything then! I like a short, month-long commitment because it is manageable and I end up wanting to do it for longer!
What to Eat on Keto
The whole idea behind keto is a low-carb high-fat diet. This is a great Ketogenic Diet Food List, but I eat a lot of meat, eggs, cheese, cruciferous vegetables (spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, green beans, etc.), and healthy fats like organic butter, coconut oil, and avocados. Fruit is minimal, but you can have berries. You can also do sugar-free sweeteners and I typically stick to things like stevia. At first glance, it sounds restrictive, but there really is so much you can eat. I never feel restricted!
Useful Tools and Supplies While on the Keto Diet
KetoDiet Tracker App // I’ve enjoyed using this app to keep track of my macros, especially net carbs. It’s very simple and an easy user interface.
Keto Test Strips // You pee on these little things to make sure that you are in ketosis. I test about every other day. You never know what may knock you out.
MCT Oil // MCT Oil is so good for brain function, and it’s a flavorless oil derived from coconuts. I put this in my bulletproof coffee, as well!
Electrolyte Drops // When you’re on keto, you tend to get dehydrated more quickly than if you were not. Hydration is absolutely essential. I put these drops in my water, along with lemon/lime juice (because I don’t like the way they taste on their own).
Instant Pot // This tool is so useful and handy, even if you are not on the keto diet! I make hard-boiled eggs and spaghetti squash in five minutes! I’ve also done a lot of meals in it.
Favorite Keto Recipes & Foods
Crock Pot Bacon Broccoli Chicken // This is such a delicious and decadent recipe. I skip adding the cheese at the end (I feel like it’s too much). I’ve also done it with green beans and it’s so yummy!
Slow Cooker Italian Beef // Oh my lanta, this is an amazing beef roast recipe. I love the tang of the peppers!
Low Carb Taco Soup // I modified this recipe, and I make this in the Instant Pot! I also use one block of cream cheese instead of two, because I feel like it’s enough.
Low Carb Chili // This turned out so good, and was a great recipe to have in January when it was actually cold here. I don’t love chili when it’s hot, so I needed to get it out of my system.
Keto Pizza // Greg has made this a few times, and it freakishly tastes so similar to a real pizza. So dang good!
Bulletproof Coffee // I love to drink a bulletproof coffee every morning. I put 1 tablespoon of organic butter, 1-2 tablespoons of MCT oil and 1 scoop of collagen. I then will take my immersion blender and blend it all together. The key is blending it so it’s nice and frothy. It tastes like a latte!
Taco Salads // This is a go-to meal. We brown up some ground beef and throw it on top of lettuce with guacamole, salsa, cheese, and dressing.
Chopped Salads // Chop up hard-boiled eggs, salami, deli meat, pepperoncinis, cheese, a few tomatoes, and avocado. Throw it on top of some lettuce and drizzle with ranch. Sooooo good!
Spaghetti Squash with Meat Sauce // Easy to throw together (especially with the Instant Pot).
Cream Cheese Roll-Ups // I take deli meat and spread cream cheese (and sometimes avocado) on the slices, then I roll them up. I serve myself a side of dill pickles for the crunch. It’s a great, easy lunch!
Tessemae’s Dressings // We are in love with these dressings! All natural/organic ingredients. We can usually find them in the produce section of our grocery store.
Sparkling Water // An absolute staple for me, no matter if I’m on keto or not. I am addicted to sparkling water.
Dry Wine // I love that I can have a glass of dry red or white wine on keto and it doesn’t mess with me at all. I will say that I feel the alcohol much faster since there are no carbs for it to hold onto. Usually, one to two glasses really is enough! Haha!
One Month Keto Results
Finally, let’s get to the stuff you really want to hear.
In one month, I lost 8 pounds. I did not take measurements but my clothes fit so much better, and I look so much leaner. That is significant for me – I’m someone who doesn’t really have a lot to lose. I think that is super successful, considering I lost seven pounds the last time I did Whole30, and that was a very restrictive experience!
I did work out this month, although it was not as much as I had hoped. I would say twice to three times a week was the max. I do a mixture of HIIT and Intervals (with weights), and a little bit of cardio. I have also done a few spin classes.
There was a point in keto where I felt super tired, but making sure I ate enough fat kept me energized. I do have a lot of energy during the day! I sleep like a rock at night. I would say the one downside is I have so much trouble getting up in the morning because I am dead asleep.
I will continue keto up until Disney (I do plan to cheat a few times before then), and then probably get back on it after Disney.
Long-term, I may transition to a more paleo type lifestyle with more carb restriction. Or I may up my net carbs and really focus on healthy foods. I don’t know. I haven’t thought it quite out. But what I do know is that I really think this is the easiest “diet” I’ve been on with the fastest results. If you’re considering it, give it a try!
If you’ve done keto before, I’d love to hear your experiences. Thank you for reading along and being a part of my journey!