The Skinny on Keto

I weight train 5 days a week, use a Nitrofit Whole Body Vibration machine a few times a week and Mountain Bike on the weekend.  Why am I not leaning out?   Simply put, I am not following my own dieting rules. I know, you must be thinking this guy is such a hypocrite. He preaches healthy eating and exercise then admits that he has strayed from his gospel.  Well folks it happens to the best of us. Travel, social events, work functions and life can chip away at even the most disciplined of us. After nearly a decade of the same low carb, low fat, high protein diet I had decided to switch things up a bit and shock my system.   I had heard rumors about the Ketogenic diet and wanted to know if it was all the hype.

I did some research and found out that the diet is predicated on high fats, medium protein and virtually no carbs.  I thought to myself, “How am I going to get lean by eating so much fat?”  According to the diet, your body will learn to stop using carbohydrates as fuel and convert ingested and stored fats as fuel. This process of fat to energy conversion is know as ketosis.   In theory this seem like the perfect scenario right? Well its not that simple. Getting into Ketosis takes discipline, staying there requires completely reprogramming your mind to crave fats not carbs.

Now the moment you have all been waiting for ……… Does it work?

Its working for me. I’m a month into the diet now and look and feel better than I did in previous months.  My waistline has leaned out and my energy levels seems to be just as good if not better than when I incorporated carbs into my diet.  I will say though that the first week is brutal because your body struggles to transition from processing carbs to processing fats as your main source of energy.  The result is a week of being tired, lazy and foggy headed.  Yet if you stay strong and press on, your energy levels come back, your brain clouds clear and you realize that you don’t really miss carbs all that much.

Here is the catch…. there’s always a catch.

No sugar, no alcohol, no grains, no fruits and limited vegetables.  Ok then so what can you eat on a Keto diet?  Well the simple answer is lots meats, bacon, butter, oil and green leafy veggies.

My favorite place to shop for my ketogenic diet is trader Joe’s because they have organic meats and veggies at a reasonable price. I usually get out of there spending around $100  and get enough food to last about a week.  Pre-cook some of your meals to heat up through the day and you are on your way to burning off those love handles.

My Trader Joe’s shopping list is as follows:

  • Greens: Kale,spinach, romaine, baby greens, asparagus, cucumbers
  • Others; Mushrooms , onions ( sliced thin for flavor) , avocados for fat.
  • Cheese; String cheese, Parmesan, feta, swiss
  • Fats: Uncured Natural Bacon, olive oil, Organic butter, Coconut oil
  • Meats: Chicken legs, Chicken breasts, steak, salmon, tuna steak, ground turkey, ground beef, lamb chops, pork chops.
  • Seafood: Shrimp and Scallops
  • Jumbo organic eggs
  • Unsweetened Almond milk to add to my coffee
  • Stevia extract to replace sugar in my coffee
  • Pickles- I’m a glutton for them. usually i’d say stay away because they are pure sodium but you need lots of sodium and water in your system for this diet.
  • Nuts: peanuts, pumpkin seeds, Almonds.  Don’t eat too many these are meant to be snacks and have a high carb count.
What about eating out ?
Unfortunately there are places that you need to eliminate altogether.  For one Sandwich shops and most Mexican restaurants. I stick to the following:
  1. Chipotle Salad. No beans, no rice , no corn. Chicken, beef or pork, gaucamole , cheese and sour cream.
  2. Carls Jr. or In and Out burger wrapped in Lettuce. No fries and an Iced T.
  3. Sports bar:  Wings…no batter or breading and a side salad or chicken breast topped with avocado and bacon + side salad.
  4. Steak House:  Steak and broccoli tossed in butter. or Chopped salad with grilled shrimp chicken or salmon.
  5. Sushi- Sashimi and cucumber wrapped rolls without rice. Avoid seaweed salad and pickled cucumbers as they often add sugar to the dressing.

WARNING: Drink lots of water when on this diet.  Ketosis will dehydrate you quite a bit.  If you are diabetic or have other health problems, ketosis may be harmful for you. I am only positing about my own experience.  Try it at your own risk.