How to lose 50lbs with the Keto Diet
Want to Know How I Lost 50 Pounds? I did the keto diet!
The keto diet helped me lose weight, stay energized, and it even helped that I ate chocolate! (Seriously)
I’m one of the first people to tell you that, “Everybody is a beachbody,” but I’m also likely to be telling you this in the midst of doing 65 minutes of cardio. That’s because as much as I preach body positivity, I also know about the importance of a healthy lifestyle, the benefits of cardio, and I have a particular way in mind as to how I want to look. And I achieved that look with the help of the keto diet, which helped me lose over 50lbs in 2016. The downside was that I started doing shirtless pull-ups on various scaffoldings in NYC, inspiring a lot of people to roll their eyes so hard they didn’t even notice the cars heading right for them, prompting a whole lot of honking and people shouting, “Hey, I’m walking here! Pizza Pie!” because it was, afterall, New York City.
What is the ketogenic diet?
The ketogenic diet, known as “Keto” to its friends and family, is a diet that entails drastically cutting the amount of carbohydrate you consume to achieve a state known as “Ketosis”. The ratio most people shoot for is 75% fat, 20% protein, and 5% carbs. When you achieve Ketosis, fat loss occurs at an accelerated rate.
How does ketosis work?
If your diet is rich in carbs, your body turns those carbs into a sugar called glucose, which then serves as your primary source of energy. But if your diet is low in carbs, your body is going to burn through all the glucose it has in storage and, once that happens, your fat is going to get turned into ketones to fuel your body. As a result, fat gets burned at a faster rate!
How does it feel to be in Ketosis?
People who are on ketosis report feeling more energized, clear headed, focused, and having a decreased appetite. I felt that way too. In fact, you could even say I’m one of the people reporting that right now. Of course, this was in part because I was exercising regularly and was eating less processed foods, but the ketogenic diet inspired me to keep eating less processed foods, increase my intake of healthy fats, and it kept me energized throughout the day and during my workouts. Some people carb load before going on a run; I’d eat a pork chop.
How do you know you’re in ketosis?
Feeling great, however, isn’t how you know you’re in ketosis. All sorts of things make you feel great! You could be laying nose to nose with someone you’ve been dating for months, knowing that no matter what happens you want this person in your life, and feel great about that realization in the moment, but that’s not ketosis. That’s actually love. When they look at you because of how you’re looking at them and ask, “What?” don’t say, “I’m in ketosis!” Say, “I love you,” you dope!
No, the way you test whether your in ketosis is with keto strips. AKA “Pee Strips”. Pee strips are exactly what they sound like: strips that you pee on to see if you’re in ketosis. It usually takes 2 to 3 days to get into ketosis, so once your strip turn from beige to red that means you’re good to go. If only there were such strips for love!
You might think it’s gross to pee on something to find out if you’re in ketosis. Good news: you’re not peeing on “something”. You’re peeing on a strip of glossy paper designed to tell you if you’re in ketosis. And you’re going to want those pee strips because it may take you awhile to figure out how to stay in ketosis, and you may also want to experiment with what you can eat and drink while on the diet. Like booze and candy!
I can drink while in ketosis?!
Yes! You won’t get knocked out of your diet if the alcohol you’re drinking doesn’t have sugar in it. That means champagne for your keto friends; beer bellies for your sham friends! You can also drink tequila, whisky, brandy, cognac, and vodka too. Keep in mind, 5% carbs means roughly 20 to 50 grams of carbs depending on your daily caloric intake, so you can even have a bloody mary or some sweets on your day. That’s why you’re going to want those pee strips!
Wait, I can have sweets while in ketosis?!
Yes! I was shocked the first time I had a Lily’s Creamy Milk Chocolate, but I enjoyed the candy and the next day was still in ketosis. Not only that, but a lot of sugar free/low-sugar chocolate can actually help keep you in ketosis because it’s high in fat. Remember, this is a high fat diet, which means chocolate is good!
Are there any negative side effects?
Some people experience what’s known as the “keto flu” when they cut the carbs from their diet. Symptoms include headaches, dizziness, and fatigue. This may be something you just ride out. Others experience muscle and stomach cramps because they’re not getting enough electrolytes in their diet. The fix for this is just adding more salt to your diet. And, sometimes, people get bad breath for the first two weeks because of acetone, a type of ketone. That can be remedied with improved oral care. Oh, and you may find yourself needing a whole new wardrobe because that’s what happens when you lose weight!
Hand me the bacon and sign me up!
Welcome aboard! One of the best things about the keto diet is that it provides you with a navigable framework for making eating decisions throughout your day. You’ve just got to be eating more fat and protein than carbs and, voilà, you’re doing keto! Do keep in mind, however, that you should still be counting calories, exercising, and getting solid sleep as well (just as you would during any other diet). These aren’t only things you do for a diet; they’re part of a healthy lifestyle too. The keto diet can not only transform your body; it can transform your life. Just like it did for me! (I worked really hard to shoehorn a shirtless picture of myself into this article.)