A transformational journey into health and feelin' sexy!

Posts tagged ‘Low-carbohydrate diet’

Ketostix?!

Well, you may be wondering why I haven’t updated lately… unfortunately, my progress has slowed significantly (and subsequently so have my updates). It does happen to a lot of people, regardless of diet plan, and more often happens to women than men. It typically can be attributed to your body adjusting and adapting to your new diet. Fortunately I haven’t really gone up in weight, just kind of hovered. I have also been very busy and distracted lately due to my wedding coming up crazy fast. Only 2 months to go! Ahhh! If you happen to be interested in following my wedding progress, you can visit my wedding blog over at avancouverwedding.wordpress.com.

Anyways, despite the slowed progress and wedding pressure, I’ve stuck on the wagon, and am still keto’ing as usual. I did fall off briefly a couple weeks ago due to an out of town guest visiting, leading to a couple nights of partying and clubbing, which involved a few too many rounds of shots being bought for me and not always knowing exactly how many carbs are in said shots… Ah well, it happens, but I’m back on board now!

img_0445I also bought some ketostix online a few weeks back. For those that don’t know what ketostix are, they’re basically a little strip, producedΒ  by Bayer, that you pee on and it turns pink or purple if you’re in ketosis (i.e. measures the ketones expelled in your urine). A couple things to note about ketostix;

  1. They can be unreliable. BUT in saying that, they are really only unreliable in one way. Basically, if your body is very keto-adapted, and efficiently using your fat stores for energy, it can use the ketones produced so efficiently that there are none left to be expelled. So you could technically get a false negative, meaning you could be in ketosis but it tells you that you’re not. This is more common for people who have been on keto for a long time (think years).
  2. The colour of pink/purple does not matter in relevance to ketosis. If it’s pink, purple, or any colour in between, you are in ketosis. There is no “a little bit keto” or “very keto” it’s just ketosis, or not ketosis. Many keto newbies get confused on this point because they think if it’s only light pink they aren’t in ketosis enough. In reality, the difference in colour is based solely on how hydrated you are. If you have more water in your system, the ketones will be more diluted, and the strip will be lighter pink. If you’re dehydrated, it will be darker purple.

So the key is remembering, as long as it’s not beige, you’re goodΒ (and even sometimes it can be beige and you’re still good, just look for other symptoms of ketosis).

So, according to my ketostix I have been solidly keto (aside from that one blip). This has allowed me to test out my upper limits by increasing my carb intake slowly and seeing if I maintain ketosis. I managed to get up to 50g of carbs per day and still maintain ketosis (lucky me!), at which point I decided I’d better not tempt fate and cut myself off there. So I didn’t really find my upper limit, but I did manage to double my daily intake and not lose sleep over it. It kind of makes me feel a little silly over all the anxiety I felt at Thanksgiving due to eating a sliver of pumpkin pie and going up to a whopping 36g for the day πŸ˜›

Anyways, that’s all for today… keto on!

Dani

Weight Loss So Far: 45.6lbs
Weight Loss to Go: 36.2lbs
Fat Fashion Fund: $200

Milestone day! Halfway there!

Just a short update for today, I am officially halfway to my goal! I have less to lose now than I’ve already lost! πŸ™‚

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Also, when I began this diet I decided I would take progress pics in my wedding dress after every 20lbs, so I took my second set of pics the other day and the difference was very noticeable! Things like that make me feel like this is all worth it πŸ™‚ I won’t be posting the progress pictures on here yet as I don’t want my fiance to stumble across them, but eventually I will.

Last little note I’ll mention is that I hit a very small plateau the past week or two, but managed to stumble upon the cure by accident! I managed to catch (another) cold last week, and in an attempt to kick its ass I started drinking a lot of water, and noticed almost immediately that the pounds started dropping off again. So, PSA for anyone reading this… drink lots of water!

Keto on!

Dani

Weight Loss So Far: 41.0lbs
Weight Loss to Go: 40.8lbs
Fat Fashion Fund: $184

So close… I can taste it! Tastes like bacon and cheeeeese…

Yep, I’m so so close to my half-way milestone it’s ridiculous πŸ™‚ 1.7lbs to go!

Of course, with my half-way marker also comes my second round of “how well does my wedding dress fit now?”. I’m super excited to see the difference, considering the difference I saw between my “before keto” wedding dress pic and my 20lbs down pic, I’m sure that 40lbs down will be even better πŸ™‚

Anyways… my weight loss has been pretty steady for the last week, but before that I was on an unfortunate 3 week stall due to a keto experiment gone awry… I won’t go into detail, but let’s just say I won’t be making that mistake again any time soon! But the stall can easily account for why I haven’t had any real updates for awhile… but I’m back on track now! Unfortunately it’s looking like I probably won’t meet my goal weight by the wedding, but if I keep going at the pace I’m going now (approximately 10lbs/month average) I should be somewhere around 60-70lbs lost by the time it comes around, and I will be more than happy with that.


Wedding Dilemma

Speaking of the wedding… I had been thinking about keto and the wedding, and how I should approach the situation. There are two major issues when it comes to being in ketosis on my wedding day:

  1. Wedding Cake. Let’s face it, I’m not going to not eat some of my own wedding cake. That’s just ridiculous. However, when your body is used to having less than 20g of carbs per day, and then you shove a piece of cake in your mouth that most likely adds up to around 40g of carbs… well, the after-effects are less than enjoyable. Typically within an hour or two you feel dizzy, nauseated, stomach cramps, etc. And I really don’t want that on my wedding day.
  2. Alcohol Tolerance. The basic idea is, your body is no longer storing glycogen, and therefore no longer retaining water (glycogen molecules and water molecules are like best buds, when glycogen leaves, so does the water). Lower water levels in your body = less dilution for any alcohol you take in. Essentially, after one drink I’m well buzzed, after two I’m done. At the end of the day, I don’t want to be a sloppy bride.

So, I could go off keto the day before or the day of, but as I said, there are definitely some negative side effects of suddenly increasing your carb intake. I could go off keto a few days before, but as soon as I do that, my body will begin to store glycogen, and therefore begin to retain water, and I’ll likely put on between 5 and 10lbs of water weight within a few days… which is easy enough to lose after going back on keto, but given that my dress would have just been altered, could cause some issues.

So of course, I put the question out there to /r/keto, and of course, I got a lot of junk replies like “don’t cheat.” and “don’t worry, one day off won’t kill you” (umm… okay, I know I’ll lose the weight afterwards, it’s the negative side effects I’m thinking of… y’know… trying to sort out a strategy?). I sometimes wonder if people even bother to read the posts they comment on… I even had one person tell me in all bold writing that at the end of the day the only and most important thing is that I get back onto keto afterwards. Umm… no… sorry… sure, getting back onto keto is very important, but I’m pretty sure my wedding is more important…

But the replies weren’t all bad πŸ™‚ I especially appreciated one post by /u/Naonin who suggested a lot of supplements and strategies for minimizing the impact of switching off ketosis, among many other users who gave some very helpful tips. If anyone is considering something like what I just wrote about and would like some tips, definitely check out my post and the replies πŸ™‚

 

Game made me chubby :(

Game made me chubby 😦

Wii Fit Plus

So Jason bought me a Wii Fit Balance Board and Wii Fit Plus for Christmas (yay!) and I finally got around to trying it out this week πŸ™‚ I found it pretty cool and fun, but as sad as it is, I think my favourite part was that you can create a profile for your pets πŸ˜› I made one for Stormy and afterwards when I was doing the bike riding activity, I rode past him and he chased after me for the rest of the activity! It was so cute…

One part I didn’t like so much was that it made my mii chubby πŸ˜› As soon as it took my weight and determined my BMI, my mii looked like it exploded into a beer gut. Either way, it gave me a good workout, I burned about 260 calories and was pretty sore the next day. I think I’ll probably use it more often for awhile as I’ve gotten bored of rowing for the time being and haven’t done it in quite awhile.

 

I get by… with a little help… from my friends

So I managed to get my best friend onto keto recently, it wasn’t really a hard sell as he doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth and his favourite food is cheese with some cheese on it. It’s cool to have someone on the same diet that I can talk to, though it’s looking like he’s slipping lately and not taking it too seriously. I probably shouldn’t get my hopes up I guess, but I really hope he sticks to it and sees the results he’s looking for πŸ™‚

Also, my good friend and neighbour came by today and gave me $20 to put into my fat fashion fund πŸ™‚ I thought that was really nice of her and I totally didn’t expect it, it’s so nice to have people around me that are following and supporting my journey πŸ™‚

Anyways, that’s all I have for today!

Keto on!

Dani

Weight Loss So Far: 39.2lbs
Weight Loss to Go: 42.6lbs
Fat Fashion Fund: $176

Fat Links!

One of the most common struggles keto’ers run into is flack from the general public. A common saying in the community is “the second rule of keto is don’t talk about keto”. I don’t mean to sound like a conspiracy theorist here, but when it comes down to it, the common idea of what is and isn’t a healthy diet is very outdated, being based on “research” (I use this term loosely) conducted 50 years ago. There is even some speculation that the “low-fat movement” that began in the 70’s correlates perfectly to the timelines of the national obesity, diabetes, and heart disease epidemics. Some countries, such as Sweden, have even begun to see the light and have changed their national dietary guidelines to favour low-carb over low-fat.

But for some reason… low-carb/high-fat is still seen as “unhealthy” to most people.

So… here we go. I have poked through some studies and posts on /r/keto, (I’d like to give a special thanks to /u/gogge for posting many of these), and have compiled a list of some of my favourite studies, articles, and general links about the benefits of low-carb and ketosis, and dispelling the myths surrounding this lifestyle. I hope this helps some of you who may have that brother-in-law or second cousin who went to college for nutrition and thinks that low-fat is the only way to go πŸ™‚

Weight-loss-on-low-carb-and-low-fat-diets-smaller

A chart comparing the weight loss comparison between LC and LF in the 23 studies.

23 Studies on Low-Carb and Low-Fat Diets
“The majority of studies achieved statistically significant differences in weight loss (always in favor of low-carb).”

A low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet versus a low-fat diet to treat obesity and hyperlipidemia: a randomized, controlled trial.
“Compared with a low-fat diet, a low-carbohydrate diet program had better participant retention and greater weight loss.”

Low-carbohydrate diet review: shifting the paradigm.
“It is time to embrace LC diets as a viable option to aid in reversing diabetes mellitus, risk factors for heart disease, and the epidemic of obesity.”

Very-low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet v. low-fat diet for long-term weight loss: a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials.
“Individuals assigned to a VLCKD achieve a greater weight loss than those assigned to a LFD in the longterm; hence, a VLCKD may be an alternative tool against obesity.”

What Do 18 Studies Say about Low-Carb Diets?
“subjects…lost more weight during six months on a carbohydrate-restricted diet than on a calorie and fat-restricted diet, with a relative improvement in insulin sensitivity and triglyceride levels.”

Systematic review and meta-analysis of clinical trials of the effects of low carbohydrate diets on cardiovascular risk factors.
“[low-carbohydrate diet] was shown to have favourable effects on body weight and major cardiovascular risk factors; however the effects on long-term health are unknown.”

Beneficial effect of low carbohydrate in low calorie diets on visceral fat reduction in type 2 diabetic patients with obesity
“These results suggest that, when restrict diet was made isocaloric, a low calorie/low carbohydrate diet might be more effective treatment for a reduction of visceral fat, improved insulin sensitivity and increased in HDL-C levels than low calorie/high carbohydrate diet in obese subjects with type 2 diabetes mellitus.”

The effect of a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet versus a low-glycemic index diet on glycemic control in type 2 diabetes mellitus.
“The diet lower in carbohydrate led to greater improvements in glycemic control, and more frequent medication reduction/elimination than the low glycemic index diet. Lifestyle modification using low carbohydrate interventions is effective for improving and reversing type 2 diabetes.”

Long term effects of ketogenic diet in obese subjects with high cholesterol level.
“This study shows the beneficial effects of ketogenic diet following its long term administration in obese subjects with a high level of total cholesterol. Moreover, this study demonstrates that low carbohydrate diet is safe to use for a longer period of time in obese subjects with a high total cholesterol level and those with normocholesterolemia.”

Low Carb Diet Research
“The research which highlights the safety, indeed the necessity in some cases, and the efficacy of carbohydrate restriction can no longer be denied or ignored.”

Wikipedia: Medical research related to low-carbohydrate diets
“A 2012 systematic review studying the effects of low-carbohydrate diet on weight loss and cardiovascular risk factors showed the LCD to be associated with significant decreases in body weight, body mass index, abdominal circumference, blood pressure, triglycerides, fasting blood sugar, blood insulin and plasma C-reactive protein, as well as an increase in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL). Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL) and creatinine did not change significantly.”

Is ketosis dangerous?
“You may have heard from your doctor that ketosis is a life-threatening condition. If so, your doctor is confusing diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) with nutritional ketosis, or keto-adaptation.”

6 Not-So-Accurate Objections to Low-Carb
“Ketogenic Diets Are Dangerous […] I’ve never heard someone say this who has actually read about low carbohydrate diets on his or her own.”

The Diet-Heart Myth: Cholesterol and Saturated Fat Are Not the Enemy
“The body tightly regulates the amount of cholesterol in the blood by controlling internal production; when cholesterol intake in the diet goes down, the body makes more. When cholesterol intake in the diet goes up, the body makes less.”

Effects of eating frequency on metabolic rate (related to intermittent fasting – a common meal schedule for keto’ers)
“After 36 hours of fasting, an increase in metabolic rate is seen (and does not change further when measured at 72 hours).” “Alternate Day Fasting (not eating every other day) does not result in a decrease in metabolic rate after 22 days”

How to Win an Argument With a Nutritionist
“Many dietitians are NOT basing their nutrition advice on the latest science. The general guidelines are completely outdated. They have barely changed in the past few decades, even though nutrition science has advanced greatly.”

Link

“Put down the big mac,” and other reasons why I want to punch people in the face

I can relate to a lot of this post that a fellow /r/keto’er posted on her own blog… well said, sister!

“Put down the big mac,” and other reasons why I want to punch people in the face.

It was a very keto Christmas!

First off, happy holidays everyone! I hope you and your loved ones all had a wonderful Christmas πŸ™‚

The past couple of weeks have been difficult in terms of staying on keto, but I stuck to my guns and I think in the end I didn’t do too badly. I even received a couple boxes of chocolates from some neighbours (who didn’t know I was on keto) even one that had a card that said “We hope you really really really like chocolate!” (I do… 😦 thanks for that.) but I didn’t even open the boxes! I took them over to my parent’s yesterday to share with the family but (conveniently) forgot them. In all honesty I didn’t mean to leave them there, but it’s probably for the best πŸ˜›

The last couple of days have been filled with lots and lots of baking and cooking. My mom suggested I take care of the appetizers and snacks before dinner, and suggested I make them all keto-friendly. With help from a fellow /r/keto redditer, /u/Craigasaurous and his awesome site full of great keto recipes… I put together a pretty decent sized spread πŸ™‚

First off, I made a sweets plate:

Orange Chocolate Chunk Cookies
These turned out pretty good! By the time we went home there was only 1 left on the platter (and who really wants to be “that guy” who takes the last cookie?). The amusing thing about this recipe is that I didn’t have a zester, but I (naively) thought that I might be able to use my cheese grater. Well, it turns out that just doesn’t work, or maybe my cheese grater just isn’t sharp enough, or maybe it was because I bought mini honey mandarin oranges (with the idea that since they’re only about an inch in diameter, if I caved and ate an orange they’re portioned out so a single orange couldn’t possibly do much damage). So… I improvised! I peeled a mini orange or two and tossed the skins into my coffee grinder (I’m sure many of you are cringing right now) but hey, it worked! The other beauty of using mini honey mandarins is that when it came time to adding the freshly squeezed orange juice, one orange came out to almost exactly 1 tablespoon! And when I didn’t have a juicer… well, I used my garlic press and it worked like a charm πŸ˜› one entire orange fit into the garlic press!
Per cookie: 223 Calories, 21g Fat, 6g Protein, 7g Carbs, 3g Fibre, 4g Net Carbs

Lemon Rosemary Shortbread Cookies
I’ll start by mentioning I’m really not a fan of rosemary… I left it in the deviled eggs, but having the flavour in cookies just… seemed unappealing to me completely. Craigasaurous suggested that I tone down the lemon a bit if I plan to leave out the rosemary, so I also left out the lemon zest (which was helpful since I didn’t have any lemons nor a zester). I think they turned out pretty good as well, my Mom seemed to particularly like them. I think it could have used a little more lemon in it, so in the future (if I ever get a zester) I’ll probably leave in the lemon zest.
Per Cookie: 113 Calories, 11g Fat, 3g Protein, 3g Carbs, 1g Fibre, 2g Net Carbs

Mock Snickers Bars
This was by far the most difficult to make… to start with I didn’t have any granulated stevia. I thought maybe I’d try substituting with granulated xylitol, but from what I read it was not even close to a 1:1 ratio in terms of sweetness, and the added dry powder would have given the bars a significantly different texture (if it even turned out at all). So I decided to substitute it 1:1 anyways and add a few extra drops of liquid stevia in hopes it would even out the sweetness. I think in the end it ended up being a bit too sweet for me, but my family seemed to love them. Aside from the sweetener dilemma, I had to toss out the first batch of peanut butter filling… it seemed to go from being of perfect texture and consistency, to an oily congealed mess in a fraction of a second. So I started that part over again and it turned out much better. The other issue was that the peanut butter part was very soft, whereas the chocolate was very hard… which made cutting it into squares very messy, so I ended up cutting bigger squares because it was such a pain in the ass; getting 10 squares out of the batch instead of the recommended 16 (which ultimately raised the carb count). I think that had to do with not having quite the right size of pan, so the layers of peanut butter and chocolate were a bit thicker than they were supposed to be. Anyways, as I said, although it didn’t look too pretty my family seemed to really like them, and I thought it was pretty good too (aside being being a little too sweet). I think of all the desserts on the sweets tray, this was probably the one that I would have the most trouble convincing someone that it had very few carbs.
Per Square: 378 Calories, 33g Fat, 7g Protein, 9g Carbs, 4g Fibre, 5g Net Carbs

Next, I put together 2 savoury plates. Along with some slices of cheddar, havarti, and garlic sausage, I included:

Spiced Bacon Deviled Eggs
This was probably my personal favourite of all the appetizers I brought with me. I had made this before, so I knew it was definitely worth making again. Unfortunately though, this time around I left the bacon grease out of the yolk mixture as my brother is vegetarian (and left the bacon out of a few of the deviled eggs) which gave them a bit more of a mayonnaise taste than they should have had, but they were still really good.
Per Egg (2 Halves): 175 Calories, 14g Fat, 8g Protein, 2g Carbs, 0g Fibre, 2g Net Carbs

Mini Grilled Ham & Cheese
This was definitely a family favourite. Of course I left the ham out of a couple of the sandwiches so my brother could give them a try, but as with the chocolate orange cookies, there was only 1 left on the platter by the time we left. These were slightly frustrating to make, but only because they were the last appetizer I made and by that time there was zero counter space left in the kitchen, and I had zero patience and very little sleep. So of course, when grilling them they started to burn, set the smoke detector off 3 times, and I had no where to put the frying pan… it was just. very. frustrating. Ultimately though, they turned out pretty delicious!
Per Sandwich: 183 Calories, 16g Fat, 8g Protein, 3g Carbs, 1g Fibre, 2g Net Carbs

Bacon Crusted Frittata Muffins
This is another one that turned out a bit messy… I think the problem here was that my muffin tins are small? I’m not exactly sure to be honest, but when the recipe saidΒ  “they will puff up” I expected it to rise… a little. However, when I checked on them half-way through the cooking time, they were spilled out all over the muffin tin and burning on the bottom of my oven 😦 In terms of taste though, they turned out pretty good, near-zero carb, and pretty filling as well.
Per Muffin: 307 Calories, 21g Fat, 23g Protein, 0g Carbs, 0g Fibre, 0g Net Carbs

 

2013-12-26 15.16.14All in all, I think I did pretty well at not giving in. I ate a lot of the keto foods I brought, avoided the potatoes, stuffing, and sweet treats, and while I did go over my 25g daily limit, I only went up to 39g and seemingly have stayed in ketosis. In other news, one of the gifts I received this year was a digital food scale! This should definitely go a long way to helping me stay on keto!

Anyways, that’s about all I have to say… in terms of progress, I seem to have slowed, but not stalled. I can live with that since it’s the holidays and we’re all eating more than usual, but hopefully it will pick back up soon.

Happy New Year and keto on!

Dani

Weight Loss So Far: 32.8lbs
Weight Loss to Go: 49.0lbs
Fat Fashion Fund: $128

Week from hell? Keto ice cream to the rescue!

Keto Ice Cream

2013-12-11 15.56.28I ordered an ice cream maker last week off amazon and it arrived yesterday! πŸ™‚ It’s only a half-pint maker which is pretty much perfect considering I have the smallest freezer in the world. I didn’t realize when I bought it but it makes soft serve ice cream, which I think is actually better. So I made some keto-friendly ice cream today and it was actually pretty good! A little high in carbs because of all the heavy cream, but at 6.5g per serving I can have a little bit from time to time. I tried vanilla first;

  • 2013-12-11 16.08.271.5 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup Splenda
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract

The recipe booklet suggested 1 cup of heavy cream and 1/2cup of half&half, I may try that next time as it might turn out a little bit lower in carb, and it might have a bit of a nicer, “lighter” texture. There is also a chocolate ice cream recipe which I’ll have to give a try as well, I opted for vanilla this time because I often find chocolate keto treats to be ultimately disappointing.


Week From Hell…

This past week has been pretty rough… I was sick with a cold all week, on top of that it was shark week, which meant I of course gained about 2 or 3lbs over the week and craved nothing but chocolate… which was only made worse by having an advent calendar chocolate every day… it was like poking the monster with a stick 😦 I felt like I was back at week 1 of keto where I was all OCD and couldn’t think of anything except chocolate and other carby treats. I even bought a bag of Werther’s Chocolate Caramels and got back into the bad habit of “topping up” my daily carb intake with however many chocolates I could eat and still stay under 20g. It’s a very dangerous, very slippery slope. Fortunately though, I made it through, didn’t cheat, lost the shark week water weight, and today I got back to my rowing. I didn’t do very well at all in terms of time, but for my first time back in a week it’s not so bad… I’ll eventually get back into the swing of things and find my stride.


Christmas Season

So, it’s the holidays… and we all know what that means… evil sugar plums. I have resolved to stay on keto for the entirety of the holiday season. It will be difficult, but I’ve requested that my family refrain from putting anything edible in my stocking. In the coming weeks I’ll be experimenting with various keto-friendly desserts so I might be able to bring a batch of something sweet to nibble on while the rest of the family eats the typical Christmas sugary stuff.

I am a little worried about this coming weekend, my best friend works for one of the largest cable and internet providers in Canada and for the third year in a row, has invited me to come along to the annual Christmas party (lucky me!! :D). The worrisome part is that they spend a lot of money on this thing… including a lot of money on a very impressive dessert buffet… It’s going to take a lot of willpower to restrain myself from digging in as I did previous years, but I think the best strategy will be to avoid even looking at the table. These are a couple pictures from previous years’ dessert selections…

On the positive, I tried on the dress I bought 2 years ago for the Christmas party, and despite the fact that I could barely zip it up back in October 2012 for a cruise I was on (it took spanx and a very long and gruesome battle with the zipper), it now fits perfectly, and comfortably, and zips up with ease.

 
Anyways, that’s all I have to update for today… keto on!

Dani

Weight Loss So Far: 27.2lbs
Weight Loss to Go: 54.6lbs
Fat Fashion Fund: $108