Yup, something had to give. I’d been slowly gaining extra pounds over time and decided that after I got back from a trip at the beginning of this year I was going to make some adjustments in my everyday lifestyle – and it included re-thinking my relationship with food on a scale I hadn’t ever really attempted before. I wasn’t looking only for weight loss. I was looking for a new mindset regarding my relationship to food and, at the root of it, my relationship with myself.The two are so intertwined, they might as well be one and the same – if you want to get an inside scoop as to what’s going on in your heart and mind, take a look at your eating habits. When do you eat? What to you eat? What drives your choices? I can tell you that more often than not, feeling truly hungry was not the force driving my forays into the fridge!
So I did my research (as always) and found the Ketogenic Diet. I knew low carb worked for me in the past, but I never made it a real lifestyle change….hence eventually I’d gravitate back to the same old same old. Ketogenic dieting is not only based on low carb, it’s also dependent upon getting enough good fats on a daily basis so that your body gets the message to switch from burning carbohydrates as its primary source of energy to fat instead. It takes a little getting used to, but if you can push through the first week or two you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how you start to feel. We know now that the low fat, low carb thing doesn’t work in the long haul – your body goes into starvation mode. Ahh, but with the healthy fats in the picture, once you push through the adjustment phase you’ll be amazed at how good your body and your brain is at using fat for its primary fuel. We humans are much more efficient burning fat for fuel rather than carbs! Be prepared to experience some “keto flu” when your body is yelling “hey, where the hell is my crack??” (carbs), however that passes in a few days when your body clicks and “gets it”. And if you are like me you will not ever want to go back. Cruising on ketones is amazing! And do not be fearful that foods with fat in them will make you fat – nothing could be further from the truth. Once your body “gets it” it taps into your fat stores and starts to burn them for fuel. It’a beautiful thing.
When I started keto I wasn’t in a rush, I didn’t care about quick results, and I was working on many other aspects of self besides weight loss. That being said, 9 months later I am loving the keto lifestyle, am leaner and stronger than I’ve ever been before, and have a relationship with food and with my body that’s relaxed and comfortable. The information on ketogenic dieting as a healthy way to lose and keep off weight is growing as it gains footing in the mainstream.
I make excepions when I am traveling and trying local fare. Then I use the tool I outlined in my article under Travel Tips: Enjoying the Local Food Without Overdoing It. Check it out! Since I travel a lot I’ve found this method works the best for me without infringing upon my love affair with the role food plays in the cultural experience.
I think of food as the fuel that allows me to live my life to the fullest every day. My body runs incredibly efficiently and I do not get hungry in between meals. In fact, because my body is trained to tap into fats, missing a meal if I’m really busy is no big deal – although I love my good eats so that doesn’t happen too often! That’s the beauty of body and brain utilizing fat instead of carbs. There is a growing amount of information out there about the ketogenic lifestyle. Do your own research and decide if it’s right for you. I can tell you that for me, it’s been a life changer.