what i've learned in 30 days of eating a ketogenic diet.

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About a month ago, right after a visit to Hawaii, I was experiencing some major body shaming, not feeling comfortable in my swimsuit or feeling my best. I have always struggled with my weight, not so much that I feel as if I'm overweight, more so that since I was eating "healthy" and working out regularly, I didn't understand why I wasn't smaller and toner like most women I see on social media my age. I know that's the worst thing we can do, but it was so hard not to do the comparison game.

About three years ago, right before I got pregnant, I went to see a nutritionist about my chronic stomach aches and bloating. Come to find out, I was gluten-intolerant and had been my entire life but had no idea. After I cut out the gluten and introduced more fatty meats and oils into my diet, my bloating went away completely and I almost never experienced stomach aches. Because I also cut out most carbs, I lost about 10lbs almost immediately and really didn't crave what I had been eating before. But during my pregnancy, I was STARVING the entire time, so carbs were the only thing that would keep me satisfied (Tayler was very active in my belly so my metabolism was through the roof). I would eat all gluten-free carbs, but they were still carbs nonetheless. Needless to say, after she was born, I continued that same way of eating. I was crashing in the afternoons longing for a second coffee or a nap, and I just felt like I could never lose that last 10 lbs especially around my midsection which was extremely frustrating. 

I figured something had to be wrong with me so I scheduled an appointment with an endocrinologist (a Dr. that specializes in hormone and thyroid regulation) to see what was up. The results were probably even more frustrating as she emailed me to say "Well, I have good news and I have bad news. The good news is, you're one of the healthiest people I've seen come through my clinic (I take literally no medication, not even birth control), and yet I can't seem to figure out why you're having a hard time losing weight or lacking energy." She went on to say the only thing she could think of would be that I see a dietician and start an extreme type of diet and perhaps even take some medication to boost my metabolism. The thought of starting something that extreme didn't appeal to me, as I had done elimination diets in the past and although they worked, I felt as if I always entered back into my old ways and even more so since I was being deprived of something I loved. I also didn't love the idea of putting any type of medication into my body so those suggestions quickly went out the window.

Feeling defeated and confused, I started noticing a friend of mine, Janene, talk about the keto diet and her experience taking ketones (you can read more about what ketones are here). I was intrigued, not really about the keto diet because I had heard about it before, but more so the experience she was having with the ketones in addition to her ketogenic diet (the keto diet is composed of 85% healthy fats, 10% protein, and 5% carbohydrates, read more here). So, we got together so I could hear all about her experience in person. She had experienced increased energy levels, dissipation of migraines, and loss of inches and weight in just 30 days. I was intrigued - so she offered to give me a 10 day supply of the ketones to try. I'm one of those people that jumps in 110% if I'm going to do something so that next Monday I decided not only to start taking the ketones but to also embark on my journey eating a ketogenic diet. Now let me preface by saying since I was already gluten intolerant, my carbs mainly consisted of brown rice, quinoa, and sweet potato. And I was already eating a moderate amount of fat with butter, nut butter, and coconut oil, so this transition was a lot easier for me than it might be for most people. But taking the ketones made it so much easier to kickstart this lifestyle and it kept me from experiencing the keto flu (which can be weeks of flu like symptons as your body adjusts to this drastic change)!

10 things i've learned in 30 days eating keto

1. Ketones are key. I wouldn't have been so successful had it not been for the ketones. Ketones keep your body in a state of ketosis (which is the process of switching from burning glucose to fat). For some, getting into ketosis after switching to a ketogenic diet can take months, but drinking the ketones helps you make the switch almost immediately which means you can be a little more flex with your diet at first. 

2. It's not normal to wake up groggy, be tired all day, and crash after lunch time. This is something I learned very quickly when I realized it was 5pm and I still had enough energy to get the house cleaned, cook dinner, prep for the next day and more!

3. Breakfast is not the most important meal of the day. In fact, just by drinking your ketones in the morning, you can have energy, not feel the need to eat right away and still enjoy a cup of coffee an hour later if you need it. You also don't need to eat every 2 hours to speed up your metabolism. Actually, all you have to do is give your body the right amount of healthy fats and you can survive off just two meals a day with little to no snacking in between. 

4. Mental clarity is a real thing. So many people who share info on the keto diet talk about "brain fog" and how this diet can reduce that and give you an insane sense of mental clarity. Boy, is this true! I can now work for hours without getting distracted or have a mental block. Even if I don't get much sleep the night before, although I may wake up tired, I can still focus and go about my day with ease. This would have never been possible pre-keto!

5. Giving up carbs doesn't mean you can't enjoy food or socialize. Because keto is high in fat, I replaced my need for carbs with things I was depriving myself of before like cheese, macadamia nuts, heavy creams which keep me more satisfied than any type of rice or potato would. And you can still enjoy a cocktail (vodka, tequila, and whiskey all have 0 grams of carbs)! 

6. Food is no longer on my mind 24-7. Before keto, I would literally go to bed stressing out about what I was going to eat for breakfast the next morning because I knew I wouldn't have time to make something sufficient and would feel guilty for not prepping something. Now, I can just wake up and go and worry about my next meal when I'm hungry. 

7. The body is an amazing vessel. It's crazy how quickly it can adapt to a new situation and how easy it is to trick your brain into thinking something other than what it's been taught for most your life. Eating this diet is 100% mental. It will be hard at first and you'll want to cheat, but I promise if you can stick it out, you will quickly begin to realize its amazing benefits and make it a lifestyle you can sustain forever! 

8. You don't have to exercise 5 times a week or kill yourself at the gym to get fit. Quite honestly, I work out now more than I did before keto because I have so much more energy, but I don't work out as hard if that makes any sense. I either do 20 mins on the elliptical and some free weights or go for a long walk outside with Tayler in the stroller. I'm now exercising because it feels good, not because I'm trying to lose weight. 

9. Listen to your body. Part of eating a ketogenic diet involves something called intermittent fasting (where you fast about 12-18 hours from your last meal which is usually around 7 or 8pm the night before). I started doing this right away but quickly learned that I needed to give my body time to adjust to this kind of diet, I would wait far too long to eat some days when my body was clearly telling me I was hungry. Now I don't look at the clock, but rather listen to the cues my body gives me.

10. Eating for fuel rather than pleasure. For most, food is a very emotional thing. We eat when we are sad, or drink too much when we want to celebrate something and it can be very hard to take the emotional aspect away from eating. But with keto, I don't think of food that way anymore. It's purely a source of energy, not a gateway to making me feel better or worse. I no longer have guilt surrounding my eating habits, because everything I'm putting into my body is helping me sustain energy and feel my absolute best - so why would I defer from that? Yes, there are cheat days and that's okay - just be prepared to jump back in the next day with a clear head!

 image via  just pruvit

image via just pruvit

For more information about getting your hands on these ketones, you can check out the link here or email me at styledoutwest@gmail.com. And if you're interested in starting the keto diet I'm also happy to give you a breakdown of the tools you'll need to succeed or you can sign up for my Facebook Group, That Keto Life

Please know, these statements are my own and are not administered by a sponsored post in any way. I do receive a small commission from any sale of the ketones on my own account of becoming a member of Just Pruvit, solely because I believe in the product and its outcomes. I simply want to share this information with everyone I come in contact with because why wouldn't we want to to be the best version of ourselves? After all, we only get to enjoy this body once!