Keto Diet: The Start of a Journey to Get Fit..
I've been struggling to turn my life around this year.. I told myself that I would get on top of it after we finished the big move, but that was nearly a month ago.. So I reset the lifestyle change for when I got a new job. That was two weeks ago..
This past weekend it all came to a head with a sub-par half marathon performance.. I have done about a half a dozen half marathons by now, but this one was the worst, in terms of time and fitness.. im out of shape.. I saw a picture of myself from the run.. one of those.. oh crap, that's not really how I look right? types.. I have to admit that I've been letting myself go lately.
Well, it's time to tighten up the ship..(and the belt).. Starting today, diet and fitness are going to be bumped up priority wise.. Today, I'm going to begin a Keto Diet!
I know, I know, I may be late to the game, but better late than never, right?
While there are TONS of diet and weight-lose plans to choose from, I've heard good things about the Ketogenic Diet and a book I started reading, Why We Get Fat.., seems to support that evidence.
"What is the Keto Diet?"
So basically your body needs to burn fuel for energy. It's go-to for that is typically the carbohydrates that we get through a lot of our food like bread, rice, etc. When the body doesn't get enough carbs, or burns through all the available carbs, it will switch over to burning glucouse which our body stores as fat.
The Ketogenic Diet severely limits the amount of daily carbohydrates you are allow to consume, instead it promotes getting you caloric intake through protein and healthy fats.. Here's a visual breakdown of the ratios:
yes, that's right.. to lose weight on this diet, you must consume MORE fat... But fat has traditionally gotten a bad rap in the food & healthy industry do to marketing. It's easy to blame fats for making people fat, but that's not how it works at all. Monosaturated fat, or animal fat, it's actually a vital step in helping the body stay lean while feeling full. The Obesity Epidemic has been a result of an overabundance in energy-rich carbohydrates..
From an evolutionary standpoint, our bodies (and brains) are conditioned to seek out carbs as a vital source of fuel. However, historically, finding such energy dense food was scarce (think finding a hive full of honey) and the energy gained from these treats had to be carefully weighed against the energy exerted to obtain it.
In the modern world, the elements found in traditionally energy rich carbs have been refined to base elements and added to almost everything we eat. MSG, salt, sugar.. these ingredients are added to nearly every packaged item you can find on the shelf at your local supermarket. The food industry has hacked our evolutionary drive that still seeks out these elements, and ramped up production. They have also made it a LOT easier for us to obtain.
Rather than going on a 7-day hunt, we can get on the phone, or online and have an energy-overloaded meal delivered to our doorstep.
When your body has an over-abundance of energy, it causes a production of insulin, which takes the excess and stores it for later use in fat cells.. it will keep doing this over and over again and we balloon in size.. there's a whole lot more we could go into about why we get fat, but you get the idea.
When you aren't burning carbs for energy, as mentioned earlier, you burn glycogen which results in Ketone production in your liver. At that point you are said to be in Ketosis.. this is an ideal state for weight-loss because now your body is actually using those stored fat cells for energy.
[I actually ordered these a week ago, they came today!]
"How Can I Know if I am in Ketosis?"
Well, aside from visiting a doctor or purchasing an expensive blood testing kit. There are a wide range of Ketone Test Strips available on the market. They vary in price and accuracy, so do your homework before purchasing, but they can test your urine for traces of ketone production in the body, thereby letting your know when you are truly in ketosis.
I'm not going to lie, it is all very intimidating. I will do my best to follow the diet, but it's definitely made me aware that I need to be more aware when eating.