I was living such an unhealthy lifestyle: and knew that I had to change something. It led me on my keto journey. I was only drinking 1 glass of water per day, if any. Copious amounts of coffee (thankfully I chucked the sugar years ago – so this adjustment was easier for me.) But I totally get the difficulties of giving it up. My lunch consisted of Coke, Chips and a chocolate. No breakfast, or the occasional rusk. And what we considered healthy dinners: meats, veg and rice.
Then I hit my heaviest ever at 110kg at a BMI of 36!
In the meantime, our second daughter arrived and then less sleep and comfort/tired eating.
I then came across the documentary “The Magic Pill” and it all clicked for me. Especially because Dr Tim Noakes’ story had been top of mind, I instantly knew I needed to change the way I looked at food.
Starting My Keto Journey
So, just like you, I got onto google at searched the web, YouTube, books, the lot. And quickly realised that there was a ton of information out there on 7 day eating plans, supplements, and general advice. Putting this all together, I had a rough idea of what to do and how to start.
Fortunately for me, one of the things I noticed was, that I had to drink roughly 4 litres of water a day. Having already explained that drinking water was not on my list of easy things to start doing, I found my myself pausing and rethinking my original gusto.
So I decided on one of the best decisions I could make, was relook at what I was needing on the net, and take stock what I needed to do.
I instinctively knew that I needed to prepare myself for the dietary change, so I took a decision to take one step at a time. And thankfully I did. I knew there would be no way that I could change my diet and take the water issue.
Week 1: The Start
My first step was to start drinking more water, make sense right? But, at the time I struggled. So I set a simple daily goal. 1 extra glass of water per day. Until I reach the 4l goal. And in fact, it ended up becoming an easy habit within 1 week. A quick win on the road to dietary happiness.
As I mentioned, I had already eliminated sugar in my coffee years back, which would have been the next step. Roughly 6 – 10 cups of coffee per day. You can imagine the amount of sugar that is.
So, through my research, I started wondering why full cream milk wasn’t being mentioned in the diet. I had been lead to believe that full cream milk was healthier than low-fat milk and through my coffee drinking was drinking at least 300ml per day. Turns outs, there are a bunch of “hidden carbs” in our faces constantly. The same number of sugary carbs in low-fat and full-cream milk. Contributing to 6g per day just on coffees.
I then knew that was my next challenge, either get rid of coffee (yeah right) or cut the milk. Leading up to that decision I had come across StarBucks, famous for its variety and options, and had seen people ordering coconut milk, almond milk etc in their coffees, at that stage I scoffed, and couldn’t believe how common these orders were.
Week 2 of My Keto Journey
I hadn’t even heard of almond milk. So, I did the research, bought some almond milk, almost fainted because of the price (1l Almond milk was almost the same price of 6l full cream cow’s milk!) But, I closed my eyes and gave it a try.
Turns out, it ain’t so bad but is an acquired taste. So, eager for my next victory. I knew that would not be able to cut down on coffee. And also realising that I had a long term goal in mind, for sustainability I knew
I would have to keep something that would keep me happy and healthy. I started with 3 options, take out milk completely, replace with a substitute or a combination.
I decided to do a combo because I already knew that I could easily drink good coffee without either. So I started with my everyday coffee with almond, when that was finished (usually 3 days) the rest of the week was full cream milk, and when I could get a great cup of coffee, no milk required. So, a semi-victory, but I took it.
So, that brought me to the Start of week 3
This one was tough, especially when you come to realise that you can only shop in 3 aisles max (meat, dairy, veg) in the food stores.
Literally, everything else had refined carbs. It really is unbelievable when you come to realise this.
Week 3: My First Hurdle
With my 2-week victories done and dusted, I was determined to win this battle. Cutting out these carbs was a slow week, and involved a lot of cheating. But we were reasonable in our choices, and were mostly due to the circumstance that we ate some extra carbs, Restaurants!
This was the first real victory in my journey. The understanding.
During Week 3 the ‘other’ carbs, the unseen carbs were part of the diet and we ended up consuming 15 – 20% carbs. Which by the way, although not full keto, is already healthy for you.
Another successful week of preparation and totally mentally prepared to start Keto.
Week 4 of My Keto Journey
Cookbooks and an app that allows you to check values and what the industry calls macros in super important. You’ll use this for some time until you become comfortable with the eating plan.
So, at this stage, I overcame some major unhealthy habits, gained the motivation to take on Keto and an LCHF diet and was mentally prepared for what came next. The real work of committing.
At the point, I continued the research and was blown away by what I was allowed to eat, fantastic double cream yoghurt, fresh cream, bacon, eggs, any meats, avocados and green veggies. Portions! Man, wait until you see the portions. Lots of foods to start with, high natural, energy-sustaining foods, just amazing.
Committing to the process, means, getting an app, here I would recommend ( The Fat Secret App), a decent scale to weigh your foods. A recipe book for cooking ideas.
The Real Journey
So, week 5, started with :
- Eggs and yoghurt & berries for breakfast
- Tuna salad for lunch
- Beef steaks, and veg cooked in cream and butter for dinner.
No distinction between broccoli, cauliflower, baby marrow(zucchini), mushrooms, rosa tomatoes. A bit of each cooked in butter and cream.
This was the routine for the full week, 4 kg’s (8.8 lbs) loss later.
My wife eventually on Friday evening said, she loved what I was cooking, but couldn’t have a single meal the same 5 days in a row.
For me, easy going and could have gone on for eternity. Different meats, but no variety in the veg.
A little disheartened by this, because I had seen results. I eventually realized the criticism was totally valid. It was time to start using the cookbooks.
Week 6 and beyond
What I eventually found using the cookbooks was, that a variety of meats, veg, salads, soups and mostly plant-based foods wins the day.
No craving for sugar, carbs and sweet things and not a single ounce of keto flu.
However, Keto Flu is a real thing It happens as a result of our sugar withdrawal and can be as severe as the withdrawal symptoms of a drug addict. After all that small white powder is just as addictive as the other tradional drug Cocaine.
Onward We Go
There will be ups and downs and shows how difficult it can be to live Low Carb as it’s in your face everywhere you turn.
The trick is to stay the course, even if you fall off the rails a bit. The benefits easily out way the negatives and hopefully my continued journey will inspire you to empty the cupboards and start your own journey.
Which is why I started Ketoforrealpeople.org