Understanding The Keto Diet
This week I had a very interesting discussion with somebody at work. Not long after I started on Keto, he mentioned that he’s got a few kilograms he needs to get rid of, so he started looking into keto too. He seemed very keen and from what he ate during lunch at work, it seemed that he is pretty much on track.
But he didn’t really ever lost weight. Maybe a couple of kilograms at the beginning, but not much. He was keen on eating keto food, but he was not keen on the fat/protein ratio. His wife was onto him for eating too much fat. So he decided in his version of keto, he is going to cut down on the fat.
The one day he mentioned that he eat the occasional ice-cream or desert over weekends. And when they go out for lunch at work once a week, he normally has Chinese, which is served with a lot of rice (but like he says: “I only eat a little of the rice…”). And then I am not even going to get into the fact that the chicken is battered and there is a huge amount of honey soy sauce over the whole lot.
So this week when we had a chat, he made a few comments about being on keto. And I realized he does not have a clue. He does not realize that you have to cut ALL sugar, permanently. You cannot have ice-cream over weekends, and expect to be in ketosis. You cannot have Chinese (with rice) and wonder why you are not losing any weight. And why is he not feeling more energetic? Shouldn’t he be feeling better being on keto?
BUT HE IS NOT ON KETO!
I realized that he needs to learn a lot more about the subject. He made comments like: But you can’t eat so many eggs, is it really bad for your cholesterol. How can you not have breakfast? It is the most important meal of the day.Everything breaks down to glucose eventually, even fat. So it doesn’t matter if I don’t eat the correct ratio. Ah, I had some ice-cream, but only a little bit. But the carbs per 100g is less than 20g, so I can eat it.
I asked him about the last comment, and his understanding was that you can eat any veggies, as much as you like, as long as the carbs per 100g is less than 20 g. I tried to explain to him that you are only allowed 20g TOTAL carbs per day, but he didn’t understand. He was adamant that I am wrong, it is not total carbs per day, but carbs per 100g of veggies. I explained to him that if broccoli have 4g of carbs per 100g, and you eat 500g for the day, it means you had 4g x 5 portions, so you have 20g already, which is your limit for the day. But he disagreed and insisted that it is wrong, it is just about eating carbs that have less than 20g of carbs per 100g.
From his comments and the fact that he eats ice-cream and some complex carbs occasionally, I realized that he must think keto is like most other diets, if I cheat today, I am just back on board tomorrow and will still reap the benefits. When I was on a normal calorie restricted diet like Weight-Watchers, I had the same mind-set. If I over-eat when we have a party or go out, I will just eat less tomorrow and get right back on track. But that does not work for keto. Either you are on keto or you are not.
It was after this conversation with him that I realize that not everybody understand keto. They think they do, but do they REALLY?
I myself know the importance of the fat/protein ratio, and still I tend to eat more protein than I should, at times. I know that protein metabolize to glucose and that if I eat too much protein, I am not in ketosis. I also know that in order to be in ketosis I have to deplete my body from glucose so that I can use fat as a fuel. But even thought I know it, I still struggle to stick to that ratio. And if I don’t track, and think I know more or less how much of what I need to eat, I and definitely eating too much protein. I don’t really have a problem with veggies and other carbs. But I know that my main enemy is eating too much protein.
For myself, I know I have to track everything I eat, not just do an estimate and think I am right. And even though I know I should be doing it, I still struggle to do it most days.
So whether you are eating the occasional ice-cream and think it is not doing any harm, or whether you are eating too much meat, and think it is not doing any harm, it is. When on keto, do it right, or don’t do it at all.
I want to challenge everybody (including myself) to stand back, look at what you eat, think about why you’re doing it, and get back on track.
If you are like this guy at work, stop and learn more about keto. And if you know what you are supposed to do, and just don’t do it, for whatever reason, get right back into it. Now! There is no better time than right now.
Start tracking to make sure you eat as per the ratio (70% of daily calorie intake in fat and about 25% in protein.) The other 5% is carbs in the form of green leafy veggies, broccoli, cauliflower, etc. Be careful not to fall in the trap of eating tomatoes, carrots, beetroot and capsicum, as they are all high in sugar. If you do like these veggies, only eat it on occasion and in small quantities, like a couple of cherry tomatoes or a spoonful of grated carrot in a salad.
So this week I want to challenge everybody to stop, take a deep breath, and look at where you are going. Are you still on the right track? Have you lost sight of your goals? Have you become complacent? Are you still tracking?
I think tracking is one of the most important factors in order to make keto work. I myself is guilty of thinking that it is too much effort, and I’ll be all right. But like someone said to me one day: “Only track on the days you want to lose weight.”
Let’s see if we can all track for one week. Starting tomorrow, see if you can track everything you eat, and stay within the correct ratios.
So, the motto for this week is:
ONLY TRACK WHEN YOU WANT TO BE IN KETOSIS.