Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Keto Journey: Week 7

Like many of you, I created a New Year's Resolution. (I know! I know!)

I stepped on the scale soon after Thanksgiving and I did not like the number I saw. So, I spent the remaining week of 2019 learning about Keto.

What is Keto?

Keto, or the Ketogenic Diet, is a diet that focuses on fat, protein, and carbohydrates. While there are variants in the amount of each macronutrient are eaten on the Keto diet, the percentages are typically as follows: fat - 75%, protein - 20%, carbohydrates - 5%. There are a lot of great macronutrient calendars online. I used this one:

Should I track? How do I track?

In a word: yes. If you don't track, you don't know what you're eating. For me, tracking (and measuring) has helped me get rid of portion distortion. Tracking is as simple as reading a label (no, really). What you do with that information, is up to you. You can either track via apps (Carb Manager and My Fitness Pal are two that are used frequently. Spark People is also another tracking app that is simple to use). Or if paper and pencil is more your flavor, you can keep a simple food log. I use this one.

When you track, start with carbohydrates. You can add the other two macros after you get the swing of tracking carbs.

There are two ways to track carbs: whole carbs or net carbs. There is varying school of thought on which you should track, but if you're used to eating All The Carbs, I'd probably track net carbs vs total carbs just to make it easier on yourself.

What is a net carb?

A net carb is a total carb MINUS fiber and sugar alcohols (please do not confuse this with sugar). Sugar alcohols are artificial sweeteners that do typically do not impact blood sugar.

In the above food label, the total carbs (carbohydrates) is 31 g (grams). there is no fiber in this food, so the total carb count for this food (a 1 cup serving) is 31 carbs. However, if that same food had 6 g of fiber, you would subtract the total carbs (31) from the fiber (6), to get a net carb count (25). 

Many digital food tracking websites and apps (see the ones I named above), will automatically calculate net carbs if you set it up that way in your user settings. 

Once you get comfortable tracking carbs, then you can begin tracking fat and protein. Carb Manager gives you a pie graph of your macros so you can see at a glance if your percentages are in check or not).
This was a good day. You can see that my percentages are pretty good. I didn't quite eat enough to use up all of my macros and that's okay. I wasn't very hungry this day. Other days, I am hungry and when I am, I eat.

What else should I do?

Forget the devil. The scale is a liar. After being completely obsessed with the scale, I decided to put it in the closet during the week and only weigh in on Saturdays. So, how do I know what I'm doing is working? I take pictures and I take measurements.

When I took pictures back in January, I did not like what I saw. However, when I took pictures in February, I could really see some change, even though the scale wasn't a huge "success". And if that wasn't enough, I took measurements so I could sure that my eyes were not deceiving me.

I will update with three month totals on March 1st, so please stay tuned. In the meantime, come join me on Instagram and Facebook! I'd love to chat with you!

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