Keto

Keto and My Journey

As an adult, I have been up and down with my weight and health. In my 20’s I was 185lbs and got down to 135lbs by starving. When my kids arrived, I added lots of weight (I think from being more passive in my lifestyle) and got the ‘dad bod.’ As I got in my middle-aged man status, I got as high as 242. I set goals and got that down to 185. Recent years, I was 232, then in nine months 193, then back up to 208. My situations determine my weight. I go up and down based on depression and anxiety.

I did Atkins, Vegan, Vegetarian all with the hopes of permanently losing weight. They all did work for weight loss, but not as fast as I wanted, but my lack of will-power caved in. My problem at the time was I did not know will-power was a flawed process.

I am a recovered alcoholic for over 3-½ years and been reconstructing my life. I no longer do so many destructive behaviors and what was working for me in AA, could work for my diet or lifestyle. There are many 12-step programs for people with food issues. I come to believe that I act out with food, like using comfort food because my spiritual life is in need of repair.

I changed one of my favorite quotes from page 43 of the AA’s Big Book to emphasis my cause; “Once more: The FATTY at certain times has no effective mental defense against the first BISCUIT. Except in a few rare cases, neither he nor any other human being can provide such a defense. His defense must come from a Higher Power.”

All In

I decided to be all in on Keto. Why? It is not a diet per se, but a lifestyle. As I am aging my abuse of alcohol and food, and lack of exercise makes me a candidate for serious health issues. I was diagnosed as being pre-diabetes from one doctor. I am scared of getting Alzheimer. My dad is going thru that now.

So, how does Keto fit in? I believe that a low carbohydrate high fat diet is an answer. I do not trust big food, big Pharmaceutical, or any other profit-first business. Keto is none of that. It emphasizes natural foods, meats (which I love), above the soil vegetables and nuts, as the general food groups. Anything that is high carbs are avoided including grains, rice, and sugars. So, the key is knowing the macros. Macros are the building blocks on nutrition and knowing what I eat is important to me. In order of importance: low carbs, high fat, moderate protein and then calories. All of them are important, and I choose foods that fit my profile.

I began my education on two sites, dietdoctor.com and ketoconnect.net. I watched many videos on youtube.com. I still go to ketoconnect.net for videos, podcasts, and recipes.

Limits

My diet started around six weeks ago. I was 208 lbs. I did not start on week one on keto, but low carb, so my progress is not pure Keto. Weeks 2-6 are Keto. As the time progressed, I began Keto strict. I am using an iPhone app called Keto Diet.app to track my macros. I do not like that kind of discipline, but I need to understand all the moving parts of my diet. At some point, I will have a good routine and will no longer be tracking on an app, but I will have to learn to master it.

I adjust my macros as my weight changes. Here is what I am at today. My limits are: calories 1960, fat 169g, carbs 25g, protein 85g. I have adjusted these numbers a few times, as I learn and change.

This app has a vast database of foods and portions so that I can track everything. It scans UPC barcodes, which I love over typing out food names.

I weigh myself every day using my scale connected to the app Weight Gurus. I track my ketones and glucose most days (tracked in KetoLogger app) up until recently, more than later. I set a weight goal of 175lbs.

So, I track what I eat, and I weigh myself every day and now do Keto/Glu reading now on occasion.

I use another app called, Happy Scale. All the apps feed into the Apple Health app, and these apps share the data. I like Happy Scale because it encourages me. It shows the weight that is balanced over the ups and downs of water gain and losses.

The first panel shows me the latest and the best for the last ten days. I go up and down. It gives me milestones which is my goal into smaller chunks, so I can reach and give me emotional highs, so I feel like I make little accomplishments faster.

Progress

The next panel shows my trends and predictions. It shows that I lost 14.60 pounds since I started.

Trends and Predictions

The last panel is my weight. I have been tracking my weight now for over six weeks. The graph is meant to be dramatic to be an encouragement. I lost a lot of weight in the first 4 weeks and less in the last two weeks.

Weight

I am learning to cook and have decided this is a long-term endeavor, so, I have purchased a ton of food staples and purchase fresh items many times a week. I have bought all kinds of things to help me cook. I have relied on friends to teach me how to prepare food. I plan most of my meals, and I try to eat well since I rarely go out to eat.

I am eating one big meal and one small meal or snack. I am not staving at all. I get hungry, and I eat. I do have problems with rhythms. I want to eat between noon and 8 pm, but I seem to eat after 8 and go to sleep too early after eating.

My mornings start when I wake up and do all the bio breaks, and then weight myself, and blood draws if I am doing that day. Then my morning has no food.

First thing I start with my Apple Cider Vinegar cocktail. I blend ACV (2 Tablespoons) with Coconut vinegar (1 Tablespoon) and lemon juice (1 Tablespoon) diluted with water. I try to get that down as fast as possible. It tastes terrible, and I need five minutes to dance around gagging and see if I am going to throw it up.

My first cup of coffee is with MCT oil and each cup of coffee after that is with added Heavy Whipping Cream. The HWC being high in fat keeps the hunger away.

Lunch is my biggest meal. It is usually one meat and salad or one single vegetable, such as zucchini or cucumber.

Lessons Learned

I favor meat products, so is easy for me to cook a steak. I need to be more balanced. I do not eat that much turkey or chicken unless I can get a rotisserie chicken at Costco or Walmart.

I need to eat more colored vegetables. I need to expand into more types. I need to eat more salad.

I use to take my blood draws each day, but they mean nothing to me. I can’t follow my numbers. They are all over the place. Below is my graph. The columns are the date, Glu, Ket and then G:K or Glucose-Ketone index. A division of the two to get a ratio or index.

As you can see the numbers are all over the place. I tried to take the tests after waking up and if not, before any fluids. I do not eat after noon.

Ketones and Glucose Index

I drink ACV and then high PH water, I think that is a mistake. I am switching away from high PH water which I get at my water store.

What I am doing now

I changed up my routines. My mornings are the most important. I wake up, pee and weigh. My ACV cocktail (ACV, coconut vinegar, and lemon juice). My first coffee contains MCT oil, all cups after that include Heavy Whipping Cream. I eat in the afternoon for my biggest meal. I need to stop eating before 8 pm. I can have anything I want to eat if I can stay inside my macros. I can and will drink specialty coffee (thanks to Rachel at Thornton Family Roasters), or some hot tea, and then I try to get to sleep by 10:30. Right before I crawl into bed I have again my second ACV cocktail. 

My conclusion

I am sleeping longer and deeper. I am gently more energized. I feel better overall. I have some downsides. My vision is slightly off, and I hear it will come back. I do run into resistant to the diet like all diets, and everyone has an opinion. I am learning to let that go. I tell them, I am prediabetic (that is not a lie, but my doctor said that years ago when I was drinking), and this diet helps me control it.

I am at a disadvantage. I have medical insurance I can’t use since it is in California and I am in Oregon. After the new year, that will change, and I will have local medical. I plan to get an extensive physical examination to baseline my health. I will continue to get yearly physicals. I am a big fan of preventive exams. I use this saying, “Bad news does not get better with time,” if I get sick, I need the most time to get it managed. So, physicals help with giving me early information.

I am adjusting my macros monthly. I am a little discouraged the weight loss is slowed down, but I am doing this for permanent changes. It will come.

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