A couple weeks ago I wrote about my journey into Intermittent Fasting. When I eat is just one small part of my new adventure into weight loss and jeans fitting. Drastically more important than WHEN I eat….is WHAT I eat. I’ve only been working on fasting since January 22nd. I know it’s only been 2 MONTHS, but I can already see and feel a big difference. Nothing is set in stone, and life is about living and being flexible. Mental flexibility is something I’ve always struggled with, but learning and working through diet and nutrition has taught me a ton about being flexible with myself.
I briefly mentioned the other week that I’m trying to eat a ketogenic style of diet. Trying would be the key word here, but let’s dive into exactly what a ketogenic diet means. In it’s simplest terms, a ketogenic diet involves getting the majority of your daily calories from fat sources. Typically, 70ish% of your daily calories should come from fat. The next largest percentage is protein, with carbohydrates make up a very small percentage of a strict keto diet. The goal of the diet is to force your body into using fat for fuel. The lower you keep your carbohydrate intake, the more your body is forced to use fat, both consumed and stored, for an energy source.
Now, I’m just a normal girl, trying to live my best life, fit into my jeans without looking like a can of Pillsbury biscuits, and keep my booty looking good in yoga pants. I’m not a fitness model, an Instagram influencer, or a liscensed nutritionist. Eating well and looking good is important to me, but my life and livelihood doesn’t depend on it!! I’ve done some research online, made myself an action plan, and I’m just trying to live my best life…..WHILE STILL LIVING MY LIFE! As with anything, there’s a serious way and a casual way to pursue things. Some follows of the ketogenic diet go all out, buy urine test stripes to test for ketones, and run in the opposite direction at the mere sight of bread and noodles. I, am not one of those people.
Do I sometimes eat more carbs than I should….yuppers! Do I usually not manage to eat a high enough percentage of fats…….mostly everyday. Do I skimp on my protein…..rarely! I am trying to take all my research and work out and tweak a system that works for me. I care less about the style of dieting I’m doing and more about the results I’m seeing and achieving. I’ll show you some average days of my eating….you’ll see that I’m far from perfect, but it’s a journey!
I have the macro settings in my app, My Fitness Pal, set up as ketogenic percentages. Even though I almost always eat more than 20 grams of carbs…..I like leaving the settings that low. I find it helpful because when I enter foods that are higher in carbohydrate percentages the app flags up an alert. I rarely change what I’m going to be eating, but it helps me be mindful of things. If I’m having something carbohydrate heavy for lunch then I will eat something fat and protein heavy for dinner and snacks. As far as my workouts go, I feel much better and stronger if I make sure I am at or very near my protein requirements every day.
I also don’t make a ton of restrictions to what I’m eating. If The Engineer and I make burgers at home, I just skip the bun….but I still eat all the rest of the toppings! If we make tacos at home I will have one regular, on a tortilla, and if I’m still hungry I’ll make one salad style with just a extra bit of lettuce. Easy peasey and low stress and effort! I just try to not eat processed carbohydrates. That means generally avoiding buns and noodles, but occasionally The Engineer wants raviolis…..so we have raviolis! Life is no fun without the occasional drink and sauce covered noodle……and I like living my life! As far as restrictions, that’s really all I do. I don’t feel like I’ve had to change the way I eat or adjust to a whole new style of eating. I try not to make it too hard on myself, and I also try to not stress if things don’t always line up for a day or a weekend. Stress can cause you to hold belly fat…..so don’t get too caught up and worried!
As far as my daily goals, I try and keep my carbohydrate consumption to under 100 grams, and I try and keep those sources natural…..fruits, veggies, those sorts of things. I also try to be very conscious of my sugar consumption. The app currently allows me 60 grams a day, but typically I consume 30 or less grams. Carbs, protein, and sugar…..that’s all I focus on and it’s easy and manageable. I do also track calories, but that takes some researching and finding out what your body needs, so I’ll cover that in part 3.
So far all seems good in the hood! I have been able to slightly increase my weights at the gym, all my jeans button, and I’m feeling much better overall. There may come a time when I bump my calories up higher and try to gain more muscle. To really gain muscle you have to eat more calories than you burn, but that process is a ways off in the future for me. The more you google the more you realize that there’s no easy or set way to navigate any of this, but as of right now I feel pretty good on the track I’m on. I’ll post some links below to some of the websites I’ve used to help figure out my macro percentages, what I use to track my food, and some other links that have been helpful on getting me started.
- Macro Tracker — My Fitness Pal
Adding in your favorite recipes and workouts is also very easy, and you can customize your macros to suit whatever your needs are….ALL FOR FREE! There is a subscription version, but I just use the basic free one!!
- Ketogenic Diet Information and Macro Calculator — www.ketodietapp.com