I have been living the LCHF/Ketogenic lifestyle now for 19 months. To me, that seems like a long time, but in the big picture of the rest of my life, it is really nothing. One day at a time I have been pursuing health, weight loss and overall improvement. It has been 19 months and I just recently met my goal of 100 pounds lost – 101 pounds to be exact.
Almost everyday I see a post online from someone who lost 100 pounds in 6 -9 months following this way of life. My knee jerk reaction every time is, “No fair!” I get a little pouty and wonder how they did it so fast and why it took me 19 months. I get over it quicker now because the bottom line is I did reach my initial goal and it doesn’t matter how long it took.
I need to remember that we are all different and even though we are all on the Keto road, we make our stops at different places. I heard the term, “lazy Keto” awhile back and I realized, that is what I do most of the time. Apparently lazy keto is not tightly following/tracking macros, so that would definitely be me. I typically only count my carbs and I count net carbs and I don’t care to stress myself out by being rigid about tracking all my numbers. I know what they are because I use My Fitness Pal.
I did however spend the last four weeks driving myself crazy counting everything and trying to make it all work together like the puzzle it is. At first, I got to my goal – so yay!! However, after that, trying to keep calories to 1200 and not make fat or carbs go over, and trying to meet protein….. oh my, I felt like I was on a diet for the first time in 19 months. I don’t know how people do it and stay sane.
The reason I tried it was because I wanted to see if it made a difference. So, now that that four weeks of torture is over, here is what I know. I do not need to count calories (because when I stay in my carb range the calories usually fall in line), my blood sugar doesn’t like my fat intake at less than 100g and it doesn’t like my protein intake over 80g. I also learned I don’t eat as much protein as I thought I did because I had a hard time meeting it most days. Overall, I think the first two days of eating at 1200 calories (which is lower than I eat most days)made me lose some water and that made me hit my goal and put the scale at 159. Since then I am up and down 159 to as high as 165 one day. Bottom line for me on calories, I still think quality matters more than quantity and my own personal experience says they don’t matter for me.
I lost 101 pounds not counting them and when I look over my food diary I see that many times, according to the rules of calories, I shouldn’t have lost weight, but I did.
To add to this macro tracking I have been doing, I also changed my workouts from machines to all compound lifting and I know that has contributed to changes on the scale as well. I haven’t gotten the scale to read 159 more than a few times, but I lost inches!
[pullquote]I felt like I was on a diet for the first time in 19 months. I don’t know how people do it and stay sane.[/pullquote]
People who are losing faster than me might not be doing lazy keto, they may be strictly counting and tracking calories/carbs/protein/fat down to the exact numbers they are allowed. They may not have ever drank diet sodas, indulged in “sugar free” products or used any alternative sweeteners. I am one of those people who has to learn by doing. Along this 19 month journey I discovered I had to let go of diet soda and I moved to just water and coffee. I knew from past experience I wasn’t going to do the sugar free candy, and I didn’t, but in the beginning I was eating low=carb bars and shakes. So, perhaps the fast losers never did any of those things and they just hard core hit the ground running. Good for them, really. That wasn’t me – the only thing I have been hard core about is 20g carb a day and never cheating. I never made the trip to McDonald’s or gave in to the Costco cheesecake, ate pizza with the family, or even licked my fingers when baking for others. Not once.
Along my journey I have learned something new everyday and I have made adjustments physically and mentally every step of the way. In the beginning I used shakes and bars on a daily basis. That probably slowed down the loss process. Actually, I KNOW it did, because when I gave them up, the next month my weight loss doubled from the four pounds the month prior, to 8 pounds.
Last summer I was playing fast and loose with Splenda sweetened ice cream. I was measuring my servings for the most part, but again, that probably slowed me down. I stopped eating the no sugar added/carb smart ice cream last September.
Earlier this year I went to “no alternative sweeteners” at all to discovering Erythritol, which just recently I decided is like crack and I am going to have to indulge in it only once in awhile. Even though all reviews of it say it is zero glycemic index, it tastes too much like sugar and mentally I can’t handle it too often. Even though it is a sugar alcohol and by all accounts “allowed” it doesn’t always agree with me – it has previously caused me to physically crave, have food nightmares and that is just not fun. I didn’t realize it at first, but now I know.
I will for the most part continue lazy Keto and one aspect of strict keto. By strict keto, I mean I will continue my mission to not cheat. I will not continue to play the macro game. I will know what they are, but if they are under or over my goal, I am not going to care. I really only care that my blood sugar is normal, that I am in ketosis and that the inches keep coming off. At this point if the scale goes down, I will consider it bonus. I do have my goal of reaching 22% body fat and I am going to continue striving for that and if it takes me another 19 months, so be it.