Well, I’ve been eating an LCHF or low carb, high fat diet since the beginning of July. I figured maybe it was time to let you know how my big fat experiment was going so far.
As I posted in August of this year, I started this experiment in response to my own question about how to do whatever I could to avoid diabetes and the devastating complications that go along with it. My Dad’s current health situation was my motivation and after much (ongoing) research embarking on a low carb, high fat diet appeared to be a viable answer. And so my experiment began.
My goal was simply to give this way of eating a try for 6 months and see what happened and how I felt. I had read enough to expect that some weight loss was a very strong possibility this was truly just an experiment not so much an attempt to lose weight, though lets not kid ourselves, I was looking forward to a lowering of my body mass. Happily, my weight has indeed been dropping. Consistently and without counting calories or ever feeling hungry. Bonus!
As of this week I am down 20 lbs. That is a modest weight loss of around 1 lb per week, which I am pretty darned happy with. Insert happy dance here.
When researching LCHF diets there are many, many stories of folks who lose a lot faster than that but by any weight loss program standard 1 lb per week is a fabulous success.
The first month was a bit bumpy as it can take several weeks to adjust to eating a low carb diet – really any kind of new diet. If you drop your carb intake low enough (which I have) your body will go into a state of ketosis, a natural and benign state where you begin to burn fat as a preferred fuel, both dietary fat and the type on your butt. This time is commonly referred to as becoming keto-adapted, or fat-adapted and it can make you feel a bit cruddy. Your body goes into a bit of a WTF state which takes a few weeks to get over.
For me this showed up in some general brain fogginess as well as fatigue. The brain fog lasted only a few days but the physical fatigue lasted about 4 weeks. I wasn’t flat out or anything but climbing the stairs for example would leave me feeling unusually and noticeably drained physically, though the lead legs feeling would only last about a minute and then I’d feel recovered. It was weird, but it is not uncommon and can be easily dealt with by adding a bit of extra salt and magnesium in a cup of bone broth to the diet and it has definitely passed. After that, you begin to burn fat easily and many people report feeling better than they ever have, with energy and clarity of mind at the top of reported side effects.
I’ve managed to maintain my state of ketosis pretty consistently since August. I know this because I have been testing breath ketones regularly using a Ketonix device ordered online. This is a cheaper way to measure ketones than through blood monitoring, which is the most accurate but holy moly the test strips are pricey. For me it is an easy way to track my progress beyond the scale.
I haven’t been posting too many recipes of late since I’m finding that I am having to find new low carb recipes which have a slightly higher fat content and which keep the carbs really low. Either that or we’ve been eating really simply, for many meals that means sticking to the basics, many of which are in my regular rotation and are already posted here. Bacon and cheese omelet for breaky, fatty cuts of meat and a simple salad and cooked veg for dinner, leftovers for lunch. Keeping it simple has been a great strategy, and searching for recipes that everyone likes has been an interesting endeavour.
Well, that is the simple update. My LCHF/ketogenic diet experiment has been a huge success. I’m down one or two sizes, have sent a whole bunch of clothes to charity, and I’m feeling great. I had an initial weight loss goal of 144 lbs, a weight that I maintained for many years (while consistently exercising). I’ve blown past that number and have reset a new goal of 136 lbs, the maintained weight prior to that period – and quite a few years ago. I’m 3 lbs from that goal. This is without exercise – though I do walk my dog daily- without hunger, without cravings and honestly without much effort.
One side bonus is that cleaning up my closet created a nice little chain reaction and had me motivated to clean up and de-clutter some other areas of my life. My Daniel Laporte #truthbomb card has read the same thing for quite a few months now. Whatever works to keep me motivated.
If you want to know more, ask me. I’m no pro but I’ve done so much reading and research my brain is exploding with info!