I wanted to do this post about Frequently Asked Questions about Keto and how I achieved the loss that I did. I get SO MANY messages from people and I end up replying with the same thing. Most of these are on Instagram and there’s only so many characters to play with. So, here is my post on my most frequently asked questions that hopefully will answer the ones you want asking.
A little background if you will, I started Keto on 2nd April 2019 which feels like ages ago! I originally started to help my arthritis but also to help my partner Mark lose some weight too. We both had a lot to lose and never really thought that Keto would be like any other diet. But as we reached our first month and had dropped A LOT, we kept going. 4 month in and we’d both dropped more than a couple dress sizes (With trousers in Mark’s case). 6 Months and I looked like a different person.
After losing over 80lbs at Christmas I decided to move from Keto to Low Carb as I was just maintaining then – plus I really missed fruit! From then onwards my weight fluctuate about 7lbs throughout the month (Women’s stuff you know what I’m saying). So, since Christmas till now (9 months) I’ve stayed the same size and pretty much weight too – even with lockdown and the occasional biscuits. For the record I went from weighing 240lb-153lbs in 8 months.
Frequently Asked Questions About Keto
Does Keto work? I think my results speak for themselves. Mark lost over 10 stone! So, yes Keto works for some people but as with all diets, it doesn’t work for everyone. Or I should say its not suited to everyone. Before starting any diet though, make sure to consult a doctor. Especially if you have any underlying medical conditions.
Does Keto help Arthritis/Autoimmune Diseases/Inflammatory issues? I can only speak from personal experience here. But I found with my Psoriatic Arthritis that it helped a lot. The swelling went completely and as I had more energy I didn’t feel like I was having a flare up daily. The flare ups were what really screwed me up as I felt like I had flu almost all the time! I’d say I noticed a difference after about 6 weeks probably when I became fat adapted.
Did you take any supplements/magic drinks/vitamins/pay a subscription/join a group (Facebook pyramid scheme crap)? Oh this is the one I get asked the most! I did not join any schemes, pay any memberships or sign up for any crap like that. Didn’t join any groups on Facebook or the likes that expect you to pay money. I didn’t take stupidly priced drinks or shakes. I know Slim Fast or something like that does a Keto drink now. Not had it, nor am I bothering!! So nothing like that at all. The only things I took on Keto and still do now are vitamins. I take the following daily; A good quality multi vitamin (I take Centrum), Cod Liver Oil (For my joints), Biotin (For my skin/hair), Coconut and Collagen (For my skin), but most importantly when I was on Keto I discovered Electrolytes in a tablet and those are my one recommendation. I get mine from MyVitamins. I’m not affiliated with them, nor paid etc. I buy them for Mark and I ever couple of months and get 180 tablets at a time. Due to the changes in what you eat on Keto, getting enough minerals and vitamins is essential. The Electrolytes help with Keto flu and feeling funky. I still take them now out of habit. Beware if you choose an Electrolyte in a drink as many contain sugar or a sugar substitute which you aren’t mean to have.
What did you eat? Ah this question is the worst as its so long! I never eat breakfast as I just can’t stomach it. I would eat lunch, dinner, have snacks and a treat after dinner each day. Every day I had 2 squares (20g) 85% dark chocolate which helped with sweet cravings. I ate meat, fish, veg, some fruit and A LOT of cheese! No I didn’t feel hungry on Keto and yes after about 12 days I lost cravings for sweet stuff and carbs. NO GLUTEN! Gluten is not your friend. Make sure you check EVERY ingredients label and learn what you can and can’t have. No sugar. No Milk (Cows milk is a no – Almond milk or cream is ok). It’s all about Carbs basically and they are not your friends. No oats, wheat (Duh), rice or any grains really. FAT is your new best buddy, but good fats. I also NEVER EAT AFTER 8PM!
What books did you read? None. I did get a couple on my Kindle but will be honest I just didn’t bother with them. Websites were easier.
What websites did you use? GOOGLE IS YOUR NEW BEST FRIEND! I kid you not. Every day I would google things. Keto ‘insert protein like meat/fish’ meal idea (So eg. Keto Chicken dinner). That was how I would plan our meals. I used the DietDoctor site a lot for meals in the beginning, but once I knew what we could and couldn’t eat I used a lot of other sites too.
Is meal prep hard with work etc? This is where we are lucky compared to many. I work from home now, so am home all the time. I would meal prep every day and input my daily allowances of things into MyFitnessPal (I do not have the paid version). I’d obviously do Mark’s at the same time. I spend every day (Even now) about 15 minutes with a coffee balancing my macros and inputting what I’ll have for meals, snacks and drinks. Obviously I may add or subtract things as the day goes on.
Can you meal prep etc and eat at a work place on Keto? Of course as long as you plan ahead. Most of Mark’s lunches were made at 6:30 when he was working at the office on the daily. As I knew from early in the day what we were having for dinner etc it was easy to get things sorted. So my advice is preparation. Be prepared ahead of the time so you know what you are having. If you’ve factored in having Sausages for dinner but then want chicken. Have chicken (Log it still etc) but remember Sausages generally have more fat, so you’d then have to be a bit more creative with your chicken. It is perfectly doable!!
How do I do macros and what the hell are they? I’m answering this one in reverse. A macro is basically a daily intake in percentages of what you can have. You should try and keep this balanced. So even if you don’t eat your total calories that day if you are supposed to have 70% Fat then try and still have 70% fat throughout the day. I use the same site that I’ve used from the get go for my macros which is WholesomeYum. My macros look like this for reference : 74% Fat, 18% Protein and 7% carbs. Do not just copy mine. They are personal to my weight, height, sex, Body Fat and Activity.
Do I calorie count? Yes to a degree. I have a MAXIMUM amount of calories a day and don’t always eat them all, some days I get close. I do have the occasional blow out and go over. But I’m more like to have a day where I’ve too much protein or carbs than blow my calories. In the beginning I had so many I never really went over 1400. Not because I was worried about eating too much. It was because I struggled to eat to that amount! This diet definitely suppresses your appetite and it can be hard to eat the amount you are meant too. Do not cut calories, eat enough!! I always have at least 1200 a day but generally it sits now around 1300-1400.
Can I still have fizzy drink/alcohol? Erm. You could have carbonated/sparkling water. No coke, even diet coke or diet drinks. No fruit juices, freshly squeezed juices or squash/cordials (Fresh juice has a lot of carbs and cordials tend to contain sugar substitutes even if they are sugar free). In honesty I didn’t have ANY fizzy drinks nor alcohol. But I don’t really drink alcohol much anyway less it’s a special occasion anymore. Just bare in mind how carb filled those things are and whether it’s worth it. If you get into Ketosis and the have too many carbs, it will throw you out and you’ll have to get back in again.
Did you intermittent fast? I did after a few months and still do now. Started on 16/8 fasts, now I’m more 18/6 and sometimes 20/4. I found it definitely gave me a push with weight loss and even now can help if I’m having a naughty day!! If you want to try intermittent fasting, just google it. There’s a lot of resources on it and you don’t have to do Keto to do it!!
Any other tips?
Drink plenty of water. I drink coffee, tea, herbal tea etc throughout the day. But I also drink a minimum of 2-2.5 litres of just water. Drinking water is really important as it helps flush everything out of your system. It can also help with hunger pangs early on in Keto (As can black coffee). It’s great for your skin too! Most people say I look younger now and I honestly think Keto did that and not just from the weight loss. It really does amazing things for your skin as does Intermittent Fasting.
Exercise if you can. Walking is a great exercise, even 15 minutes a day. Little and often. Do what you can as something is always better than nothing.
Know its ok to fail! If you have a day and end up being naughty, its ok. Don’t beat yourself up. Don’t fall off the wagon because of one little mistake. Just dust it off and then start again the next day.
Pain. As crazy as this sounds but with Keto you can lose weight VERY quickly. If you lost a lot fast, you can end up in more pain on your joints temporarily. The reason because of this due to pressure. You joints have to then adjust to the amount of weight you’ve lost. I know it sounds a bit backwards, but once your body gets used to the ‘smaller’ you, so will your joints.
Know that there will probably be loose skin and a lot of it. On my keto anniversary I popped a pic on my Instagram which I’ll show you here. I do have a lot of loose skin now and even nearly 18 months on I still do. Sometimes it doesn’t go and surgery is the only way to remove it. It doesn’t bother me as much now, I’m fairly solid under that loose skin.
For now I think that’s my most asked ones. Anything else I’ve missed let me know and I’ll do my best to answer it. At present I’m back on Keto, not due to weight loss but because my hands have started getting worse again with my Arthritis and I really don’t want to go back to how I was before with pain. There’s definitely a link between carbs and inflammation – just saying!
Keto is not EASY! Like any diet or lifestyle change it takes work and dedication. You may fall of the wagon, you may decide its not for you or that its too strict. Keto did work for Mark and Me and between us we lost another person in weight and they weren’t small either!
I wish you well if you are giving it a go!