keto: LCHF diet (part 1)

i am now two weeks into the ketogenic diet (keto), the high-fat, medium-protein, low-carbohydrate (LCHF) diet. 

doing keto primarily for weight loss, but underneath that, to regain my physical fitness.  my BMI (body mass index) places me in the category of ‘obese’ — not simply ‘overweight’ but ‘OBESE’.  my height – 175 cms: my weight – 235 lbs.  an online BMI calculator does the math, if you are interested to know your BMI.

i’ve heard it before — i couldn’t believe it nor think it possible — to limit daily carbohydrate consumption to (an average of) 20 grams.  that would be equivalent to 1/2 cup of rice (or less) in a day — impossible!  but 2 weeks now into keto, i haven’t touched rice, except for a tablespoon or two one night. 

no bread, no potatoes, no noodles, no ice cream, no sweets, and no potato chips or corn chips.  none: total abstinence.  rice, for a filipino like me, is gospel truth — i am now one heretic!

on a macro perspective, your daily food intake must consist of 70% fat, 20% protein, and only 10% carbohydrates.  it isn’t easy to wrap your head around those numbers, especially when number crunching time comes and you try to compute the nutritional information (if available, otherwise consult your online keto references) pertaining to fats, proteins, net carbs… and total calories of all the food you eat in one meal or for the whole day.  not for the faint-hearted!

however, if you are a street rat like me, you’d settle for a wholesale approach to your macros.  consume mostly fats (good fats are best), a little protein, and very minimal carbs.  there’s no stopping me from eating my veggies, but i opt for green leafies and high-fibers with low net carbs (consult your online keto references).

two weeks into the keto diet, here are some general observations i’ve made: 

first few days, the bloating (i always felt bloated) in my belly subsided.  but it wasn’t just my own feeling, my daughter made the observation that my belly no longer appears distended.

i don’t feel hungry and crave for something to eat as i did before — any time of the day.  whenever i got hungry (before) i would pop two to three slices of bread in the oven toaster and smother them with butter, to satisfy the craving; or dig in a bag of corn chips late at night doing work on my computer terminal.  now, i just drink water, bulletproof coffee (black coffee w/1 tbsp butter), or bulletproof turmeric milk (in my case, it’s 1 cup diluted coconut cream w/1 tsp turmeric powder).

not eating carbs (observing the carb limit strictly) did not make me feel weak.  i have a good level of energy.  on my 2nd week, i resumed my afternoon jog.  going into my third week (presently) i started doing planks and core strengthening exercises.  i follow the 12-16 hour cleansing (nighttime fasting) and 8-12 hour building (daytime eating) cycle.  this means that if my last meal was 8 pm, the next meal will be from 8 am to 12 pm.

last observation, for now — my belt has adjusted one hole tighter and a shirt i couldn’t fit in before, i could fit in now (but my belly still bulges a bit).  but, on a similar practical note, for after the next two weeks, i need to fit into my size 36 pants comfortably (i now wear size 38 pants).

i made myself a promise to have my blood pressure checked, to get a blood test for cholesterol, triglycerides, etc… and (if necessary) another one for ketones.  i also need to undergo a (treadmill) stress test, and see my cardiologist.  didn’t have the guts to do it before i went into keto, but i owe it to myself and my family to have the tests done and see my doctor after 4 weeks or so.

i took a “before” picture when i started on keto and recorded my weight.  i will be taking an “after” picture on the 45th and 90th day.  this will be for proper documentation (part 2).

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