Over the years I have tried MANY different diets and "lifestyles". Low calorie, low fat, low carb, intense exercise, cardio, strength training, fasting, etc...I have experienced success and I have experienced failure. None of these things on their own ever work for me. I start it...I do well for a little while...I feel better about myself, I go back to my old unhealthy ways. This has been my life for over 25 years!!
About 7 years ago I started researching and experimenting with the low carb lifestyle. Back in 2008-2009, I started eating low carb and lost 60 lbs in 6 months. I felt WONDERFUL! But something just wasn't right. I wasn't satisfied to the point that I could live this life forever. I wanted to feel good and be done. Well, guess what? Yep...I resorted back to my old ways, gained the weight back plus more! Story of my life...UGH.
About 2 years ago I got blood work done and noticed that my numbers were moving around...not into the red zone yet but close and mostly in the yellow zone. I knew this was not going to improve on it's own. So I started dabbling in the low carb arena again. I cut out wheat, sugar, grains, etc...Off and on...off and on...losing a little, gaining a little...mostly just holding steady. Nothing major was happening.
I started doing more research this summer and came across intermittent fasting. I've tried fasting in the past and man it's tough. We are so programmed to eat at least 3 times a day with snacks. We're told our bodies function better when we keep fueling it throughout the day. That's a hard habit to break. But intermittent fasting allows you to be flexible. There are several different types (5:2, 16:8, 4:3,)...I liked the sounds of the 5:2 plan. Eat according to my plan of choice 5 days a week and fast 2 days as week (500 calorie max). It sounded doable to me. Nothing extreme...so I tried it and I found it easy to follow and not depressing. I did have the typical fasting "flu" systems but I know these don't last long and eventually you feel much more clear and in control. It was a little boost in the bum but again...it just didn't push me as much as I hoped it would. I lost a little weight and then held steady AGAIN.
So my research continued and I ran across a Keto website. I had heard of Keto before and I had been told by Drs that I was in ketosis before. I knew that meant I was burning fat and not glucose. So I continued reading this particular page and looking at some of the recipes. I tried the keto calculator that determines your macronutrient levels. Hmmmm...I'm not sure I paid attention to all of this at any one given time before. If I was eating low carb, I didn't worry about calories or fat and vice verse. I really only focused on one macro at a time. So I thought "what the heck" let's give it a shot. What have I got to lose...except weight!
I made a small donation to the page to receive a 4 week meal plan, including shopping lists, recipes, macros for each meal, etc...I went to the store and stocked up on specialty items and the first week of groceries. I informed my husband of my plan and got started. Some of the recipes were more complex than I was used to cooking but I gave it my best shot. Lots of spices for flavor. WOW! This was starting off pretty good. Very tasty and filling...I found myself getting excited about the next day's recipe. Now remember, this meal plan breaks down the macros for everything so you don't have to do the work. Each meal/day is planned out by calorie, net carb, fat gram, protein...making it fool proof unless you need to tweak the numbers a bit.
The 4 week plan started with eating 3 meals a day in the first week to having bulletproof coffee and 2 meals a day the second week to bulletproof coffee, fasting for lunch, having dinner and dessert in the 3rd week, to fasting for breakfast/lunch, then having dinner and dessert in the 4th week. We covered a lot of basis here in 4 weeks. I just finished day 28 yesterday and I lost about 15 lbs!!! I'm not going to say I didn't have hunger pangs during the fasting but it wasn't horrible. The meals were amazing, even my husband was surprised at how tasty and filling they were.
So, I'm not posting this to promote the Keto diet, fasting, low carb, low calorie, or the website I used,,,I'm posting this to explain how me putting limits on what I choose to watch or follow in my plan of choice is what causes me to never really be successful or have a chance at long term success. I can't just worry about my carb intake or my calories, or my fat grams, or fasting. I have to combine all of the things I have done separately in the past. They are all great concepts but I need all of them together. Each is a piece of the whole puzzle. One piece does not work by itself. I'm finally understanding what it really takes to be healthy and in tune with my body. It's my responsibility to know what I need, what I'm eating, when, why, etc... There is no magic diet...no so-called "easy" way to get there. It takes work...effort...understanding your own body. I've taken control.
I have a lot of leftovers frozen from the meals I prepared during the 4 weeks so I am ok right now but I'm a little nervous about not following a prepared meal plan everyday. Should I redo the 4 weeks? Should I create my own weekly meal plans? I seem to do much better when I plan things out. I'm not sure I trust myself to create my own plans yet. This is something I need to decide in the next week. Either way, I will be tracking my macronutrients, I will be intermittent fasting, I will drink lots of water to stay hydrated, I will put all of these pieces of the puzzle together so that they create the bigger picture that I've been trying to see for a very long time...
Now if only I could find the puzzle piece for exercise
Rome wasn't built in a day!
Happy Friday the 13th!!