People adopt the ketogenic lifestyle for any number of reasons, and weight loss is usually the biggest. That’s a great reason, and one I can support without hesitation.
I started the ketogenic diet to save my life. I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in June of 2014 and that scared me. The thought of losing my eyesight, my feet, having heart disease, hypertension and all the other health issues that come along with diabetes was frightening. I also didn’t want to have to start injecting insulin. It was that moment when I decided I was going to control this with diet and get off the medications completely.
After some online research, I first went with low-carb, low-fat and had some success, but finally stalled no matter what I was doing. Hours of cardio on the treadmill, cutting back on the calories, nothing was working and I began gaining back the weight.
Then a video with Dr. Sarah Hallberg popped up on my Facebook feed, and my life changed. I followed her and one day she posted a few books she recommended. (you can find this video on my resources page)
One of them was “Keto Clarity“, which was the next step in changing my life.
The ketogenic lifestyle allows me to manage my blood sugars and control my type 2 diabetes strictly through diet, without medication. The weight loss is a bonus, but if I never lost any weight and my blood sugars were normal, I could live with that. I don’t have too, though. Weight loss is a natural side effect of the ketogenic way of living.
My approach to a Keto lifestyle is whole foods, organic approach, with a strict limit of 20 grams of carbs (full, not net) a day, 3 ounces of protein, and the rest as healthy fats. I also continue to use my glucose meter to check my blood sugars regularly even though I am no longer considered diabetic.
Whole foods because I believe that processed foods are a huge part of our health problems. Processed foods are loaded with chemicals and artificial ingredients, and our bodies aren’t designed to handle those.
Organic because I believe that eating food as close to how it is in nature is ideal. Pesticide and GMO-free produce, and grass-fed, pastured, wild-caught animals eating their natural diet are what’s best for our bodies.
I”m also grain-free because I believe that grains are a major contributor to our increasingly high blood sugars and that the grains we eat today are harmful and causing problems with our health. For more info on this, read “Wheat Belly” by Dr. William Davis and “Grain Brain” by Dr. David Perlmutter. Being grain-free is also a requirement of the ketogenic lifestyle.
Strict limits on carbs because my body is so metabolically damaged by years of the standard American diet. If I go over 20 grams of carbs, I begin getting high blood sugars.
I try and stay around 3 ounces of protein a day because when I go over that limit, my blood sugars begin to rise. Our bodies can only process so much protein before it’s converted to glucose (read up on gluconeogenesis) and I discovered my limits by checking my blood sugars regularly.
I don’t measure my fats, I simply douse my food with enough healthy fats so that I feel full after my meals. There’s no need to worry about eating too much fat because fat makes you feel full and you won’t be able to eat too much. If you’re not quite sure about this, try it. You’ll feel like throwing up.
Getting your carb and protein tolerances figured out is key to the ketogenic lifestyle. Once you know what those are, just add a lot of healthy, yummy fats. It’s awesome!
Probably the best tool with the ketogenic lifestyle is a blood glucose meter. It’s vital to know what your blood glucose levels are. If they’re consistently going over 140, you’re not ketogenic and could actually be causing harm to your body.
I aim to keep mine under 120, even after meals. I know that might be a bit extreme, but living a healthy life without diabetic complications is worth it to me.
So there you have my reasons for a ketogenic whole foods lifestyle.
Please don’t hesitate to ask any questions, I am more than happy to answer!