GEEKS Do KETO! Diet Journey Day 1: Thoughts & Feelings
The whole world seems to be doing Keto lately! Have you noticed? Well, I think it’s about time for a couple of GEEKS to get in on the dieting bandwagon!
Many people who know Jason and myself – especially those we met through the YouTube channel – would never say that either of us is “fat”. Sure, Jason has a beer gut. Sure my thighs and backside are enormous compared to the rest of my body. Despite these things most people would probably say that we’re fairly average-sized.
Those people didn’t know us back when we got married.
The fact of the matter is that my adorably squishy husband and I are currently not at a healthy weight for our particular bodies. At our all-time healthiest I weighed 120 lbs, and Jason was at about 160. We were both also decently muscular, having completed the P90X program in the months leading up to our nuptials.
Unfortunately, lifestyle changes do tend to occur. They hit us hard over the nine years following our wedding. We had our little mini-geek, which of course changed my body quite a bit. Jason became a stay-at-home dad for a while, which might not seem like a big deal but can definitely mess with your system in a wide variety of ways. I spent several years working out West in the Alberta oil sands. That was good in some ways (lots of exercise) and bad in others (extremely poor food options) and caused me to yo-yo between my days on and days off. Jason traded electrical work (which involved at least a decent level of daily exercise) for a focus on work that mostly involves sitting at a computer for hours at a time.
What that all boils down to is that I’m currently at 160 lbs, and Jason is at 181. And we’re both a heck of a lot more flab than fab.
So get off your arses and do some exercise, right?!
Okay, yes, that’s a totally fair assessment. Though I occasionally do Zombies, Run! missions and Jason has been spending plenty of time with Adrianna on her new trampoline, we’re both pretty sedentary these days. We’ve proven in the past with the aforementioned P90X that we are fully capable of losing weight through a dedicated exercise regime. So that would totally work again, right?
Welllll…not necessarily. For one thing, we’re older now, which changes a lot. For another, more than just my physical body changed when I had a baby (*cough*hormones*cough*). So there’s no guarantee that doing the same thing would work in the same way for us.
But the more pressing matter is the fact that we simply don’t have the same supply of free time we had back when we did P90X the first time. That was before we had a child. It was before we had a YouTube channel. It was before I’d written two books and dedicated myself to writing more. With all these new daily responsibilities, along with the regular fun of home-ownership and good-old-fashioned “adulting”, we just don’t have the extra 1 to 1-1/2 hours every day to dedicate to exercise anymore.
And that’s where Keto comes in!
Yeah, okay, I know what some people are thinking: “Oh good, they’re trying a fad diet. This should be a lovely car wreck.” And you’re not wrong! As much as I’d like to say “this is the magic pill!” there’s no denying that Keto is a “fad diet”, just like Atkins, the Soup Diet, and the Military Diet before it. There’s no guarantee that it will work for us, and there’s every chance that it will actually have negative effects on us instead if we’re not smart about it.
THAT SAID, I know so many people who have had great success with Keto in the past year or so that I’m willing to give it a shot. And apparently Jason is feeling extra supportive these days (or maybe just a little chubby) because he’s decided to join me!
(Please note, here, that Adrianna will not be subjected to the diet with us. She’ll be eating the dinners I make, but will be able to eat the same foods she’s always eaten throughout the day. I do not believe growing children should ever be put on special diets unless it’s for medical reasons.)
Well, okay then! So what now?
Look, I’m not going to go into a huge post explaining what the Keto diet is all about, because I’m by no means an expert. I’m learning this as I go, so I’m not the person you should be looking to for advice. In a month or two when I’ve had a chance to get to understand things, perhaps I’ll write a post about how to do Keto, but until then, consider me to be your geeky amateur who has only a moderate idea of what they’re doing.
The absolute basics? Keto requires you to drastically reduce your carb intake. The suggestion is less than 20 grams of carbs per day, which is much less than what most of us are eating. The idea is to trick your body into burning fats for energy instead of defaulting to carbs, which are much easier to burn. The result, hopefully, is a good bit of weight loss, as well as other benefits that result from consuming fewer carbs. That’s as deep as I’ll get into it, because I don’t want anyone to rely on my knowledge while I’m still learning.
You definitely need to take the initiative to learn!
What I will say is that if you’re interested, there’s loads of information out there. Google and YouTube will deliver, believe you me. I do suggest that you read and watch as much as you can find so that you have a wide variety of information. Some articles will contradict one another. Some will make suggestions that would cost you a fortune. Others will have little tips that will save your sanity. Pinterest in particular is a god-send with its massive library of Keto recipes.
Look into it. Read a lot. Watch a lot. Make informed decisions.
One big thing is definitely planning ahead. This is, unfortunately, not a strong suit of mine, so I’ll have to work on it. It’s an absolute must to have an idea of what you’ll be eating for dinner in order to make better decisions about breakfast. And grocery lists will become my best friends, for sure.
It is definitely going to be difficult, and I suspect there will be many times I’ll want to quit, especially in the beginning. But having seen the results some of my friends have achieved, I’m inspired. Intrigued. Willing to try.
Wish me luck? And Jason too? Please? Thanks! We’re going to need it!
So how did Day 1 go, anyway?
I did say that this was a Day 1 post for us. It is now the following day, so I can report! That report can be pretty easily summed up into two words:
Okay, I didn’t mean to make it sound like I’m already prepared to throw in the towel. Let me start over!
The morning actually started off with a bit of thought on my side, and a bit of panic on Jason’s. What were we going to eat? That was the question! As I mentioned, Keto involves reducing carb consumption significantly, so Jason’s usual breakfast of Pop-Tarts was right out. I’m usually happy with some grapes or other fruit, but much of that is out as well because of the natural sugars. So, okay, this was definitely going to be difficult.
I ended up boiling us each a couple of eggs, and topped them with some cheddar cheese, salt, and pepper. The result was a totally palatable 3 carb breakfast that took 10 minutes to make. It was even fairly filling, considering it wasn’t that sizable. With a cup of black coffee on the side, and a big bottle of water, I was in a good mood. We could totally pull this off. I was feeling good!
Then I got hungry.
A bad habit in our house, which will have to be addressed, is the times at which we eat. We eat breakfast later – it’s more of a brunch, sometimes even closer to lunch. Therefore we mostly skip actual lunch. Dinner comes earlier than for most (we’re often teased about being old folk). Finally, we’ll have a snack late in the evening, that’s practically a meal in its own right. It’s not a good schedule. It’s just a weird habit we’ve gotten into over the years.
With all that in mind, it wasn’t long before I was having pretty strong hunger pains. I guzzled extra water to get through it. Jason, for his part, never complained once. This may have been due to the fact that he was heavily engrossed in some work on this very website. Distraction is a powerful thing. Note to self: keep busy.
Eventually supper/dinner came!
This was the meal I was concerned about, because I was going to be trying some very new things. We’ve generally always had lots of carbs at dinner time. Rice is a big staple in our hours. Potatoes are another one. Both of those things are huge no-no’s while doing Keto.
Luckily, thanks to the wonderful Pinterest, I found a recipe that totally sounded like something we would enjoy: Bacon Ranch Chicken. This recipe didn’t have rice or potatoes, but it had chicken! It had bacon! It also had broccoli, which Jason and Adrianna both love! And it looked easy, a big selling point for me!
Paired with the first slices of the homemade Keto bread I made (thanks Dani!), it even looked genuinely tasty!
What really matters, though, is how it tasted, right? Well, I’m pleased to report that it was delicious. Jason even asked, “Can we just have this every day? Because I LIKE this!”
Believe me, that was a huge boon to my confidence. If I can make delicious dinners, it will make Keto much easier for both of us.
But hold on…that’s only two meals, right?
You’ll recall that I mentioned our poor habit of eating at weird times. That means that even after my delicious dinner, we’d only eaten twice. That in itself wasn’t a big deal, but since I’d miscalculated the portions of Keto bread I served with dinner, we were already at our daily limit. I didn’t think much about it right away. Dinner was good, I was happy. Unfortunately we ate that dinner around 4:30 pm, so by nightfall I was starving. Jason too, was nosing around for what we could possibly have as a snack that wouldn’t derail us.
Long story short, we got lazy, and ended up cracking open a few tins. I had tuna, with a tiny bit of mayo, and salt and pepper. Jason had flaked chicken with a bit of mayo and a little bit of romaine lettuce. Neither was the greatest solution, nor the tastiest, but both were 0 carbs and kept us from going to bed hungry. Thus, Day 1 had been completed.
I expected Day 1 in particular to be torture. I’m happy to report that it was hard, but not grueling. We learned a few things (like how to properly portion the Keto bread), and got though the day without too much frustration. I was encouraged by the yummy supper, and have now made very good friends with Pinterest for further recipes. It’s definitely not going to be an easy diet. The next few days particularly are going to be rough, as they are often marked by what’s known as the “keto flu”. But I honestly thing we’re going to do okay.
That is…assuming we can work out a solution for how to enjoy a bit of alcohol here and there.
To be continued…