GEEKS Do KETO! Diet Journey Day 28 Update

I have to be honest: I never would have believed that Jason and I would stick to a restrictive, disciplined Keto diet for a full month. (Okay, not exactly a full month, but four calendar weeks is close enough!) We’ve had the motivation and willpower to be healthier in the past, but diets have just never been our thing. As committed as I was to the idea of trying Keto, I seriously believed we’d end up quitting after a week, two tops. So it is with genuine pride that I introduce to you today:

The Geeks do Keto Week 4 Update!

*ahem* Yes, I realize this post is nearly a week late. I’ve been a bit distracted. ^_~

So this past Monday was the 28th day of our Keto diet, which is the day we said we’d stop, assess everything, and decide how to move on from here. It’s also the day that a Yum Yum Candy box showed up in the mail to taunt us, but more on that later.

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Look at all that delicious so-and-so…

After 28 straight days of being genuinely and seriously dedicated  to doing Keto properly, what are our final results?  Good. They’re very good.

Jason lost a total of 15 lbs. He also lost 1.5″ off the waist, 1″ off the chest, and nearly 4″ off the beer belly hips. ^_~ Add to that 0.5″ off the arms, 1″ off the thighs, and 0.5″ off the neck, and he’s got results all around!

Myself, I lost a total of 12 lbs, putting me lower than I’ve been since before our daughter was born. I also lost 1.5″ off the waist, 2″ off the chest (shhh….), and 0.5″ off the hips. That last one is honestly surprising, because my hips are pretty much immovable; I’ve got those classic child-bearin’ hips. Adding to that, I lost 0.5″ off the arms, 1″ off the thighs, and 0.25″ off the neck, so I’ve got results all around too!

And all that in a month!

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But it’s not all just about the Physical Changes…

There have been other results and reactions caused by spending a month on Keto. Some of them are arguably more impressive than our actual weight-and-inches losses.

Eating when Hungry! What a novel concept!

For one, we’ve both developed a new habit that can be one of the hardest things for a person in the developed world to learn: eating only when we’re hungry. Don’t get me wrong, we still get cravings and random desires to devour something just because it looks delicious. But overwhelmingly we’ve come to get used to not snacking. We’ve been eating breakfast in the morning only when we’re hungry. I’ve been putting off suppers in the evening until we genuinely feel like we need it. And we gave up snacking at night all together, opting instead for the 8 pm – 10 am fast system that has become like a second nature.

Bread? Psh. Who needs it?

Another surprising change is a genuine lack of desire for bread and sweets. Remember that Yum Yum Candy box I mentioned earlier? Since we knew we were going to destroy the diet by reviewing it, we decided to also have BBQ hotdogs for supper. They were delicious, but neither of us cared for the buns at all. Jason even ate fewer than he normally would have, and I actually only ate one bun and had the rest cut up with mustard. Neither of us were particularly impressed at all with having the bread again. It just didn’t really matter anymore.

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I could have another batch sans buns right now! <3

Candy is Delicious! But you know what? Let’s just save this for later…

Then came the Yum Yum Candy box itself. There’s no doubt: the candy and chocolate was delicious. We enjoyed trying it out with Adrianna, and a video will be coming very soon. However, afterward we found that we didn’t really have that desire to devour it all as we thought we would. The three of us enjoyed a bunch of it while watching a movie, sure. But rather than cleaning out the entire box as expected, Jason and I actually ended up wrapping a good bit of it up and putting it away. We just didn’t feel that we needed it.

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In fact, it looks like these two could have done with even less. XD

Who Would Have Thought?

Clearly our eating habits have changed tremendously. For years I’ve been a relentless sweet-tooth, sneaking chocolate and gummy candies every time someone turned around. Jason has always been the type to eat huge portions, stuffing himself until he felt sick. We’ve both always been notorious snackers, and for years have been terrible for eating in bed at night.

Doing Keto for just one month has done a massive amount to change all that. Though we’ll likely always feel like nibbling on something when bored or grabbing something sweet or salty just because, our willpower to avoid doing so has gone through the roof. We genuinely want to avoid all those bad habits, and we’ve gotten used to doing so. Choosing to be healthier has become significantly easier. 

So we’re going to keep doing Keto, right?

Well, actually…no.

I know lots of people who are currently on Keto. Some of them have been doing it for seven months or more, and that’s awesome for them! For the Tobins, however, I don’t feel that it’s a long-term sustainable system. So although Jason was willing to keep doing it with me if I wanted, I’ve decided that we’re dropping Keto for a more generally healthy overall diet.

Why exactly do I think it’s not sustainable for us to do long-term? Well, a number of reasons, but a big one is the fact that we have a growing child in our household. I explained in the first Geeks do Keto post that Adrianna would not be partaking of the diet with us. I don’t personally believe that growing children should ever be on any kind of a diet unless it’s been mandated by a doctor for medical reasons.

So Adrianna continued to eat the kinds of things she’d normally eat, sharing Keto food with us only at suppertime so I’d only have to make one meal. It sounds simple enough, but was more annoying than you might think. In order for Adrianna to eat the foods she’d normally eat, I obviously had to buy them for her. But since she was the only one eating things like bread, milk, grapes, and crackers, things kept going bad. You can’t buy a third of a loaf of bread, or a single serving of grapes. At least, not around here you can’t. So allowing her to eat normally, while not eating those same things ourselves, meant either throwing stuff out constantly, or feeding her an unhealthy amount of those perishables so they wouldn’t go bad.

Discipline Good – Restriction Bad

Another reason for deciding to drop Keto is that I feel restriction is a bad thing long-term. The discipline that we’ve learned while on the diet is definitely an excellent side effect. But there’s also so long you can restrict yourself without feeling hateful and resentful.

While on the diet we were dedicated to not screwing it up. So even when we were surrounded by family and tons of amazing food, we resisted and made ourselves (at least a little bit) miserable. I don’t want to live like that forever. I don’t want to have to choose between enjoying myself and destroying a highly disciplined diet. Though it’s perfectly okay to have “off” days every now and then on Keto, choosing to do so turned out to be emotionally devastating, so we never did it. But while following a non-restrictive generally healthy diet, we can have our random “cheat” days and not feel horrible about it.

Sometimes your body just says “Nope. I don’t like this.”

Let me make one thing clear. We’ve done a lot of research while on this diet. We read lots of websites, watched lots of YouTube videos. I’m confident that, when done properly, the Keto diet is a healthy one that the average person can do very well on. However, there are always going to be outliers. Myself, I suspect that the Keto diet – which incorporates a lot of salt and other spices – has been bad for my blood pressure.

I have no concrete proof of this, so please don’t take it as a warning against the diet. In fact, research has told me that Keto can actually be quite excellent for blood pressure for many people. However, there is a chance that it will have an adverse effect if you happen to be the type of person for whom sodium greatly affects your blood pressure. I believe I may be one of these.

Again, I have no concrete proof because I honestly don’t know what my blood pressure was like prior to the diet. I do, however, know that in the past it has always been quite good, generally around 125/75. But a week into the diet I checked it at my local pharmacy and it was 150/90. That could have been a fluke, or just a stressful day, so I kept checking it regularly all throughout the month. It was lower on some days than others, but stayed dangerously high the entire month. With this in mind, I choose to change to a more generally healthy diet full of fruits and veggies, and see what happens. Hopefully those numbers will start to drop back down again. If not, I’ll know that Keto was not the issue and I’ll have to see my doctor about it.

All That Said…

Even though I’ve chosen to stop the diet, I would still recommended it. We had excellent results, both physical and mental. And it wasn’t nearly as difficult (most of the time) as we expected it to be. The food we were able to eat was delicious, so we didn’t feel like we were torturing ourselves. In general, it was an easy diet to stick to, and the results were well worth trying it out. If you’re looking to shed a few pounds and are willing to learn how to cook and bake new things, Keto could be for you.

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Conclusion:

I’m happy that I decided to try out the Keto diet, and happy that Jason decided to do it with me. We’ve both lost weight we definitely didn’t need on our bodies. I’m at the lowest weight I’ve been in ages and I feel great. Moving forward I hope that we’re able to stick to the good habits we’ve learned. I believe that if we keep the snacking to a minimum, and reintroduce fruits and veggies to our diet while keeping the junk also to a minimum, we should be able to continue to do well. Add a little exercise in there and we might even continue to lose weight! If not, I’m confident that we could make a successful return to Keto if we chose to do so. I just hope that it won’t be necessary!

Here’s to (hopefully!) a healthy future! Thanks for sharing this journey with us!

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