Ketones are the New Black

I mentioned in last week’s blog that I now live in ketosis. But, I know you’re probably asking yourself, what the heck is that?

Remember how, a few years ago, it seemed like everybody went paleo? Well, keto is the new fad diet that I’m hoping sticks around long term. In fact, I can hardly say in all seriousness its a fad diet. To me, and a lot of others like me, its a whole way of eating. Forget diets. Diets are short term.

So what is keto?

I won’t pretend to be an expert, because, well, I’m not. But here’s the gist of it anyways.

Your body runs off of two types of fuel: glucose and ketones. Your body takes in carbs and turns it into sugar aka glucose and stores it as fuel. Ever heard of a marathoner or other long distance athlete drop the phrase ‘carb loading?’ When I ran my half marathon a few years ago, I researched carb loading and to the very gram per pound of body weight, I did just that. I loaded my body with carbs the 4 days prior to my race. Was it successful? Yes. I had amazing energy that I needed to get me through my race- 13 miles, although my knee was killing me, was a breeze. I was barely in shape to run the distance, but that day, I felt invincible.

What’s also noteworthy, though, was although I was in the best shape of my life, I was still carrying unnecessary weight. This particular race is held at a popular tourist beach, and looking back on pictures of us girls in our bikinis by the ocean, I am astounded by how I looked back then. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve never been more than 10 lbs overweight, and this isn’t me blowing things out of proportion. But for someone who was working out 2 hours a day 6 times a week- lifting, running, hiit workouts and cardio, I hadn’t had a single cheat meal in 45 days prior to the race…..I should have been much more lean and lacking in the love handle department. I’m not complaining, its just an observation and a comparison to my lifestyle now.

Three years later, I have my son. I gave birth 10 months ago to a healthy baby boy, and let me tell you, pregnancy and postpartum life are both so much different than I thought it would be. Going into my pregnancy, I was confident I would continue my healthy lifestyle, eating right and working out all 9 months. No gaining extra weight for me! Well, joke was on me! I was sick. So, so very sick. The first trimester, the sight of anything green made me vomit. No salads, no green vegetables. This made me weak. The gym was the last place I wanted to go. By the end of second trimester, I was starting to regain my energy, and I worked out fairly often up until the end. I also ate 1-2 Klondike bars DAILY most days of my third trimester. Between the heat and pregnancy cravings, the temptation was real!

I thought I would be working out all the time, you know, being a stay at home mom and having all that extra time on my hands. Ha. Hahahaha. I know you other moms are laughing with me! Let me just tell you- after 2 weeks of getting up at 4am to hit the gym (this was after my 6 week doctor checkup), I was pretty much done working out. I had no motivation. I did some yoga at home, went to the gym maybe once a week, then once every two weeks….and finally last month, I gave my membership up all together. I was running and that went well for a while! Once I got it in my head I was going to do another half marathon 9 weeks later, I upped my training, and my body just quit on me. The mileage was too much for how infrequent I ran, (MAYBE  a short 2-3 mile run during the week, and my long run on Saturday) added to the little sleep I was getting and all the hard labor we were doing, renovating the outside of our house. My body just flat out said “screw you.” Luckily, I hadn’t paid for my race yet, and that was that.

So what does this have to do with keto? Well, it was really an eye opener to how it has affected my body with doing the least amount of exercise I’ve done in years. Within a month of starting keto, I lost 6 lbs in two weeks. I’m 7 lbs lighter than my pre-pregnancy weight, and I haven’t weighed this much since high school. Although this also includes losing some of my muscle, which I very much intend to build back, I look a lot healthier, having shed the last of my baby weight. I also have remarkably higher energy.

It appears I haven’t actually answered yet what is keto. The simple answer is low carb, high fat. I pee on a little stick that tells me my body is producing ketones.

I’ll write more later on my experience with keto, but I encourage anyone reading this to go look it up. I don’t get paid (although that would be nice!) to sit here and brag about how keto is helping me, and I have nothing to gain by you starting this way of eating. I really just do believe it is the perfect diet.

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