A few tips and tricks to incorporating a healthy lifestyle

From Ketogenic Back to Clean Eating

I followed the keto lifestyle for 9 months. I was DETERMINED to give it a valiant effort. I know that fat loss, success, and any sort of physical changes dealing with the body take time. I was in it for the long haul. I was 100 percent with my efforts. I followed a VERY strict Keto regimen, to leave little room for error. I have found this to be helpful with any type of clean eating regimen. If you are having a hard time finding what works for you, you might have to ask yourself how much of an effort you are REALLY giving it.

Anyways…I made it through my birthday, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentines Day…and multiple vacations…all eating keto. I skipped over a LOT of sugar. I put in some major effort, and was able to see some good progress. I was having my ketones tested weekly by a blood draw, and for whatever reason, my body was very stubborn. Most people following the regimen like I was, had extremely high ketone levels, & fantastic success. My ketones were high at first, but after a few months in, It was a REAL struggle to get high numbers. I also wasn’t burning the excess fat like I should be.Β After 8 months, when my progress had come to a very slow stall, I decided I would give it another month of solid effort. I did, just that. 4 weeks of hitting my numbers, keeping my carbs LOW…and still saw NO change. I had met with several different people who are experts in this lifestyle, & they were all baffled. Nobody could determine where the loophole was. So, I was back where I started…frustrated…with no progress. I wasn’t cheating at all. The math wasn’t adding up. My caloric intake, with my output just wasn’t making sense. I am all for sticking with a system, and seeing it out to see the progress. However, I also believe that if something isn’t working for you (after you have genuinely given it a valiant effort) you need to find what works for you.

Let me tell you also that it’s very difficult to be in the industry that I am in, constantly in the spotlight, expected to look a certain way, & still having my body be so resistant to all my efforts. Let me also tell you that this isn’t just a vain pursuit. I know where I should be (body fat percentage-wise) for my height. My goals are very realistic.

NOW. That being said, I found myself in a bit of a stressful situation. I didn’t know which direction to move my efforts. I was terrified at the thought of adding carbs back in, & undoing ALL the progress (albeit slow) that I had made through the past 9 months. So, it was back to researching, delving into what might work best for me.

 

I read quite a bit about metabolic rehabilitation. Turns out that individuals who have eaten at a lower caloric intake for a long period of time create a “new normal” for their metabolism, in a sense. With my resting metabolic rate, and my exercise output, I should have been able to eat like 2,500 calories. Yet, I found that if I exceeded more than about 1,500 calories, my body fat started to increase. When I was eating paleo, (for about 3-4 years), my caloric intake was around 1,200. I feel like I may have done some metabolic damage, causing me to store fat if I ever exceeded that amount of calories. Ridiculous, I know, but true.

So, where am I now? I would consider myself in a process of metabolic repair. I am determined to figure my body out, because I am SURE there are many people out there that are having the same issues. I slowly added carbs back in, and now I am meticulously tracking my macros. I’m working to gradually increase my caloric intake, while decreasing my cardio output a bit here and there to create a new normal. My first goal is to be able to get my body to get used to a normal amount of calories without storing fat, continuing to eat clean, healthy food. From there, I will be able to hone in on my goals a little closer. This is going to be a long slow process, but I’m willing. πŸ™‚

Hopefully that gives you a little insight as to what the plan is currently. As per usual, I’m always willing to answer your questions! xoxoxo Megs

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16 thoughts on “From Ketogenic Back to Clean Eating”

  • I haven’t tried a ketogenic diet, but I recently did the Whole30 plan and was so disappointed when I didn’t have the same results other people seemed to experience. I felt so foggy and like my brain was running slow from weeks 2-4. Did your body feel different during your keto-streak, even though you didn’t get the overall results you wanted?

    • I actually felt really good while I was eating keto. It is fairly typical for people to feel sluggish during the first 1-2 weeks of eating keto, just as your body is detoxing from the carbohydrates. However, then your body begins to adapt to utilizing fat as fuel. I am not sure if you were feeling that due to the same thing, and you might have overcome that had you continued it? One major thing i’ve learned is that I feel like the body responds well to having one macro as a primary source of fuel. So – with keto it’s fat. If you are just eating low carb and not getting enough fat or protein as your main source of energy…the body will feel crappy. Does that make sense?

  • This is a great post and I can also relate to this. I’d gained 5-10 pounds for no reason, and the more I worked out/restricted, the worse it got. I would especially notice my legs and arms holding onto water. Over the past year, I’ve changed my workouts and eating habits, being easier on my body and adding more calories/healthy fats, and my body is slowly letting go of the extra weight. If my body feels extra sore, I will go for a walk and relax. And, by the way, I think you look fantastic!

    • Thank you Robin! You are so kind! It is crazy how our bodies are so temperamental sometimes… right? BUT, I’m so glad you’re feeling like your body is responding. That is exactly how it should be!!! πŸ™‚ Thanks for your kind comment! xoxoxo

      • I’m going through the exact same things! 1200 cal for years and highly active. After a traumatic injury that stopped me from running i totally hit an energetic wall. Even though I remained super active, my body holds on to every bit of calories. I’m working to up my calories but when I go above 1400-1500 I gain 1lbs a week. I’m trying to let my body find a safe new set point but man, so frustrating. I feel like I’ve lost touch with my inner athlete

  • Curious what your macros were. Most people think a ketogenic diet is a “high” fat diet when in fact ketosis has zero to do with fat intake. I also see you were “chasing ketones and not results”, a popular phrase in the keto world. Another possible reason. Also after a long time being fat adapted you will not show high ketone readings and this is a good thing. I am doing this for ages and I hardly get over 0.6 even after a 24hr fast. That is NOT a bad thing…its a good thing. Also…I see too many people eating way too much fat on keto (I have been keto since the mid 1990’s) and once they drop the fat intake and up protein they start losing fat again. remember ONLY carb restriction matters NOT fat intake unless you are epileptic. So I am curious if you could tell me what your macros were? Any good luck with whatever diet you choose as the BEST diet is the one you can follow πŸ™‚

    • Sorry i forgot to add. You may have done well with a cyclical ketogenic diet with weekly or bi-weekly carb days and that is what I do and with this method you never stall and no issues with t4-t3 conversion, metabolic slowdown, no leptin issues or other hormonal problems that you maybe had experienced?

    • You have been doing it since 1990? Wow, that is amazing. My carb intake was below 20 grams per day. I always focused on that, & from there worked my meals around low carb veggies & protein. I wouldn’t have been as worried about my ketones if I would have been losing body fat, but in checking that weekly as well it wasn’t budging. I implemented carb cycling, tried increasing my protein for periods of time, & also had all of my hormone levels checked. For the most part (aside from the cyclical carb + protein implementation) I usually aimed for 5% carbs, 20-25% protein, & the rest fat.

  • I was wondering where you stand on coconut oil and MCTs. I remember them being a significant part of plans you referenced earlier, but it seems the nutrition research is starting to demonstrate little benefit -> some adverse effects from high levels of consumption of any saturated fats, even those from plants. Would love to hear your thoughts!

    • I think that they are a great fat source. I know some recent articles have come out claiming that they are not a good source of fat, BUT I think that people who would say that are likely to be eating excess fat+sugar+overall caloric intake which is the actual problem. You could honestly find articles/studies that argue both ways, which makes finding a true answer hard. However, from all the research i’ve done I think it’s great!

  • Have you read anything from The Metabolic Effect? They wrote “Lose Weight Here” and a couple of other books – its life changing and they explain a ton about hormones, dieting, etc. that I did not know and explain why eating strictly/exercising regularly can actually be detrimental to weight loss. I can’t recommend it enough.

  • Do you have any recs for a great nutritionist in SLC? I struggle with several of the things you listed and am wondering if it might be beneficial for me to try a ketogenic diet.

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