How long have you been following a ketogenic diet? 1 year
What is your favorite keto meal? Pork rind breaded, air-fried tuna cakes with oven-roasted asparagus
Why did you start keto?
It was recommended to me by a co-worker, when I decided that I needed to drastically do something about my then-getting-worse type-II diabetes. He recommended a few online “influencers” and a couple of websites, and I started my research.
I found the studies that showed how effective carb reduction can be on insulin resistance, and since my primary focus was on fighting the growing diabetes threat to my health, I started there. Beginning by reducing my carb intake to just 50 net-carbs a day, increasing my “good” fats, and making all my own meals, I was able to make it through without having the keto flu. Also, I noticed I was no longer hungry all the time. THAT was the magic of keto!
What was the hardest part of keto and how did you overcome it?
For me, having been a serious carb addict, not snacking on fresh baked bread was the single hardest thing for me to do. Once upon a time, I had worked as a baker in a restaurant, doing nothing all day but making breads, rolls and pastries. . . and sampling them (for quality checks, of course.)
Like all carb addicts starting “recovery”, I had lapses, such as the time I was walking through the kitchen and saw my daughter’s bowl of trail mix. Without thinking, I grabbed a handful, and as I was raising to my mouth, I realized what I was doing! Instead of my mouth, the handful of trail mix went into the trash.
More research ensued, and I soon learned about bread alternatives, like almond flour “chaffles”, pork rind panko, and the HUGE variety of foods I could eat. I had just realized I needed to be more “in the moment” when I am at home.
Biggest changes in your day-to-day life?
Fifteen months ago, I was taking 60 units of long-acting insulin a day, 1000mg of metformin twice a day, as well as three other medications to control my type II diabetes. They are all gone, as I no longer need them.
Fourteen months ago, my A1c was 11.2, and although I was on a “six month cycle” of visiting my endocrinologist, I was prescribed 60 units of long-acting insulin a day, and a Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) to get a better handle on monitoring my blood sugar.
Six months after I was put on the CGM, I was taken off because my October 2021 A1c was 6.2. A high fat, low carb diet had radically altered how I ate, and my body responded by becoming more insulin sensitive.
My January 2022 A1c was 5.1, and using a recording Manual Glucose monitor multiple times a day, I showed the Doctor my blood sugar no longer exceeded 100 during the day, even after meals. My April 2022 A1c came back as 5.2. This is the appointment where I explained I had dropped my daily insulin dose to only 20 units, and my afternoon and evening glucose levels dropped down into the 50 mg/dL areas. working WITH my doctor, together we determined that the insulin was no longer needed.
From the outward appearance aspect, I have gone from size 58 pants and 5-XL shirts to size 42 pants and 2XL shirts, mostly bought at thrift stores, because my wife quickly determined that my sizes were changing so rapidly, that we weren’t going to buy new clothes every month! So I got a new wardrobe!
Best tip for newbies?
My single best tip is to ease into keto. Google KETO lifestyle, and read every website you can, watch the YouTube videos, subscribe to newsletters and groups on Facebook, Check in with the Keto groups on Instagram and r/reddit!
Start this journey out by NOT changing your diet, but by keeping track of every carb you eat. Get an APP on your phone (iPhone & Android both have GREAT apps!) where you can look up how many carbs are in the things you currently eat! Do this for a week. Remember you MUST learn to increase your fats intake, so try some avocado with breakfast, olive oil on salads, etc.
At the end of your first week, take the number total carbs you are eating per day, and cut that number in half. That will be your goal for the next week. Then a week later, repeat the process until you are down to a total of only 50 carbs per day. That way, you will be at your Keto journey starting point.
If there is one thing that you could tell yourself when first getting started, what would it be and why?
I am a carbohydrate addict and thus can only speak from my particular point of view.
Don’t get caught up in the weight loss aspect. This is a lifestyle, and once you start, you should focus on how it will improve your health first, and the weight will come off.
Don’t expect to have “Dramatic” weight loss. Losing weight, as a goal, means you keep track of your weight LONG TERM. The daily and weekly ups and downs don’t matter, if at the end of the month the scale says you are lighter than before.
Anything you would like to add about your story?
No, the single secret I have is that NONE OF THIS is a secret. I once said I was a multiply addicted person. In 1983 I gave up alcohol with the help of a bunch of drunks helping me learn about a 12-step program, I was finally able to realize I didn’t need to be THAT person.
In 1985, again using the 12-step tools and with the help of a group of addicts, I gave up a medically prescribed pain killer addiction, and lived to tell about it. In 1987, again using the 12-step tools, I gave up tobacco, something that was harder than anything else up to that point.
Over the decades, I have talked at AA meetings, NA meetings, anti-smoking meetings. Also over the decades, my weight grew until it seriously affected my health, and would eventually shorten my life. I finally realized I had to do something, and went looking for my 12-steps to weight loss. I found it in the ketogenic lifestyle.
I started this by saying I was a carbohydrate addict. I still am. At work, I attend the monthly meetings where management will bring in a pizza lunch for the team, I will bring my own lunch, usually just a leftover from the fridge. I am happy with that. Though I love the flavors I enjoy now, food is just fuel for the body. I have extended my education down to a metabolic level, focusing on cellular reaction to carbs.
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