As we continue to stay home, following our health officials advice on avoiding Covid 19, many of us have added a few pounds to the midsection. With home cooked comfort foods and baked bread and sweets, our favorite carbohydrate snacks etc., it’s been pretty darn easy to fill in our idle time with munching more. I have gone just a little off the rails with my intensely healthy diet. Not that I’ve gone overboard, but I have managed to expand my waistline over the past 12 months.
Now that spring has sprung and we are about to enter the warm weather, peeling off the layers of cosy clothing, it is time for me to start peeling off the extra layer of body fat I’ve insulated with this winter. We usually winter down south but as you know, we spent winter north of the border. It’s definitely time to get summer ready.
Monday morning I am embarking on the Ketogenic Diet plan for at least 8 weeks. I figure that will be enough time to shed my “Covid 15 pounds” added during this long year of hibernation.
For those of you not familiar with the Keto Diet, it is an eating plan that is very low in carbohydrates, with moderate protein consumption, and high in good fats. Your body uses fat for energy instead of carbohydrates. The benefits of this diet are weight loss, and good for health and energy. This diet helps you eliminate body fat, and reduces hunger during that process. Studies show this eating plan is good for type 2 Diabetes.
After a few days of eliminating carbs from your diet your body goes into “ketosis” where it starts to burn your body fat and the extra good fats you consume for energy. Your body starts to produce ketones, an alternative fuel source instead of glucose from carbs. Your entire body runs on fat, burning this fat all day long. If you are trying to lose weight this is great as your body starts to use your body fat. Because of the extra good fats in your diet you feel less hungry, and your body has a steady supply of fuel. High carbo diets put your body through sugar spikes. On the low carb plan your body doesn’t go through those peaks that come from consuming carbs so you have a more level supply of energy throughout the day.
The food list for a ketogenic diet is basically:
- good fats like grass fed butter, good olive oil, coconut oil, ghee, MCT oil, avocado
- Wild fish and seafood
- Grass fed and organic meats such as beef, pork, lamb, poultry with the skin on
- organic, free range eggs
- Cheese, high fat dairy such as sour cream, high fat milk and cream, cottage cheese
- Non starchy “above ground” vegetables such as asparagus, cucumber, broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, tomatoes, salad greens, olives, cabbage, celery, mushrooms, kale, Brussels sprouts, green beans, egg plant
- you can enjoy strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, watermelon, cantaloupe, peaches and star fruit in moderation, also lemon. Fruits do contain carbs so you want to make certain you keep these at a minimum.
- organic nuts such as walnuts, pecans, Brazil nuts, macadamia, hazelnuts, pine nuts (again, there are carbs in nuts so you will want to monitor your consumption of nuts per day.
- seeds such a sunflower and pumpkins seeds
The rule of thumb is to keep carbohydrates below 20 grams. The fewer carbs the better. If you stick to the food list, counting carbs is not necessary. In the beginning you may wish to monitor the carbs in your food choices.
Avoid potatoes, pasta, rice, pop and fruit juices, sweets, alcohol, bread, candy and chocolate bars.
On a Keto diet, water is your best drink. You can also enjoy coffee and tea without sugar. You can use cream in your coffee if you like. But better yet make a “bullet proof coffee” by adding some MCT oil and or butter to your coffee. I know it doesn’t sound good but it is very tasty.
For snacking on the keto diet, hard boiled eggs are a good choice or cheese, olives, nitrate free cold cuts, avocado and nuts in moderation.
If you feel the need for sweet there are alternatives to sugar which can be used during the keto diet. Stevia, Xylitol, erythritol, and monk fruit are your options for a sweet hit. Because the keto diet is popular there are many muffin and cake mix products in health food markets that are made to stick within the keto guidelines and you will note they are made with ingredients such as coconut flour and one of the above sweeteners to stay within the keto guidelines.
I will strictly stick to the ketogenic diet for approximately 8 weeks which will be enough time to lose my “Covid 15 pounds”. Then once my goal has been reached I will remain eating keto but carefully add a few carbs a little at a time to maintain my weight loss.
So….Monday morning I will begin the Keto plan and will report back to my blog in mid-June, with what I anticipate is good news getting my body back to its pre-Covid hibernation weight.