About a month and half ago I started a keto diet. The first week was hell. The second week was a lot better. By the third week I felt fat adapted.
After three weeks of keto I had lost a lot of weight, nearly 15 lbs. My sleep was improved, and I no longer felt intense hunger pains throughout the day. That was the good.
The bad – I didn’t have the same energy during my workouts, I lost muscle mass, and I had intense heart palpations.
The last few weeks I’ve been upping my carbs. My carb intake comes from vegetables, fruits, quinoa, and sweet potatoes. I have stayed away from all “white” carbs completely. I will continue upping carbs especially on workout days.
I’m glad I experimented with keto, but keeping a strict keto diet just isn’t for me. I feel that my lifestyle is too active to limit myself to under 50 carbs a day. It may be the same for you.
Is a low carb/high fat diet for you?
It depends. I know, it’s the not the answer you want to hear, but it’s impossible to answer without knowing a little bit more about you. There is no one size fits all diet. The right diet depends on many factors like lifestyle, age, genetics, and goals. I wouldn’t tell a 16 year old to go low carb if he’s trying out for the football team. Just like I wouldn’t tell a 40 year old office worker to eat six meals a day.
With that said, I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that there are some foods that should never be a part of any diet.
– Grains: Refined or whole, breads, pasta, cereal, baked goods. Basically anything with flour.
– Sugar: candy, caked, cookies, high fructose corn syrup, soda, pastries. This should be obvious.
– Vegetable Oils: Corn, Soybean, Canola, Margarin are like eating poison.
– Processed Foods: Energy bars, frozen dinners, chips
– Fast Foods – Just say no
– Booze – Enjoy in moderation. Some booze is better than others.
If you eliminate all of the above you will lose weight, have more energy, and be less likely to die of heart attack at 50. This goes for everybody. When it comes to specific diets like keto, paleo, and slow carb there is more of a grey area. These diets are all leaps in and bounds better than the Standard American Diet (SAD), but one of them might suit you better than the other.
The War On Carbs
Not all carbs are bad. If you live an active lifestyle or trying to put on muscle it may not be that beneficial to drastically reduce carb intake. It’s not necessarily bad to eat a lot of carbs, but it is important that you eat the right carbs.
Most of your carbs should come from vegetables. This will be a tough task. Most vegetables are low in carbs and they will make you full before you can eat a lot of them. In general, starchy vegetables like onions have a lot more carbs than leafy greens like spinach.
Next you should get carbs from fruits. Fruits are a good source of carbs and other vitamins, but some have high levels of sugar so they should be eaten in moderation. Bananas are high in carbs. Eating one banana on a keto diet would put you out of ketosis, but it’s not a bad choice for a person with an active lifestyle.
Other supplemental carbs can come from nuts, legumes, and sweet potatoes. Like fruits these foods should be eaten in moderation. Also these foods would never be eaten on a strict keto diet.
A successful diet comes down to eliminating certain foods from one’s diet. One won’t have to count calories when they get rid themselves of things like grains, sugars, processed foods etc. This is the most important thing to understand. You don’t have to be a carb nazi to get results. Test things for yourself and see what your body responds to. Here is my suggestion:
If your trying to cut weight fast and you don’t mind a little pain than go keto. Once you reach your goal you can slowly reintroduce some more carbs. *I don’t think a strict keto diet is sustainable long term.
Trying to simply lose weight at gradually pace than go low carb or primal. Aim to eat between 100-150 carbs a day.
If you live an active lifestyle you shouldn’t have to follow strict guidelines when it comes to carbs, just make sure you’er eating the right carbs.