Don't sleep on it until you've tried it! Did you know that eating only 20 grams of carbs a day is hard? Well, just by taking the 28-day Keto challenge you will be placed on a high-fat and low-carb (HFLC) diet.
According to the nutrionists that created this extreme 'Keto' diet plan, "our participants are only allowed to eat 20 grams in a day. Some people on keto follow a net-carb plan (subtract the grams of fiber from a food's total carbs) and are allowed to eat more carbs in a day." But for my 31-day diet and for the sake of simplicity, I only stuck with total carbs.
Here's how I was able to execute this challenge without any hiccups. As a rule, I aimed for 20 grams each day—2 at breakfast, 3 at lunch, 4 for snacks and 11 for dinner. I found that if I aimed for 20, I'd land under 30. That was successful enough for me.
Food is repetitive and my key to hitting my number was to plan accordingly. I sat down and worked out all my daily meals, down to the condiments, plus snacks on the weekends. If I knew what I was having and what I was "allowed" to have while staying under my carb goal, I found managing the infrequent cravings and hunger became easier.
Being on the Keto diet, I ate a lot of protein (steak and chicken mostly). And for a person whose eating philosophy is set on more organic plant-based and whole-food-focused, eating processed pork products every morning took a lot of personal persuasions. It also took a complete mental shift, because eating multiple pieces of bacon every day for weeks on end goes against everything I've been taught for personal health.
This is a very low-calorie diet and it sucks trying to keep your carb count near 20, which helps to reduce your calorie consumption too. Carb-heavy foods are some of the most calorie-dense foods we eat, mainly because we eat a lot of them. If you cut carbs, you dramatically reduce your possible calorie intake. (See the 30 best low-carb foods.)
No lie, there were days that I struggled to get over 1,100 calories after setting a goal of 1,500 calories, in which I fell short almost every other day. That's enough of a calorie deficit to produce weight loss, even without the low-carb count.
A side effect I came down with was something called "keto flu" and it's a term you'll see on keto blogs and forums... but not everyone will experience it.
As your body goes through the process of accepting lower carb intake and enter ketosis (where you rely on ketones, instead of carbs, for energy), you may experience fatigue, mental fogginess, even irritability. My "keto flu" only lasted a day and a half, and that was it. I even ate a cookie to celebrate my anniversary. I certainly came out of ketosis when I ate that treat, and I didn't experience any repercussions for it.
A little about the Keto-challenge... once you've signed up you will be given a 'meal plan' that guides you every step of the way. And it’s more than a plan. It’s also a challenge. It’s designed to stretch you... and see what you’re made of.
1. Keto Diet Basics
To get started, you’ll learn the basics of the keto diet, how it was developed, how it works, 13 tips for success, foods to enjoy, and more.
2. Eating Well On Keto
In this guide, you’ll get 10 breakfast recipes, 14 lunch recipes, and 14 dinner recipes, plus a companion 28-Day Meal Plan calendar.
3. Staying In Ketosis
You’ll learn how to get into ketosis in as little as 3 days, how to know if you’re in ketosis, and much more.
4. Mastering Macros
Learn how to calculate your macronutrients and maintain the proper ratios to stay in ketosis!
5. Beating Keto Flu
What the “Keto flu” is and how to make it go away quickly if you experience any symptoms.
6. Intermittent Fasting
Learn about 5 different styles of Intermittent Fasting to kickstart ketosis and accelerate fat loss.
7. Social Situations
Discover healthy ways of dealing with social pressures. Includes tips for eating out and guidelines for drinking alcohol. This is what makes weight loss sustainable!
8. Guilt-Free Desserts
This cookbook contains 36 mouth-watering “fat bomb” recipes that will satisfy your sweet tooth while keeping you in ketosis.
9. Yummy Avocado Recipes
Discover 5 unique keto-friendly ways to prepare avocados. Yum!
10. Keto Supplements Guide
Learn about 12 of the best Keto supplements that will help you transition to ketosis and make the Ketogenic diet more effective.
To be honest, I won't be staying with keto for the long term—I really can't eat that much bacon anymore—but I do expect I'll return to it several times a year. If nothing else, the strict diet works well for me like a reset after a long splurge during the holidays to (hello, Summer!).
The keto diet is not for everyone. Certainly, if you have blood sugar issues or a history of heart disease, you should not try this diet without a doctor's supervision. However, if you're in good health and are looking for a weight-loss jump-start, the keto diet might be the opportunity you've been looking for. Get started HERE