There’s this never ending cycle of a love/hate relationship with food. The desire to be in shape, healthy and not have this extra weight. In my quest to live with some intention, when it comes to food this is a mountain that needs to be climbed.
Here’s the thing with food. We need it for survival, but why is it so engrained in our minds to want so much? So much of the not good stuff at that. Is it because we’ve been programmed by the media? Well I can’t get in to conspiracy theories, because that’s just a rabbit hole that I don’t care to dive in to at the moment. What I do know is, its a proven fact that things we put in to our bodies can negatively effect us in the long run. Mainly in the way feel and sicknesses we can get. Of course we know that we can live the most healthy and still get sick, but its the principle of actually making a choice to choose the right things for our body. What also goes hand in hand with food is our activity level. Sitting around all day with no activity also plays an active role in our health and how we feel.
But you know that. We honestly know that all this fried food and endless amount of sugar is not doing us any good. Temporary moments with negative long term effects.
I say all this because I’m tired of living this sluggish life. I want energy and to hopefully live a long life without lots of health issues. And who doesn’t want to lose a few pounds, I know I do!
This brings me to this diet I’ve been trying. The Ketogenic Diet.
What is the Ketogenic Diet
“Eating a ketogenic diet, or “going keto”, involves eating a high fat, moderate protein, low carb diet. Our bodies use three main sources of energy from our food: carbohydrates, protein and fat. The whole mentality behind keto is that when your carbohydrate intake is highly restricted to about 20-30 grams per day or removed all together, your body begins to burn up carbohydrate and glucose stores in your body. Once those glucose stores have been depleted, your body will then turn to using fat and ketone bodies for fuel. Eating a diet high in healthy fats helps your body to stay in this fat burning state, therefore allowing you to produce ketones bodies… Which you can think of as a mega super fuel for your brain.
When you start producing these ketone bodies in your bloodstream, you achieve a metabolic state called ketosis, where there is a decreased of production of glucose, leading your body to burn fat without compromising muscle. This is the only known “protein-sparing” weight-loss technique, which is why many people use ketogenic diets to lose body fat while maintaining muscle mass and keeping their metabolism running.” (Source: LaurenConrad.com)
What can you eat on a Keto Diet
When it comes down to it, keto is really all about eating simple, real foods. Stick to these:
Meats: chicken (whole, thigh, breast), pork (shoulder, belly, loin), steak (hanger, flank, sirloin, chuck, filet mignon, prime rib), high-quality sausage, ground/hamburger meats (pork, beef, turkey, lamb), roast beef, ham, bacon, duck
Seafood: salmon, tuna, trout, tilapia, halibut, crab, lobster, swordfish, pollock, cod, oysters, shrimp
Fats and oils: olive oil, coconut oil, flaxseed oil, avocados
Dairy: heavy creams, grass-fed butters, hard cheeses, and eggs
Nuts: Keto nuts and nut butters (no added sugars or oils)
Low-carb vegetables: leafy greens like kale, spinach, swiss chard, mustard greens, and lettuce, green beans, cabbage, celery, mushrooms, zucchini, asparagus, broccoli, eggplant
Condiments: salt, pepper, sugar-free herbs and spices
Work on enjoying these real foods, and don’t worry about the other stuff (If you want a more comprehensive list, see here).
And just make sure you’re avoiding everything on this list:
All added sugars (be sure to check labels for hidden carbs.
Breads, including whole grains varieties
Traditional wheat and rice pastas
All fruits (berries can be okay in very low amounts, but since we’re keeping it simple here, let’s go with just avoiding them)
Rice, potatoes, beans, lentils, and all other starchy food
This diet is extremely hard! Then I had to think about it. Any change of lifestyle is going to be hard. Our mind is already programmed in this routine of living and we have to be disciplined to break it. What does that mean using some intention and be disciplined! I’ve been off track the past week on the keto diet, but I’m refocusing to get back on track.
Now you don’t have to necessarily do this particular diet. I believe the key is moderation and exercise. You have to find what is right for you. It could be this diet, it could be limiting yourself during the week and indulging a little on the weekends.
Ask yourself what’s one way you can start today towards changing the way you approach food. We need food to live but we don’t live to eat food.