Last week was my first real week of my new gym routine, which includes light cardio and intensive weight training five days a week, with my weight routine alternating between muscle groups each day. Mondays and Thursdays, I work on my arms and upper body. Tuesdays and Friday I work on my legs and butt. Wednesdays, I work my core. In addition to this, I stuck to my diet of high-fat, medium protein and low carbs, with only one day out of the week that I had a single, zero-carb mixed drink.
So, did it get me anywhere? You bet it did. Although I’m only in the beginning stages of this weight-loss routine, it’s going much more quickly for me than what I think may be “normal” for most people. Of course, most things about the keto and paleo lifestyle can be considered “abnormal” by those who don’t participate, but that’s another conversation all by itself.
In the 12 days that I’ve been officially tracking my weight and watching my intake, I’ve gone from 190 to 184.8 (5.2# loss), which brings me from a BMI of 30.7 to 29.8, officially out of the dreaded “obese” category and into the “overweight.” Thats an average of 0.44# lost each day. If I can even maintain half of that amount of loss over the next 180 days before my wedding, that’ll help me shed almost 40#, bringing me to a healthy, beautiful 145#, exactly where I want to be.
This is no magic diet, though, and it’s definitely not something that can be taken lightly. Although I had immediate success when I started keto the first time back in April–and I had that success without going to the gym or changing my activity level by much, only my eating habits–the reality is that a lifestyle like mine requires at least some effort in order to keep things moving. Before, I would usually sit on my couch and eat cheese and pork rinds at night, then marvel at the fact that I could lose weight so easily. Of course, that was before, when I still had college classes to attend and a million places to be every day, making it easier for me to get up on my feet and move.
Now, I have a desk job, where I sit for 8+ hours a day, and then go home to watch television. At least, that’s how it used to be. Even though I maintained my diet through this lifestyle change, it became easier to over-indulge in beer, sugary fruits and other foods that ultimately stalled my weight loss (and even reversed it for a month or two.) After trying on those bridal dresses, though, and feeling so unhappy about how I looked, I knew that the new lifestyle I had wasn’t going to help me get where I wanted to be at all. So I reapplied myself and am being rewarded with my efforts quite nicely so far.
Here’s a breakdown of an average day for me:
- Breakfast: Two eggs fried in butter with a side of bacon, a cup of espresso with 1 Tbsp. heavy cream, a dash of cinnamon and a packet of stevia (which, by the way, I may be cutting out of my diet relatively soon, because it contains Dextrose, which is glucose in it’s active form). I also take psyllium husk capsules for extra fiber.
- Mid-Morning: Coffee, black
- Lunch: Usually a large salad, mostly made up of greens and other vegetables, with added fats such as bacon crumbles, full-fat salad dressings, nuts and cheeses. No lentils, starchy foods or sugary additions. Avoid dressings made with soybean oil, too! I also try to take at least 30 minutes to walk during my lunch break; I’m fortunate enough to have several neighborhoods I can walk through to occupy myself and get in some physical activity during the day.
- Mid-afternoon: Chugging water. Exercise after work (20-30 minutes of light cardio, such as treadmill walking, elliptical or jogging) and 30-40 minutes of weight training on selected muscle group.
- Dinner: Larger protein meal (pork chop, steak, burger, bratwurst or drumsticks) with a salad or a side of vegetables sauteed in either bacon fat or butter.
- Late night snack: ¼ cup of blueberries with ¼ cup of almonds–a good source of antioxidants and healthy fats with a limited amount of sugar. Berries, especially blueberries and blackberries, are some of the fruits lowest in sugar filled with great health benefits. We buy the frozen organic blueberries from Costco–the value for the amount we get is insane!
All of this food usually shakes out to be between 1,500 and 1,800 calories, never going over 50g of carbs (it usually stays around 30g) and averaging 15-20g of fiber. Most of my carbs come from the leafy greens and vegetables I eat throughout the day.
The nice thing about this lifestyle is that I rarely ever feel hungry, I can go hours between meals and not lose my energy, and I usually end up eating less than what I have on my plate because the fats satiate me more quickly than any carbohydrate-based meal ever could. On top of it all, I still lose weight while being able to eat foods like fried eggs, bacon, steak, cheeses and buttered vegetables. I couldn’t ask for a better diet!
Do you have a routine that has worked well for your grain-free, sugar-free lifestyle? Or maybe you’ve found pitfalls that you can warn others about when adhering to a keto/paleo lifestyle? Let me know in the comments!