Two years ago, I lost more than 120 pounds in about a year by following
and go to the gym five to six days a week.
, I cut carbs dramatically and relied on options with higher fat content to feel full. Paired with my intense cardio workouts, keto helped me
But my attitude towards the diet has changed and I do not follow it again as I try to shed pounds after gaining almost half the weight I lost back in the past year.
The keto diet involves a lot of fat, which did not make me feel good
The keto diet generally involves cutting out carbohydrates and replacing them with fat and protein. A typical keto diet consists of 75% fat, 20% protein and 5% carbohydrates.
Diet does not necessarily require you to use a lot of fat, but it certainly happens when you are trying to reach a certain calorie intake without feeling super hungry.
The fat ranged from olive oil and avocado to red meat and butter, ghee or even animal fat used for frying and roasting. Every source is on the table.
Many who choose to follow a keto diet swear by the ability to eat giant steaks fried in butter and piles of bacon daily while still shedding pounds. But the diet felt incredibly restrictive, and all the fat made me feel blah.
I also felt that the diet forced me to be super strict with what I ate instead of paying attention
Most preferred ways to eat require a level of
, but the limitations of the keto diet at times felt unbearable. It was the worst thing when it came to eating meals with friends or eating out.
I was often limited to only eggs, salads or a large plate of meats and vegetables with not much variety. It got annoying. I got sick of my options and I’m sure my meals frustrated the people I ate with (even though they were kind enough to never say so much).
Despite my weight loss, I began to worry about my long-term health
After a few months of the keto diet, my cholesterol levels went through the roof.
A blood test I took after I had already started following the diet showed my low density lipoproteins (also known as the “bad” cholesterol) in the red by a fairly large margin. At 35, it’s a serious concern for me.
Although many people who follow keto find that their cholesterol gets lower (cutting down on processed carbs can do that), that was not my experience. My body did not seem to adapt well to keto lifestyle.
For my weight loss journey this time, I go more moderate by counting macros
To lose weight this time, I do not put myself through the keto diet. Instead, I have tried counting macros.
Counting macros involves adding the total number of grams of proteins, carbohydrates and fats you eat per serving. Meal every day. Some people choose to keep their carbs lower in favor of higher fats, but my personal preference is aiming for higher carbs and lower fats.
Macro tracking requires a great deal of effort, and it is not for everyone, especially those at risk of developing disordered eating habits. But I like that this way of eating allows me to focus on reaching a high protein goal and then supplement the rest of my daily calorie intake with the percentage of carbs and fats I prefer.
Unlike with keto and its strict restrictions, macro counting gives me more options and more freedom. No food is limited as long as I stay within my calorie goals.
I’m still trying to lose my keto mindset, but I know I will not return to living such a strict lifestyle
Even though I center my days on making sure I meet my protein goal, I no longer go in a spiral if my partner wants to share a small pizza, or if I desperately want a McDonald’s McFlurry.
I’m still trying to get out of the keto mindset that carbs are a villain to be avoided at all costs, but it feels good to know I can go out and eat something on the menu as long as I track it down and plan that.
It’s a freedom I’ve never had with keto, and it feels a lot more sustainable as a lifestyle. It works so far to help me lose weight – I just wish I had tried it before.