Week 2 Progress Report: Back to Basics

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So, as I noted in my last post, my weight has been pretty stable all of 2017 thus far at around 171, which is 20 lbs more than I was in early 2016 at 150 (my normal, comfortable weight), and 20 lbs lower than my highest weight at 190 (my decidedly uncomfortable weight). Thankfully, it wasn't creeping up anymore. But, it was time to focus and get back to normal.

Although I felt as though I'd been eating keto pretty successfully, and I'd been tracking my food in MyFitnessPal for the past three months, clearly something needed to change. We all know you can drop weight fast on keto (we do know that, right?)...I mean, I used to lose roughly half a pound a day when I was first starting out.

L-R: Pre-Keto (190 lbs), Early Keto (174 lbs), Goal Weight (150 lbs)

L-R: Pre-Keto (190 lbs), Early Keto (174 lbs), Goal Weight (150 lbs)

So why was the scale refusing to budge this time around? I took a look at what I did the first time around that helped me see progress:

  1. Very little dairy. After doing a very grueling Whole30 and then trying a Paleo approach to my diet for a few months prior to starting keto, I was very dairy-averse. Ironically, I started keto because I wanted to eat cheese again, but that's pretty much the only dairy I was eating, and that was sparingly. I had just gotten used to not having it much! Even at Chipotle, on a keto diet, I typically skipped the sour cream and cheese out of habit. So while I'm not going to give up dairy completely, I am going to reduce it greatly in my diet. for the next few weeks to see how that goes. Basically, that means buh-bye, Fathead Pizza. You will be missed :(
  2. Low amounts of alcohol sugars/processed foods. Honestly, when I started keto, there weren't many products catered to la vida low carb. Sure, you had the random Atkins products, and Quest was starting to make some noise, but if you wanted to snack, you pretty much just had to make your own or look to whole food products. Lately, you can get low carb anything anywhere, and it's a gift and a curse. Most of these products rely on sugar alcohols or sucralose for sweetener, which can have an adverse effect on the body and some people experience a weight loss stall when using them. As you may know from following me on IG, I am kind of a Halo Top junkie, which has its fair share of sugar alcohols. I'm not blaming my beloved Halo Top for keeping me fat, but I am going to cut back dramatically on foods that contain sugar alcohols. If I have a sweets craving, I'll go back to my old standby, coconut butter mixed with a tiny drop of maple syrup.
  3. Lots and lots of fats. Honestly? I used to really load up on the fats. I'm talking an avocado daily, bulletproof tea in the morning, extra EVOO on my salads—the works. Lately, while of course I still eat fats, I don't make them as much of a priority as I used to. I'm going to seriously bump up my fat quotient (according to the keto calculator, I should be eating 140g daily) and see where that gets me.
  4. Consistent exercise. Honestly, exercise was the hardest thing for me to adopt in my former life because I am inherently lazy. I'm not ashamed to admit it. It took me finding a form of movement I liked (cycling) to really get up and go. I really credit my consistency at the gym with moving to New Jersey in 2013—I didn't know many people there, but I found a small, welcoming community at my office gym. After awhile, that became my social support, and I was going regularly to hang out with my gym friends in our fitness classes. Before long, working out was just a habit. Thus far I've been doing well in this area, getting physical at least 3x a week, although I'd like to get that back up to 5 or 6.
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When you're trying to reach a goal, it's really important to step back and take stock of what you're doing. Are you on the right path? Do you need to make adjustments? I looked at my situation and realized that I did. So, for the next two weeks, I'll continue what I've been doing, while making sure I follow the following action plan:

  • Eat only one serving of dairy daily. Knowing me, this will be cheese of some sort. Mmmmm taco salads...
  • Allow myself only one serving of sugar alcohols per week. Let's face it...I'm not giving up my Halo Top, but I can eat it in moderation. There is precedent for this...the first time around, I indulged in a Quest bar from time to time, so I know it's ok.
  • Eat 130g or more of fat per day. It sounds like a lot, because it is. However, that's keto for you! According to my macros, this is what I should be eating.
  • Exercise three or more days per week. This is self-explanatory. Yes, you can lose weight without exercising, but it looks muuuuch better when there is some muscle tone to back it all up.

So, that's my plan! I'll check back in with you guys in a couple weeks to give you a status update. Let's hope for some good progress! I should also note that I am not disappointed with my weight loss on this 8-week experiment thus far, as 1-2 lbs a week is a sustainable and respectable amount to lose. However...I'd love to see it more on the 2 lbs/week side than the 1 lb/a week side. What can I say, I can be impatient sometimes. I'm human!

Don't forget to follow on IG to check out my meals and workouts! Have any advice for me? New workouts to try? Drop them off in the comments!