I Tried The Keto Diet — Here's What Happened

As a lover of donuts, blueberry bagels, pasta, and chocolate chip cookies (among other, healthier things), I was quite dismayed when told that I had to go gluten-free. Adopting this lifestyle after years of enjoying some of my favorite foods was harder than expected, until I found the Keto Diet. I have never been a fan of dieting; I don’t believe in many of the fad diets that societies go back and forth supporting, and I am a huge advocate for self-love; however, after following this Keto Diet for the past two weeks, I have never felt better. Below, I’ve outlined what the diet is, how my energy levels skyrocketed, and how I got to know many new areas of Trim Dining Hall.

 

What is Keto?

The keto diet works for a high percentage of people because it targets several key underlying causes of weight gain, including hormonal imbalances, especially insulin resistance coupled with high blood sugar levels, and the cycle of restricting and “binging” on empty calories due to hunger that so many dieters struggle with. Rather than relying on counting calories, limiting portion sizes, resorting to extreme exercise or requiring lots of willpower (even in the face of drastically low energy levels), the ketogenic low-carb diet takes an entirely different approach to weight loss and health improvements. It works because it changes the very “fuel source” that the body uses to stay energized. Namely, from burning glucose (or sugar) to dietary fat, courtesy of keto recipes and the ketogenic diet food list items, including high-fat, low-carb foods.

 

What I Ate?

Here is a basic outline of what I ate for one of the weeks that I’ve been trying Keto. I feel full after all my meals (thanks, olive oil!), and I’ve been forced to incorporate more protein into my diets. Healthy fats are essential; don’t be afraid of the word “fat,” as your body needs fuel to burn, and the fats replace the carbohydrates you aren’t getting as much of. I aimed for 20g of carbs per day, but most people shoot for 20-30g of net carbs.

 

Net carbs = # of carbohydrates - grams of fiber

 

MONDAY

Breakfast: Plain full-fat Chobani, roasted zucchini with olive oil, and hot water with lemon

Lunch: Romaine lettuce with lemon chicken, olives, and broccoli with olive oil for dressing

Dinner: Spinach salad with rotisserie chicken, olives, peppers, and olive oil

 

TUESDAY

Breakfast: Chobani full-fat Greek yogurt, 3 pieces of bacon (yes, bacon is not only suggested, but encouraged!)

Lunch: Spinach salad with olive oil dressing, cucumbers, olives, grilled chicken, and carrots

Dinner: Herb roasted turkey with butter, sauteed zucchini with olive oil

 

WEDNESDAY

Breakfast: Omelet with spinach and cheddar cheese with butter, 3 pieces of bacon, hot water with lemon

Lunch: Lemon pepper chicken, raw broccoli with olive oil and sea salt

Dinner: Pork with brussel sprouts, spinach, and peppers

 

THURSDAY

Breakfast: Turkey sausage, ½ an avocado with olive oil, salt and pepper

Lunch: Full fat Chobani yogurt with cinnamon, parmesan crisps

Dinner: Roast turkey, kale salad with sea salt, olive oil

 

FRIDAY

Breakfast: ½ an avocado with olive oil, salt and pepper, and turkey bacon

Lunch: Mix of nuts (almonds, peanuts, cashews), full fat Chobani yogurt, parmesan crisps

Dinner: Lemon chicken and spinach with olive oil

Dessert (I know, exciting stuff): 2 squares of 90% dark chocolate

 

SATURDAY

Breakfast: Omelet with spinach, bacon, and cheddar

Lunch: Teriyaki chicken with vegetables and miso soup (could be considered Keto, I checked the nutritional facts first)

Dinner: Chipotle shredded pork and sauteed green beans with vegetable butter

 

SUNDAY

Breakfast: 3 eggs over spinach with salt and pepper

Lunch: 2 Laughing Cow cheese wedges with parmesan crisps and a handful of walnuts

Dinner: Grilled chicken with vegetable butter, and a garden salad with olive oil dressing

 

How I Felt?

As a runner on the track team, I need a good amount of fuel to get me through my days of classes, work, and practice. Needless to say, this diet has been helping me keep my energy up and stay full for longer. As someone running anywhere from 4 to 7 miles per day, at this point in my season, eating well and eating enough are both essential to my wellbeing.

 

I won’t lie, the first few days I started the diet, I was pretty tired. I made it through my days and runs feeling fine, but around bedtime I tended to hit a wall. Due to my body’s sudden lack of carbs and glucose, both my brain and muscles were adapting to the change in “fuel usage” (on Keto, your body transitions to burning more fat, as opposed to burning carbs and storing the extra fat).

 

Going Forward

I am not a nutritionist, a scientist, or fad-diet advocate. After reading this article, you shouldn’t feel like you have to try Keto. As someone who strives to eat healthy and clean, this diet truly worked for me.  However, all bodies are different, and there is not one “Goldilocks diet” that works for everyone. On the other hand, if you are looking to eat clean, feel full and more satisfied after meals, and enhance brain power, I would 10/10 recommend this method of eating. There are tons of recipes online, articles written by certified nutrition companies, and plenty of easy-to-find, affordable foods you can buy at the grocery store to keep in your dorm!