Keto for a Week

Disclaimer: Now the title of this article is not efficient to those who have been on the diet and know the length needed to obtain ketosis, but for the sake of being a college student on a budget, we’ll save that commitment for another time.

The Keto diet has been sweeping the nation again, coming up in magazines like “First”, “US Weekly”, and “Men’s Fitness”, among others. This diet isn’t new, the history dates back to the 1920's where epileptic patients were researched using this diet. Recently, because of media platforms such as Instagram transformation pictures and news coverage, the diet has skyrocketed and has become the fad of the year. The way it works is that you eat very low (20-50g of carbs) and restrict sugar from your foods, this includes not eating most fruits. By limiting carbohydrates, you are forcing your body to burn up the fat cells, which is what causes such a dramatic drop.

Wanting to explore how keto works and the benefits and disadvantages to the diet, I decided to run my own course of the diet. It normally takes four to five weeks to actually go into ketosis, but the symptoms are said to develop early on. Here is my journey.

Day 1: Breakfast

Last night’s burrito bowl is still swimming around my body and I feel extremely bloated with a headache raging on the sea of my mind. I decided last night that I would, for the sake of an article and my health, try the keto diet for a week. I had experimented with it in the spring of this year, but I wanted to try again after a few months. It’s still early now, and I have yet to even begin my journey, but I feel hopeful to my future.

The breakfast potatoes and french toast sticks are haunting me at the dining hall but I had to power through and only take what I could eat. I quickly scooped up strawberries as I smelt the waffle machine whose fragrance was wafting over to me. That hope is easy when you’re in your dorm away from the temptations, but when it's right there in front of you…well, good luck to me.

    

Day 1: Lunch

I am graciously surprised when coming into work at the library today by finding that the holiday party, which is usually supplied by the dining hall services, was actually changed to being taken out to The Sitting Duck in Long Branch. I sucked out three unsweetened iced teas and ordered a house salad with mini shrimp, chopped eggs, and Russian dressing. It was hard watching my coworkers chomping down on french fries and toasted buns, but the serving of salad was enough to last me until dinner. I left with a full belly, still not breaking the diet.

Day 1: Dinner

Snuggled in my coat and scarf, I traversed the frosty air to the gym where I ran two miles on the treadmill. The place was a little busier than usual, so I had to cut my workout short because most machines were filled (or it was because I was a little intimidated and anxious of everyone there).

I expected some more keto-friendly food at the dining hall, but I am met with only a few choices. I am also a really picky eater, which doesn’t fare well with the diet. I take a scoop of steak fajitas, steamed broccoli, one cheeseburger patty, and a few cucumbers to tie me over for the night. I’ll check in again before bed.

Day 1: Reflection

I don’t want to say that im extremely hungry, but when you eat dinner at 7 p.m. and you normally don’t sleep until 11 or so, those four hours are all in turmoil. It was WAY too cold to consider dropping it, driving to the store and binging on cheese puffs anyway. Thanks, winter.

Day 2: Breakfast

I woke up pretty early today, considering that I no longer have work this semester and I have no classes. I felt amazing when I woke up, but my stomach growled angrily at me. So here I am at the dining hall and, let’s just say, my breakfast is the carbon copy of Day 1.

Day 2: Lunch

In a fit of boredom, I decided to drive home. I headed to ShopRite and grabbed blackberries and Quest Bars for the ride. Over the course of the day I was eating them, I never got around to eating an actual lunch. I just didn’t have the time.

Day 2: Dinner

So my boyfriend didn’t feed me, my last morsel eaten was around 3 p.m. and I can feel a headache on the horizon, angry and running with a purpose. By the time we made it to the diner, my brain was mush, swimming in the pressure. I ordered a cobb salad (no croutons!) with blue cheese dressing.

Day 2: Reflection

Eat real food, people. Don’t let hours go by without eating, etc etc. I can’t let a Quest bar substitute a meal which should have proteins and vegetables. That was my mistake, but hey, at least my boyfriend could have given me a cheese stick or something.

Day 3: Breakfast

I am extremely bloated and I didn’t get enough sleep. I drove back to campus around 2 a.m. and I woke up at 9 a.m. for class. I am trying to see if any progress was made, but it seems like it is actually getting worse. I feel unmotivated and it takes a lot in me to not take these elusive french toast sticks which have been surprisingly featured every breakfast since I started. I can rely on one thing, consistency. Cue the same bacon, sausage, egg, and strawberry plates.

Day 3: Lunch

I decided to go back to normal food and, since my class my cancelled, I hit up the student center for a grilled chicken salad with cucumbers, parmesan cheese, and ranch dressing. I still feel really bloated and my gym clothes are getting a little tight on me.

Day 4: Dinner

After running four miles on the elliptical at the gym, I grabbed a to-go box from the dining hall. Lots of keto choices tonight: green beans, turkey burger, roasted zucchini, and cucumber slices. This girl is full.

Day 4: Reflection

I am no longer as hungry as I was the past few nights, I actually feel relatively neutral. I even got to sleep by half past ten. It is worth it to note that I am lactose intolerant, and considering that most of the foods enforced by the diet are dairy products, this could be why I feel so bloated. Maybe I will feel better tomorrow.

Day 5: Breakfast

There was an alarm clock scandal in my suite today, which prompted a knocking on my door at 6:30 a.m., rising me from REM and a particularly saucy dream. I was able to sleep for another hour or so but I needed to wake up to get to an 8:30 class. I wanted to get breakfast beforehand, but here I am at 10:30 with that consistent plate of food. I woke up extremely bloated and there is really nothing I can do until I get home. I haven’t weighed myself at all since I started. I hope that though my body is suffering, that this diet is actually working. Don’t let me down, “First for Women” magazine.  

Day 5: Lunch, Dinner(…help.)

 I work in the restaurant business, as in being a banquet waitress who does not have time to actually sit down and have a meal at a designated time. To top that off, I am also surrounded by crunchy chicken and fries that beckon me to eat them with an entire pantry of chocolate goodies. The plus of keto is bacon and buttered coffee. I washed down any temptations with the fatty food and a drink then ordered a pretty loaded chicken Caesar salad. I munched on some cheese cubes throughout the night but did not get to eat another big meal.

Day 5: Reflection

I do not know if it was because I worked an eight-hour day versus my usual fourteen-hour work day, but I feel amazing when I finally get to drop into bed. I am not bloated anymore, and I feel surprisingly energetic for midnight.

Day 6: Breakfast

I feel like I do not even need coffee at this point. (I say that all as I drive to work to turn on our break room Keurig.) I woke up without any bodily issues. I do not have time for breakfast, but our cooks make us a decorated version of scrambled eggs loaded with peppers, sausage, leafy greens, and to my dismay, potatoes. I tried to scrape out the tiny potatoes, but I can’t know for sure if everyone made it out.

Day 6: Lunch

Being at work all day makes it a little easier to get some meals in at adequate intervals. I loaded a plate with buttered vegetables (broccoli and cauliflower). I thought I would be more tempted to eat the small hors d'oeuvres and candies but I was surprisingly content without them. We even cut a coffee cake (which is one of my favorite types of cake) where I didn’t bat an eye when it was wrapped up and given to the host.

Day 6: Dinner

This mentality is something I am so grateful to have because we had another loaded night where we passed spanakopita and had foods like fried zucchini on the buffet. I never felt compelled to reach in the warmer and grab a couple, though my boyfriend took his serving and mine.

Day 6: Reflection

I feel like wonder woman; powerful and strong. I am getting naturally energized when I wake up and I do not feel disgusting anymore. My stomach, thanks to a bit of faith, trust, and lactaid, is not harboring an indoor waterpark for crappy foods. I am able to sleep better, too, and I do not have as much late-night cravings.

Day 7: Breakfast

Praise and curse the people who have morning breakfasts because the food something I can eat, but the time is so early. I come into work again knowing that I have to work yet another double, but I love it. I eat some of the leftover scrambled eggs and a couple sausages before making a butter coffee and setting off to clean the room. Today is going to be a long day.

Day 7: Lunch

I order another chicken caesar salad, this time with a couple bacon bits to be a filler. We are in between parties by this point so we are able to take a break from working before setting off to work two more night parties.

Day 7: Dinner

Hors d'oeuvres don’t haunt me anymore. I pass them around and even get this weird excitement to watch other people eat them (that just might be something for a different story or my testimony to a psychiatric hospital). For dinner, I eat some more of those buttered vegetables. My stomach is shrinking, I can tell because the same serving that left me feeling empty in the beginning, now fills me before I even finish it.

Day 7: Reflection

My last three days have been masked by one regular shift and two doubles, but the effects have not changed a bit. I feel amazing, the beginning was something that made me worried since I was getting bloated, irritable and getting piercing headaches. I think it was my fault for not slowing easing myself into the diet which is the best way to do it. Ladies, if you are wondering about this diet, this goes far beyond just weight loss. I never thought that I could wake up at 7 a.m. and not feel like death.

Check-in

It’s been about a week since day seven. Initially, I only wanted to test this for a week, but I found that I loved the results so much that I wanted to continue it. On day one, I was roughly 171 pounds, but as of today (nearly two weeks after starting) I am 162. I didn’t work out as much as I would like, but I feel like I have an advantage since my job relies on walking. I feel so much lighter (mentally and physically), I haven’t had a random headache since the first day.

I would definitely recommend this diet if you are looking for something new.