Restarting Keto Difficulties

Just before Christmas, I decided to go back to the Keto diet after a short break. Since I was following a low carb diet on my break from Keto, I really didn’t gain too much weight. In restarting Keto, I was hopeful that I would pick up where I left off and finally make it to my goal weight. However, that is far from what happened. After reading and rereading a bunch of info online, I learned a lot about restarting Keto.

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restarting keto

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Our Keto History

Making the decision to start the Keto diet was difficult for me. Eating fat goes against EVERYTHING I have ever learned about dieting and losing weight. I kept seeing friends losing a bunch of weight with this diet, so finally I decided to jump on board, dragging my husband with me. Starting out, I weighed myself every single day because I was terrified of gaining a bunch of weight and ending up being a Keto failure. As the days, weeks and months went by, I began losing weight tremendously. Totally, on Keto, I lost about 90 pounds. My husband lost 125 pounds. We looked and felt amazing.

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2018 was a crazy year for me, medically. I ended 2017 with tremendous gallbladder pain (not caused by Keto) and I started 2018 with surgery to remove my gallbladder. Fast forward six months later and I fell and damaged my already damaged knee. Three months after that, I had knee surgery (part one). I had hit a Keto plateau and I felt it would be easier, recovery wise, being on a diet that was less restrictive and that required much less planning. So my husband I took a Keto break and did Weight Watchers.

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Restarting Keto

We always planned on restarting Keto. I had read that some people (not all) have trouble when they start Keto again with losing weight. Both my husband and I were very strict and the scale wasn’t budging. In fact, it felt like our clothes were getting tighter. I refused to weigh in because I didn’t want to stress with the scale this time around. Instead I just stuck with what I was doing, drank my water, and hoped things would turn around soon enough. Only things never turned around. Talk about feeling very discouraged.

So…Now What?

After lots of thinking and soul searching, both my husband and I decided to go back to Weight Watchers. We can still eat low carb on Weight Watchers; we can still avoid sugar, if we choose (and I do); and it’s very doable in any and all situations. Like the last time we did Weight Watchers, I am having knee surgery (part two) in April. My husband travels a lot for work and while Keto was something he could do just fine, Weight Watchers provides him with a lot more options.

Could we have stuck it out with Keto and had things turn around, possibly. I think my biggest search history on my phone lately has been, “not losing weight on Keto second time“. However, I just wasn’t feeling it this time around. I still wholeheartedly believe that the Keto diet is a good diet. We are meant to eat low carb and low to no sugar. But, with that said, I just couldn’t keep feeling like it wasn’t working. The stress I was feeling because I was stressing out about restarting Keto, was not worth it anymore.

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Workout Apps – Do They Work?

Since having knee surgery in October, I have been going to physical therapy two to three times a week. Getting back to the gym and working out normally is something I would love to be able to do. However, I would love nothing more than to be at the gym again. With a second knee surgery in April, it will be a little while until I can get back to working out the way I used to. I’m not letting that discourage me though! Workout apps to the rescue! I may not be able to do 30 or 40 minutes of cardio right now, but I can work on my core!

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workout apps

Do You Work Out?

Prior to October, I was working out three to four days a week. I loved how I was feeling and felt like I was getting into pretty decent shape. That all stopped on October 10th when I had knee surgery. From that point to the present, I have been in physical therapy, working hard to get as strong as possible for knee surgery part two that is scheduled in April. So, as you can imagine, I am really looking forward to getting back to my normal workout regime.

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Workout Apps

Like I said before, I am dying to get back to the gym and do my cardio routine. Since that’s not possible right now, I started looking through the App Store to see what workout apps were available. More specifically, apps that were available to work your core. Guess what! There are TONS of workout apps. Someone told me about the Sworkit app. The  main app has a membership cost to it, however, they have an ab & core workouts app. That is the one that I have on my phone and have been doing for two weeks now.

workout apps

So How Does it Work?

When starting the app, you choose one of the three workout types to focus one; your abs, your back or your complete core. Next you choose how long you want to work out for. Since I have very little time and, embarrassingly, my abs and core are very weak, I have been focusing on just 5 minutes a day. Let me tell you, my abs and back are feeling it! Best of all, I feel like I am doing something again!

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The main things I like about this app is the fact that a voice tells you what each exercise is (along with a visual of how to do the exercise), and then you have a countdown for each exercise. So, when you are just about to give up, you can see that you only have 8 more seconds! The exercises change, so you aren’t always doing the same thing over and over again, day in and day out!

So…while I would love to get back to the gym and do what I normally do, I am very happy that there are workout apps available to use when the gym can’t be a reality at the moment! A word of advice, and you may already do this, but when you are looking at the various workout apps in the App Store, gravitate towards those that have a lot of reviews. I’ve found, with these apps especially, that the more reviews, the better!


Dear Jillian Michaels

This week, Jillian Michaels decided to publicly shame the Keto diet and everyone that follows that lifestyle. With comments like, “Your cells, your macro molecules, are literally made up of protein, fat, carbohydrates, nucleic acids. When you do not eat one of the three macro nutrients — those three things I just mentioned — you’re starving yourselves“, it makes me wonder if Jillian Michaels even knows what the Keto diet is. Does she even know what a carbohydrate is?

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Jillian Michaels

Image via Pexels by Pixabay

What is the Keto Diet?

First things first, what is the Keto diet? Simply put, the Keto diet is diet made up of high fat, moderate protein and very low carb. Now, before you start asking questions, when I say, “high fat”, I am not telling you to just sit around and eat a stick of butter all day or loads of bacon. That’s the number one misconception of this diet. You want to eat high amounts of healthy fats. By eating this way, your body will switch from using glucose as its fuel source, to using fat. When your body starts burning fat, it’s called Ketosis (do NOT mistake this for Ketoacidosis).

 

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So How Low do the Carbs Go?

To get your body into Ketosis, you need to stay under 50 grams of carbs a day. Most people on the Keto diet stay around 20 grams of carbs a day. For me, I stick to 20 grams of carbs a day and 99% of my carbohydrates in a day come from vegetables. So let’s look back at Jillian Michaels statement above. She refers to the Keto diet as not being healthy and then explains that when we don’t eat one of the macronutrients (carbohydrates, protein, and fat) our bodies need, then we are starving our body. Now I am following the Keto diet and 99% of my carbohydrate intake in a day comes from vegetables, how can she claim that people on a Keto diet are not consuming one of the needed macronutrients? Not to mention, just in the mere description for the Keto diet, it states that it is a high fat, moderate protein, low CARB diet. Therefore, people following the Keto diet are NOT eliminating one of the needed macronutrients.

My Problem with the Jillian Michaels Rant

On her blog, Jillian Michaels writes about the “truth” about Keto. For those of us that actually know about the Keto diet and follow people like Dr. Eric Berg (notice the Dr. before his name…), her post is laughably inaccurate and full of Keto misconceptions. Let’s deconstruct her post and point out all of her Keto misconceptions:

  1. The Keto Diet a.k.a. Atkins Diet… – right off the bat, Jillian has it wrong. The Keto diet is not also known as the Atkins Diet. While the induction phase of Atkins is similar to Keto, the overall Atkins diet is not the same.
  2. Ketosis is a considered a state of medical emergency – umm…where’s your proof? Oh right, you’re not a doctor.
  3. The next issue is that keto doesn’t advocate for calorie restriction – again, not sure where Ms. Michaels is getting her information, but every Keto site I have ever read said that if you want to lose weight, you need to lower your calories. And you do this TO LOSE WEIGHT. Jillian says people brag about “not dieting” or exercising. The thing is, everyone I know that follows Keto don’t really refer to it as a “diet” because it is a lifestyle change. As for the exercise part, a lot of people prefer to not have to exercise. So that statement is just stupid to me.
  4. The keto diet does not address what types of proteins and fats are ideal – seriously? I don’t know what sites she is checking out about the Keto diet, but again, if you check out the information Dr. Eric Berg has available, he is very clear about what are good proteins and fats to eat.
  5. Yes, protein is very good for you, but we don’t need tons of it and when we consume tons of it… – Keto is NOT a high protein diet. Seriously, Google Dr. Eric Berg. Just do it.

My Fitness by Jillian Michaels Annual Membership

Is this $69.99 a year fitness app that Jillian has available a huge reason she doesn’t like the Keto diet? Could it be that people following the Keto diet have no need for her app, therefore she is losing out on potential customers? Maybe, maybe not. I don’t know for sure, but from the outside looking in, that is my best guess. At the end of the day, while she may believe that misinformation out there about the Keto diet, I have my own experience and results to go by and the numbers don’t lie.

My Keto Experience

Keto has been a big part of my life for the last three years. Both my husband and I followed the Keto diet and made it a part of our life. Over the course of the last three years, my husband lost 125 pounds and I lost 90 pounds. Yes we exercised throughout that time period; yes we practiced calorie restriction; no we did not sit and eat buckets of lard or an entire cow in one sitting. We followed the factual information available online, as well as from our own doctor. We incorporated good fats into our diet and we successfully cut out sugar and grains and eliminated cravings. Once upon a time, I was a huge emotional eater. Not any longer. That is huge!

jillian michaels

Besides all of that, my cholesterol is now good and my triglycerides went from 300 to 66. You can’t argue with those numbers. I went from having to nap every single day at 3 pm to having so much energy. The times that I have consciously made the decision to eat something non-Keto, I have felt like crap after. So much so, I don’t make that decision very often. It’s not worth feeling groggy, swollen or bloated. Who wants to feel that way when you don’t have to?!?

Final Words to Jillian Michaels

While I used to enjoy watching you on The Biggest Loser, I now question it. What I know about the show now from various interviews from past contestants and what I know about living a healthy lifestyle, is so not what you promoted on that show. The contestants have stated that they practiced fat shaming from the trainers, exercise regimes that were merely for entertainment purposes, dehydration for weigh-ins, and essentially starving themselves by working out for 6-8 hours a day and only eating about 1000 calories a day. You supported those tactics, yet you have a problem with a lifestyle that has real doctors behind it giving scientific facts as to why Keto is good for us. In my eyes, that completely knocks out any credibility you may have had.

Credible Keto Sites

If you are looking to start the Keto diet, you need to tune out haters like Jillian Michaels. One of your biggest resources needs to include Dr. Eric Berg’s YouTube channel. Other sites I frequently visit are:

Diet Doctor

Ruled.Me

Caveman Keto

As always, do your own research. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out and ask. While I am most definitely not a doctor, I have been following this lifestyle for the last three years. If I don’t know the answer, I will definitely help to point you in the right direction!


New Year, New Me – Back on Keto

It’s so hard to believe that 2018 is done. So much as gone on in 2018. I started the year with gallbladder surgery. It was a much needed surgery. Almost immediately after surgery, I felt relief for the first time in months. Fast forward a few months…I dislocated my knee and that escalated into me needing knee surgery. Right before that surgery, I decided to switch to Weight Watchers. I figured that would be an easier diet to follow while recovering. After a short three month vacation on Weight Watchers, I decided to get back on Keto.

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back on keto

Image via Pexels by Lukas

Back on Keto

While I enjoyed the extra carbs on the Weight Watcher diet, it became abundantly clear that my body did not like the extra carbs. Sure I lost a little weight, but my hands felt swollen, my stomach felt bloated and that brain fog feeling I said goodbye to when I first started the Keto diet, was back. After eating WAY too many cookies at Thanksgiving, I started thinking about going back to the Keto diet. Everyone told me to wait until January 1st. Figured it would be easier for me to get through the holidays, but I couldn’t wait that long. About one week before Christmas, I was back on Keto.

The first time around on Keto, I lost 90 lbs! My husband lost 125 lbs! Throughout the course of 2018 and my multiple surgeries, I did gain about 12 lbs back. Besides the weight loss and total body transformation, my blood work is now perfect and I am no longer on any daily medications. Best of all, in 2018, I got to update my drivers license picture!

How to Get Started

First things first, you need to understand what the Keto diet actually is. In a nutshell, with the Keto diet, you focus on your macros (fat, protein and carbs). You eat a higher fat, moderate protein, low carb diet. Instead of your body relying on carbs to fuel it, you switch to burning fat. Figuring out your appropriate macros for you is super easy. I really like the “Keto calculator” from Ruled.Me. If you are unsure what your body fat percentage is and you do not have a caliper, then Ruled.Me has a link to comparison pictures for you to quickly figure out your body fat percentage.

 

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Once you have your macros figured out, you need to use an app to track everything. The first time around, I used My Fitness Pal. However, I was finding that things were not scanning in correctly or the things people entered into the app were not always accurate. Now I use an app called Carb Manager. It is available both on Android and iOS. I like the look and functionality of the Carb Manager app. The night thing is, unlike My Fitness Pal, you really don’t need the premium version of the app to be successful with it! Though, I will say, the premium version of Carb Manager has a lot of delicious recipes that I find very worth it!

Favorite Keto Recipes

I have to say, being back on Keto is making me remember how much I loved this lifestyle. Not only do I feel amazing (no bloating, no brain fog, etc), but the food is just delicious! Here are some of my favorite recipes:

Cheesy Jalapeno Stuffed Chicken Breast

Spicy Sausage Egg Muffins

The Best Pot Roast Recipe EVER!

Bacon Wrapped Smokies

Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Creamed Spinach

Chorizo Chicken Soup

Chocolate Peanut Butter Fat Bombs

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Fat Bombs

Easy Homemade Gummy Bears

My goal, now that I am back on Keto (besides losing the last remaining weight and being able to say I lost over 100 lbs) is to post a new Keto recipe a few times a month. Follow me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to get instant updates when I post a new recipe!

Keto Diet Tips

In the beginning, as you get into Ketosis (burning fat for energy instead of glucose), you may experience “Keto Flu”. Ride it out. Trust me. You will feel like crap and you may even want to gravitate to the “carb comfort foods”. Don’t do it! Drink lots of water, keep your electrolytes up, and know that this period will be over in a few days. Some things I do to help with Keto flu are:

  • Drink Powerade Zero (isn’t 100% Keto, but it’s Keto enough for me)
  • Drink chicken broth (the added sodium is necessary to help with those electrolyte imbalance)
  • Add in a Magnesium Supplement

Once you’ve been on the Keto diet for a couple weeks, you will notice something amazing. You no longer crave foods. It takes a bit longer for the psychological part to pass. You know, that part where you think you need something, but you really don’t. It could be something as simple as you are watching a show and you always have XYZ while you watch that show. It’s not that you need that item or that you even want it, but your habit is that you do. Good news is, if you stick to the Keto diet, you will start to form new habits. Or…better yet…you will realize that food becomes a means to fuel your body and that hold that food has on you will no longer be there. It’s such an amazing feeling!

As always, if you have any questions, or you just want a little support, message me! I am happy to help, if I can!


Knee Surgery Do’s and Don’ts

As of today, it has been almost six weeks since I had surgery on my knee. Initially, I was VERY nervous for this surgery. It was my second surgery for the year (yep…I had my gallbladder out in January) and it was my leg being operated on. My means of getting around. I was terrified. Thankfully, my knee surgery went well and the recovery has gone pretty well too. These do’s and don’ts for knee surgery recovery are super important.

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knee surgery

Knee Surgery Do’s and Don’ts

One of the biggest things that will help you after any surgery, especially knee surgery, is to follow ALL of the post-operative directions. Failure to follow the directions can make your recovery longer, or…worse, it you can injure yourself further. While some of the directions seem silly, just follow them!

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DO take your physical therapy seriously

Like the directions your doctor gives you, the directions and exercises your physical therapist gives you are important too. I do physical therapy twice a week for two hours each day. On my days at home, I do the exercises they have told me to do. I can’t tell you how many people I see at PT that walk in with flip flops on (and they are on crutches because of a knee surgery) and then proceed to complain about everything they are told to do. Do you want to walk normally again?

DO ice and elevate

The best thing you can do for your knee surgery recovery is to ice and elevate regularly. We tried propping my knee up with pillows, but it became very annoying to constantly have to fuss with them to get them right. A week after surgery, I bought a blue wedge designed to elevate the leg higher than my heart. Even now, almost 6 weeks later, I am swelling or I have pain when I’ve done too much, simply elevating my knee and icing alleviates almost all of my pain.

DO follow a healthy diet

This is probably the last thing you want to hear, but prior to my knee surgery, I joined Weight Watchers. I figured that would be the easiest plan for me to follow. The last thing you want to do, when you are recovering, is to gain a bunch of weight. That added weight will not be good on your knee. Not to mention, I am a firm believer that if we fuel our body with healthy foods, those healthy foods will help us heal faster than sugars and unnecessary carbs.

DO find the best place to sleep

Your bed may not be the best place to sleep. Not only is it usually on the second floor of the house (unless you are lucky and your bedroom is on the main floor) and the stairs will most likely be tricky, but the potential to roll over and tweak your knee is high. I have slept on a recliner down in my family room for almost 6 weeks now. It is truly the most comfortable place for me. I tend to roll over to my side when sleeping and right now, that would not feel good on my inner knee.

 

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DON’T sit in the front seat in the beginning

In the very beginning, I could only sit in the back seat. My kids loved it because one of them always got shotgun! Every movement the car made was felt by my knee. So what I did was sit in the backseat with my back against the door and my leg propped up. Piece of advice, pay attention to the person driving. Sudden stops can’t always be avoided. Paying attention will hep you stabilize your knee so it’s not tweaked too much.

DON’T overdo things

While you need to work hard at PT, know your limits. If you are going to the store, use one of those motorized carts the stores offer. Yes, they can be frustrating and embarrassing, but overdoing it by walking (even with your crutches) will do nothing positive for you and it will prolong your recovery. For instance, yesterday I did not use my crutches at all the entire day while I was home. Today I tried to walk in Sam’s Club to do our shopping and 10 minutes or so into the trip, my husband had to go get me a cart. My physical therapist told me the minute I start walking with a limp, I need to grab the crutches.

DON’T get discouraged

The one thing no one tells you when you before surgery is the amount of emotions you will go through. I can’t tell you how many times I broke down and cried. The first time was the day after surgery and I could barely bend my knee at all when I was doing the heel slides exercises my surgeon told me to do. I don’t know what I was expecting, but it was not that! The most recent time I broke down into tears was yesterday when I panicked about my second knee surgery in 2019 and all of the recovery involved with that one. Despite ALL of those emotions, don’t get discouraged. If there is one thing I know, while the recovery is slow, I am getting better and so will you. Just follow your directions!

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I hope this list of do’s and don’ts for knee surgery recovery is helpful. Remember, every single person’s recovery is different. Try not to focus on where you think you should be. Instead, focus on doing your best at each and every PT session and listen to your body. If something is causing you pain, stop and speak with your therapist. This way they can determine if you should continue on with that exercise or stop it. Good luck!