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My Keto Diet Journey

Sunday 2019.2.17

Progress

This past week was not among the best, but it showed some progress nonetheless.

On Monday I joined with friends for lunch at the Chinese buffet. I enjoy those lunches because we discuss news and politics a lot. The discussion is at times animated. Again, I brought a little bottle of olive oil to add extra fat to my meal, something I am still trying to improve.

I read on the Internet (thus proving you can't trust everything you read on the Internet) that popcorn was a good keto-friendly snack. I bought a box of microwave popcorn, three envelopes. I'm not sure why the snack is keto safe. A single serving has 20 grams of carbohydrates; and if you do as I do, sit and eat the whole bag (2½ servings) the total of carbs climbs to 50 grams, which, according to some estimates, is the maximum allowable per day.

I thought the treat might help my intake of fats. I bought Act II "Butter Lovers" popcorn, and I melted some butter, maybe ¼ cup, and poured that over the top. A better choice might be loose kernels that I can pop in oil or an air popper. I would have better control of the amount.

There are two good indicators that the keto diet is working, if slowly. My average weight, calculated each Saturday, continues to drop. And now I am consistently using a different notch in my belt to hold my trousers up, now the fourth hole rather than the third.

And I can also report that my adipose tissue isn't happy. Our body fat is our nest egg to help us through times of famine. I live within walking distance of four stores; so food shortage is not likely to be an issue. However, adipose likes to keep a minimum amount of fat in the bank, just in case. When we diet and start reducing the fat we store, our adipose tissue releases ghrelin, the hunger hormone, into the blood. When that reaches the brain, we experience the desire to eat. I'm starting to feel more hungry more often.

I was attracted to the keto diet plan because of something I read about a research study published in BMJ (British Medical Journal). It said people on a keto diet had less ghrelin in their blood. Maybe less hunger would assure better success. Time will tell.

This Week's Report

This week I didn't do as well as last week, but there is progress. Losing less than half a pound this week isn't encouraging, but a loss is a loss.

I need to research more keto meal recipes in the books I have. A good goal might be never to eat anything that isn't in an approved keto-friendly food.

Sunday 2019.2.10

Pesto!

Why hadn't I thought of this myself? I was looking through a keto cookbook and saw a recipe that included homemade pesto. It would fit perfectly in the diet, especially if it is made with a lot of extra olive oil. Lamb, sliced really thin, cooked briefly, and then served with a large dollop of homemade pesto. That would be divine.

I did make pesto this week. I needed to do something creative and relaxing after a really tiresome cell phone sales experience, which resulted in no phone. I also bought a rack of lamb, which I cut into chops. One was for dinner. The others were vacuum sealed in pouches and stored in the freezer.

I pan fried one chop, just enough to be cooked only medium rare, and plated it garnished with pesto. A generous portion of pan fried broccoli completed the plating. It was all delicious. And I shot a video of the preparation, which I might upload to YouTube soon (I haven't decided yet). I'm thinking I'll mention the word "keto" low down in the description. I fear if I stress keto too much on my Mobile Home Gourmet channel I'll drive away some followers; however, I want the word to appear somewhere so that the videos will be found in searches.

A Good Week

This was a good week for keto dieting because there was no lunch at the all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet. I did cheat a little bit on Saturday of last week. Our World News Discussion Group is being revived after more than a year in hiatus. We met at a Vietnamese restaurant and I ordered two plates of dumplings (pot stickers) for the group. There were a dozen dumplings, giving the few of us a little treat. I ate three, which I can't imagine would be a serious violation of my diet.

Other than that bit of negativity, the week went well. I roasted more almonds and pecans to have them around for a little nibble when I feel a craving. And I researched more keto recipes, as mentioned above.

I also received the KitchenAid spiralizer attachment I ordered. I did a demo video that included the unboxing and setup, and I spiralized a zucchini for "zoodles" that I used to make keto-friendly Chicken Zoodle Soup. I still need to perfect that recipe. When finalized, I'll do a video for my Mobile Home Gourmet channel. If you want to watch the unboxing, here is the link:

Click the graphic or CLICK HERE.

As for my weight, I might need to adjust my goal date well into 2020. My goal average for weight loss was 1.2 pounds per week, but I've been falling short of that goal. The overall average so far has been a little under 1 pound per week. That's okay. As long as I am losing weight, even though it might take longer than I hoped, I am being successful on this keto diet.

Here is this week's report:

Of note is that my weight remained in the 222s most of the week, and therefore my average weight dropped by more than a pound for the week. I wish I could see progress like that every week.

Sunday 2019.2.3

To Meter or Not to Meter

Ketone bodies in the blood is the goal of a keto diet. In short, the body makes use of carbs to help fuel the body. If carbs are missing, the body turns to lipids (body fat), converting the fat into ketones, which are just as useful as carbs.

I bought a package of keto test strips on Amazon. They test the presence of ketones in the urine. My tests are usually in the low to moderate range. One book author said the strips are inaccurate, especially after a while. Another source said this is due to the body adapting to using fat for energy. Early in the diet the body hasn't adapted yet; therefore, there will be more ketones eliminated through the urine. As the body adapts, it will make more efficient use of body fat and therefore fewer ketones will be detected. Less is better.

A more accurate meter is the one that measures the presence of ketones in the blood. They're expensive, about $60 on Amazon. The test strips ain't cheap either. They're about $1 each in boxes of 50.

Of course, there is one meter that might be even more accurate — the weight scale. If my weekly average weight continues to drop slowly and steadily, that might be the best indication that my body is in a state of ketosis. And I already own a digital scale.

Something New

I tried something new this week. Those on a keto diet are supposed to consume a lot of fat. I joined some friends for a Chinese buffet lunch on Monday and, as usual, I tried to be very selective of items on the buffet. Then, to improve my fat intake, I took a small bottle of olive oil out of my pocket and poured oil onto my food. It was delicious and surprisingly satisfying. I didn't go back for seconds.

The Week in Review

I did satisfactorily this week. I think my body is finally adapted to the diet. Hunger isn't an issue — I experience the same typical hunger I know everyday. I occasionally crave carbohydrates, but only mildly. Those cravings are easy to ignore. And I continue to experiment with keto-friendly recipes. The one area I need to improve is my consumption of more salads.

Here is this week's chart:

Progress is slower than I want. I was hoping to average slightly more than a pound lost per week. I am currently averaging less than a pound; however, a loss is a loss.