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My Keto Diet Journey

Sunday 2019.6.16

Causing My Own Cravings

As I've been saying in my regular blogs, I've been reorganizing my archived cooking videos to take up less storage space. The project is going well, but revisiting some of those old recipes makes me want to eat them again, especially anything with noodles in it. Lately I've been craving Beef Stroganoff and my grandmother's Pepperoni Bread. Oh for some of that bread toasted with plenty of butter!

However, I've been behaving as I should. Actually, cravings are rarely a problem. With this keto diet I am enjoying some very delicious meals. As much as I enjoy bread and pasta, they are foods I don't need.

I know at least one person who says she couldn't live without bread and pasta. She's from Italy. So was my grandmother who made the pepperoni bread. For me, being on this diet has opened up some possibilities I might never have tried. I probably never would have thought to make Cream of Broccoli Soup or Cheddar Broccoli Soup. Now I make them nearly every week.

As for the archiving project that has led to a few cravings, I'm nearly done.

Week 24

How did I do this week? Not great. I appear to be stuck on another plateau. The last one had me hovering around 211 pounds. This time I'm stuck between 207 and 208. Patience is important at times like this. I keep encouraging myself by remembering that although I still have a long way to go — 54 weeks — I'm still on track to succeed and my BMI remains below 30; so I'm out of the obese range.

As for eating, I've been doing well enough. I cut back on the protein, limiting myself to about three ounces of cooked meat per meal. Most of my plate is filled with keto friendly vegetables and I've been trying not to eat too much of those either. I don't need to feel full; I only need to feel fed.

I'm also starting to get into a new kind of "smoothie," which really isn't a smoothie at all. It's more like an ade. It gives me something refreshing to sip on while I'm between meals and it helps with the water intake. People on a keto diet are supposed to drink a lot of water. And, as I said in my regular blog, I'll be using them to expand my SmoothieTube channel, especially now that summer is almost here.

Sunday 2019.6.9

My First Treat

This week I allowed myself one little treat, the first one I enjoyed in a long time. What do you do when someone brings you a piece of their birthday cake? I accepted it graciously and then ate carefully. I scraped off all the frosting and enjoyed the cake. It was good enough. Then I sprayed the frosting with degreaser, lest I felt tempted to pick at it later. That's a trick I learned from someone. She uses Windex.

More About Fats

I've been thinking about fats lately. They're fuel. They burn. I have a jug of lamp oil for the oil lamps I use during a storm or power failure. Therefore, oil's energy capacity can be measured in calories. 1 tablespoon of olive oil is 120 calories. So why don't fats make me fat?

An idea occurred to me at the grill. A friend and I were grilling chicken drumsticks. For vegetables, I put a cast iron skillet in the center of the grill, added plenty of oil, and then dumped in some chopped broccoli. The oil smoked. The pan was too hot. But we cooked the broccoli anyway, stirring it often. It was good.

However, I got to thinking about the smoke point of oil. The smoke point of pure olive oil, which I call cooking olive oil, is 390°F (199°C). Extra virgin olive oil begins to burn at around 375°F (191°C). For oil to release its energy, it needs to be hot, really hot. At 98.6°F (37°C), our body isn't warm enough to convert the oil into energy. It's used by the body to distribute fat-soluble nutrients to our muscles, organs, and especially our brain, but it isn't converted into energy. Carbohydrates, on the other hand, are converted into glucose (blood sugar). Excess glucose is converted by the liver into lipids that are sucked up by our adipose tissue and stored as body fat, which can be used later for energy.

But wait a minute. If my body fat is being used for energy, and that's why I'm losing weight, how are those fats converted into energy when my body isn't hot enough to burn that fat? Because the body fat is converted into ketones, thus the name "keto diet," and ketones, like carbohydrates, supply energy.

However, and here's the best part, dietary fat — butter, olive oil, even chicken fat — is not converted into ketones or carbs. And, no carbs means no glucose being converted into lipids for storage. Dietary fat isn't used for energy, nor is it stored.

Ergo: That's why I can consume lots of fats, dumping olive oil on my salads and adding gobs of cheese to my omelets, without those fats making me fatter. Just the opposite, I've been losing weight. And therefore that article I read about the futility of counting calories really is true. Count macronutrients, not calories. Calories of bread and pasta will make me fat. The same number of calories of oil and cheese won't.

My Keto Week 23

I did reasonably well this week. Thursday morning's 206.9 is the lowest weight I recorded so far. I think I might have mentioned earlier I used my leather punch to add another hole to my belt, knowing I'd use it eventually. I now need that extra hole to hold my trousers up.

My loss for the week isn't excellent, half a pound, but a loss is a loss. My rate of loss remains at just under a pound per week. If I need to adjust anywhere, I need to reduce the amount of protein I consume. Protein can be converted into carbs. I do best when a meal is mostly vegetables and about 4 ounces of chicken or fish.

Sunday 2019.6.2

No Keto Vlog Video Last Week

As planned, I did not upload a weekly keto vlog video to YouTube last weekend. No one seemed to notice, or care. I'm pleased. It assures me I made the correct decision to let it go.

As for this week, I did well, even though my loss for the week was well below average. Three times this week I recorded a new lowest weight. And, more importantly, my BMI (body mass index) dropped below 30. At 29.9 I am now in the overweight range. Normal is 25 and below. At the rate I'm losing, I'm estimating it will take nine to ten months to see my BMI go down to 25.

Here are my numbers.

I mentioned at the beginning how important it is to record my weight every morning. As I said back then, I don't pay attention to daily fluctuations. I watch my weekly averages. To see accurate averages I need daily weights. I thought someone might be interested in seeing how I record my daily weights.

This page is laminated so that I can remove the ink later to re-use the sheet. The ink is from wet-erase Vis-â-Vis "overhead transparency" projector pens. Each side of the page is six months. The red circles around some dates were days when I recorded a new lowest weight. Those red marks help me remain focused and motivated.