The Ketogenic Diet, or the Keto Diet, is currently quite in vogue. There isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t see an online article pop up about it (both for and against), or hear from someone that they’re trying it out. A few years ago, most average people didn’t know anything about it, let alone the name.
I started following the Keto Diet in February of 2016 and I was primarily interested in weight loss. I knew two people who raved about how easy it was and I was directed to take a look at the reddit page devoted to it. I had quite a bit of weight to lose, so I kind of just dived in and decided I would follow it for about a year and see what kind of results I would get.
When I started, I still felt this way of eating was a bit crazy. So much so, I didn’t discuss it outside of the bubble of people on the internet who knew about it. If people asked (after losing about 45-50 lb (20-23 kg), they really start to ask), I just said I was eating ‘low carb’. Most people would stop questioning after that. Others were more persistent because they were interested in losing weight as well. I just directed them towards reddit and other informational sites so they could make their own decisions about it.
I lost around 70lbs (32kg) in the span of a year and a half. I wasn’t near my goal weight yet, but I felt exceedingly better. My amenorrhea subsided, I had increased mental clarity, I wasn’t constantly hungry and/or snacking, my dandruff disappeared, and my psoriasis was clearing up. I was even becoming more active. I spent a lot of time reading about keto and watching some key documentaries, so I was also a bit more settled in how I felt about the diet as well.
Then I went on vacation.
Although I intended to stay firm in my dietary change while visiting Australia, by the end, I was eating all the things I had been avoiding. I resolved to return home and get back on track. I did, for a time.
Then I spent a lot of time falling in and out of nutritional ketosis. I would get in for a month or two, then the carb creep would start. Next thing I knew, I was gaining weight. Then I would start up again and lose it.
It was hard and I suffered a few physical issues with my back that caused me to stop some of the activities I was enjoying. I was also preparing for a large, international move. Stress, work, and physical distress. Soon I was back to that emotional eating that a lot of people can relate to.
I moved to Australia in June of 2018, having regained nearly half the weight I lost. I wasn’t happy and I wasn’t feeling great. I was irritable and snippy. Luckily, my partner expressed interest in doing the keto diet as well and we started together in July.
In 4 months, I’ve lost the weight I regained. Although I still have more to lose, I’m happy to be on track.
This time it’s different. I’ve been spending a lot of time researching the science around nutritional ketosis and focusing on eating a cleaner version of the diet. Not to mention, it’s harder to do in Australia than the United States.
One thing I failed to notice when I left keto for a time is that my skin issues re-emerged with a vengeance. Fortunately, a month or so back into the diet and my dandruff issues are completely gone once more and my other skin problems are minimized to just a few small patches.
Over time, I’ve discovered that I prefer to eat more meat and less of the fancy keto dishes that a lot of sites focus on disseminating. This also happened during the first year I was on keto, especially when I was working. It’s a time saver: not only with shopping, but with food preparation.
Since the general trend of my diet is heading towards carnivory, I have plans to try the Carnivore Diet soon. Probably January 2019 at the latest. I’m interested in seeing if the last vestiges of my psoriasis clear up.
Are you currently following a ketogenic diet? What kind of results have surprised you the most?