You saw my last post about trying to new trends, right? Well let me tell you my thoughts on the latest diet trend: keto.
A hundred years ago I worked with this lady - she was a terrible person - but that’s not what I want to talk about.
She was fat.
And then, suddenly… she wasn’t.
Even though she was a terrible person, I was intrigued (this was back when I thought I needed to lose weight, but I didn’t really, but that’s not what I want to talk about.)
I asked her what her secret was and she said she was in ketosis. She was doing the Atkins diet.
I looked up everything Atkins and decided it wasn’t for me.
I didn’t feel like it could possibly be healthy - eliminating an entire food group (carbs) and loading up on fatty meats and cheeses sounded dangerous, especially for someone with a family history of heart disease. I also read that the diet was extremely hard on your kidneys.
That’s all it takes for me: reading or hearing about a health risk, and it’s like a seed that roots in nice and deep, and becomes a built-in excuse for never making a change.
Incidentally, I still feel this way about Atkins. (Didn’t the creator of the Atkins Diet die of a heart attack at a fairly young age? I haven’t Googled this to confirm it (lazy Saturday writing), but that’s a vague memory in my head and I feel like that doesn’t bode well for followers of his diet).
But now there’s this keto trend and all kinds of rage about how healthy it is.
I’ll be honest - there’s still that part of my brain that has a problem with removing an entire food group.
Like I said, heart disease runs rampant in my family history. My dad’s dad died at only 44, after a massive heart attack (not his first, or even his second). My dad has had a few heart bypass surgeries - his first one right before he turned 50 and the last one, about 10 years ago, was a quadruple bypass.
My mom’s dad lived a long life, but he had multiple heart bypass surgeries spanning about 30 years.
I’m a paranoid person (you knew that, right?) and I have these moments of panic, worried I’m having a heart attack (this fear is only second to the one where I’m out in public - pushing the cart down the aisle at, say, Hobby Lobby or Target, and I suddenly have to look down to make sure I have pants on, because - for a fleeting second - I’m certain I’ve forgotten to put them on.)
Listen. Some people worry they’ve got spinach in their teeth. Some worry they’ve tucked the bottom of their skirt into the top of their pantyhose, exposing their granny panties to the world (<--- ok, this really happened to a lady I used to work with. Not the same one as the terrible-lady-who-did-Atkins. Different lady. Only she wasn’t wearing granny panties. She wasn’t wearing panties at all, bless her heart and her giant, naked, and fully exposed rump.*)
I worry I’ve forgotten to wear pants. 🤷🏻
Stay with me. I’m getting there.
The thing is, I have got to lose weight.
I’m a tiny person under all this chub and I’m terrified of having heart disease that might put me in an early grave.
I’ve tried low-carb diets before, but have always had a hard time sticking to them, because I tell myself that eating all the fat that goes along with low-carb diets isn’t heart healthy and it’s hard on your kidneys.
I recently did some more updated research than what I’d done back in the day on my dial-up modem, and found out a few important things:
- On the keto diet, you load up on healthy fats, like those found in almonds, fish, and avocados, not saturated fats like those found in bacon and cheese (although you can have those, too, in moderation).
- Eating keto regulates insulin and blood sugar, which is hugely beneficial for those at risk for heart disease
- The keto diet is not hard on your kidneys because it isn’t high protein, it’s moderate protein.
- A keto diet is totally do-able for life, whereas I’ve always felt that low-carb diets are only short-term, which is not something I’m looking for.
Plus I realized that my main health concern should be my heart, not my kidneys - my heart is what’s most at risk, thanks to my family history and my weight (Mom and Dad, remind me to get with y'all to hammer out which one of you gave me the sh*itty DNA).
The risk to my kidneys by doing a keto diet outweighs the risk to my heart by not doing a keto diet.
It’s also possible that I’d been telling myself this whole “I can’t do low carb because blahblahblah” as an excuse to keep eating whatever I wanted to, not necessarily because of the health concerns. Change is hard for me, y’all.
So I started keto on Monday and had a much easier time with it than I expected. I’m on day six right now and I’ve lost three pounds.
I know it’s all water at this point, don’t rain on my parade.
But seeing the number on the scale go down gives me incentive to keep it up.
I’ll keep you posted on my progress and let you know if Mark walks in one day and says, “Whoa, what happened to you?” referencing, of course, the loss of my surface area.
Meanwhile, have you tried keto? What are your thoughts? Any go-to bloggers or recipes you can share with me?
*I've got so many stories about crazy characters I've worked with throughout the years. So many, in fact, my best friend from college, Jen, used to always tell me I should write a book about them. So I did.