I love carbs. Always have, always will. But since I came back from a recent holiday I’ve been in a health rut. Exercising and eating clean after weeks of burgers and booze is hard, and it was time for an overhaul. My solution? Wave goodbye to carbs and say hello to high fat.
The keto diet requires you to limit carbs, maintain a moderate protein intake, and increase your fat intake. This induces a state of ketosis, the process by which your body is starved of glucose and is forced to use ketones as a fuel source instead. What are ketones? Byproducts of your body breaking down fat when blood insulin levels are low. Translation: you start to burn fat for fuel rather than carbs.
To help me get back into gear, I tried out THR1VE’s Keto/Ultra Low Carb meal plan for one week. My standard day on a plate? Granola for breakfast, butter chicken with broccoli and cauliflower rice for lunch, and teriyaki salmon with green veg for dinner. Yum! A nut snack pack or protein shake would tide me over between meals. Here’s what I found:
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My skin was the best it’s ever been
Literally. The diet got rid of blemishes I didn’t realise I had until they were gone. Around day three I noticed a stubborn blemish on my cheek was finally disappearing. Tiny whiteheads I’ve had for weeks faded. By the time day seven rolled around my skin had completely smoothed out. Winner.
I got sick
I had a scratch in my throat before the diet started but it definitely got worse after I ditched carbs. A quick internet search told me that people sometimes experience the “keto flu” which can include symptoms of nausea, headache and fatigue as the body transitions from running on carbs to fat. I don’t think keto made me sick; the symptoms just made it harder for me to shake off a mild cold.
Sugar cravings vanished
Amazing, I know! My sugar cravings usually come around like clockwork, but on keto I didn’t reach for chocolate post dinner because I was full. Not the too-bloated-to-eat-another-bite kind of full, but sated. I also struggled to finish my meals even though the portion sizes were smaller than what I’d usually dish up. Any stray thoughts about munching on some Maltesers were easy to resist.
The verdict? My keto meals were satisfying and if you committed to the diet long-term, the changes to your weight, skin and energy levels would be dramatic. I enjoyed the diet, although one of my biggest loves is eating out so keto might curb by dinner options. I’ll definitely do it again to clean up my skin but day-to-day? I’ll order the pasta thanks.