It’s a known (and frequently lamented) fact that everything tastes better with butter on it. And when I say ‘butter’, I mean the proper full fat, grass fed, lightly salted and preferably Irish kind that comes in the foil packs – not that manky shite that comes in the plastic tubs with pictures of olives on the front. The kind that you put in cakes, or in proper béchamel sauce – the kind that used to take me the best part of six months to use a whole pack of. Well this week I achieved a new personal best, having despatched a full pack of butter on my own in under 2 weeks, without doing any baking or making any béchamel. Can’t decide whether to be proud or ashamed.
Almost 3 weeks in, and this still feels very counter-intuitive to me. I am the person that never used to fry anything, and used endless amounts of paper towel to soak up the fat from my food before it got as far as my plate. These days, I am frying everything in coconut oil, then rather than soaking the excess up, I’m pouring it over my salad as dressing, on top of whatever oil I already dressed it with, and then adding some butter for good measure. And maybe some cheese. And half an avo. I mean, what the actual fuck?! How is this a diet?!
Until this week I had been skeptical. I’d done my research and I know the fat-science stacks up, I just couldn’t quite bend my head around the idea that it’s possible to lose weight by eating this much fat. It goes against everything we’ve been conditioned to believe about diet and weight loss. By now, I had started to worry that my cholesterol is going to be off the charts, and so i’ve made a concerted effort to make sure i’m filling up on ‘good’ fats – the kind you get from avocado, oily fish, olive oil etc, rather than reaching for the cheese at the end of the day if i’m nowhere near my fat targets. I’ve also started dumping MCT oil powder into my morning shake to get a head start. But i’m still putting butter on everything in a true Homer Simpson styl-ee (mmmm … butter …), so that’ll be the next thing I need to wean myself off!
But is it working??????
Because if it’s not, I’m giving up and getting lipo. Now, I caveat the following with a small disclaimer in that I haven’t been for a scan because I just haven’t been able to get my arse out of bed to go and do it early enough to get a fasted result. I did, however, step on my bathroom scales just after the two week mark … and somehow I lost four kilos in 2 weeks.
I also took a pulse-check with a tape measure to see if lost weight translated into lost centimetres. Before starting Keto, I took two measurements from my bust, one from my waist, two from my hips and one from my thigh, and after about 19 days, the difference is about 20cm. 6cm of that is from around my waist. I’m going to go out on a limb and say it’s working …!
So far, I’m pretty happy with the results. I went into this with a notional 7KG to lose which I thought was potentially achievable. To be clear, that’s 7KG of FAT, not 7KG off the top of my total weight. I’m back in the gym and in the pole studio, and at 8 workouts a week i’m expecting to gain some muscle mass. I’m going to need to keep scanning to make sure the weight i’m losing is fat, and will have to ensure i’m getting enough calories to sustain my workouts so i’m not eating my muscles. That said, i’ve been working on the basis that if i’m not hungry then i’m good, and I’m still supplementing with exogenous ketones. I’ll be looking to cut those back once i’m through the first four weeks, since hopefully my body will be well and truly with the program by then and tapping straight into my fat stores to make its own well enough.
Breaking old habits is hard …!
Another habit i’m trying to get out of is the need to eat three times a day. Not because i’m hungry, but because it’s breakfast / lunch / dinner time, and therefore I feel like I should be eating. Over the years, I have conditioned myself to eat three meals a day, whether i’m hungry or not, and this is proving a hard habit to break. There have been mornings at work this last week where I actually didn’t want to eat breakfast – I’d had a shake and wasn’t hungry. But I had brought my breakfast with me, so I’ll be damned if I didn’t still force my way through buttery scrambles eggs with avocado and prosciutto, for no other reason than because I felt like I shouldn’t skip a meal (also many of the diets I have tried firmly advocate NOT skipping meals). One of the starkest differences i’ve noticed with the Keto way of eating, is that I’m not permanently hungry the way I used to be!
I’m the person who’s always hungry – or at least, I can always eat. Mostly because I love food and derive a disproportionate amount of pleasure from a big bowl of pasta and a splendid bottle of Sangiovese (followed by a cheese board). Now i’m into my Keto stride, I’m not always hungry, and I can’t always eat, but psychologically i’m still trying to break the link. I’m doing this in baby steps – by skipping breakfast on the weekends in favour of a larger early lunch. Currently it’s Saturday afternoon and i’m on the couch, very full from my early lunch, and struggling to imagine how I’m actually going to get anywhere near my macro targets for the day. Something I do need to do more research on, is how much of a bad thing it is to be way under your macros …!
So on Monday I will get a proper weigh-in – a fasted in-body scan – which will hopefully tell me that everything is right on track, and I still have all my muscles. We can hope. In the meantime, I’m working on a recipe for Keto “spaghetti” bolognese which doesn’t taste completely bland and shite. Keep you posted …
On a side note, my beloved red wine tastes exceptionally boozy to me now. If the Mr. has a glass with dinner, I can smell it from across the room and I have little desire to partake. Is this normal?!