Food & Fitness – October 2013 Recap

October marks the third month that Canadian Bacon and I have been actively trying to become physically fit through a diet and exercise routine. Actually, scratch that – October was the first month we took control of our diet.  During August and September we were just trying to watch our caloric intakes while establishing an exercise routine.  This did not really work.  I mean, it did in the sense that we lost weight, but we weren’t maintaining a strict caloric deficit and we would often eat (to excess) foods that we knew were bad for us, just because we craved them.

All of that changed in early October.  I was browsing Imgur, which I usually do in the evenings before I go to bed, and I came across a series of pictures that a young couple had taken chronicling their weightloss through a diet called “keto.”  I’d heard of keto and always just shrugged it off because it seemed too reminiscent of the Atkins diet, which I tried once back in college for a horrid month of attempting to live off low-carb bread and porkrinds (neither of which are tasty).

Well, the startling before-and-after pictures linked back to Reddit, as many pix on Imgur often do.  They went straight back to a thread where the couple described their weight loss and what they had done to achieve it.  Their post (and I really wish I had saved it) was located in the r/keto subforum, and I started browsing the links and info on the site.

Basically, as I’ve mentioned in a few earlier posts, a ketogenic diet is high fat, moderate protein, and low carb.  The science is that you have to eat fat to lose fat.  When you limit your carb intake below a certain amount, and when fat is your highest daily consumption, your body goes into a state of ketosis and starts rapidly burning fat.  As long as you keep your protein intake moderate, your kidneys are in no danger (as they often are on high protein diets).  Fat is what keeps you satiated, and by eating a large amount of it you are able to stay satisfied well below your calorie maintenance level.  Proponents for keto point out that our ancestors did not eat the standard American diet; they didn’t have refined grains and overly processed sugars.

CB and I went for it.  I was a little reluctant at first, but decided I’d give keto a try for at least a month and see how things went.  Spoiler alert: they’ve gone very well indeed.

My Meemaw thinks we’re starving ourselves, which we find hilarious because we eat broccoli for dinner at least every other day, and are still consuming tomatoes and other non-starchy vegetables at alarming rates.  As I prepared our dinner tonight – my Perfect Steak and Roasted Veggies (brussels, zucchini, and carrots) – I asked her whether she still thought we were starving ourselves.  She told me she knows we’re eating, but we need to be drinking juices because we’re not getting enough vitamin c.  I’m like LOL because a serving of broccoli has 220% of vitamin c daily value in it.  She kills me… especially since I never really drank fruit juices before, anyway!

On their way into the oven. They were even more delicious on their way out, but they pretty much just went straight into my stomach.

My new job has been really good for this diet, also.  Previously, Meemaw and Sugarbandit would want to go out a couple of times a week.  Since I’m working second shift, I can’t do that anymore, so we stay home and cook more frequently.  I also tend to cook our dinner when I get off at 10:30, so I just fix something for me and CB and Meemaw and Sugarbandit don’t have to eat it.

A typical day’s worth of food on this diet might look like this:
Wake-Up – Irish Breakfast tea with 3tbsp heavy cream and a Peanut Butter Cup Fat Bomb
Breakfast – scrambled eggs with cheese, bacon, and a couple of tomato slices OR full-fat greek yogurt with heavy cream, raspberries, and pecans
Lunch – wrap with pastrami, cheese, mayo and mustard OR one of my Keto Pita Pizzas
Dinner – bunless cheeseburger with broccoli or califlower fauxtatoes OR pork tacos on lettuce with sour cream, etc
Dessert – 10oz of fresh whipped cream with vanilla

CB and I both try to stay around a 70%/25%/5% macro of Fats/Proteins/Carbs.  I track my food intake into MyFitnessPal, which really has a fabulous community of ketoers.  I also post daily over in the Reddit r/keto and r/xxketo subforums, and a couple of my posts on r/ketorecipes have skyrocketed my blog pageviews.  I’ve was invited to help moderate the r/xxketo Pinterest pages, and have been getting many more repins and followers since then.  In short: the keto community is OUTSTANDING and has not only given CB and me support with our diet, but has also been fantastic for my blogging efforts.

Since starting keto on October 10th, CB has lost 9lbs and a total of 1 1/4th inches off his waist.  I’ve only lost 4lbs, but I’ve lost 2 inches off of my waist (and from a lot of other places, actually).  I’ve also put on a solid 8lbs of muscle and lowered my bodyfat percentage by 4%.  Not too shabby!  I am okay with losing pounds slower as long as I am still reshaping my body.

Speaking of which, I’ve pretty much stopped working on the recumbant bike.  It’s really boring, and I find myself dreading using it.  However, I still look forward to weight lifting, which I believe is the ultimate tool for reshaping your body anyway.  I don’t want to be skinny-skinny, I want to be strong-skinny.  So every other day, CB spots me while I bench press and deadlift, and then I work a bunch with the dumbbells on my upper body.  He still uses the bike religiously, and lifts so much more weight than me that I’m envious of his strength.  My goal is to bench 100lbs by the new year.  I started with 45lbs and now I’m at 57, so I’m creeping in the right direction.

More blatant food porn – a flax & bran pita with shredded chicken, baby swiss, mayonnaise, and spinach. Delicious and well-balanced!

And although technically this happened in November, on Saturday I went to my first yoga class at Raja Hot Yoga.  I had a blast and already saved my spot in a class on Tuesday.  But holy crap, am I EVER sore.  I’m writing this on Sunday night, and at this point my core hurts if I so much as laugh, and any sort of bending or crouching just destroys my legs.  I was in absolute misery when Meemaw and I went shopping at the Commissary earlier because I kept having to squat to get items off the lower shelves.  I’m taking that as a sign that the workout was effective!  It’s a pretty good balance since all the soreness is in my core and lower body, and my weight lifting primarily works my upper body.

So there you have it.  Since August CB’s lost 33lbs and I’ve lost 26lbs, which we’re quite happy with.  So far this diet seems very sustainable.  Before I get the inevitable “you know you’ll gain it all back once you start eating normally again,” let me be clear – the way we used to eat is no longer our normal.  When we reach our goal weights, we are planning on transitioning to a paleo-type diet; adding back in fruits, potatoes, and whole, unrefined grains like steel cut oats, brown rice, and quinoa.

I can’t wait to see how we’ve changed by the end of November!

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  1. Hey guys!

    Just read through the Blog Britt! Nice job on changing over your lifestyle. It’s definitely not an easy task, but it sounds as though things are successful. Just make sure when your weight lifting that your keeping your heart rate up and do 10-15 min of cardio after each round. That really blasts the calories. Other than that, just wanted to say hi and hope things are working out well with the new job! Keep my Bro going!

    1. Thanks for checking in on us, Shayne! I think Darren and I are pretty good motivation for each other. I’ve gotten so bored with the recumbant bike and he still uses it religiously, but I’m doing yoga and he isn’t interested in that, so it evens out I think.

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