What I Learned After 30 Days On The Keto Diet
Start writing a post
Health and Wellness

Everything I Learned After Being On The Keto Diet For 30 Days

At the end of it all, I even surprised myself.

448
Everything I Learned After Being On The Keto Diet For 30 Days

I'm really not one for diets. Most of them are fads that only get popular because celebrities do them for a period of time and then they catch on. They often seem really gimmicky without any science behind them. But at the beginning of this year I told myself I wanted to be more aware of my health and make smarter, healthier choices and changing the way I thought about food felt like a good way to start. Which lead me to ketosis.

The science behind ketosis sounded complex at first but once simplified, began to make a whole lot of sense to me. The goal of the keto diet is to get your body into a state of ketosis, hence the name. Ketosis is reached once the body produces a certain amount of ketones which help burn fat. So instead of running your body on sugars, it learns to gain fuel by burning the fat available in your body.

Essentially, ketosis allows the body to run on a much more stable energy source without the spikes and dips in blood sugar that comes with a high-sugar diet. I had also heard a lot about how ketosis improves your brain functions to help you remember more and stay focused longer. From a college student's viewpoint, that sounded like a win-win situation for me.

A really simple way to think about ketosis is through the lens of the macronutrients: carbs, fats and protein. My diet before I switched to keto was heavy in carbs. Percentage-wise, my carb intake would sometimes be 50 percent or more of my daily food intake. But with a keto diet, you restrict your carb intake and focus on foods with a high amount of healthy fats.

So on a good day, my average nutritional input would look something like this:

As you can see, carbs made up a really small portion of what I was eating at the time whereas foods with higher fat and protein content took up relatively equal shares of whatever's left over. Compared to what I was used to eating:

I basically completely switched around my usual eating habits. And that ended up being a large portion of what I learned when everything was all said and done. But here's just a quick recap for those of you out there who might be considering going on the keto diet as well.

1. The initial weight loss was really startling

I didn't choose a keto diet for the weight loss aspect, even though that's always one of the top selling points when people discuss ketosis. I was more interested in the brain functions I mentioned earlier: sharper memory and better focus. I didn't expect to lose a great deal of weight at all unless I decided to stick with keto for a long period of time. In my first week, however, I ended up losing 10 pounds out of the blue. Originally I thought there was an error in the scale I was using. I tried to be consistent in how I was weighing myself and at what times, but when my numbers didn't jump back to their usual levels I had to conclude that it had something to do with my change in diet. With exercise and nutrition, changing things up and adding variety to both is usually a surefire way to kickstart your body into a change of some sorts.

2. I was hungry all the time

For the first couple of days, I was really struggling to figure out what foods I was going to eat and how I was going to restructure my diet. As I mentioned earlier, carbs were a large part of my diet and I was suddenly taking that away from my body and forcing it to find an alternative energy source. I had to completely rethink the way I bought groceries and pay a lot more attention to nutrition labels. I would generally avoid typical junk foods, but I had to cut foods out of my diet that had previously been staples of my diet. I was also operating on a slight caloric deficit for a period of time, which made things even more difficult.

3. Exercise was much harder

I wanted to keep as much outside of my diet consistent as possible to analyze how much the keto diet was actually affecting me. So that meant I just continued my usual exercise routine, which in hindsight turned out to be a big mistake. The majority of my exercise routine consists of heavy-weight, 8-12 repetitions with 60-90 second rest in between sets and/or exercises. It's essentially high-intensity training where I'm trying to keep a consistent 120+ BPM heart rate. Which, as it turns out, requires a consistent energy source. So when I was suddenly trying to get my body to start running off fats, I didn't have as much energy as I used to which made the types of exercises I wanted to do much harder.

Lesson #3 was what lead me to abandon the keto diet. The exercise goals and routines I was setting for myself was directly in contrast to the dietary framework I was working within. In the end, I felt that my diet, exercises, and overall physicality was suffering because of it. But the whole experience helped change my mindset around how to think about food as a source of energy as opposed to just a way to avoid hunger. I implore everyone, however, to find a diet that works for them, mainstream or not. The food you eat should reflect and aid your goals. Just because the keto diet didn't work for, doesn't mean that thousands haven't found success using it.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Student Life

Top 10 Reasons My School Rocks!

Why I Chose a Small School Over a Big University.

94757
man in black long sleeve shirt and black pants walking on white concrete pathway

I was asked so many times why I wanted to go to a small school when a big university is so much better. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure a big university is great but I absolutely love going to a small school. I know that I miss out on big sporting events and having people actually know where it is. I can't even count how many times I've been asked where it is and I know they won't know so I just say "somewhere in the middle of Wisconsin." But, I get to know most people at my school and I know my professors very well. Not to mention, being able to walk to the other side of campus in 5 minutes at a casual walking pace. I am so happy I made the decision to go to school where I did. I love my school and these are just a few reasons why.

Keep Reading...Show less
Lots of people sat on the cinema wearing 3D glasses
Pinterest

Ever wonder what your friend meant when they started babbling about you taking their stapler? Or how whenever you ask your friend for a favor they respond with "As You Wish?" Are you looking for new and creative ways to insult your friends?

Well, look no further. Here is a list of 70 of the most quotable movies of all time. Here you will find answers to your questions along with a multitude of other things such as; new insults for your friends, interesting characters, fantastic story lines, and of course quotes to log into your mind for future use.

Keep Reading...Show less
New Year Resolutions

It's 2024! You drank champagne, you wore funny glasses, and you watched the ball drop as you sang the night away with your best friends and family. What comes next you may ask? Sadly you will have to return to the real world full of work and school and paying bills. "Ah! But I have my New Year's Resolutions!"- you may say. But most of them are 100% complete cliches that you won't hold on to. Here is a list of those things you hear all around the world.

Keep Reading...Show less
Lifestyle

The Ultimate Birthday: Unveiling the Perfect Day to Celebrate!

Let's be real, the day your birthday falls on could really make or break it.

42632
​different color birthday candles on a cake
Blacksburg Children's Museum

You heard it here first: birthdays in college are some of the best days of your four years. For one day annually, you get to forget about your identity as a stressed, broke, and overworked student, and take the time to celebrate. You can throw your responsibilities for a day, use your one skip in that class you hate, receive kind cards and gifts from loved ones and just enjoy yourself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Featured

Unleash Inspiration: 15 Relatable Disney Lyrics!

Leave it to Disney to write lyrics that kids of all ages can relate to.

69286
The 15 most inspiring Disney songs

Disney songs are some of the most relatable and inspiring songs not only because of the lovable characters who sing them, but also because of their well-written song lyrics. While some lyrics make more sense with knowledge of the movie's story line that they were written for, other Disney lyrics are very relatable and inspiring for any listener.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments