The links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.
Recent blood test show higher blood sugar levels and LDL and Total cholesterol.
Why Keto and Intermittent Fasting?
I originally stumbled upon Keto and in general low/no carb diets when researching how to lower weight. The goal at the time was to attempt to lower my cholesterol by losing weight. I don't consider myself unhealthily overweight, however my BMI were slowly creeping into from normal to over-weight. Keto is a bit concerning because I always believed that additional fat intake would skyrocket my cholesterol numbers.
After reading more about Keto, I found many people pair it with Intermittent Fasting to help with weight loss. What I learned is that intermittent fasting can also help with blood sugar levels by reducing the chance of insulin resistance. For intermittent fasting, I went with what I believe was most common and easiest to maintain, which was eating between noon and 8pm, while fasting the remaining 16 hours essentially skipping breakfast. And that means really only eating a lunch and dinner with no snacks in between.
My plan is to keep the Keto Diet going for hopefully 6 months, where I plan on getting a set of the blood tests again to hopefully realize improvements in blood sugar and cholesterol.
First 2 Month Experience with Keto and Intermittent Fasting
- Weight Loss (~15 lbs) - I lost a substantial amount of weight the first few weeks, then it tapered off to about 1lb a week.
- Looser Clothing - Even the smallest notch on my belt wasn't small enough
- Cleaner Teeth - My teeth feel consistently smoother/clean throughout the day.
- Less Hungry - Even on intermittent fasting, I don't feel hungry after having a fattier meal.
- Sugar Craving - Major craving for sugary snacks or even plain bread, but resisted.
Foods I Eat at Home Keto
I still cook and eat most of my meals at home. On Keto, I'm more careful in choosing what ingredients I cook with
- Cauliflower - used in almost every Keto recipe
- Beef Steak
- Duck Breast
- Ground Beef
- Chicken Thigh/Breast/Drumstick
- Salmon (cooked from frozen)
- Sardines (canned)
- 85% Dark Chocolate - limit to one square (which is 1/3 a serving)
- Nuts (Macadamia Nuts, Peanuts, and Brazil Nuts) - limit to ~5 per day
- Sparkling Water
- Costco Almond Milk (no sugar)
- Costco Macadamia Nut Milk (no sugar)
- Heavy Cream - I whip this to cream to make a simple sweet dessert
- Blackberry - limit myself to 4-5 per day
- Blueberry- limit myself to 4-5 per day
- Mozzarella Cheese
- Bell Pepper
- Black Coffee (no sugar or milk)
- Beef Sticks
Food I Stopped Eating while on Keto
- Potato chips and snacks (used to have one snack per day between lunch & dinner)
- Rice (which I used to have at lunch & dinner daily)
- Chinese Dumplings
- Toast (used to be my breakfast)
- Beans (original dinner plan to lower cholesterol)
- Steel Cut Oatmeal (original breakfast plan to lower cholesterol)
- Orange Juice and other fruit juices
- Dried fruit
- Whole Milk
- Boba Drink
- Pre-mixed salad seasonings and meat marinades
Keto and Intermittent Fasting Cheat Days
I try not to purposefully incorporate cheat days into my schedule. It's much easier that I began this journey during COVID times, as the temptation to eat restaurant foods when out with friends/family is greatly diminished. That being said, if I had to do a cheat day, I would prefer to cheat and break my intermittent fast rather than break Keto. If I were to eat a load of carbs, it would certainly set me back a few days as my body burns of the existing glucose to get back into ketosis.
The most challenging aspect of staying in Keto is when dining out socially:
- Fast Food Restaurants - Best bet is to order and not eat carb heavy items (for example the bun in a burger... don't even think about ordering fries and a soda).
- Fast Casual - My suspicion is that most of the food has been prepared offsite, likely with a lot of meat per-marinaded.
Unless you're really strict about it, my belief is that its difficult to keep to any diet without either a serious medical condition or some ability to enjoy your favorite foods. Snacks aren't my favorite, but a necessary evil. In the beginning, I kept it simple and simple whipped heavy cream with 100% monk fruit extract. That worked for about a month, but then my cravings for more traditional snacks increased.
My wife bought me a sampler of the Keto Krate, which came with dry ingredients for cookies, various keto friendly snacks, beef sticks.