Is keto too good to be true?

My keto journey: part 2

Vicki Gumbley continues with part 2 of her keto journey. To read part 1, click here.

I had always thought I could live on eggs. For years they have been my go-to meal of choice when I can’t decide what to cook. They are versatile, tasty, affordable and filling, what more could I need? But after the first seven days of the Two Week Keto Challenge I just could not stomach another egg. Even I had reached my limit.

That’s not to say that every meal included eggs, far from it – it was the breakfasts* that posed the biggest issue for me. But every problem is a solution opportunity, as they say, and this egg quandary led me to a surprising breakfast discovery: coffee with cream. Yes, cream!

A keto diet is about avoiding carbohydrates (rice, pasta, potatoes, bread etc) and replacing them with low-carb vegetables, proteins and healthy fats.

As I have mentioned before, the first most surprising thing about eating keto is that the food is absolutely delicious. The second is that I don’t feel hungry. And it is for these two reasons that I don’t feel like I am on a diet. And anyone who has ever dieted in their life will know that this is a big deal. Will power gets a person so far but I have been eating keto since February and these two things have not changed. The food is still delicious and I don’t have hunger pangs.

Is it too good to be true?

As I said in my previous blog, even having seen how much weight Sue had lost, I still wasn’t convinced this was the right path for me to take. My reservations were – and still are but to a lesser degree – that I was worried eating such a high percentage of my daily calorific intake as fat was unhealthy.

I was also concerned that this way of trying to lose weight just wouldn’t suit me, especially as I am prone to being greedy. I could eat butter, cream and cheese for goodness sake. I love cheese, so wouldn’t I just be tempted to eat the whole block? And if I did, how could I possibly lose weight if I had eaten that many calories?

Also, not all diets suit all people. You know yourself, one friend can seem to shed the pounds with relative ease doing Slimming World, while another seems to really struggle with it.

There was also a niggling doubt that even if I didn’t gorge myself, keto sounded too good to be true. All in all, I was sceptical.

Anyway, getting back to the 2-week challenge

If like me at the start, you remain unconvinced, consider signing up for the challenge. You will be joining Sue, me and 920,000 others!

On signing up, you will receive a series of daily emails with links to recipes, meal plans, videos, guides and support, all of which are completely free of charge.

What I really like about the Diet Doctor is that they don’t have their own range of products to flog, so there are is nothing special to buy, all the food is cooked from scratch – but don’t panic, the recipes are really simple.

So, how does it work?

Having cleared out my cupboards (well, moving stuff into other places – the kids would never have forgiven me if I had chucked away their ketchup, rice or pasta!), I went shopping, piling my trolley with meat, veg, butter, cream and cheese… oh and eggs, so many eggs.

The veg you can have is limited but there are lots of visual online guides explaining what to pick. A rule of thumb is that most vegetables grown above the ground are good, those beneath the ground are out (or reduced). I’m pretty happy with any veg, so this was no problem.

Sugar is completely off limits and you would be amazed at how much is added to our food. Who knew that prawns and smoked salmon required sweetening? It is definitely worth checking the labels.

And because most fruit is high in sugar, that’s strictly limited too. I thought this was going to be a problem for me, I have to admit. I used to eat at least one banana day and would have a fruit and veg packed smoothie at least three times a week.

Having been led to believe that sugar is harder to ween yourself off than heroin, I was expecting a rough time ahead (I’ve seen Trainspotting!) but I really was absolutely fine. I think it helped that the food is so tasty I didn’t need to reach for treats to cheer myself up – and the challenge is for just 14 days, so I was pretty sure I would be able to cope.

Now we come to alcohol. After explaining to one of my very dear friends that I was starting a keto challenge, she said ‘there is no way I could do that, you can’t drink”. So, I know this is off-putting to many. You might like to read this info if this is you.

I am very unlucky (or is that lucky?) to suffer from horrendous hangovers that have got worse the older I get, so there are lots of alcoholic drinks I can’t touch. So, while abstaining from booze wasn’t an issue for me, I know it is a problem for others. I spoke to Sue about this and found out that she used to drink a glass or two of wine pretty regularly pre-keto but said giving up booze for two weeks was do-able. And she has enjoyed the benefits so much since, that she hardly drinks anymore.

Million dollar question – how much weight will I lose?

The website says that most people with excess weight will lose 4-8 pounds (2-4 kilos) during the two-week challenge and some lose much more. I lost 5lbs in the first week and 1lb in the second. Since then I have lost another 1 stone 5lbs, so around a pound a week, which I am pretty happy with.

About the two week challenge, the Diet Doctor website says: “What have you got to lose? Well, maybe a few pounds, your high blood sugar, sugar cravings, and even other health issues like irritable bowel syndrome, polycystic ovary syndrome, and acne.”

Apart from sugar cravings, I don’t suffer from any of the other conditions. (NB. I don’t know if I had high blood sugar as I didn’t get my blood tested). But I would be fascinated to hear from anyone who tries the two week challenge and experiences any change in these conditions – your feedback would be really appreciated. Let’s start a conversation, what do you think?

* egg-free low carb breakfasts