FAQ

Keto Reader Questions

Reader Questions

I’ve gotten a lot of questions and comments and I wanted to address some of them here. I also wanted to share a few products I found (Amazon affiliate links) that I’ve liked so far! But first, on to the FAQ:

Cheat Days

One question I get is do I have cheat days? My answer is no. Not so far, anyways. I am planning on having a “cheat day” in a few weeks for Logan’s birthday. We are having pizza and cake. But other than that I am not having cheat days. Since February 1st when I started this diet I have been on the plan. I’ve had a few bites here and there of things that were not “on plan” but no cheat days. I don’t want to get out of ketosis. I don’t know if that one bite of Logan’s banana or a few M&M’s I had in a month and a half were enough to knock me out of ketosis, but I hope not!

I don’t think cheat days are necessarily the right route to take in the initial phases of Keto. I think once you lose the weight, or get to whatever goal you want to get to, making a modified Keto schedule is a good plan. Maybe planning a cheat day or cheat meal is a good thing. Or having a carb cycling schedule….something. That’s something I plan on doing once I get to my goal. We’ll see.

Alcohol

The biggest question/comment I’ve gotten is that people are curious about keto and want to give it a try but they don’t want to give up their weekend glass of wine! I was totally in the same boat. About 8 months ago, I decided on a strict no-alcohol during the week rule and went back to my old “only on the weekend” treat rule. It’s easy for the “creep” to start and before you know it, you have a glass on a Tuesday night without even thinking about it.

But I was wanting to lose the Prozac Weight, and so I went back to my old rule. (And not seeing any weight loss, see previous post about my struggles.) When I decided to try Keto, I was reluctant to COMPLETELY give up my weekend wine. I mean, in my mind I was going back on the super restrictive (aka MISERABLE) low carb diet, and I did NOT want to give up my Friday glass of wine on top of that.

Thankfully, I found out I didn’t have to. Like everything–it just means moderation. And make sure you are choosing a SMART adult beverage. So since starting keto, I’ve restricted my intake to weekends and keeping it to one or two glasses tops (which was my norm before anyways) and I stick with Pinot Noir or a sparkling white or Pinot Blanc. I tend to like super dry/crisp/not sweet wines anyway, so that works for me!

I do kinda miss beer a little bit, but oh well!

Websites

What websites do I use for recipes? I use Instagram a lot of the time. I find recipes on there and then I will use these websites:

Diet Doctor

Cast Iron Keto

Low Carb Yum

Nom Nom Paleo

 

Snacks

Another question I’ve gotten from people are what to have for easy snacks, especially on-the-go snacks or snacks that are easy to take for work, etc. Here are a few of my favorites so far:

Cello Parmesan Whisps – We buy these at Costco. They are an easy and tasty “chip” substitute and low in carbs.

LonoLife Grass-Fed Bone Broth – I’ve tried a few different brands and so far this is by far my favorite! I really like it! It actually tastes really good. One packet is 50 calories, no carbs, 10g of protein. If you buy it on Amazon and do the subscribe and save option, it’s cheaper.

Quest Bars – I’m not a huge fan of processed bars but I tried a few different flavors of the Quest bars and they were actually ok. The good news is that they were under 200 calories for the whole bar and usually around 4 or 5 net carbs. I tend to split the bar in half and have half of it as a snack.

Atkins Bars – Like the Quest Bars, the Atkins Bars are low in net carbs and high in fiber and quick and easy treats/snacks. Depending on which flavor you get, they taste ok. I got the chocolate mint wafer ones and all I could taste was the chemical/fake sugar flavor. But the caramel chewy one was really delicious. So experiment and see which ones you like.

Nuts – I buy these at Trader Joes. They are the best priced. I buy the roasted/salted sunflower seeds, macadamia nuts and the raw walnuts. Those are my go-to nuts for snacks. I usually eat 1/2 a serving of whatever the package says with some cheese as my snack.

Cheese – Cheese sticks are a great snack (and paired with nuts are great!). It’s nice to have some variety, too. So Michael gets the Babybel rounds at Costco and then I buy different flavored cheese sticks at the grocery store (currently going through a habanero phase).

Plain Greek Yogurt with Berries and Flaxseed – I use the Fage Full Fat and add some frozen raspberries and 1 Tablespoon of ground flaxseed. It’s delicious, high in fat and high in fiber! This snack is great pre-workout because it’s a little bit higher in carbs than my other snacks.

Keto Bark – Holy crap is this delicious!!! I gave it a try and got it on Amazon in a two pack. It is so good! Individually wrapped, which is nice. 120 calories, 10g of Fat, 2g of net carbs…the perfect snack or dessert if you are watching carbs. And it actually tastes SO good!

Other Finds

Liquid Stevia– I wanted to give this a try because the regular Stevia packets has some carbs in it but this liquid version doesn’t have any carbs in it. Plus I thought it would be easier to use liquid stevia in cooking some keto recipes I’ve found that I want to try.

Primal Kitchen Collagen Fuel Vanilla Coconut – I got this to try in my coffee. I was interested in seeing if it was a good alternative to putting stevia in my coffee. I liked that it was in individual packets so I could take it to work easily. It mixed well, but I did notice that some of it did settle to the bottom of my coffee cup so that last sip was a little gross in texture.

The flavor was really nice. I tasted mostly vanilla, not so much the coconut. I made my coffee with the collagen packet and some heavy cream.

If you have any other tips or questions, please leave a comment! Thanks!

FAQ – Part Two

Did you miss Part One of the FAQ? Check it out here. This will be an ongoing series as I get emails and comments with questions from readers. If I haven’t answered something, just leave a comment below.

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I just found your blog recently. Where should I start reading?

My blog has evolved a lot since it’s inception in 2010. In the beginning I didn’t really have a vision for this website, partly because I didn’t really think anyone would read it! As it grew, my style changed. I got away from the “This is What I Ate” type of posts. I was personally bored writing them, so I assumed readers were bored reading them. I do post recipes here and there. As a result of this evolution, I think a lot of my newer posts are probably better. Here are some suggestions:

My first Blog Post

My Fat History – this is sort of an “About Me” type of page.

How I Lost 110 Pounds – answers the basic questions about how I lost the weight.

Best Of 

Why Wednesday – Why You Should Lose Weight Slowly

Lap Swimming Etiquette

Swimming Tips for Beginners

Polar Heart Rate Monitor Tutorial

Overcoming Exercise Obstacles

My Thoughts on The Four Hour Body Week

My 100 Pound Anniversary

Fitness and Finding Love

Don’t Break the Bank Getting in Shape

I Can Barely Walk, But I Can Definitely Swim

How to Plan Some Awesome Meals

How often do you weigh in on the scale? Do you still record your weight and calories at myfitness pal?

I weigh myself once a month. I’m at the stage right now where I don’t fluctuate in my weight very much beyond a pound of water retention. I use the monthly weigh-in just to check in with myself. Even though I don’t see a change in the scale, I still want to be aware. I went scale-free last summer and it really helped me to not care about that number on the scale as much. It did wonders for my self-esteem!

Yes, I still use MyFitnessPal to record my weight, my food intake and my exercise. I also track on the site Cronometer. It’s a great website to log foods and analyze trends in eating and nutrients. Even though I am in maintenance mode and not trying to lose, I still have to do what worked to lose the weight. I will always count my calories. I may not be restricting in order to lose, but I still have to be accountable to myself.

I may not talk about it much on my blog anymore since I don’t post my weigh-in or post my food as often, but I still do it. It’s a MUST. I have to be accountable if I’m going to keep the weight off long term.

What do you do if you start seeing an upward trend on the scale? ( like a gradual, slow gain).

This doesn’t happen often anymore. Like I said above, I’m maintaining and my weight doesn’t change much. It may fluctuate a few pounds during that time of the month, but I don’t count that. Month in and month out I’ve been the same weight —somewhere in the 144’s (144.4, 144.6, etc).

There was one time after I reached goal weight where I did gain weight. I started taking a medication that unfortunately caused weight gain. Sadly, I didn’t put two and two together until almost a year had passed and I’d gained 15 pounds. As I saw those numbers tick up on the scale, I ignored them. I was running all the time, I was training for Hood to Coast, and I blamed the numbers going up on that. It wasn’t until I realized that the drugs caused weight gain and that gaining 15 pounds even though I was counting my calories AND exercising 5 days a week was NOT NORMAL, that I stopped the medication. I lost weight pretty quickly and it reaffirmed that the medication was packing on the pounds.

Now, medication-free and doing all the “right” things, if I saw a gain I’d pay attention. First, I would measure my body and see if I was gaining muscle. Second, I’d start being more careful with measuring my food and not “eye-balling” it. Lastly, I would pay attention to my sugar intake. Am I drinking more alcohol more frequently?

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Am I digging into the Candy Room at work more often? Am I having too much dessert too often? 

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When you first started swimming how did you get into the swim suit? Were you embarrassed by your thighs or butt?

I knew that swimming was the right exercise for me as a way to lose weight. First, it was something I’d always loved doing as a kid and as a teen so I knew I’d stick with it. Second, swimming was a good activity for an obese person with sore joints.

Getting into that swim suit was the only option. I had to in order to lose the weight. I just knew it was something I had to overcome. No matter how embarrassing or uncomfortable it was, I had to do it. Something that helped was wearing a swim suit that had a skirt attached to it like this one:

The suit I had was nowhere near as cute as that one. But it had a skirt that covered some of my thigh region–the part I was most self-conscious about. That helped. And honestly, once I was in the pool it wasn’t even an issue because no one could see me under water. 🙂

It looks like you like beer. Isn’t that high in calories?

Why yes it is! Especially if you like the IPAs that I drink almost exclusively. IPAs are often between 180-220 calories a pop. That’s quite a bit. I follow my “90/10 Rule“, which means I eat in a healthy way most of the time, but I splurge and indulge, too. It’s called enjoying everything in moderation! Even beer! If that means I only have 1 beer once in awhile, that’s okay by me. Because I’m not DENYING myself anything. I’m not on a diet. I made a lifestyle change.

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What kind of camera do you have?

I have a Canon Rebel and I LOVE IT! It’s my “precious.”  I love my camera so much. It’s a great camera, takes wonderful pictures–while I am still learning how to use it. I took one camera class but for the most part I’ve been teaching myself with just practice, practice, practice. I use LightRoom to edit my photos.

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How often would you run when you trained for a race? Did you give yourself days off for rest? How many? Did you cross train during that time? I just started running and wondering if I could run more than 3x/week.

Great questions! I was running 3 days a week on average when I was running a lot. In the beginning I had to give myself a few days in between my runs because my thighs would be really sore. But as I conditioned my body and got better at running, I could run two days in a row if I wanted to.

I did a lot of cross-training simply because I’d always done it. I swam two days a week no matter what because swimming was how I lost my weight and I loved doing it. I tried to fit in a yoga class here and there as well. I also spent one day a week doing cardio at the gym (stair-master usually).

If you’re just starting out with running, I really suggest following a plan for beginners. Increasing mileage, speed or frequency too much too soon leads to injury or over-training. While I did not follow a “program,” I have heard really good things about the Couch to 5k Program. It’s worth a try. Good luck!

QUESTION: I love getting reader mail, so ask away if you have any questions!