Don’t you just LOVE a new month? A fresh start? A clean slate, clean calendar to fill up with all you will accomplish?
I sure do! But I’m wondering, are you cruising along comfortable on your journey or are you frazzled and frustrated? I am completely frazzled and frustrated with my lack of progress the past six months! YES, I did reach my goal weight back in January – but my body composition needs plenty of work. I had hoped to shrink this belly pouch some inches by now! But NOPE!
I have tried quite a few diet hacks the past two months. Extended fasting, consistent Intermittent Fasting 18:6, an egg fast (which you can read about here), working with a personal trainer weekly, increasing exercise, decreasing exercise – I think that list about covers it.
I realize that I probably needed to give each hack a longer period of time, but I really have been feeling quite off these past two months. I’m SO ready for a new approach – while keeping my fat burning machine running on just fat.
I have excess fat in my belly – I know have plenty to burn! I finally have accepted the fact that I need to tweak my Keto macronutrients to reduce the fat in my food. I don’t track my macros daily, but I did start periodically tracking them and discovered that some days I was near 80% of my daily intake in healthy fats! WHOA!
Now 75-80% daily fat intake from healthy fats served me very well during the weight loss portion of my journey so DO NOT FREAK OUT if you think I’m telling YOU to reduce your fat. I came to this realization after spending a lot of time the past two months reading and researching about protein. Conclusion: I need to really, really, really cut my fat intake and UP my protein.
So my August aspiration is #UPproteinDOWNfat! What are the odds I can get this to be a trending topic on Twitter this month? LOL!
I used to fear protein – like “oh my goodness” if I eat too much protein I’m going to regain all my weight because of that gluconeogenesis thingy! Arghhh. Then I discovered Dr. Benjamin Bikman and Dr. Ted Naiman. They told me it was OKAY to eat more protein. In fact, a lot of what they are preaching applies to my goals exactly! Eat protein, get lean? Alrighty, I’m sold.
I’m in a good spot right now to make these changes. Some recent blood test results have indicated that I am no longer insulin resistant (HOORAY!). This is what I’ve been working on the past 18 months. Thank you, LORD! How do I know I’ve healed my Insulin Resistance (IR)? I’ve used the calculator on this neat handout by Dr. Georgia Ede– check it out and ask for ALL this blood work. The other result I got was from my NMR Lipoprofile panel. It showed that my LP-IR (lipoprotein – Insulin Resistance) score went down 20 points and was well in the normal range <25. Thank you, LORD, again! Now I feel like I have some wiggle room to increase my protein and my carbs (a wee bit) to bring down the fat intake.
Less fat in my mouth SHOULD translate into my body burning fat that is stored in my belly. This is going to be my focus this month. It won’t necessarily be my weight on the scale, but instead what my belly and waist are measuring. If the scale goes down – so be it. Just so you know – I’m not about to ditch my scale – ha! The story behind that will be left for another blog post someday…
Over the past two days I have concocted a plan that I think will give me success towards my goals. First thing I did was play around with my Carb Manager tracker. I had a HUGE wake up call when I realized just how much fat that Heavy Whipping Cream (HWC) was adding to my day. Holy WOW! That six tablespoons I had in coffee throughout the day was 36 grams of fat. Besides that, I was treating my coffee with HWC like a “treat”. I want to get away from that mindset when it becomes too comfortable (another topic for a future post?!? Ha!).
Last week during my egg fast, I gave up coffee completely for three days. If I can live without coffee for three days and not die, well then, I can give up coffee with HWC three times a day! So that’s Step 1 of my goal! No more HWC in my coffee – not even once a day! The past two days I have had a black coffee brewed over ice and a coffee with my lunch to get my Collagen Peptides in for the day (I take this for my gut health). And I must confess (forgive me Carb COPS!) – I’ve also made the switch to “Half and Half” for this lunch time coffee. Yeah, I’ve told a bunch of you it’s not a great choice. But I’m going to try it – and I’ll report later if I think it’s an issue. Someone that I admire for her own journey (she has maintained like a 180 pound Keto weight loss for years!) gave me that pro tip to cut down on fat. Two days down with no HWC – EASY, PEASY!
I know some of you are right now saying “UH OH – NOW WAY am I giving up my HWC in my coffee! Girl, NO WAY!” Let me tell you to calm down! I had no problem with HWC in my coffee multiple times a day WHILE I was losing weight. In fact, I used it as a wonderful crutch to get through longs days of extended fasting – and still lost weight as expected. I never had to play with it to see if it was stalling me – because I never really had any long stalls. So, if it is serving you well, by all means don’t interpret this to mean that YOU have to give up HWC! I’m giving it up to easily cut out 36 grams of fat in my day!
Next up – I had to play with macro calculators to figure this out. I’m a total numbers, graphs, charts, and goal-oriented geek. My numbers never lie to me and have served me well on this journey. It’s OKAY if you don’t use trackers, but I get pure joy out of playing with these things and watching everything fall into place. I’m telling ya – numbers never lie to me!
Digging into Dr. Naiman’s page a little more – I found his MACROS tab with some very easy to understand graphics and suggestions for figuring macros. In fact, he calls the graphic his “Easy Fat Loss Macros: The Protein “Over/Under”. EASY FAT LOSS? Sign me UP! (Shout out to my Instagram pal “my_ketoadapted_life” for pointing me to this specifically! What a great tip.)
Based on his formula, I decided that my daily protein goal will be 117 grams/daily, while my net carbs + my healthy fats combined will be no more than 117 grams/daily. I’m choosing to stick with 20 grams of NET carbs daily, so that means my fat will be 97 grams/daily – OR LESS! If I don’t reach 97 grams of fat and am feeling satiated, I will NOT be adding fat just to hit that macro. My main focus will be getting the protein in and keeping the carbs under 20 grams net. Step 2 resulted in setting my macros in my tracker to 20g net carbs, 117g protein, and 97g fat.
New macro ratios: 5% Carbs, 30% Protein, 65% Fat (max!).
Old macro ratios (just for reference): 5% Carbs, 20-25% Protein, 70-75% Fat. I really struggled to ever get my protein above 20% which resulted in a lot of days at 80% fat. While I have been able to maintain my weight fairly consistently for six months – it’s not making me any leaner. Time for a change!
I plugged these new macros into my Carb Manager today and planned my meals accordingly. I had a very satisfying lunch of bacon, avocado, cheese, and some turkey breast. Then for dinner I had a taco salad (a favorite staple in my meal rotation) and some zucchini parmesan “fries”. You will NOT EVEN BELIEVE THIS. I hit my new macros exactly! I have to share these pictures with you. So crazy! Day 1 of my August aspirations – I’d say success!
In the picture I am holding a tape measurer around the fattest part of my belly. This is what I’m going to be working hard to shrink. You’ll have to stay tuned for my update on or around August 31, 2018!
In the meantime – since it’s a new month – I’m wondering what YOUR goals are for the month of August? Have you set some goals? Written them down? If you need some ideas, I have a free resource for my subscribers. It’s a worksheet that lists out the goals that I have achieved for my physical, emotional, and spiritual health. If you subscribe below – you’ll receive the password to access the resources.
If you want – leave a comment and share your goals. I would sure love to read them and perhaps you can give others some ideas, too!
Ready. Set. Goals. GO!
(Disclaimer: I am not a health care professional. I am writing about my personal experiences to encourage others to research a low-carb lifestyle. You should always work closely with a health care professional to manage your health. I work with three MDs to manage my health: functional medicine, cardiology, and sleep/pulmonology. They treat my metabolic dysfunctions along with monitoring my important blood markers routinely. Keto or LCHF may not be an appropriate way of eating for your metabolic health or other health needs. Please check with your personal health care professional before making any changes in your diet.)