I never heard about the Ketogenic diet before and never thought I would have to lose weight. I also didn’t think it would be time to accept having the menopause. I was a normal young girl, and menopause was only for older women. I had to face the reality and losing weight wasn’t easy tasks to accomplish. I tried for two years. I killed myself at the gym, only to gain more and more weight. It was a nightmare.
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The Decision to Switch to Ketogenic Diet
Three years ago, we (hubby and I) changed the way we ate for 50 years with a ketogenic diet. And it was the best decision we’ve ever made.
Disclaimer: These are the strategies that worked out for me and my body. You should research, consult with your physician, and take your own decisions according to your medical history.
Let’s start with the basics.
What is Insulin?.
Insulin is an important hormone that Pancreas releases every time we eat. It allows to use of sugars, proteins, and minerals to feed the cells. In fact, it helps to regulate blood sugar, taking it out of the blood, put into the cells, and stores any excess of sugar as fat in the liver.
Every time we eat the Pancreas releases insulin.
If we eat three meals a day plus snacks in between, an excess amount of insulin is running through our system. All that excess amounts of insulin, your body sees it as toxic and resists it. That’s Insulin Resistance IR.
What Triggers Insulin?
Sugar, high glycemic index food, protein, eating.
A regular person consumes an average of 30 teaspoons of sugar per day. The human body needs only one spoon. Also, when we are talking about sugars, we must include the hidden sugars.
What are the hidden sugars? Hidden sugar is food like pasta, bread, rice, ice cream, crackers, cookies, wine, potatoes, fries, hash browns, etc. All my favorite food was no healthy. What?
The most we eat carbs, the more our bodies produce an excess amount of insulin. When the body resists it, nutrients can’t go into the cells to feed them anymore.
What are the typical symptoms of IR?
- Fatigue after eating
- Brain fog
- Memory issues
- Vision issues (me)
- Anxiety (me)
- Panic attacks (Me)
- Mood swings (me)
- Belly fat (Bingo!)
- Feeling hungry after eating.
Do the symptoms above sound familiar?
Potassium is one of those minerals that is needed in large quantities: over 4500 milligrams per day.Dr. Eric Berg
For instance, my first thought was, “I am getting a supplement with 4700 mg of potassium.” And I hate to tell you, but a pill with 4700 milligrams of potassium doesn’t exist yet. And trust me, I looked for it. Only eating leafy greens (5 to 10 cups per day) and vegetables will give you the daily potassium requirements your body needs.
Symptoms of Potassium Deficiency
- Can’t sleep at night (me)
- Muscle weakness or cramps.
- Low potassium & high sodium; potential risk for high blood pressure.
- Constipation (hate to say this, me)
- High Heart-Beat. (Yes!, me)
- Sugar cravings (Aja!)
Do the symptoms above look familiar to you?
Some points are critical, and we all should understand before switching to this lifestyle.
1- Understand the fact that you have been in a high-sugar diet all your life. Thanks to a Keto diet, your body goes through a healing process. Do not expect results in a week or a month, but you’ll experience some improvements in your overall health that will inspire you to keep going.
2- Also, cells have to create new enzymes to burn fat instead of sugar.
3. You could experience some side effects depending on your medical history. This process varies from person to person, and it could last from 3 days up to 3 weeks. I didn’t have any symptoms with a keto diet. Lucky me!
4-Intermittent Fasting helps lower insulin levels. When the body becomes healthy, menopause symptoms decrease and you can lose weight easy.
5- You’ll receive new information that may contradict everything you’ve learned.
How Did I Start Ketogenic Diet
1- Got a Notebook or App
Initially, I got a notebook where I kept tracking essential data about my progress like:
- Weigh: I took my weight on the first day of the week.
- Measure every part of my body every week.
- Take notes of symptoms previous to Keto. Write every single one you have experienced, such as sleeping patterns, how you feel after eating, depression, mood swings, and panic attacks. Example: I ate this fabulous Key lime pie by 2 pm. After 20 minutes, I felt bloated and moody.
- Symptoms after Keto. Here you keep a record with date and time of any symptoms.
- Cravings: It is imperative to keep a record of any need, date, time, and how you approached them.
- Meals: Tracking meals and time helped me to understand any deficiencies or cravings.
2 Get the Glycemic (GI) Index App
Glycemic Index (GI) is a list of foods with a value GI from 0 to 100. That value represents how fast it causes blood sugar levels to rise. The higher the ranking, the faster the sugar levels rise. The lower the ranking, the moderate blood sugar levels rise. I Kept tracking the GI of every single meal I put in mouth. Let’s forget about calories, matter no more.
There are many apps you can download and used to buy groceries. I use the “Carb Manager: Keto Diet Tracker & Macros Counter,” which you can find in the App Store or Google Play, and it has a free version.
3- Eliminate Sugars
I said goodbye to sugar three years ago, and I haven’t regretted it for a bit. The best decision of my life, and it brought my body to a healthier, happier condition. There are different alternatives to sugar, though, and I use them for cooking my keto-friendly desserts. The only options I’ve been using are:
- Stevia. It’s an Indian herb very sweet. Excellent for drinks and there is a new option for baking. Make sure it is Malto dextrin free. Check the one I use HERE.
- MonkFruit: Wonderful option for desserts like muffins or pancakes. I use it with moderation. Check the one I like HERE.
- Xylitol. Great option. It is essential to use small amounts. It can cause stomach discomfort. HERE.
4 Eliminate Hidden Sugars
Hidden sugars are crackers, cookies, juice, bread, pasta, yogurt, cereal, muffins, pancakes, grains, beans, etc.
If you worry about how your favorite pizza, cake, and donuts will miss you, worry no more! You can find tons of Keto-friendly recipes online.
Check Here The Silly Habits that people do after Keto.
5 Avoid gluten-free
It is also sugar, and we don’t need more.
6 No Fast-Food Restaurants
Fast-food restaurants add MSG to food to make it taste better. MSG spikes insulin. It is important to check the labels and verify that MSG is not in the food you buy at the supermarket.
I heard you!. What can you eat?
I got you girl. Take notes!
7 Eat Protein
We need protein in moderation. Grass-Fed and fatty options are the best. I chose the right amount of protein for my body, but it’s recommended not exceeding over 6 Gr. For example, four whole eggs have 6 grams of protein, and it’s an excellent choice for breakfast!. I can eat only three eggs.
Avoid farm-raised fish and look for wild-caught instead.
8- Eat Vegetables (abundance)
Don’t eat with carbohydrates. But we can combine protein with lots of veggies or leafy greens. Vegetables are shallow in sugar, so we don’t have to count the carbs in them
I can eat tons of leafy greens. Eat from 5 to 10 cups of greens. Finding the right amount for me was easy, but I never eat less than 5 oz.
It got a lot easier after I started to blend up my greens into a nice sweet smoothie that I called Potassium Success. That’s what vegetables provide tons of potassium. This smoothie was a life saving because after weeks eating vast amounts of salads I got bored, so I opted for this option.
- NutriBullet Rx
- 3 unit Beet Tops
- 1 unit Swiss Chard
- 1 unit Avocado
- 5 oz Mix Greens
- 1 cup Kale
- 1/2 cup Parsley
- 1 glass Water
- 3 units Strawberries
- Get ingredients washed and put them in the freezer. Freezer will keep them in optimal conditions until need them. Add ingredients in the blender or NutriBullet Rx, add water, stevia and blend for a minute.
9- Add Healthy Fats
Fat doesn’t spike insulin, and they help you feel full. When consuming healthy fats, you can go without eating for more extended periods.
Healthy food and fats
- Grass-Fed Butter and Ghee Butter
- Grass-Fed Meats, beef, chicken, pork.
- Heavy Cream.
- Olive oil, Avocado oil, Flaxseed oil, Coconut oil
- Peanut butter (sugar-free).
- Almond butter
- Wild-caught fish
- Canola Oil
- Corn oil
- Fried food
- Sweet protein
75% Fat + 20% Protein + 5% Carbohydrates
My first meal of the day by 11:30 am Example
- 1/2 glass of water with Apple Cider Vinegar & stevia
- 3 Organic pasture-raised eggs
- Pork Bacon (nitrates free) 4 pieces.
- Grass-fed butter
- One avocado
- Some pecans
My last meal of the day by 5 pm. Example
- 1/2 glass of water with Apple Cider Vinegar & stevia
- Grass-fed Meats 5 oz.
- 8 oz. quality greens in a salad or blend in smoothie “Potassium Success.”
- Cheese with 5 Pecans.
- Keto Dessert
11 Water with Apple Cider Vinegar & Stevia
In case you wonder why I drink one glass of water right before meals, let me explain that I had low stomach acids. When we have weak stomach acids, we can experience many issues, such as feeling bloated after eating, gas, and burping.
Before ketogenic diet, I was so bloated after my meals I started to think I was sick. My belly and intestines used to make weird noises. No matter where I was, in a meeting, at work, or on a date. My guts knew how to make themselves heard loudly and made me feel embarrassed all the time.
Taking a glass of water with a tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar was a massive change for me. This combination before meals, it gives my stomach enough acidity to digest food, absorb fats and nutrients. I add stevia for a sweet taste. This was something great I learned with a Ketogenic diet. Do you feel bloated after eating? Or gassy?.
12 Do Intermittent Fasting
Every time we eat, the pancreas releases insulin. IF allows the body to lower the insulin levels, and cells get rid of waste. Before, I used to eat three meals a day with three snacking times, and with a ketogenic diet I switched to 2 meals a day with NO snacks in between.
Intermittent Fasting Benefits:
- Mental Clarity
- More energy during the day.
- Detox and cleansing
- Better sleep
- Manage weigh
I understood that eating healthy fats with every meal, it will help me feel full, and I wouldn’t be hungry while fasting. Besides, fats do not spike insulin.
I had a straightforward adaptation process to a ketogenic diet, but some people can struggle. In that case, start slowly removing the snack time until feeling comfortable with 3 meals a day. Add healthy fats to dinner and skip breakfast the next day until 11:30 or more.
My eating window is a First meal by 1:30 pm and the last meal by 5:30 pm no snacks in between and I feeling great.
ZERO is an Intermittent Fasting app that you can download for free on your phone and helps you to track your eating time. It’s easy to set up goals. It’s in the App Store or Google Play.
13 Avoid Fruits
Fruits are delicious, but they have enormous amounts of fructose. Fructose spikes insulin, and we have to avoid them. Exactly!. I was in shock too. I love fruits to the point of considering myself a fruit addicted. But we do not allow them on a keto diet.
Eating berries with moderation is a better option that fruits like apples and oranges.
Remember, avoid fruits, but you CAN NOT avoid vegetables; they are necessary in large quantities.
14 Water, Lemon, and Stevia
Dr. Berg explained in one of his videos that if we drink tons of water, we lose essential minerals through the urine. Instead, we should drink water only when feeling thirsty. And adding the juice of one lemon with a little stevia, not only it will taste good but also it will help to neutralize body acids.
I will mention some of my favorite supplements I take every day while on a ketogenic diet but just to be clear; they specifically address my body needs. My body and medical history are not the same as yours.
My top 5 supplements on ketogenic diet are Gallbladder Formula, Sea Kelp, Raw Wheat Grass Juice powder, Vitamin D3 with K2, Nutritional Yeast. I highly recommend visiting Dr. Berg’s website and check his videos for more information. I bought products from different companies, and I can’t even compare. Even though Dr. Berg’s products are not cheap, they are worth every penny. Consult with your physician to make the right choices.
- On Ketogenic Diet, eat moderate amounts of grass-fed fatty protein or wild-caught fish. Only 6 oz.
- Increase the healthy fats that helped me to stay more prolonged periods without eating.
- Once adapted to fat, decreased the fats a little, so my body could use my body fat as fuel and lose weight.
- Do ketogenic diet combined with Intermittent Fasting.
- Eat 5 oz to 8 oz of salads every single day. Greens provide the potassium that cells need.
- Observe and manage cravings.
- Drink water only when thirsty.
- Drink water with Apple Cider Vinegar to increase stomach acids.
- Drink water with lemon & stevia to neutralize body acids.
The Ketogenic Diet and Intermittent Fasting are the most robust strategies that helped me to get my body and self back to the game. I lost 58 Lbs at a rate of 2 lbs per week. Today, my menopause symptoms are gone. My overall mood is better than when I was younger, and I can learn new things quickly. Last but not least, I sleep like a baby, and I wake up ready to rock-and-roll.
Thanks for reading.
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