By Julie Baldus
Like many people I struggled with weight gain for most of my adult life. In my forties I decided that there must be another way to eat rather than continual dieting. After all, animals in the wild, and tribal people around the world, do not have this problem. Was there a natural way to keep your weight stable without hunger? There is … it’s called the ketogenic diet.
Eat less, but eat better
The ketogenic diet is built on two ideas. The first is to eat the most nutritious food available to you. Your stomach is not very big, so it does not make sense to fill it up with bulky foods like bread, pasta and rice. Using apps like MyFitnessPal and Cronometer, you can quickly figure out that eggs, dairy, meat and fish are extremely nutrient dense. And you don’t have to eat many grams to get all the protein, iron, magnesium and B vitamins, etc. that your body needs.
Keep fat burning all day
The second idea is to keep your blood sugars stable. Whenever you eat sugar/carbohydrates your body stops burning fat. Instead, it produces insulin – the fat storage hormone – to bring the high blood sugars back down to normal levels again. This means it is very hard to lose fat when you eat carbohydrates regularly throughout the day.
An end to hunger
Did you know that there are receptors in your stomach waiting to receive the message that you have eaten your daily ration of essential amino acids*? One nutritional theory is, that you will feel hungry until you have eaten enough of these amino acids. These are found in abundance in meat, fish, eggs and dairy.
Try it yourself – whatever your meal, eat the protein first, then the green leafy vegetables ending with any starchy foods. Hopefully you will already start to feel full before the end of your meal.
Ethically raised meat
I have yet to find anyone who agrees with factory farming. Regenerative agriculture raises animals in a natural way (outdoors and grass fed); this also results in a carbon negative footprint. Tim sources all of his meat locally and choses farmers who respect the environment and their animals.
What does a keto meal look like?
You do not have to change the way you eat dramatically to follow a ketogenic diet. For instance, you can still have a roast dinner, but just substitute the potatoes for cauliflower mash. The internet is now full of keto cooks sharing their recipes. I particularly recommend *Cooking Keto with Kristie and *Headbangers Kitchen (for those who like curry).
What the ketogenic diet has done for us
I have been on the ketogenic diet for over ten years now. My weight is stable and my BMI, blood sugar and cholesterol markers are all good. I hardly ever have migraines now and the arthritis that was starting in my hands has gone away. As regards my husband, he also has excellent blood test results and has been able to come off statins and his high blood pressure medication with the agreement of his doctor. We are now slimmer and fitter than we were ten years ago and are never going back to our old way of eating.