Over the past weeks I've been experimenting with doing a more stringent low/no carb + high protein + high veggie diet. So far, it has resulted in some fairly dramatic weight loss and increased energy. So that's exciting.
I've honestly not been that rigorous on the no-carb rule in general. Breakfasts and most dinners are low- to no-carb. For lunch, I'll typically eat a burrito with a few chips, or a mediterranean platter with rice and pita. I'll have crackers or chips if I'm feeling snacky.
Easy No Carb Lunches
I've found that cutting out those lunch carbs (and snack carbs) for just a couple of days a week actually results in some significant weight loss, without any real effort. I just need to remember to grab one of the many no-carb lunch options near my workplace, including:
- a poke bowl with salad instead of rice
- a plate of Vietnamese five-spice chicken with broccoli
- a salad with chicken or turkey
- a bowl of Korean tofu soup
- a bun-less burger with lots of veggies
I love all of those meals, and they are all thankfully within walking distance of my job.
What's the Deal with Ketosis?
I won't bore you with the chemistry, since there are many other sites that can explain it much better than I could. But the TLDR version is that your body has two ways to produce energy -- one uses blood glucose and the other uses fat. If you deprive yourself for a certain period of time of carbohydrates (complex or simple), your body will switch over to the fat-burning system. But you have to do it for anywhere between two to seven days for it to really kick in, according to various sources.
I found this site helpful for understanding the biochemical processes.
There are lots of diets out there that purport to help you get into a ketosis state, Atkins and "paleo" being the most well-known. I'm not paying a whole lot of attention to monitoring protein, fat, and water intake, which most of the diets go into great detail about. I'm mostly just listening to what my body wants, and steering toward no-carb alternatives when I'm feeling like I need cookie or a plate of french fries.
I'm still experimenting. So far, periods of 2-3 days of no-carb eating seem pretty easy to achieve. And when I get a "regular" low-carb day, eating that burrito or that falafel with rice tastes amazing.
As with everything, every body is different and processes carbs in unique ways. But I definitely recommend trying it. Going "full keto" was a lot easier than I anticipated.