I have done a ketogenic way of eating since about 2016. As most of you will know, I fell off the keto wagon a while ago due to ill health and the stress of running my own business.
I ran a home cleaning company for almost three years. During the day, I struggled to find time to eat, and my fatigue went through the roof. I started craving junk food again. That’s when I well and truly fell off the wagon and burnt it out in the process.
Fast forward a few months, and I was in addiction hell, binge eating day and night like I always did. I, more than anyone, know how hard it is to stay on track when you don’t have the energy to cook (especially with a chronic illness), so you live on takeaways and junk food. Then I got my diagnosis of fibromyalgia.
After over 20 years of dealing with many symptoms and trying the medications that the doctor so freely handed out, I decided that I would re-start my keto journey and get my health back by using food as medicine. I ditched the toxic pills and jumped right back in.
Since starting back on keto (except for the initial weight loss), the scales haven’t moved at all, I tell people all the time not to worry about the scales and measure ect, but I wasn’t losing inches either. I do lazy keto. I eat everything keto; I just don’t track my macros now. If you mention to someone doing keto that you haven’t lost weight, they will say, oh, you just need to track macros you’re overeating, when I know, I haven’t been eating enough.
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I tried fasting, but it backfired, starvation mode kicked in, and I was absolutely not going to lose any weight, I’ve been here so many times in the past with yo-yo dieting and do the same thing every time I restrict too much and end up craving junk food and falling off the wagon, regaining all the weight and more and every time I unknowingly put myself into starvation mode.
Some people will tell you starvation mode is a myth. This is not true, it happens, and it happens because you don’t eat enough.
So why did I do it if I know I shouldn’t? Excess skin I have a lot of excess skin from previous weight loss, and we have all heard about the great benefits of autophagy and how it can help with loose skin.
I know my body stresses going long periods without eating, but I wanted to try it. Yes, I have discovered I am one of many people who absolutely cannot and should not fast; I’ve learned my lesson.
Fasting not recommended
There are a few people who believe that fasting is something that we shouldn’t do, Stephanie Person and Dr Stephen Phinney are two of them. From my own experience, I will not be advocating fasting for women and not for long periods anyway.
There are tons of studies on fasting for men, but I haven’t seen any fasting for women. I know certain female body types absolutely should not fast, but I haven’t seen any other complete female fasting studies that say fasting and women go hand in hand.
Men are entirely different to women due to hormones which mean fasting affects us differently.
Fasting for some people puts them in starvation mode, where the body refuses to lose weight, and in some cases, they will start to gain weight because the body is trying to hold on to its fat stores.
Many people are unknowingly putting themselves in starvation mode by calorie restriction. If you lower your calories to the extreme as people do with keto, you may be causing your metabolism to slow down. You may have heard people say, oh, I have to be strict, or I gain weight, yes, A few people because they have conditioned their body to run on x amount of calories, so the minute they go over those calories, they start to gain weight again.
We all know that the body should be in a calorie deficit to lose weight. Still, the body is designed to hold onto fat, so you start to affect your metabolism if you decrease your calories too much. The body says, hang on a minute, you’re losing weight which means I’m going to starve, so to conserve the body fat, it starts sending you food cravings to make you eat more.
Lowering your calories by 2-300 instead of 5-600 or more will probably go unnoticed by the metabolism. If you are exercising, you need to add extra calories or risk lowering your metabolism.
I hear all the time on social media people saying my hair is falling out. I’m freezing all the time. I’m craving sweet stuff. Or my favourite, I don’t eat much, and I’m smashing it at the gym, but I’m not losing weight and nine times out of ten, it’s because these people just aren’t eating enough.
If you want to lose weight, you either need to do no exercise and eat a little less or eat more and incorporate exercise. You can’t do both because you end up lowering your calories too much, and eventually, you just stop losing altogether. You will then start gaining back the weight you lost and over-compensating by gaining those extra lbs on top.
Have you ever seen someone from the biggest loser after they stop the show? They usually gain back all the weight and more because they screwed their metabolisms and taught the body to run on x amount of calories. They didn’t deal with the reasons behind why they gained the weight in the first place.
They got thrown on a crash diet, and that is literally what they did. When they went back to normality, they were unable to maintain the meagre amount of calories, their hormones kicked in, and they regained the weight and more in most cases.
So in cases where metabolism has burned out, you need to do some work to get it back. It may mean that you gain a little bit of weight in the short term, but it could also mean that you can continue losing the rest of the weight and more if done afterwards.
To kick start my metabolism again and trick my body into thinking I’m not starving but at the same time still be able to lose weight, I had to break a few keto rules.
This is why I say that keto is not a one size fits all approach. Sometimes it needs to be tweaked to suit you and your body type, and being too strict may work for the guys, but lazy keto is definitely better suited to many women.
What I did
- I gave up my bulletproof coffee, coffee is not good with stressed adrenals anyway, and it’s also a cross reactor for gluten as they contain similar proteins. The body thinks it is gluten which means you get an autoimmune response from it. Bulletproof coffee also acts as a meal but without the food, which means you go even longer without eating, causing more stress to the body.
- I upped my meals to 3 a day and have snacks in between my meals like a babybel or some almonds or brazil nuts. All the keto research suggests that you should eat 1-3 meals a day and no snacking in between to lower insulin, but for some people like me, if we don’t eat regularly and snack in between, we end up in starvation mode.
- I ate a higher-protein breakfast every day, ideally before 10 am and absolutely no skipping meals.
- I ate a higher carbohydrate meal at tea time, with protein and lots of veggies as some of us simply do not do well on low carbohydrate diets, the carbs I eat are all keto-approved, and I do not eat junk food anymore.
For the first time in 3 months! I’ve stood on the scales to see a 2lb loss; woohooA few people, may the weight loss continue as I rebuild my metabolism and hopefully, if any of you are in the same boat, struggling to lose the weight and are willing to try something to get you kickstarted give it a go, go lazy! it may just be that you are not eating enough real food
See our guide to getting started on a ketogenic diet.