How to gain weight on the Keto Diet.

I have got 99 problems and they all involve carbs.” – Ken Pierce

 

(BTW, if you happen to be unfamiliar with all things ketone, here’s an excellent blog from my [not really] boyfriend, Dr. Axe.)

Finally, I am in ketosis.

I know this because the little strips on which I urinate every morning have finally turned a rather pretty shade of pinky-purple, indicating a “moderate” amount of ketones in my system.

The ketones are – I’m assuming – small, but they are mighty. These welcome visitors have done what no diet in my history has ever accomplished.

They eliminated hunger.

In an earlier blog, I described just how just frickin’ uncomfortably hungry I was and how I was learning to tolerate it. Now that the ketones have arrived, I don’t have to.

But it wasn’t always this way.

The Pre-Ketone Wilderness

When I first committed to Keto in January 2020, I decided I wasn’t going to track anything. No carbs, no protein, no nothing. So I went out in to the Keto Wilderness without a map.

Here’s how things went wrong for me and will go wrong for you if you decide to follow this unfortunate path.

(1) Believe calories don’t count.

Apparently I mistook the Keto philosophy of “eat as much as you want” to “eat as much as you can.”

I ate entire large-sized bags of pork rinds dipped in full-fat cream cheese. I ate a dozen sticks of string cheese, one after the other, switching from cheddar to Swiss and then back again.

I made a pound of bacon … I ate a pound a bacon.

My face got puffy, my food turned into a big lump in my digestive tract, and the fat on my lower back seemed to triple overnight. Apparently calories DO count on Keto.

(2) Don’t read labels.

When I wanted something sweet, I immediately went for the Cool Whip, Extra Creamy. 

cool whip

According to the label, this tub of velvety chemical deliciousness has 25 calories and 3 carbs per serving. So I ate the entire tub, sometimes two – guilt-free.

And when my jeans no longer fit, I looked a little closer at the label … and screamed.

Cool Whip has 25 calories per 2 tablespoons and there are 25 servings in the tub. So that means each tub has 625 calories and 165 carbs. Make that two tubs and I’d just earned myself 1,250 calories, 330 carbs and a new pair of jeggings.

(3) Go on and off Keto.

Knowing things were generally not going well, I began eating like my stomach was a junk drawer, throwing in whatever I felt like at the moment: I had eggs and cheese for breakfast … and then ordered a tamale for lunch …. the next day I’d eat bacon for breakfast (back on Keto!) … but then pasta for dinner.

This disordered eating confused my body, which responded by storing as much fat as it  could, as quickly as it could.

And you are …?

The day came in early February when I looked in the mirror and didn’t recognize myself.

I was fat.

My face was round, my breasts protruded (and not in a good way) and I had a new “fat ridge” on the lower part of my back where my butt and waist collided.

While the weight gain was very upsetting, the emotional upset was devastating. Deeply ashamed of my body, I began isolating. I declined social invitation and avoided leaving my desk at work if I could.

I felt lonely, crazy and increasingly more hopeless.

I don’t remember an “A-ha!” moment but I do know at some point I decided that enough was enough. I dusted off my Fit Bit, reinstalled the app, and started tracking my macros.

And that’s when things started to change for me.

Keto image

After about four days of tracking, the ketones showed up, bringing all of their hunger-reducing goodness with them. Tracking my macros turned out to be not a big deal.

Because I plan my meals in advance, I input my food into the app in the morning and just adjust here and there as needed. The app does all the calculating for me.

And your numbers are ….?

Right now, here are my average macros:

  • Protein: 20%
  • Carbs: 11%
  • Fat: 69%

Because I’m now doing Keto the way it’s supposed to be done, I’m starting to get the benefits it offers. My weight is going down, my face is once again oval, and my stomach isn’t puffed out.

And I’m just getting started. I can’t wait to see what the next few weeks and months will bring but I’ll be sure to take you all along with me.

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