This is a hard post to write. I know a lot of people started following my keto journey, but if I am not honest I am not really sharing my keto journey.
Why did I stop keto.
Pain. A lot of pain. Increasing pain over the five months I was on the plan. Joint pain, muscle pain, arthritis pain everywhere that got so bad it was affecting my quality of life. I have never had hip pain in my right hip, ever. I started over the months noticing pain in my right hip that got progressively worse. I could not always stand up without help by the end of my five months. I would reach for my husbands hand or lean on the coffee table to get up from our sofa. I would walk like a 95 year old arthritis patient who needed hip surgery and as I walked it would loosen up and I would walk better. I felt like I had the flu all day, all night with no relief. Just bone deep aches that never stopped and no over the counter pain killers did more than take the edge off. I was so tired despite eating well, taking suppliments and electrolytes. I made sure to add salt to the electrolytes as well.
Another thing that really bothered me was the amount of dental plaque I was getting no matter how much I brushed my teeth and flossed, I could not keep up with it. I had to use dental tools almost daily to keep it in check.
I had enough.
We went off our plan when we had a lot going on and needed a break. I had intended to go back on, because I did lose 22 pounds in that five months and I had not really connected the dots yet .
The pain felt a bit less. Just a bit after a week. I did notice the less meat I ate, the better I felt. So, I finally decided I had enough and was going to find another plan. My husband was not happy on the plan. He had lost slowly but had lost more than me, but is not really a big meat lover.
Well, after being off my plan a few weeks now , my pain is pretty much gone. No more dull ache all over . No more severe hip pain, although it is still there a bit, it is getting better. I can get off the sofa easily and require no help and only occasionally now have some issues, and only if I eat some meat in the day before. I was finding by the end I had a really rough time getting up and down off the floor and that is getting much easier now as well. I am not eating hardly any meat, I am eating some cheese and dairy, no eggs except in baking. The plaque on my teeth is very slight now. Night and day difference there. I do notice almost immediate reactions in my body if I do eat enough meat, more than a few ounces, some pain comes back. I can tell it is related. Not sure why , but it is what is happening. Red meat is the worse for me.
I also have to say that I feel better emotionally as well. I find restrictive diets like vegan and keto make me a bit depressed. Sad even. Deprived. I find when I give myself permission to eat anything, I do tend to make healthier choices because I know I can have anything.
So, what am going to do now ? We are doing a low fat , low meat diet. I am not eating meat every day, my husband has a bit. We are eating mostly plant based vegetarian with a bit of meat added in. Kind of our own plan which no doubt will change over time as we figure out what works.
Here is the one thing we have decided. Vegan, Keto, may both work for some people to feel healthier and I know vegan is often ethical but I am only discussing those that go on it for health reasons only. However, I find they are both very hard to stick to. I think only the ethical vegans find it easy as they are doing it for reasons that give them that strength to stay the course. I think it is a very healthy diet and I wanted it to work for us, but it just didn’t. To lose on vegan it has to be completely fat free, which took out the foods that made it enjoyable for us, no nuts, or avocados, no salad dressings that were either some oil or dairy , made it hard to eat salads. We really struggled with that .
We are done eliminating foods from our diet. We can eat anything we want , but will do our best to balance it out and eat the healthiest choices. My husband is so thrilled that now when they treat everyone to lunch at work, he can participate and enjoy those meals. He had to watch everyone else eat when he was on keto and eat what he brought from home. We just balance the rest of his day to allow for those treats now.
We want to do a basic Mediterranean diet. I bought a book on Pritikin as well. So, somewhere in between those too but allowing ourselves the things we love, just doing our best to make them healthier. I have applesauce to bake with instead of butter, whole wheat flour and whole wheat pastry flour, but have butter in the freezer if one day I want it for something. We eat oats for breakfast and I still have many canisters of my vegan protein powder and my keto protein powder and I will use those for smoothies and add frozen fruit and some non fat high probiotic unsweetened yogurt in it for lunch most days.
Dinners will be whatever we want ,done lower fat and less meat, we want to keep meat to four ounces a day or less, less red, more fish and chicken, and more beans, rice, starches, veggies and whole grains. We need to figure out a way to eat for the rest of our lives where we can lose weight and maintain that loss and still enjoy our lives.
It is so wonderful to not sit here miserable. It was like having a flu for months. Deep body aches and joint pain. I was following the keto protocol perfectly, my weight loss was painfully slow. Up and down the same few pounds for weeks at a time. If I am going to lose slowly with my metabolic syndrome, than at least I want to eat in a way I feel good. I love salads and veggies, beans, legumes as a whole, healthy whole grains, potatoes, sweet potatoes and all the foods we ate on our vegan plan. I just want to be able to have some low fat dairy and a bit of meat and eggs when I want to.
I know many people followed me because of my keto plan. I am sorry to let you down but this is my truth. Keto caused me pain and suffering. The plaque on my teeth made me concerned about what else it was doing to my body, was it doing the same to my arteries as well ? My teeth stay clean and the plaque is all but gone and my normal brushing and flossing routine takes care of it now, which was the case before keto as well.
Also as a person who was diagnoised with IBS in 1994, my body wants fiber and keto made me pretty miserable . I will leave it at that. Eating grains , salads, fruits and veggies, I feel so much better in every way.
So, some people thrive on it. But we did not . We were not happy and never felt healthy on it. If it works for you and is a good plan for you, that is beyond awesome. I know many people do well on it. I am not saying it is bad for everyone, but for us, it was not the right plan. We made it five full months. We were done.
We will be playing with this plan, watching what we eat , not eating after dinner, and doing some intermittent fasting a few times a week as well. We continue to take our suppliments, that is something we have done for years, drink water and do better at getting some walking in.
I will post on how we do and what works for us. I just wanted to be truthful and letting you know where we are at.
Thanks for stopping by.