Thursday, April 12, 2012

KETO while BFing Days 1-5

In my last post I started to explain what the Ketogenic diet is. Basically what it means in my reality, is that I can eat meats, cheeses, eggs, fats, and veggies. I can add to that diet a couple types of fruit (those high in fiber to overcome the sugar content - like raspberries) and sugar/flour substitutes in order to overcome my sweet tooth.

Day 1 was actually quite easy, despite the fact that it was Easter. We had some tasty ham, deviled eggs, a fancy salad, and steamed veggies! One thing about this diet is that all of the foods are quite filling, unlike carbs. So once you finish a meal you are definitely full! And if there was one thing that was the downfall of my previous diet attempts, it was me being hungry.

Day 2 was just fine as well, we had made a trip to Costco to make sure we had enough of our meats and cheeses in order to survive this diet. Bacon and eggs for breastfast (who could complain) coffee with heavy cream, and well you get the idea. Love it! The steamed veggies we had were covered in salt and butter (with this diet you go through a lot of water and need to make sure you consume enough sodium to try and hold on to some of it, and the human brain requires fats to function properly, to butter that stuff on up!).

Day 3 was when I felt like I had hit a wall. I woke up with this starving/nauseous feeling in my stomach. My knees were weak as though I had run a marathon in my sleep. I could barely lug around my baby all day long. That is what is known as the Keto flu. Nothing to be concerned with, it simply means your body is beginning to run out of the stores of carbohydrates (didn't know it stored them long-term? Me either!) and is switching its fuel sources. This is the first step into Ketosis, which is when your body begins burning your fat! Switching over to ketosis can happen after any amount of time, from a couple of days to 2 weeks after cutting out carbs. It is different for everyone. One way to find out if you are in true ketosis is to purchase Ketostix, which is similar to a pregnancy test. You pee on a stick, and it tests your urine for ketones (which are present once you hit ketosis). I believe you can get Ketostix at drugs stores, but if not, Amazon has never let me down. *Disclaimer: I haven't yet purchased Ketostix but I plan to in the near future.

Day 4 I was back to normal. I had expected leftover feelings of blegh from the previous day, but I felt great once again! For breakfast I had an omelette with pepperjack cheese, a couple of sausage patties, and a cup of coffee with heavy cream! Lunch was steamed veggies with salt and butter (always, can't get over it!), egg salad,  and some almond butter. I may have had a second cup of coffee somewhere in there. One of my favorite things to ensure I hit my calorie count (very important as a breastfeeding mama) was to have Diet Root Beer (double-check the carbs!) with heavy cream! It is seriously like a root beer float that has melted a little. So tasty! Dinner was the really tasty part. Found a recipe here for a simple asian-inspired chicken dish! It had soy, peanut butter, sriracha. So tasty! And seriously, super easy. If i can keep finding recipes like this, there will be no problem completing my 6 weeks of keto.

So far, the most important things I've come across with going on a ketogenic diet while breastfeeding are:

1) Make sure you are eating enough calories. I thought this would be the easy part, but when everything is so filling, and your day is so busy, it really can be a challenge to keep track and hit those goals. Make sure you do, otherwise you might risk it affecting your supply, and that is not what we want!

2) In order to hit ketosis, you can only consume somewhere between 20g and 50g of carbohydrates per day. It varies from person to person. To be sure of whether you're in ketosis or not, I recommend ketostix to test for ketones in your urine. My personal goal is 20 carbs per day, just to be safe.

3) Drink tons of water - seriously if you can drink a gallon in a day do it because you will be retaining water like crazy.

4) Add salt. If you aren't consuming particularly salty foods, try to add salt to your veggies or other plain dishes. This also goes towards avoiding dehydrating - which is an easy thing to have happen on this diet.

For some more detailed information on this keto diet, refer to Keto FAQs

For information on low-carb diets and breastfeeding:

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