Week 4: Keto, Sugar Free Diet Challenge
I am on the home-straight now of my #KetoDietChallenge – 30 Days to Break a Habit. Week 4, day 28 and only 2 more full, strict, Keto days to go until I have met my initial goal!
- Still not eating rubbishy chocolate consumed – only keto goodies
- Still not touching refined sugar (other than my one cheat day, as mentioned)
- Still choosing clean, relatively low carb, organic produce
And I feel amazing for it!
When I reach my 30 days, my plan is to reward my self with a huge Cadburys Cream Egg that I was given for Easter – yes, there is chocolate still unopened in my house! This is a statement in it’s self! Then continue to live on a mostly Keto, refined sugar free, clean organic diet as much as I can, which will be 100% of the time at home, and as close as possible when I am out and about at these times I will allow a little more leeway than I have done the last few weeks.
So many people have asked me how I am finding the diet and how easy is it to keep up. My answer – its actually been ok, just be planned, and make your keto treats in advance for times when you want to reach for the usual naughty, sugary, snacks.
Being a former sugar junkie, chocoholic with a manic sweet tooth, I was dreading this challenge. I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to cope. They say the first two weeks are the hardest, and they are right… BUT, if you can just get through that first week, you will start to feel some of the benefits – which was enough to drive me through the second week along with staying focused on my end goal and you lovely lot helping me stay accountable – the power of instagram and social media for the greater good is amazing when used in a positive light! So a massive thank you!
Saturday last week, as you will have read in Sundays blog was my friends wedding – the only full cheat day I have allowed myself in this challenge, other than that dark chocolate Easter egg on Easter Sunday. I let myself go with a Gin and Slimline tonic on arrival and the first Pimms and Lemonade early afternoon, followed by a lovely wedding breakfast with potato and sorbet, and wedding cake (with icing) for snacks in the evening.
However this was my test – how would my body react to this ‘bad’ food?
Well it’s safe to say 1 afternoons/evenings worth of cheating meant that I spent Sunday and Monday suffering from the first bloated stomach I have had in weeks since starting the challenge. This really goes to show how sugar and carbs effect my body.
My skin also gained a few spots this week, probably triggered by the sugar intake.
I must admit I didn’t quite manage to get straight back on the keto diet Sunday morning as hoped. It started well with an english breakfast – keto style (although I did eat half a hash brown), followed by my old faithful hangover cure – a Starbuck Mocha Light Frappuccino – not the worst, but I am more than aware of the refined sugars in the Mocha drizzle that they add.
However, after that I was straight back on it and have been all this week, and as a result have not suffered from bloat again and feel much better again too!
So what have my tough challenges been this week?
Tough challenge #1: Cheat day guilt – I battled with my self over this cheat day, I wasn’t giving it up as its a once in a lifetime event (or at least it had better be), but I also knew it was going to cause disruption to the challenge. I just had to keep reminding myself this challenge wasn’t just a strict 30 days of sugar free purgatory – this was about making an entire lifestyle change – one day is not the en of the world. Actually, that 1 day has made me realise even more how bad sugar does make me feel – so if anything has given me more motivation to get back to it!
Tough challenge #2: Fizzy Drinks – this week we have had a bit of a heat wave, and it’s been very tempting to reach out for a nice ice cold bottle of coca cola or lemonade! So easily done when you are out and about! However, I have switched over to sparkling mineral water on these occasions and if there is the option to add a squeeze of fresh lime – even better! I think thats the main thing with the challenge – it’s not impossible, there are plenty of yummy snack/drink options out there, they are just not as easy to get hold of or see (the water section of a drinks fridge is tiny in comparison to the sugar laden sodas available!) – it just means you just have to think, look or be planned in anticipation.
Testing for Ketosis
This week I bought some test sticks to check the keytones in me urine to see how far into ‘ketosis’ I am. I checked on Thursday (after eating a sweet jacket potato) and as expected, there were only trace/light ketones detected. I will keep testing every day now until the end of the challenge to see if I can up them a little!
This Weeks Meal Highlights
This weeks sugar free snacks
My number one bit of advice for anyone thinking of doing the keto diet challenge with a sweet tooth as bad as mine – make sure you prep your keto treats in advance. Many of the recipes I have used are freezable, so make a big batch in advance of the week ahead – separate into portions or half/half and freeze some for later in the week when you dont have time to cook up more. I also pre pack some in snack size boxes to grab and chuck in my bag for days that I am out and about and dont want to get caught short!
Keto Chocolate & Peanut Butter Slices
My Sugar Free Diet Challenge Results so far…
A few benefits are…
- Bloat free bliss (other than immediately after my cheat day) – its safe to say that sugar was the culprit I think!
- My skin is overall much clearer
- My active/fitness performance is definitely better, I have been hitting PB’s inolympic weightlifting and feeling much better in general workouts at Crossfit and running with ease!
- Regular ‘bowel’ – perhaps this is the cure to my IBS!
A few cons…
- On days when you haven’t planned or are caught out it can be tough to find a strict keto meal option or snack. However if you are eating out, the restaurants I have been to have been very helpful and are always willing to adapt a meal slightly – I mean how hard is it really to order a bit of meat with a green salad?!
Keto/Paelo/Sugar Free Diet Challenge Resources
As usual, I have kept note of all the useful sites and tidbits of information that I have used this week to help me on my challenge, please see these listed below for your reference:
- Low Carb Chocolate and Peanut Butter Slices – recipe can be found here
- Coconut Yoghurt, Berry Chai Pudding with Paleo Granola
I have adapted a recipe from Diet Doctor to make life a bit easier, using off the shelf coconut yoghurt – I mix half with Chai seeds, then layer in a jam jar or similar with the berries and remaining yoghurt. Cover with clingfilm and leave overnight in the fridge – ready to top with the paleo granola for a quick breakfast in the morning.