keto diet sugar free challenge

30 Day Keto Diet Sugar Free Challenge

I made it through my Keto/ sugar free challenge! But feel somewhat of a hypocrite right now as I am sitting here writing my “sum up of the first thirty days of the #KetoDietChallenge” whilst tucking into a Cadbury’s Easter egg that I had saved as a reward for when I got to 30 days…

Tuesday marked day 30 on my keto diet sugar free challenge, thirty days of eating purely clean, sugar free, un-processed, good and healthy food (minus one afternoon/12 hours off for wedding celebrations at 3 weeks).

Am I enjoying eating this egg?! The answer surprisingly is no.

It doesn’t taste how I remember, I have this weird chemical-like tingle on my tongue and horrid film in my mouth that I am trying to wash away with my mint tea (my attempt to balance the bad with the good).  Perhaps the 30 day challenge has changed my tastebuds? I broke off half the egg, but still have left a large chuck which I am contemplating throwing away… my former chocoholic self would have long ago demolished half easily and perhaps even be tucking into the other half already unable to have it laying around!  I am actually shocked by myself!

When I first embarked on this Keto Challenge, I was terrified at the thought of giving up chocolate for a month.  Low carb didn’t phase me, with my gluten intolerance I have naturally adapted to a lower carb laden diet over the years any how. My down fall was that I was a slave to chocolate mostly, but also anything sweet – deserts, icing you name it! I was even beginning to have fizzy drinks every day!  The amount of sugar I was eating on a daily basis was insane when i look back.

Now, 31.5 days of staying clean, I am turning my nose up at a lump of milk chocolate!

My Keto Diet/Sugar Free Challenge Results…

The benefits…

Eating a Keto diet has made me feel so much better inside and out, the biggest and best result for me has to be my stomach – my IBS seems to be under control – less bloat, no sickness, no other troubles for a few weeks now.  I wasnt even bloated on my period!  Amazing!

My skin seems a little clearer, not as good as I was hoping,but I guess thats something that may take a bit more time.

My cravings for chocolate are gone.  Although after most meals I still fancy something sweetish, a cup of mint tea, or a hand full of berries, or a bite of my keto treats have done the job.

I feel more focused and energised which is weird because I noticed I have been sleeping less the last few weeks (a side effect I am told of a low carb diet), but I don’t feel tired for it. However, I have also stopped going to the loo in the middle of the night most nights now (I used to wake up 1 or 2 times a night for a wee!) – which must mean that the sleep I am getting is far better quality.

As for balancing my hormones, my basal body temperature is far more steady, my last period was less painful, and I am showing all the signs of a good cycle this month.  So fingers crossed these are getting better.

sugar free challenge results - no bloat

Before and after – bloat vs not bloated! Feeling so much better!

A few of the cons…

I found at the beginning of the challenge I was ‘going’ a lot but that was probably my bodies was of adjusting and cleaning my system out.  I still ‘go’ far more that i used to, but I think it is a much more healthier routine now, before I would have days of bloating and not being able to, then a day or two feeling sick and rubbishing with it.  Now I feel more regular, but maybe a bit more gassy at times – perhaps this is the increase of protein I am eating now?

Its not easy to snack when out. If you are taking up this challenge – be prepared with your snacks.  I am both shocked and amazed at just how bad finding a healthy, sugar free snack is – unless you are in a big enough store where they offer more fresh produce, even a bag of nuts can be hidden with additives and sugar.  Sugar is hiding in everything!

Another shock I got during the challenge was finding out food I thought was healthy was actually packed full of extra ingredients that I had no idea they had stuffed in there.  For example in Tesco the other day I picked up a pack of pre-cooked roast chicken breasts, looked at the sell by date and thought “Wow – 1st of May? How do they get it to last so long”. So I turned over the pack to read the ingredients only to find it was stuffed full of sugar, corn starch, cornflour and a load of preservatives.  It made me realise how ideally I needed to cook everything like that from scratch and how I needed to make sure I was planned and prepped with meals in advance ideally if I wanted to stay strict.  However, like I said before, its a lifestyle, not a regime, so now I have completed my 30 days, I can make allowances for times when i need a quick meal and not get too hung up or feel too guilty about a few naughty ingredients here and there.

Just a few of the sugar free meals & snacks I have enjoyed…

What Next?

So where do I go from here?

  • Staying keto 80% of the time

I am definitely going to take on the keto lifestyle moving forwards, eating as best as possible when I am at home and able to prep, choosing healthier options more in line with the keto stipulations, but also be aware that this is a lifestyle, and will be adaptable and even allow for a few cheat snacks or meals every now and then – you have to live a little!

  • Ditch the crappy chocolate

I would like to think that I will not be going back to my old chocolate habits too.  If I eat shop bought chocolate it needs to be at least 70% dark and as close to keto as possible.  But on the whole, I am going to keep up prepping my keto snacks so I can steer clear of as many refined sugars as possible.

  • Try to live as natural, as unprocessed, and as sugar free as possible – always

My aim is to allow myself to enjoy life and live a little, after all this is not about putting myself through purgatory!  But on the whole I was to eat as clean and as sugar free as I can most of the time – allowing for high days and holidays of course!

 

Living the keto way – Top tips

  • If you are just starting out – the key to staying on track is to be prepared – write out a meal plan, prep your snacks and treats, try not to eat out as much as possible whilst you adapt to the diet as it adds unnecessary temptation.  Eventually, when you do eat out, you will know what choices to make and can easily adapt a normal menu to remain keto if you want to avoid cheating.
  • Make extra when you prep – whether it be snacks or meals, if you make extra a lot of the keto foods can be frozen and saved for when you are short on time – again it’s all about planning in advance, and prepping when you have time!
  • If you are caught eating out remember – most restaurants always do meat and salad – so don’t stress!  Don’t be afraid to adapt the menu, skip the carbs or make any other changes if it helps you stick to your plan. If your group decide to have pudding – see if you can ask for some berries and cream, or sometimes I found just a mint tea helps to cleanse the pallet and curb those sugar cravings!

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:

  • Diet Doctor – I am a massive fan of this site, firstly for its two week diet plan with shopping lists which makes it super easy to get started and get through the hardest part.  They also send you daily emails during those two weeks to remind you what you can and can’t do that day, what to expect and what you should be eating.
  • Keto Diet App – another great site, again providing a free meal plan to get started and even more amazing recipes
  • Instagram – If you need inspiration for meals or snacks Instagram has tones, simply type in  a hash tag like #KetoInspo or #KetoRecipe or anything with #Keto in and you will get loads of good ideas!

Further Reading…

If this is the first post of mine you have read, you might want to check out my update posts from during the challenge – they also have more tips, and more recipes to help you get started.  plus you can find out what my tough moments were and when I started to feel the benefits.

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