Entering a new era

Whole family, all Keto on the menu

It was only a matter of time; if one of us is keto, all of our house will become keto (some whether they know it or not!) At least that’s what I told myself when we first started making keto lifestyle changes. Yes, it’s good for health conditions such as seizures. Yes, it helps decrease inflammation and blood pressure, which both my husband and I experienced in the first few weeks of low-carb eating and being sugarless. But what about other reasons to be keto such as weight loss?

Are those strips really accurate? How does more fat help my weight? Why can’t I eat that? As the next member of our family started their journey, we had more questions we had not yet had to answer.

Introducing new eaters to keto comes with a lot of questions for sure. As it turns out, some of us innately know it’s the right thing to do for our health; other members of the family arrive at keto lifestyle differently. When eaters who typically opt for drive-up dining over sit-down meals start keto, it doesn’t click right away. And talking about the science behind it doesn’t make it any easier, which is why those of us already keto made it easy through mealtime choices. Either-or side options such as rice or spinach salad (or both) then sharing why or why not to pick a vegetable and soon it started to make sense. Making the transition—dabbling in full-fat, bacon-laden breakfasts, sprinkling bacon on salads at lunch and vegetables with a smattering of cheese for dinner—was our slow roll out of keto to make it stick. Even opting for vegetables over grains, for instance, was going to be the tastier choice every time. Over months of new menu options and substitutions such as smashed cauliflower, almond-flour crispy pizza crust, fried jicama and onions instead of potato-style fries and simple removal of sugar as well as adding smarter grains such as quinoa or an additional vegetable to every meal, dinner was key. Everyone was keto at dinner time after the first month of my keto journey — and they liked it.

Now that we are in training with a new member of the family practicing keto—with a weight loss goal—the stakes are higher and the appetite is fierce. Both a runner and a man, the calorie counts, macros and experience is entirely new. Yes, still following the dinner plan. Yes, still staying on the carb-fat-protein ratios prescribed by keto. But managing to a success metric like shedding pounds is another layer of serious. Keto with a new purpose such as weight loss is a much more intense experience, results—and failures—are obvious.

Going from sugar to no sugar, chips to cheese and jerky, reaching for yogurt instead of candy or regular cake is challenging in its own right. Watching pounds drop off means managing strictly to macros and carb-to-protein-to-fat ratios matters daily. Definitely no fudging with birthday cake slivers and not just simply eating more vegetables will achieve the desired results of weight loss (his goal) and lifestyle turn over (family goal).

After three weeks we are officially measuring ketones, making our own smart lunch and snack decisions and losing weight, smartly and safely. Adapting with apps that help us set a goal and track ratios plus strip testing starting week five—while also seeing pounds drop on the scale—will get us over the next hump: ketosis.