Week 8 ended last Sunday and it was time for weigh-in and measurements! I was worried because I had spent 2 weeks stuck at 183 on the scale. I weigh myself everyday much to the consternation of my coach Christa. During that 2 weeks plateau the scale would go up a pound, down a pound and back up. It was very frustrating. Then magically one day it started dropping again. So here are the results….12 pounds lost and 8.3 inches! I was very happy with those numbers. If anyone is keeping track…that means I’ve lost a total of 22.8 pounds and 17.9 inches in 2 months! That’s about the size of a Beagle.
The best part is how much better I feel! If you remember my very first post, I talked about being tired all the time and how I was out of breath just walking into work from the parking lot. My Husband lovingly said I was developing an “old lady waddle.” That could mostly be attributed to my feet and knees that always hurt, but it still hurt to hear that. Speed forward to week 9 and I’m no longer waddling around like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. My feet and knees do not hurt anymore and I can walk for miles without being out of breath! The Keto diet is certainly responsible for some of this but I think most of the credit goes to The Fit Boxing. It is making me strong and building my aerobic endurance. When I first started, I barely tapped the bags. I spent most of the time just trying to keep breathing with the effort I was exerting. Now I am wailing on those bags! I’m putting my whole body into the punches and kicks. It feels great to be strong again and makes me feel 10 years younger than I did before. I’m still not fitting into any of my clothes that are sized with numbers yet. I think I gave up buying them at a size 12. However, my garbage bag, fat clothes are getting loose and it won’t be long before the biggest sizes in my previous wardrobe start fitting.
One thing I discovered this last month is something called Alcohol Stall. I love Alcohol. Wine, Beer, Mixed Drinks, Shots…I do not discriminate. I love going to tastings. I love finding wines to pair with dinner. I love having drinks with my friends. Before I started this weight loss journey I imbibed about once a week. I’m not ignorant of the fact that alcohol is calorie heavy compared to other beverages I could be drinking, but infused waters, tea and coffee do not go as well with a carefully prepared meal as a bold Cabernet or Chardonnay!
So, how do I balance my love affair with alcohol and weight loss? The first month I did not drink at all. I lost 10 pounds. The second month I drank a total of 3 times. All 3 times I drank a lot and I lost 12 pounds. So, I do think it is possible to occasionally party down and still lose weight. But, there are several negative factors your fighting against when you do.
First of all, alcohol increases your appetite, lessens your inhibitions and undermines your willpower. The sugar in alcohol has the same effect on your body as sugar in sweets. Once you come down from the “sugar high” you’re going to crave more. My body knows exactly where to find it too. Ice cream, candy, pizza, French fries…oh yes. Taco Bell! My first foray into drinking after starting this diet, I decided to fast the entire day and save up all my carbs and calories for alcohol. Not a good idea. I was smashed after 3 drinks. Second, I was hungry and it took every ounce of willpower I had not to eat a whole pizza before going to bed. I found a leftover hamburger in the fridge and scarfed it down like a ravenous pit bull. What did I learn? You need to eat some protein and healthy fats before drinking. This food group will help counter-act the impending sugar crash, and slows the rate your body absorbs the alcohol.
Second, less body fat is burned. Alcohol is converted to acetate by the body, and it serves as a quick-burning fuel source. The body cannot store this acetate so this means that your body is going to burn the alcohol for energy before turning to fat. I’ve read that it can take up to 2 days or more for the alcohol to be burned completely out of your system. This is 2 days or more that I could be burning off another beagle’s worth of fat! Thus, the phenomenon known as “Alcohol Stall” and perhaps the reason I was stuck at 183 for a long period of time.
So, does this mean that I’m going to stop drinking alcohol? um…Negative! That being resoundingly decided, there are some things that I am doing to keep my diet in check.
First, I am not starving myself all day. I am loading up on protein and good fat.
Second, I have been sticking to Rum and Diet Coke which is virtually carb and calorie free. Once in a while, if I start to feel too buzzed, I throw in a Michelob Ultra in between.
Third, I count the calories I am drinking and add them to my diary. Alcohol does contain calories and I make sure to stay at my allotted 1200 for the day.
Lastly, I drink a glass of water between all drinks. It takes the place of another drink I would consume otherwise and hydrates me so I don’t have as bad a hangover the next day.
While having a social life on a Ketogenic diet can be hard to do, it is not impossible. So, party on everyone!
P.S. What’s more tempting then the trough at work? Two troughs!! Ugh…I need a drink…