By Sami Dugdale
Blog Content Contributor
Getting in shape for most people means cutting out their favorite foods, constantly exercising, and drinking nothing but water. However, there are diets out there that allow you to still eat the foods that you love while just cutting out the things that are actually bad for you. Freshman Parker Brockman is an example of someone who did his research and picked a diet that he thought would best fit his lifestyle and give him the results he was looking for. Here is an interview I did with Parker, Q&A style, about the ketogenic diet.
What exactly does it mean to be on a keto diet?
Well, basically, being on a keto diet means eating less than 30 grams of carbohydrates a day. Your macronutrients should be about 70 percent fat, 25 percent protein, and five percent (or less) carbs. The result of this is going into a state called ketosis, where your body produces ketones from burning fat as your main energy source instead of simple sugars that your body gets from breaking down carbohydrates.
What made you choose to start this diet?
Well, about two years ago, I was tired of being overweight and wanted to feel better. So naturally, I started eating clean. You know, protein shakes and bananas and super low fat and all of that. While I did lose a significant amount of weight, it was difficult. Nightly exercise, lots of hunger, and all that jazz that’s normally associated with weight loss. Last year, I went to Norway as an exchange student, a gap year type thing. Over there, I ate like an exchange student and gained back a bit of weight. Coming back here though, food is really cheap and not necessarily all that healthy. One day I stepped on my scale and realized that I was back to just ten pounds below my starting weight from two years ago. At this time, my uncle was visiting from Singapore and had gone keto for about two months. I didn’t actually realize that he was on a diet for a while, because I saw him eating delicious food. When he did suggest it to me, he told me that it was the easiest diet he’d ever done, and that for the most part, the high amount of fat in the diet meant that it left you feeling full and satisfied, unlike a lot of other diets. So, of course, after doing plenty of research, I decided to jump in.
What kind of foods are you able to eat? What are some things you had to cut out that you didn’t think you had to before?
Well, I eat lots of fatty meats, dairy products, avocados and nuts, healthy oils (coconut oil seems to be big for a lot of people) and non-starchy veggies such as leafy greens and bell peppers. My favorite breakfast on this diet is probably bacon and eggs fried in the grease left from the bacon. As for what was a surprise that I had to cut out, I really can’t think of anything except milk, which actually has an exceptional amount of sugar in it.
How difficult is it finding no-carb options here on campus?
It can be difficult, I won’t lie. I can always get a burger or something and just take off the bun, but that’s not very sustainable. I often go to dineoncampus and see what Commons and Harris have on their menus for the day. If I find a something low carb, I’ll often go to wherever it is and get it and a salad. Fortunately, the Starbucks at LBJ has heavy cream which I like to put in my coffee, so I go there almost every day.
What do you think is the most challenging part about this diet?
The. First. Week. Or more, depending on how much you’re cutting carbs and a host of other factors that I’m not read up on. Anyway, your body has been running mostly on carbs for most of your life, and so a lot of people feel low-energy. Some even come down with the “keto flu”, which is a host of flu-like symptoms that come from not getting adequate electrolytes that they normally get from carb-rich foods. It was never too horrible for me, but that doesn’t mean I don’t feel it. Now, however, the only hard thing is listening to my friends apologize for eating fries in front on me even though I’ve told them about a dozen times that I no longer have any affectionate feeling towards fries.
Would you recommend the keto diet to other people?
Here’s what I recommend to people: do your research on any diet before jumping in blind. In addition, make sure you can actually devote yourself to it; the best diet is one you can stick with. That being said, in my opinion, this diet is incredibly easy to stick with if you want to lose weight. You’ll be happy with both what’s on the menu and what’s on your bathroom scale.
Featured image from pexels.com.