Keto Craziness

Since getting married I’ve gained about 20 pounds. I made it through college without succumbing to the freshman 15 and I’ve been blessed with a pretty quick metabolism most of my life, but I hit 40 and everything went downhill. (It probably didn’t help that in the year and a half leading up to and after the big day I’ve moved 5 times, lost two grandparents, gained a teenager, changed jobs 8 times and dealt with long periods of unemployment, all of which helped trigger bouts with depression and anxiety among other things.)
I’ve chalked it up to all of those things and have whined about the pants that no longer fit (as my ever-patient husband assures me that of course I’m not fat.) But when the fat pants I bought to tide me over became too tight and some of my shirts started to become uncomfortable thanks to my batwing arms I knew I was going to have to do something. The last straw came when I could no longer get my wedding ring on (or back off!)
I have a love/hate relationship with the concept of dieting. I’ve watched my mom struggle with her weight due to health problems since I was a teenager. I know extremes can get the weight off but are rarely sustainable. I’m a true believer in balance. But when things are out of balance we might need to take some relatively drastic steps to get back in balance. And especially having the quick results to keep you going can be important. With that in mind I decided to try a ketogenic diet because I know that I’m definitely out of whack leaning to the side of too many carbs. And I figured a diet that let me eat cheese and bacon could be sustainable for a few months to get the bulk of the weight off since I likely wouldn’t feel too deprived or hungry.
It’s super popular right now and there’s a ton of information out there about what foods are ok and not (with a bit of discrepancies of course.) Because of the popularity I’m still waiting on books from the library and have gotten everything from online searches thus far. They say you don’t have to track calories, just the net carbs but I’ve been using my calorie tracker just to stay in the habit and I’m not super vigilant about counting the actual carbs each day but I use the carb counters and specified recipes in my meal planning and have stuck pretty close to the recommended <20 net carbs/day.
I’d like to say I’ve been perfect at following it. But that’s just not true.The first week I cheated a bit (I just couldn’t pass up the homemade brownies and cookies at book club but I only had one bite of each instead of loading my plate so I still consider that a success) but still ended up 5 pounds lighter. This week I overdid it one day on fruit which hadn’t been on the menu at all but I needed mentally to keep from bingeing on the chocolate I was craving. So far the loss isn’t as spectacular (only 2 pounds) but still happening.  Next week I’m upping the game and adding some exercise to the mix so we’ll see how that changes things and then after that’s not so tough I’m planning to work in some intermittent fasting.
The hubs and I are planning a trip to Chicago early in May so the goal is to have all the weight off by then so I can buy a new swimsuit, not have to buy all new clothes (but fit back into all the clothes I’ve stashed away), and be able to indulge in a little deep dish pizza without feeling super guilty!
But I’m curious if any of you have done this…any recipe suggestions? I’m not a super fan of meat. I tend to like it as an accent to the meal rather than the showpiece (though I do occasionally enjoy BBQ or a steak like once a month!) I do love the cheesy, creamy things but I know those aren’t really the best choices. And eggs are tough for me to swallow sometimes, literally. We’ve done a few varieties of smothered and stuffed chicken, a beef and broccoli with cauliflower rice, taco salad, Thai chicken lettuce wraps, and a lasagna using zucchini instead of noodles. I would love to hear what you’ve done and any favorites you’ve found along the way! Any suggestions are greatly appreciated! 🙂