122 Rules by Deek Rhew

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

The Amazing World of Keto

Let me begin by saying that I fell off the wagon. Yep. There was a time, not that long ago, that I lifted weights five times a week, did cardio in the mornings three times a week, and rode my bike on the weekends. I even ate almost 4,000 calories a day (Yes, 4,000!), yet I had no problems with my weight. My clothes fit, and I almost never got winded.

But shortly after Erin and I got married, I fell off the fitness wagon.

Deek Falls off the Wagon

It didn't happen all at once. One day, a pair of pants felt snug. Pretty soon they were uncomfortable, and then they were banished to the back of the closet. On to the next size up. Lather, rinse, repeat. While I didn't pack on hundreds of pounds, I put on a lot more than I was comfortable with.

Over the years, Erin and I have tried a lot of different diet plans--most of them centering around Paleo--with varying degrees of success. A few months ago, Erin suggested we try Keto.

To get up to speed on what Keto is, check out this article on HealthLine.com.

I'll admit I was skeptical at first. The idea of eating MORE fat to LOSE fat made logical sense, but emotionally, I had trouble breaking through all the junk I'd been taught about nutrition. But Erin started it, and after a couple of months, I couldn't argue with the results she was getting.

FYI: Everything we learned in the 80s and 90s about nutrition is wrong.

So for the last 149 days, I've been hitting Keto hard and could not be happier with the results. I am back in the gym, lifting three days a week, and Erin and I walk--a lot--on the weekend, and even sometimes during the week.

Back in the gym!

So far, I've lost 22 pounds and dropped my body fat percentage to 19.8%. More importantly, I fit into ALL my clothes, even the "I'm too fat to ever wear these again" clothes that got put into the closet. Even more importantly: I feel a ton better. In a few months, I'll be going into the doctor to get my blood panel done to check my cholesterol levels and all that, but from what I've read, those should be down too.

The Rhew's Diet Plan

The plan we follow is simple:

  * I lift weights 3 times a week, and Erin runs and does various forms of cardio.
  * We walk a lot on the weekends.
  * We track what we eat and ensure our macros are right.

I cannot emphasize this last bullet point enough. To be successful, I have to track everything I eat. Fortunately, that's easy. There's an app for your phone called My Fitness Pal (I use the free version). Every day I enter my food as I go. As the day progresses, I flip over to this handy little Macros page to make sure I'm in the right percentages.

Don't Forget the Scale!
No, not your bathroom scale. A postage scale.

When calculating portion sizes, more often than not portions are by weight--here in the States, typically in ounces. I want to seriously emphasize that if you are going through all the work of tracking your calories, be sure you know how much is in a serving. You may be surprised at how small a serving of meat, pork rinds, etc. really is.

Fortunately, that's easy and inexpensive with a simple postage scale.

This guy on Amazon sells for less than $14 bucks.

There are no substitutes for having the right diet. There are pills and drinks and powders that are supposed to "put you in ketosis," but as they say, there ain't nothing like the real thing, baby. I personally don't know of anyone that's been successful with these expensive gimmicks. Maybe there are people who've really succeeded, but of those I know who've tried it, the only thing that has gotten thinner is their wallet.


According to the Keto sites, the standard ketogenic diet consists of 75% of your calories coming from fat, 20% from protein, and 5% from carbs. Since I lift, I have a higher percentage of protein in my diet. So, I generally shoot for 60-65% fat, 30-35% protein, and 5% carbs.

Cheat Days!

To keep Erin's thyroid in check, we have one high carb (cheat meal) day a week. We follow our usual diet all day up until the late afternoon, then we walk to Starbucks--a 5 mile round trip--and treat ourselves to a higher carb coffee treat. Some of the drinks are over the moon with carbs, so we avoid those.

My skinny grande cafe mocha with whip has 26 carbs, but man after a week of no sweets, it tastes amazing. Erin seriously loves her Iced Cinnamon Almond Milk Macchiato with 36 carbs.

Deek and Erin Cheat Day Coffees!

After we walk back home, we go get a pizza. Talk about tasting amazing! #NomNomNom

Dining Out

We still dine out, but granted, our choices are more limited. Most restaurants should be renamed The Carb Cafe. Fries, potatoes, chips, soda, while all delicious, are really cheap and loaded with carbs. So we opt for steak and chicken fajitas (hold the chips, tortillas, and salsa) at our favorite Mexican place.

We've also discovered that we can frequent Wendy's. Two Jr. Bacon Cheese burgers, hold the sauces and bun for Erin, and a Triple Bacon, hold the sauces and bun, for me. No fries though. :-( Subway works too, just hold the bread and the sauces.

Almost everything at any restaurant, in every possible configuration you could image, is in My Fitness Pal. So again, highly recommend it!

The Results

While Erin has reached her goal weight, Mr. Keto Holdout (that would be me) is still a couple of months away from reaching his (that's what I get for not starting when my wife did). As I said before, I can finally fit into all my clothes and am beyond pleased to feel healthy again.

But the proof is in the pudding, or in our case, the before and after pics:

Before and After

Keto may not be for everyone, but it's completely changed my life. Even after I reach my goal weight, I'm going to keep on it. My body runs so much better than it did when I was on carbs. The mid-afternoon crash is gone, and my energy is way up.

I'm totally grateful that Erin found this plan, and I'm especially grateful that we get to do it together!

Until later, my friends. Adventure on!