Column: How eating KETO changed my life

We’re seven months further since I started the KETO diet as a personal experiment. And as I’m getting questions about my new lifestyle on a daily base, I’ve decided to write down my story. On a weekly base I will share recipes, progress and personal tips. But first I need to tell you about the reason. The reason why I started eating differently.

Before I discovered KETO, I was struggling a lot. It all started in 2017 when I got diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. For years I always felt tired, had chronically pain in my muscles and I was even chronically sick (fever, throat infections, migraines,…). I never had any type of energy and motivation.

You are what you eat so don’t be fast, cheap or fake.

After the diagnose my life changed completely. The first few months I rested and stayed at home. Finding an adapted work wasn’t as easy as I thought so becoming an independent blogger was the perfect solution. For the first time I wasn’t obligated to justify myself to any boss or colleague when feeling sick. However I still needed to find a solution to get the bubbly and happy girl back which I’ve always been. And by traveling quite often to Jamaica, the Caribbean, I’ve noticed a change.


My secret cravings

My first trip to Jamaica will be remembered as it was yesterday. In my luggage I had a box of chocolates, some Belgian cookies, candy and chips. Compare it with an emergency stash in case I wouldn’t eat enough. It’s a bad habit I’ve had since traveling. But as we mostly eat “Farm to Table” or fresh ingredients, I had to resits to my cravings. The first days were horrible. My body was screaming and longing for snack. However, by the end of the week I even forgot I had one.

It became quickly clear that eating “Farm to table” helped me to feel better and it gave me less cravings. Furthermore I even noticed a small weight-loss and more creative. Every time I came back home, my head was full of new ideas. In the beginning I couldn’t connect the food to the changed, today I do.


Back to the routine in Belgium

Once back in Belgium I easily felt back into my old (not KETO) routine. Not knowing that it caused so much harm to my body. When I look back at it, it sounds toxic. But without knowing any better, I continued my life as I always known it. To explain you my routine, I’ve made an example of what I do during a random day.

First I would wake up round 9AM, eat a some cereals with milk and have a couple of pastries on Sundays. When traveling, I would eat pancakes, croissants and enjoy a rich breakfast. Around 10.30AM the feeling of being hungry came back and I would eat a snack, little biscuit or take a piece of chocolate.

By the time it was lunch, I would’ve had two meals. My breakfast and snacks. But even if I ate enough before, my stomach wasn’t satisfied. It felt like there was an alarm clock which notified me when it was time for another break. For lunch I often took bread with cheese, Nutella or maybe salmon. Also a salad, some pasta and soup during the winter, weren’t unknown. My lunch was always depending on that day and mood. After eating my lunch, I took a piece of chocolate or small dessert for a sweet flavour.

As the day went on, another craving alarm would come up around 3PM or 4PM and I would get another snack. Two hours later I would have dinner and at the end of the day, after watching some TV, a dessert was the ritual to my daily eating habits.

Even if I ate properly during the day, the next morning I was hungry again.


Carbohydrates and sugar

One of the jokes I often made was that I must have little creatures inside of my stomach. My cravings were for multiple people and I could eat all day. Even if that wasn’t the case, it was clear that something else was going wrong.

It’s even very simple. Write your eating habits on a paper and cross out everything that contains sugar or carbohydrates. Now what’s left on your list? Mine was 90% empty as I started the day with sugar and carbs (cereals) and continued to ate them at lunch and the snacks weren’t sugar free either. And that’s what we’re going to talk about: our eating habits that make us sick and tired!


Why is sugar toxic?

Even if I know that not everyone is eating sugars or carbs every hour, I’m sure that my story will help some of you. Think about your partner or friends who are having similar eating habits. Maybe you continued the same routine as your parents like I did. Or think about your kids and their eating routine. What are they eating and how do they feel sometimes?

An important example for this are the apple juices for kids. They contain more sugar than a regular Coke! Isn’t that mind blowing? Research has even proven that sugar is more addictive than cocaine. And that’s exactly why I’ve changed my life! After realizing that 90-95% of what I was eating on a daily base contained added sugars, I cut it all immediately.

Know that sugar inflames muscles and triggers several chronicle diseases such as fibromyalgia. Sugars are also as bricks for cancer cells and stimulates the process.


The Magic Pill on Netflix

Before you start to throw away everything which is full of sugars, take a moment to watch “The Magic Pill” on Netflix. It’s a documentary about the KETO lifestyle and how many people with chronicle diseases got cured. It will open your eyes and a new life will lay in front of you.

If you’ve seen it, I would like to know how the documentary changed your perspective on your eating habits! Leave a comment behind on this article and let’s share some inspirational thoughts.


It’s time to change the habit

Let’s talk about the challenge which is now laying in front of you. If I can cut all my sugar and carbs, you can do it too. However a lot of people believe that it’s impossible and very difficult to eat KETO. Especially as sugars are almost in everything! The reason behind this is simple. It’s addictive, and we simply don’t like to eat food without sugar when we don’t know better.

Now you need to be honest with yourself. Do you add sugar to your tea or coffee? Do you add Nutella or (not natural) Maple syrup to your pancakes? That delicious burger you love to eat, would you ever eat it without the bread? Just think about it as it’s mostly all about habits.

Next to that it’s very important to know that the KETO lifestyle is amazing as you will reprogram your body to burn fat instead of sugar. Changing the energy source of your body is the most important step. It also means your brains are going to send different signals. We’re used to eat as soon as we have a hungry feeling. But it’s actually a wrong sign your brains give when it’s in need of more sugars. That connection will be cut.

By giving your body fat to use as an energy source, you will also burn fat instead of sugar.These fat-bricks will also be used to get your daily energy. And when you’re hungry you will only eat what your body needs. Not what it’s addicted to.


Give it time

Changing your energy source from sugar to fat isn’t done in only one day. You need to give your body time to adapt. The first three days you will withdrawal from the sugars. You might feel sick, get headaches and be tired. Don’t get scared, it’s normal. Some people will have less symptoms than others. The most important thing you need to do is to not give in on your body and brains. They demand sugar, want sugar and as it’s so addictive, you will have to get through these first days.

Once you’ve passed through that stage, you will feel the change immediately. You will have more energy and get into the rhythm of your new lifestyle. Let it come at you and don’t force anything.


In my next column I will tell you about the different kinds of KETO and give you a checklist to start with. Right now, if you’re interested to discover the lifestyle, I invite you to watch the Netflix documentary first. Let’s talk again after that and continue with more informations!

Share your questions about KETO and thoughts on this post. Or contact me on Instagram if you need some advice. I’m not a doctor or professional but I’m here to share my experiences with you. You and I are going to do this together! Always remember that team work makes the dream work.

This article has been written by @CINDYVANDYCK

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