Non-bookish post today. Literary life aside, it’s time for an update about my ongoing keto journey and low-carb lifestyle.

Why am I back on keto?

Anyone who knows me will know that I’m no longer obese. Two years ago I had a BMI of 31 (over 30 is obese) and I weighed about 13st 5, which is very large for my 5ft 4 frame. Since that epic lockdown diet, during which I lost 3 stone, I have periodically returned to a strict keto diet for maintenance. For me, this tends to be after seasonal holidays and family birthdays. Otherwise, I have pretty much managed to keep the bulk of the weight I lost safely off.

Does keto work?

In my experience yes, but you have to stick to it. If you can’t maintain a state of ketosis (when your body burns fat for fuel instead of glucose due to a lack of carbohydrates in the diet) then you won’t see any results. For me, even condiments can throw me out of ketosis, not to mention a favourite of mine – wine.

My tips for maintaining my low carb diet this summer

In addition to strict keto, and moderate exercise, here are a few things I’m doing to stay on top of my health and keep the fat from piling back onto my waistline:

1. No weigh-ins this summer. The scales are gathering dust!

2. No tape measure either. It’s not helpful to berate myself over gaining a few pounds (more than a few) or my inability to shrink my waistline.

3. I am trying, whenever possible, to not eat added sugar. Obviously sugar is included in condiments and sauces, so it’s hard to eliminate entirely, but I’m sticking to whole foods whenever possible.

4. No sweeteners. Did you know that sweeteners affect the metabolic uptake of healthy bacteria in our guts? We all know how important gut health is to overall mental and physical health.

5. No trans fats. At home we cook with butter, lard or ghee and use olive oil for dressings. Out and about in restaurants, many foods are cooked in vegetable oil because it’s cheap. I know immediately what is cooked in vegetable oil as it causes gastric reflux. I’m almost like a built in trans-fat barometer. If the pressure is too great, then…boom!

That’s it then. Simplicity works. If you’re reading this post, then maybe you might be a little like me – and if you are, I hope my tips help you too. 😊

About Leilanie Stewart

Leilanie Stewart is an author and poet from Belfast, Northern Ireland. Her writing centres around protagonists who are on a journey of self-discovery and who explore their identity by overcoming adversity. She began writing for publication while working as an English teacher in Japan, a career pathway that has influenced themes in her writing. Her former career as an Archaeologist has also inspired her writing and she has incorporated elements of archaeology and mythology into both her fiction and poetry. In addition to promoting her own work, Leilanie runs Bindweed Magazine, a creative writing ezine, with her writer husband, Joseph Robert. Aside from literary pursuits, Leilanie enjoys spending time with her husband and their lively literary tot, a voracious reader of construction vehicle books. CONNECT WITH ME ON SOCIAL MEDIA: https://mailchi.mp/17e6ca162ff3/leilanie-stewart-author

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