(Evidently, my previous approach of blogging my weight loss progress in real-time with daily updates was not working out for my schedule. I’ve decided to switch to a weekly format, so I can spend more time researching and writing about mental health, therapy, and self-care.)
The Beck Diet Solution Week 3: Actually Start Your Diet
The entirety of the first 2 weeks of The Beck Diet Solution were spent mentally preparing for dieting. Like many people, I’ve tried losing weight several times in the past, without any lasting success. With this cognitive-behavioral therapy approach, the emphasis is on setting your thought patterns up for succeeding. This primarily means emphasizing the reasons you want to lose weight, and predicting/refuting any “sabotaging thoughts” that may get in your way–and everything is written down for daily review and future reference.
Beck’s book is a little outdated (I believe palm pilots are mentioned at some point). In the week 3 chapters, she discusses different ways of recording your food consumption–clearly before the time of apps like Lose It and My Fitness Pal (I use the latter!). I’ve had My Fitness Pal for years, and at some point over the summer they randomly upgraded me to a premium account. This is helpful on the ketogenic diet, because I can customize my macronutrients to fit my needs.
The whole point of The Beck Diet Solution is that it is not a diet or exercise plan, but a cognitive plan to use alongside the diet of your choice. Therefore, I won’t spend too much time getting into the science behind a ketogenic diet (many other places on the internet explain it better than I ever could! www.reddit.com/r/keto is a great starting point for information.) Basically, by eating very few carbs (<20 net carbs a day), a normal amount of protein (roughly 60-80g a day for me), and a ton of fat (up to about 80g for me), you can retrain your body to rely on fat for energy, instead of carbohydrates. This helps burn fat rapidly, as your body starts using its own fat for fuel once it realizes it isn’t going to get its old-fashioned American carb fix. Beck instructs all dieters to pick a back-up diet (mine is simple CICO, or “calories in, calories out”), but I haven’t had to revert to that.
So, how did my first week of keto go?
The first day was easy. I ate eggs, avocados, and cheese–which I quickly realized would become my three main food groups! I felt a little tempted when my colleague walked around with their generous afternoon sweets, but “worked out” my “resistance muscle” (another Beck concept) by saying “no thank you!” I drank tons of water, which keto specifically calls for but is a good idea for any diet. I ended the day with a piece of very dark (90%!) chocolate topped with a teaspoon of natural peanut butter–a low-carb Reese’s cup! Dark chocolate is safe on keto, in moderation, due to its low sugar content.
Day two was hard. Despite eating the same breakfast as Day 1, I was starving by 10:30 am! I’d planned to treat myself to lunch–Jimmy John’s’ vegetarian lettuce wrap has only 5 grams of net carbs–so I didn’t have anything to snack on. Despite my ravenous hunger, I completely stuck to my plan at my noon lunch break. I gave myself credit for this, just like Beck advises!
The rest of the week was much easier. I tweaked my eating plan by eliminating breakfast on weekdays, and only having coffee in the morning. This was hard for me, because I love breakfast! But by letting my metabolism “sleep in,” I don’t experience zombie-like hunger before lunchtime and feel appropriately satiated throughout the day. On Saturday, I treated myself to keto-friendly “snickerdoodle pancakes” which were full of protein and absolutely delicious. I resolved to make a keto “treat” at least once a week, to prove to myself that I can still have amazing food on this diet without feeling deprived.
Weight Lost This Week (Beck Week 3, Keto Week 1): 2 pounds
A lot for my height! On previous diets, I was never able to lose more than 0.6-0.8 lbs a week. This was super encouraging.
Total Weight Lost to Date: 2 pounds