Lazy Keto: Starting Out

As I’ve mentioned before, the thought of keto absolutely turned me off in the past. I’m just not in the biz to give myself another daily chore. That was the problem. I was so consumed with every responsibility in my life, it was impossible to workout consistently and effectively without being ripped in at least 3 different directions simultaneously. I desperately wanted to feel like “me” again after my second pregnancy, though. I wasn’t comfortable in my body. When I was able to steal away some time and workout, my joints ached and I felt winded. This pregnancy really did a number on me! Always seeking efficiency above all, I finally caved and started looking into low carb. It was the only thing I hadn’t tried before, but enough Instagram #keto pics convinced me that it was certainly the fastest way to achieve the results I was seeking. My mom always talked about the Atkins Diet, so I started researching there.

The most extreme version of Atkins is called Atkins 20. It is limited to 20-25 grams of net carbs per day in what they refer to as “Phase 1.” In Phase 1, you may eat what is referred to as “foundation vegetables,” which are the lower carb/higher fiber veggies. The goal is to make 12-15 grams of net carbs per day come from the foundation vegetables, with the remaining carb content coming from proteins, healthy fats, and cheeses. The first two weeks should be spent strictly eating things only from this page while the body is in what is referred to as “Induction.” After completing the two week induction period, you may venture out and work some nuts and seeds in to replace some of the veggies. However, it is highly emphasized to never go below 12 grams of net carbs per day coming from vegetables. I’m sure this is to ensure an appropriate consumption of nutrients and fiber!

After completing my two week induction period, I was paralyzed with fear to leave Phase 1. Which sounds sooooo stupid, I know. I had seen such fast results, though, so I didn’t want to slow down the progress by switching things up. So I kind of hung out in this phase (not religiously counting but generally estimating 25ish grams of net carbs per day) until I was twenty pounds down and at my goal pre-baby weight. That’s when I finally ventured out and began progressing to Phase 2 (I do think that it’s important to point out- I did plateau for quite awhile. This is when I began experimenting with intermittent fasting. I busted through the plateau and have been losing steadily since). Since progressing out of Phase 1 and into Phase 2, I’ve just eaten generally low carb (I would estimate I’m eating 35-40 net carbs per day on average) and don’t restrict myself to an “Acceptable Foods” list. I would say all foods are “acceptable” now; I just have to decide how their net carbs fit into my goals for the day. Obviously a full sugar cupcake won’t fit into my goals on a daily basis!

I guess you could say I “quit” Atkins after hitting my original goal weight. I quit in the sense that I don’t follow the structured plan any longer, though I definitely still estimate carb counts to keep my daily total less than 40 net carbs on most days. I maintain ketosis by doing so. I keep it superrrrr simple and pretty much eat protein, low carb veggies, and usually some form of dairy at each meal.

In a nutshell, I could very simply say to get started with lazy keto, follow Atkins 20 Phase 1 until you reach your higher-end goal weight. I knew I could get lower than my pre-pregnancy weight, so I set that as my original goal. Once there, progressing to Phase 2 kept me in ketosis while allowing a little more wiggle room and less space for boredom. I continued to lose weight from there and am living at a good state of balance at the moment. That’s what this entire journey should be about:  finding balance and committing to a way of life that can be maintained for a lifetime. It will be more restrictive in the beginning, but once you reach your goals, you can loosen up a bit, have fun, experiment with cooking, and live in that happy state of MAINTENANCE.

Hi there, Lazy NOLA Keto here

“Never will I ever…” is usually how I start a statement that will inevitably come back and laugh in my face. “Never will I ever try keto.” Yep, I’ve said that before. I was a keto nay-sayer. I scoffed at the idea every time I heard the trendy term. I’m a logical girl, so let me explain my thinking:

Keto involves tedious counting. There’s the counting of the carbs, then there’s figuring out your daily percentage values of carbs vs. protein vs. fat. Count your macronutrients and get them in the perfect proportions. For each morsel you put in your mouth. Every day. I’m sorry, but I already count enough! I count minutes, hours, kids (everyone accounted for?!), dollars, things left to do on my ever growing to-do list… You get the picture. Count macros for everything I eat now too? How about COUNT. ME. OUT.

The next thing keto had going against it in my eyes was the whole low carb part! I live in New Orleans, a city highly revered for its insanely delicious cuisine. Literally every social gathering revolves around eating and drinking! Would I just be restricted to staying at home to avoid going out and being in situations where I couldn’t eat a thing? Honestly, what would be left to eat or drink in my carb-loving city?

I couldn’t deny the results, though. We’ve all gotten sucked into the internet blackhole of before and after keto pics, amirite?! Surely all of these seemingly ordinary people couldn’t be committing to this complex system of counting and eating boring food. Enter LAZY KETO. Eating a low carb diet in and of itself will put the body into ketosis, the fat-burning process that provides energy for your body when carbs are no longer available to do so. I’ve seen so many keto/low-carb “afters,” including my best friend (shoutout @mamahennessy! Over a hundred pounds down by eating a modest, lowish carb diet and working out consistently), that I thought- why not? I’ll never know if I don’t try it myself. So then I did what I always do before diving into something… Research obsessively!

I decided to commit to eating a balanced, low-carb (20-25 net carbs per day) diet for a few weeks to see what happened. The weight started flying off of my three month postpartum body is what happened! I stopped religiously tracking daily net carb intake and just estimated my daily net carbs once I felt comfortable and had a pretty good grasp on how many carbs were in things I ate regularly. After ten weeks, I was down 20 pounds and back to pre-pregnancy weight. I’ve grown accustomed to this way of eating and like the way I feel overall! I’ve gotten creative through what started out as a diet to lose baby weight. I started crafting new, lower-carb recipes off of classic New Orleans style meals I’ve eaten and loved my whole life. BOOM. Just like that, Lazy NOLA Keto was born. I’m here to share my adapted New Orleans recipes and guide you through eating and drinking low carb in the city one restaurant at a time!