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.