I began the Keto Diet in August 2020. Now it is mid-February 2021. After years of basing my eating on kidney friendly foods, for my PKD, I still felt horrible. I knew I needed to do something about the way I felt.
I’m not skinny, but after following a low carb diet for six months, I am feeling much better. Because I wrote, but never got around to publishing notes from my first weeks, I’m including them here.
After One Month on Keto, Notes:
When I cut carbs I saw changes right away. I lost about 10 pounds. I was weighing my self and taking waistline measurements on every Monday. But, I wrote this at the four week mark:
“The Monday morning weigh in was not impressive this past week. I lost less than 1/2 a pound and lost 3/4 inch around my waist. This seems ridiculous because I have cut out 1/3 of my meals every day. How do you eat seven fewer meals a week and not loose weight?
But, I am not going to worry about that. I want to see changes that tell me my kidneys are being affected. That would mean getting thinner around the waist and lowering my blood pressure. The bad kidneys make my BP high and I would love to see that come down. So far, not much difference.”
Weigh In Notes and Measurements
I’m hesitant to share my weekly logged weights and measurements, but by listing them here you will see how I did lose weight in the beginning. I am in my 60’s and haven’t lost weight at all in probably 20 years – no matter how much I exercised or watched what I ate. All I did was cut out the carbs and the pounds began to go, but I did not lose a lot of weight.
- Aug. 24, Day 1 : 171.6 lbs, waistline: 40.5 inches
- Aug. 31, Week 1 : 165.2 lbs, waistline: 39.5 inches
- Sept. 7, Week 2 : 166.4 lbs, waistline: 40 inches
- Sept. 14, Week 3 : 162.4 lbs, waistline: 40 inches
- Sept. 21, Week 4 : 162 lbs, waistline 39 1/4 inches
- Sept. 28, Week 5 : 160.4 lbs, waistline 38.5 inches
- End of October – 2 months – 158.8 / 38.5
As you can see, the pounds dropped off quickly in the beginning. Then I stopped weighing myself. I threw my scale away (in frustration – just kidding) so I couldn’t post my weight, but I suspect that I today I weigh around 160 pounds.
I really wanted to see my waistline get smaller as an indication that my kidneys were shrinking – losing all the cysts. I suspect that will take a very long time, if it will ever happen at all.
After Six Months of Intermittent Fasting
The fasting part of this plan is going very well. I really believe in this part of my diet plan.
I stay busy all morning, working usually, until noontime, then I cook something low-carb for my first meal of the day. When I need a snack, I usually eat a few nuts. No more chips or crackers. Sometimes I have a few slices of cheese.
I eat one more meal for supper anywhere from 5:00-6:00 and try to be all done eating by then, or at least by 7:00. I drink water all evening. So, in general I don’t eat for 18 hours out of the day.
My mind feels very good and I have no trouble concentrating on work. My younger sister was recently diagnosed with dementia, and my mother died of Alzheimers, so keeping my mind going is one of my top priorities.
I am sleeping fine most nights and continue to NOT have heartburn.
I do not get much in the way of exercise, but I do Yoga stretches. If I moved more it would be helpful. I have my excuses, and I know I should. I just can’t seem to get myself motivated to care.
Shopping and Cooking
Like all things, getting started may be the most difficult part of making a change. Eating is a huge part of life. Food and drink are the fuel for our bodies. We can choose to add useless junk to our system, or beneficial nutrients. We only get to eat so much in any given day and most, if not all, should be working to increase our health.
At the beginning of this diet change, I boxed up my high carb, unopened foods and gave them to the Boy Scout’s who came around at holiday time.
Grocery shopping is easy, and I know what to buy and what to avoid. The only “food” troubles I have is keeping track of bad kidney food while eating Keto. An example is avocados. Look up any page on eating for Keto and I bet you will see an avocado! But, avocados are high in potassium, which makes them a food to avoid with kidney disease.
I’m also still careful of sodium, which the Keto diet plan seems to ignore. I do not count carbs, just avoid high carb foods. Some days I think I do eat too many carbs, but most days I believe I stay under the 50 grams recommended for ketosis.
These Days Staying on Track is Easy
My shopping list looks different these days. I’m careful of my kidney needs, but mostly I try to stick with Keto friendly food. I’m eating more vegetables than ever. I feel like I am eating the healthiest I ever have!
I’ve come to like my “vegetable casseroles” that are easy to create without a recipe.
Keto and Food Documentaries
If you are curious about Keto and intermittent fasting, take a look at the documentary “Fat Fiction”. This show opened my eyes to a better way of looking at food. I’d already tried to become healthier because of my kidney problems, but in reality I was not eating all that great.
The Fat Fiction show, along with Dr. Weimbs’ study results on reducing cysts in animals with PKD by fasting, is what opened my eyes. (Read Ketosis Slows the Progression of PKD if you have PKD and need some hope, because finally it seems there is some.)
Here is a link to a list of food documentaries on Netflix and Amazon for more information about the Keto diet and how to change the way we look at food. Even if you think it’s stupid to follow a specific diet, these shows will make you think.
All information on this blog is to help myself, and share my journey. I am not suggesting anyone do this diet, but to keep an open mind. I am not a qualified nutritionist, or any type of medical professional. Please read my blog disclaimer here.
Credit for the giraffe photo at the top goes to Howard Wilks at Pixabay.