Dr Sneha Chopra’s personal experience following keto diet

My experience following keto diet: 

My experience following keto diet honestly has been fantastic. Its a lifestyle change that I may never want to give up.

If you are new to keto diet and are looking for keto diet for weight loss, here are the things which you need to know about it. Keto diet is an ultra low carb diet, and rich in good fats with a moderate amount of proteins. 

I was always a chubby kid in school but I kept in mind to not be fat forever.

I was in college when I lost most of my weight. I use to exercise 6 days a week at the gym and also use to work as a part-time instructor at a Pilates studio nearby. 

I was studying physiotherapy in college, so teaching clients helped me polish my anatomy and exercise skills while I also taught. 

Knowingly or unknowingly I was following a form of low carb diet already while I lost most of my weight in college. I stopped taking sugar, rice, wheat, and bakery items. I kept my protein level in check and made sure to include healthy and good fats too. 

Then and now

This was when I was 21 years old, and now I am 32. My lifestyle has taken a 360 turn. I am no more at my physical best. I exercise only 2-3 days a week. My work involves me to be sedentary most of the time. I had a corporate job where I would do most of my work on my laptop. 

Because of my lifestyle, I had put on a lot of weight just in 2 years. I was 72 in school, then I went upto 55kgs in college. 🙁

A few years back I was back to 72 kilos which I could not believe at all. 

A friend recommended me to naturopathy way to lose weight. I tried that, lost a few kgs and then again got back to where I was. 

Here I realized that I need something which complements my lifestyle and not the fancy medical science. Something that I can stay consistent with and doesn’t makes me cook a lot or even is tough to manage. 

My introduction to keto 

I was introduced to keto diet by a friend who is an ex-army guy preparing for the UPSC examination. While he had long sitting and studying hours, he was bound to gain weight and he did. He lost about 13 kgs just in 3 months by measuring his portion sizes and keeping away from carbohydrates. 

While I saw his transformation, I got motivated to try it too. I started reading about it. Reading everything about it. 

I will help all of you with a guide here as to how you can follow keto diet step by step. But I will still recommend you to read enough to avoid making mistakes while following the diet. 

My first month with the ketogenic diet: 

I clearly remember, the first thing I did was not to shop or to start full-fledged. I replaced my lunch meal with keto meal food that I would order from the keto delivery store next door. My first goal was to get used to the keto food pattern, learn recipes and then eventually get to 3 meals a day of keto diet myself. 

My typical day would look something like this: 

Breakfast: 2 boiled eggs + 1 cup milk coffee (with sweetener) 
Mid -meal: 1 fruit 
Lunch: Keto chicken meal / Keto wrap / Keto burger / egg bhurji
Evening: 1 cup milk coffee without sugar 
Dinner: Paneer bhurji/ oat meal / Poha /  Upma / Chicken soup / Chilly chicken 

My Second month with the ketogenic diet: 

By now I learned many things. Keto recipes became easy to identify. I got used to the taste of keto bread. I learned how stevia tastes. And most importantly, how tough or easy it could be for me to manage to be on a keto diet. 🙂

By now, I had already lost 2 kilos even without being on keto diet.  

Next month, I started making a few more changes to my diet. I also went to the nearby medical store and purchased keto strips box to measure my ketosis. 

I knew it that if I had to follow this, I should be able to measure my efforts to efficiency. 

What is ketosis and how to know your body is in ketosis: 

Ketosis is a process where the body breaks the stored or eaten fat and releases the number of ketones and water which can be tested either through blood or urine. 

There are 2 ways to check ketosis: 

Lab test: 

The first is a blood test through an accreditated laboratory. This can be a tedious process and may not be a user-friendly process. 

Urinalysis/keto sticks test: 

These sticks are available in the market in different sizes and from different brands. You can buy a bottle with 50 strips, 100 strips or even more as well. Generally, ketosis test strips measure your glucose/ sugar level as well as the level of ketones in your blood/ urine. 

This is how when I started measuring ketosis, the color started changing from Day 0 to 4th Day. 

Keto sticks color change

If you see that the color moving from pale yellow to thick red color. That means I was depleting the glucose level of my body slowly to zero and increasing the ketones to large ketones in my body. 

One more sign which was very common was that I was urinating so frequently, that added up to confirm my ketosis.  

I started measuring ketosis almost every day and then made it a weekly affair after 2 weeks. 

Month 2 diet looked something like this: 

Breakfast: 3 boiled egg white + 1 cheese slice 
Mid -meal: Black coffee with stevia + 04 almonds + 2 full walnuts
Lunch: Creamy chicken in mushroom & spinach / Creamy egg in mushroom and spinach / Keto chicken momos or paneer momos made in cabbage
Evening: 1 cup black coffee with stevia 
Dinner: Chicken salad / Tuna salad /  Paneer salad 

My experience following keto diet second month: 

  • Appetite reduced drastically, I wasn’t feeling hungry here at all. No hunger pangs. 
  • Drinking enough water. I made sure to stick to about 8-10 glasses of water daily. 
  • Felt absolutely more energetic, sleep pattern improved and felt more positive. 
  • Measured ketosis every day for 2 weeks and then once weekly only.
  • Started with multi-vitamins and magnesium which helped me to stay away from symptoms like dizziness and tingling which is very common in keto diet due to their deficiencies.

By end of the second month my weight from 72, dropped down to 62 kilos. The weight loss was happening at a good rate and loved every bit of it. 

My experience following keto diet

Experience with the third month on keto diet: 

By now, I was becoming a chef. Cooking became absolutely easy. I will find options to mix and match and order online. I started reading macros for everything that I ate. 

It is very important to measure your macronutrients and micronutrients at least initially to know that your daily carb intake is not at all more than 5% of the total. There are a couple of free applications that you can use and track my nutritional intake daily for comparison. 

These apps will not only track your daily nutritional intake but also helps you to know which food has what in it. Is the food high in proteins, carbohydrates or fats. 

I tweaked my diet in the 3rd month. I also picked up a moderate level 3 days workout with a walk of about 10k steps daily. The diet and exercise combination also helped me to maintain my good muscle mass too. 

Third-month on my experience following keto diet:

Early morning: Apple cider vinegar 
Breakfast: 2 egg cheese omelet with mushroom 
Mid meal: Bulletproof coffee
Lunch: Cauli rice with chicken creamy curry/keto chicken burger or paneer burger /  Keto pizza 
Evening: 1 cup black coffee with stevia + 04 almonds + 02 walnuts 

In the third month, I was majorly on an autopilot mode. No struggle anymore with cooking or grocery shopping. Everything was easy to prepare. The recipes took just 10 mins to cook. To know grocery shopping list click here. 

Download my grocery list for keto diet here

End of the 3rd month, I was realizing that my weight was reducing a little slower than before. This may happen to you as well, just don’t worry about it. In the beginning, you tend to lose a lot of water from the body. This time you are burning only fat. 

End of the third month I was at 59kg. 

My experience following keto diet

Things to include while on keto diet: 

  • Chicken, fish, pork, meat, eggs
  • Heavy whipping cream, cream cheese, cheese -all forms
  • Grass-fed butter, pasteurized butter, ghee, olive oil
  • Cabbage, cauliflower, bell peppers, onions, spinach, kale
  • Bottle gourd, ridge gourd, ladyfinger, eggplant, olives
  • Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, cranberries, mulberries 
  • Milk – coconut milk, almond milk
  • Almond flour, coconut flour
  • Sesame seeds, flax seeds
  • Nuts- almonds, walnuts, peanuts 
  • Indian cottage cheese/ paneer, hung curd

Fourth month on my experience following keto diet

This month was tough. I already started having sugar craving. I started with 2 more things along with this, I started checking my blood sugar level too once a week. Mostly it came under control. 

But at times it may also lead to hypoglycemia as well esp if your blood sugar levels were higher than normal or if you are type 2 diabetic. 

I was mostly following recipes which were either continental, which included grilled food or was salads. I was completely missing my Indian food recipes. So what I decided was to play around our Indian recipes and keeping in mind my macros, I started cooking my food. So here is how my month’s diet looked like: 

Morning: 1 glass water mixed with apple cider vinegar

Early morning: 1 cup black coffee with stevia 
Breakfast( earlier my breakfast use to be at 9 am, now I started it at 10 am): 

03 egg white cheese omellete or 03 egg boiled with 1 spoon peanut butter 
No Mid Meal 

Lunch: Almond flour pancakes -03 + shahi paneer in cream+butter more onions and less tomatoes 

Butter chicken + keto bread slices – 02
Evening: 1 glass cold coffee made of heavy cream + stevia 

Dinner: 1 cup creamy spinach soup 

Paneer or a chicken burger made with keto bread

This pattern of diet helped me to work on reducing another couple of kgs more. End of the fourth month I was at 53 kilos and super happy with the results.