I followed the keto diet for a week and used urine test strips to check when I was in ketosis.
That was only after six days – because I ate a lot of protein and carbohydrates before I started the diet.
From coconut chicken curry to cheese omelettes, here’s what I ate.
I have the Keto Diets Tried it for a week to see how long it takes my body to get into ketosis. The keto diet, or ketogenic diet, is high-fat and low-carb — and is designed to put the body into a state that occurs when the body starts burning fat instead of carbs: said ketosis.
To check if I was in ketosis, I bought some cheap keto urine test strips online. You pee on a strip, and when it changes color you’re in ketosis. Oxford University keto expert Professor Kieran Clarke told me that urine test strips aren’t as accurate as blood tests – but I live in the UK and here the health system only carries such tests for people with urgent health conditions.
The nutritionist Amy Lee told me it should only take a few days to get into ketosis. But it took me six days. This is probably because I ate a lot of protein and carbohydrates before I started the diet.
According to Lee, protein can be converted to glucose, which is why eating a lot of this macronutrient can take longer to reach ketosis. Some people also metabolize carbohydrates faster than others.
The standard keto diet is recommended at 70 percent fat, 20 percent protein, and 10 percent carbohydrates (generally limited to 30-50 grams per day). You can also opt for a high-protein keto diet, which should be about 60 percent fat, 35 percent protein, and 5 percent carbohydrates. When weightlifterwho likes a high protein diet, I ate the following.
For breakfast I got creative
On the keto diet, eating obvious carbs like pasta, bread, or potatoes is not allowed. However, one must not eat fruit either, except for small portions of berries. Vegetables are also prohibited, with the exception of leafy greens, cauliflower and peppers. Milk should also not be on the menu.
I usually eat something sweet for breakfast: baked oatmeal or yoghurt with fruit and muesli. Therefore, the first meal of the day was difficult for me. I then settled on meals like chocolate protein chia seed pudding with raspberries and peanut butter, and smoothies made with almond milk, vanilla protein powder, almond butter, cinnamon, and spinach.
Lunch mostly consisted of eggs
Most of my lunchtime meals consisted of eggs, for example scrambled eggs with avocado, sausage and asparagus or a cheesy spring omelette with a side of avocado. I cooked with lots of oil and butter so I could reach my fat goal.
I expected to eat large amounts of avocado. But in fact, half a medium-sized piece of fruit contains nine grams of carbs, so I had to watch my portion sizes.
For dinner, I tried alternative grains
For my evening meals I made coconut chicken curry (again cooked with lots of oil) with some peppers. I usually eat this with rice. But for the keto diet, I made cauliflower rice by chopping up raw cauliflower in a food processor. Later in the week, I made zucchini with Mexican-spiced beef, cheese, and avocado.
Snacking in between was a challenge. But I kept my energy levels high with nuts, beef jerky, nut butters and Greek yogurt.
You may not be in ketosis if you’re not monitoring your food intake closely
My experiment taught me…