Being my own coach
In last week’s blog, My year in review and thoughts about the new one, I talked about needing to be my own coach and needing to take the advice I give to clients. So, as I talk about it here, you get a bit of Granny Keto coaching advice.
Where do I/you begin?
First of all, I want to start by saying that, especially if you have only ever been on CICO diets (calories in - calories out), you must learn what a carbohydrate is and how many are in each food you like to consume. A physician once said to me, “Dates have carbs?” I think most people think carbs are only bread, potatoes, pasta and maybe popcorn. I still look some things up and I take note of carb counts in recipes, but eventually you too will know how much is in what food. I will also start by saying that you can take this as loosely or as tightly as you want, but to have success you must stay within a certain carb range and make a decision whether you will count total carbs or net carbs. (Ask) Nurse Cindy, with whom some of you may be familiar, put it brilliantly: Net carbs is over-the-counter strength Keto and total carbs is prescription-strength Keto! But the bottom line, in either case, is that you have to educate yourself about carbs. A third thing I want to say is that with an open mind and a little bit of planning there is no reason to not eat Keto every day, for any event, under all circumstances. If you choose to “go off” then you have consequences: not feeling well, arousal of cravings, feeling bad about yourself and questioning if you even want to continue at all. Not everyone has all those consequences and some have none. You just need to learn your limits and triggers.
Granny Keto’s niche and coaching myself
When I coach clients who are new to Keto I absolutely recommend knowing what a macro is (carb/protein/fat). We decide where to start carbs (usually no more than 20 net or total, based on where the client is metabolically) and I encourage tracking — carbs only, at the very least. As the client becomes comfortable with limiting carbs we move on to understanding protein limits and how and why not to fear fat. Again, tracking has its place. However, I will move the client toward less tracking and more “eyeballing” — but this cannot be done until the foundation is set and is strong. How on earth would you know how many grams of carbohydrates are in a serving of cheese or cooked vegetables? How on earth would you know how many grams of protein are in a serving of chicken or beef? How would you know what a serving is? You get this information by weighing and measuring and tracking. How would you know you are getting enough good fats? Again, weighing, measuring and tracking.
However, that being said, my goal — nay, my niche — is to ultimately teach people to eat a well-formulated and grounded Ketogenic diet. Some people love data and they want to weigh and measure and track for the rest of their Keto lives. I will support that too. But for me, and many of my clients, Keto is not sustainable taking this approach. In four recent Granny Keto YouTube videos: Eyeballing it, Keto meals, Be careful with baked goods, and Tracking, I talk about how to move toward Keto freedom. And this is how I need to coach myself.
All my years of yo-yo dieting (starting when I was about 13 years old) makes me constantly question my ability to trust my decisions and actions. After all, those decisions and actions got me to almost 100 pounds overweight. What’s there to trust? However, I have been solidly on Keto now for over two years. I hate to track — it is not who I am. I love to cook and “throw” together Keto recipes — building them by what I have available and how the flavors go together. Now that my husband and I are both retired he either does elaborate meals, or we catch as catch can, or we eat out. None of that is conducive to tracking. Yes, I would coach a new client to be a little more structured so that macros (carbs at the very least) and nuances could be better learned. But how do I coach a more seasoned client, someone like myself? I say, first of all, eat only Keto foods. Second, look at each meal individually and make sure that your plate looks somewhat similar to a macro meal (small portion of carbs, if you are eating them), fill out the rest of the quarter to third of the plate with protein and add fat so that you won’t be hungry until your next meal. No, you cannot do this your first week — or even first month — of Keto. But after a while, certainly after the two years I have been Keto, this eyeballing of each meal will land me up where I need to be at the end of the day, not only to stay in ketosis, but to lose weight, if I am still actively doing so. I would coach my client to trust her intelligence and ability to make good decisions. I would coach my client to realize that going back to checking things here and there is not a sign of stupidity or failure — even world-renowned experts at anything usually take refresher courses in their field.
My final and most important piece of advice is to do Keto from the heart. I urge you and all my clients to download my free guide, Dancing with Keto and to watch my YouTube video entitled Amira. Because I am my own client I am going to read the guide again and watch the video and rewatch the four videos I mentioned above. These are my refresher courses!