We Tried the Keto Diet for a Day: Here Are 3 Surprising Lessons Learned
It was way trickier than we thought.
At this point in 2018, it’s highly unlikely that you haven’t heard of the ketogenic diet, known someone who’s tried it, or even gone on it yourself. It’s the high-fat, low-carb diet that many adherents claim is the secret to rapid weight loss, and the panacea for everything from low energy to even diabetes. Dieticians and doctors, however, warn that it isn’t for everyone and results can be mixed—going on keto can also come with a host of unpleasant side-effects like the dreaded “keto flu” that can leave you feeling, groggy, achy, and tired. We had Nicole McLaughlin, host of Mom vs. and general carb enthusiast, take on the much touted diet for a day, and we learned it was way trickier than you would think.
1. It’s time-consuming
Like most serious diets, keto relies heavily on meticulous planning and meal-prepping, to avoid falling off the rails when food cravings hit. But between planning a menu, shopping, and taking the time to cook, it’s a serious time commitment to make it work—Nicole was pretty exhausted after just one day on keto, so we have serious respect for those who manage to stick to the diet long-term. The tricky part: Many grab-and-go convenience snacks one would normally reach for like crackers and peanut butter, or protein bars all had too high of a carb-count to work on the keto diet.
2. It’s expensive
Stocking up on high-fat snacks can leave a serious dent in your wallet. Cheese, avocados, butter, and meat aren’t exactly the cheapest grabs at the supermarket—Nicole’s grocery run ended up being over $60 for mostly snacks alone. The permissible sugar substitute on the keto diet, erythritol, was $8, way more than we’re used to shelling out for sugar. It takes some serious planning and strategy for budget-friendly shopping on the keto diet. For example, hitting up the bulk bins for at the grocery store for dried goods like nuts, and making sure to stick to a regimented meal plan helped Nicole curb some costs.
3. It makes you feel super full—fast
Just half a day of eating high-fat food left Nicole too full to even want to think about lunch. After a butter-blitzed bulletproof coffee, and an avocado breakfast burger, she didn’t even want to make—let alone eat—the keto-approved pickle, meat, and cheese sandwich for lunch, or the “fat bomb” snack. By 10:30 a.m., Nicole was seriously stuffed, and she didn’t even finish breakfast. After talking to an expert, it turns out it makes perfect sense. Eating a calorie-dense, fat-filled breakfast can leave you so full, you may not even have an appetite at dinnertime. Thankfully, a keto-approved, fresh, light salad hit the spot for dinner after a day full of bacon grease and butter, and may have been her favorite meal of the day.