Dieting. Another thing I have just never been good at. I have tried dieting several times along with exercise, and each time I fell off the wagon after a few months at most. As passionate as I am about virtual reality, for my weight loss results so far, I needed to adjust my diet as well. This post just contains what has worked and is working for me. It definitely is not the same for everyone.
There are so many diets out there, it can be hard to know what will work for you. I had always had minor success with calorie counting. But the problem is, once I would start to lose weight, my daily calorie allotment would get lower and lower. Starting out with 1800 calories per day, I would be fine. But as the number approached 1200-1300, it got harder and harder.
Even when I started out with my VR regimen, I counted calories for the first 6 months. And again, it got difficult after some weight loss. I faced the fact that I had to focus more on limiting what foods I was eating and not just eating less of whatever I wanted. This is simple, I know, but I still tried to ignore it and just eat whatever I wanted in smaller quantities. However, I found that a taste of my favorite foods wasn’t enough, and this just resulted in more cravings.
A few months ago, I started evaluating what I was eating and what empty calories I could get rid of. Most of the “empty calories” seemed to be in high carb foods, so I started doing a low carb diet. Low carb transitioned into what I am doing now, a ketogenic diet.
Keto is a diet that limits your daily net carbs and focuses on high fat. I get 23g of net carbs per day. Net carbs are basically carbs, minus fiber, minus sugar alcohols. Look at the nutrition label on almost anything, and you’ll see that it’s hard to stay under 23g.
I had friends always telling me about keto, and that I should try it. But the main reason I didn’t is as I just said, it seemed too hard. But I made a deal to do it for a month. My husband even agreed to do it with me.
Within the first week, I noticed that I felt significantly better. My Lyme disease means I have bad joints, arthritis, chronic fatigue, and a lot of inflammation, as well as migraines. A lot of days, I would not get my VR workout in simply because I was too tired or in too much pain. But with the ketogenic diet, I have had more energy and less inflammation than ever.
I know this may not apply to everyone, but if you do suffer from a lot of pain and inflammation, I have noticed great improvements with a low carb/keto diet. It works very well in conjunction with my VR workouts, because my inflammation is lowered, and the VR is low impact. This helps me to not be in a lot of pain during and after working out, like I am with traditional workout options. I’ve specifically enjoyed BoxVR, as I feel the squat position helps to strengthen my legs and alleviate my arthritis in my knees.
For me, my diet change has increased my workout activity by close to double. This has lead to good rates of weight loss. And even better than the weight loss, I feel so much better. I also naturally eat less calories because the ones I’m eating are filling. I’m not saying that keto or low carb is right for everyone, but I am encouraging others to try different diets. You may be surprised like I was, and find one you actually enjoy!