Keto coaches Lori Ballen and Ashley Helvin, wearing matching keto strong tank tops discuss the topic of the keto diet

Let’s Talk Keto with Coaches Lori Ballen and Ashley Helvin

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Keto coaches Lori Ballen and Ashley Helvin, wearing matching keto strong tank tops discuss the topic of the keto diet
In this video about the Ketogenic Way of Eating, Coaches Lori Ballen and Ashley Helvin share how they approached their Keto Diets differently and what they did the same.

Lori Ballen is a member of the Amazon Associates Program and earns money from qualifying purchases. Posts contain affiliate links that benefit Lori as well.

In this video about the Ketogenic Way of Eating, Keto Coaches Lori Ballen and Ashley Helvin share how they approached their Keto Diets differently and what they did the same.

Between the two of us together we
have shed 92-pounds this year.


I am Facebook Live here today. Hey, I am Lori Ballen, your Keto coach and I am here with Ashley Helvin who is my assistant keto coach and also happens to be my sister in law. Now. I have my phone here with me so that I can see your questions because I’m, I have Sabrina actually behind the computer today so I can’t see your questions and let me just pop this open here and I see us. Why there we are. See, that’s us.

This is Ashley’s first Facebook live. So nervous. Not going to lie. How nervous are you? Nervous. She’s pretty petrified. Like nine out of 10. So I always say in all of my businesses that we create a culture of video. So it’s important to be on video. I Think. So what we’re going to do today, and if I’m looking down on my phone, it’s only so that I can see your questions as they come in.

The Ketogenic Diet

What I want to talk about today is the ketogenic diet. So I started keto in January of 2018 this year and I shed 50 pounds in six months.

When did you start, Ashley?

April. Second day after Easter.

So Ashley started three months after I did.

And how much weight have you lost?

I have lost 42 pounds. Forty- two pounds.

So between the two of us together We have shed 92 pounds this year.

Lori Ballen:                   02:13               All right. So what I want to do here is I want to explain a little bit about what the ketogenic diet is. And Ashley and I are gonna talk a little bit about how we’re kind of doing it similarly and differently all at the same time.

I heard somebody say once that there are 50 shades of keto and we believe that are true. In fact, Ashley and I, this is one of the reasons why I wanted to get her on camera is because we kind of have this little debate that happens quite often. It’s a very healthy debate about how I do keto and how she does keto and what we’re learning from other people in what we’re learning from our materials.

And there is no wrong way, but there are different ways.  

The ketogenic diet basically means that you’re eating a low carb, moderate protein, high-fat diet.

Lori Ballen:                   03:10               Okay. And for most of us low carb means, about 50 carbohydrates or less, would you agree with that?


So on your average day, how many carbs do you think you’re eating? 

Ashley: I probably don’t typically go for about 35 because I don’t eat a lot of fiber. I have noticed if I eat more than that, I typically go over my net 20, which is total carbs minus fiber and so I try to keep my more around 35 grams of carbs a day.

Okay. So like she just said the goal is, and that’s 20 carbs, so total carbs minus fiber equals net 20. So if you’re eating foods like avocado that are super high in fiber and already a lot of vegetables, you’re able to eat more carbs because you’re going to-be able to track that fiber and you’re going to have that 20.

Keto and Exercise

Lori Ballen:                   04:04               I am, , those of you that know me, I’m definitely more of a scientific type person. I like to test and measure and I do use a ketone blood meter to measure how my body’s producing ketones and what foods kicked me out of Ketosis or keep me in ketosis, which is a little bit high level for this conversation.

Ashley doesn’t do any of that. So she just knows these are my foods, these are what I can eat. And she knows she’s in Ketosis this all the time where I test and measure.

So that’s one of those things that we do a little bit different.  I’ll tell you that in my case, believe it or not, I can eat about a hundred carbs in a day and stay in ketosis. You might too. You’ve maybe never tested. So we wouldn’t know. And what happens is the longer you’re on this way of eating, the more your body kicks back into ketosis anyway, is what we have found.

So you’re not being knocked out for too long. You’re, you’re back in pretty quickly. One of the things that Ashley and I are doing very differently is when I started the Keto Diet, I did not exercise at all because I felt like I am to all or nothing.

Lori Ballen:                   05:28               Whatever it is I’m doing, I get super obsessed with it. And so I felt like I couldn’t control my diet and monitor all of those foods and be in the kitchen all the time and prepping all that food and be working out at the same time. So I did not work out and I shed 50 pounds in six months. Ashley did the opposite.

So tell, tell us what you did. Ashley

Ashley Helvin:              05:58              Yeah. For me, I’ve always Yoyo dieted,. My natural like fat kid weight is 185 pounds. Eat whatever you want. That’s where I would always land. And then I would get down to about 165 by dieting and I decided that I felt good and then somehow creep right back-up to that 185.

And so when I started I wanted it to be a lifestyle change. So I actually met with a trainer at my gym the Friday before Easter and that’s when I decided I’m going to do the Keto Diet. I’m going to work-out five, six days a week and I’m gonna Change my whole outlook around food and exercise and all that. And so I actually went into personal training once a week at the gym five, six days a week and doing the Keto Diet.

Lori Ballen:                   06:38               Yeah. So we have a question.  Carmen is asking if that would explain why she’s been in cheat mode the last four days and actually lost weight because she’s already in Ketosis.

When you drop your carbs really low, your body starts producing something called ketones. What happens after a-while is your body starts living off of those ketones for energy instead of glucose, which is what we want.

eing in Ketosis does not mean you’re necessarily losing weight. It’s not necessarily the same thing. Being in ketosis means you’re burning fat. You probably have better brain clarity. You don’t have the afternoon brain fog, there’s more energy, there are lots of benefits to it, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that you can eat a bunch of stuff and still lose weight.

So in your case, Carmen, it could-be, if you’ve had four cheat days, you might see wait gain next week because that might not have shown up yet. Now, I don’t know how bad your cheat days are.

Caloric Deficit

Ashley Helvin:                   08:05               I was going to say it’s also a caloric deficit too, so if you’re eating a cheat day and you’re still staying close to 12 to 1400 calories a day, you might not be going to be in Ketosis, but you might still be losing weight just because of the sheer caloric deficit.

Lori Ballen:                   08:19                It all depends on how bad that cheat day is. That’s exactly right. It’s funny because Ashley and I launched a 60-day keto challenge today, so excited and we reached 100 sign ups. So we do have our 100 signed up, but we could probably squeeze a couple more in if you signed up today after this call and one of the coolest things is about having Ashley and myself in there and you’re going to start seeing a ton of us on video.

I’m going to be as authentic as I possibly know how to do. I’m a little bit of a prude. I’m a little more, I don’t know the word I’m looking for a little more proper.

Lori Ballen:                   09:13               I like to have a certain image. Okay. Ashley’s like “no bullshit”. Throw it down it. This is how it is like real deal kind of person.  And I think you guys are really going to like the differences in our style.

Well I’m incredibly direct. So is Ashley.  She’s friendlier than I am. Don’t you think she’s friendlier than I am? We’re also in, in different lifestyle phases right now, so I just turned 47 and I have a teenager at home and other than that I’m pretty free. I own my own businesses.

I work from home and I have a lot of freedom and, and it’s a really cool place in life to be but I’m only cooking for myself almost all of the time because my teenager, she’s generally eating things that I’m probably not eating.

Lori Ballen:                   10:16               A lot of you guys can relate to where I’m at now. Ashley, I will share with you, I’ve told this story before. Ashley, how many babies have you had?

I’ve had six babies in six years. Okay.

So Ashley’s had six babies in six years and three of them were not hers. Sounds very good. So Ashley was a surrogate mother, so she had twins and she had one other baby and then she has three of her own. So for her to have lost this much weight and to be at the gym, just killing it every day is incredible.

Lori Ballen:                   11:19               I share that with you because I want you guys to understand like there are no excuses. We’re all in different places in our lives and different phases and what we can afford to do with our organics or maybe you’re not buying all the organic grass-fed cow butter and cheese and, and needs and you’re starting off somewhere else or maybe you can do all of that. Maybe you’re like Ashley where you’re on the run all the time.

You’re shuffling kids back and forth and you really have to learn how to eat on the go and Ashley actually posted a picture today of  Charlotte, her youngest one eating a Danish in the store.

Ashley:Those are so good too.

Oh, that’s brutal. Right? So you and you can probably relate to a lot of, you guys can relate to that. So having us both as coaches is really cool because we are in those different places.

Keto Foods

Lori Ballen:                   12:12               Essentially with the Ketogenic Diet, you can work it however you want to. There are typical foods that are approved keto and there are typical foods that are not traditionally keto.

As you work through this plan and as you lose weight and when you get to the point like where I am, where you’re closer to maintenance, you can add some of those foods back in and you could do even a little bit more low carb versus Keto.

Keto Cycling

You can cycle in and out. Some people do keto cycling, some people cheat on the weekends. They call it cheating. I hate that word. Or they’ll be keto all week and then they’ll take off weekends. Some people will be strict for a season or “quarter” and then take a little time off.

Lori Ballen:                   13:05               For me personally, here’s how I do it.

I’m very strict at home. I Work keto, very strict. I count calories. I use an APP on my phone. I count calories, I count my carbs. I count protein. I measure magnesium, potassium, Sodium etc.

When I travel, when I go on vacation, I’m just off Keto, I just eat whatever I want to and I’ll tell you, I start feeling like crap probably two days in, but still it’s like nice having my brain relax because I’m always thinking about food and counting calories. So a lot of focus that goes into that kind of stuff. 

How about you Ashley?

Ashley Helvin:                   14:00               You know, in the beginning I was really strict. I spent a lot of time tracking. , I’m pretty lazy. I’m not going to lie. I’m lazy about eating and I fast a lot because I don’t like to prep, but when I do prep I eat a lot of the same things.

I know now that you know, two hard boiled eggs and two pieces of bacon and a string cheese is 400 some calories. And so I don’t track on days that I’m eating the same things that I always eat because I know that it will be 1200 calories at the end of the day and less than 20 carbs. But I always track new recipes and days when I’m eating anything that I haven’t eaten before because you never know, even though the recipe says it’s only eight grams of carbs, I’m not really sure how that’s going to fit within my day and make sure that it’s still under that 20. So once I’ve done it a couple times, I stopped tracking, but. So I kind of Lazy keto 50 percent of the time.

Testing for Ketones

There’s a question in. So she was asking is testing blood or through urine strips better? 

Ashley Helvin                   15:42            Good question.   I would say it’s perfectly fine in the beginning. Once you’re actually in Ketosis for awhile and your body is actually using the ketones, it stops working or it might show really high at one point on the urine strips. And then nothing. Matter of fact, I tested last night for the first time in a long time,  and it showed negative for ketosis.  I’ve been really good and I couldn’t believe it. So I, I’m thinking maybe I need to get a blood monitor. But then I’m like, okay, maybe I don’t need it.

Lori Ballen:                   16:16               Ashley should never get a blood monitor because she’ll get obsessed.  I literally poke my finger like five, six, seven times a day without even thinking about it. I’m not doing it as much anymore because I’m eating a lot of the same foods. But I would eat something and I would want to test it.

Like I’ve heard if you eat an excessive amount of protein in one sitting, it’ll knock you out of ketosis, I eat like a big plateful, like eight ounces of protein, and then I’ll test to see if it. If it knocked me out or I’ll put something new in my shake. So I love. We both are are we love? We love our protein powders and our shakes and our electrolytes and our BCAA’s and our pre workout and our post workout and oh my gosh, that sounds like so much.

I’m a HUGE fan of Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides and add them to everything. 

Lori Ballen:                   17:09               Now we didn’t do any of that in the beginning by the way, but we do a lot of it now, but I might try something new and I want to see what had happened to my blood levels and I’ll check the meter. I’ll check my glucose level and I’ll check my ketones ketone levels, but the urine strips exactly what she said. If you want to get them in the beginning, they’re super cheap.

Ashley: All it’s going to tell you is if your body’s producing ketones, it’s not going to tell you if your body is using ketones because you might be producing them and just piano right out. That happens too for awhile and after a couple months it’s going to show negative all the time, even though you’re in Ketosis, so it will freak your brain out. But I knew that and I was still freaked out about it yesterday.

Keto Breath

Lori Ballen:                   17:48             First of all, if you’re just eating low carbs, you’re going to be in ketosis. You don’t need to worry about it. Just stay under 50 carbs, focus on net 20 carbs. You’re going to be in ketosis. But when you first get into Ketosis, you might notice things like bad breath. Ashley and I were both talking about the fact that when we go in and out of Ketosis, we taste metal. Right? Isn’t that the description? Yeah. It’s almost like a metal, like blood. It’s weird. It’s a weird kind of little flavor when you’re first getting in. It’s Keto Breath.

Lori Ballen:                   18:36              When going through the transition to get into ketosis, You might feel kind of sluggish, you might not feel real good, but then all of a sudden your body starts using those ketones and now your energy’s up. Your brain fog is gone. You’re not hungry anymore. You’re in Ketosis, so you really don’t even need the blood tests. 

Keto Coaching

Ashley and I are to be doing a whole bunch of videos about very specific things related to the Ketogenic Diet. We’re going to do some debates on some bantering. We’re going to go shopping together. We’re going to show you guys grocery three halls, but you do want to be in our coaching group and be one of our coaching clients and that is in the 60 day Keto challenge is started today, so come on in and join us and this is the perfect time to get in

60-Day Keto Challenge

It’s a very structured week by week, starting with prep, how to purge your kitchen, how to shop.

We give you a grocery list and meal plans and recipes and we tell you what vitamins and supplements you need to take so that you don’t get the Keto flu and we’re really there to guide you and support you.

Ashley really runs the facebook group and she also does all of the onboarding calls so she calls you and explains what the program is and people are just loving her and really hitting it off.

I’m giving specific guidance and helping with more of the advanced techniques and questions as well. 

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