Diet 2017 – My First Week of Ketosis

This is a follow up to my last post titled Diet 2017 – Starting My Journey into Ketosis – please read that first so you know how I got here.

Step 4 – Ketosis via the Keto Diet

I started on the Keto diet officially on April 21st, 2017 – today marks the 11th day of being on the Keto diet. For those unfamiliar, the Keto diet is pretty simple. It is a high-fat, mid-protein, low-carb diet with a focus on having your body operate off of blood ketones, instead of blood glucose, for energy. The basic premise was summarized in the previous post, but the general idea is that this diet will force your body to operate off of ketones (which come from fat) instead of glucose (which comes from carbs/sugar) – effectively putting your body into fat burning mode. Interesting side note – excess glucose gets stored as fat, excess ketones get peed out – that’s a huge win for ketone energy in my book.

How did it go? Well, from April 21st to May 1st I went from 218.1 pounds to 213.7 pounds – a loss of 4.4 pounds. Given that in the previous step of my diet I lost 2.1 pounds over an entire month, and given that I’d already lost ~20 pounds so far this year (arguably the easiest to lose), I’d count this as an absolutely huge win. Dropping 4.4 pounds in 10 days is definitely a pace I could get used to – I’m hoping it sustains at that rate.

How was the process? Overall I’d say not too shabby. When you read about the Keto diet you’ll often hear of something called the ‘keto flu’. This is really a carb/sugar flu, which is basically a period of time in which you can feel sick, have headaches, etc. while your body makes the transition from having normal carbs/sugar to having less than 20g of carbs a day – basically like coming off an addiction. Luckily for me I didn’t really experience this. I had read that hydration was a big key, and I’ve been very intentional about staying hydrated. The only symptoms I experienced as part of this ‘keto flu’ was that I noticed I felt slightly overheated, like a mild fever, for a single day during some walking around with my son at soccer – I believe that was day 2 or 3. Aside from that I had a couple of nights of not being able to sleep well during that same time – since then I’m sleeping like a baby. I’ve been sticking to less than 20g of carbs a day, and haven’t noticed any negative side effects. I have however noticed some positive side effects which I want to briefly touch on.

Positive Side Effects So Far

  • Reduced Cravings – I’ve always been a big snacker, especially late at night – usually snacking up until 11 or 12 at night. I have not snacked at all on this diet. Part of that is trying to adhere to intermittent fasting, but the majority of it is just feeling satiated all the time. I no longer want a snack ~3 hours after a meal. The higher fat content definitely stays with me longer, and I haven’t had any cravings all this week in the evenings – pretty amazing for me.
  • Steady Energy – I have noticed that I no longer get the shakes after extended periods of not eating. Previously I would experience shakes and other obvious signs that I had to eat if I went past 11am or so without eating. Since being on the Keto diet I have experienced none of that.
  • Improved Mood – I am noticing improvement to my bad mood I would usually have in the hour leading up to dinner. I believe this is because of not needing a sugar/carb fix every ~3-4 hours like before.
  • Improved Skin Conditions – This may border on TMI, but I’ve had a couple of skin issues that I’ve noticed have cleared up. First, I have had some sort of dead/white/scaly skin on the back of my ankles/heels for many years now – it is now entirely gone. Second, I had some sort of blister on the bottom of my big toe for 3-4 months now, which hurt bad enough that I couldn’t really walk in flip-flops while at the beach – that has now entirely healed. Sure it could be a coincidence, but I had notable pain putting any pressure on that toe up until the start of this step of the diet, and now it is entirely gone. It went from being inflamed and irritated to being back to normal.
  • More Sustained Strength – I have continued to progress in how many reps I can do with my dumbbells (at the same weight as before), and noted that I appear to have longer lasting energy in completing later sets – even at higher reps.

What My Average Day Looks Like

Peeing on Ketone Strips
A few times a day I pee on a Ketone strip. These basically measure the amount of ketones in my urine. A first sign of entering ketosis is starting to get a positive reading on these strips. I started seeing some level of pink/purple on day 3-4 of the diet, and have ranged from somewhat pink to a semi-purple each time since. These strips aren’t the most accurate (there are blood test strips similar to glucose test strips and even a breathalyzer which give more precise numbers), but they were good enough for me to get an idea that I was progressing in generating ketones (something my body wasn’t doing before).

Foods I’m Eating
My diet right now isn’t super varied. It’s something I’m working on, but honestly I am a pretty simple guy that doesn’t much care about eating the same thing frequently. Most days my lunch and dinner consists of the following in some sort of combination: Chicken / tuna / salmon / hamburger / steak + eggs + spinach / asparagus / broccoli + sour cream / guacamole / cottage cheese / shredded cheese / salsa. My main goals are avoiding anything labeled ‘low-fat’ (which really means the fat was removed and replaced with carbs/sugar), and having more fat than protein. I’ve picked up a few different foods to try out, but haven’t yet, including pork rinds, sardines, and string cheese.

Eating out has been somewhat of a challenge, but I’ve done pretty well overall. For example, I went out to eat with family at an Italian restaurant. My first thought was just get a steak and some vegetables, but they didn’t have a steak. My next thought was a meat and cheese plate, but they didn’t have that either. In the end I got a shrimp + pasta meal and just asked them to swap the pasta for broccoli – worked out fine. Similarly, I’ve found that I can still go eat hibachi and just substitute extra vegetables instead of rice. I’ve also been exposed to wedding cake and an ice-cream stand this last weekend, and I managed to only have one bite of each.

When I’m Eating
I’ve largely been following an intermittent diet of not eating after ~8-9pm, and not eating the next day until ~1pm. I feel mildly hungry by 1pm, but given that I’m not eating until midnight the night before anymore, this is a net increase of ~4-6 hours between dinner and lunch with no notable side effects (besides a positive one of not getting the shakes as mentioned above).

How I’m Exercising
For the last 1-2 months I’ve been getting in ~30 minutes of exercise a day. Up until now I have mostly been doing cardio with a VR game called Soundboxing, but I’m now doing 10 minute elliptical runs with short breaks in between. I am also doing 4 different weight lifting exercises daily with 35 pound barbells. I’ve progressed from 3 sets of 10 reps to 3 sets of 16 reps as of today – I definitely have more staying energy.

A Summary of What I’ve Learned

I’m finding some parallels to when I quit smoking 10 years ago. I had tried to do that 3-4 times prior, but always failed 2-3 months in. I only succeeded the last time from educating myself on addiction via Dr. Joel’s daily quit videos. I feel like education on that issue is what made the difference with finally quitting. Similarly, I’d like to think that this diet will succeed since I’ve spent the last few months trying to learn as much as I can about losing weight. I wanted to provide a list of what I consider to be my biggest learnings in that time, because quite frankly the common guidance most folks hear and follow is totally wrong (please forgive me for not adding references throughout these items – as always, do your own research):

  • Dietary fat is not bad for you – In the 70′s a nutritional guideline (The McGovern Report) was rushed through the federal government which placed blame for heart disease onto dietary fat intake and instead suggested eating 40-50% of your diet in carbs. This highly-contested guidance led to a food pyramid with carbs as the base, and a wave of ‘low-fat’ foods which replaced fat for carbs/sugar. This has proven to be incredibly detrimental over the last 30-40 years, and is undoubtedly a leading cause of our growing diabetes and obesity epidemics. In reality, higher fat diets can help reduce cardiovascular disease, and Lipitor and other drugs targeted at high cholesterol (and not the specific types of cholesterol) are causing more problems than they are solving. There are a lot of good videos on this subject on YouTube, some of which I linked in my last blog post. Interesting side note, a low-fat diet leads to reduced testosterone and sex drive, and Pfizer makes money both off the Lipitor and the Viagra to fix the poor sex drive due to a low-fat diet.
  • Sugar is the problem – Sugar is now in nearly everything we eat. That includes yogurt, bread, and other supposedly healthy, ‘low-fat’ products. The movie That Sugar Film does a good job explaining how sugar is the underlying cause of a number of major health issues wreaking havoc around the world. My biggest gripe about sugar is that I’ve learned that it is addictive, causes a dopamine response in our brain, and causes our bodies to react to a decrease in sugar in the same way we would react to needing a nicotine fix. Basically the more sugar we eat, the more we crave it. The more sugar we eat, the less satiated we are, and the quicker we want to eat more again. After you ween yourself off of sugar you’ll find that your cravings for it (and eating in general) will greatly decrease.
  • Calories-in VS Calories-out (CICO) is bunk – While counting calories is a good practice as it forces you to stay within some limit, and potentially reduce your daily caloric intake, it is very misleading. You can do this simple experiment – consume 600 calories of potato chips and soda one day for lunch, and the next day eat 600 calories of meat, cheese, vegetables, and nuts. You will find that the latter will keep you satiated much much longer. It matters what calories you are taking in, not just how many. Similarly, weight gain can frequently be a hormone imbalance – potentially due to an over abundance of insulin due to a high sugar/carb intake.
  • It’s about diet, not exercise – Most of what we hear about a healthy lifestyle surrounds exercise, and diet is not as emphasized – no need to stop eating or drinking product X, just play some basketball. In reality, losing weight is ~80% diet, and ~20% exercise at best. For example, if you drink 2 Cokes in a day, that is 300 calories – it would take you 20+ minutes of running on an elliptical to burn that off. If you eat a pint of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream you’re looking at over an hour of intense exercise to burn it off. There are numerous examples of folks losing massive amounts of weight with no exercise just by switching to a low-carb / high-fat (LCHF) diet. Just fix the diet and use the exercise to improve your heart health – it is not your primary driver for losing weight.
  • Eating more meals a day likely won’t fix the issue – There is a lot of guidance suggesting that instead of eating 2-3 large meals a day, you should instead eat 5-6 small meals a day. Studies on this subject have shown that the number of meals, assuming the net nutrients/calories for the day are the same, has no overall affect on weight loss. Conversely, if you are eating food with carbs/sugar, then each meal stimulates an insulin response – which is what spurs fat storage. There may be no harm in eating 5-6 meals a day, however it can prevent your body from ever getting into fat burning due to the insulin/glucose spikes after each meal, especially if you aren’t following a LCHF diet.

So What’s Next?

The plan for now is to stay on course. I’m seeing great weight loss in the first 10 days on a ketogenic diet, and I see no need to change course at the moment. I am toying around with getting further into fasting now that I’m not battling with frequent hunger bouts and my body is getting used to converting my stored fat into energy. Otherwise I feel pretty confident that my current game-plan will get me to my goal – I will report back.

Diet 2017 – Starting My Journey into Ketosis

For those that don’t know, I’ve been on a diet since January 1st of this year. As I get closer to 40 I have gotten more concerned with the state of my health – exacerbated by a family history of early heart attacks and diabetes. At my last doctor appointment in August of 2016 I had blood work done. When I reviewed the results with the doctor he was straight-forward with me. He said that by the next time I came in I would either have improved my health, or I would start on daily medications. I appreciated his bluntness, and promptly did nothing about it for a couple of months.

So obviously for my New Year’s resolution I decided to lose weight. That has been my New Year’s resolution for the last ~3-4 years or so. Typically I would have a goal of losing 15-20 pounds in 3 months, and sometimes I would succeed, but then my goal would be over, and I would promptly put it all back on with a few extra pounds for good measure – a common story for people on diets. I had decided that the reason I always gained it back was because my goals were too short. This year I decided I would do something different – I would set a 9 month goal to lose 37.4 pounds. In case you’re curious, my starting weight was 237.4, and I wanted to get to 200 – hence the odd number.

The definition of insanity is doing something over and over again and expecting a different result. – Einstein

Now that I had a goal, the question was how to get there. I had absolutely no plan. I knew that I had success with monitoring carbs in previous diets via a somewhat Atkins diet of low-carb and high-protein, but I also knew that I never stuck with it and I was afraid I would eventually plateau and not get the big losses I was looking for (I really needed to lose more like 50 pounds to be fit). Without a specific plan I knew one thing I could do to get started – stop eating like an idiot.

Step 1 – Stop Eating Like an Idiot

At the end of 2016 I was on a 6 month project for a very large client (arguably the biggest mobile app I’ve worked on), and near the end there was a pretty serious crunch. I would wake up, go to the basement, work on the app until lunch, go out and grab lunch (my only chance at getting out of the house), come home and eat, and then get back on the computer until 6. I did this for the majority of ~3 months – mostly living off of fast food for lunch. Between October 1st and December 25th I went from 228 lbs to 237 lbs – that’s +9 pounds in 3 months – done over a year that would’ve been ~40 pounds gained. Just for giggles, here is what I was having for lunch most days:

Arby’s – beef & cheddar (2) – 950 calories, 90g carbs, 11g sugar
Taco Bell – XXL Grilled Stuffed Burrito, 1 soft taco – 1030 calories, 119g carbs, 8g sugar
Chik-fil-a – Chik-fil-a sandwich with american cheese (2) – 1020 calories, 85g carbs, 12g sugar
Zaxby’s – Kickin’ Chicken sandwich & shake – 1565 calories, 169g carbs, 105g sugar
Burger King – Bacon King sandwich – 1040 calories, 48g carbs, 10g sugar

On top of that I was eating Ben & Jerry’s ice cream 1-3 times a week – the whole pint. My favorites were Peanut Buttah Core and Half Baked – for reference here are those calories:

Peanut Buttah Core – 1280 calories, 108g carbs, 80g sugar
Half Baked – 1080 calories, 128g carbs, 108g sugar

Since step 1 was to stop eating like an idiot, I (mostly) stopped eating all of the above – simple enough – and that’s all I did from January 1st to February 22nd. During that time-frame I went from 237.4 to 230.8 – a loss of 6.6 pounds. I was headed in the right direction, albeit somewhat slowly, but it gave me time to figure out what I was going to do next.

Step 2 – Track Calories – CICO

So for step 2? I figured tracking calories was the way to go. I became a frequent visitor of /r/loseit and they preach a pretty consistent CICO (calories-in VS calories-out) diet for weight loss. It was straight forward, made sense, and was easy enough to follow, so that was going to be the plan for this year’s diet. I began tracking everything I ate in MyFitnessPal – everything. I used an online calculator to figure out my ‘maintenance calories’, subtracted ~15% from that, and that was the amount of calories I stayed under each day – somewhere around 2000 calories. I primarily switched to a fish based diet for lunch, and since Rachel cooks healthy at night, I had my bases covered. The only problem was that I still really craved ice cream – and Ben & Jerry and I had to break up. Luckily for me, along comes Halo Top – a pretty decent ice cream with 280-360 calories for the whole pint. I could keep eating entire pints of ice cream multiple times a week, and so long as I had room in my calorie budget for the day I was good. Between February 22nd and March 21st I went from 230.8 to 220.2 – a loss of 10.6 pounds.

Now during this stage we picked up a Withings smart scale. The thing was pretty sweet and made daily weigh ins a no-brainer. Basically I just stepped on the scale, and the weight showed up on the scale screen and in MyFitnessPal – no more manual entry. But I started noticing an interesting trend. On days where I would eat bread my weight would always increase by a full pound. I would still be well under my daily calories, but that 6 inch Subway sandwich would add a solid pound to my weight at the next morning’s weigh-in, and by the following day it would be gone – it was repeatable every single time. I started to remember how in previous years I had had good success in avoiding carbs, and thought maybe I should start doing that again.

Step 3 – Tracking Macronutrients and Limiting Carbs

I decided that my next step was to not just track calories, but pay attention to my macronutrients (carbs, fat, and protein), something I kept seeing mentioned in weight loss forums – I focused on carbs specifically. I stopped eating bread pretty much entirely, and on days where I did (maybe while traveling for example) I would always still see that 1 pound temporary gain. I started paying attention to carbs in other things as well, but my main guidance was another online calculator which calculated the macronutrients I should be targeting. It suggested 35% carbs, 29% fat, and 36% protein – and that along with my daily calorie goal became my measuring sticks. From March 21st to April 21st I went from 220.2 to 218.1 – a loss of 2.1 pounds.

You might’ve noticed my weight loss in this step was a paltry 2.1 pounds over 30 days. Well, during this time we went to Hawaii for a week, and followed that up with a really nice Easter Sunday family dinner – both included copious amounts of deserts. For our Hawaii trip I put on 3.1 pounds. Interestingly enough, I dropped 2.2 pounds of that 3.1 pounds gain in just 24 hours after stopping the carb/sugar/alcohol/desert madness. For the Easter weekend I gained 2.1 pounds. Interestingly enough, I dropped 1.5 pounds of that 2.1 pounds within 24 hours after the massive Easter meal. This was directly parallel to the gains I had noticed before with eating bread – I had eaten lots of carbs/sugar during these two times, gained a pound or two, and dropped it after 24 hours. It was time to look into this more.

So why despite those two instances (which I mostly recovered from) did I only lose 2.1 pounds in this 30 day period? Well, if you look at my weight graph leading up to these two events it was apparent that my weight loss was slowing and plateauing – something I had been worried about early on with this approach. It was time to go back to the drawing board.

A Brief Intermission of YouTube and Research

Out of curiosity, I started looking into why a slice or two of bread would make me put on an extra pound, but only for a day – I thought that was odd. I found out that carbs (and sodium to a lesser degree) make you retain water weight. I thought that might explain why I would be up a pound, but then it would be gone the next day. But I wasn’t convinced that there wasn’t a larger story there – maybe I would lose more weight if I avoided carbs even more.

During this time I was listening to a lot of the Joe Rogan podcast on YouTube, and kept hearing him talk about the diet that he, and many MMA fighters, were on – the Keto diet. It sparked some interest since Joe Rogan is one of the most fit 49 year olds I’m aware of, and because he is a pretty straight-forward kind of guy. I looked into Keto briefly, saw that it limits daily carbs to less than 20 carbs a day, and immediately thought this was a diet for extremists – which to some degree it is. Less than 20 carbs a day means you can’t even eat a single banana without going over – that was crazy. So, I kept with my calorie and carb counting, started paying more attention to protein as well, and started working out at the church gym – that was going to be my plan for this New Year’s resolution I was already 3 months into.

Another thing I came across during this time was something called ‘intermittent fasting’. If you look at a lot of weight loss enthusiast posts you’ll eventually run into folks preaching on intermittent fasting. The basic idea being that you go some period of time every day in which you don’t eat anything – just drink water. All of us do this when we sleep, but these folks would just push this a bit further, and were claiming to have larger weight loss gains because of it. I was already somewhat doing this as I frequently skipped breakfast, but these folks were doing even more, like not eating from 8pm at night until 2pm the next day – I was doing more like not eating from midnight to noon. As I started looking into this more I came across a Dr. Jason Fung (author of The Obesity Code) – he along with Jimmy Moore literally wrote the book on fasting (The Complete Guide to Fasting). I watched a few of Dr. Fung’s videos on YouTube and got exposed to not just intermittent fasting, but long-term fasting.

The best of all medicines are rest and fasting – Ben Franklin

Can you imagine not eating for a full 24 hours? That’s crazy right? Have you ever seen me if I haven’t eaten for 12 hours? I was a hangry dude. I was blown away that folks could make it a full 24 hours. Obviously I knew that some religions fasted, but I never really thought about it much – it is so counter-intuitive to how most of us live. So if imagining a 24 hour fast is crazy, how about 7 days? How about 14 days? How about 30 days? How about 40 days? How about 300+ days (nearly 10 months)?! I’m not talking about a juice fast here, I’m talking about nothing but water and a daily vitamin for 300+ days. How the hell is that possible? I realized it didn’t matter that I was clueless how it was feasible – it was feasible – and many prominent historical figures including Jesus and Ghandi practiced it. I couldn’t fathom how it was even possible, but I had to admit I was curious if that was a way for me to finally drop this gut. But still, I knew I couldn’t make it 24 hours myself, and I started to wonder why.

Do you remember when you were in health class as a kid? Do you remember why they told you that your body stored fat? What I remember being told is that our body stores excess energy as fat in case we ever need it. That somehow our body could use stored fat during times of hunger. And guess what? That’s how people can fast for 30 days on nothing but water – their body converts their stored fats into energy they can use to survive. So how is it I couldn’t imagine even going 24 hours? Well, as it turns out it is because my body pretty much had never tapped into those fat stores – which is why my weight has gradually increased for the last 20 years – my body was storing excess energy as fat in case I ever needed it, and since I eat 2-3 times a day every day, I was never tapping into that stored fat. So I began learning more about what happens during fasting.

Our bodies are interesting things. They are incredibly adaptable (as shown by being able to fast for 30+ days), and there are processes our body uses to adjust itself based on our diet. Turns out that fasting is possible because our body can convert fat into energy through a process called Ketosis. What’s interesting about ketosis is that it doesn’t generate Glucose for energy (the main energy pretty much everyone uses day to day from dietary carbs/sugars), it generates something called Ketones. Turns out that our body can operate on either glucose or on ketones as its primary energy source. When you fast, typically around days 2-5 (the worst days of the fast) your body switches to burning fat for energy, and for the rest of your fast your body is operating off of burning that fat via ketosis. So, it would seem that ketosis is the process for converting stored fat into energy (aka burning fat), and that was something I wanted to do. So, why was I so afraid of fasting even 24 hours when it was proven folks could go 30+ days? Well, it turns out it is because my body has been addicted to glucose/sugar/carbs for the majority of my life, and switching off of that would cause some serious changes to my body and cause my body to start fiending for glucose because it has never known anything about using ketones for energy.

Learning About the Keto Diet

So then I wondered, how does this fasting ketosis tie into the Keto diet I had heard of? If the ‘keto’ in Keto Diet is short for ketosis, how does that relate to ketosis used in fasting? Well, remember that the Keto Diet is a diet of less than 20g of carbs/sugar a day, and that the glucose that most of us use for energy comes from those carbs/sugars. By avoiding carbs/sugars in a Keto Diet, your body switches to burning fat instead to generate ketones for energy – the same as fasting. I knew this sounded crazy, but this was what I needed to do to get to the next level. I was going to focus on Ketosis – the breaking down of fat for energy (aka burning fat) – and that was going to melt this stupid belly – that was the game-plan for this New Year’s diet that I was already 4 months into.

So at this point I knew I wanted to get into ketosis, and I knew that the Keto diet focused on this, but I didn’t know much more than that. After looking into it a bit further I found that the typical keto guidance for daily macros was ~5% carbs, ~30% protein, and ~65% fat – I thought this was crazy. Surely if I ate that much fat I would have horrible cholesterol and increase the rate at which I had cardiovascular issues right? Doesn’t the intake of fat directly affect cholesterol levels and heart disease? Wasn’t the government telling us for the last 20+ years to avoid fat? Isn’t that why every product on the shelf has a low-fat version (something which always made me wonder why anyone would want the full-fat version)? Well, as it turns out that guidance was bunk, and that there are plenty of examples of people greatly improving their heart health via a Keto diet.

The change in dietary advice to promote low-fat foods is perhaps the biggest mistake in modern medical history. – Aseem Malhotra, a British cardiologist

Time for a little off-topic story. When I left my last job 4 1/2 years ago it was to focus on mobile app development. I had seen a new mobile development technology that I thought was heads and shoulders above anything else in the market, and they had just received their series A funding. I quit my job, and started focusing entirely on their technology stack. I was convinced this was the way to go, and that I wanted to be at the forefront of it. During my first 3-4 years I would get calls from recruiters looking to staff a mobile dev like me. When they told me the technology stack they were using it was always something other than what I was focusing on – what I had left my job to focus on. I would always tell them to give me a call back if they heard of any jobs using my preferred technology stack, and they would always laugh to themselves and say “sure, I’ll give you a call if anyone ever wants that”. It wasn’t until 4 years later when Microsoft bought that little mobile development technology company for $500+ million dollars that I started getting calls again from those same recruiters – the ones who thought I was crazy for investing so heavily into it just a few years earlier. Now they had plenty of jobs paying plenty of money looking for exactly my skill set – and I had 4+ years of experience in it – more than almost anyone else. I tell this story to say that industries as a whole are slow to move – and that applies to the healthcare industry as well.

A meta-analysis of prospective epidemiologic studies showed that there is no significant evidence for concluding that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of CHD or CVD. –

After a bit of research I found numerous articles confirming that fat intake is not linked to cardiovascular disease – something that many researchers have been saying for years now and is only finally being accepted. Much like my off-topic story, it takes time for perceptions to change and for industries to catch up with the latest happenings. While it has been admitted for years now, many people still associate dietary fat intake with cardiovascular health – including some doctors unfortunately. It’s kind of like how the rule for the number of spaces after punctuation changed to 1 (from 2) over 15 years ago, but a majority of 40+ year old’s still put 2 spaces because it was in an official guideline book 30 years ago, and chances are they will use 2 spaces for the rest of their lives – despite being wrong and not done in any professional publications for 10+ years.

Still worried about such high fat intake? That’s okay – it is definitely weird compared to the status quo. But suppose I was going to eat lunch today and could have either: A) a bed of spinach + ground beef + cottage cheese + 2 hard boiled eggs + guacamole + shredded cheese with a water to drink, or B) 2 Reese’s peanut butter cups + a bag of Cheetos + 2 slices of pizza with a Coke to drink. Which do you think is healthier? Which do you think is higher in fat? Which do you think is lower in carbs/sugar? When you lower the percentage of carbs/sugar in your diet, one or both of the other 2 major macronutrients must raise, be that protein or fat – and guess what? Excessive protein also can be converted to glucose.

I did quite a bit of YouTube watching and article reading after deciding on going on the Keto Diet. It’s too much to cover here, so I’ll just say to do your own research – which will typically involve watching several incredibly boring hour long videos at various nutritional conferences held over the last few years. Suffice to say, everything I have seen/read suggests that the obesity epidemic we are seeing is largely tied to excess carbs/sugars, and that a ketone fueled body can reduce stored fat and avoid (and potentially reverse) type 2 diabetes. Ketosis can also stabilize your energy throughout the day and avoid peaks and valleys associated with glucose/carbs/sugars, which – TA-DA – makes fasting much easier.

Videos worth watching:
The Calorie Deception – Dr. Jason Fung
The Story of Fat: Why we were Wrong about Health
Cardiovascular Disease and a LCHF Diet – Dr. Sarah Hallberg
The Art and Science of Low Carb Living: Cardio-Metabolic Benefits and Beyond – Dr. Jeff Volek
What’s the Difference Between a Low Carb Ketogenic Diet & the Atkin’s Diet? – Dr. David Jockers
Recent Developments in LCHF and Nutritional Ketosis – Dr. Stephen Phinney (Part 2)
The Cholesterol Myth – Dr. Eric Berg
The Two Big Lies of Type 2 Diabetes – Dr. Jason Fung
Reversing Type 2 diabetes starts with ignoring the guidelines – Dr. Sarah Hallberg

So, on to step 4 – full on ketosis on the Keto Diet.

To be continued..

He’s gone bananas

Sure, he’s voracious about eating them now, but this is the same child who the last time I offered him bananas he stared at me with a look that whined, “We’ve been over this Mom,” and then opened his mouth so the piece of banana could fall straight to the floor. He didn’t even look down as it fell. No need. Bananas were beneath him.

But now…