Ketogenic Diet – how is it working?

So, as I previously mentioned my last years goals of making serious changes to my lifestyle failed.  On the 2nd of January, at the age of 51 I decided to change that situation and adopt the Ketogenic diet.

What is the Ketogenic Diet?

The diet works by changing your body’s intake of food from a more traditional mix of Carbohydrates, Protein and Vegetables, whilst monitoring fat intake.

This is replaced by a diet that is 70% natural fats (butter, cheese, meat, avocado etc), 20% protein and 10% carbs (naturally found in green vegetables).

Sounds counter intuitive and crazy doesn’t it?

Why am I doing this?

I have had a lifetime addicted to sugar, carbs etc.  And, with a fused spine I am no longer in the position to burn off the intake of carbs, to the point where I can maintain a sensible weight.

Additionally I have also had what the doctors term ‘irritable bowel’ for some years, not helped by pain killers at some times also.

Finally, I also have high cholesterol, which I was advised to take ‘statins’ for.  My argument with this is that this is treating the symptom, not the cause.  My lifestyle was the cause.

So my goals for this are:

  1. Live healthier
  2. Lose weight
  3. Find a remedy naturally for my ills

Above all, that my health span matches my life span!

How does eating ‘Keto’ work?

To use an analogy of building and maintaining a fire is useful.  Fires require 3 things to maintain them:

  • Fuel
  • Heat
  • Oxygen

Eating is related obviously to the fuel aspect of living.

If we built a fire using only kindling as a fire source, we would need a lot of it to stay warm all day.  It burns quickly, and we need to maintain the fuel source constantly.  Kindling represents ‘Carbs’.

If we got the fire working and maintained it all day with logs then logs would represent ‘protein’.

If however, we got the fire working and used Coal as a fuel source, then the fire will burn more effectively and last a long time – Coal as you may have already guessed represents dietary, natural fat.

It stands to reason that if you get your body to burn fat as fuel – as ketones, not glycogen from carbs – then it will (in theory) be more effective.  It will use fat as fuel (turned into ketones) – including the stores of fat the body carries.  In my case, the middle aged spread.

So what have I found out so far?

I am now at day 26 of the diet and I am very pleased with how things are progressing so far.

Ketogenic Diet
Consequences Sign

The down sides have been:

 

  • Giving up sugars
  • The ‘Keto Flu’, the odd things that happen whilst your body adjusts to burning fat (feeling a little off, and for me a week of diarrhea  – which has now gone)
  • Some muscle cramps if you ignore the need to take on pure salts and macro nutrients (Celtic sea salt for example), and plenty of fluids
  • Feeling a bit weak as the body adjusts etc
  • Getting use to eating more fat – cheese covered in butter for example
  • Planning and preparing how to eat on a daily basis
Ketogenic Diet
Benefits Sign

The benefits are:

  • Reduced IBS symptoms
  • No cravings
  • I now do not have any real hunger – eating is now a process as opposed to a need.  I also eat until satisfied, no more
  • Eating less, as I feel satisfied more easily
  • A huge amount of mental clarity
  • Improved Energy
  • Feeling healthy
  • The Woo Woo bit – My Chakras are now testing stronger which means my energy body is working better.  This is obviously aiding health and vitality
  • Sleeping whole lot better
  • Food is tasting awesome again
  • I have lost approximately 4-5 Kg, without doing any rigorous exercise!
  • Losing fat

I feel that I am now ‘living life’ as opposed to just experiencing it, that there is a reason to not staying in bed – vitalised and up for it.

Am I mad?

No, I know that this sounds a little mad, however I am researching a lot (audio books, YouTube, books for meal ideas) and reaping the benefits.

If you want to change your life, this is one way that seems to have a huge impact on that. 🙂

So do you want to know more?

I strongly recommend the following books or audio programs to gain more insight into the subject:

Keto Clarity: a really in depth book about Ketogenic Diet and its origins, written by a doctor.

http://www.webmd.com/diet/healthy-kitchen-11/leafy-greens-rated

The Big Fat Surprise: This book has been a real eye opener for me.  It takes a in depth look at the origins of dietary advice over the last 100 years or so and highlights how this may not have been so scientific after all!

About The Big Fat Surprise

These YouTube videos as a start point: