I’ve been High Fat – Low Carb for quite a while, and by that I mean, zero grains, very little sugar, and literally adding fat in the form of butter, coconut oil, or lately, MCT oil, to most of my meals. It definitely works for me. I get to eat really large breakfasts and dinners, to the point of feeling content and very full, and my weight stays very stable. ( I usually keep my lunches modest so that a full stomach doesn’t slow me down in the afternoon.) I don’t count carbs, but because I only eat them in Real Whole Food form, ( check out my What I Eat Page), I’m definitely under the 100 – 150 grams a day that define ” low carb “.
To get into Ketosis, I’m going to have to drop that to around 50 grams of carbs a day. Or at least that’s where I’ll start. Ugh. It means weighing or measuring, which in the old days made me “diet crazy”, but I’m pretty sure that I’ve conquered that ugly beast now and it won’t rear it’s head again.
I’m not doing this to lose weight (although, like any woman, I’d be thrilled to lose a couple pounds), but I am interested to see the effect of dropping my carbs to below 50 grams a day. Will I have more energy or will I be fatigued initially? Will I think more clearly? Will my stomach get ripped? That’s so spoiled sounding, but I’m wondering the effect it’ll have on my body fat – which I will have tested by Monday, so that I can compare at the end of my experiment.
Probably the biggest changes I’ll have to make is eliminating my morning banana in my smoothie, measuring and choosing either hemp, flax seed, or chia seed for my smoothie mornings. Measuring any nuts or seeds I eat. Eliminating the potatoes I eat 3 or 4 times a week; and I’ll have to see what else comes up. Oh, no more dark chocolate. Any treat will have to be a Keto Treat.
Since the Low Carb Cruise, I’ve been slowly weaning off the higher glycemic fruits and vegetables. It’ll be goodbye to the starchier vegetables for a little while. I really enjoy my roasted potatoes, and now it’s sweet corn season, and I LOVE carrots and beets, but those are what I’m cutting back on. I’ve been adding more and more cooked greens to my meals ( Oh My Gosh I’m LOVING them), and like I said above, more fats. I’m focusing on really looking forward to what I’ve planned ( planning’s everything, right?), and that way, I’m not missing some of the old staples.
That said, going this low carb is just an Experiment that I’m doing for either 2 weeks, or through the end of the month. Since I don’t have Insulin Resistance, a weight issue, or diabetes, I’m pretty much of the opinion that All Vegetables, and All Fruits are good for me. Real Whole Food is and always will be my guide. So this will be a Real Whole Food Ketogenic Diet. Oh, that means no Whey Protein, and no bars. I’ll sub eggs and veggies, or dinner leftover for the smoothies, and I don’t have any more travel weekends until my fitness conference in the beginning of August. I should be good:)
How will I measure my levels of Ketosis? With my new breath meter, Ketonix – I’m so excited about this! Until now, there’s been 2 main ways to test ketones. One is looking at ketones in the urine, which is fairly cheap, but reportedly inaccurate. The other is looking at ketones in the blood, which is much more accurate, but VERY expensive. ( I did my first reading this morning, and I’m either zero or very low. I’ll probably have to do a couple days of pure fat and protein to get into ketosis. I’m interested to see how long it takes.)
Measuring ketones in the breath has shown to be as accurate as the blood, and the new Ketonix is a reusable device that I’ll blow into as many times a day as I want. I’ll keep you all up to date as to my meals, energy levels, weight, body fat, and ketosis readings. I’m excited!
If you need a refresher on what a Ketogenic Diet is, read this.
If you’re wondering about benefits, here’s a few:
1. It’s a great weight loss tool: the more fat you eat, and the less carbs, the more your body uses STORED FAT as an energy source instead of sugar/glucose. Also, healthy fats in the diet have a very positive effect on our hormones; weight loss is all about the hormones!
2. Ketones are great for brain health. They provide substrates to help repair damaged neurons and membranes. There’s several Ketosis studies going on which are showing really positive benefits for Alzheimer’s, dementia, epilepsy, and Parkinson’s disease. Oh, and MS and cancer!!
3. Ketones are “non-glycating”, this means they don’t destroy and ruin any of the cells they come into contact with like glucose/sugar does. Which cells does high blood sugar glycate? Read this. (Hint – it has to do with erectile dysfunction and wrinkles ..)
4. The mitochondria (furnaces) of most of our cells literally run better on ketones than on glucose.
5. Many cells function better on ketones than glucose, because ketones take less effort to get into the mitochondria ( which are our furnaces ) than glucose does. That’s why ketosis can have an energy producing effect for people with chronic fatigue, RA, fibromyalgia, cancer, and other chronic conditions.
6. Cancer cells CAN’T use ketones, and they don’t like to eat fatty acids either. CANCER CELLS LOVE SUGAR. They’re COVERED with Insulin Receptors, and somehow draw sugar to themselves. Ketogenic diets always lead to much lower levels of Insulin, always. This has a really detrimental effect on cancers that are predominantly “sugar driven”. If you’re interested in a great podcast on that, here’s one by Dr. Colin Champ.
Let me know if you’re interested in Cancer and Ketosis, as I did a Client Newsletter on it last week which I’d be happy to forward. If you’d like to be added to my newsletter list, which is more detailed and sciency than my blog, let me know by emailing me.
Will I lose weight on the Ketogenic Diet? Maybe. Some doctors say it’s not as effective ( for weight loss ) when body fat is normal-low. Will I lose body fat? We’ll see; same reason! I’m really interested to see how it effects my memory and hormones, and how easy it is to do.
I’m ending with a Keto Recipe I made the other night: Sausage and Vegetables: I cooked collards, green beans, zucchini and tomato in 6 tbsp of butter and 1/4 c water, then added crumbled sausage. Topped with shredded parm. Delicious!