Tim Ferriss is a problem solver. And he loves sharing with the world how he does it.
We’re not talking about math problems, geopolitical crises or world hunger (at least not yet, anyway), but what one might call “life” problems: those times when you find yourself at point A, want to get to point B but don’t quite know how to get there.
That’s where Ferriss might be able to help.
The Princeton graduate first shared how to “Escape 9 to 5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich” back in 2007 with the 4-Hour Work Week. It quickly became a New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-seller.
He most recently published the 4-Hour Chef to tackle issues of self-improvement and accelerated learning, and just prior to that, he released the 4-Hour Body toshare his journey to answer questions, expose myths and, yes, solve more problems, related to health, nutrition and physical performance.
His method remains consistent: 1) seek out experts in a chosen field, 2) put those expert’s theories to the test using himself as a guinea pig, and 3) deconstruct each expert’s system into a set of simple, actionable rules that can easily be consumed by the masses. Yes, that means you.
He interviews elite bodybuilders to delve into topics like fat loss and adding muscle, grills Olympic lifting coaches for insights on strength and explosiveness, shadows endurance athletes to learn how to swim for miles with minimal training, uncovers Continue reading “The 4-Hour Body by Tim Ferriss”
It’s been 3 months since I started this journey back on Day 1. And while there have been ups and downs along the way, it’s definitely been a positive experience.
The final few days ended up being an unplanned transition out of ketosis as I didn’t monitor my protein intake too closely during the holidays.
The result was that my morning ketone levels dropped a good bit; although, each day was above .5 mmol/L which is still within the range of nutritional ketosis.
Here are a few things I’ve learned over the past 90 days.
Weekly Blog Updates Are Hard
I found it difficult to find something unique and meaningful to write about on a weekly basis. It’s much more of a commitment than I thought. If I do something like this again, I would probably try monthly updates or get some help.
I’m Fatter & Calories Matter
As inconvenient as it may sound to those, not unlike myself, that hoped there was a diet that could result in gains of lean body mass (or a reduction in fat mass) by consuming massive amounts of certain foods, I’m sorry. That was not my experience.
The only time I experienced weight loss was when I monitored calories to create a deficit consistent with my estimated basal metabolic rate. While in a calorie deficit, hunger levels did remain low which was a nice benefit.
If I were to try this again, I would monitor calories more closely from the beginning. It would be interesting to compare things like energy, hunger, fat loss, etc. while in ketosis versus a non-ketotic state when in a calorie deficit.
I do feel like mental energy (or focus) was more consistent when reducing carbohydrates and keeping blood glucose levels more stable throughout the day. I’m not sure that it’s necessary to be in ketosis to get this benefit, but maybe it is enhanced while in ketosis versus just eating low carb. It’s tough to say.
While mental energy may have increased, that was not the case for physical energy, specifically anaerobic energy. Since glycogen is depleted in ketosis, the body’s primary fuel for high intensity or short burst activities like sprinting or strength training is compromised, and it was noticeable.
Initially, I thought that a ketogenic diet would require less planning and maintenance than what I’d done in the past. But this wasn’t true in my experience.
With the exception of the foods that I personally prepared, it was difficult not to be preoccupied much of the time during meals wondering if I was consuming hidden carbohydrates or excessive protein that would later knock me out of ketosis.
In order to do this thing right, I felt like I would need to be an annoying, inquisitive customer at restaurants that carried around a fanny pack with a ketone meter and food scale in order to keep my levels in check.
Hey, fanny packs are awesome and all, but something about it just doesn’t sound like a viable long-term plan for me.
Watch Out For Protein In Foods You Don’t Suspect
If you’re following a ketogenic diet, you’ll obviously want to watch out for excessive protein from the usual items like meats, eggs and protein shakes. But also keep an eye on excessive vegetables and cheese. They can both be an easy way to drive up your daily protein (and carbohydrate) intake and not even suspect it.
What’s next? I’m not sure. Probably getting back into shape and not committing to writing weekly blogs about it. 🙂
Happy New Year!
Ps. Big thanks to everyone for the feedback relating to the blog over the past few months. It’s been a lot of fun. Please stay in touch.
Christmas is upon us, and I thought it was only appropriate that I come bearing gifts for the loyal followers of the Ketogenic Diet Experiment.
One big thing I learned this week was that the net carbs in fibrous vegetables impact ketone levels more than I suspected early on.
So I created a table of foods (mainly vegetables that I’ve consumed at some point) that has been a helpful reference when shopping. Yes… that table is my gift to you.
I know, I know. You’re overcome with joy and don’t know how to express it. But there’s no time to get emotional; you’ve got plenty of shopping left to do. Just do something really awesome for me one day, and we’ll call it even.
Ps. You can see my ketone levels fluctuated quite a bit over the past couple of weeks which was mainly due to varying the quantity of vegetables that I consumed and the net carbsthat those vegetables contained.
It’s tough to believe there are only 3 weeks left in the Ketogenic Diet Experiment. But it’s true. We’re in the final stretch.
While the end is getting near, I learned 2 important things this week that would’ve been nice to know in the beginning.
First, a ketone blood monitor is a really useful tool that I should’ve had going into this thing.
When you’re not getting the results you expect, an accurate reading gives you the information needed to be confident when making (or not making) a change. I plan to chart morning ketone readings on this page for the rest of the quarter… or until I stop. =)
Second, I’ve been consuming WAY too many calories which is something I plan to address this week. While there may be certain metabolic advantages to the ketogenic diet, calories do matter.
New Dietary Adjustments
Decrease Calories Consumed
I will eat until satisfied and quit consuming food like a competitive eater. No offense, Kobayashi!