Week In Review
The Ketogenic Diet Experiment is complete.
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.
Results & Charts
Questions or recommendations? Would love to hear them. Leave a comment or contact me here.