Low Carb. High Fat — Ketosis Diet
It’s been a month since I started the low carb, high fat diet also known as the Ketone (or Ketogenic) diet. I started it by eating (well drinking) KetoOS and here’s my thoughts and journey.
Firstly as per Melia Robinson’s article:
The low-carb, high-fat diet — which first became popular in the 1920s as a treatment for epilepsyand diabetes — limits carbohydrates to no more than 50 grams a day, which is the rough equivalent of a plain bagel or a cup of white rice. Dietary guidelines laid out by the US Department of Agriculture recommend between 225 and 325 grams of carbs a day.
Adherents of the keto diet fill up on healthy fats, like cheese, nuts, avocado, eggs, and butter, as well as leafy greens and animal protein. The body switches from burning carbs to burning fat as its primary fuel source — a process known as ketosis, which gives the diet its name.
Firstly, I’d like to thank Nichelle Ryan. She put me onto KetoOS and helped me through the process. If you want to skip ahead you can get the packets from here. I went into this without doing as much research as I probably should have, I saw a couple of good YouTube videos about a Ketosis diet and I was especially interested in seeing if it would help me increase my energy, although I’d also been switching from a very carb heavy diet to a higher protein and fat based one partly to see if I could shed some stomach fat. paraphrasing Ali Spagnola “It’s the food you eat, not the crunches you do which shows your abs”
So, I jumped straight into it and used a full packet straight away. Thankfully Nichelle warned me to drink it over the course of 10–15mins. Don’t chugg it, but don’t take too long. That said, I hadn’t heeded the advice about doing a half packet first, so ended up with some minor stomach pains. Nothing bad, just a touch uncomfortable.
As a 33yr old, 82kg male who is moderately active but was coming from a very high carbohydrate (especially sugar) intake I found the suggested default carb allocation of 20g a day very hard… That’s only two slices of bread! There’s more than that in a small 390ml bottle of Lift, in the jam I’d have with the Peanut Butter and Jam on toast I’d have for breakfast and a surprising number of things. So I
I’ve increased my ice cream consumption over other sugary lollies, changed from veggie burgers to chicken burgers (being wary of the climate I’m trying to keep away from higher CO2 intensive foods like beef) and I’m devouring large amounts of Avocado, but I’m not actively avoiding all carbs that I can, so haven’t gone through as full a diet change as suggested.
As such, I’m probably not the best test case. The calculator explains: “The end goal of a ketogenic diet is to be in a metabolic state known as ketosis. We do this through starvation of carbohydrates. On keto, it’s a general rule of thumb to stay under 30g net carbs a day”
What has changed is my appetite. As the literature mentions, I wasn’t as hungry, not snacking as much. Much longer between meals.
Ohh and I’ve lost 3Kg. This is impressive for me as I’m someone who’s been basically the same weight for years, despite doing 12–18Km runs weekly or barely any exercise for months. I feel like I can see a lot more of my abs as the belly fat is slowly melting away. It’s taking a while, but it’s happening which is pretty cool. Note: I’m checking my weight usually twice a day, morning and night and taking into account recent food and drink or dehydration into the readings so I know it’s not just dehydration.
The first KetoOS packet seemed to put me into a state of Ketosis. I was peeing more, got dehydrated and went through the KetoFlu. There was a day or two with stomach cramps and not feeling 100% but that went away.
I highly recommend you read some of the signs and symptoms of Ketosis which include:
- Weight Loss
- Appetite Suppression
- Increased Focus and Energy
- Rapid breathing or shortness of breath
- Breath that smells fruity or like nail polish or nail polish remover
- Excessive thirst
- Frequent urination
- Stomach pain
- Nausea, vomiting
- Short-Term Fatigue and weakness
- Increased Ketones in the Blood
The one thing I regret that others probably won’t care about is that I got the packets which contained caffeine. I’ve only recently started taking caffeine somewhat regularly and I would like to have had more control over my intake of that versus Ketones. That said most people have multiple cups of coffee a day and would find it has little effect on them and wouldn’t lead them to having sleepless nights and being too wired during the day. Although some of that could be associated with the diet and my normal bad sleeping habits.
The KetoOS packets themselves don’t have much listed in the nutrients listing. Doesn’t seem like it contains any of the normal macros, but I guess Ketones aren’t a required macro to be listed.
The order arrived fast, within a few days. The box and packets are colorful, you won’t miss them. At least not the Raspberry Lemonade Flavour one I got.
Add 💧 water, shake vigorously for a while and the drink tastes pretty good, at least I enjoyed the sweet flavour. It wasn’t bad, bitter nor bland. You don’t get the urge to add extra flavouring to it unlike with Aussielent.
If you asked me at day 2 or even day 5 I wouldn’t have been sure it was worth it, but I’ve adapted to it and at the moment feel like it’s been a positive experiment although the KetoOS packets are expensive and I’m not sure if I’ll keep using them daily next month, but are far better than doing a 3 day fast!
Actually I’m going to temporarily drop trying to do the Ketone diet during the X-mas holidays and see how much my food preferences have changed. Already I don’t really feel like eating sweets, chips and the like.
So far it seems like I’ve gone from a sugar addict to rarely much interest in sugary foods, except maybe right after a long run.
As a hint, don’t do an 18km run 🏃 in hot weather on your second or third day. You’ll be dehydrated already and I lost 4kg of sweat. Took me a couple of days to get fully rehydrated. As a hint, check the colour of your pee to know.
There’s some medical evidence that Ketosis helps those with Epilepsy. There’s even trials to see if it helps with the treatment of cancer, but these aren’t detailed enough to draw strong conclusions.
Overall, I wouldn’t recommend the diet for everyone, but I have felt the benefits, from weight loss to reduced blood sugar variability during the day.
It’s helped me dramatically reduce my sugar intake.
https://www.ruled.me/ketogenic-diet-faq/ — Some really good stuff here, especially “What Are Macros and Should I Count Them” and the form you can fill in to calculate your suggested carb, protein and fat intake.
https://www.womenshealth.com.au/what-is-the-ketogenic-diet — Conclusion: Though it may offer some metabolic benefits when followed in the short-term (a few months), and pose as a novel treatment for certain medical conditions, a ketogenic diet isn’t recommended for the general population, as the long-term efficacy and safety of the diet are unknown.
https://rebootedbody.com/ketosis/ — A good general beginners guide
https://www.businessinsider.com.au/keto-diet-is-like-atkins-on-steroids-2017-7 — A good general overview and someone else’s experience.
One last note. I’ve not been paid to say anything here. I’m not remunerated by you clicking or buying anything from any of the links. There’s positives and negatives of any diet and there’s suggestions that staying on a Ketosis diet can be damaging, e.g increased risk of heart disease. As such, this is definitely not official dietary advice. I’m guessing you should consult your doctor or a dietitian, especially if you have any existing health complications.