Giving Keto a Trial Run

I’ve done the paleo eating for a few years now, although admittedly over the last year or so, I’ve gotten somewhat lax on it.  I’ll go through phases where I’ve locked things down, but I invariably return to eating gluten-free products that are processed, eating lots of sugary stuff and definitely drinking more wine than I should.  This kind of eating, combined with a rough training year and inconsistent workout has left me not feeling as good physically, along with some weight gain.  This has been a somewhat difficult year for me and I’m ready to close the book on 2017 and start 2018 on the right foot.  One of the things I want to do is get my eating back on track so I feel better, and so I can fit comfortably in my jeans again.

I’ve done Whole30 and the 21 Day Sugar Detox before – and I’m a definite believer in both.  However, I’d done some reading this year on high-fat/low carb eating and decided I would give it a try.  I’ll explain why in a minute, but the program I decided on was the Keto Reset Diet by Mark Sisson.  I’d read the Primal Blueprint and he’d gotten me thinking about moving away from using carbs for fueling but I hadn’t really given it a full-fledged try.

So, the quick story on Keto –  it’s a high-fat, low carb (HFLC) diet that basically mimics what happens when you starve.  When your carb intake drops below a certain level, you going into ketosis.  The glycogen stores in your body deplete and without any incoming carbs, the body will then start converting stored fat into ketones and the body can use that for energy.  There’s a lot more science behind it – if you want to know more, go buy the book or go Google.

Somewhat by default, a ketogenic diet cab paleo by being low carb – no grains or rice, staying away from sugars, healthy fats and protein.  However, it doesn’t necessarily mean no artificial sweeteners or processed foods.  What I like about this book and plan is that it’s based on primal eating.  Diet sodas and Splenda are not on the “ok” list.

Basically, the major differences between this plan and the paleo diet I used to stringently follow are:

  1. No wine.  Booooo.
  2. Dairy – I’ve gone back and forth with dairy but tried to minimize it in my diet.  It’s moderately prevalent in this plan so what I’ve done is limited consumption to dairy products that are grass-fed/pasture raised only.
  3. Macronutrient breakdown:
    • Carbs: 5 – 10%
    • Protein: 25 – 30%
    • Fat: 65 – 70%
  4. Paleo approved sweeteners – I’m staying away from Stevia extract for the time being.  I find that sweet tasting stuff makes me want “the good sweet stuff.”

Why am I doing this?

  1. The 21 Day Sugar Detox is LCHF-ish and I had great success with doing that and resetting my metabolism and getting my weight and how I was feeling physically back on track.  If this doesn’t end up working out for me, then I’ll probably end up doing that.
  2. I definitely like to eat fatty food.  Sure, I enjoy vegetables – but mostly when they’ve got dressing on them or have been tossed in oil or bacon grease and roasted. Eggs, meats, cheese, avocados, bacon – that’s my jam (or my omelette.)  So, it would make sense to find an way of eating that lets me enjoy that.
  3. I would like to get away from using carbs for energy. I don’t know if I will end up adopting keto or not, but I would like to break my current dependency to Tailwind or other sugar-based fueling.

What am I concerned about?

Even though I’m comfortable with a certain level of health fat intake and no longer prescribe to the “low-fat” mentality, this level of fat intake still freaks me out a little bit.  I had the same reaction when I did my first 21DSD and had to stop tracking my food.  However, that worked out ok for me – so I’m just going to watch my macros and have some faith in the science.

My other concern is that the meal plan in the book is a “one size fits all” and doesn’t really provide any baseline information (ie – it’s based on a certain caloric intake amount.) I really have to nutritionally translate my meals and then figure out how to modify or tweak them, so I’m staying within my macro-targets and not overeating.

This is a six week endeavor – the first three weeks is a “reset.”  Basically, it’s to transition you to keto-primal eating and to let your metabolism adjust.  The second three weeks is a recommended meal plan where you really start to look at your macros – but I’m already doing some of that because I’m used to eating primal and I’m Type-A.  At the end of the six weeks, I’ll see how I feel about eating this way and what longer-term adjustments I will make to my regular diet.

Of course, if I start to not feel well or it doesn’t seem to be agreeing with me, I will stop.  I’m expecting to go through carb/sugar withdraw in the first week, which isn’t awful, but ain’t no picnic either.

Real talk – I already had to restart and do Day 1 again because I had an open bottle of wine left over from the weekend and Debra doesn’t throw out two things:  wine or bacon.  But now that I’ve purge the house, I’m ready to do this!

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Debra

Running for Medals. And Bacon.

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