Wednesday, December 20, 2017

My Keto Experience

I've been researching the Keto Diet and Ketosis for a few months now after a friend mentioned it to me. The thought of it really intrigued me and I felt like I wanted to try something different and drastic to get better results. So I dove in.

A couple days before Thanksgiving (great timing right!) I started reducing carbs drastically and trying to eat healthy fats. The next day I experienced the headache that I read about that they call the "Keto flu" and I knew something was going on. Soon i started to have the funky "fruity" or "metal" taste in my mouth which was also consistent with what others experienced. I guess when Ketones are present and being produced the excess escape the body through the urine and the breath. For a couple weeks I didn't feel much different. I was still hungry like usual and ate like I always had. I began to wonder if this was all.

Then all of a sudden something clicked. I woke up one morning and I wasn't hungry. Every morning first thing I down a glass of my Organifi Green Juice (everyone needs a green superfood) but i did not crave food. I did my workout and still nothing. I went all the way into the afternoon and finally at 2:00 I thought..."okay, this is crazy. How can I not be hungry?" I am used to eating every couple hours... that was the idea behind building a good metabolism, right? So I did it and my body was definitely used to it. I would eat reasonable portions and never get stuffed... but if I missed that meal or snack at lunchtime or 3:00...I would feel it big time. I would get weak, shaky, and I could tell my blood sugar was low.

Now I have learned what was going on. My body was conditioned to use only quick burning fuel... carbs. Bread, potatoes, pasta, rice and a ton of others were a staple in my every day diet. The carbs are much easier for the body to metabolize than anything else so they get burned for energy first. And when you keep a steady supply of carbs going into the system... the body has a steady supply and is good. Once you stop that easy quick burning fuel... your body has to improvise. And the cool thing is it knows what to do. It decides that since there are no easy carbs here for fuel... we're gonna have to turn fat into energy. So the body gets busy metabolizing your fat stores. Your body can burn the fat and use it directly but your brain cannot. That's where the liver comes in. It turns fat in Ketone bodies and then send them to the brain for fuel. Many people experience a clear focus when using ketones to fuel the brain instead of carbs.

It's been about 10 days since I just do not feel hunger like I used to. It's a very strange sensation. I just feel satiated, like all the time. I get to 1:00 or 2:00 in the day without eating a thing (which is mind blowing to me) and I still don't need or want anything. I'll eat a salad with all kinds of good stuff in it and it tastes amazing. It's like you're not putting lots of different things in your body for fuel... so when you actually do... you are very intentional about it. You want it to be really good quality stuff.

I don't know... it's wild. I'm seeing the layer of subcutaneous fat (the thin layer on my core) start to melt away and that's cool. This way of eating really comes from the way hunter/gatherers likely were. They would hunt and find food and have to eat as much as they could because who knows where the next meal comes from. This is what made it possible for those early humans to survive for days or longer without much food. Their body was "metabolically flexible" (a term I learned from Mark Sisson) and so it could live off the stored fat for long periods of time. I"m still learning all the other benefits from eating LCHF (Low Carb High Fat) but I really dig it.

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