My wife held on for two more weeks (following my June 1 post), and then decided that she wanted to move on. That means she moved on in mid-June. I tip my hat to her.
In the end, it wasn’t because she wasn’t feeling good. Quite the contrary, she kept saying how awesome she felt. Her concern was about her milk supply for our newborn (can you still call him a newborn at 6 months)? #daddyfail
She “felt” like her supply was going down. This was a result of less yield during pumping, and feeling that his feedings might not be as robust as they were prior. I did as much research as the internet would allow me to, and found some articles on the topic. As it turns out, there is a lot of opinion (A LOT), and not a ton of science. This isn’t an area that has been studied a ton (yet). But, I did find two studies that concluded a milk SUPPLY didn’t fluctuate, increase, or decrease based on the macro breakdown (holding calorie consumption constant). The study did show that a high fat, low carb diet did yield higher fat content in the milk. So, the conclusion drawn from those two studies is that supply doesn’t really care about macros.
But, when we looked at what she was eating, she was grossly under-consuming calories. THAT CAN affect milk supply. We chatted, and she was having a tough time stuffing her face with enough fat to meet the calorie requirements. She just wasn’t that hungry, and, since she was restricting dairy and eggs (baby food allergens – kid is fight eczema right now), there weren’t a ton of options. Put it this way – I offered her some pork belly, and she didn’t find it appetizing. So, rather than stress about something she need not stress about, she called it quits and we went out to a lovely dinner together.
If you’ve read my Nickelback post, you know how that dinner went.
Okay – there is a sentence I never thought I’d type.
Wife – within a day or two of being off keto, she commented about how she feels less energy than she did while in ketosis. She didn’t melt into a blob on the couch; rather, she could just feel a subtle difference in her overall “state” and her mental acuity. It is something she would certainly consider doing again later on when kid rearing is behind her. She is happily enjoying her fruit, and doesn’t really worry when her carbs are between 100 g and 150 g per day. And she shouldn’t. That is a decent maintenance range.
Me – my own experience has made me a student of the process. I was very interested in learning why I crashed the way that I did when I continued doing HIIT workouts and other strenuous workouts while still adapting. I thought my prior experience had me primed to quickly adapt, but it didn’t happen. I now know how important it is to measure empirically, and give your body a chance to flip the switch. There is a huge difference between having ketones in your blood, and having your various mitochondria knowing how to use ketones for energy. That is the switch that needs a few weeks to happen. It inspired me to read/research even more. Found some good books…
- Keto Clarity
- The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living
- The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance
I did learn in my reading that (even in ketosis) you could consider some carb intake prior to a HIIT workout or other workout that will push you to an anaerobic threshold. The reason being is that when you hit an anaerobic threshold, your muscles NEED glycogen to function. If you aren’t properly adapted, this is when you feel like you are ready to pass out. There is no glycogen for your muscles to grab, and they haven’t properly learned how to use ketones yet.
Once you are adapted, your have more metabolic flexibility to not fall out of ketosis due to the carb intake. Some people anecdotally say that they feel fine doing HIIT after being fully adapted (but admit that its hell when you aren’t), and some people see the value in some carbs before the HIIT session. It really will come down to your own ability and preference. HOWEVER, the one thing everyone agrees on – give HIIT a rest while you are adapting. Keep exercise in an aerobic place during the adaption phase.
I’ll probably do this again next year. My goal is to get to the other side, and rock some nice workouts with blood ketone levels over 1 mmol/L! Oh, and not feel like passing out 🙂
Do you currently, or have you ever followed a ketogenic-style diet? If so, what were your experiences? Please comment below. If you like this post, please be sure to like and share! Thank you.