The wife and I decided to cycle into a Ketogenic state for at least the next 21 days. For the background of the “experiment,” please check out the original page here.
If you don’t know what the Ketogenic Diet is, check out this link from Dr. James Mercola.
Test strip results (we use the ones from smackfat purchased on Amazon):
- Wife – she switched to the blood test
- This is a good idea as she keto-adapts more and more. The deeper she goes, the less “waste” happens, and the smaller of a reading will show up on the pee-strips. The blood meter will give her actual number data to help guide her as she continues.
Blood test kit results (I bought the Keto-Mojo meter on Amazon):
- Brad – after my workout on Sunday, my ketones started trending down, and bottomed out at 0.1 mmol/l on Thursday. I wasn’t happy, and decided to stop (more on that shortly).
- Wife – getting great results. Not only did she measure 1.7 mmol/l yesterday, she also registered a non-fasting blood sugar reading in the mid 70’s. NON-FASTING.
Basically, the wife is rocking it, and I’m no longer playing the ketosis game.
If you checked out the link, you now know that the high-level road map looks like this:
- Absent glucose in the blood, the body breaks down fat into fatty acids and glycerol.
- To meet the energy needs of the brain, the fatty acids and glycerol go into the liver, and convert to sugar (glucose) and ketones.
- Yes, you read that correctly – your LIVER can synthesize its own glucose
Food log notes:
- Wife – lots of salads, nuts, fatty cuts of meat, oils in her dressings, and avocados. She thought she might be slipping in her ketones due to some extra strawberries she ate over the weekend, so she quickly course corrected, and registered her awesome numbers yesterday. She has been doing great at keeping dairy out of the mix. More on that in a second.
- Brad – I’m kind of at a loss. This was a pretty rotten week, and the only thing I can figure for my inability to sustain my ketone levels was dairy. I relied on dairy way too much as a source of fat. Between cheese and heavy cream, I might have underestimated how many carbohydrates I was really taking in. On Sunday and into Monday, my ketone levels were hovering around that 0.6 mmol/l mark. But, since Monday, the trend went down. The funny thing is I committed to eating more fat, but I guess when I ratcheted up the dairy, that ruined things. Next time, I’ll be doing minimum dairy.
- Wife – can’t say it enough – she is killing it. Her numbers are great, but, the more important thing is that she feels amazing. Her energy levels are WAY up. Most of the reading that I’ve done says that she is about to experience some really great results in the coming weeks if she keeps up this momentum. Great job lady – Love you!
- Brad – I’m done. Putting aside the discouraging numbers, I felt bad this entire week. I never bounced back from the energy deficit I created from my workout on Sunday. I clearly goofed on a few fronts here in week three that sabotaged the experience. First, I overestimated how keto adapted I was, and continued to go crazy hard with my workouts. That turned out to be a disaster. I had a very bad workout on Sunday that left me grossly fatigued and light-headed. I had to stop. I’m attributing some to potential overtraining (I’ve taken a break this week), but I’ll also attribute that acute reaction (light-headed) to an overall energy vacuum. I had two things counting against me in the energy bank – lowered glycogen (a result of carb restricting), and not enough ketones to help synthesize the energy that I needed. By doing HIIT workouts and really creating an energy NEED, my body just couldn’t do it, so it wanted to shut down. For me, the lesson learned is – STOP DOING HARD WORKOUTS WHILE YOU ARE STILL KETO ADAPTING. Give yourself a chance to switch energy systems. I foolishly thought I was switched over, but clearly my ketone levels felt otherwise. Second, I overestimated how dialed in on my macros I was, and probably let too much dairy screw up the works. The lesson and action plan are pretty simple here – next time I try a keto cycle, the only dairy I’ll use will be my butter in the butter coffee. No whipped heavy cream snacks, and no cheese unless I can see that my ketones are sustained and high. In reality, I probably should have been more proactive when I wasn’t budging above the 0.6 mmol/l mark. My numbers should have been much higher a couple of weeks in.
A final thought on my experience:
- Even though my experience didn’t meet my expectations this go around, I know I can learn from the failure. This isn’t the “diet’s” fault. The ketogenic diet isn’t a flawed diet. It is a diet that requires deliberate behavior and willpower (especially early on). I still really believe in the mechanisms and science behind it. During this entire week of feeling like garbage, I spent a lot of time reading up on different people’s experiences and challenges (mostly to try and troubleshoot my own). There are a bunch of great blogs and podcasts out there full of information (both scientific and anecdotal). All of that information just reaffirmed for me that this can work and will work when implemented properly. My complications were related to my own lack of execution. I’ll own that and make sure I have a better action plan the next time I experiment. For now, I’ll go back to my pre-keto plan of keeping carbs in the 100g-150g range. This has been a great maintenance range for me leading up to this point. And, that even allows for a beer or two. Cheers to that! I might even name the next beer that I brew “Keto Fail Ale.” If you can’t make fun of yourself, what’s the point?
Are we still going:
- Wife – oh yes!
- Brad – nope.
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.