Breaking Keto

The wife and I decided to cycle into a Ketogenic state for at least the next 21 days. This should be fun – she has never done it before. I’ve cycled in previously, but never actually tracked results. I soaked some strips to make sure I had ketones in my system, but never really looked for an extended period of time. It was more of a curiosity.

If you don’t know what the Ketogenic Diet is, check out this link from Dr. James Mercola. 

For many, this style of eating (I’d call it a lifestyle) is very contrary to the current “conventional wisdom.” There is a growing pocket of dissidents in the fitness and nutrition world that is screaming at the top of its lungs for us to wake up. Their war cry is very simple, “…WE’VE BEEN MISLED – EAT MORE FAT, STOP EATING SUGAR…” For decades now, the mainstream advice from our government, and even the general medical community (those who don’t pursue nutrition education beyond the basic curriculum in their higher learning) has been to focus on lower fat foods, and make carbohydrates a larger constituency in your diet.

I’m not going to say that we’ve been told to eat cotton candy and Pringles at will, but the foods you think are helping you (the so-called low fat options or heart-healthy options), are doing you harm due to the amount of refined sugar pumped into them. I watched an interesting documentary called “That Sugar Film,” where a guy went on a diet for 40 days eating nothing but “healthy” foods that were pumped full of sugar. What made it interesting is that the foods he loaded his cart with weren’t what the mainstream would call bad. Rather, these foods are items that the mainstream dutifully eats thinking they are being good custodians of their health. Check it out – it was enlightening.

If you look at the current state of health for those on a “western diet,” or the “standard american diet,” you’ll see a population where…

  • 1 out of 3 people are obese (source: NIH)
  • 1 out of 6 people have metabolic syndrome (source: AHA)
  • 9% of the US population has DIABETES (source: CDC)

To quote Cormac McCarthy, “…if the rule you followed brought you to this, of what use was the rule…?”

I’m not a doctor or scientist, but I can tell you that I didn’t get good results following the western eating or standard american diet treatise. Once I started breaking from convention, and experimenting with a lifestyle of less sugar and processed carbs, I saw a very noticeable difference. Trust me – the first time I put a tablespoon of butter into my coffee, I quietly waited for my heart to stop beating. The first time I went for a blood test (annual physical) after doing this lifestyle for an extended period, I thought the doctor was going to tell me I was ready for a heart attack.

Guess what – all of my health markers were BETTER. Imagine that.

Cycling into ketogenesis for a little bit is just the next evolution of that experiment. And, there is enough research available that leads me to believe that I’ll see a further step forward in my overall health.

Through all of my recent chatter, I finally piqued my wife’s curiosity. As a result, Mrs. Breaking wants to see what this is all about. And, she’s agreed to let me document both of our experiences along the way. I’ve agreed to be her sherpa down this path since I’ve done this before (briefly), and can see the trail. The cool thing for her is that she likes to cook, so, I’ve stocked us full of cookbooks that cater to a Keto-minded crowd. Here is our keto survival kit for the next few weeks…

keto kit.jpg

Above are the following:

  • Four different books
    • Eat Rich, Live Long
      • This book is one of my favorites. The beginning is VERY well written in plain language that tells the entire story.
    • The 30 Day Ketogenic Cleanse
      • A nice book and nice story (this author talks about her journey to how she landed on the Keto program). Also, some good lifestyle advice. The recipes are pretty spectacular.
    • The Keto Reset Diet
      • One of my favorite health/nutrition authors. Mark has built a reputation for strong research-backed articles/books, and this one doesn’t disappoint. He takes a crawl/walk/run approach by insisting that you wean off carbs first before going into a state of ketosis. For people that have never tried to limit carb intake, this might be the most effective approach.
    • Everyday Ketogenic Kitchen
      • Good solid information (no real deep dives), but the author spends a lot of time showing the reader how to “build” your kitchen around cooking/baking keto. Very helpful as she does some next level talking about the ingredients you’ll need to source.
  • Ketone test strips
    • There are three ways to test for ketones in your system:

I’ll probably do a post every few days to provide updates. The first couple of days (for a newbie) are usually frustrating because not only is it surprising how your food priorities change when you are trying to stay under 50 grams of carbs a day, but the actual physical/mental changes can be challenging. For the first few days, you usually will see…

  • The “keto” flu
  • Decreased energy
  • Headaches
  • Hunger (since you probably aren’t eating enough fat yet – this part can be tricky, because there is an emotional response to eating so much fat – you think you are doing something wrong).
    • I encouraged Mrs. Breaking to journal her food for the first few days, and make sure she is hitting her calorie goals and macro goals. Last thing we want is to under feed her and limit carbs. That would be very counterproductive.
  • NO activity on the ketone test strips
    • For the first couple of days – you won’t see the color change. This can be mentally frustrating because you wonder why you are doing this if you can’t see a tangible result. Once the strips darken for the first time, it makes it all worth it.

I’m hoping that my next post will have navigated us through those first challenging days, and end with a report of darker test strips and reduced symptoms. More to follow…

 

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.

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