*Written April 2018*
I've been thinking for a few weeks now about how I wanted to approach a diet change to decrease some inflammation I've been feeling while dropping some body fat considering my 30th birthday is in two weeks! So I decided to jump in head first and try a ketogenic diet.
Now I have tried this diet in the past, but I was still learning how to balance my macronutrient percentages and meal timing so I don't think it was my best go. Now that I'm a bit older and hopefully wiser, I am ready to try again in this two week keto diet series.
To give a bit of background on this style of eating, the ketogenic diet is high fat, moderate protein and low carbohydrate. 70 - 75% of calories come from fat, 10-15% from protein and 5-10% from carbohydrate. Some benefits include fat loss, improved memory, focus, attention, energy, decreased systemic inflammation, increased insulin sensitivity and the list goes on.
Even with all these benefits, there are some things you have to make sure you're aware of. With any significant release of water, there is risk for dehydration, so drinking at least half your body weight in ounces is imperative! You also need to make sure you're supplementing with electrolytes sodium, potassium and magnesium. I'd also add in a digestive enzyme with a good amount of lipase until your body gets used to digesting high amounts of fat versus carbohydrate. Last, but not least, a probiotic and fiber!
Digestion can become an issue if you're not careful which can lead to constipation. A good probiotic and supplement form of fiber will definitely support normal bowel function. Fiber can only come from carbohydrate and considering the amount you consume drops significantly, getting a fiber supplement is really important.
And needless to say this is a significant change from my usual 45% carbohydrate, 30% protein and 25% fat breakdown! The breakdown I have chosen is 75% fat, 15% protein and 10% carbohydrate, which is drastic, but its only for two weeks and I am really curious to see how far I can push my body.
Full disclosure, day 1 was rough. I worked out fasted like I usually do, making sure I drank extra water and added more electrolytes. I broke my fast around 2 pm (17 hours fasted) with 3 whole eggs, spinach/mushrooms sauteed in coconut oil and 4 Tbsp. almond butter with cinnamon. Now, usually I am satiated for 5-6 hours, which was NOT the case this time. I started getting hungry again within 3 hours after finishing my meal, which I was somewhat expecting, but not to the degree I felt. Carbs have more volume to them and cause the body to produce more leptin, which is our fullness hormone. So less carbs = less leptin = getting hungry faster.
My second meal was a salad of chopped romaine, alfalfa sprouts, fermented ginger, horseradish and cilantro dressed with a homemade lemon and EVOO vinaigrette (3 Tbsp EVOO) and topped with 1/2 cup red pepper hummus and 2 ounces chicken breast. Oh, I also had a side of almond butter with cinnamon (5 Tbsp.). Now, I am a nut butter fanatic, so you will probably see/read about nut butters in almost all of my meals.
I think one thing I really noticed were the emotions I was having. It was almost a sense of loss and frustration I was feeling because I couldn't have foods that I normally would. This just made me realize I may have an imbalance in my relationship with food and need to address that as I am going through this journey.
I wanted to start this series not only to challenge myself, but to also hold myself accountable to sticking with a dietary change as I ask of my clients. Sometimes as practitioners, we forget how difficult it can be to make these changes and I want to make sure I can continue to empathize in a very effective way.
I will also be listing my weight and body fat changes daily to help me keep track and give you full disclosure on my journey as well.
Hope you enjoy this series and don't forget to follow me on social media to check out updates there as well (meals, physique updates etc).
Day 1 stats:
18.7% body fat
Day 2 stats:
18% body fat