Disclaimer: Before modifying your diet, speak to your doctor, do not do anything I am talking about without talking to a medical professional.
I have always just consumed whatever I wanted. Then when life got busy, my diet got really bad. Tons of fast food, always on the go. The problem is that the more I ate, the more I wanted to eat. When work got busy, I would eat more. I realized I was eating when life got busy – but there wasn’t much I could do.
It is easy to grab a pizza slice, or a burger at a fast food restaurant. The entire world pushes us to eat horribly. Every TV advertisement, or billboard talks about the amazing Big Mac, or Asiago Range Chicken Club – who doesn’t like cheese, on fried chicken with bacon. It was nothing for me to just devour an entire bag of potato chips in an evening.
Then one day, I had problems going from my basement office, upstairs without getting winded, I had to hold my breath to tie up my shoes and I simply could not keep up with regular life anymore – I felt horrible. I had reached an all time high weight of 258lbs.
With a new baby on the way, some kind of a switch flipped inside me – and I realized I had to do… something.
After talking to my good friend Adam, who recently went on a similar journey, he helped mentor me into the Ketogenic Lifestyle (KETO).
Before I get into what I did and how – this is my opinion on the matter, and what you will come to realize is that many people agree, and disagree with many of the things I will say here. Please read, learn and understand for yourself and make your own decisions – again, seek medical advice.
I started my journey on June 4th, 2017 – I was simply not proud of who I had become.
Body Fat: 39%
BMI: 37.1 – Obese
Resting Heart Rate: 86
Resting BP: 135/90
Fasting Blood Sugar: 6.3
Starting Waist Size: 44
These numbers were alarming, I was seriously overweight, and my fasting blood sugar was pre-diabetic. I have a history of diabetes in my family, I was not on a good path.
I went down the road of the Ketogenic lifestyle. With a focus on weight loss and eating healthy.
What is Keto ?
Keto is a scientifically based food regimen. I say it is scientific – because this is not something you can just half-ass. You need to take it seriously, you cannot “cheat”. The key for success is understanding the ketogenic process in your body.
If you do Keto properly, you actually learn a ton about what you are eating, and the affect of that food on your body, and on your health.
Ketogenic diets are low in carbohydrates, and high-er in fats.
Fat is not your enemy – our bodies are fat burning machines, they are actually designed to burn fat. They can burn other substances for energy – like sugars in the form of carbohydrates, but our bodies are designed to burn FAT.
Keto is all about putting your body in a fat burning state, something called “Nutritional Ketosis” The idea is that we feed our bodies FAT, to burn for energy, but when we don’t eat enough fat, our body goes looking for fat to burn — and hey, I had close to 100lbs of it on my body at the time.
Your body burns consumed carbohydrates, or sugar, then when it runs out of that (if it even does!) it burns any consumed fats, and then AFTER that, it starts to burn off body fat.
The idea is running on ketones instead of blood sugar. Your system still needs blood glucose to operate important things like the brain – but your system will generate what it needs from the proteins in your system. There is no need to take in significant
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded through studies that eating carbohydrates stimulates the addiction centres in the brain. If you look at the typical North American diet, or worse the poor North American diet, what you typically see is tons of pasta, bread, sugars but the bottom line is carbohydrates. Tons of processed food, all filled with very cheap to manufacture carbohydrates.
See the red line? That’s what happens when you eat significant carbohydrates – your blood sugar spikes like mad. This causes your brain to feel happy, and you feel full – but only 240 minutes later, you crash hard and start feeling hungry. You never reach nutritional ketosis, because you ran for more food. This means you don’t often burn the fats you are consuming – instead you pack them on.
The Low Fat Scam
What is with the war on fat? Did I not just say we are fat burning machines? Well, it has to do with fat around our bellies. People think “Oh I don’t want to be fat, don’t eat fat” so the “low fat” industry was born. However if you compare many “low fat” alternatives, they pack in the carbs to make up for the missing fat. How is this helping? It isn’t. High carb, low fat foods, generally processed are super easy for the industry to manufacture, at very cheap prices.
Fat is not your enemy.
Keto has benefits!
Enhanced mental focus: You will be able to focus on tasks without getting as distracted
No more sugar spikes: You feel fuller longer, without the hunger pains or the drive to run and eat. Skipping a meal happens by accident because you just don’t have the up and down sugars in your system. Your system will normalize, you can actually reverse type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes.
Better health: This goes without saying
What are the results?
Here are my results… Results may vary, and it depends on your unique situation. My results came with a little more exercise than normal (which became easier once I started) I feel way more energy, amazing concentration. My results are dramatic, and your can be too. The best part is not how I look, but how I feel.
As of September 24th
Weight: 198.9 lbs — Lost 59.5
Body Fat: 28.4% — Lost 10.6
Resting Heart Rate: 54
Resting BP: 120/80
Fasting Blood Sugar: 5.2
Finish Waist Size: 36
How can I do this?
First, tell yourself you can do this. The bottom line however is that you have to want to do it. Whatever your reason is, not because someone told you to, but because that magic switch in your head flipped one day and said “I want to be healthy, I need to be healthy”
If you are waiting for me to link you to some magic diet pill, or magic recipe to make this work – move on, you won’t find that here. This requires work, and sacrifice – I won’t sugar coat it (besides, those are carbs)
I am going to provide some reading, why re-invent the wheel, I will provide you with the amazing things I have read to learn about Keto before I went on this journey.
The biggest advice I can provide you with, is to learn and read before you do anything. The key to success is understanding the science of Keto.
Beginners Guides – Read both, and understand
Learn about what is high and low carb
There are great visual guides on dietdoctor.com – check these out, learn what works and what does not.
Courtesy of dietdoctor.com
Some great guides over at DietDoctor that show you what is good and what isn’t on Keto… Below is a good sample of keto friendly foods..
Not everything you think is safe — is safe on Keto. Here is a good example of vegetables, because not all are built the same. Photo again courtesy of Dietdoctor.com
- Track. You must track everything you eat in order to learn about your foods. I use a tool called Cron-o-meter to track because it properly supports Net Carbs.
- CALCULATE YOUR MACROS CORRECTLY! Highly recommend this calculator
2. Read. I said this already, but you need to learn how your body works, and read up on what you can and cannot eat.
3. Learn your body. Learn to understand your body, you will be learning new cues, new feelings.
4. Stick with it. Keto flu is real, you will read about it, and it sucks. It goes away
5. Water. Drink it, lots of it. Constantly, the Ketogenic process needs more water to operate than you probably consume today.
6. Supplements. You will probably need some supplements, see your doctor but generally you need to consider magnesium and potassium supplements.
7. Calories MATTER! – lots of people will disagree here. However your body is an energy consumption machine – calories in, calories out, calories stored. You need to run a deficit in order to lose weight. PERIOD
8. You cannot eat unlimited fat. See #7