The 21 lessons I’ve learned during my 4-week ketosis experience. How adapting to a high-fat, moderate protein, low-carb eating style is changing my health and the steps I’ve taken to get here.
New to Healthful Pursuit? Read this introduction to ketosis.
I’m on the final leg of my 10-day solo British Columbia road trip. On Sunday night, my (new) Toyota broke down. Totally dead. I could have spent the next 5 hours obsessing about all of the plans that were ruined because of my stupid car… but I didn’t. Instead, I accepted where I was at, gathered details, weighed options and moved forward with the best intentions.
I was forced to remain aware of my surroundings, let go of expectations and act in the present moment. Much like what I (try) to practice with my eating style. Plans change, circumstances change, bodies change. Change brings opportunity (for better, more-awesome things!)
Taking care of my body is an ongoing evolution of learning, experimenting and figuring out what works best for me. What my body needed 2 years ago is different than what it needs today.
Each eating style has assisted me in transitioning to the next with ease. If you’re somewhere in between going dairy-free, gluten-free, grain-free or vegan and you’re thinking, “what the hell do I eat?” my weekly meal planning program is a fabulous resource.
2 weeks ago, I shared why counting calories for weight loss isn’t the answer + what I’m doing instead. Now, I’m 4 weeks in and I’d love to share MORE of my experience with you because (to my surprise) many of you are interested in the ketogenic lifestyle.
Psst… this isn’t just about weight loss. My shift to a ketogenic eating style is a natural progression and feels good in my body.
21 lessons I’ve learned while being in ketosis::
- Being grain-free before embarking on this journey was so, so helpful. If you need guidance on going grain-free, check out my weekly meal planning program.
- Testing for blood glucose and blood ketones is essential, especially when I was first getting going. The ketone test strips are expensive so I started with testing to 2 times per day then limited to 2 times per week.
- (Because I’m testing my blood glucose and ketones) I know that my body is highly sensitive to protein and carbohydrates. The less I eat, the lower my blood sugar and the higher my ketone levels.
- My fat, protein and carbohydrate requirements change constantly.
- On average, for protein, 1 gram per kilogram of my bodyweight is my max. Example, if I weigh 60kg, then I would eat 60 grams of protein.
- For carbohydrates, I can get into ketosis on 20 net carbs per day. I’ve just starting playing around with less daily fiber and counting total carbohydrates instead of net carbs. We’ll see where this goes.
- Cyclical ketosis (when you go into and out of ketosis every 7-10 days) is my body’s happy place. Every Sunday, I boost my carb intake to 350 grams + to increase my leptin production, replenish my glucose stores and spike my blood sugar WAY up. This is said to help hormone regulation + more.
- I haven’t decided if cyclical ketosis hinders weight loss but I’m leaning toward saying that it does slow it down. My high-carb day is Sunday and it takes me 3-4 days to get back into a strong ketogenic state, leaving me with about 3-4 days until I jump out of ketosis again. Practicing this has affected my weight loss weight but I FEEL better. In the long run, this is more important and I *think* more sustainable. But my opinion on this could change as time goes by.
- Mondays (the day after the increase in carbs) is the best day for a vigorous physical activity. I climbed a mountain last Monday and power-walked 20 kilometers. This intense activity removes the glycogen (glucose) stores from the body quickly so that ketosis can be achieved in as little time as possible.
- Keto-flu is abolished when I make sure I’m eating enough salt and magnesium. Specifically Himalayan rock salt and CALM.
- When I think there’s enough salt on my food, I add a couple shakes more.
- When I’m hungry or craving something it’s because I haven’t eaten enough fat during the day. When this happens, I eat a spoon of coconut oil or beef tallow. That, or I haven’t drank enough (#15)
- 5 liters of water per day is my minimum.
- Excess protein increases my blood sugar.
- Body soreness is a sign that I need more magnesium. CALM is my friend.
- Frying bacon in coconut oil and then dipping it in mayonnaise is always encouraged.
- I can do hot yoga, HIIT and hike all in the same day with loads of energy. Having bulletproof tea in the morning is essential for this to work.
- I enjoy having a 6-8 hour “feeding time” followed by an intermittent fast. I wake up at 6am, drink my bulletproof tea at 8am, do a 90-minute hot yoga class, have first meal at around 12pm, then workout (spin, running, HIIT training) at 5pm, last meal around 6pm.
- Coffee lowers my blood glucose levels and helps me get into ketosis faster.
- Sugar affects my energy level. Even the 1 gram in cured bacon gives me cravings. I now eat pork belly cut thin by my butcher in Calgary. 1 piece of fruit is enough to put me to sleep. Had a kiwi (with skin) the other day and fell asleep for 2 hours + created a lot of gas and bloating.
- I imagine that once my body has hit it’s “happy place” in health and weight that weight loss will flatten out and I’ll begin to eat more. Right now, I’m naturally sitting at a calorie deficiency of about 500 calories per day which tells me that my body is primed for loss. My thought is, when my body gets “there” it will start to consume enough calories to maintain where it is.
I have created a ketogenic introduction program called The Keto Beginning. Complete with a 30-day meal plan, details of how I got into ketosis for the first time, how I maintain it, the cyclical practice, and tricks/tools I’ve used to maintain ketosis.
Grab your copy of The Keto Beginning: Complete Guide + 30-day Meal Plan with its 17 chapters, 147 pages + over 70 high-fat, low-carb, moderate-protein, dairy-, gluten-, sugar-, grain-, legume-free recipes. It’s the rocket fuel for achieving flawless health and effortless weight loss through sound nutrition practices and vibrant food preparation in ways you’ve never seen before.
Now, I would love to hear from you (because we’re all here learning + experimenting!)…
What 2 lessons have you learned in the last 2 weeks about your body?
Chat with me about it in the comments below…