Solo episode, answering your questions on how to handle bad keto advice, controlling cravings, relationship with food on keto, and more.
For podcast transcript, scroll down.
SHOW NOTES + LINKS
- Feel awesome on your keto diet with The Keto Bundle
- Subscribe on iTunes or your favorite podcast app
- Watch the recorded Virtual Book Tour Event
- Get the Perfect Keto supplement, use HEALTHFUL15 for 15% off
- Try these fat bomb recipes
- Carb-up how to info
- Get my food journal
- Check out my Balanced Keto meal plans
- Follow me on Instagram
- Exogenous ketones (07:22)
- Cravings on keto (21:03)
- Carb ups vs. protein ups (44:59)
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TRANSCRIPT FOR THIS EPISODE
Leanne Vogel: You’re listening to episode #35 of The Keto Diet Podcast. Today we’re chatting about exogenous ketones, cravings on keto, carb-ups, protein-ups, and more. So stay tuned.
Hey, I’m Leanne from healthfulpursuit.com and this is The Keto Diet Podcast where we’re busting through the restrictive mentality of a traditional ketogenic diet to uncover the life you crave. What’s keto? Keto is a low-carb, high-fat diet where we’re switching from a sugar-burning state to becoming fat burning machines. A little thank you for all of the podcast listeners and supporters. I met many of you on the book tour, and I’m so thankful for each and every single one of you. If you’re in need of a little boost of keto support, I’ve created a special offer exclusive to podcast listeners only. Use the coupon code “LOVE” on healthfulpursuit.com/shop and receive 15% off anything your little heart desires, from weekly keto meal plans with balanced keto, to my epic pack of keto resources with the keto bundle. Again, that’s “LOVE” for 15% at healthfulpursuit.com/shop. The offer will be valid until June 11th, 2017. Let’s get this party started.
Hey guys. Happy Sunday. This is the first podcast episode I’ve recorded since the book tour. Such an amazing experience. I was right. I loved it and I loved meeting each and every single one of you. I loved hugging all of you. I loved crying with you. I did a lot of crying. Next book tour, I’ll definitely wear waterproof mascara. Speaking of which, we are planning a second leg of the tour which will go to some of the locations that I missed on the first leg, so I’ll be really excited to share that information with you when it comes up, and when we’ve figured out all the dates and all the things, but for now, if you missed the book tour and you also missed the virtual event – I hosted a little virtual event on May 24th, 2017 where I got to connect with a lot of you that missed the book tour – so if you missed that live event, I’ve included a link to the live event in the show notes, which you can find at healthfulpursuit.com/podcast/e35. We recorded the live event, so if you missed that live event and you want to know more about the book, and I answered a ton of questions for like hours about keto, and the book, and all the things. So if you’re curious about that, definitely head on over to healthfulpursuit.com/podcast/e35. Look through the show notes and look for the virtual book tour event link and you can watch that video.
Another little thing here is that we created another podcast survey, and this just helps us lock down your location because I don’t know where you’re located, and we’re trying to come up with some really awesome offers to help you guys save money on things that you love, so if you want to go to healthfulpursuit.com/survey, and just answer a couple of quick questions, it’ll just help us put together some offers to help you save money on all the keto awesome low-carb things. And the show notes and full transcript for today’s episode can be found at healthfulpursuit.com/podcast/e35. The transcript is added to the post about three to five days following the initial air date of this episode. And let’s hear from one of our awesome partners before we get started.
The podcast is sponsored by Manitoba Harvest, the hemp-based food company. I love using their hemp hearts as an oat replacement in any oat-based recipe from porridge to oatmeal, cookies, and everything in between. Hemp hearts are hemp seeds with the shells removed. Their tender, fatty, zero grams of net carbs, rich in omegas, fiber, and protein. Listeners of the podcast can get 15% off your Canadian or US-based Manitoba Harvest order by going to healthfulpursuit.com/hemp and using the coupon code “KETO”. That’s “KETO” all in caps, no spaces, for 15% off. This offer is valid until August 31st, 2017. I know you’re going to love them.
If you have an idea for a podcast episode, or you want to submit praise over and above the review, which you can leave by going to healthfulpursuit.com/review, you can reach me at mailto:email@example.com. So let’s just jump right into the questions for today. You guys submitted a bunch of awesome questions over on our private Facebook group, which you gain access to by getting any of my digital products. So I just asked you guys, “Hey, I’m doing a solo episode. What do you want to know?” And also we sprinkled in a bunch of the questions that I’d been received over and over again on the book tour that maybe weren’t answered in full during the virtual event.
The book tour was amazing because I got to connect with so many people, and so many of you that have been following for a really long time, and also see another side to things. It’s such a nourishing experience to get to meet people in real life, and talk about their struggles because my body is different from your body which is different from Sally’s body and John’s body, so we’re all going to react differently to different things, and one thing that continued to come up on the book tour was exogenous ketone products, so we’re going to be talking about that in length in just a moment.
So the question from one of our readers and listeners and followers was, “I’d like to hear more about keto-related advice you should not follow. There is way too much bad info out there, and where do exogenous ketone products fit into this?” So to answer your question in short, really, because there’s not much to it, is that if you are following anyone, whether it’s keto or vegan or whatever you’re doing, if somebody says, “It’s my way or the highway,” or, “I’m right about this,” or, “You have to do this or it won’t work,” and anything where it’s really a black and white approach, that’s a big sign for me that I probably shouldn’t be following that person because we are so unique, each and every single one of us.
I don’t think that there’s anything that anyone can say where it’s more of a blanket statement that it works for everyone. Other than the basics of, “You should probably drink water. You need to eat to stay alive. You need to sleep to stay alive.” Those sorts of things, fair enough, but when somebody says, “You need to eat 20 grams of carbs, otherwise you’re not keto,” or, “All carbs are bad.” Just an example. When people have these definitive statements, I kind of run in the opposite direction. So there are not really any big things on keto where I’m like, “You shouldn’t do this because it’s bad advice,” because if I said that I would kind of be contradicting the whole thing.
So I think you just need to use your best judgment, and if somebody’s saying, “You have to do this,” or, “You’re not part of our Facebook group,” or, “You’re not keto unless you do these three things.” Ain’t nobody got time for that, and you just have to listen to your body and see how that feels, and if you don’t know how to listen to your body, we’re going to be chatting about that a little bit later.
So that’s to answer your first question, and let’s get into exogenous ketones because I’ll be the first to admit that I’m human, and I make mistakes, and one of those mistakes has definitely been saying that exogenous ketone products are bad, and you shouldn’t use them. One of the major takeaways from the book tour was that a lot of people are using these products and having a lot of success, and while I don’t subscribe to doing that for my own body, and the reason I don’t is because my body becomes fat-adapted quite effortlessly. I don’t really need to do much in order to become fat-adapted, but there are people that maybe experience keto flu and it goes on and on and on, or people who can’t stay in ketosis and they need it for more of a therapeutic approach.
I totally understand where it’s helpful, and before, I didn’t, and so one of the major takeaways, as I was saying with the book tour, was just getting to connect to people face to face, in person, with a lot of tears and a lot of hugs of just what they’re going through, and so I now feel like exogenous ketones have a place on a ketogenic diet. Let’s chat a little bit about who they’re perfect for, the drawbacks, the concerns I still have, and then I’ve actually found a keto product that I will endorse and that I stand behind. I’ve been trying it now for about a month, and I feel like it’s a lot better quality of a product than a lot of the stuff out there, so I’m going to be chatting about that in a little bit.
So let’s go through the perfect candidate for exogenous ketones. So I imagine that anyone going through keto flu that can’t get over it, say it’s been going on for more than three days, exogenous ketones would probably help. They could be good for low-carb people who can’t go keto for various reasons. Maybe they have fibromyalgia, thyroid dysfunction, adrenal dysfunction where maybe you’re trying to eat low-carb, and perhaps you’re around 80 grams of total carbs, but you’re not totally ketogenic. You’re eating a lot of fat, you’re minimizing your carbs, you just can’t go that low carb. I could see that it could be great for those people if they want to use ketones as more of a therapeutic approach to help heal their body. People that need therapeutic doses of ketones, so say you have epilepsy or cancer and you need high levels of ketones in order to heal your body, awesome.
If you want to feel inspired to try keto, say you’re on a low-carb paleo approach, you’re eating less than, say, 100 grams of carbs, and you hear everyone talking about this keto thing, and you’re like, “I want to give this a try, but I don’t want to commit to this huge thing,” if your carbs are under 100 grams, and in the morning you have this exogenous ketone, I could see when you feel that way, you’re like, “Whoa. Actually ketosis is awesome. Let’s try this.” I could see it being helpful for that.
Encouraging the body to fast while already on a ketogenic diet… so this is a benefit that I saw quite quickly from trying exogenous ketones, is that when I had them in the morning, I extended my fast almost till dinner time, which for me, after a couple of days, I was like, “Oh, shoot. Actually, this isn’t so good for my body,” because my adrenals were starting to react, and I wasn’t feeling very good, but I could see that if you feel good on fasting, and you just can’t make it all the way, or maybe you’re really obsessed with food still and you’re experiencing cravings on keto, I could see it being really helpful for that, too, and also a supplement to help with the transition.
So when I was meeting with people on the book tour, the major thing that people were using exogenous ketones for was keto flu. There was one lady, I can’t remember what city it was or what your name is, I’m so sorry, but she was saying she had keto flu for three solid weeks, so she used exogenous ketones to get over that hump, and it really helped her so that she could start to feel good on a ketogenic diet. And another piece was supplementing with the transition, so you decide that you’re going to be keto, and on day one, you take this supplement, it can really help with the transition.
The drawback for me was as I mentioned before, it totally killed my appetite. Like I probably could have fasted the entire day and into the second day, and maybe even a third day, because there was a whole day where I didn’t eat and I was just drinking that, and it started to spark a little bit of that restrictive behavior in me, and a lot of that disordered eating stuff, and I know for me, fasting is quite triggering for my previous experience with an eating disorder, so fasting doesn’t feel so good on my body. I know that it doesn’t feel good for me, so that was one of the drawbacks, but if fasting feels really good in your body, and you light up with fasting, then 100% these products could be really good for you.
My only concern, well, I have a couple of concerns with exogenous ketones, is that I see it being used as a tool for “erasing” quote unquote eating choices, so a lot of people will binge on certain things, and then take the exogenous ketone product and feel like they erased the choices that they made with their eating, or they’ll binge on a Thursday night, and then Friday they’ll force themselves to fast all day with exogenous ketones, and so I see a lot of negative behaviors coming out of these products, and that’s something that I want to raise because that’s not something that I will ever promote, and my major concern also is that if it’s being used in conjunction with excess carbohydrates or with a carb-up, logically, to me, that’s still unsafe, and that’s where I always came from with exogenous ketones, is of this danger that comes with it, and with a lot of the marketing of certain products, namely KETO//OS, I find that their products are very much, or their marketing around their products is like, “Have your cake, eat it too, eat the carbs, have the ketones, yay, winning.”
I don’t think that that’s a safe thing. What we’re doing is that we’re increasing our blood sugar at the same time as we’re incorporating ketones. Another concern that I have is that taking ketones orally is not a natural thing, but in the same light, there are a lot of things that we now take orally that we necessarily don’t, and I understand the world is changing and that things change, it’s just a concern that I still have, and another piece is that I don’t think it should be used to lose sight of why you started keto in the first place, so for me, keto has always been more of a therapeutic thing for me.
I know that I got lost the first six months, and lost all this weight, and got really disordered with my eating, but now it’s really about nutrient density and paying attention to that, so with the exogenous ketones, because I see that they could be really helpful for adapting or becoming inspired, and all those things that I chatted about, once you’re keto, I don’t see that there’s a use for them, so for me, I’ve been keto now for three years, I don’t see that they have a huge place.
The only place I could see them is when I want to fast, say on an airplane, and I’m traveling for a really long time, it could be helpful there. So if you’re keto, fasting, and feeling great, you don’t need the supplement, and I see too often that people rely on it a bit too heavily, and all of a sudden they start eating more carbs, and they’re having these ketone products, and then their blood sugar’s high at the same time as the ketones, and so really what I’m trying to say is that there’s no shame in trying them, seeing if they work for you, just be mindful that it can become more of an abusive behavior.
So I’ve tried a lot of the ketone products out there, a lot of the products I don’t enjoy because of the marketing, and we’ve already chatted about that. So my favorite that I’ve tried personally now for a month is called Perfect Keto. This is something that I believe came up in the book tour and somebody said, “Have you tried Perfect Keto?” And I’m like, “No.” And then I ordered it, and it’s so much more affordable than other options like KETO//OS. If you want more details about Perfect Keto, you can go to healthfulpursuit.com/ketones. They actually put together a really, really good comparison chart of Perfect Keto versus Pruvit, which is the KETO//OS product.
So with Perfect Keto, you get 11.38 grams of BHB ketones, and with KETO//OS, it’s unspecified, so you don’t know how much you’re getting. With KETO//OS, the charged version anyway, there’s caffeine, and oftentimes I find that people say, “I feel so charged up and awesome on KETO//OS,” and I’m like, “Well, are you taking the caffeine version?” They’re like, “Yeah.” Like it would be interesting to try it without the caffeine to see how your body’s actually feeling. So with Perfect Keto, they actually don’t include caffeine. Also the carb amount is zero with Perfect Keto, and with KETO//OS, it’s three grams, so although three grams isn’t a lot, if you’re a person that’s trying to stay under, say, 20, 30, or even 40 grams of total carbs, 3 grams is a lot. The calories in Perfect Keto per serving is 15. The calories in KETO//OS is 110.
Perfect Keto is not an MLM so you can literally go to their website and just buy the ketones, and also way, way cheaper, so 20 servings of KETO//OS is $130. 15 servings of Perfect Keto is $59, so the cost per serving of Perfect Keto is $3.90, and the cost of KETO//OS is $6.50. So I’ve never felt so comfortable promoting KETO//OS specifically because of the price, and that’s why I don’t enjoy promoting measuring your ketones or anything like that because it’s just really expensive, and it makes it inaccessible for a lot of people, but I think with Perfect Keto, they’ve definitely allowed for us to be able to use this supplement and benefit from it without completely breaking the bank, as opposed to the KETO//OS, and what I really like about Perfect Keto also is that they use really high quality BHB salts, and each serving, like I said, comes with the 11.3 grams of BHB, so you know exactly how much you’re getting of these salts in order to encourage your body to slide into ketosis.
I also like that their ingredients are pretty pure. The other ingredients are magnesium, potassium, cocoa in the case of their chocolate-flavored version, stevia leaf, and vitamin C. Whereas with KETO//OS, the carbohydrates, we chatted about that. There’s inulin, xanthan gum, which can be really harmful on your gut, erythritol, which if you’re sensitive to corn, you’re probably going to react to it, caffeine, if you have adrenal dysfunction. They do have an option for no caffeine, but if you’re going with the caffeine form, you’re probably going to get a lot of the stimulation from caffeine and not from the actual BHB, and they could also have dairy in it. I know that some of their products have dairy. So just from a quality ingredients standpoint, I enjoy it more, so that’s just a little intro.
I know that I chatted just a whole bunch about exogenous ketones, but I guess the summary is I’ve changed my mind. I see that they can be helpful. Just be mindful of how you’re using them. I think that Perfect Keto is probably your best bet that I’ve found so far. I’ve tried it. I feel great on it. I haven’t reacted to it. It feels really good in my body if I want to extend the fast. The main parts where I see being really helpful is for keto flu and also for that transition and being inspired, but use this carefully, and be mindful of it, and so if you want to learn more information about Perfect Keto, again, you can head to healthfulpursuit.com/ketones, and I’ll include that in the show notes, so I hope that answers your questions.
I’ll be chatting more about Perfect Keto in the months to come, and just my thoughts on it as things go along, and also if you have an experience on Perfect Keto and you want to share it with me so that I can learn from you guys, and see how you’re using it, definitely send me an email, mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org. More answers to your most pressing keto questions after this message from one of our podcast partners.
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So let’s cut over to more of the craving conversation on keto. The first question is, “How can I beat sugar and carb cravings, or at least how can I better deal with the cravings I can’t control?” Okay. So a couple of thoughts here. Why do you feel like you need to control your cravings? I know that when I was coming from a place of, “I need to control everything,” I often found that I could control it for maybe a week, and then I would have a binge, and then it became shorter and shorter to like four days and have a binge, and like two days and have a binge, and then every single meal I was feeling so restricted and so out of control that I would binge, and so just take note of that, and just see where this control is coming from, how you can maybe look at things in a different way, and what is it that draws you to that item?
So I know for me, when I’m craving, I know I’ve chatted about this a bazillion times, but when I’m craving candies, it’s because I’m feeling a little bit lonely, and that I probably just need a hug, so a lot of the times, I just go up to Kevin, or if I’m out with people, or whatever, I just ask them for a hug, and just open up to them and chat with them about what’s going on in my life, and that usually does the trick, so just take note of the foods you’re craving, and if you have a feeling when you’re eating them, and what you’re trying to go for, and if there are activities outside of food that you can go toward. When it comes to cravings more on a scientific level, when it comes to cravings, keto should eliminate a lot of the cravings.
I know for Kevin, he always talks about the fact that he doesn’t crave Kit Kat bars anymore. He is a Kit Kat-aholic, or was before he was keto, and now he just doesn’t want them, but there was a period when he was adapting where all he wanted was Kit Kat bars all of the time, and so know that when you’re adapting, if you’re still in two weeks, even four weeks on keto, it’s going to take time for your cravings to go away because your body is confused on what fuel it’s using, and what’s going on, and it just wants sugar because it knows sugar, so know that you need to be patient with it. But if you’ve gone four weeks and beyond, and you’re still craving certain things, it could be an awesome sign for a carb-up, so definitely head on over to the Google machine and type in “Healthful Pursuit carb-up” if you’re curious on that because it could be that you need a carb-up, and by having those carbs, your body burns through those carbs, which is back into fat burning. All is good with the world and your cravings go away.
The second question on cravings on keto, “How can I find creative keto-friendly ways to indulge my sweet tooth without the guilt? And is there any way I can do this when I’m out to eat at restaurants with my friends and family?” Okay. Read the word “guilt”, so I just want to insert a little piece here on guilt and food. We put a lot of power in food, and it’s not our fault. It’s nothing you did wrong. It’s just the fact that the industry, the way that it is, and the media and all the things to do with the foods and our feelings around food, we’ve really given food power where it doesn’t require power, and so food doesn’t have power over you. Food is just food.
It’s neither good nor bad. No food, even carbs, even sugar, it’s not bad. It just doesn’t work for your body, and that’s totally okay, but when you eat those foods, it’s not like you’re a bad person or you need to be punished, and you may not even think of the word “punish”, but rip it at the gym even though you’re exhausted because you had quote unquote “too much chocolate” at lunch time, and now you have to burn it off, like these disordered behaviors that we are taught, it’s accepted. Like, “Oh, I ate too much ice cream, therefore I go to gym and work three hours.” That’s not the way it works. So there shouldn’t be guilt around food. Food is just food. So what? You ate it. Life goes on.
Now when it comes to making “better” choices that align with how your body wants to feel, because I know when I eat too much sugar, if I have sugar, I mean, it happens. I’m human. There are times where I’m really emotional, I eat food that I know doesn’t feel good to my body, and I’m like, “Oh shoot. Well, that happened,” and I’m not going to feel very good the next day, but that doesn’t change my value as a person, or my worthiness to feel loved and accepted on this planet and even by myself, so if you want to choose foods that are going to make you feel good, awesome. When you choose foods that are going to make you feel bad, whoopty-doo, life goes on. It’s not a big deal.
So if you want to choose those foods that are quote unquote “good” for your body and make you feel good, just Google “Healthful Pursuit fat bomb“. I’ll include a link in the show notes as well for some fat bomb recipes that you can go towards. So if you’re craving things, and it’s sweet stuff, I know I do, I always keep little sweet things in the freezer that I can go toward that are high fat, and have those on hand, and when you’re craving that thing, just have that, and if it works, great, and if not, it might be that you need a carb-up.
Where I find carb-ups being really helpful, especially because you asked, “What do I do when I’m at restaurants?” I would do a carb-up. I would get something on the menu that’s carb-y, shouldn’t be a problem. It’s probably going to be sweet and awesome, and you’re going to enjoy it, and share it with some friends. Get a bunch of spoons, enjoy it, next day, eat keto, and you’re good to go. So I think we put almost, like I said, too much power into these things, so I’ll include a link in the show notes about carb-ups, how to do it, what they are, how it all works, but basically, when you are having this carb-up, like I mentioned before, you’re eating the carbs, when you’re fat-adapted, your body will burn through the carbs quickly and go back to fat burning because there’s not enough carbs to continue on the carb-ness, and when you’re fat-adapted, your body’s built up these enzymatic processes in order to burn fat as fuel, so it wants the fat.
So it’s going to burn the carbs really quick, and in fact, when you’re sleeping, your carb burn actually increases, which blows my mind, it’s so cool, and when you wake up, your lectin is reset, which means you’re probably going to want to fast longer. You’ve had a nice time with your friends out at the restaurant, you had a bunch of spoons in the brownie with all the whipped cream and all the awesome sugar things, and you enjoyed it, and maybe you had, say, four spoonfuls as opposed to when you’re coming at it from a restrictive guilt perspective, you are probably not going to order the brownie with friends at the restaurant, then you’re going to watch your friends eating the brownie without you, and you’re going to go home and you’re going to binge. How many times have we done that? I know that I’ve done that probably a bazillion and one times.
So have the brownie. Enjoy it. Go back to fat burning the next day, and life is good, and that really follows through with the next question on cravings with keto, which is, “What should I do if I do give into my cravings?” And this is a two word answer. You eat keto. You just wake up the next day, and you start eating keto again, or the next meal, say you give into your cravings in the morning. Cool. Go for a walk. Slough it off, or do something that makes you feel good. That food is just food, it’s okay, you’re still loved, you’re still worthy, and you still deserve everything you could ever want, and then make yourself some greens and bacon and eggs, and no big deal. It’s totally fine. Just eat keto. Awesome.
So let’s chat about the relationship with food on keto. One of the questions was, “I second guess everything I put in my mouth. I often turn back to MyFitnessPal to see what my intake is like. I stress about how much or how little I’m eating. I’m constantly thinking about food, trying to figure out if I’m hungry, if I should eat not or later, what I should eat, asking myself, ‘Is this too much fat? Or too many carbs?’ How can I find balance with this way of eating and not be so obsessive or stressed out?”
Girl, I feel you. I remember what this was like. Even reading your question, I was like, “Oh my God, that’s so stressful. I’m so happy I’m through that.” And it took me at least two years, and I still have blips. When I’m feeling insignificant or stressed about something, like with the book tour, oh my gosh, I even started counting my calories again leading up to the book tour because I was just so panicked that people wouldn’t accept me, that the book wouldn’t do well, and nobody would show up to the book tour, and I just started counting things and obsessing about things, so it’s kind of like this fail-safe of when I’m not feeling secure in other parts of my life, I start tracking, and this might be your experience, too, as you start tracking and moving towards baby steps to eliminating the MyFitnessPal obsession that you go towards in times where you’re not feeling control in other parts of your life, or where you’re feeling weak in other parts.
So just be mindful of that, that it will still pop up, and that’s totally okay. It’s normal. It would be weird if you didn’t, and you were just all perfect, and all knowing, and be strange. So we all have those mistakes, and we all make those mistakes, and it’s totally fine. Something that I want to say is as long as you’re tracking, you’ll always think about food, and you’ll always second guess your choices. For example, this morning, it’s 11 o’clock, and I woke up not feeling hungry at all, and not wanting a fatty coffee at all, and so I made some iced tea, just some steeped herbal tea with a drop of monk fruit sweetener, and I’ve been sipping on this, and I’m really not all that hungry, but if I were tracking, I’d be worried because yesterday I didn’t eat a lot either, and now this morning I’m not eating, and so I’d probably force myself to have a fatty coffee, and stress about, “Oh my gosh. I’m not going to hit my fat intake if it’s already 11 o’clock and I haven’t had fat.” It’s just so stressful.
And so there’s something so freeing about just rolling with it, and a question later on I remember reading in preparation for this episode chats about, “Yeah, but what if I’m fat? Because I’m eating and now I’m fat, and clearly my body wants me to be fat, so I can’t listen to it,” and we’ll chat about that piece in a bit, but when it comes to tracking and being obsessed with food, the only way to stop being obsessed with food is to stop tracking because you’re going to second guess everything because a little stupid machine is telling you when you should be hungry and when you should be full, and it’s really hard to grasp the concept when you’re still tracking that not tracking is going to lead to probably more weight loss and also feeling better about your body, but it’s so true because at the end of the day, when you’re tracking, a little machine is telling your body when it’s time to eat, when it’s full, all the things, so you’re not giving yourself space to listen to your body.
So in order to make space, what I would recommend, and what I did to stop tracking, and it sounds easy, but I know how hard this is, so I’m with you on this, remove tracking for one meal. What I like doing is doing it for the first meal, so for breakfast or maybe lunch is your first meal, whatever. Don’t track it, and when you’re not tracking your meals, write them down in a little book. Not necessarily the measurements, but just like, “What I had: fatty coffee with MCT oil, coconut oil, cacao butter, and a fat bomb made with coconut oil, cacao powder, and some stevia,” and then how you felt after.
And so start doing that with one meal. Start writing down what you’re eating, how you feel. You can go to healthfulpursuit.com/journal for a template you can use, or just pick up a little notebook at the dollar store and start writing down what you’re eating, how you’re feeling just for that one meal, and then track for the rest of the day, and then a couple of weeks later, do it for two meals, and track for the rest of the day, and a couple weeks later, do it for all of your meals, or if you have three meals, do it for three meals, then four meals. I’m guessing you probably only have like two meals a day, maybe three, so once you get to that three meals, go to your journal, start writing stuff down, and this is how you get in touch with your body because you start to see when you’re reacting to stuff, what you’re reacting to, little patterns. Maybe during your period, you’re eating more, and you start to see that your body is ebbing and flowing with your cycles, and it’s so cool.
And also surround yourself with positive influence, and people and resources that make you feel good about your body and your choices. I can’t stress this enough. If you’re trying to not track, and then you’re going on Facebook groups that are telling you, “If you don’t track, you’re not keto and you’re a bad person,” well, then that’s not going to work out for you very well. So make sure that you’re surrounding yourself with positive influence, and it could be telling your friends … I can’t tell you how many times even with strangers when they’re talking about bodybuilding competitions, and how everyone would look better if they were thin and muscly, I have to tell people, “That’s really triggering for me. I’m not okay with this conversation. I don’t want to be part of this, so I’m just going to go away. Feel free to continue talking, but I just can’t be here.” And that’s totally okay. You’re setting boundaries, and for strangers, no big deal. For friends, it might be that they’re really supportive of that, and they’re like, “Oh my gosh, I didn’t even know. Totally fine. We can talk about something else.”
And get into things outside of food. If you’re constantly obsessing about food, and then on Instagram looking at food, and watching YouTube videos about food and nutrition and food, yeah, probably you’re going to think about food all of the time, so stop watching Food Network, stop watching YouTube videos and listening to podcasts about nutrition. Even mine, if you find it’s triggering, and it’s not allowing you to connect with your body, look for activities outside of food. Go to a knitting class. I don’t know. Right now we’re renovating an RV and that’s keeping me really busy and focused on other things outside of food, and just find things that you enjoy doing outside of eating and tracking.
Second question in relation to all this is, “I’ve been feeling like keto is another restrictive diet even though I buy into the health benefits of it. So how do I do it without falling into the obsession trap? I don’t really take pleasure in cooking, and I like simple meals, so a cookbook is overwhelming to me, which is adding to the stressed out and restrictive feeling I’m getting.” First off, I feel you because I don’t totally enjoy cooking either. I love making recipes for you guys and having fun, but I never eat like that in real life, to be honest. I usually just throw everything in a pan, a lot of fat, and cook it, and if you want to see what my meals look like on a daily basis, you can follow me on Instagram for more meal ideas that are kind of “throw it in the pan and be done with it”. I’ll include a link to my Instagram page in the show notes, which you can find at healthfulpursuit.com/podcast/e35. Otherwise, just search for “HealthfulPursuit” on Instagram and you’ll find me.
So know that you don’t need to make meals pretty and awesome. A lot of the meals in The Keto Diet, my paperback, some of them took me a really long time, and I don’t enjoy spending a lot of time in the kitchen. It can be inspiring for people to follow a bunch of different recipes and get into the groove, and that was definitely something that I did when I first started eating keto, but it’s not something that you need to continue doing, or even that you need to do. So if you’re new to keto and you feel good on it, or you know that you could benefit from it, but you’re getting overwhelmed, you could try following something like a meal plan.
My Balanced Keto Meal Plans might be a great tool for you because they allow you to move stuff around, and you can go with how you feel, and they don’t provide things like calories or macros. You just make the food, and it’s really quick and easy recipes as opposed to really complicated, but if you’re a keto veteran and you know what feels good, and you know what eating high fat looks like, then just throw everything in a pan and be done with it. It doesn’t need to be complicated to taste good. Meat, fat, greens, and you’re pretty awesome and ready to go. So what I would recommend also is to get out of the rules games and go with your everyday stuff that’s going on. You don’t need someone telling you what to do in order to be happy and healthy.
So you grasp the concept of keto: high fat, low carb. Set the intention to eat high fat, low carb. Do it for a week, see how you feel. You find you’re eating too many carbs? Lower it. Just stop putting as many, I don’t know, nuts in your salad, and replace that with more low carbohydrate fats, and also stop doing the things that are stressing you out and leaving you feeling restricted. That could be cooking from a cookbook. Don’t do it. Having a fatty coffee in the morning. If you don’t like it, stop drinking it. Make bacon and eggs, or a greens bowl with a bunch of meat like I do, like broccoli and ground beef is the easiest thing to make. It might not look like much, but it tastes good and it’s keto, so I hope that that’s helpful and you feel a little bit less overwhelmed.
The next question, “You and most of your guests talk about being not so restrictive and eat what you want, but some, or a lot of us, are overweight because we have already been doing that. Even eating the keto way, I’m still not getting the weight off consistently because I’m not being too restrictive, and I’m eating what I want. I understand that I’m not supposed to be counting calories, but I would really like to know how the heck I’m supposed to lose 100 pounds if I’m not restricting myself. Every time I lose 10 pounds, I have a setback, and I have to start all over again, so how do I prevent setbacks or lose weight faster so I don’t get frustrated and give up before I see any results?”
So a couple of thoughts here. My first one is what are your setbacks? And I know you can’t answer me right now, so I’m going to go with the flow on this one. If you’re restricting, and it’s leading to the loss and gain of the same 10 pounds over and over again, clearly the restrictive situation isn’t working for you. I see this time and time again. I’ve been a victim of this very thing where I would restrict myself to 1,200 calories, 1,200 calories, 1,200 calories, and then on a Saturday night, I would eat like 5,000 calories, and then I’d be back to square one, and the reason that 5,000 calories affected me is because my metabolism was so broken.
So if you’re coming from a restrictive standpoint, and you’re like, “I have to restrict in order to lose weight,” and you lose the 10 pounds, and then you binge and you gain back the 10 pounds, and then you’re like, “I have to be restrictive to lose weight,” and then a couple of weeks later you binge and you gain the 10 pounds, clearly restriction isn’t working for you, but on the other side of things, I can’t tell you how to manage your body and your health. For me, I personally do better listening to my body, and this takes time, like I mentioned before. The food journaling is really helpful, eating when you’re feeling hungry, and when you don’t, but a big thing here is that oftentimes if people feel that they’re quote unquote “overweight”, or they need to lose weight, there’s really no correlation between overweightness and health.
I understand that if you’re carrying a ton of extra weight, it can be really hard on your joints and those sorts of things. If we’re talking about an extra 20, 30 pounds, studies have shown that there’s just no correlation between it. So that’s something to think of as well. However, when you are feeling like you need to lose weight, and you’ve gotten to this place where you’re eating whatever you want, and that’s how you gain the 100 pounds, and now you’re wanting to lose it, chances are, there’s probably a huge emotional piece to this, and even while you’re eating keto, not counting, like you mentioned, “I’m not counting, but I’m still not losing weight.”
Chances are you need to look at the emotional piece, because if you gained 100 pounds, let’s say over a year or two, there was probably something that happened in your life that caused you to gain that weight. It could be physical -like maybe you have a thyroid condition that you need to look at and chat with a doctor about – but it could also be emotional. Maybe something happened in your life. Maybe you lost your job. Maybe you got a divorce. Maybe a child graduated and you’re feeling like you don’t really have a place anymore, a purpose. There’s so much to this outside of food. So if you are doing quote unquote “all the right things”, but you still have this emotional connection to food, you’re probably eating when you’re not hungry because you don’t know how to deal with those emotions, so someone or some resources that I would recommend checking out would be Summer Innanen.
She’s a really good resource. She’s my personal coach. I really enjoy working with her to just set things straight and work through the emotional pieces, and just question yourself when you’re craving certain things, or you’re eating breakfast even. As a keto person, do you actually want this breakfast right now? Are you actually hungry? What’s going on in your life right now that is affecting your choices when it comes to your nutrition? If restriction works for you to lose weight and you’re feeling good on it, then do it. I’m not going to tell you not to do it. You’ll definitely have to probably count your calories. That works for a lot of people, especially on a ketogenic diet. I don’t personally subscribe to this approach because it’s really triggering for me, but you may find that it works really great, and go for it. There may come a point that this is necessary if you want to lose weight and feel that it’s the right thing to do.
If you decide it’s the right path, however, you do not need to restrict down to, say, 1,200 calories to lose weight. So if by going down to, say, I don’t know, 1,500 calories and you’re not losing weight, then chances are there’s a metabolic issue that’s going on. Probably you’ve been dieting for a really long time. Probably you need to look at those physiological pieces that we were chatting about before, thyroid, adrenal, sex hormones. All these things can affect you from not being able to lose weight. Even insulin, and kind of just see where that’s at, and it’s going to be a multi-pronged approach of looking at your emotions, seeing how that’s playing a role with your current lifestyle. Movement and your relationship with movement.
How can you encourage yourself to move in a way that feels good for your body? The physiological aspects of your thyroid, adrenals, and all those pieces, and then if you have to go less than 1,000 calories in order to lose weight, you need to look at your metabolism and see where that’s at. So I hope that that is helpful. More answers to your most pressing keto questions after this message from one of our podcast partners.
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Last piece is protein-ups and carb-ups. “Can you go into more detail about the different benefits of pumped keto profile versus the adapted daily fat burner fat-fueled profile, the different benefits of protein-up versus carb-up?” So this individual is referring to the resources in my paperback, The Keto Diet, which you can find at all bookstores, basically, and online on Amazon and all the things. Pumped keto is made for people that do not respond well to carb-ups and also do not respond well to eating low carb, high fat every single day for the rest of their life. Think of it almost as a last resort, or really permission to eat more protein when you need it or feel like it, and know that you can still be keto. So all the benefits that you would get from a carb-up, you’re also going to be getting from the pumped keto or doing a protein-up, and basically this is taking out some of the fat, adding the protein in your last meal, because you’re eating excess amount of protein usually in one meal, that’s a protein-up, so that’s different from pumped keto.
Pumped keto is where you are eating higher protein all day throughout your ketogenic diet, usually around 30% protein, and again, this is made for people that can’t do carb-ups, don’t feel good on carbs, but also don’t respond well to the low carb every day, and people can stay fat-adapted in this state. So that’s pumped keto. And then protein-up is a supplement to a carb-up, so at the end of the day, your very last meal, you’re taking out the fat, you’re putting in the protein, and because you’re eating excess amount of protein all in one meal, it’s actually going to be quite a bit, you’re probably going to spike up your glucose a bit, which will do the same thing that a carb-up would do, but indirectly.
What’s required in this state really is functioning adrenals and a pretty good adrenal profile, so if your adrenals are totally shot, you might find that a protein-up doesn’t work, but what should happen is that your glucose should increase, which indirectly gives your body that glucose that it would have gotten from a carb-up, but it didn’t because you’re really sensitive to carbs, and this is a roundabout way of getting to the same thing. So you’re going to experience the same benefits that you would on a carb-up. Rest lectin levels in the morning, better balance of your ability to fast, lowered cravings. Now for me personally, a protein-up does not work. I do not feel good the next day. I feel much better with a carb-up, so try both. So a protein-up, take out the fat, put in the protein, and a carb-up, take out the fat, put in the carbs. Always at night, last meal of the day, usually with dinner, and what you should find is that you’re going to sleep better that night. You’ll wake up probably not as hungry as maybe the day before.
And the next question is, “How should one with insulin-resistant type PCOS and chronically elevated cortisol go about implementing carb-ups or protein-ups in order to regain menstrual cycle, and in order to regain my menstrual cycle which went away promptly after being keto?” Okay. As a fellow complicated case where I have a lot of moving parts when it comes to my health, you kind of need to write down all the moving parts, so say you have candida, and an adrenal dysfunction, and thyroid dysregulation, and maybe you have PCOS, too, and you kind of have to rate them in order of importance for you personally. When I had amenorrhea, which was a loss of period, there at the very end when I started actually caring about it, it became a high priority item for me. Before that it was muscle gain and fast running times, and so it changes over time, but you really need to prioritize the things that are most important to you.
If I was in your shoes with insulin-resistant type PCOS with chronically elevated cortisol and I lost my period after going keto, I would probably test my blood to check for all androgens, so testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, pregnenolone, cortisol, what’s another couple? HSCRP for your inflammation. I would test your insulin, see where it’s at. I would also get a pelvic ultrasound to see what’s going on there, kind of see where that’s at, and I mean if you lost your period because you went keto and that’s really important to you, I would include carb-ups and see if it comes back, or it could be that you’re just eating too low carb overall.
Another thing you could try because you’re insulin-resistant is just increasing your carbs. So maybe if you’re eating 30 grams of total carbs a day, increase that to 40, and then 50, and then 60, but I would do it very slowly, so maybe three weeks of increasing it by 10, another three weeks, increase it by 10, just so you can feel where you’re at. I have a feeling that’s probably going to work, and that’s the approach that I would take, but carb-ups might not be best because of your insulin resistance. It’s a lot of carbs to take on all at once, so I would go more for an increase in carbs at every meal. Also if you’re having fatty coffee, I would remove that, kick that out because your cortisol and also all the things you have going on, and just have breakfast, lunch, dinner. So I hope that that was helpful.
The last question here and the last piece we want to talk about is inconsistency with keto. “So is going back and forth from burning glucose to burning fat hard on your body or more confusing to it? I’m wondering if I can’t commit to being in ketosis all the time, whether it’s worthwhile to try to be in it the majority of the time, and how this compares to a more typical carb cycling approach.” Okay. So there’s not really … How do I say this? That’s not really a thing. You can’t be in ketosis sometimes and be a glucose burner most times, because if you’re constantly going back and forth, like say you’re having three days of carbs, three days of all the fat, three days of carbs, three days of all the fat, your body is going to be completely confused on what fuel it’s using because it can take upwards of four weeks for your body to become fat-adapted, in some cases like three months.
So if you’re constantly going back and forth and back and forth, your body’s going to be really confused on what fuel it’s using, and you’re probably not going to feel that great. It’s not an all or nothing diet when it comes to keto, but it does require that you eat low carb, high fat at least 80% of the time, so if you’re interested in keto, but you also love carbs, and I don’t know why you would want to switch between both. I don’t know what your experience is and why you would want to do this, but I would do more of a carb-up approach like the adapted fat burner fat-fueled profile where you’re adapting and then you’re having carbs every once in a while, or the daily fat burner fat-fueled profile where you are having carbs every night right when you get started, so you don’t need to worry about it.
But the other question is, “Does constantly going in and out of ketosis put extra stress on the body and do more harm than good?” So these two questions are very aligned with one another. I don’t know if it will totally affect your body negatively, you just won’t feel very good going back and forth. I don’t think it’s a harmful thing, you just will probably feel like garbage, like I remember when I adapted for the very first time, and even the second time where I played around with a bunch of carbs, totally got out of ketosis for like three weeks, and then got back in, it’s not an enjoyable experience to get back into it. So I could imagine that if you’re constantly going back and forth, you’re going to have keto flu literally all the time, and then when you start eating more carbs, you’re going to feel really dizzy and not right because your body’s just not used to the carbs, and it’s this constant back and forth thing.
So I would say that carb-ups are probably going to be your best bet, as opposed to eating carbs all the time and then eating keto all the time, that way you’re not always in the process of adapting, and you can actually benefit from the ketogenic diet. Carb-ups are different in this way that when you’re having a carb-up, your body is fat-adapted, so you are burning the carbs and jumping back into being a fat burner, so that requires that you eat just enough carbohydrates to burn through and then get back into fat burning, but where the line is is like if you’re having epic amount of carb-ups every single night, and you’re eating like 200 grams of carbs in a night. I mean, if you’re working out, that could work for you, but chances are, you’ll probably kick yourself out of ketosis, so I hope that that was helpful.
I feel like I just talked a mile a minute. Oh my gosh. I have so much more to say, but for now, we’ll cut it off there, and the show notes and full transcript for today’s episode can be found at healthfulpursuit.com/podcast/e35, and again, the transcript is added to the post about three to five days following the initial air date of this episode. So I hope you guys had an awesome time with me, and we’ll be back next Sunday with another episode. Bye.
And that does it for another episode of the Keto Diet Podcast. Thanks for listening in. You can follow me on Instagram by searching “Healthful Pursuit” where you’ll find daily keto eats and other fun things, and check out all of my keto supportive programs, bundles, guides, and other cool things over at healthfulpursuit.com/shop, and I’ll see you next Sunday. Bye.