Interview with Matt and Megha from Keto Connect, chatting about 11 keto lessons that will help you avoid failure — from electrolytes to carb ups, testing to fasting, plus whether or not calories matter, and so much more.
When it comes to figuring out what works for you on your keto journey, you’ll eventually have to engage in some form of self experimentation. Whether you go the super science route and test your blood, or you keep a journal to document your observations, data collection can help you get in tune with your body and forge a keto path that is tailored to your unique needs.
Everything we know about keto is rooted in scientific observations, but that doesn’t mean you need a lab in order to conduct your own keto analysis. I have really enjoyed sharing my experiments and connecting with people (especially women!) who benefit from my own trial and error. My self experimentation with carb ups and the results that followed are what inspired me to develop the Fat Fueled approach as we know it today.
While results vary from person to person, (hey, it called “N=1” for a reason!) I have a lot of gratitude for people who are willing to think outside of the box and challenge the keto norms in the name of science. That’s why I’m so excited to talk with today’s guests, who not only practice self experimentation, but also document their processes and results on YouTube.
In today’s podcast, I chat with our guests, Matt and Megha, N=1 experimenters, food bloggers, awesome keto YouTubers, and the founders of Keto Connect.
This episode is all about the 11 keto lessons they’ve learned along the way: carb ups, sweeteners, fasting, calorie intake, keto carnivore diet, testing ketones, eating fewer carbs, changing eating windows, lowering the “keto rules,” not sweating the small stuff, electrolytes, and more.
Let’s get to the interview!
For podcast transcript, scroll down.
Show Notes + Links
- Subscribe on iTunes or your favorite podcast app
- Get more from Matt & Megha on their website, their YouTube, and follow them on Instagram
- Grab some allulose and Zipfizz for your own N=1 Keto Connect experiment
- Listen to my episode on the Keto for Normies podcast
- Grab my FREE 26-page recipe booklet on how to prepare carb up meals
- What keto sweetener won’t spike blood sugar (10:32)
- The best pre-workout mix for ultimate performance (17:22)
- How to figure out what fasting protocol is best for you (23:38)
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Transcript for This Episode
Leanne Vogel: You’re listening to Episode Number 74 of The Keto Diet Podcast. Today we’re chatting about what keto sweeteners won’t spike your blood sugar, the best pre-workout mix for ultimate performance, how to figure out what fasting protocol is best for you, and so much more. So stay tuned.
Hey, I’m Leanne from HealthfulPursuit.com, and this is The Keto Diet Podcast. Keto is a low-carb, high-fat diet where we’re switching from a sugar-burning state to becoming fat-burning machines. Starting keto and maintaining it long-term can be quite a challenge if you don’t feel supported.
My 60-day program, The Keto Bundle, provides you with clear, step-by-step how-to on successfully adapting to a ketogenic diet, avoiding common ketogenic struggles, and healing your body completely and fully with a ketogenic diet. Go to HealthfulPursuit.com/bundle, and use the coupon code PODCAST all in caps, no spaces to get 10% off your order, exclusive for podcast listeners only.
And let’s hear from one of our awesome partners.
I like to take extra precautions to support my gut during cold and flu season. The stress of daily life work and traveling can take a toll on anyone’s immune system and none of us have time to get sick, am I right? I like to take a strong probiotic as a way to repopulate my healthy gut bacteria, which leads to a stronger immune system. Wolfe Clinic Royal Flora is my choice for soil based probiotics.
Wolfe Clinic is offering 20% off their probiotics to US and Canadian listeners of The Keto Diet Podcast. Head to HealthfulPursuit.com/gut and use the coupon code GUT, all in caps, no spaces at checkout to receive 20% off. Unsure of the link? Simply check out the show notes of today’s episode to get all the details.
Now, let’s get this party started.
Hey guys. Happy Sunday. I recorded this episode back when we were staying in Vegas, but this into I am recording really in the middle of nowhere. We are about to get to New Orleans and I realized that we needed to record this intro, so I am legit sitting under a blanket with my laptop in front of me trying to not create an echo. So I apologize if this intro is a little bit weird. I’m just making do with what I’ve got, but I promise the actual content of today’s podcast is awesome.
So now that is out of the way, the show notes and full transcript for today’s episode can be found at HealthfulPursuit.com/podcast/e74.
One cool thing I’ve got to share with you is that I’ve put together a free 26-page recipe booklet on how to prepare carb up meals. You can get it at HealthfulPursuit.com/carbup. If you’re intrigued by carb ups, a practice that can help balance hormones, bust through weight plateaus, and more, this free guide will show you which foods are safe for a carb up and how to prepare each item easily. Get the free guide with over 50 recipes at HealthfulPursuit.com/carbup.
Today’s guests are Matt and Megha, the co-founders of Keto Connect, a ketogenic food blog and YouTube channel. They share the recipes from their blog in video form on their YouTube channel, along with experiments they take on their diet from a 4,000 calorie, 21 day challenge, to eating a carnivore style diet. They also share vlogs of their day to day lives. They share with their cat, Miley, and dog, Julius. They have also recently started a podcast called Keto for Normies, where they interview people from all walks of life, ranging from doctors to body builders, and just about everything in between.
I actually did a podcast episode with Matt and Megha over on their podcast, Keto for Normies. We chatted all about carb ups and a bunch of other keto goodness. And I will link to that episode in the show notes today. Without further ado, let’s cut over to this interview.
The Keto Diet Podcast, including show notes and links provides information in respect to healthy living, recipes, nutrition, and diet and is intended for informational purposes only. The information provided is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, nor is it to be construed as such. We cannot guarantee that the information provided on The Keto Diet Podcast reflects the most up-to-date medical research. Information is provided without any representations or warranties of any kind. Please consult a qualified physician for medical advice and always seek the advice of a qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding your health and nutrition program.
Hey guys. How’s it going?
Matt Gaedke: Going great. How are you?
Leanne Vogel: So good. Thanks for coming on the show.
Megha Barot: Of course. We’re excited to be here. You have an incredible podcast, so we’re honored.
Matt Gaedke: Yeah. Thanks for having us.
Leanne Vogel: Oh, geez. Thanks guys. Well, podcaster to podcaster, your guys’ podcast is rocking it, so congratulations.
Megha Barot: Thank you.
Matt Gaedke: Thank you.
Leanne Vogel: Yeah. So for listeners that might not be familiar with you guys, why don’t you start off by telling us a little bit about yourselves.
Matt Gaedke: We are Matt and Megha. I’m Matt.
Megha Barot: And I’m Megha. And we’re at KetoConnect.net, that’s our food blog. We run a food blog, a YouTube channel, and we also have a podcast, Keto for Normies. We’re big into self experimentation, so that’s what you’ll find on our YouTube channel.
Matt Gaedke: Yep. Our website is mostly recipes and our YouTube channel is mostly just self exploration on the keto diet.
Leanne Vogel: You guys are really, really good at the self exploration and sharing all the things that you’ve gone through. And we’re going to be going through a lot of those things when it comes to sweeteners and how your individual bodies respond to things. And what I really like about your guys’ work is because there’s a man and a woman testing, sometimes you guys experience different things, so it’s a really fun thing for people to watch, so thanks for putting that out there.
Matt Gaedke: Thank you. Yeah. We also have two people, which is nice because most of the times it’s just N of one. We’ve always got two, I feel like we give a little bit more info than the standard self experimentation.
Megha Barot: Yeah. I’m very sensitive to everything and Matt can eat like, I don’t know, coal, and be fine.
Leanne Vogel: Yeah. Same with my husband. It’s like totally unfair. How did you guys find keto?
Matt Gaedke: We found it just by … I think both of us were always pretty much looking for the new diet to try, very into health in a sense that we just wanted to always feel better. I was a vegetarian when we met. Megha, by proxy, was then kind of a vegetarian too. She was a vegetarian for a while in her past life for like six years, or something.
Megha Barot: Yeah.
Matt Gaedke: And the real thing that made it start it was That Sugar Film. I think you can find it on Amazon. And it just kind of opened my eyes to how much sugar is in the healthy foods that we eat, like yogurt, orange juice, oatmeal. That’s a pretty typical breakfast and you’re getting, I don’t know, like 150 grams of carbs or something nuts, and like 50 of them are sugar. So it really made me just think, “Whoa. I’m getting so much of this one chemical every single day. What happens if I just take that out? How different will I feel? Because it has to be drastically impacting just my energy, how I feel every day.” So we started it together. We were only dating a few months when we first started it.
Megha Barot: Yeah. It wasn’t something we had known a lot about. I think Matt found it on Reddit.
Matt Gaedke: Yeah.
Megha Barot: And that’s a great resource we still use today. And we were just like, “Yeah. Why not? Let’s just jump on board,” and we just went full keto. We didn’t try to transition. We hit the keto flu, all that good stuff.
Matt Gaedke: Yeah. I jump right into things all the time.
Leanne Vogel: I’m the same. And so how did keto change things for you?
Matt Gaedke: Well, it changed our lives because now I guess this is what we do for a living. But it didn’t start out like that. It started just changing … The first thing I noticed was just the energy levels after lunch because you really get a drop in energy on a standard diet after you eat, like a few hours later. And it’s never something … Because I’ve been doing it my entire life, like I thought that was normal. Right? So it was totally different when I started keto and I didn’t have that.
And I just realized, wow, this is actually a possibility. You don’t have to feel like you need a nap at 3:00 PM every day. You don’t have to get home from work and just only be able to watch Netflix and eat dinner, basically. So it was just really eye opening. There was a lot of other things that go along with it too, but that’s the main one that keeps me sticking to it.
Megha Barot: Yeah, and then for me, similarly, the energy was a great benefit, and the focus. But the sticking point for me was seeing the change in my menstrual cycle and how I had less bloating. I was less crampy and irritated, and my blood flow actually decreased, which is not always a good thing. But for me, I had a really intense one. It was a big change and it was a good change. So I still felt really regulated and balanced hormonally, but just less of the negative side effects, so that for me was enough to continue this diet, energy aside.
Leanne Vogel: Yeah. That’s awesome. I’d love to hone in on the experiments that you guys do. And first off, coming up with the experiments.
Matt Gaedke: We don’t honestly put a ton of thought into … I mean, we put a lot of thought into them, but the actual planning process is maybe not what you would think. It’s basically just like, we’ll be watching a TV show and I’ll be like, “Let’s do this,” and then tomorrow we start doing it, which is not a good way to go about it. You should plan things out and stuff.
Megha Barot: We always talking about wanting to be storyboard people and really just hone in on what this vlog’s going to be about so it’s the best it could be. But we just kind of go with the flow. And a lot of what we come up with in terms of experiments reflects on what we actually want to see. So I was interested, and we did a sweetener experiment. I was really interested to see how xylitol in particular impacted me. So we know maltitol is the bad guy. We know stevia and erythritol are fine. But what is xylitol like? Because a lot of people use that day to day, and it was really interesting to see our results.
Matt Gaedke: Yeah. I think that’s a thing we’ve learned through doing our YouTube channel for so long is, you’ll know kind of what people want to see, and then you start making videos based on what you think people want, and not as much out of just self interest. And what do you really care about? What do you want to learn? Those are always the best videos, when you’re really scratching your own itch.
Leanne Vogel: Totally. That makes sense. You teased a little bit, but I’d love to know. Which sweetener did you find out was not so good that you thought, “Oh my gosh, this is the best keto sweetener,” but not so much? And, which one surprised you? I’d love to go through what the results of that experiment was.
Matt Gaedke: Yeah. I think this is probably the video people like the most of ours. We basically woke up every morning for maybe about … I think we did 10 sweeteners.
Megha Barot: Yeah.
Matt Gaedke: And we tested our blood glucose when we woke up. And then we ate a sweetener, and it was just the sweetener. It wasn’t mixed with anything, mixed with coffee. And then 30 minutes later we tested our glucose and ketones. And we got some pretty surprising results. And obviously this is just how it affects keto, not necessarily how it affects your health. So we tested aspartame, sucralose, certain ones that you know are maybe not the best for your health. But we wanted to see how they impact your blood glucose, and those didn’t impact them at all.
The real interesting ones are allulose and xylitol, because allulose is in a lot of the new Quest Bars, a lot of new low carb products. And if you go online and look at the research, basically it’s all funded by Quest Corporation, so you can’t really trust it, they have a stake in the game. But it was actually interesting to find out allulose didn’t affect us much at all. And the surprising one that a lot of low carb cooking uses is xylitol. It actually does affect your blood glucose pretty severely. It’s about 30% of an effect as sugar would have. And we know, we look at the glycemic index and everything. I think xylitol’s like 11 or 12.
Megha Barot: Yeah.
Matt Gaedke: So we were expecting it to be a little bit less than it was, and it’s definitely something that makes me weary of using it in the future.
Megha Barot: Yeah. It’s something I plan not to use ever again. And so what was interesting about it though is it did taste the most like sugar. And sugar is just as delicious as you remember. I remember eating it and I was like, “Wow. They really nailed it with this. Sugar is perfect.” So xylitol definitely tastes the most like sugar and is something that we recommend staying away from. Then maltitol obviously is notoriously known for just being very bad digestively and on your blood glucose, and it’s in a lot of protein bars and a lot of candies. So people are taking it in without even knowing.
Matt Gaedke: So everyone knows maltitol is kind of bad, but you can … Without actually having the hard data, you can convince yourself. Maybe it’s not as bad as they say. Maybe it’s 25% carbs.
Megha Barot: Because it tastes so good.
Matt Gaedke: Yeah, but it’s literally, I think it was 80% as bad as sugar.
Megha Barot: Yeah.
Matt Gaedke: With the spike in glucose. So definitely that’s something to stay away from.
Leanne Vogel: Wasn’t there a sweetener where, Megha you had it and it really affected your digestion?
Matt Gaedke: Yeah. There was a couple of them.
Megha Barot: Yeah. Allulose and erythritol really impacted me, like bathroom all day. It was really bad, a lot of discomfort. And then surprisingly, maltitol didn’t have that bad of an impact digestively on us. Just a lot of gassiness, but no diarrhea, no intense things like that.
Matt Gaedke: Yeah. Keep in mind for the test though, we were doing very high doses. I think it was 40 grams of erythritol.
Megha Barot: Yeah, on an empty stomach.
Matt Gaedke: Yeah. So that’s something that would be in three or four keto low carb desserts.
Megha Barot: Which a lot of people you see these days are eating that many at a time, so maybe just be weary of that, or stay close to the toilet.
Leanne Vogel: You kind of decide. Do you want that treat? Do you want to spend time on the toilet all day? That’s awesome.
Going further into other experiments you’ve done, were there certain experiments where you both had very different results based on the fact that perhaps it’s male versus female? Have you kind of pulled that two together?
Matt Gaedke: Yeah. We always have a little bit of differences. I think the one that was highlighted the most is when we did the carb ups. And that’s maybe not male to female, but just person to person, how well you tolerate carbs. We definitely had vastly different results and we did pretty high carb ups. I did 500 grams and Megha did … What, like 300?
Megha Barot: Yeah.
Matt Gaedke: So pretty extreme carb ups, but yeah. I bounced back like it was pretty easy. I didn’t get any kind of hangover type symptoms. The only thing is you just feel really mentally scattered, like you can’t get a lot of work done. But Megha had a totally different with that.
Megha Barot: Yeah. I responded well to eating the carbs because for me, I can do better on a little more carbs I think, than Matt can in terms of productivity. But it was satisfying a mental thing in my mind, like I wanted the carbs. I needed it. It’s been so long. I felt like I had gone to the bar and drank all the drinks there and then woke up the next day and blacked everything out. I was in severe pain. I napped. I was fatigued. It was really bad, so I know that as much as I want them, they’re not optimal for my health. So I don’t plan on ever doing carb ups like that again.
Matt Gaedke: Yeah. It’s actually funny. The more of these experiments we do, I think the more we realize we just like doing a pretty normal keto diet that’s more on the low carb side than a normal keto diet, but just not doing all this crazy stuff. Just keep it simple.
Megha Barot: And then I think another difference was with the carnivore diet. Matt and I have come to the conclusion that we love the less carbs, the better. But for me, when I was doing the carnivore diet and I was eating at my maintenance, even a little higher than my maintenance, I was feeling weak. I was feeling fatigued. And we did a five day just pure carnivore diet, and I wasn’t feeling that great. And I was like, “This isn’t for me. It doesn’t work well.” But what I noticed is that when I’m doing a really low carb diet, carnivore style, I just have to eat a lot more calories, so I should just eat until I’m full and not worry about tracking. And then I can feel optimal. I can feel less fatigued. So I’m eating at a good bit of a surplus when I’m eating just zero carb, carnivore style. But Matt does great at maintenance.
Matt Gaedke: Yeah. That’s a revelation we’ve made lately. Maybe trying out a super low carb diet, if it’s something you’ve never tried out before, could be beneficial because I think everyone just has these minor intolerances to certain vegetables and stuff that they are not aware of. And if you take it all out and then add it back in slowly, you can pick up on those.
Megha Barot: Yeah.
Leanne Vogel: Yeah. That’s a really, really good tip and something I’ve done quite a few times to try to determine, which vegetables are best for my body. But yeah, I’m the same way as Megha. If I’m doing more, I need to eat more. Otherwise, I’m a hot mess. So that’s cool that you experienced that as well.
And with the carb ups, I’d like to just circle back really quickly. So you guys did quite a lot of carbs during the carb up test. Did you ever try just a little bit of carbs or was it sort of balls to the wall, versus none at all? Hey, that rhymed.
Matt Gaedke: Yeah. We have not tried the lower carb up thing. Maybe that’s something we’ll try in the future, but we were following a keto gains protocol for carb ups. Yeah, it was definitely on the extreme side. I guess one thing we’ve done that maybe falls into the category of not as extreme is the targeted keto diet, which is pre-workout carbs. And this is one that I kind of like. It’s basically, you just take 10 to 15 grams of dextrose pre workout, assuming that you’re doing a pretty high intensity workout, and if you’re feeling like your workouts are suffering a little bit. You burn through that pretty quickly and it doesn’t go to your liver at all because it’s dextrose. So that’s one route we’ve tried, and maybe we would go back to that. But I know you talk a lot about the lesser carb, carb ups, like maybe 50 to 100 grams of carbs from sweet potatoes and stuff.
Leanne Vogel: Yeah.
Megha Barot: You’ve mentioned doing them at night so you kind of sleep through that. That’s a really good route we haven’t tried, and probably we would try in the future.
Leanne Vogel: Have you ever tried the dextrose mixed with caffeine before a workout?
Matt Gaedke: Yeah. That’s what we like to do, like a dextrose … Basically a bulletproof coffee, but not quite as high on the fat, but with a little bit of dextrose in it.
Leanne Vogel: Yeah. When I was lifting, that was my magic juice. It was the key to my success, so that’s really cool that you guys have been playing around with that as well.
Okay. Regarding keto success, you guys have chatted a little bit about, you test your ketones and you test your blood sugar before. Where do you mark a successful experiment when it comes to your ketones? Where do you like to sit with your ketones? Do you test your blood? I’d love to get into that for people that maybe aren’t sure what you’re talking about.
Matt Gaedke: Okay. I would say that testing really not all that necessary. It is nice though, if you’re really trying to hone in on some certain things. But what I like to see is … And I haven’t honestly done a whole ton of research on this, but I think I have a pretty good, just by testing on my own body, what some good indicators are of how I’m feeling relation to ketone levels. And basically first thing when you wake up, I like to test my ketones. This is like rolling out of bed, not really doing much at all. I’m not doing much walking around, basically just first thing you do is test ketones. And if I see that number at 1.0 or above, I’m pretty happy because that’s going to be the lowest reading of the day and I also think it’s the most true reading to your endogenous ketone production. It’s not really producing ketones based on the food you’re eating.
And then I know if I’m at 1.0 when I wake up in the morning, or even a little lower, like .5 or above when you wake up in the morning, you’re going to be at a high ketone level throughout the day. Because I start out with a bulletproof coffee and then I have eggs and bacon and things like that. If you test an hour or two after those foods, your ketones are super high. They’re going to be 3.0 or something. I know a lot of people will preach the 1.5 to 3.0 range, but if you’re testing in the morning, I don’t think it’s that realistic to hit those all that regularly. And they rise throughout the day, so I think if you’re 1.0 or above first thing in the morning, you’re in good shape.
Megha Barot: And then I know Matt and I slightly differ in this regard because if you’re talking just to me, I’m going to say, especially from a woman’s point of view, is that I tend to get caught up with the tracking on the meters and on the scale. And it really disrupts my mental day to day just everything for me. So I try to detach myself as much as possible. So if I decide to do a ketone reading or weigh myself that morning, for example, I’m going to see the number, and I’m going to be like, “Okay.” And I’m not going to let it impact me.
So I honestly don’t care where I lie on the ketone meter because for me, feeling good and then looking good is all I care about. So I don’t think it’s necessary, especially for individuals. And you know yourself best. If you are someone who’s weighed down by seeing the scale rise or drop in the morning, then just put the scale away, at least for a while. And really try to find a good balance for yourself without tracking before you start tracking again. That’s been a huge benefit for me and I’m going to continue that into 2018. I get so mentally bogged down by bad numbers in my mind that I’m just giving the label of “bad.”
Leanne Vogel: Yeah, that self sabotage too and just not being in that zone and then making poor choices because you’re not feeling good. It’s a slippery slope. I totally feel you on that one.
More on my interview with Matt and Megha after this message from one of our podcast partners.
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Okay, fasting. Have you guys done any experiments with fasting and how did that go?
Matt Gaedke: We have done a lot of experiments with fasting. This is something that we experiment with a lot. I think now we’re really coming into what we … We have a really good opinion on it now. So we’ve done long fasts. We’ve done a 4 day fast is the longest one we’ve done. We’ve also done just some 36 hour fasts. Those are good and really beneficial. The 4 day fast, you really start learning a lot about yourself. It’s a huge self exploration type of thing because the thing you pick up on is just your eating habits and your relationship with food and how you eat out of boredom. It’s amazing how much downtime you have when you’re not eating for 4 days. You’re just like, “I’m normally eating now. What am I supposed to do?” We just laid around and watched TV because we weren’t eating. So what else is there to do?
And you also pick up on the hunger signal in your body gives you and how it’s lying to you a lot of the time. Like at the times that you eat every day, your body’s just expecting food. And if you don’t eat at that time, you can try this one day. Say you normally eat at noon, if you don’t eat, come like 1:30, 2:00 PM, your body is going to feel like you had just eaten your normal because of the leptin and ghrelin hormone signals. Even if you don’t eat, they go in and out in waves like that, like your body is just expecting food at certain times. It’s very interesting. And then we also have done a lot of intermittent fasting.
Megha Barot: Yeah. We’ve done different eating windows. We’ve done 8 hours. We’ve done 6. We’ve done 4. 4 is really too small for me where I’m just binging and overeating because I’m so starving come window time. So we’ve done a ton of different fasting and we’ve just come to a place where we feel so comfortable and we’re always recommending this. We eat as soon as we wake up in the morning, at least within an hour eating window. And that kind of gets us ahead of the hunger. You’re less so thinking about what you’re going to have for your first meal or watching the clock waiting for your eating window to start. And you’re just like, “I’ve eaten already. Now I can be productive.” And it allows you to be more intuitive with your eating throughout the day. So we’ve put a lot less rules around eating, while we’re eating, and just kind of feeling out our bodies. And that’s just led to the most production on our end in terms of just everything throughout the day.
Matt Gaedke: Yeah. And when we’re doing that, then we cut off our eating a little bit earlier. We try to stop eating by like 6:00 PM. We usually go to bed about 10:30 or 11:00.
Megha Barot: Yeah, because we’re at least giving our bodies 3 hours of digestion period. So if the food’s already digested pre sleep, then the digestion isn’t occurring during your sleep and you’re not being disrupted, which you might not realize is happening, but it does if you’re eating right until you go to sleep.
Matt Gaedke: I know a lot of people doing keto, they do the noon starts their eating window. We did that for a long time. And if you’re feeling like you get to the point where you’re uncontrollably hungry come noon, I think you should just try eating. Getting a little bit ahead of the hunger is a huge tip and I think that is beneficial to most people. So if you’re not hungry right when you wake up, maybe 10:00 AM, and then cut off your eating a little bit earlier before bed. That’s been the most beneficial change we’ve made in the last 6 months or so.
Megha Barot: Yeah. I could agree.
Leanne Vogel: That’s really cool. I don’t know if I’ve ever spoken to anyone that’s made that switch, so that’s cool.
Matt Gaedke: We actually talked to Tristan from Pine Lodge Health, and he’s a big proponent of this. We had him on our podcast and ever since then we’ve been doing it and it’s been working great.
Megha Barot: Yeah.
Leanne Vogel: That’s really cool. Kevin, he does the same thing. He wakes up every morning and has breakfast. I can’t do it. I just couldn’t. I’ve never been a breakfast person and when I found keto it was like, “What do you mean? I don’t have to have breakfast? This is great!” And so for me it’s quite a natural thing of just getting a bunch of work done, not eating. But that’s really cool. I always thought my husband was a little bit weird. Like, what do you mean you want breakfast? It’s so strange. So cool, he has some breakfast buddies out there.
Okay. Let’s talk a little bit about calories. We touched on that a little bit previously, especially when you guys were trying the carnivore diet. But I think you guys did a 4,000 calorie experiment. Can you tell me a little bit about that and how it went?
Matt Gaedke: Yep. Me and Megha both did-
Megha Barot: No. We got actually, one of the listeners, we got a comment, “It looks like Megha’s doing the 4,000 challenge too,” and that’s just by far the funniest thing someone could’ve said.
Matt Gaedke: Mean YouTube comments. So we recently did 4,000 calories. I am the only one that did this. 4,000 calories for 21 days in a row. Keto macros, I think the final macro ratio was 85% fat, 14% protein, 1% carbs because when you’re so high calories, it kind of skews it a lot because if you’re doing 5% carbs, that ends up being almost like 100 grams of carbs. So you wouldn’t really be in ketosis. But actually, this experiment really enlightened me to the keto community is very divided on this topic and they’re really dug in on either side. Do calories matter or not? And my opinion going in is kind of similar to my opinion coming out, is that calories do matter, as far as weight loss goes, a lot. But that doesn’t mean that the best way to lose weight is to restrict calories. It means eating high fat, low carb and then calories kind of just correct themselves.
But it was interesting too. During the course of the experiment, we did a lot of research on why different people gain weight at different rates, and even lose weight at different rates. And it kind of goes … There’s some people that can eat whatever they want and they never gain weight. And a lot of that just depends on … It was cool learning this. How you deal with excess calories is highly variable from person to person.
I’m in pretty good shape. I’ve been an athlete all my life. If I just start taking in 4,000 calories, my body figures out what to do with a lot of them for a period of time. So you’ll just be fidgeting more. You’ll just be more active overall, and that all adds up to not really increasing your calories by as much as you’d actually think. So over the course of the 21 days, I gained 7.2 pounds. But someone who has a lot of metabolic damage and has just been overweight in the past, if they start doing 4,000 calories, they’d probably have much different results, gain more weight. But it was definitely an interesting experiment.
Megha Barot: Yeah, and then what I found most interesting was that 21 days isn’t really long enough of a period to showcase how much someone’s going to gain or lose depending on their caloric intake. So a lot of research we did was 100 plus feeding days at a surplus or a deficit. And then that’s kind of where you see the lines start to trend up or trend down depending on what you’re eating. So 21 days, I mean, he gained 7 pounds, but he was easily able to drop that. So I think that speaks to the fact that he wasn’t putting on a ton of fat in my opinion throughout the 21 days. So I think if this were done again, a longer period for a couple different types of people. I mean, the bigger the sample size, the better. Right?
For me, I know if I did 21 days of even 3,000 calories, I would put on a substantial amount more weight, because I have a different dieting history. I already have a lot more body fat percentage on my body. It’s highly differential between persons.
Matt Gaedke: And then the question that comes up a lot basically is: Is there a metabolic advantage to a keto diet? Meaning: Can you eat more calories and not gain as much weight on keto? It’s hard to really say. I’m curious what your opinion on it is. My opinion on it is, not really. Over an extended period of time, there might be, just because you’re doing some metabolic repair when you’re doing keto, some hormonal repair. But as far as eating more and not gaining as much weight, I don’t know that, that necessarily happens. But I’m curious to hear your opinion.
Leanne Vogel: Yeah. I think originally when I started eating keto, I guess that’s 4 years ago now, I massively restricted what I was eating to 1200, 1300 calories a day. And then I got into a lot of issues with just not eating enough plus combining keto and fasting, and it was a hot mess. So now I’m very much … It sounds like Megha in that way of I just eat until I’m full. But if there are a couple of days, especially when I was trying to heal my body, when I really wanted to get my period back, I was forcing myself. Not forcing myself, but almost giving myself permission to eat as much as I wanted. And there were days where I easily hit 4,000 calories, and I didn’t gain a pound. And that went on for nine months. And I was eating copious amounts of food, and that’s how I got my period back. And I didn’t gain weight through that experiment.
I think, I think it was around 4 pounds that I gained over nine months eating as much as I wanted. And there were days where I would go way past 4,000 calories. But now that my body’s in more of a healed state, I find that it’s actually hard for me to eat that much. I couldn’t even imagine pushing over 2,500. Maybe there’s a day that I do that, but then the following day, I just won’t eat all day. So I’ve seen that a lot of calories can also be really beneficial if your body’s healing, and by not giving yourself enough calories, it can be detrimental. And I’ve seen that a lot in my clinical practice when I was taking on clients and looking at their things.
It’s like, if they need body healing, specifically hormones for women and those things, they can usually get away with eating more calories and not gaining weight, or gaining weight in a way very much like your experiment, Matt. Where you ate those 4,000 calories and then you were able to lose that weight quite effortlessly. Some women need to gain weight in order to lose the weight quicker, if that makes sense. Let’s heal your hormones, your hormones are not in a good place, so when you’re eating less it’s so easy to lose weight. It just comes off really fast, so I think it depends also on the space they’re at, very much like you, Matt. It sounds like it’s pretty easy for you to lose weight. Whereas Megha, with your dietary past and things like that, putting on that 4,000 calories a day for 21 days would’ve been a hot mess. It really depends on where you’re coming from too, I think.
Megha Barot: That’s extremely fascinating and a great message overall because a lot of it is also mental healing. A lot of people, women in particular, reach out and they’re scared to eat more fat or more anything because they’re scared to gain weight. And the scale really dictates what they do day to day and who they are as people. I feel terrible. It’s so sad to see. And I’m a part of that. I’ve been victim to that kind of thinking, and so trying to push away from it right now is a big part of what I’m trying to do. But it’s great to hear that maybe eating more can also help restore you physically and mentally.
Matt Gaedke: When you’re in a severe calorie deficit, which a lot of people have been for long times, that’s a stressor. You just want to reduce life stressors to improve your healing.
Leanne Vogel: Yes. I couldn’t agree with you more. And you’re right, it can be a really, really tough nut to crack because I remember kind of being keto and going down this path and losing weight easily-ish, but my hormones weren’t getting any better. And it really took that paradigm shift of, wait a minute. What’s the worst thing that could happen? You gain some weight. You can lose the weight. You have this keto thing. You know that it works, so let’s play around with that. And I think that’s what’s really cool about your guys’ channel, is you kind of have a baseline that works really well for you, and kind of adding on different things to see what works. And you don’t know until you try. Right? You could find something really, really awesome that totally changes the game for you, but you really have to put your health in your own hands, so it’s cool that you guys do that.
Matt Gaedke: Thank you. Yeah.
Leanne Vogel: With all the experiments that you’ve done, we touched on this previously of, you kind of fall back into what you were doing before with keto and kind of keeping it pretty, I would say plain. But what does your keto look like right now and how do you determine whether or not keto’s feeling good for you? Do you go off how you feel? We chatted about numbers. What’s your ideal space that you like to stay in?
Matt Gaedke: Yeah. I think a huge tip would be going solely based on how you feel and not based on other things because the other things come along with feeling good. If you feel real good, you’re going to lose weight. You’re going to get your body back to a healthy weight, healthy function. But our keto, doing this for two years now, a lot of self experimenting, we’ve definitely taken some things from a lot of the experiments we’ve done and added them to our current diet. And just where we’re at now, some takeaways, maybe some action items for people that are trying to troubleshoot their own diet, is lower carbs is better.
So for a long time, we were doing 20 net carbs, maybe 50 total carbs a day. And I think when you’re doing that, you’re maybe teetering on the brink a little bit too much to where there’s some decent glucose in your system. Your body’s not fully committed to ketones. So lower, we’re doing on average 15 total carbs a day. Sometimes we’ve gone periods, maybe a month or so, of doing like five total, just super low, almost no vegetables, basically. That’s one addition, just lower carbs.
The eating window we mentioned earlier is big for us. Eating when we get up and cutting it off a little bit sooner before bed. Overall, I think just lessening the amount of rules you have on your diet is another big one. Everyone wants to get to a point where they can eat intuitively. And I think a lot of these rules we put around our diet just gets in the way of that. Eating windows being a big one, just like a lot of things. When we go out to eat dinner, not stressing so much over what’s in every little thing we order, just kind of relaxing. Not obsessing over being in ketosis 24 hours a day. It’s okay. It’s okay if you’re not in it for a few hours every once in a while.
Megha Barot: That’s very true. And then mentally speaking, yeah, like Matt said, not stressing. But not feeling bad about overeating certain days or intaking a lot … So we do a lot of whole foods and we find that makes us feel the best and it’s easier to track if you’re tracking. And it also just, you don’t have to track because you’re eating whole, nutritious foods. You’re getting the nutrients your body needs. And so if I’m eating an extra chicken thigh or an extra cup of broccoli if we have vegetables that day, then I’m not feeling bad. I’m just eating until I’m full and I’m not feeling bad if I overeat on whole, nutritious foods.
Leanne Vogel: I love it, totally. Those are some 4 good, solid lessons even to avoid failure.
More of my interview with Matt and Megha after this message from one of our podcast partners.
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When you were first starting out, was there a lesson around electrolytes that you guys had to kind of hone in on, or are you guys pretty not so sensitive to electrolytes overall?
Matt Gaedke: There’s been many a lesson about electrolytes. I think almost everyone has to experience this, and you kind of have to experience it for yourself because I remember before starting keto. I was fully aware of everyone saying, “Electrolytes are crucial,” but I thought I was different. So yeah, you need electrolytes particularly when you’re starting to get … That’s the whole thing with the keto flu and just feeling low energy.
I would say in my experience, the electrolyte supplementation kind of is reduced over time. Your body starts figuring things out more and more. But a magnesium supplement is good to have daily, I think. And then just adding salt to your foods, extra salt to your foods and eating some potassium rich foods every once in a while is pretty much what we do now. But you may want to be a little bit more proactive about that if you’re just starting.
Megha Barot: Yeah, a lot of potassium rich foods are spinach and avocado, for example. And since we’re not actually doing a ton of vegetables right now, we like to supplement potassium. You can get it in bulk. It tastes very bad, so keep that in mind. But I like to use Zipfizz. It has 1,000 milligrams of potassium and I take it intra workout. So if you’re working out, this is the perfect supplement for you. It also has a lot of caffeine, so that’s a great boost right there.
Leanne Vogel: Perhaps trying to intuitive eat and getting into that, we have electrolytes, not sweating the small stuff, playing with your food timing, allulose, and maybe that being the best course of action as opposed to xylitol. So all really, really good things based on all the tests that you just did.
Matt Gaedke: I think that is a good summary of pretty much everything. I don’t think you left anything out.
Leanne Vogel: Sweet. And my last question for you guys is, you’re working on a book. Can you tell us a little bit more about that?
Megha Barot: Absolutely. We’re actually in the editing phase, which I’m sure you know is just …
Leanne Vogel: Ugh.
Megha Barot: Yeah. That’s the perfect sound to make. But it’s just a cookbook, so we decided to stay away from telling you exactly what a keto diet is and how to do it successfully. It’s mostly just tons of different recipes that we think will help you stay on the keto diet while enjoying what you’re eating and still keeping your carbs low. So we have takeout days. We have desserts. We have breakfast. We have everything you could possibly think of and we’re really excited about it.
Matt Gaedke: When does it come out?
Megha Barot: It comes out in mid-May. But we have it done up. We’re going to do a prelaunch and everything. We haven’t really hammered that down. We’re still working out the details. I’m sure you understand.
I went to law school, so it was a very … The task to take on writing a cookbook wasn’t that difficult. I’ve written 35 page papers. I’ve sat for days and days on end and just written on my laptop. But Matt had never done that before, so he was struggling. So I’ve actually been taking on all the editing, which is not really fun, but it’s kind of how we work as a team. And luckily, there’s two of us. And I know you have Kevin, so you have the help as well. It’s just so nice having that partner who understands, but you also balance each other out.
Leanne Vogel: Yeah, so true. And where can people find you if they want to learn more from you? We chatted about your YouTube, podcasts. Let’s go through where they can find you. I’ll also include links to all the things that you’re about to share in the show notes.
Matt Gaedke: Yeah. Pretty much Keto Connect, everywhere. You can check out our website, KetoConnect.net. That has all the recipes. And a cool new thing we’re doing, actually, is on Instagram. Every morning at 9:00 AM we do Instagram Live for 9 minutes just to answer questions and help people out if possible. So you can follow us on Instagram and YouTube. That’s where all the experimentation and just more fun stuff is at, so check us out there. And then we have the podcast, Keto for Normies. You can just search that anywhere, iTunes, Google Play, all those places.
Leanne Vogel: Amazing. Well, thanks so much for coming to the show, guys.
Matt Gaedke: Thanks so much for having us.
Megha Barot: Thank you.
Leanne Vogel: 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. Check out all of my keto supportive programs, bundles, guides and other cool things over at HealthfulPursuit.com/shop. I’ll see you next Sunday. Bye.