Ketogenic Diet Makes a
A Big Fat Comeback!
You might recall that ketogenic diets were made famous in the 1980s and ’90s by Dr. Robert Atkins and his products are popular with many dieters to this very day.
Interestingly, even up until today, some doctors use the ketogenic diet to hinder seizures in those who have failed to respond to drug therapy. It was around 1998 that I first heard the words “if you eat more fat, you can lose more fat.” I am one who never denounces something without giving it a fair shot. Crazier ideas have proven factual. Truthfully, I am quite fond of the saying, “The true definition of ignorance is to denounce something one knows nothing about.” So I set out to learn first hand.
Back then, as a Personal Trainer and health educator, my reach was pretty substantial. Credibility was at stake with every suggestion that I made. After all, my goal is to help others improve their health. Each week my clients would tell me about Dr. Robert Atkins and his book about how eating bacon and cheese were dropping notches on their belt loops I had long since given up both of those foods in the name of health to reach my weight goal.
After losing 80 lbs., I rarely ate either of them. I found that my clients were boasting new found energy. At the end of our workouts, I could see they clearly performed BETTER than they had before. Many boasted feeling better than they had in their lifetime. This ketogenic diet seemed to really help change my client’s health quickly. And then the other shoe dropped.
The Ketogenic Thrill Is Gone.
About two to three weeks into this new “diet,” many of my clients fell off the fat wagon. Why? It seems that fatigue limited their inability to complete workouts. Others shared that it was just ‘too hard” to give up certain foods. Most cheated. Back to the drawing board, they went. Why? Their bodies had yet to become adapted to ketones as a fuel source. I would later learn this horrible fate was called the “keto flu.” There would be a ketonian nirvana if you could survive the wrath of the keto flu. It was the rite of passage into the world of being in ketosis. For me, the intrigue set in. I was exercising about 5 hours a day easily. Would I lose energy? What was this diet? Maybe I should test it out for myself. I committed to my first N=1. Sixty days was the trial period, and I would stick to it. Then something amazing happened.
Around week 3-4, I noticed several awesome things — no more blood sugar highs and lows. I was eating less. I was eating LESS OFTEN. Feelings of pure energy and true clarity of mind had me singing the praises of Dr. Atkins. Although I still was unsure if this was healthy or not, I felt great. Especially of concern to me was WHEN NOT IF, cholesterol issues would show. The thought haunted me. But I felt amazing! But could I live like this? Not only could I, but wait until you see the changes in my lab work after eating mainly fats. EVERY marker for inflammation - GONE from my body. http://biohackingwellness.com/big_fat_success/ see my ACTUAL test results before and after eating high fat.
Every person I knew that had started this higher fat eating strategy was back to their original eating strategy except me. I stayed the course with very few blood sugar spikes. This strategy (I hoped) would one day pay off.
What History Proves.
Primarily fats help to make hormones and neurotransmitters and signal satiety. • Additionally, fats also help to make MYELIN which is the sheath that covers nerve fibers • 60% of our brains are fat. • If we don’t EAT cholesterol, then our body will make MORE. • When our body is running on fat as fuel, the energy extracted provides about 30% more ATP than glucose. • Animal fats do not oxidize and cause free radicals the way other oils do. •
Additionally, fats do not raise blood glucose or insulin.
You can’t get THIS in a pill.
Keto Done RIGHT.
The ketogenic diet, when done right, is comprised of about 25-40 grams of carbohydrate only. Contrary to the Atkins diet of the past, a true healing ketogenic diet calls for only a modest intake of protein. For most women, this averages out to about 50-70 grams per day — 70-120 grams for men. Anyone in the bodybuilding community would call me a fool for the last statement I just made. They would be uninformed. Check out this article on ketones, ketosis, and preserving muscle. http://www.fasebj.org/content/30/1_Supplement/lb383.short Overeating protein has a very negative effect on our genes. High protein intake also causes an increase in ammonia in our blood. So, in the process of elimination, we can see the facts. Check out these resources on the overconsumption of protein. http://www.meandmydiabetes.com/2010/05/07/ron-rosedale-protein-the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly/
Bacon and Cheese.
While bacon and cheese are ketogenic foods, processed food is still processed. I am not saying you should not eat them at all. But strictly limiting them assures you don’t add one health issue to remove another.
Work With Eating Windows.
Think HUNTER-GATHERER not handfuls of nuts. Nuts are great on a keto diet, but those carbs add up. Containing the eating window to a six to eight hour period works wonderfully in conjunction with a well-designed keto diet. This comeback is a true health hack! It might just be what the “doctor ordered.”