Weight change for the 100 days: 209.9 lbs to 205.4 lbs. That’s not really stellar progress but compared to gaining I suppose I’ll take it. I also didn’t “cheat” once; meaning I didn’t ever deliberately eat foods containing sugar, starch or other carbohydrates – but that wasn’t a surprise, aside from “robins eggs” that are still kicking around my house I’m not tempted at all by carby foods. For the most part I did have 3 meals of Keto Chow a day for the 100 days but it’s the “extra” stuff that was detrimental.
This 100 day experiment was a good experience though. I can see a direct correlation between my progress and the amount of malitol I consumed, for one thing. Malitol is a relatively common “sugar free” sweetener. And by “sugar free” I’m using the loose standard the food industry uses since it is a sugar alcohol and is arguably better than sucrose, though not by much. Because malitol is cheaper than most of the sugar alcohols like Erythritol it gets used pretty frequently in sugar free stuff. Like Russell Stover chocolates, sugar free lemon heads and others. My advice to myself and to others: if it has malitol then you can’t subtract the sugar alcohols from the total carbohydrates. In other words: just avoid it entirely. Go get some Swerve sweetener and make your own stuff instead. Seriously, it’s my downfall and I’m finally coming to terms with it. As much as people rail against aspartame and sucralose at least I know they don’t affect my metabolism.
So, I didn’t lose much weight during the experiment, what about blood ketones? First off: measuring your ketones is generally a really bad idea. It’s motivational to get some of the urine test strips when you are very first starting out doing keto since you can see a tangible and almost immediate result. As your body adapts to ketosis the urine test strips become useless though, you stop producing extra that gets excreted and the strips stop working. So you can test with blood tests or breath acetone tests. The blood tests are like $2 each and the breath tester is $150. You also fall into a non-constructive pattern if you are constantly testing and “chasing ketones”. You’re better off just limiting your carbohydrates, tracking food in general and keeping at it. Keep Calm and Keto On (KCKO) as they say. So I did measure my blood ketone levels every day. Near the end of the experiment I discovered that I was doing it wrong! Thanks to the “dawn phenomenon” my glucose was high and ketones were low every morning when I tested. That can partially account for why I only averaged 0.5 mmol/L during the experiment (you want to be in the 1.5-3.0 range). the rest of it is the aforementioned malitol.
So here’s where I get into my rant: I feel your pain because it’s my pain too.
Losing weight can be very, very difficult for people (at times it can also be really easy for others). The irony is that almost all of the people you see that advocate exercise, active lifestyles and other “traditional” forms of weight loss have never experienced Metabolic Syndrome, Insulin Resistance or Diabetes. You see the rail thin “never been overweight” paragons of fitness selling exercise plans to get people skinny, or body wraps, or ab crunchers. Even the models they use for weight reduction surgery look like they’ve NEVER been obese. They just don’t understand, and it drives me nuts. Unfortunately society as a whole also subscribes to the notion that all you have to do to be skinny is exercise, fat people are lazy, it’s a moral weakness.
Being fat is a lack of character so far as being allergic to peanuts is a lack of character. Some people can’t handle gluten, others get sunburn almost by looking at a photograph of the sun. Are those problems with their moral fiber, with their will power? Should society look down on them? Maybe they should just try not being diabetic, or celiac , or ginger. Your body’s ability or inability to process glucose/carbohydrates isn’t your fault. If people happen to have won the genetic lottery and their cells haven’t become resistant to insulin yet then that’s also not something they should be applauded for. That’s just how your body may be.
When I was a skinny little kid with asthma I couldn’t gain weight for anything. Then I overcame that and, by the outward indicators, slowly worked up resistance to insulin. I stopped processing glucose like I was supposed to. I don’t know if that was genetics, environment, or (more likely) a result of what I was eating combined with the two. Regardless, I got fat and stayed fat. To date, the only thing that has had a consistent effect on my weight was coming to terms with how I personally metabolize glucose (or rather don’t). Switching to a ketogenic diet has impacted my health and weight tremendously and I don’t see any reason I would ever stop. Why eat bread when you can eat bacon?
So I consider these 100 days a success for the additional experience I gained. Sure it would have been awesome to be down to 180, but when people report that they’re having issues losing weight I more than understand. I’ve had the same frustrations and maybe even done the same things that are hindering your/their progress.