Weight Loss

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N=me experiment: 4 weeks of *ONLY* Keto Chow – 3rd week tests back

This entry is part 190 of 190 in the series Ketogenic Soylent

I have the second-to-last test results from my experiment back. To quickly recap: I’m doing a test where I’m only eating Keto Chow and only drinking water. Nothing else. No snacks, no diet soda, no gum, no nothing. I am taking the Keto Chow fish oil pills as they are required to get the right EPA and DHA Ω3 fatty acids, and I was taking a magnesium malate supplement (I need more than normal) but I recently stopped that because the version of Keto Chow that I’m testing (v2.1rc2) has additional magnesium malate in it and the supplement I was taking had a gram of dextrose (which sucks). Here’s my complete food log and information from Cron-o-meter for the experiment so far, and here are my blood tests, updated with the results of my latest blood test.

The week proceeding this test was interesting. The short version is: I was at a tech conference with no refrigeration so I was using avocado oil instead of heavy cream. Because of this, I was getting around 2g of net carbs (or lower) A DAY. On the test, my insulin was low, my glucose showed in the red because it’s so low, my LDL-P is below 1000 and my triglycerides are higher. It’s almost like my body is using lipoproteins to transport energy (adding another data point to Dave Feldman’s hypothesis).

The last 5 days since this blood draw, my ketones have come down from the 4.5-5.5 range to the 3.0-3.5 range and my weight loss has slowed a bit too. I’m guessing this is due to using heavy cream as the fat source. Starting today through the end of the experiment, I’m switching from all heavy cream to half heavy cream, half avocado oil. Avocado oil is OK but not nearly as yummy as heavy cream, so I’m hoping that by splitting it I can get the good taste plus lower net carbs. Even with 100% heavy cream, I was still under 10g net carbs though. Protip: heavy cream has half the calories as oil for the same volume. If you’re replacing heavy cream for oil you use 1/2 as much (roughly).

A few days ago a post showed up on the Keto Chow Subreddit: Full month on KetoChow – 13 lbs lost and loving it and this showed up last night: Week 1 with Keto Chow and not much else . . .– looks like I’m not the only one doing this, N=3 then =)

 

On a final note, I’d like to illustrate one of the interesting challenges with this experiment. The evening after I got this blood draw, I was in charge of preparing the food for a neighborhood game night (I was also in charge of bringing the Raspberry Pi with the 4 player arcade version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles). I had previously prepared a brisket with my sous-vide (recipe and more coming =) so I just needed to smoke it, along with the chicken legs and the bratwurst. I also made pulled pork using the InstantPot. It was a truly glorious sight to behold once it was all done.

I didn’t eat any of it.

I had thought about eating some before, but I decided that there were too many variables shifting around (coming back from a trip, switching back from avocado oil to heavy cream, etc…) plus I wanted to keep the inputs clean. I fully intend to do a press release after all this is done announcing that I lived for 4 weeks on JUST Keto Chow and I didn’t want to have to add a little asterisk footnote: “*except that one meal where I pigged out on brisket” (on an aside, anybody know how to do a press release? =) Really, it was just like cooking any other meal I didn’t eat these last 3 weeks (like the CavemanKeto chili I made Sunday). Once committed to this course of action, I just keep going. It’s a little like fasting in some respects. I’m not the only one cooking though, my awesome wife has been feeding the kids some really great keto meals too.

Don’t worry: I put a bunch of the meat in the freezer for lunch on Friday after my final blood draw =)

4 years of DreamForce, this year: Keto Chow only

Every year there’s a really large (over 170,000 attendees) tech conference called DreamForce that’s put on by SalesForce in San Francisco. I’ve been attending since 2014, in fact, it was DreamForce 2014 that catalyzed my resolve to do a Ketogenic Diet. This year I didn’t just stay keto, I stayed 100% Keto Chow. I’m in the middle of an experiment where I’m only eating Keto Chow and only drinking water for all my meals. At first, I thought it was a terrible idea to do that during DreamForce, then I decided it was an awesome idea. Here’s how I did it.

In the past, I’ve stayed at hotels with refrigerators, this time that simply wasn’t an option. Most of the hotels near the conference were all booked up and the remaining ones fell into 2 categories: over $1000/night super swanky, under $75/night hostels with shared bathrooms. I went for the latter, luckily I got my own room without a bunk bed – but there wasn’t a fridge. I had to come up with a plan for preparing Keto Chow using only shelf stable ingredients. I’ve used Trader Joe’s shelf-stable whipping cream but I wanted to give Avocado Oil a shot, but before that – I wanted to give butter a shot!

I’m testing out a new version of Keto Chow, it’s very close to the current 2.0.2, just with some slightly different ingredients and with new flavors. One of these flavors is Savory Chicken Soup – it’s meant to be consumed while hot. If it’s hot, then I can use butter, which has the added bonus of not being liquid so I can make it easily through airport security without problems. I did the math and for my calorie target, I needed either a 1/2 cup of heavy cream, 1/4 cup of Avocado Oil, or a half stick of butter in each meal. So I put a bag of chicken Keto Chow and a half stick of butter into a HydroFlask. After going through security I found a coffee shop and the nice lady filled up my HydroFlask with crazy hot water (for free!). I dropped in the butter and Keto Chow powder and waited for my flight. I finally drank it around lunch time and it was still hot enough to slightly burn my tongue.

I did learn a very valuable lesson for dinner that night: don’t put the powder in with the oil until it’s time to add the water too. If you do, the powder and the oil will not ever fully mix with the water and you get floating crunchy powder blobs. It wasn’t fun, I only drank about 3/4 of it.


The rest of my meals were made in my HydroFlasks or Blender Bottle using Avocado Oil. I got a great tip in a comment that I should use a large syringe to measure the oil. That worked exceptionally well with a 60 cc/ml syringe. I would pour the oil into a disposable plastic cup and then fill up the syringe, squirt it into the container and repeat for all 3 containers. The only clean-up was wiping off the syringe tip with a tissue. I would have sandwich bags with the powder pre-measured in my backpack; and as soon as I got to a place with either ice water (regular Keto Chow) or hot water (the chicken soup one) I would prepare 2-3 of the bottles.

How is Avocado Oil? Well, if I hadn’t ever tried Keto Chow with heavy cream, I would think it’s awesome, but I have – so I still think it tastes far better with heavy cream and that’s what I’m using now that I’m back home. For shelf stable purposes, for people with issues digesting the heavy cream, for those that are lactose intolerant, or for people that want insanely low net carbs, avocado oil is an amazing option. I’m planning on putting a bunch in my basement for emergency food storage. Coupled with Keto Chow powder and water, I’m set!

Most of my Cron-O-Meter entries for the last week look something like this:

Yeah, that’s 1.4g of net carbs for the whole day! That’s insane. We’re talking 100% of my daily nutrition: with all my fat, all my electrolytes, protein, and more – with 1.4g of net carbs. Along with the low net carbs, my blood ketones were consistently in the 4-5.5 range.

Staying Keto Chow only at the conference really wasn’t that hard. When everyone else was standing in line for a lunch box, I was on-time for my next class. When everyone else was trying to find dinner accommodations, I drank mine (and often headed back to the hostel to sleep!). At the “DreamFest” concert, while all the people were scrambling to get hotdogs or the other food available (yeah like any of it would be keto friendly!) I just went and grabbed a seat – no fuss, no muss. The grand total cost of all my food for 5 days was $55.71 – that’s a screaming deal at just over $11 a day.

The picture collection at the top of this post is the “headshot” photos they offer for free in the “Admin” zone at DreamForce. I’ve gotten one each year I went. The first one was taken about 2 weeks before I started Keto. That year during DreamForce I gained 4lbs. The next 2 years I was, and stayed, keto – but I still gained 2-3 lbs during the conference. This year? I lost 2.2 lbs the 5 days I was gone.

N=me experiment: 4 weeks of *ONLY* Keto Chow – 1st week tests back

This entry is part 191 of 190 in the series Ketogenic Soylent

Way TL;DR: eating only Keto Chow & drinking only water for a week and a half has brought down my fasting insulin to 3.7 μIU/mL and raised my ketones to 3.2 mmol/L. I’ve also lost 9.2lbs but that’s not on the graphs below.

On October 22nd, 2017 (3 years and 2 days after I started Keto) I began an experiment: I was going to ONLY eat Keto Chow for 4 weeks and see what it did to some blood tests. Today I received my first blood test after starting the experiment. I took a baseline test before starting to establish a control to compare against. Leading up to “test 0” I was very much eating keto (and consuming Keto Chow 1-2 times a day) but I was not actively tracking my carb intake. Most (including me) would likely call it “lazy keto” – I know from my own experience that if I do strict keto and write down everything I eat BEFORE I eat it, I’ll invariably get on track and lose weight. But with this experiment, I wanted to go for the nuclear option: absolutely no food except Keto Chow. No drinks except water. No treats. No snacks. No confounding variables.

This would also serve another purpose in allowing me to do a validation test on the upcoming Keto Chow 2.1. I like to have absolute confidence in my product and this is a great way to do it. For the most part, the recipe for 2.1 is the same with some notable differences:

  • Switching from whey protein isolate to milk protein isolate [see footnote 1]
  • Switching the form of Selenium, this change removes a weird smell that goes away after a few minutes. Functionally it’s the same but I like the way it smells and tastes better.
  • One flavor (Natural Strawberry) will be available sweetened with Monk Fruit instead of Sucralose [see footnote 2], another flavor (Savory Chicken Soup)… well it’s savory and doesn’t need a sweetener.
  • A bunch of new flavors are coming, though that doesn’t affect the nutrition.
  • If I can pull it off: we’ll be switching all the magnesium from citrate over to malate.
  • We’re officially recommending using avocado oil as an alternative if you don’t want to use heavy cream (I still primarily use heavy cream).

In the same spirit of open data that Dave Feldman uses in his experiments – I’m publishing the complete blood test results from my experiment. You can view the blood results on this online spreadsheet. Currently, there are only two entries – more will come, there’s a 5-6 day lag between the test and me getting it. I’m also going to be posting my complete Cron-O-Meter logs so you can see exactly what the input variables were. Here are the first 11 days so far. I also did a test on my second day where I tested postprandial glucose while drinking Keto Chow.

So, how’s it coming along so far? The most obvious change I’m seeing is my blood ketone level which has gone from 0.4 to 3.2 mmol/L (I measure each night just after I brush my teeth – measuring in the morning is a bad idea). That rise makes sense since I’m getting exactly 10.54g of non-fiber carbohydrates per day. My fasting insulin has also gone down from 6.7 to 3.7 μIU/mL.  I asked Dave Feldman about the results so far, he said: “The insulin change actually looks even more interesting in the context of everything else being practically the same (including lipids!)” – I’m going to try to get Dave to do a written analysis of all this at the end of the experiment, he’ll probably do one anyway because he LOVES DATA! My small LDL-P has gone down by half, which is also interesting. Personally, I’m not concerned at all about my lipid panel because I do not believe that high cholesterol (or more properly: Elevated Lipoprotein) is something bad. Dave uses a really great analogy about lifeboats on cruise ships… hang on, I’ll just let Dave explain:

OK, that’s the blood part of my experiment. How has the experience been so far?

Before I started this, I was doing Keto Chow for at least 2 of my meals on most days, you’d think that going 100% wouldn’t be a big change but it seems to be. Maybe it’s all the ancillary things I also eliminated like sugar-free gum, diet soda, and anything else that wasn’t Keto Chow and water. Warning, poop talk ahead. First thing I noticed was Bristol type 7 stool, don’t worry though I took a probiotic and it went over to a 4. After a few days, as all traces of other food left my system it’s settled on a 5. I think this is due to everything getting digested and metabolized except for the acacia gum – and that gets metabolized by my gut bacteria into short-chain fatty acids (bonus fat!). The volume has gone down significantly. I’m still regular, there just isn’t that much there. OK, done with poop talk.

Not chewing anything anymore has also been very interesting. I think I need to drink more water – I keep getting a sort of film on my teeth. A quick swish of water in my mouth removes the film but it eventually comes back. I don’t think this would be a problem if I was chewing gum – but I wanted to eliminate ALL variables, including other non-nutritive sweeteners. Maybe I could find some unflavored and unsweetened gum…

Another interesting thing is the “no thanks, I’m just drinking this for now” aspect in social situations. I used to think politely declining carbage was an issue doing Keto. Man – that’s NOTHING compared to trying not to have to explain why I’m not eating bacon right now. For Halloween, we have a yearly neighborhood potluck. I mentioned to my kids a month ago that I could just wheel down the griddle and cook bacon (not thinking that it was SMACK in the middle of my experiment). They ultimately convinced me to do it – I cooked 10lbs of bacon, it was all eaten. Just not by me. Dinner with the family is also kinda weird. I’m cooking food that I’m not going to eat all the time.

Next week will be especially interesting as I’ll be at a tech conference in San Francisco without refrigeration. I have a solid game plan to cope but it’ll be a lot of work.

 

So. There you go. I have test #2 tomorrow, we’ll see what further changes come! (Test #4 will be a comprehensive test just like #0 instead of the subset I’m doing for 1-3)

 

 

[Footnote 1] So what’s the deal with Milk Protein Isolate (hereafter “MPI”) compared to Whey Protein Isolate (hereafter “WPI”)? MPI has a bunch of advantages over WPI and overall is simply a better product to use. I actually tried to get MPI back when I first started doing Keto Chow but nobody would take me seriously – they do now =). Advantages: first and foremost, MPI is the protein from milk, isolated out – this means the protein is in the same ratio as milk: 80% casein 20% whey. Casein is slower digesting, for bodybuilders that just finished a big workout that may not be optimal – but for people on a ketogenic diet, it means you will likely have a much smaller insulin response. WPI is a byproduct of the cheese making process, the supply goes up and down with the demand for cheese. MPI is a primary product, so the supply is consistent and reliable. It’s also coming from Idaho which makes for awesome lead times getting to Utah. MPI also contains a significant amount of calcium and phosphorus in extremely bioavailable forms, this allowed me to kill Calcium Phosphate from the ingredients. Overall, MPI is a slam dunk!

[Footnote 2] Monk Fruit and “natural” sweeteners. For some people, the sucralose we use in most of the flavors of Keto Chow is the end of the world… ok not really =) but many people do want to avoid sucralose completely. Some rat studies (note: humans are not rodents – it’s true, look it up) have indicated sucralose may cause changes to gut bacteria composition. We will be using 80mg of pure sucralose per meal in Keto Chow 2.1 (20% less than 2.0, that’s 0.08g – or 62.5 meals worth is the weight of a US nickel) with the exception of 2 flavors: Savory Chicken Soup and Natural Strawberry – the savory flavor won’t have any sweetener and the Strawberry will be using Monk Fruit extract. I tested Stevia instead of Monk Fruit and the taste wasn’t very good. I also tested Erythritol and blends of Stevia, Monk Fruit, and Erythritol – problem with those was the mass. To get the right sweetness we needed to use 43g of erythritol. That change would nearly double the weight of Keto Chow. No way man! I was toying with making all the flavors of Keto Chow with Monk Fruit but taste tests with people that aren’t me, along with surveys of our customers indicated that wasn’t a good idea (especially since Monk Fruit + Chocolate tasted REALLY weird). I still wanted to have a non-sucralose option available for those that wanted the option. Monk Fruit lends its self well to fruity flavors so we decided to have an additional “Natural Strawberry” flavor.

Eating Keto to Save the Planet (I’m serious)

A lot of people have concerns when they start keto that “well sure, it’s healthy for me but what would happen if everybody started eating like this? Wouldn’t it destroy the environment?” There is a simple thing you can do to stop desertification, lower atmospheric CO2, improve soil health, AND your own health: increase your consumption of ruminant agriculture products. Wait, isn’t that the opposite of what everyone says? Don’t cows destroy the planet, lick your dog, and emit greenhouse gases that will destroy the world? (seriously, you gotta watch that clip!)

Not even close, quite the opposite, and it turns out you’ve been taught that way because John Harvey Kellogg and others pushed a vegetarian agenda way back in the 1800s.

Look, they were wrong about fat being bad for you, carbs being good for you, cholesterol causing heart disease and much more. Why would they be right about this? What if it’s ALL been a lie? OK, so this is going to be a bit of a dive down a rabbit hole, I’ll take you through it in the order I ran across the pieces, I recommend you visit each link and come back here for the next one.

  1. On the first stop of our journey, we have this audio recording of a presentation by Dr. Peter Ballerstedt, given at the 2016 Low Carb USA conference.
  2. I listened to that recording on my drive to work one morning, it was thought-provoking enough that when I got to work I tried to search for stuff I had heard and ended up on this page.
  3. Dr. Peter Ballerstedt also did a variation of his talk at the Low Carb Breckenridge 2017 conference – it’s a video so you can see his slides.
  4. Then the 2 Keto Dudes interviewed Dr. Ballerstedt on their podcast.
  5. He was also interviewed by KetoGeek, it was long enough it had to be broken into 2 parts: Part 1 & Part 2.
  6. Now comes a really fun one: 2 Keto Dudes also interviewed Dr. Gary Fettke who had just given this presentation regarding the ACTUAL history of the US dietary guidelines. The podcast was interesting enough to keep me wide awake driving to Idaho at 3 am to see the solar eclipse.

If you go through all of that you’ll discover some interesting info about some of the “narratives” (as Dr. Ballerstedt likes to call them), the history behind them and the truth. Is grass-fed beef better for you? Sure but not by much, likely not enough to justify the expense. Indeed, grass-fed beef does have MOAR omega 3, but the difference is so little that 1 ounce of salmon gives you more than 3lbs of grass fed beef. If your concern is over omega 3:6 ratios then you should never eat poultry or pork and if you get some soybean oil in your mayo then you’ve likely negated a LOT of grass-fed beef eating.

Then you get into the amazing effects of ruminant agriculture on soil health and how effectively it can sequester carbon, stop desertification and completely change the climate (for the better). I now have a burning desire to save the planet by eating more beef and using more milk products. Happily, the macronutrient sources in Keto Chow come from ruminant agriculture (whey/milk proteins and heavy cream FTW!).

Specifically, I think Dr. Ballerstedt does an amazing job at articulating his points and his “discussion” topics. He’s very deliberate in what he says and how he says it. That first link was so good that I made my kids listen to it one day while we were driving for a few hours. You should check out his Facebook page.

By | 2017-09-22T06:04:50+00:00 September 15th, 2017|Categories: Ketogenic, Weight Loss|Tags: , , , |2 Comments

Keto Clarity Academy – Keto Coaching

While we were in Austin for Keto Con we met a bunch of really awesome people. Among those were the team doing Keto Clarity Academy.

If you’re somewhat seasoned in all things Keto you will likely have come across the book Keto Clarity by Jimmy Moore and Dr. Eric Westman. Really good stuff and one that the Ketovangelist recommended on a recent Book Recommendations podcast.

Jimmy, along with his wife Christine Moore, Julie Jordan, & Melanie Miller, are the leadership for a new service offering keto coaching. I’ll go ahead and steal their own description:

KETO Clarity Academy is a professional keto lifestyle school specializing in helping clients achieve their personal goals and improving their health gains, knowledge of the science of a ketogenic lifestyle and success. The scope of our business offerings covers areas such as KETO Lifestyle Coaching, personal improvement coaching, motivation, weight loss, online coaching, personal accountability offerings and health coaching.

We are in business to help the everyday average person that is struggling with health issues, weight gain and needs a clearer understanding of why their body is not responding to diets.

Our goal is to teach simple, practical ways to implement a whole-foods, nutritional ketogenic diet for optimizing weight-loss and health.

This video does a good job explaining what they offer:

You can also check out an (admittedly goofy) Facebook Live video that Melanie and Jimmy did to announce the project. They also have a Facebook page.

So, if you think they would be of help to you on your Keto journey, I recommend you check them out. We’ve interacted quite a bit with Melanie and Julie since KetoCon and my personal take is that they are deeply committed to helping people succeed at Keto. They’ve experienced many of the problems first hand and know how to help. From what they’ve said, the entire impetus for starting this was they wanted to be able to directly help people and previous programs they worked with didn’t allow for that as freely as they would like.

Anecdote time: At Keto Con we had 3 different people who were working at the convention and not doing Keto that really keyed onto Keto Chow (because, frankly, it tastes awesome!): an Austin City police officer doing security detail drank a half dozen “sample” cups for his breakfast, the Director in charge of the presentations and streaming actually bought a week bag after trying it, and a custodian lady tried Keto Chow and had been listening to many of the presentations. The custodian was an exceptionally nice and very humble woman that said her doctor said she absolutely needed to lose weight, after hearing what she did at the conference she said that she wanted to give Keto a try. Melanie and Julie heard that and jumped right in, offering to coach her for a severely reduced rate due to her financial circumstances. The Keto Clarity Academy team appears to sincerely care about helping people change their lives.

By | 2017-09-13T12:45:03+00:00 September 13th, 2017|Categories: Keto Chow, Ketogenic, On Tour, Weight Loss|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Fun Videos – Coconut Oil will (not) kill you & Low Fat food will make you fat

First we have JP telling us how the American Heart Association has to be right about Coconut Oil killing you

And then we have Adam ruining low fat food

Weird thing is: Adam uses a lot of references from Taubes and Teicholz about sugar being bad but fails to follow through on what you should eat. If you watch the entire episode the clip above comes from the nutrition advice they do give is more of the same “eat less, move more” – guess they decided telling people fat is good was a bit too much.

By | 2017-07-28T09:34:09+00:00 July 28th, 2017|Categories: Ketogenic, Weight Loss|Tags: , , , , , , |0 Comments

One is the cause and one is the effect, conventional wisdom has them switched

So I was listening to the 2 Keto Dudes podcast and something Richard Morris said struck me as extremely important. There’s a lot of heated debate in fitness and nutrition about “Calories In = Calories Out” – also known by the shorthand CICO. The basic premise is that: You lose weight if you eat fewer calories than you need, including calories from exercise. This thinking also assumes that people who are fat got that way because they eat too many calories (it’s a character flaw they should be deeply ashamed of) and they stay that way because they are too lazy to just exercise (again, it’s a character flaw they should be ashamed of). People who are fat got that way and stay that way because they indulge in “sinful” behavior and as a society we condemn them, mock them and denigrate them openly. It’s pretty much the only socially acceptable prejudice nowadays.

I think that line of thinking is stupid and reprehensible, among other things.

 

Here’s what I got from Richard’s comments. Conventional wisdom says that:

(Calories Consumed) – (Calories Burned) = (Calories Stored as fat)

Everything I’ve seen (with decent science behind it, and the fundamentals of how insulin works) say that instead:

(Calories Consumed) – (Calories Stored as fat) = (Calories Burned)

It’s a slight change in the order – which one is the cause and which one is an effect, but let’s look at what this means: If we take the standard CICO model and I eat 2000 calories a day, my BMR burns off 2500 calories (it was actually 2218 last time I had it measured but let’s keep the math simple) and I do absolutely no other exercise during the day I would have a negative energy balance of 500 calories. The standard model says each pound of fat is 3500 calories, so my 500 calorie deficit would have me losing 1 lb a week. Isn’t that a nice simple story? Guess what, our bodies aren’t that simple, especially considering the active metabolic management we have going on. If you cut intake by 500 calories a day, your body isn’t going to simply continue on at 2500 BMR, it will adapt down to fit the energy it’s given… unless you are able to mobilize the stored energy you have it your fat cells.

There’s a problem with that: if you have high levels of insulin in your blood, your body WILL NOT allow you to access energy stored as fat. From an energy balance standpoint, if your insulin is too high, you have the same energy stores as a theoretical person who has 0% body fat. Neither of you will have access to stored energy in fat and both will run out of energy when your blood glucose drops. “Carb Coma” anyone?

So let’s look at that second equation, it may not be a perfect model for the human metabolism but it’s far closer to explaining the observable data. So I eat 2000 calories in a day. If I eat mostly bread, fruits, and other carbohydrates; my body will dump insulin into my blood in an effort to deal with the potentially toxic levels of glucose running around. My cells (particularly my fat cells) will key off the insulin and dutifully pull the glucose out of the blood. I’ll be able to burn some of that 2000 calories in my muscles but much of it is going to go straight to fat storage. Let’s say that 500 calories (a number I’m making up out of thin air, again: easy math) gets stored – that means I only get to use 1500 calories for “keeping the lights on”… except I need 2500 today. My body will figure out a way to keep things going, either by breaking down non-essential muscle cells or other means, but you can be certain I won’t feel like running up the stairs, going for a walk… or anything. I’ll just want to lay down and find some food so my cells can get some energy (except the same insulin issue will arise). Eventually, my cells will get used to reduced calorie availability and my base metabolic rate will go down to fit what is available. Nature abhors a vacuum.

On the other hand, let’s assume I eat 2000 calories in a day, but most of that is in the form of calories that do not create an insulin response: a moderate amount of protein (so I don’t have to cannibalize muscles to rebuild cells), the smallest amount of carbohydrates possible, and the remainder of those calories as fat. This page about “Intermittent Fasting” does an astounding job of explaining how the different macronutrients affect insulin (and debunks the “you should eat many small meals” myth), but the short version is: fats have little discernable insulin response, protein has a slight-to-moderate response and carbohydrates cause a massive insulin response. Don’t believe me? ask a type 1 diabetic about dosing insulin for 500 calories of rice vs. 500 calories of cheese. So back to the thought problem: I have 2000 calories but my blood sugar didn’t spike and my insulin didn’t spike either. For argument’s sake let’s say 100 calories get stored away somewhere (probably as glycogen in my liver or muscles) so I still have 1900 calories to work with. I need 2500, so I need 600 more from somewhere… well my insulin is low… so I can mobilize energy stored in fat cells! Holy cow, I have all the energy I need! (usually 100,000 calories or MORE).

The funny thing is: this all still works if you decide you’d like to fast for several days. Your insulin is low and you have all the energy stored you could possibly want. Many people report massive energy after 36+ hours of fasting (you still drink water and get electrolytes). Anyhow, that’s the rant for today. If CICO is true then if you are overweight it’s because you suck as a human being, stop eating so much and should just get up and move more – is that really so hard? If the alternative is true (and I believe it is), then you are overweight because the foods you’ve been told are “healthy” (“low fat” cookies? “whole wheat” bread?) have messed up your insulin response to the degree that you are storing much of the energy you consume. So get rid of the rice, the pasta, the bread, THE SUGAR and go for the foods that will make you healthy. A ketogenic diet is essentially taking this a bit to the extreme, it’s a major intervention for people whose metabolism and insulin response are broken because of years of too much junk. Many people appear to be just fine living mainly off carbohydrates, that’s fine for them – I’m not one of those people.

I tell people I don’t eat sugar because I’m allergic to it, “how do you know you’re allergic to sugar?” they say. Simple: it makes me fat.

By | 2017-06-21T10:24:19+00:00 June 21st, 2017|Categories: Ketogenic, Weight Loss|Tags: , , , , |3 Comments

Soda Sugar Comparisons by XKCD

Saw this on XKCD, mouse-over says “The key is portion control, which is why I’ve switched to eating smaller cans of frosting instead of full bottles.”

See also https://xkcd.com/1035/

By | 2017-02-01T08:13:18+00:00 February 1st, 2017|Categories: Ketogenic, Weight Loss|Tags: , , |0 Comments

21 days progress with strict Keto: Awesome Sauce! (also 2 years since my last “cheat” meal)

This entry is part 156 of 190 in the series Ketogenic Soylent

As mentioned earlier, starting January 1, 2017, I committed to writing down everything I eat in Cron-o-meter before I eat it. Turns out this works quite well, which I already knew but somehow was ignoring and doing “lazy keto” for the last few months by only eating Keto Friendly food but not really tracking food closely. Yes, Jalapeño poppers are, generally, keto friendly – but if you eat 20 of them you’re going to go over your net carbs for the day. Anyhow, I’m doing great and still writing everything down. I’m also still lifting – today I’ll be squatting 90lbs, it’s starting to get harder =) A couple days ago I failed to notice it was the 2 year anniversary of the last time I had a “cheat” meal on January 21, 2015. Since then, I’ve only deliberately eaten non-keto food once: a bite of breaded fish in September 2015, spat it out. I expect that I’ll be living HFLC for the rest of my life, sounds fun.

“Cheating” on Keto is self-sabotage. Imagine you’re trying to climb a giant sand dune. It’s really hard to get up to the top (and you get sand in your shoes, guaranteed) but once you’re there, staying on the top is easy. It’s especially easy compared to the amount of effort required to get back on top if you decide to roll down to the bottom. Being fat adapted is very similar to this: you’ve worked so hard to get your body burning fat instead of glucose, why would you ruin months of work? My advice: embrace living keto, focus on the awesome foods you can enjoy, not the foods you choose not to eat (not “can’t eat”).

Here’s an updated weight log of my progress:

Calories consumed per day (I had a tummy ache on Jan 15, ended up fasting a bit over 2h hours):

Net carbs per day:

On track with my New Year Resolutions

This entry is part 153 of 190 in the series Ketogenic Soylent

I have two health-related resolutions this year:

  1. Strength training 3x a week (StrongLifts 5×5).
  2. I’m not eating anything until it’s ALREADY logged into Cron-O-Meter.

So far, so good, on StrongLifts 5×5. I did it 3x last week (which is the recommendation for the program): Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday because Friday was a crazy evening. I did StrongLifts regularly last year but we remodeled some bedrooms in the basement and the workout area was turned into a bedroom with the power rack cage becoming a closet. That’s all done, as well as the Christmas mayhem so it’s time to get back into lifting! These first few weeks are relatively easy since the SL5x5 app had me “deload” all the way back down to starting weight. I see that as a good thing since even squatting an empty bar that first time made me sore for 4 days. There’s an excellent article over on Art of Manliness about various fitness programs – he didn’t like StrongLifts as much as he likes Starting Strength due to the number of reps. I might check that one out at a later date if I hit a wall. SS has an app but it’s $9 and I doubt it has the amazing Android Wear integration SL5x5 has. It’s seriously awesome to track my workout entirely on my watch.

As for tracking my food in Cron-O-Meter, I did this 100% all last week, I have a perfect record for 2017 =). Writing down what I eat before I eat it has an interesting effect on reducing what I’m eating. Either I decide not to eat something because I’m too lazy to write it down; or I write it down, check to see how the addition affects my macros and decide “yeah, not going to eat that after all.”

Due to the aforementioned laziness, all but one of my meals last week were Keto Chow. It’s pretty easy to enter 3x “Rich Chocolate with 50ml heavy cream and MCT” from the list of frequent foods. Saturday evening we needed to drop off some kids for a thing and then hang around for 2 hours until they finished, so we took the remaining children to dinner at Red Robin. I knew this was coming so I messed around with their nutrition calculator page (requires flash) and decided on the Guacamole Bacon Burger. I added the standard one in Cron-o-Meter, then edited a copy to change the values for carbs, fat, protein etc… I haven’t tried to do that on mobile, doing it in a web browser with multiple windows open was quite simple. Red Robin is pretty proud of the fact that they can make any burger “wedgie style” (lettuce wrap), and you can do bottomless steamed broccoli or side salads instead of the fries. I opted for the salads, ended up getting 3 of them by the time I was done =) You can see the spike in calories consumed:

Anyhow, looking at the averages for the last week, I’m quite happy with the 18.9g net carb average. I could probably go higher than 20g/day but I’m going to keep it low.

In the end, one of the big ones is: how is this affecting my weight? I’m happy to report that: Hey! I’m losing weight again! That big spike (banana for scale) in the graph below was the morning of Sunday, January 1 2017.

We had a New Year game party with our friends (who are also doing keto) and our kids (not doing keto). We made individual “fathead” (keto) pizzas for us and regular dough pizzas for the kids. I ended up eating a lot of salt and it clearly shows that following morning in water weight. I didn’t eat anything that wasn’t keto friendly that night but you eat too much keto food and you’ll be over your macros easily. I also noticed that my weight doesn’t fluctuate as much when I’m mostly eating Keto Chow and the mild heartburn I had in the morning since mid-December is gone.

So, here’s to a successful new year for everyone! May the odds ever be in your favor!