Just saw this posted over on /r/keto, thought you’d all enjoy seeing it (make sure you check out the photo gallery). 350 to 225lbs.
Just saw this posted over on /r/keto, thought you’d all enjoy seeing it (make sure you check out the photo gallery). 350 to 225lbs.
This week results of a study were posted showing that contestants from “The Biggest Loser” from several years ago had mostly regained all their lost weight. From the conclusions offered in the findings it would seem there is no way to lose weight. The subjects metabolisms slowed down so much that it was nearly impossible for them to maintain their weight loss. Doctor Jason Fung does an excellent job of distilling what’s really going on here. I suggest you head over and read his article. I’ll wait.
This is what is sometimes termed ‘starvation mode’. This is what people imagine happens as their body starts to shut down in order to conserve energy. Basal metabolism (Calories Out) falls and you feel like crap. As you eat less, your body burns less calories, so that eventually weight loss plateaus. Then you feel like crap, so decide to eat a bit more (your hunger hormones are also rising like a spire), but not as much as you used to. But, your ‘Calories Out’ is so low that you get weight regain. Sound familiar? Happens to every dieter out there. What’s unfair, is that their friends and family silently blame the victim of having ‘fallen off the wagon’, or not having enough will power. Actually, the dietary advice – Eat Less, Move More is guaranteed to fail. So don’t blame the victim when they actually do fail.
You did read the article right? If you didn’t the TL;DR is:
My own experience confirms this. When I had a DEXA scan done I also did the resting metabolic rate test. Despite being on a Ketogenic diet for over a year and a half, my metabolism isn’t crazy low, quite the opposite:
The RMR report also said I probably want between 1776 and 2218 calories a day for weight loss; and that my metabolism is 10% faster than people of similar sex, age, height and weight. There were some less than useful platitudes about “you must burn more calories than you consume to lose weight” which is the same as saying “you must save more money than you spend to save money” or “if more people leave a room than come in, there will be less people in the room” – um… thanks?
So. If you want to lose weight because your body doesn’t handle carbohydrates well (like me!) and keep it off, it seems these are the steps:
My Dad made the news last night. Funny thing is I was in a bunch of the photos shown…. though you can’t see me because I’m hiding behind rocks holding lights =) Glorified light stand and pack mule I am. So I guess I made the news too =)
I had the day off yesterday so I went and found some of the stall mats I wanted to get. Indeed those things are heavy, like 100lbs each. I managed to get two of them onto a cart, into my vehicle and then my wife helped get them downstairs and under the equipment. My hands still hurt from gripping them. The StrongLifts program seems to be going well so far. I’m still lifting a mostly empty bar, concentrating on form more than anything. I am glad that my quads are happy now.
When I did my first lifting session a week ago I had some weirdness going on in my right quadriceps. It kinda felt like a cramp or something and I was rather worried it was going to be an ongoing problem or something. I didn’t know if it was related to being in keto for so long, not having lifted for so long or not enough magnesium since it felt like low magnesium even though I’m positive I’m getting enough. Anyway, the first two days after I lifted I was really, really sore. Then it went away and even though I’m lifting more (marginally: 55lbs 5×5 instead of 45lbs) it has not returned. I had previously noticed a tendency for my muscles to want to cramp up when I did serious stretching and starting lifting seems to have alleviated that everywhere. Should have done this a long time ago! My wife is also doing the SL5x5 program with me and she’s liking it so far. It’s quick and (for now) easy. The SL5x5 App is great and I finally got the watch integration figured out so I can see how many more sets I’m doing, how much weight and it even has a timer for how long to rest, it’s pretty awesome.
Now for the random stuff: I talked with a different co-packer that says they are able to do bags. This is a good thing since it would allow me to do a more incremental change with production instead of a major change to square bottles. It’s also good because it will keep shipping costs the same, I’m able to fit more bags in a box than I can fit hard walled bottles. I’m really looking forward to seeing where this may end up.
Next thing: I picked up a package of the chocolate “Keto Fuel” to see how it is (always a good plan to scope out your competitors). The guy in charge of SuperBodyFuel is allergic to a lot of things so he is VERY conscious about allergens in food. I’m lucky to only be allergic to cats (which is why you will never find any cats or cat hair in Keto Chow) so my recipes include potential allergens because the results taste better (to me). Anyway, Keto Fuel is “gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, and nut-free”, It’s also barely not vegan (has trace gelatin from the vitamins). Because it’s dairy free it needs a plant based protein source and soy protein would invalidate the “soy free” claim so they use rice protein, which is what Rosa Labs Soylent 1.x also uses. Rice protein is a difficult beast because it can impart a gritty texture. The Chocolate Keto Fuel also has Cocoa powder for flavoring which can add some grittiness too.
Lately I’ve been experimenting with using Acacia Gum for fiber in Keto Chow instead of Psyllium husk powder, the result is what little discernible texture there was is now completely gone so I’ve been drinking almost oddly smooth stuff for a bit. The texture of Keto Fuel was quite a change compared to that. Personally I’ve had some REALLY gritty meal replacement drinks in the past and Keto Fuel is actually pretty smooth by comparison. It’s far smoother than People Chow was (corn Masa) and given the goals in the recipe I think it’s probably as good as you could possibly do. Now one caveat: I followed the instructions on the package with the heavy cream option instead of the olive oil option since I’m not lactose intolerant and know it’ll taste WAY better this way. I drank one meal and kept the rest for family and friends doing keto to try. I’ll not lie: none of them liked it, but none of them have allergies that would prevent them from drinking Keto Chow. I’m of the opinion that if you do have problems with dairy, soy or nuts then it’s an excellent product; especially considering how difficult a ketogenic diet is with those kinds of restrictions.
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.
Over on Reddit there’s a post by /u/ANewAccountYetAgain detailing his experiences with nutritional ketosis. He did keto before, went from 330 to 253 lbs over 6 months but stopped when depression came back and over the next 3 years gained it all back and more.
5 months ago he started keto thanks to /r/100DaysofKeto and also tried DietBet (money as a motivator can be strong =) and lost a lot. In November, 3 months ago, he started using Keto Chow.
This ended up eliminating my last two big sources of stress: money and cooking.
It’s great to read success stories, there are tons on /r/keto and some Keto Chow specific ones on /r/ketochow. I encourage you to check them out! He said I could use his pictures, even though I dislike doing things when I have permission I’ll do it anyway =)
The first thing that stands out to me is he seems to be taller in the new one… oh wait, it’s just a larger photo. Still, his complexion is really clear.
For the last 40 days I’ve been checking my blood ketone levels (using a Nova Max and horribly expensive test strips) and at the same time checking my breath acetone levels using a Ketonix. Based on my blood levels I haven’t been deep in ketosis but I expected there to be some sort of correlation between the two. The Ketonix is marketed as a way to check to see how far into ketosis you are, an easy way to check your levels without needing to buy expensive test strips. I don’t know if I just got a defective one that always shows high levels of acetone or what but thus far I haven’t seen any reliable data coming from the ketonix. I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt and I actually just ordered a second one so I can see if it’s a defective one or not. I’d love to see clear, defined results like this guy. Honestly I’d really like to have it work but my guess is I’ll be returning the new one and eating the shipping charge.
Weight is still coming down and I had time to run on the treadmill last night. Going to try to do that again today. Today marks the end of week 1 of my city’s weight loss program (“Mission: Slim Possible”) so I’ll be doing my first weigh in for that after work. They send out an email with the names of the 3 people who lost the most each week. Last year I was in the top 3 like 5 times (and finished 2nd overall) – I doubt I’ll be in the top 3 this first week but if I can stick to my plan and stay away from malitol and other high GI sugar alcohols I should do well the subsequent weeks.
The graph comes from “Withings” which I use to track my weight, in turn it feeds data over to Fitbit and CRON-O-meter. The App and site are free to use though they like it if you buy one of their wifi scales =) I got the WS-50 a bit over a year ago and it works well aside from randomly switching to Kilograms.
My parents visited Hawaii and my dad sent me some info on his experience. Bright, sunny Hawaii is a radical departure from his recent photographic work (photos of nightscapes – check out http://intothenightphoto.blogspot.com/ in several of his shots I’m the guy turning on the light to paint the scenes). He seems to really like measuring out 50g into bags ahead of time to make measuring easier:
Keto Chow and traveling is an easy combination. I wondered if airport security would question the plastic bags of powder , but no one has seemed concerned. I pack 50 grams of Keto Chow per small snack bag. I even went to Arizona in December with no security problems. The insulated bottles keep my Chow the perfect temperature, even in Kauai. Winter here is only a few degrees cooler than the Summer months but my favorite time to escape the snowy mountains of home in January.
A local snack of dry roasted macadamia nuts has been a unique and readily available treat. Serving size, 1/4 cup. Total carbs, 4 grams. Dietary fiber, 2 grams. Net carbs 2 grams, same as almonds. Total fat, 21 grams to balance protein intake.
I forgot a measuring cup but that was a simple purchase. Extra cream can serve as a substitute for the MCT oil for a few days,
The plan was to do Keto Chow for 3 meals a day for 100 days though I decided I wasn’t going to kill myself or stress about it. Yesterday evening we went out to dinner at a Chinese Buffet. There was a Mongolian grill so I was able to find plenty of keto friendly fare. Despite that, this morning when I tested my blood ketones they were less than 0.1 mmol/L. Dunno if there were hidden carbs in the stuff I ate or if the major amount of protein I ate kicked off gluconeogenesis.
Anyway, today for lunch I made a “frosty” using the blender. I did have to put it in the freezer for 30 minutes for the salt crystals to dissolve fully and the rest of the flavors to equalize and mellow out. “Frosty” Keto Chow is yummy.
Hey hey, I’m 10% done! The experiment with Intermittent Fasting seems to be a success, though I did have a headache when I woke up this morning – some of that could have been mild dehydration. Still I’m happy with the results.I didn’t do Intermittent Fasting today because I had a dentist appointment. The hygienist said my teeth are looking much better; I’m crediting not eating sugar and doing a liquid diet. She did recommend I get an OralB electric toothbrush, so I got one from Costco on the way home.