6 week Keto Diet challenge complete!
My main reason for this experiment was to test the ketogenic diet for weight loss, decrease in body fat and its anti cancer effects. Cancer is a horrible disease that affects so many people.
What is the ketogenic diet? Click here >> http://www.ketogenic-diet-resource.com/ketogenic-diet-plan.html
I can honestly say this is the best I have ever felt! Adding more fat into my diet while getting rid of processed sugar had a positive effect on virtually every aspect of my life! A ketogenic diet might not be for everyone but I at least advise you to look into it for yourself. Keto Diet Resource
The main reason I started this challenge was because a few people I love were diagnosed with cancer. Cancer SUCKS!!!!! Let me say that again, Cancer SUCKS!!!!!!!!!! I wanted to help however I could! So I dove into research, blogs, podcasts and found some pretty significant findings on how the ketogenic diet can help people with cancer as well as help prevent it.
After listening to the Tim Ferris podcast and doing my own research I wanted to give the ketogenic diet a try. I decided to take a blood test to measure my inflamation and document my experience for 6 weeks. This blog is a documentation of my 6 week experiment with the keto diet. My overall experience was extremely positive. I felt amazing! My sleep was better. My energy was better. And it wasn’t that difficult to maintain the plan during the 6 weeks.
One of the byproducts of the keto diet is loosing weight and body fat with out really having to try. When you add healthy fat into your diet and cut out sugar and unnecessary carbohydrates your body learns to use fat as fuel and as a result your body fat will go down. I have tried many different types of nutritional plans (diets) and the ketogenic was by far the easiest for me to maintain.
I am not trying to sell anything!! Only potentially expose people to something I believe might change lives. let me also say I am not trying to convince everyone to run out and do this diet. It probably isn’t for everyone. I have a decent understanding of nutrition but do not claim to be a expert. The majority of my career has been focused on movement, performance and kinesiology. But I would recommend looking into the keto diet and doing some research of your own. So please do your research and talk to your doctor to make sure the ketonic diet is for you.
I never felt better than during this 6 weeks. I slept better. My strength and performance was not negatively effected. If anything I got stronger and enhanced my fitness level. My energy was more consistent throughout the day and I got leaner without really trying.
Also, My inflammation decreased by 50%! Which I think is pretty significant.
Below is a list of ketogenic diet benefits. The following comes from the website http://www.ketogenic-diet-resource.com/ketogenic-diet-benefits.html. I agree with all of these benefits and experienced them myself during my experiement.
Here’s what to expect the first month after switching to a ketogenic diet plan.
- Freedom from hypoglycemia, food fixations and sugar cravings. This is by far the best benefit in my opinion. Having control over your eating habits is very empowering.
- Lack of hunger: Ketone bodies dampen the appetite, and fat is very satisfying. You’ll notice at times, you may forget to eat. You may find this is the most amazing part, especially if you struggle with food addiction issues.
- Lower blood pressure: Low carb diets are very effective at reducing blood pressure. If you are taking any blood pressure medications, be aware that you might start feeling dizzy from too much medication while on a ketogenic diet plan. You may be able to reduce your BP meds (talk to your doctor first).
- Drop in Cholesterol: Cholesterol is made from excess glucose in the diet. As you eat less sugar creating foods, you do less damage to your arterial system and inflammation drops. Your cholesterol will drop as your body has less glucose from which to make it, and less need for repairing the damages of inflammatory chemicals.
- Increase in HDL Cholesterol (the more saturated fat you eat, the higher it will go.) This is actually a good thing, because it improves the ratio of HDL/LDL. Higher HDL levels (above 39 mg/dL) indicate a healthier heart.
- A drop in triglycerides: carbohydrate consumption is closely tied to triglyceride levels, and one of most well known ketogenic diet benefits. The less carbohydrate you eat, the lower your triglycerides readings will go. The ratio of triglycerides to HDL (expressed Triglyceride/HDL) is the best predictor of heart attack risk and is one of blood test results to which you should really pay attention. The closer this ratio is to 1:1, the healthier you are. See this paper.
- Drop in fasting blood sugar and fasting insulin levels: less sugar coming in, less sugar driving up blood sugar and insulin levels.
- Your levels of C Reactive Protein (CRP) and HbA1c proteins will decrease. These are both markers of inflammation and heart disease risk.
- More energy. You’ll be amazed at how much energy you have. Any chronic fatigue symptoms should get better. If you are taking a statin (a cholesterol lowering drug) see my statins page on my other website. Statins compromise cellular mitochondria which results in fatigue and muscle pain.
- Decrease in stiffness and joint pain. This is one of the best side effects of following a ketogenic diet plan. The diet eliminates grain based foods from your diet, and they, in my opinion are the biggest cause of chronic illness and pain, especially muscle stiffness and joint pain. As I often say, no grain, no pain.
- Clearer thinking. The “fogginess” that accompanies a high carb diet will disappear. My theory on this is that the brain is over 60% fat by weight, and the more fat you eat, the better it can maintain itself and work to its full capacity. Others more scientifically inclined might talk about essential fatty acids and neurotransmitter function.
- Changes in your sleep patterns and an improvement in sleep apnea symptoms. I believe that sleep apnea is tied to grain consumption, the heartburn it causes, and reactive hypoglycemia from a high carb diet. I used to have apnea, but once I cut grains out of my diet and permanently reduced my carb intake, I no longer have it, just as I no longer get heartburn or hypoglycemia. Another sleep benefit of eating less carbs is that those urges to take a late afternoon nap will go away. Not falling asleep at your desk every afternoon is one of the best ketogenic diet benefits.
- Weight loss: sticking to a ketogenic diet plan can be very effective for normalizing your weight. However, if you have very high fasting insulin (and high insulin resistance) you may need to add a high intensity exercise program like Doug McGuff’s Body by Science: A Research Based Program to Get the Results You Want in 12 Minutes a Week. High intensity training has the effect of increasing the insulin sensitivity of your muscles, thereby decreasing your fasting insulin and help you lose weight.
- While one of the most common ketogenic diet benefits is weight loss, it may not be as easy as it has been advertised for some. Most people who are very heavy have very broken metabolisms. However, they are also the people who are most likely to experience many of ketogenic diet benefits. I am one of those people. My story on how I got healthy, fixed my metabolism and lost weight will give you an idea of what might be involved.
- Heartburn relief: if you suffer from GERD or other heartburn issues, the symptoms should lessen or disappear. Heartburn, I believe, is a direct result of eating grain based foods, sugar and for some people, nightshade vegetables such as tomatoes. I also believe it is tied to problems with sleep apnea, as described above in the sleep section.
- Gum disease and tooth decay: sugar changes the pH of your mouth and contributes to tooth decay. Three months into a ketogenic diet, any gum disease you might have will decrease or disappear.
- Digestion and gut health get better. You will see a decrease in stomach pain, bloating, gas etc.. These are all associated with grain and sugar consumption.
- Mood stabilization. Ketone bodies have been shown to be beneficial in stabilizing neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine which result in better mood control.
As you can see from the list above, the temporary unpleasant effects of switching to a ketogenic diet are totally worth it when you experience the many ketogenic diet benefits.
If you have any lingering concerns, please remember that the latest scientific studies (visit the Nutrition and Metabolism Society) have shown that following a ketogenic diet plan is not detrimental to human health, if it is eaten while also minimizing carbohydrate intake. This is the key to experiencing the long list of ketogenic diet benefits: eat a diet low in carbs, high in natural fats, and moderate in protein intake.
It’s only when you combine lots of fat and lots of carbohydrates in your diet that you get into trouble. The sugar from the carbohydrates drives up your insulin levels, and those high insulin levels cause any fat you eat to be stored immediately. This causes the weight gain associated with insulin resistance and starts the health problems that should be associated with a high carb diet.
Don’t wait until you or someone you love gets this horrible disease!!! Take some action now and invest some time and energy into your health.
Keto Diet Success Tip: Eat Sardines
Suggested resources and further reading:
Tripping Over the Truth
Dominic D’Agostino on Fasting, Ketosis, and the End of Cancer
Dr. Peter Attia on Life-Extension, Drinking Jet Fuel, Ultra-Endurance, Human Foie Gras, and More
Optimizing Investing, Blood, Hormones, and Life (see #65)
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For Brandon, fitness has been his passion for as long as he can remember. In high school he was a three-sport athlete and received a scholar athlete award in football. Later, he attended Arizona State University on an academic scholarship and received his degree in Kinesiology in 2004. When he was a junior in college, he started Personal Training and has since turned this into his career. Brandon is a natural teacher who is passionate about health, fitness, wellness, and life. Each and every day he feels blessed to be able to do what he loves most…help people achieve a healthier life! Working with his best friend and having clients who he considers to be his family is one of the best jobs he could ever wish for. What he loves most about being a personal trainer is helping his clients achieve what they thought was the “impossible”!
Brandon’s philosophy is that exercise and fitness should be viewed as preventive medicine. If one takes care of his/her body today, he/she will stay healthy for the remainder of his/her life. His main focus is on functional training that incorporates normal daily movements which strengthen core muscle groups and help deliver a functionally fit body. This body will then be efficient with all activities, from athletics to everyday movements.