I recently gave the Ketogenic diet a try as a way to cut some body fat. Long story short, it works and has several benefits. It’s been used in hospitals since the early 1900s and has been extensively studied and is completely safe, with a few exceptions.
Some of the reported benefits:
- Freedom from hypoglycemia, food fixations and sugar cravings.
- Lack of hunger.
- Lower blood pressure.
- Drop insulin levels.
- Increased Energy.
- Decrease in stiffness and joint pain.
- Clearer thinking.
- Weight loss.
- Mood stabilization
So what is it exactly? A extremely low carb(under 20g), moderate protein, high fat diet. When depleted of carbs, your body is forced to convert fat to ketones for energy. It is a great feeling. Supposedly, there is something called the “Keto Flu” that mimics flu symptoms when initial adjusting, but I didn’t get it, I just felt great and mentally focused.
I did lose weight, rapidly. 5lbs in the first 3 days, mainly water and roughly a lb every 2 days after, while eating lots of fatty meat, green veggies, and even putting BUTTER in my coffee. It was surprisingly good, way better than the coconut oil I had previously tried.
I did however struggle with eating as much as I needed to eat, cooking all that meat to get in all my calories was hard to do. I also found myself losing strength in my workouts, which is the main reason I stopped it. If I knew what I knew now, I would have been taking bcaa’s and creatine to help keep my strength, prevent catabolism. The guys over at Ketogains insist it is possible to keep/build strength and muscle on this diet, so I will have to take their word for it. I would be lying if I said I didn’t miss all the carbs though. Bread and Pasta are two of my favorite foods, and it turns out that even bacon can’t fill that void entirely.
Would I do it again? Yes, and probably will. It was very effective for losing fat quickly, and all the food was delicious. Maybe the next time I go on a ‘cutting’ phase.
Coming Soon: My experiment with 16/8 Intermittent Fasting. Giving this a full month to gauge the results. Spoiler, I’m enjoying it so far.