Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Ketosis - An Experient (update #1)

I’m in to my second day of the Ketosis Experiment and I’m loving it so far! I went in to it shooting for 5% carbs, 20% protein, and a whopping 75% fat. It is fascinating (to my nerdy brain!) to look at how it all shakes out on My Fitness Pal. You’d think that eating 75% fat would mean eating spoonfuls of mayo or something, but it’s not like that at all. Since fat is so much more calorie-dense it doesn’t take much to keep those numbers high. It’s mostly just using it liberally, but not superfluously.

I’ve found that keeping carbs to 5% is really tough, even with limiting things to the regular low carb freebies of veggies, lime juice, etc. As a result, I’ve rebalanced to 10% carbs (48 grams), 15% protein (71 grams), and 75% (158 grams) fat. That ratio keeps me just under the ketosis threshold of 50 total carb grams a day (generally speaking - it can vary), so I think that will work for my purposes. Especially considering some of that total will be fiber, since I’m going off of total carb grams, not “net” carbs (which subtracts out the fiber and sometimes sugar alcohols).

Another surprising thing is that I thought I would have to consciously cut back on the protein, thinking that might be the problem all along. Eating too much can lead to converting some of it to glucose… But no – the last couple of days have landed me at about 15% with just a “normal” amount of it for me. I really thought I was eating much more. I guess a lot of my protein sources come packaged quite nicely with a whack of fat, so that it has less actual protein grams than I thought. Think eggs, bacon, sausage, salami… Or chicken salad made with homemade mayo. But I digress…

Seeing a couple days of info is making me think that the issue is either too many sneaky carbs (I had let many more “treats” into my life lately) or just too many darn calories, although I’m loathe to go THERE. It’s probably a combination of the two. It kind of makes sense, though. When I was heavier, I burned more in general, and now that I’m 45 pounds down, my requirement has gone down. If my intake hasn’t changed, what previously allowed me to slowly lose, is now the amount to maintain. My hope was that I’d naturally adjust via my appetite, but maybe not. But without any data from before, it’s hard to know if my intake has changed at all.

That being said, I’m wary of paying much attention to calories. I do not want to wind up on the disordered train to crazy-town with all this stuff. So, for now, I’m keeping my calorie “goal” the amount the program claims will allow me to lose a half of a pound a week. I’m not putting in any exercise or anything that would offset that number. I’m just leaving it there and alone as a tool that frames the information I’m really after – the macro-nutrient ratios and absolute amounts in grams of each of them. I’m not necessarily going to hit that “goal” every day and I’m trying to ignore it as a ceiling as well. However, I do hate seeing myself go over (a hold-over from previous dieting attempts) so if I need to, I’ll just raise it. I don’t expect that to be an issue, though. I’m probably eating the most that I can expect to over these first few days while I’m getting the last of the excess carbs out of my system and transitioning to a bona-fide fat burning beast. Once that happens, I expect my appetite to naturally go down a bit. But, we’ll see. I feel strongly that I should not feel deprived when making the transition to very low carb. It’s hard enough as it is… I really don’t want to send those “restriction” signals to my brain in any way. That is a sure way to derail this process.

So for now, I’m shooting to keep my intake just shy of my regular needs and I’m not going to worry about exercising for the calorie burning effect. Instead, I’ll keep up with my yoga (2x), high intensity interval training (1x), tai chi (1x), and walking (daily) for the positive psychological and hormonal effects.

I know I’m only a couple of days in to this, but I’m feeling really great about the experiment. Seeing exactly where I’m at nutritionally has been eye-opening already and I can’t wait to see what else I’ll learn, not to mention that I’m hopeful that these changes will lead to getting the fat loss going again.


Holly said...

I'm excited to hear how this goes. I am always interested in a good food experiment! :)

MJ said...

very interesting -- I have tried to do ketosis, but admittedly not as scientifically as you. If you are on MFP and want to compare notes there, look me up!!

dreamer said...

Just wanted to say I have enjoyed reading the whole of this blog the past few nights.A lot of my experiences have been similar to yours.I am currently following primal but trying to stay in ketosis to help with the weight loss,not doing it as scientifically as you but managing fine so far.Look forward to reading more of your posts, you have a great writing style - I can almost feel your thought processes and inner monologue through your writing :)


Not sure how to find you on MFP, MJ! I'm a little challenged. My username is SammyDs, if that helps!

Glad you're enjoying the site, dreamer! It really is just an outlet for me to work through what I'm doing. As you can see, things are constantly evolving (no pun intended)!

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