Posted On 30 Dec 2017
Would you like to lose weight or reduce your percentage of body fat? If so, consider keto, in other words, a ketogenic diet or nutritional plan.
It’s a good idea to check with your personal physician or other healthcare provider before making any serious changes in your diet or exercise program. Unfortunately and surprisingly, since most physicians, including internists and cardiologists, have a poor understanding of nutrition, checking with them can be worse than useless if they give you bad advice. Institutions such as the American Heart Association promote even more misinformation than physicians.
(It’s almost unbelievable to me that it’s common for medical schools to have only about one day of training on nutrition! That’s a travesty. However, it’s not surprising from the backward perspective that is also common, namely, that the emphasis is to teach medical students how to treat, rather than how to prevent, disease.)
Notice that my recommendation is only for you to consider it – not necessarily to test it for yourself. There’s no way for anyone to know in advance what its consequences will be for you if you actually use it. (That, though, is always true for anything we do, which is a thesis I’ve argued for in many other writings.)
A week ago I started doing keto and I’m now 7 lbs. lighter!
Partly because my longtime strength-training partner is out of town with his family for the holidays, I’ve not done any exercise in the last week. My intention this week is to begin adding both some strength training [cf. my Weight Lifting] and intense cardio (namely, P.A.C.E.).
Furthermore, I’ve not been hungry, and I’ve consumed daily some (roasted, salted) cashews and dark chocolate. On Christmas eve I even had a couple of beers.
I feared the keto flu, but it didn’t happen. That may be because I’ve tried to follow a relatively low-carb diet for quite a while. One day, though, I did experience some light-headedness, but I realized that I needed to increase consumption of some micronutrients [see below]. As soon I did, the light-headedness left and did not return.
My goal is not necessarily to lose body weight. My goal is to decrease my percentage of body fat. (I’d like it below 20% and getting it below 15% would be nearly ideal at my advanced age.)
Furthermore, from a physiological point of view losing a pound of body weight daily is too fast. It risks kidney stones and other complications. Losing 1 or 2 pounds weekly is healthier and more sustainable. However, from a psychological point of view, because the initial benefits provide motivation for sustaining the program, it’s important to get off to a quick start.
Once I’ve reached my desired percentage of body fat, my plan is to switch to a less-restrictive (though still low carb) Paleo diet.
It’s not clear to me that I’m even in ketosis yet and I’m certainly not fat-adapted, which typically takes about two months.
Being fat-adapted means that one has successfully switched from burning primarily sugars to burning primarily fats. That’s the goal of a ketogenic diet.
Being in ketosis just means that your body is producing ketones (ketone bodies). Ketones are produced when the liver burns fats. (There are 3 kinds of ketones, namely, acetone, acetoacetate, and BHB [betahydroxybutyrate].) It’s a perfectly natural process. For example, if you happen to eat a meal around 6:00 p.m. and sleep in the following morning before eating again, you might be in ketosis.
Since our bodies will burn sugars before they burn fats, the only way to become fat-adapted is to reduce sugar intake, which is the purpose of all low carbohydrate diets. Why? When digested, all carbohydrates become sugars.
As many scientific studies have confirmed, we North Americans consume way too much sugar. Consuming too much sugar is a cause of the current epidemics of type-2 diabetes, obesity, hypertension, metabolic syndrome, cancer, and other diseases.
Typically, what happens as we grow older is that our metabolic rates decrease. Unless we become much more careful about our diet and exercise, our percentage of body fat increases. 70-year-olds have a lower metabolic rate than 20-year-olds and a higher percentage of body fat. Our internal organs function less efficiently as we age.
What are the ideal macronutrient percentages on a keto dietary plan? 75% fat, 20% protein, and 5% carbohydrates. So, a keto diet is high fat, moderate protein, and low-carb.
Of the three macronutrients, carbohydrates are, in theory, completely eliminable. Our bodies simply don’t need carbohydrates. In practice, keeping them down to 5% is do-able. Being in ketosis is all or nothing. If you are in ketosis and exceed 5%, you’ll knock yourself out of ketosis and have to work your way back into it.
Being on a high fat diet is eating in a more satiating way. That permits smaller meals and more time between meals, which makes it easier to consume fewer calories.
It’d be great to be able to eat intuitively in a way that’s healthful for our bodies, in other words, in a fat-adapted way.
A word of caution: it’s important to consume sufficient electrolytes (namely, salt, magnesium, and potassium) and other micronutrients, especially water, on a ketogenic dietary plan. They may be consumed using foods or supplements.
How many of these micronutrients should be consumed? Any responsible ketogenic diet plan will inform you.
If the subject of this post interests you, please learn more. There are multiple ketogenic diet plans available. Check them out for yourself.
My purpose here is only to alert you to a possibility worth considering if you are too fat, because most of us adult North Americans are.
The abundance of delicious, relatively inexpensive food is a blessing of modern civilization. Our problem is not misusing it, which is a good problem to have.
I encourage you to leave a comment below and wish you well.