Do You Even Keto Bro?
There's no doubt about it that the Ketogenic Diet is hot. Everyone is talking about it and it's one of the top trending hashtags on the Gram at the moment. Even though the Keto diet has soared to stratospheric popularity it's not a new approach to a healthier lifestyle. In fact taking a Ketogenic approach when it comes to your diet borrows largely from the ancestral blueprint where our ancestors would eat according to the seasons and what's available. All sounds pretty straight forward doesn't it?
Here's where our diet gets a bit complicated. Convenience and the pursuit of easier meals in our already busy daily life has made sure that preservatives and additives are present in the majority of the foods that we would readily consume and that are available at the super market. How often do you check the packaging when you are at the grocery store? If you'd asked me even 4 years ago, it was never. But since making the switch to a cleaner way of eating you bet I check every nutritional panel of the foods that I consume. What am I looking for? Hidden sugars, carbs, preservatives and other nasties! BUT I DIGRESS!!!
When I transitioned from our old way of eating to a Primal approach back in 2014 I worked really hard to strip all the nasties out of our diet and I'll admit when I relaxed my eating rules last year I did notice a difference when they crept back in. My energy levels decreased, and I felt and noticed sharp increases in irritability when I had sugar - coincidence? Absolutely not. Refined sugar spikes your blood glucose levels and affects your liver's ability to produce insulin properly. Some people may spend their entire life with no noticeable side effects from a diet high in sugars, however I am not one of those people. I'm almost positive that I was insulin resistant - or very very close to being that way 4 years ago.
When I first started looking into the Keto way of eating it was suggested that I take a look at Mark Sisson's book - The Keto Reset Diet. Instead of diving headfirst into Keto as a way to get skinny quickly, it suggests that you ease your body into Ketosis, and to look at is as a way of life, and a way to achieve metabolic flexibility and work on your health as a larger picture rather then just shedding the kilos - It's a concept that really resonated with me, and I'm glad that I took that advice because Metabolic flexibility affords me the luxury to have my cake and eat it too - literally. Without worrying about having to bust my ass to get back into Ketosis.
It's readily accepted that a typical Ketogenic diet looks very much like this:
But I'll admit that eating a diet that is 70% fat is too much for me, and if you are really wanting to stick to an eating plan that will work for you and your lifestyle then you need to take time to work out what works for you.
You don’t have to eat a diet consisting of 70% fat to be in Ketosis, but you will need to watch your carbs. As a rule I keep my total carbs to under 50g of total carbs per day (I typically average 30-40g) If I'm putting in a particularly intense session at training then I might consider upping my intake, but usually the first thing that I'll increase is my protein due to the physical exercise I do. Typically for my weight, height, age, and level of activity I aim for between 120-150g of protein per day.
I don't like to count calories (hello?! Does anyone?) but each gram of protein and carbohydrate is worth 4 calories and each fat gram accounts for 9 of those little suckers, so as I’m still in the weight loss phase (and eating at a calorific deficit) my typical daily break down look like this!
200 cals from carbs (green leafy veggies are your friend)
540 cals from protein
600 cals from fat
Occasionally I’ll enjoy a glass of wine or a gin, but I don’t make it a frequent habit anymore.
Like I said above, if you’re considering Keto, low carb or otherwise, do your research. Look at what seems sustainable for you and your lifestyle because you’re more likely to succeed!
5 months of Keto and down 10kg.