I’ve been dabbling in the art of ketosis since the start of the new year. It’s not my first crack at it, probably 3rd or 4th. I’ve always struggled to keep my energy levels up while ‘low carbing’. For those not familiar with ketones, you can think of them as alternative fuel source for your body. Normally we use glucose to power our brain, muscles and essential organs. Glucose can be easily obtained from, well, most foods in the western diet. Anything with carbs will give you glucose. When your body is starved of glucose it switches to this ancient back-up plan of burning fat so you won’t die (easily anyway). Most of us have a good amount of fat to spare, so the body is happy to do this. The challenge is when you start to get into the single digits of body fat that there’s an issue. Your body is smart enough to know that the fat reserves are low and it begins to slow your metabolism to a crawl. This unfortunately leads to unintended weight game. What an amazing and annoying adaptation.
Why cut out carbs?
To lose weight is the most common reason. Carbs add up fast and your body loves to store any excess as fat for a rainy day. The other reason is to maintain decent insulin levels and prevent the massive ebbs and flows of energy levels. I’ve personally found that with my schedule, it’s nearly impossible to eat small frequent meals throughout the day. Instead I end up skipping breakfast, having a massive lunch (carb LOOOOADED) and well rounded dinner. What hurts me is the lunch. After fasting for breakfast, I’m borderline hypoglycaemic and the big lunch just destroys my energy levels. I’m asleep by 1:30. Not good when you’re responsible for educating tomorrow’s leaders.
So hear I am. 4th time’s the charm! I have to admit, after listening to Dom D’Agstino (ketonutrition.org) on the Tim Ferriss (4hourworkweek.com) podcast, I was convinced to try it again. Apparently he deadlifted some astronomical weight (like 400 lbs) while in ketosis. I learned that calories are hard to come by and I likely was in an unwanted deficit. Thus my energy levels sucked. Especially in the gym.
As of now, I’m doing well. No afternoon crashes. The gym is hard because my body has hardly any glycogen to work with, but I’ll keep at it for another few weeks.
If you're interesting in following me, stay tuned under the Keto tab above.