I just thought I’d recap my learning experiences so far, and some key lifestyle factors in understanding its ways.
I feel there is, & should be, many questions in evaluating a new regime. Here’s my top 10 lessons learnt so far! (Personal trainer 10 = 11!!)
1. It’s helped keep me keep fuller, for longer than any other plan I’ve followed. I think the high fat personally has helped satiety majorly. This has enabled me to stick to 2-3 meals a day without snacking. Hunger has been totally knocked on the head!
2. It’s dangerous to label anything as ‘bad’ or ‘ ‘good’. What’s right for some might not be for others & vice versa. Unfortunately many people have had low fat eating drummed into them for many years- fats are a healthy part of eating – yes even saturated! (Shock!) So you don’t have to cut the fat off meat, infact the opposite-choose fattier meats! I know this is where most people struggle to comprehend. The research that showed low fat eating for health, was falsified by sugar industry related bodies. To consider the obesity epidemic it’s caused, they should be ashamed! (It’s the mix of fats & sugars that can be a dangerous addictive combination for some).
3. Carbohydrates ARE part of the ketogenic eating plan, they are just very carefully chosen. It tends to be the quick acting processed & refined ones that are minimised, which is sensible anyway! Even if you don’t follow the ketogenic eating, for most, reducing these can help.
4. Ketogenic eating is not a faddy diet like some others. It makes use of modern science & research. I know the ‘diet’ industry is full of bizarre plans that promise great results but since the foundation of ‘healthy’ eating has been destabilized, I do feel that it should be part of most people’s plans. This diet has been likened to the Atkins diet but it’s different in that its much lower in protein. Whilst Atkins was initially ridiculed, in light of current thinking, he wasn’t far off the mark!
5. Once your body has adapted to using ketones & fats as it’s primary fuel source, it can create great sustained energy. I have found much less peaks & troughs. I think where my energy has dipped, it’s either been my overall workload or probable dipping in & out of ketosis. I think even if you are not quite in full ketosis, it still is a healthy plan to follow.
6. Ketogenic eating has great health benefits for many conditions. I’ve read huge benefits for diabetics where type 2’s have reduced their condition, in a little over a month!! It can be used to reduce inflammation in the body, which has been shown to have huge health benefits.
7. Athletes are starting to understand the benefits of Ketogenic eating – especially for endurance related sports. Think about it- fat stores as energy will keep you going when carbohydrate stores have run out! Obviously the athlete will need to have gone through the ketogenic plan to get the body to switch.
8. Exercise can definitely help to quicken fat loss & keep/improve muscle BUT the diet has to be right first, otherwise you are fighting a losing battle. Get the food right, then add the exercise. Resistance training & high intensity intervals are highly recommended alongside this plan. (Remember these forms can be tailored to suit your own level of fitness).
9. If you are following the plan to reduce fat % there can be a number of reasons why it’s not working. Ketogenic eating suggests less than 20g a day and up to 50g for some. It’s easy to go over, if you don’t know where you are getting them from. Too much dairy & nuts can also be an issue for some, as can too much protein for another. The % are approximately 70% fat, 25% protein, & 5% carbohydrates.
10. Not every plan is right for everyone. I would encourage you to be your own detective & be aware of how food affects you. Simply keeping a food log with comments on hunger, energy & cravings alongside, will help you focus on what’s important. Specifically with this plan you really need to think ahead & prepare. Eating out, some meals can be adjusted to suit but it is a little harder to eat a snack on the run. The picture at the start shows my lunch on the run yesterday. Chicken, sour cream with chive & artichoke hearts in oil. Not perfect but pretty damn close!
11. Don’t forget to keep those stress hormones in check too! Too much cortisol in the system will not help your cause!