Ketogenic experiment- Wk 5- cancer & exercise

Personal Space Bristol Personal Training Studio

I’m still learning & reading on this fascinating subject, which made me think about questions you might have reading this. Believe me when I say, I don’t take things for face value, I am continually critiquing & learning. My thoughts this week made me question – why follow this programme? What are the pros & cons?

Very valid questions when you are looking at changing & improving your health, without bringing about other issues.

Last week we looked at cholesterol, another main fear is cancer. One concern is foods that are eaten increasing cancer likelihood.
When following the ketogenic plan you are more than likely increasing the amount of meat & associated fats you eat. It’s actually recommended to have grass fed & organic meat for that reason to minimize chemicals coming into the system.
(How much it’s actually organic is another debate!!)

Obviously I have to mention whether cancer itself is a metabolic disease or genetic disease, as it’s an age old argument. As usual the jury is out as it depends on the individual & the type of cancer.
Without knowing the specifics of either, I would still want to eat the best that I could, to minimize its effects.

Ketogenic eating is touted to be an anti cancer diet, mainly due to the fact the cancer is known to mainly feed on sugars & obviously carbohydrates are kept to a minimum with this plan.

Tumour cells readily take up more glucose, so much so, that in some scans, they use a radiolabelled version of glucose, to find growths!

I have read about ketogenic eating being better than chemotherapy, but at the moment that appears unfounded. Knowing what I now know though, having previously had skin cancer, I don’t want to increase any likelihood of it coming back!

Physical training started again over this last week or so. I had a great start by introducing my son, Tom, into the delights of the weights gym in a proper fashion – luckily he loved it, as did I!

Training did not make me more hungrier post exercise & I had good energy to train too. Considering I have been only eating 20-30 grams of carbs a day, that’s pretty good!

I would heartily recommend resistance/weight training alongside this, as it helps to sustain & hopefully improve muscle, which as we know, in metabolic terms, has a great effect on firing the body up! (Burning more calories).

I’ve read different figures, but one pound of muscle, burns at rest, between 30-50 calories without doing anything!!

So you can see the advantage of not losing muscle, whilst trying to lose bodyfat.
Hence the importance of focus to lose fat & not ‘weight’- a huge difference!
We lose muscle each year from our mid twenties (!) through aging. The levels can be decreased in the ‘if you don’t use it, you lose it syndrome, kicks in!’ (Muscles waste if they are not used!)

The other type of training that works well with this plan is high intensity training, where you work to your limit, then recover, repeatedly.
For instance sprinting outside for 20 seconds as fast as you can then recover, ready to repeat again. You might only do this for 10-20 minutes total time (depending on fitness- including rest). Or inside the house you could runn up & down the stairs.

There are different ways of doing this depending on your fitness. I really like, & would encourage, rest based intervals to start with, where you push to your own individual limit, then take time out to recover, until you are ready for those efforts again. It’s up to you, within reason (!) how long you take to recover.

The body reacts well to being pushed & it’s an excellent way of firing up the metabolism (great first thing in the morning before breakfast).

Later on you could try defined rest & work intervals like 30sec on, then 30sec off, but that can be harder, as you might not recover as well in between.

My energy seems very stable, I had some tiredness on one day, but I think that was just as I had a very busy long day!!

I’ve noticed if I don’t get my fats correct, my hunger returns, so it’s worth finding your tipping point to decide how much you need to satiete, but also in this case, create a deficit.

Talking of which, my ‘weight’ for this week hasn’t budged much, only a fraction, however I’m not concerned, as I feel so much better & my clothes are definitely getting looser and I feel ‘tighter’.
I’m getting more back into the resistance/weight training now so I’m not expecting the scales to always tell the truth about the progress in my body.

Personally I have previously found it relatively easy to put on muscle, so I will expect some weight (muscle) gain. At the same time if I keep my eye off the ball, I can lay down fat easily too!

It’s worth mentioning again that fat loss is not uniform. Your body is not keeping tally of everything. The danger thinking is,
“so I’ve been really strict, avoided things, been faithful to my programme, so X should happen”.
Unfortunately it doesn’t work like that. Stick with it & if it doesn’t work – change something to make it work!

Best wishes
Stuart 😊