According to Kim Kardashian, she lost 34kgs on the keto diet. I don’t usually go quite as strict as keto but…
Here’s where I’m at with my nutrition. It’s been a long and summery break here for a New Zealand University academic (me). Beaches, surfing, sun…good times. The thing is that when you are Low Carb Healthy Fat for a long time, you start to creep back into fooling yourself both about your own body composition and being LCHF.
The reality is I’ve eaten more carbs than I should, I’m a bit overweight than I’d like to be, and I feel more sluggish than I’d like to.
What am I talking about? I’m talking about eating some carb snacks here and there, a few beers, a takeaway meal full of carbs. Fine, I say to myself, I’m the one who came up with the “3 meal rule”. That’s when you allow yourself up to three meals a week when things don’t go completely to plan (a meal out, a birthday celebration, wedding, etc).
You tell yourself what you want to hear. We all do this, don’t we?
Here’s the trip of lies:
1. Because I haven’t been working as much, I’ve been surfing more, running more and think, “what the heck, I’m running it off anyway”. Not true, you can’t out-run a poor diet.
2. I don’t bother checking my weight. Deep down I knew it was going up.
3. I tell myself that these are the holidays and you have to relax a bit. The truth was I was well relaxed, and a poor diet didn’t add to any extra relaxation, in fact it made me feel worse.
Here’s what I’m doing right now. I’m calling it the 10 Day Keto Reset. It’s a great way to start into low carb, or if you are like me and have been LCHF for years, it’s a great chance to get back to basics and remind yourself and those around you just what the benefits and basic rules around Low Carb Healthy Fat eating are.
The 10 day challenge is just the right amount of time to re-set things a bit, get your fat oxidation rates right up there, and get the habits back on track into the new year.
My rules for my 10 Day Keto Challenge:
1. No snacks. For some reason I drifted into snacking at any moment, not because I was hungry but because I just did. My go-to foods were cheese and nuts – both great LCHF foods and nutritious for sure. But these are things you should eat when you need them. After all, a big benefit of LCHF is not having to snack all the time because you are hungry.
2. Go really low carb – I usually don’t go for a full ketogenic diet. Average around 80-120 g carbs a day when I’m highly active and on track. More recently I expect that the bad days would have been closer to 160 g/day of carbs which hardly even qualifies as LCHF eating. The trouble is when you eat that many carbs for a while then you lose the ability to be a great fat burner and easily access ketones as your primary fuel source when you need them. So 10 days of being really super strict on the carbs is a great way to get the fat oxidation rates way up again and returning to being the fat burning machine I usually am. I’m aiming for 20-30 g carbs/days over the next 10 days.
3. Eat two meals a day. This works really well for me logistically and introduces a big period where my insulin and blood glucose are low and I have to rely on fat burning as my primary fuel source. It’s a nice way of getting a compressed eating window in. I’ll either miss breakfast and have a well prepared salad/oil/protein lunch and a usual meat/vege LCHF dinner, or I’ll have an egg based breakfast and miss lunch and eat dinner. I find it very behaviourally hard to miss dinner with my family and it’s socially awkward so I always eat dinner.
4. Weigh myself. OK this isn’t obsessive compulsive, but it’s just for 10 days and I’ll see the start I need from following the above protocols. Its good to take notice of where you are at sometimes.
5. Test my blood ketones. I’ll do this once a day just to make sure I really am getting back into nutritional ketosis. If you don’t want to do this bit you don’t have to. An alternative way is that I check (usually as some fun with my oldest son) how long I can hold my breath for. I notice that when I’m in ketosis it more than doubles. It’s hard to beat him when I’m eating too many carbs, but I can easily beat him when I’m fat adapted (OK slightly weird I know, but that’s what I do….).
6. Alcohol free. I like a wine or a low carb beer, but it’s time to have a break for a few weeks, well at least 10 days. I’ll probably go for longer on this challenge.
7. Tell people what you are doing and why. Mostly people want to help, and mostly they’ll probably join in as well. Ask and you will receive!
The net result – a couple of kilos of unwanted fat will disappear, I’ll be fat burning, and I will have re-set those bad habits that crept back in. I’ll be good to go for the year!