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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.

The Remedy:

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!

Join the discussion 23 Comments

  • Avatar Eles says:

    I am on day 9 and I have lost 6 lbs so far. I have kept my carbs minimal (no carbs, except for the few that low carb veggies, sour cream and Greek yourghrt might have). My average carb intake from the above sources varies from 15-20g per day. I have also incorporated mct oil. I have not had even a piece of fruit. The Keto diet is absolutely great for me. Before, I did not know how to stop myself when eating high carbs, now I am not even tempted. It completely removed my crazy carb cravings. My bowel movements are a lot easier and more regular. No bloating, or gas anymore. On day 3 I experienced the Keto flu. I was exhausted to the point that I could not get off the bed. I had nausea and extreme headache. I forced myself to eat a salad with 2 tablespoons of mct oil in it and 20 min after I was feeling much better. Insomnia has been a problem for me on Keto and the solution that worked for me, was eating 2 tablespoons of sour cream with 1 tablespoon of mct oil mixed in, half avocado and ten olives. I love Keto. I hasn’t been the easiest, but definitely works for me.

  • Avatar Bryce McKeown says:

    I’m planning on going into ketosis (<20g) and wanted to know of a meal plan that would be helpful so as to take the stress of planning meals away. Can you recommend something as the meals in the book seem to high in carbs for this.

  • Avatar Janet says:

    Well done The holiday is over! I am impresssed ! Very motivating !

  • What The Fat? What The Fat? says:

    Hi,

    here’s some ideas about what might help us get past plateaus. They are explanations of what happens during weight loss on a keto diet, rather than specific instructions
    Ketosis is desirable during weight loss because it suppresses the appetite – but this effect may not fully kick in for a while; leptin sensitivity (which tells you you don’t need to eat when your stored energy is ready to burn) may also take a while to reboot.
    At first ketosis is produced from the fat you eat, but you want to replace that fat with the fat reserves on your body if you’re losing weight; so eventually added fat in your diet will reduce as you burn body fat. It’s easiest if you adjust to fat burning first (keto-adapt).
    As you lose weight, the amount of energy your body needs decreases – if you continue to eat the same amount, you’ll eventually stop losing weight.
    Unsaturated fats and the medium chain fats in coconut oil are burned faster (are more ketogenic) than the kind of saturated fats in dairy and red meat – some people find they only get easy ketogenic weight loss on nuts, chicken, pork crackle, olives, fish – these are more unsaturated fats; and not with dairy or red meat (this probably depends on genetics).
    Too much protein or carbs creeping up can inhibit ketosis – but some people do swear by a keto diet with no added fat, not counting protein, just eating natural protein foods – eggs, meats, fish, chicken, avocado, cheese, nuts – with their natural fats attached, plenty of green veges, and a few berries.
    Intermittent fasting can help too – see Grant’s blog on fasts here.
    In other words, different approaches to ketogenic dieting work for different people, but they all have one thing in common – really cut the carbs, make sure you’re eating nutritious, delicious food, get enough salt, and when you’re ready, try to replace the fat with the fat you want to lose.

  • Avatar Judy Mackay says:

    I’m similar to Diane and Susie in that I seem to still take weight off relatively slowly and plateau at about 4 to 5 kilos. Any suggestions for us?

  • Avatar marie says:

    The woman whose bronchitis developed son after starting lchf, may be having a reaction to loss of a food that was eaten more before, (withdrawal) or a reaction to increasing a food whose level was managed more or less before, .- i.e. an intolerance was unmasked.
    Some of the benefit of lchf is due to avoiding poorly tolerated foods. Poorly tolerated foods can raise blood sugar too much, likewise blood pressure and major fluctuations in pulse rate 20, 40 60 mins after meals
    Marie Lockie

  • Avatar Susie says:

    Hi there – I have been following this LCHF lifestyle on and off for several years now and it really is the right way to eat for me. Every now and then I get bored and try a new mantra of just eating healthy and include carbs, but within a couple of months I am well off track, really hungry and gaining weight. So I am back on LCHF and feel great. However…. I have this ongoing issue, in that I lose the initial 4 kgs and then just when I am really in the swing of things, it all stops. This has happened the last 4 times I have embarked on it and sometimes I can go another whole month in this plateau and about that time I give up as I’m not seeing the results. Have you got any advise on this as I feel great on it and am motivated and incorporate exercise into my daily lifestyle, but am once again plateauing as I am going through week 4. My other question is how do you measure Ketones? Is there an easy way to do this? Maybe this is my issue? Or maybe its because I am going through menopause which seems to be a factor for many women? Thanks Susie

  • Avatar Charmaine Boocock says:

    HI Grant, thanks for the info. I have also slipped carbs back into my diet so am definitely going to try your 10 day keto challenge.

    What do you use to measure ketones?

  • Avatar Kate says:

    I’d love to know what & how much you actually eat in a day? I can’t imagine what you are talking about actually works out to be in reality? Thanks

  • Avatar Sarah says:

    Hi Grant, today is day 13 of LCHF and have made many mistakes! Had the keto flu for two days but also had bronchitis so wasn’t aware till after what it was and I ate some carbs which I now know is a total fail. My bronchitis was diagnosed after I started the new eating program and didn’t want to quit! I am measuring my intake like you recommend and protein is the level you recommend for my ideal weight. Carbs have been more like 50-80gms. Should I just lower carbs to 20gms or under to ensure I get fat adapted? I have had the other symptoms you warn like metallic taste in mouth. I have been ruthless on the sugar and alcohol front but just failed on getting the carb level right. Am already losing weight but want to ensure I am not in the grey zone you talk about trying to get fat adadpted. Please advise best next step.

    • What The Fat? What The Fat? says:

      Hi Sarah,
      First I would keep up the carbs until the bronchitis goes away and then start the whole process when healthy….otherwise it probably is a good idea to limit the carbs more and see if you feel better. Having extra salt during adaptation is important too.

  • Avatar Katia says:

    I am on lchf for more then a year and just wondering about checking ketones. My ketonesare 0.1. It goes up to 0.3-0.4 when i do 36 hours fast. But then it drops back to 0.1 the next day. What am I doing wrong?

    • Avatar Bethany says:

      Chances are you are eating either too many carbohydrates or too much protein. I would highly recommend tracking your daily consumption via https://www.myfitnesspal.com/.

      Carbs should be kept under 20grams per day when you are trying to get into ketosis. There is an ongoing argument about net carbs, but if you aren’t getting into ketosis then restrict it to 20grams or less of total carbs per day. For people with metabolic issues you may even need to restrict this to almost no carbs for 2 weeks while you get into ketosis.

      The other culprit could be protein – you should eat no more than 1gram of protein for every kg of lean muscle mass you have. I personally don’t know how to measure my body fat percentage, but based on my weight of 57kg I always keep my protein intake at 50-55grams (sometimes a bit less) per day and this seems to work well. A good place to start is to think of your ideal healthy weight, and that should be a good indication of how much protein to eat in grams.

      To get the benefits of being in ketosis you need a ketone reading of a minimum of 0.5. Don’t give up, it just take a bit of tweaking and tracking, but once you get the balance right it’s well worth the effort!

      Please feel free to email me if you would like to talk further. I started my keto journey last year, and I’ve never looked back! There isn’t a lot of awareness in NZ about keto that I’ve come across, so I’m really keen on connecting with other NZ keto freaks!

      – Beth
      ketogenicgirls@gmail.com

      • What The Fat? What The Fat? says:

        That’s great – thanks very much for helping share the knowledge!
        I will add that if Katia’s ketones still don’t rise to 0.5 after a 36 hour fast, it may be that the meter you are using is reading a bit low. If you are using a prick test, some people have reported that the type of swab used beforehand affects glucose results, I’m not sure if this applies to ketones too.

  • Avatar Laurina Flikweert says:

    Great plan. I am adamant to keep that diabetes + liver enzymes under control. Went out for dinner with friends last night. Most meals on the menu had wedges, chips or crumbed stuff on it of which the rest of my friends had a plate full. I had pan fried blue cod, steamed veggies and had salad instead of chips. Fresh fruit and freshly whipped cream for desert. Blood sugars all good this morning, Weight up 200 grams. That’ll be gone by tomorrow. 10 kg’s down to 70 kg’s. I’m not even tempted to stray, love this way of eating and how it makes me feel. I’m quite pleased with myself.

  • Grant Schofield Grant Schofield says:

    I’ll write something next week about what I ate and how it went….
    Grant

  • Avatar Kath says:

    Awesome! Just what I needed.
    Overwhelmed at work- totally stressed, looked at the muffins provided at morning tea and thought’ actually I don’t want to feel stressed and sick-headachy due to the sugar’ – think I’m starting to really get the benefits of the woe- I’m going to do the 10 day challenge too- thanks for the motivation

  • Avatar Simon Thompson says:

    Well put Grant. It does not hurt to re discover the benefits of Keto after a fall. At least you got enough Vit D and Sodium surfing mate!

  • Avatar Rose says:

    Like your idea of a 10 day Challenge. Will you be putting up suggested recipes to help through the day? Also if I have a good breakfast in the morning and decide that the next meal be dinner do you recommend nuts as snacks during the day especially when you hit the 3 pm slumps?

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