My big fat ketogenic diet. Week 5

This week was a bit of an odd one for me.  I was living out of a hotel for most it which usually means huge breakfasts, hefty lunches and unhealthy restaurant dinners all rounded off with a few crafty beers in the evening.
This time, before leaving, I took some advice from the nutritionist Matt Lovell, who suggested that I try to restrict my eating window to a single large meal every day.   By the way, if you are in the market for some science based nutritional advice I would highly recommend that you check out Matt’s work.   I recently completed one of the courses he runs along with Gavin Allinson and I would highly recommend them, the information and training included in them really are second to none.
So I decided to take the advice and give it a go and apart from a healthy snack around lunch time, usually nuts or jerky, I had one meal a day in the evening.  Another tactic that I used was to cheat a little by using an exogenous ketone supplement called Keto OS which pretty much took any of the hunger away that I may have felt.   Keto OS works by putting you into ketosis within about 30 mins of drinking it meaning that you can start burning your own body fat for fuel almost immediately.  I believe these supplements really are going to be a game changer and I think that we are going to see a lot more of them as they develop.
It all ended up working out really well for me as I only had one meal to navigate each day and I could go big on the meat and veg which was awesome.   Often I doubled up on the starters and with a healthy main I was able to stay quite low carb so hopefully was staying ketogenic.
So my weight this week was 13st 10lb and 23% fat so I’m down 4lb and have broken the 14st barrier that was always a bit of a psychological milestone for me.  I’m pretty impressed with this especially as I wasn’t able to properly track my calories this week or weigh myself to check my progress.

Date

Weight

Loss/Gain

Total loss

Fat %

13/02/17

14st 9

Start

25

20/02/17

14st 6.5

-2.5

2.5

24

27/02/17

14st 3

-3.5

6

24

06/03/17

14st

-3

9

23.5

13/03/17

14st

0

9

24

20/03/17

13st 10

-4

13

23.5

My big fat ketogenic diet. Week 4

My weight today is 14st, not a great result as I really wanted to break below 14st this week.  Now I did have a few ales over the week which no doubt took me out of ketosis so I can’t really complain or be surprised at this lack of progress. On the up side they were bloody nice.  Also I haven’t been near a kettlebell this week as I’m still carrying an injury.

I think it’s really important, especially when dieting, to have and retain a healthy relationship with food and whilst it’s true that some rules have to be followed in order to get into ketosis and remain there, it’s also a good idea not to get too obsessed about it. It’s all too easy to view a slight set back as a complete failure and then give up.

So with that in mind… onwards and upwards.

This week coming I have the challenge of being away with work, which means eating out for every meal and having far less control than I would when I’m at home. If I’m eating at anything other that a chain restaurants tracking calories and macros will be difficult and being surrounded by people going big on the carbs could be difficult but I’m determined to give it my best shot.

The plan is to use intermittent fasting, with my first meal being lunch and then later having a healthy dinner which will probably comprise of meat and non starchy veg.

Booze is definitely out. Probably.

Date

Weight

Loss/Gain

Total loss

Fat %

13/02/17

14st 9

Start

25

20/02/17

14st 6.5

-2.5

2.5

24

27/02/17

14st 3

-3.5

6

24

06/03/17

14st

-3

9

23.5

13/03/17

14st

0

9

24

My big fat ketogenic diet Week 3

At the start of this week I managed to pick up an injury so unfortunately I’ve had to lay of the kettlebell training and rest up. Even with this set back I’ve still managed to chalk up some more fat loss.

Although body weight is the key metric that I’m tracking, my goal in all of this is not actually to lose weight but to lose body fat while preserving as much muscle mass as possible. To achieve this it’s vital that I get enough protein in my diet and getting the balance right between protein and fat is key.

I tend to measure my fat levels using scales which give a body fat percentage based on electrical bioimpedance, whilst this isn’t a totally accurate way to measure body fat it does seem to be quite consistent. According to the scales I started out at 25% fat and this week I’m down to 23.5% so as long as that figure keeps dropping I’ll be happy.

In terms of what I’ve been eating this week I’ve been trying to add a little more variety to my protein intake as so far it’s been mainly steak, chicken or sausages. I’ve started to try and introduce some fish into my diet especially oily types like mackerel. Avocados are also becoming a firm favourite as they not only taste great but are full of healthy fats, fibre, vitamins and minerals and only contain a net carb count of 2 grams.

So I think I’ve made some good progress this week and I’m looking forward to keeping it keto over the next one.

Date

Weight

Loss/Gain

Total loss

Fat %

13/02/17

14st 9

Start

25

20/02/17

14st 6.5

-2.5

2.5

24

27/02/17

14st 3

-3.5

6

24

06/03/17

14st

-3

9

23.5

 

My big fat Ketogenic diet. Week 2

I’m feeling very positive about my second week on the ketogenic diet and I really think that I’m starting to get the swing of things. I’ve really been enjoying all the high fat foods that I previously would of avoided, especially if I was tracking my calorie intake. It’s these high levels of fat in the diet that have proved to be very satiating so that I’ve never felt that I’ve been struggling to adhere to it.

Using MyFitnessPal to track my calories and macros, I’ve been able to hit about 1800 calories every day this week and I’ve managed to lose 3.5lbs which I’m pretty happy with especially as I haven’t felt hungry at any point.

Another reason to be pleased with my progress is that, over the weekend, not only did I manage to dodge a bag of Doritos which my wife was tucking into I also had a meal out in a restaurant without any issues and most importantly without feeling that I was missing out on anything.

I also managed to do a bit more training this week which no doubt has helped my results. I’ve starting kettlebell training under the tuition of the awesome Fionnbharr Toolan from Virtu which I’ll do a separate post about.

So far everything is moving in the right direction and I’m feeling really positive about the week to come.

Results:

Date

Weight

Loss/Gain

Total loss

13/02/17

14st 9

Start

20/02/17

14st 6.5

-2.5

-2.5

27/02/17

14st 3

-3.5

-6

The Ketogenic diet

Background to the Ketogenic diet a.k.a, Low Carb High Fat diet(LCHF)

Although the Ketogenic diet has gained in popularity recently, especially with diet plans such as The Atkins Diet, it is something that has been around in some form since the 1920’s.

It was originally used, very successfully,  in the treatment of epilepsy in small children but fell out of favour when new epilepsy drugs were introduced.  More recently it has been used in the treatment of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, neurological disorders, and even cancer.

The diet is basically formed by consuming high fat, moderate protein and low carbohydrates.  This results in the liver beginning to convert fat into fatty acids and ketone bodies and when this occurs we can be described as being in ketosis.  These ketones can then be used by the brain as fuel instead of glucose as it would with a standard diet.

It is this ability of the ketogenic diet to convert fat into fuel that has piqued peoples interest into using the diet for fat loss.

 

How to do it.

To get into a ketogenic state and begin to burn fat for fuel it is necessary to drop your carb intake to a low level.   Depending on the individual somewhere around 20g to 45g of carbs should do it.  Once this level is consistently achieved, after a few days the body should enter ketosis and begin using fat for fuel.

The specific macronutrient make up of the diet should be around 75% fat, 20% protein and 5% Carbohydrates and its wise to track these macros using a tool such as MyFitnessPal, as it is near impossible to hit the targets by simply guessing.

 

What to eat.

As term Low Carb High Fat suggests good quality fats can be consumed in reasonably large quantity’s.

  • The best fats to use are butter, ghee, coconut oil, lard, nut butters and uncooked olive oil.
  • All good quality meat and fish should be eaten.
  • Green leafy vegetables and salad should accompany most meals.

 

What not to eat.

Basically anything that is high in Carbohydrate such as:

  • All Grains and products made from them such as rice, breads and pasta.
  • Starchy vegetables like potatoes.
  • Beans and Legumes.
  • Many high carb Fruits.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My big fat Ketogenic diet. Week 1

I decided to give the ketogenic diet a go awhile back, but to be honest, I was a little nervous about starting something that I had perceived to be so restrictive.

Turns out I had nothing to worry about.

My first week has been far easier than I imagined it would be. Rather than feeling restricted, being on a high fat, low carb diet has actually been quite liberating.

For me this week has mainly been an experiment into what I can and can’t eat and more importantly what fits into family life. So far Coffee with loads of cream, eggs and avocados seem to be the winners.

I’ve also been using an exogenous ketone supplement called Keto O/S which has made transitioning into a ketogenic state far easier than it might have been otherwise.

Most importantly the results from the first week are pretty positive.

13/02/17 Start weight 14st 9
20/02/17 Week one 14st 6.5 -2.5lbs

Whilst it hasn’t been a mind-blowing loss, 2.5lbs is healthy amount to lose in a week, so all in all a decent start. I think I can take a lot of positives from this week and I’m now looking forward to continuing with this experiment and I’ll keep posting updates as I go.

Also if you want to know more about the Ketogenic diet I’ll do a post covering the basics of it and how to get started.

so whats this blog all about?

For the last number of years I have been on a quest to discover the holy grail of fitness and nutrition…

The perfect diet and exercise program, or at least one that works.

The more I have learnt over the years the more confused I have become.  Between fitness magazines, books, podcasts and documentaries I have immersed myself in information in the hope that I would find the truth.

So I decided to begin this blog to hopefully separate some of the fact from the fiction and to begin logging my journey through this confusing and often frustrating world.  In doing this I might even be able to help others in a similar position who are looking for the same things.

So if you’d like to join me I’d love to have you along.

You Ready? OK, lets do this.