Sunday, July 29, 2018

Crazy Keto Diet Experiment: If I Survive Keto Diet I Will Survive Everything

The Story of How I Got to Try Keto Diet

My foot hurt for some reason and I almost couldn't walk. I coincidentally did my regular three day long fast. My foot almost stopped hurting after fasting. Then it starting hurting again after I started eating. So I said to myself that's interesting, I will try longer fast, 6 days. I read about fasting and different diets. I found interesting fact, that fasting, probably low blood sugar, helps with bacterial infections and 80 % of cancer types and worsens viral infections. So instead of not eating I wanted to try to eat only fats so I don't have to fast and can keep low blood sugar.

I went to a closest supermarket and checked what foods could have high energy and low carbohydrates. I bought Cheddar cheese, peanut butter, almonds, sun flower seeds and chocolate. After not eating for two days I couldn't control myself and I ate the whole cheese (150 g) and the whole jar of peanut butter (300 g). Suddenly I got my usual clear mind back and I became a little bit self-conscious which as I later found out meant that I got kicked out of ketosis and my body started burning glucose again.

I started googling about different diets. First video that I saw and that blew my mind was Jordan Peterson - The Carnivore Diet Changed My Life! - Joe Rogan Podcast especially because it is Jordan Peterson and not some crazy guy who comes with and idea to be on a pizza diet because he is lazy. Anyway I fell through a rabbit hole. On the other side I found out a lot about keto diet.

Keto Diet

Ketosis is a state when body uses ketones for energy instead of usual glucose. Ketones body makes by breaking fats. Keto diet is such a diet which keeps body permanently in ketosis. The rules for keto diet are keep your daily carbohydrate intake bellow 20 g. Keep usual intake of protein (0.8 - 1.2 g per kg of body weight) and get most of the energy from fats. I recommend to use Ketogenic Calculator to get precise values for your body. Surprising fact for me was that we don't have to eat carbohydrates at all to survive.

The only food from those I bought that passes the keto diet test is cheese, it has effectively no carbohydrates and good ratio of fat and protein. I also added avocado to my food list and for a few days I stayed on a cheese and avocado diet until I figured out what healthy foods I can eat on keto diet. Since I am a vegan for more than five years already I didn't feel like starting eating meat. Thankfully I found A Comprehensive Guide To The Vegan Ketogenic Diet. One thing I couldn't get my head around was that most of the nuts and seeds have way too much carbohydrates so I can't eat enough of them to get enough fats and not to overcome the daily carbohydrate allowance. How on earth can I eat daily 200 g of fat on vegan keto diet except drinking half a bottle of olive oil?

Wondering what to eat instead of cheese, I felt terrible, I couldn't sleep, I couldn't work, I had no energy and I had heart beating in a weird way. I read it is common to have a "Keto flu" as a symptom of a transitioning to different source of energy and that body just needs some time to adjust and that it usually takes 3-12 days and in extreme cases 6 weeks. I was in my sixth day so I just said to myself that it will get eventually better.

I kept searching how to improve my dire condition. I found video /KETO FLU IS 100% AVOIDABLE// all about keto flu and how to avoid it saying that because of low insulin in keto diet body for some reason eliminates more salts than is usual and on keto diet we need to replace high doses of sodium, potassium and magnesium. So finally eating two teaspoons of salt per day and one magnesium pill (there is enough potassium in avocados already) solved most of my problems. How easy :)

On keto diet drinking water without salt is completely useless you will just pee the water and keep being thirsty.  Only adding little bit of salt allows body to keep the water.

Fibre

Finally I figured out how to solve problem with eating enough fat on a vegan keto diet and allowing me to cut out cheese completely. It's basically just an accounting problem on a package of any food there is a Carbohydrate content but it also includes fibre which your body mostly can't use for energy and it doesn't influence blood sugar level so you just need to subtract the fiber content from total carbohydrates to get net carbohydrates (Total Carbohydrates = Net Carbohydrates + Fibre) and suddenly I can fit enough nuts and seeds and even berries into my diet and still keep the carbohydrates allowance. More details can be found here: Nuts & Seeds on a Ketogenic Diet

Foods I Currently Eat

I bough a 30.000 rpm blender. And I eat most my meals as a smoothie. I find it super practical because it is fast to prepare, fast to eat/drink and I can use frozen fruits and veggies directly. My current keto smoothie consists of:
  • 100g frozen spinach
  • 100g frozen blueberries
  • 25g pea protein powder
  • 25g rice protein powder
  • 50g flax seed
  • 3g creatine
  • 100g walnuts
  • and stevia based sweetener equivalent of 25g of sugar
Macro nutrients content is 1.188 KCal, 90.4g fat, 66.8g protein, 22.4g carbohydrates

I daily add two avocados, coffee with MCT oil, salt, B12, D3, Magnesium pills. It covers almost everything I need. I haven't tweaked the content of micro nutrients yet. So I thing there is still a space for improvement.

Conclusion

I took it just as an experiment. I didn't know why I am doing it. I did it just to experience something new. I set a limit for 30 days. I knew that for 30 days I could survive almost any diet even the cheese diet. In 14 days I have learned so much. As they say, adults change only if they suffer. In those 14 days I have suffered a lot so I had a lot of opportunities to learn something knew and never forget it again because of the pain it is written deeply in my memory.

Yesterday I broke the keto diet in a spectacular way. I over ate myself so much. I ate two magnum ice creams, vegan hamburger, bag of cashew nuts, popcorn, maybe more, I don't remember. I felt terrible, you can imagine, I went straight to bed because basically I couldn't move. Thanks to that experience I realized that I want to keep my Keto Diet forever because it reduces my anxiety. It is a subtle effect but permanent. I think it can have far reaching consequences in my life. Most of the people who tried keto diet described reduced anxiety also (for example: Can The Ketogenic Diet Help with Anxiety? Here's my Personal Experience...). The related thing is that keto diet removes all cravings for food because cravings for food are actually cravings for sugar caused by sudden spikes of glucose levels in blood when we eat sugars/carbohydrates. If we don't eat any carbohydrates there are no spikes of glucose and thus no cravings.