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Archive for the ‘hydration’ Tag

Blog Update   Leave a comment

Sorry for the no posts over the last week.  As noted in my last post I was on vacation.  I had intended to spend a little time each day blogging but it didn’t happen.  I had a week to spend with friends and get things done and I used it for that.  While I do apologize for my absence I’m sure you all can understand why I won’t apologize for making time for friends.  I hope you wouldn’t apologize for that either.

Having said that we are well behind on my weigh in progress and for my first post back I am going to fix that problem.  Going into the vacation I was a bit worried about one thing, how much weight I’d gain back.  The reason being, I decided to go off keto for my time in Bellingham.  I felt this would make it easier on my friends who I was visiting.  I’ve worked hard since January 1st to take the weight off and I wasn’t happy that this would cause some of it to come back.  As with most fears, the actual events were certainly less scary than the fears themselves.

The first weigh in of the month I weighed in at 285.4 pounds.  I mention this because I decided to go off keto a couple days prior to flying out.  I’ve had keto days off since the beginning of the year and never reacted poorly to them.  The past few months I’ve been really low carb and was worried that introducing a lot of carbs all of the sudden might make me sick. I didn’t want to waste any time on vacation on that.  So I started a little early, and did feel a little off.  Mainly felt a heavy feeling in my stomach and a bit tired.  Nothing too bad.  This was before my Monday weigh.  As such I had already gone up in weight.  On 08/13 I weighed 288.8 pounds.  I hadn’t even flown out yet and I was up over 3 pounds. More fear creeped in.

Now while I was in Bellingham I did eat whatever I wanted, but I kept it in reasonable amounts.  As an example, the first night I was there I went to McKay’s for trivia night.  This was an old weekly ritual we had when I lived there over a year ago.  Clearly we spent a lot of time there as one of the bartenders said he missed me and was happy I was back.  This made my day.  Food options at McKay’s are limited and definitely not keto.  I had a couple slices of pizza, some cheesy bread, and cinnamon sticks.  But I didn’t go crazy and eat a whole pizza or drink a ton of alcohol.  I enjoyed myself but kept it in boundaries.  The other bit of balance I brought with me was the commitment to get in a lot of walking each day.  I easily doubled my usual walking time every day I was there. And unlike here in Alabama where it’s mainly flat land, Bellingham, Washington State is hilly as all get out.  So twice the time and twice the difficulty.  I did this every day I was there, without exception.

The week went by pretty quick and I arrived home mid evening on this past Tuesday.  I had been fasting from a few hours before bed on Monday.  I had coffee, and a packet of Nomatic Keto creamer (35 calories of MCT Oil and fiber) but nothing else.  After relaxing for an hour at home I knew the time of accountability had arrived.  I walked into the bathroom with a small amount of trepidation, ready to survey the damage.

And then the scale made me realize I had been more worried than I should be.  I weighed 295 pounds.  After a week of carbing up and not worrying about food choices I hadn’t even gained a full 10 pounds.  Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t happy I’d put on nearly 10 pounds, just happy it wasn’t the 15-20 I feared it might be.  The story gets better.  I had told myself I would do a 48 hour fast. I still had another day of fasting to go.  After I was done fasting I’d weigh myself again to see what the results were.

I fasted all day Wednesday, went to sleep, and Thursday morning I carried out my usual routine for weighing in on Mondays.  I stepped on the scale and to my surprise I only heard one beep.  Now the scale I use from Greater Goods (affiliate link below, just click the image) syncs via wireless to their server and then an app on my phone.  The first beep means the weigh in is done, the second means the results have been synced to the server.  By the time I looked down to see what was going on the screen was already blank.  So I stepped off and stepped on again and this time when I heard the first beep I looked down and the screen said 284.4 pounds.  That was the problem.  The scale has automatic user detection.  It does this by figuring out which user is within 10 pounds of the weight.  As I had weighed in at 295 pounds on Tuesday my scale didn’t know it was me.  I got a glass of water, took my shower, got dressed, and then looked up how to tell the scale I’m me.  After figuring that out I went back in and told it I’m User 1 before weighing in.  This time it would have detected me anyway as I weighed in at 285.2 pounds due to the water I had drank, and most likely absorbed while showering.

The second number is the one I’ll use as it’s the one that was recorded into my log.  So I started out at 285.4 with 39% body fat, or 111.3 pounds.  After everything was said and done I was at 285.2 with 39.1% body fat, or 111.5 pounds.  Basically after all that I found myself back where I started.  Not bad for a week plus break from keto.

I’ve had a few days since then.  I’m back on keto now.  I’ll weigh myself in as usual on Monday morning and we’ll see how the numbers hold.  As for right now I’m pretty happy with it.  I realize now, as is often the case, I worried too much as it wasn’t as bad as I thought.  Most of the gain was water weight that I quickly purged via a fast.  It also reminds me that even if your diet isn’t great if you can just get out there and exercise you can tip the balance back in your favor.

That’s it for today’s check in.  Now that I’m off vacation I want to go back to trying daily posts.  We’ll see how that goes.  But as I’ve learned from the last week or so I’m going to just roll with things and not worry so much about consequences as worry is a no win game.  Hope you’re having a great day, and see you soon.

 

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Electrolytes and Keto   Leave a comment

One of the problems I’ve had with the keto diet is I occasionally feel a little run down. Or I get headaches out of the blue.  It doesn’t happen as often now that I’ve been doing it for over half a year, but at first it happened a lot.  This had to do with a major change in my body that is easy to fix if you understand what’s going on.

When you adapt from a glucose based energy system to a ketone based one, how well you retain water changes.  Glucose in your system allows you to retain water easier.  When you become keto adapted your body is in a state where your blood glucose levels show as fasted most of the time, so you retain less water.  This explains the rapid weight loss right after you start on keto.  Your body is expelling water it no longer has the glucose to retain.  This is just a quick explanation, for a more detailed one just Google “glucose water retention” or “keto water retention” and you’ll get a good list of articles by people substantially more educated on the subject then myself.

When your body expels water it also expels electrolytes.  And it’s the lack of electrolytes that leads to the fatigue and headaches.  Fortunately replacing them is relatively easy, save for one.  I’ve included links to the products I’ll mention below.  They’re all Amazon affiliate links.

The first thing to keep in mind is if you’re losing electrolytes due to water loss you need to replace the water along with the electrolytes to get the balance back.  To do this I recommend keeping a bottle of water with you at all times.  My bottle of choice is an insulated version of the Blender Bottle.  I’ll throw a little ice in it and then fill it up with water.  It insulates really well.  I’ve had ice chunks stay frozen in it all day, and the water stay ice cold over night.  Best part is that if you use it for mixing supplements it comes with the Blender Bottle whisk ball that makes sure everything dissolves nicely.

The supplement I’ve used to take care of the fatigue and headaches is Keto Vitals.  It comes in a pill form so it’s easy to take.  It’s not too pricey and gives me a quick, small shot of the four electrolytes I need (magnesium, calcium, sodium, and potassium) to get me back on track.  Some days I need a little extra so I’ll take 2, but I’ve never needed more then that to get up and running again.

If I want something to flavor my water, I’ll add Nuun tablets.  They have a variety of flavors and even different formulations (like one for hydration and another designed to give you more energy).  The flavors are good, plus it gives the water a fizzy feel like soda.  This can be helpful if you’re first switching over and are missing your soda fix.  If you use this with the Blender Bottle don’t seal the bottle lid right away because it will build up pressure.  I doubt it would create enough pressure to damage the bottle but it could make it a pain in the neck unscrewing the cap.  Put the tablet in and just let it sit open until it stops fizzing and then it’s ok to put the lid on.

Another supplement I take to help things along is a multi-vitamin.  They contain some of the electrolytes you need, plus have the benefits of a multi-vitamin.  My preferred one is Centrum Silver for Men.  It’s for older men (50+), which I’m not quite yet, but close enough that I figured why not.  If you follow the link by clicking on the picture below it will have links to the one for women and a general one for adults, not just the men’s formula.  Just scroll down a bit.

Now I mentioned that electrolytes are relatively easy to replace save for one.  Between the Keto Vitals and the Centrum Silver I’ve gotten most of what I need back.  With my dietary intake I’ve closed the gap on all but one, which will remain low still.  That one is potassium.  When I tracked my dietary intake near the beginning of this journey I noticed I was always running low on potassium. All the electrolytes are important so I needed to figure out a way to fix that imbalance.  Luckily I found a really easy, but unexpected way to make it happen using the Blender Bottle full of water I start with every day.

I found a product called No Salt on Amazon.  It was designed for people needing to control their sodium intake (which is generally not a problem for keto lifestyle people).  Instead of being sodium chloride (table salt) it’s potassium chloride.  It doesn’t taste exactly like salt but it’s close enough for my purposes.  Each 1/4 teaspoon serving gets you 20% of your potassium needs for the day.  So along with using it to “salt” my food I eat I also add a 1/4 teaspoon into my first water bottle.  Dissolved in the water you can taste a slight difference but it isn’t a bad taste.  If I drink about half the bottle and fill it back up again the taste goes away.  That plus my dietary intake gets me most of the way.  On days when I feel like I might be getting tired I’ll just do another water with No Salt to top me off.

That’s how I deal with the water retention/electrolyte issue involved with keto.  If you have other ways I’d love to hear them.  Leave a comment below.  And again if you’re interested in any of the products I mentioned there are Amazon affiliate links below. The affiliate link doesn’t change the price for you but does benefit me so I appreciate the support.  Have a great day and see you next time.