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Archive for the ‘keto’ Tag

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.

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Monthly Update time.   Leave a comment

Yesterday was the monthly weigh in.  The results were good, but below what I needed to ensure I would be at or below 280 by the time of my trip to Bellingham.  I weighed in at 285.4 pounds.  That’s 7.6 pounds down from last month’s update.  A solid amount, but unfortunately it drops me just below averaging 10 pounds a month.  Not a complaint, just an observation.  My body fat percentage was 39.0% so I’m carrying 111.3 pounds of body fat.  Last month I was at 40.3%, amounting to 118.1 pounds, a difference of 6.8 pounds.  Muscle mass came in at 26.7% for a total of 76.2 pounds of muscle.  Last month it was 25.9%, totally 75.9 pounds, for a gain of .3 pounds of muscle.  That doesn’t sound like a lot but considering my usual method of exercising is walking with just a small amount of body weight exercise I think that’s pretty good.  The remaining pound of difference, give or take, comes from lost water weight.

As for exercise I think I could be doing a little better but I wouldn’t call my performance bad.  I get in at least one exercise session a day, and manage to close my 30 minute exercise ring half the time and get over half the ring 90% of the time.  There were also a number of those full ring days where I actually went well into a second ring.  Another fact to keep is for whatever reason my Apple Watch is widely inconsistent on counting exercise time. To reliably count it I need to have the exercise app tracking an activity.  So there were plenty of times I was getting a walk in that didn’t get reflected in the numbers because the watch didn’t view it as exercise.  Next month’s goal is to have at least 75% of the days be closed rings.

Food tracking wise I again have to report poor progress.  The food tracker requires inputting specific food amounts which requires weighing.  I just haven’t devoted the time in preparing meals to do the weighing.  I know I should but I get busy and don’t get it done.  Not making excuses but I think it’s also because as long as I’m following the basic keto guidelines in what I eat and I’m making progress, good progress even, I just haven’t prioritized this because it isn’t “essential”.  But I also remind myself that I have no way of knowing how much better I could be doing if I were to optimize my performance by including more accurate tracking.

And finally it’s picture time.  The top picture is this month’s progress pic, and each picture below it is going back in time.  The split image ones are my progress pics each month going backwards.  The one of me in the shorts and grey USA t-shirt was just a happy pic for me to take.  The shorts are waist size 48 and they fit comfortably enough to wear. At one time I wore a size 60 waist, so progress.  The one in the Flash t-shirt would be my “starting pic” which was actually a week or so after I started because I hadn’t thought to take one on day 1.  And the last pic of me in the black jacket goes back to 2013 when I was heavier still.  Don’t know if that was at my heaviest, which was 380 pounds, but it was close if not that.  When I see today’s progress pic and look all the way down at that it amazes me just how much progress I’ve made.  But there’s still a ways to go, and I’m confident I’ll get there.  Thanks for support and I’ll see you next month.

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07/30/2018 Weigh In   Leave a comment

Made a little better progress this week.  My weight was 288.2 pounds, down 2 pounds from last week.  My body fat percentage went from 39.7% to 39.5% which is a 1.4 pound difference.  The .6 remaining pounds was most likely water weight. My muscle mass percentage went from 26.2% to 26.4%, which means I stayed pretty steady at 76 pounds muscle mass.

I have to admit that I’m happier about this result for a bad reason.  I was a little lax on exercising this week.  It wasn’t that I didn’t exercise.  Or that I didn’t do a good amount of exercising this week.  Honestly, though, I know I could have done better.  As I get lighter and in better shape there’s no reason why I shouldn’t be exercising longer and more intensely.

On a good note, I am noticing that my heart rate stays lower while I exercise.  This being another reason I know I should be pushing harder.  But it’s also a good sign that I’m getting fitter each day.  Definitely need to get out more and increase my jog time.

Nutrition wise, while I still need to do a better job of tracking on a more consistent basis, I am doing a better job overall of meeting my keto needs while getting more protein in.  I’ve tracked my ketone levels on meals where my protein intake was very high to see the effect and my blood glucose level still stays in the fasted range.  One reading was slightly above 100 mg/dL, but since that’s the top for when you are actually fasted I’m not too worried about that.  Especially since my lowest blood ketone reading was .7 mmol/L. Well into the ketosis range. I may try to squeeze in a little more protein but I don’t want to accidentally overshoot and ruin the results I got this week.  I wanted to be at or below 280 pounds by the time I went back to Bellingham to visit.  As that’s two weeks away I’m pretty sure I won’t make it but I’d still like to be as close to 280 as I can get.

That’s all for this weeks weigh in.  Hopefully the doubling of last weeks weight loss will be a continuing trend.  Or at least if it holds steady it’s due to greater fat loss offset by more muscle mass gains.  On the whole though still moving forward and that’s all that matters.  Take care.

07/23/2018 Weigh In   Leave a comment

The numbers are in, and I’m very happy with them.  I went from 291.2 pounds down to 290.2, so I’m down another pound.  My body fat percentage made me the happiest.  I went from 40.1% last week to 39.7% this week. Doing the math on those percentages I lost 1.6 pounds of body fat. Even though the body fat percentage points I lost didn’t differ significantly from most of my weigh ins, it just feel like I’ve accomplished more going from the 40s to the 30s.

My muscle mass went from 26% last week up to 26.2% this week.  In pounds that’s from 75.7 pounds to 76.0 pounds.  The remaining .3 pounds of gain being water weight gain.  I don’t mind my weight loss being “slowed down” by being offset buy muscle and hydration gains.  Gains in both of those categories help my body work better at reducing the area I want to go down, body fat.

One of the things I learned early on in my readings on Keto was that you have to be careful with protein intake.  That was the understanding at the beginning of the year.  As more and more people go on the keto diet, it gets researched more. One thing they’ve discovered is that the reason for keeping protein intake lower may not be true. It was believed that taking in more protein then your body needs will convert the excess protein to glucose via gluconeogenesis.  New research is suggesting that when you are keto adapted your body won’t need the extra glucose so it won’t convert the protein to glucose in unlimited quantities.  Now I’m not a doctor, but this guy is, so for a better explanation check out this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1dyhu-VZSs to learn more.  Also, here is an article (https://www.perfectketo.com/gluconeogenesis/) that really breaks it down for you.

Why do I mention this?  I’ve been thinking of increasing my protein intake.  I still don’t track as well as I should but I do know from quick mental math that my ratios are good.  I take in very little carbs and the majority of my calories come from fat.  Based on what I learned from the research I’m wondering if I’m still not putting in enough protein to let my muscles grow optimally.  I have a ketone meter (https://amzn.to/2NDM0sW is my affiliate link) to test daily to see how I’m doing and stop it if the extra protein does kick me out of ketosis.  I’ll keep you informed of how this goes.

That combined with the increasing exercise time and intensity I’ve been managing lately will hopefully kick things back into high gear.  I have three more weigh ins before I head back to Bellingham, WA for a visit and would like it if I’m at or under 280 pounds.  I’m not stressing about this because I know it’s a long shot at this point. But it is a nice “wishful thinking” goal.  The reason is my highest recorded weight was 380 pounds.  I say recorded because after that weigh in I adopted an “ignorance is bliss” attitude towards scales.  I have no idea what my actual highest weight was. It could be 380 pounds as that was my biggest waist size as well.  Who knows?  What I do know is I’d love it if I could go back to Bellingham being able to brag I’m 100 pounds lighter than my heaviest known weight.  Don’t get me wrong, being 90 pounds lighter is still bragging rights territory, but triple digits just sounds more impressive.

That’s this weeks weigh in check in.  Thanks for reading.  I definitely encourage you to follow the links to the article and the video if you haven’t.  It’s great information. I’d appreciate it if you followed the link to the meter as that helps pay the bills.  I’m going to try and do a second post later tonight so if I don’t see you then, then I’ll catch you tomorrow.

Posted 07/24/2018 by senso1970 in Uncategorized

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07/16/18 Weigh In   Leave a comment

So little bit of bad luck this week.  I live in a relatively new neighborhood.  There’s still construction going on all around me, including digging in the ground to run lines.  And the other day one of the companies that was doing that hit the fiber optic line.  So for the past few days I haven’t had internet (or television, although I didn’t mind that as much).  Everything is now back up and running so I can do my weekly update.  And starting tomorrow I’m going to go back to trying to post daily for a week, give or take another internet knockout.

This Monday I weighed in at 291.2 pounds.  This is down 2.4 pounds from last week.  I was really shocked by this because I had moved my day off from keto up to last Tuesday.  I was meeting a friend I hadn’t seen in a long time for lunch and felt it would be easier to find a mutually agreeable place to eat if we weren’t working around my keto requirements.  Usually after a day off from keto my weight goes up.  The fact that it not only didn’t go up but it went down by quite a bit was amazing.  And it was mostly fat.  My body fat percentage went from 40.5% down to 40.1% which means I lost 2.2 pounds in fat and based on the other numbers that stayed the same the other .2 pounds lost had to be water.

At 40.1% I’m just one or two weigh ins from being under 40% body fat.  Being happy about being 40% body fat, or just under, might seem a little odd until you take into account that when I started this journey on the first day of this year I was 52% body fat.  So I’m nearly 12 percentage points lighter then when I started.  And if I make the same drop in the second half of the year I’ll be at around 28% body fat, almost half of what I started.

Looking back over the last week it’s easy to see what the culprit is for this surprise drop.  I’ve been really good about my exercise this week. I’ve added two things that are really speeding the weight loss up.  The first is I started making better use of the dip station I bought. I still can’t push my body weight up yet so what I started doing was locking my arms, picking my feet up off the ground, and then slowly lowering myself until I dropped. I could do this for a couple times before I’d go straight to dropping.   This is good, but last week I decided to add another twist.  When I get to the point where I just drop I switched to locking my arms out and then bring my knees up high as I can and then lower them.  This is giving me a great ab workout, plus tuckers out the arms, strengthening my upper body better.

The other things I started doing last week is going from walking to walking with jogging sprints interspersed along the way.  It’s not a wholesale HIIT workout but it certainly moves in that direction.  And I think the results speak for themselves. Clearly I’m burning more fat during the week then what I was during the previous weeks.  So I’ll be keeping up this practice.  I’m getting better each time, being able to jog a little faster for a little longer on each run.

This wraps up this weeks weigh in.  The next one will be just a few days away as this one got posted late due to the internet outage.  See you again for the next weigh in, and tomorrow for my next daily post.

06/25/18 Weigh In   Leave a comment

This is going to be a shorter post.  As expected my weight did go up since last Wednesday was my day off from keto.  What wasn’t expected was how little it went up.  Just .4 lbs.  Between being really consistent about exercise and mindful about the rest of my eating for the week I was able to limit the effects of the one day off.  Because the weight gain was so little none of the percentages changed from last week to this week so I won’t run the numbers like I usually do.  Hopefully next month I’ll have progressed far enough that the one day off from keto won’t result in any regain of weight, and the month after that it’ll only result in a brief slow down of my weight loss.

Which brings me to another important thing I’ve learned this week.  Being positive and making decisions that positively impact your mood and your life.  I’ve made a lot of progress since the beginning of the year with my body, but not as much with my mind.  Sure I’m generally more positive and feel better about myself, but I haven’t really devoted as much time to being more of a positive individual on the inside.  I want to try and keep the posts related to specific topics so I won’t go too far into this here, but I will elaborate in a separate post.  I just wanted to say that while it’s important to work on your body, I’ve realized that what’s on the inside is just as important.  A lump of coal in shiny Xmas wrapping paper with ribbons and bows is still just a lump of coal.  If you’re going to the trouble of creating a fantastic “vehicle” for yourself, make yourself a driver worthy of it.  Take care until next week.

Posted 06/26/2018 by senso1970 in Uncategorized

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06/11/2018 Weigh in   Leave a comment

Time for the weekly weigh in.  This week I dropped 1 lb, taking me down to 297 lbs.  My body fat dropped from 41.4% to 41.1%.  That means I went from 123.4 lbs of fat to 122.1 lbs.  So I actually lost 1.3 lbs.  Using the muscle mass percentage the scale gives I had 75.4 lbs last week and 75.7 this week so the .3 lbs extra was a gain in muscle, or gainz if you use Instagram a lot.

Personally I’m ok with my weight loss clocking in a little slower due to muscle gains.  It’s only a matter of time before those gains start to add up and begin accelerating the fat loss.

For the exercise update I’m glad to state that it’s only gotten better.  I hit the 30 minute exercise goal on my Apple Watch 5 of the 7 days last week.  Met my Move goal 6 of the 7 days, and got my Stand goal every day.  So on 5 of the 7 days I closed all 3 rings.  So very happy with that progress.  On a side note I have noticed that my heart rate as I exercise is starting to go down.  Good from a getting healthy perspective, but not so good on an achieving the move goal perspective.  If my heart rate is naturally lower more often I may look into dropping the daily move goal to adjust for the greater efficiency.

Still struggling with the meal logging.  I think my biggest catch is that I just don’t measure everything I eat as religiously as I did when I first started because I just focus on the macro ratios as opposed to the sum total.  I’ve cut back on the protein a bit as I’ve learned in my keto studies that more research is showing how muscle sparing keto is, thus lowering the actual need for proteins.

My final addition is a decision I made regarding supplements.  I’m still going to take a multivitamin.  I’m still on the fence on the PQQ and CoQ10 I take for mitochondrial support but will probably stop taking them.  And I’m definitely giving up on the rest as I run out of them.  Which is mainly the exogenous ketones and the BCAA powders.  I’m doing this for two reasons.  1st, and most obvious, is to save a little cash.  And by a little I mean a lot. Both of them are pricey unless you buy the cheap no name brands, and then you’re probably just wasting money anyway.  2nd, I’m just not sure I need them anymore and am taking them more out of habit.  As I mentioned earlier, more and more research is showing the keto is muscle sparing, so that gets rid of the original reason I took the BCAAs.  And the ketones, well at this point in the ball game I’m getting blood ketone readings well into the ketosis range, even on days I don’t take them.  So why supplement with a product I’m already producing enough of naturally.

And I started using the Ketolent Keto Shake from Keto and Co a bit ago.  If you’d like to try it here is an Amazon Affiliate link:

I view this more as food then supplement, just packaged in an easy to use design.  I get a 400 calorie meal with most of that coming from fat in an easy to make shake.  The link takes you to their product where you can decide if you want the whole starter kit or just the ingredients.  Basically the difference is you get a nice Ketolent embossed Blender Bottle to make the shake in with the starter kit.  Also, it defaults to chocolate but I much prefer the vanilla.  For one you can flavor it yourself with cinnamon or pumpkin spice or whatever you prefer.  Doesn’t work as well with chocolate.  Plus I’ve found the vanilla just mixes way easier.  I’ll keep taking this because it’s good at keeping my macros right, and frankly it’s just delicous.

So that’s this weeks update.  I’m intending to do another post tomorrow on another self improvement plan I’ll be starting soon.  I want to keep the keto updates separate from these other ones even if they are all on my same blog post.  Take care and see you at next week’s weigh in.

Posted 06/13/2018 by senso1970 in Uncategorized

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