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Archive for the ‘keto’ Tag

Monthly Update   Leave a comment

I did the September update a week later than usual so this one is actually only three weeks.  I weighed in at 279.8 pounds this morning.  This is a great goalpost for me because now that I’m under 280 pounds I know for sure I’m over 100 pounds lighter than my heaviest recorded weight (which was in the 380s but I don’t remember exactly what it was).  The September weigh in was 280.6 pounds, so over the three weeks I lost 0.8 pounds.  This sounds like a small number until you consider the fact that on the weigh in two weeks ago I gained nearly 8 pounds.  So I’ve lost 8.2 pounds in two weeks, which I think is pretty neat.

My body fat this time is 37.8%, and was 38.2% at the last update.  That translates to 105.8 pounds now and 107.2 pounds then.  So even though my weight only went down .8 pounds I’ve actually lost 1.4 pounds of fat.

My muscle mass is 27% now, and was 27.1% then.  This results in 75.5 pounds now and 76 pounds then.  So I dropped .5 pounds of muscle.  Not psyched about that, but I do keep in mind that this is an estimated amount, not a certain one.

I am 48.1% water now, and I was 47.7% water then.  That right there explains the difference between total weight loss and fat/muscle loss.

Overall I’m good with this weigh in.  When you look at it from the perspective of the last two weeks I’ve made huge progress.  But even looking at it from the three week perspective, the bottom line is I still lost weight while I was retaining water better.

Exercise wise I did rather well this month.  I closed all three circles over 75% of the time.  I got the monthly award on the Apple Activity app.  I did 45 workouts in September, which is 6 more than August.  And this is more anecdotal in nature, but I notice that my breathing is lighter most of the time, suggesting I’m cardiovascularly more healthy.  I definitely feel a lot better.  I move easier.  I’m more flexible.  I definitely move around more.  My body just seems to work better.

I have more energy, which has translated to getting more stuff done.  I’ve been squaring away my living space.  A number of the self-improvement books I’ve read lately seem to carry the common theme that your physical environment is a reflection of your mental one.  And my room was cluttered and messy.  There is still a bit of room for improvement, but overall my physical environment is getting a lot more ship-shape.  I’m sure it’s not coincidental that I’ve been feeling better on the inside as well.

My meditation practice is getting better.  Or deeper would be another way of saying it.  My mind doesn’t race as much and I feel like I’m reaching a deeper and more relaxed state.  That’s no doubt helping with the greater feelings inside as well.

As usual I’m including pics with the update.  The pic with the black t-shirt with grey sleeves (with the pic of Mark Sheppard from Supernatural) is the current progress pic.  The Superman shirt is from last month’s update.  The red shirt is the first update pics I took.  And finally, a pic from back in 2013 which is me probably at my heaviest.

See you in a month for another progress update.

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Fasting   Leave a comment

One of the cool things about the ketogenic diet is that it has a similar affect on your body to fasting.  Notice I said similar, not same.  That’s a very important distinction.  While you can get a lot of the benefits of fasting by living a ketogenic lifestyle without actually going without food, the only way to get all the benefits of fasting is of course to fast.

And that’s where another benefit of the ketogenic diet comes in.  By reducing your hunger pangs, when you do decide to fast to get all the benefits, it becomes a lot easier.

The logic is simple on this one.  When you live a ketogenic lifestyle you’re constantly in a state of ketosis.  Now if you want to be nit picky, yes, there may be times when you fade a little in and out of ketosis but for the most part you are in ketosis.  What does being in ketosis mean?  That means you have a higher level of ketone bodies in your system.  And where do you get ketones from?  Ketones are derived from fat in the liver.

So if you are in ketosis you are running your body off of fat.  Now on a regular day you are ingesting fat to power yourself.  Even if you’re on the ketogenic diet to lose weight you’d still be taking in a good amount of fat.  But what happens if you don’t take in extra fat?  Or food at all for that matter.

Since your body can already use fat for fuel your body goes looking for fat.  And as mentioned in previous posts, you have plenty of that in your system even if you have a low body fat percentage.  So your energy needs can be maintained strictly by your fat reserves. From 16 hours (the shortest period you’d want to fast) to days, depending on how much of a reserve you’re carrying.  And during all that time your body is being powered from within, you’re receiving all the benefits of fasting.  And when you do eventually decide to go back to consuming food you’ll go back to getting most instead of all the benefits.

This has been a really brief discussion about fasting and ketosis.  If you’d like more information on the subject I highly recommend reading The Ketogenic Bible by Jacob Wilson and Ryan Lowery.  They cover the topic in much better detail, along with a lot of citations to the latest research.  You can get as in depth as you want from the information provided.  I’ll include an affiliate link to the Kindle version of the book below, just click on the picture.  If you’d like a physical copy, I’ve had that before too.  It’s a decent sized book, which is why I prefer the Kindle version.

That’s all for today.  Hope you’re having a great day and hope to see you again soon.

Quick Update   Leave a comment

So the internet at my house is down, yet again. Still haven’t heard what’s wrong but the last two times this happened it was because someone was digging and cut the cable and it took a few days to fix. I’ll find out for sure tomorrow.

Because of this my scale can’t upload my weigh in this morning. If there’s one thing I’m not fond of with my scale it’s that you have to use the app to see your results after the weigh in disappears. I wasn’t being mindful of that this morning and only caught a glimpse before it went away.

Based on that glimpse it was either 282.8 or 282.5 pounds. So I’m either .2 or .5 pounds lighter. I don’t have the other measurements to tell me better how much was fat loss/gain or muscle or water. So once the internet is back up I’ll post that.

I’m ok with this as I spent three days bed ridden this week due to a flu or something. Could be another keto flu I suppose as payback for going off keto for my vacation. So I was actually happy to see that I lost weight. I had actually thought the number would go up.

I’m doing this from my phone at work. I live in a rural area and my cell connection isn’t great but I’ll try to get back to posting daily soon. Take care.

Energy   Leave a comment

This is not so much a benefit of not being hungry as it is more of a tag along experience.  The reason why you don’t feel hungry on keto is because you have a better gas tank all of the sudden.

Think of it this way.  Imagine I owned a dealership that had two nearly identical cars to sell you.  Every detail about the cars was the same.  The style, the color, the price, all identical save the fuel source.  With the first car you’d get a range of around 2,000 miles.  The other car has a range of 30,000 miles.

Well that’s how your body works.  When you rely on glucose as your fuel source you can only store 2,000 or so calories at a time.  That’s regardless of your size and shape.  2,000 calories, maybe 2,500 if you’re lucky.  That’s why your body craves food so much on a glucose based diet.  You go through a lot of your fuel tank each day even if you aren’t particularly active.

Now look at the person who is keto adapted.  Your fuel source is ketones.  Even if you’re lean and athletic you’re holding on to 30,000 some odd calories in your tank.  Way more than you’ll burn in a day, even if you’re very active.  So there’s no sense of urgency in your body to replace the fuel as you use it.  That sense of urgency of course is hunger.

How does this play out over the course of the day.  Well if you’re glucose based as your day goes on you’ll actually see the needle moving on your fuel tank.  And then your body becomes nervous.  It doesn’t want to wait until the tank is about empty, as we often do with our cars.  The body feels there’s a scarcity of food and it acts now to protect you.

Using the car analogy, if you are flying down the highway at 80mph and you realize that you need to start conserving fuel, what do you do?  You slow down of course.  You decrease the amount of fuel you need to burn and try to become more efficient in how you’re burning it.  As a human you experience this as tiredness and lower performance.

Now think of the ketone powered vehicle.  It doesn’t worry because even if you’re super active you’re likely only going through 10-15% of your fuel supply.  So there’s no need to take emergency measures to make sure you can go until the next fuel up.  In fact you could go a few days without fueling up before it becomes an issue.

So how does having all day energy play out for you?  You get more stuff done.  There’s no mid day taper off of performance.  You’re not wasting time having to refuel throughout the day so that’s more time you get to spend doing whatever you like.  When you wake up in the morning you don’t need to rush to fill the tank to get started.  You wake up with a sufficient fuel supply on board so you hit the ground running.  And staying up later isn’t an issue either, although you still should get a good nights sleep every night.  In an interesting “paradox” since I started I have more energy during the day but when it’s time for bed I sleep like a baby.

All of that is great and all, but I’d say the biggest energy boost goes to the biggest energy hog in your body, your brain.  It’s such a small part of your body but it uses about 20% of your daily energy expenditure. I’m not a biology major or medical professional, that’s just the figure I’ve seen in most everything I’ve read on the subject.  Brain fog, that feeling you get where it gets harder and harder to think and concentrate, is an energy issue.  When you switch to ketones you not only have a much larger reservoir of energy for the brain to use, it’s an energy source it finds easier to use.  You stay alert and awake all day with better mental focus and clarity.  And it’s not hard to see how that will improve your productivity throughout the day.  Imagine reading faster and comprehending better because you’re not having to keep going back and rereading passages due to brain fog.

All of this because you have more fuel on board which translates to more energy throughout the day.  So let’s get back to the car analogy we started with.  I have the same two cars to sell you.  The only difference is one will get you 2,000 miles down the road, the other 30,000 miles.  Which one are you going to buy from me?  The answer is pretty obvious.  So now the question is which body do you want?  The one that has a small tank and gets cranky when the tank isn’t full?  Or the one that can go for days without a fill up and still run at top performance?  Which brings us to the third things I mentioned, fasting.  And that is a topic we’ll cover in tomorrow post.  Hope you’re having a great day and see you soon.

Distraction   Leave a comment

So first on the list of things hunger does to you is distraction.  If you’re hungry that’s what your mind will focus on.  It makes perfect sense from a biological imperative standpoint.  If you felt hungry but then your mind could wander you might not get around to eating.  Since hunger is the body’s way of informing you more fuel is needed, that would mean eventually you’d run out of fuel.  That, obviously, would be very bad for you. So once you get hungry your mind wants to focus on that need.

Now when you’re at work or doing something where getting food soon isn’t very likely you might be able to get your mind off of the hunger for a short bit of time.  But go too long and the hunger pangs will reassert themselves and they’ll be much harder to drive away this time.  We already covered why being really hungry is bad from a food choice perspective.  What we want to cover today is more of a quality of life issue.

For every moment you’re focused on your hunger you’re not focused on something else.  Like say that job that’s preventing you from getting up right now and taking care of the hunger pangs.  Lack of focus on your work leads to lower job quality. Lower job quality leads to poor performance reviews from your superiors.  And that can affect you in the wallet.

Or how about with friends.  If you’re focusing on your hunger you’re not focusing on the people you’re interacting with.  This can lead to interpersonal issues with the people you care about.  It gets even worse when you go from hungry to “hangry”. Then you’re compounding the distraction with grouchiness and irritability.

Or what about opportunities to make things better for yourself?  If your mind is on your hunger, you might be missing other things.  You might have missed a sight that could have brought a smile to your face.  Maybe someone you don’t know was being pleasant to you and you didn’t catch it because you’re distracted.  Maybe that person could have been a really good friend, or maybe more.  You’ll never know if you’re distracted and miss the opportunity to meet them.

How about the drive home?  The drive between work and my home is full of trees, and pastures, and streams.  It’s very scenic in some areas.  If I’m just focusing on what I’m going to stuff my face with when I get home I’m missing the relaxing view most of the way home.  Or maybe a cute critter or two along the way.  Or even the occasional fireflies that come and go around here.

The key is when you’re distracted you just don’t know what you’re missing because, well, you missed it.  And once you’ve missed it there’s usually no getting it back.  So if there’s an easy to way to deal with the distraction of hunger, mainly just not feeling hungry, why  not do that?  I’m almost never hungry and it makes my life so much happier.

I spend considerably less time on thinking about food. Just a little bit before shopping once a week and then maybe a little bit at the beginning of the day.  I don’t even really spend much time thinking about food when I’m eating.  Eating for me is more about getting nourishment in then it is about a pleasure response for quieting my hunger.  Sure I enjoy the food I eat. It’s delicious  But it isn’t the same kind of response as when you fix a sugar craving.  All the rest of the day I’m focused on what’s right in front of me.  Mainly because I’m not hungry.  It’s also because my keto diet just powers my brain better, but that’s for a different post.

So that’s it for distraction.  Tomorrow I’ll cover how you make the best use of all this undistracted time, having more energy.  Until then, how you have a great day.

You never know.   Leave a comment

First things first, a quick weigh in check in.  I’ll do this quickly because I just did the post the other day about my progress coming back from vacation.  This week I weighed in at 283.0 pounds.  At 38.7% body fat that means I’m down to 109.5 pounds of fat.  Closing in on being less than 100 pounds of fat.  Just a little over 76 pounds of muscle.  A small but good increase.  A very pleasant weigh in.

Of course since I’m off of vacation now I’m also back at work.  Today was my second day back.  I’m not really happy with my job right now, mainly because I don’t like how I feel at the end of the day.  My attitude can be pretty negative.  I’m taking steps to look for a new job but in the interim I’m having to deal with those feelings. So I left work with a “glad that’s over” mindset, which isn’t a really healthy one.

On the way home I just wasn’t happy with my life.  I got home and had a nice keto meal.  Still not feeling it, I went to my room and laid back in bed for a quick nap.   I decided to check my phone first.  There was a ton of Instagram alerts about a post I was tagged in from a company I buy my keto creamer from.  It’s http://www.prymal.com if you’re interested (I am not an affiliate nor do I make any money/benefit from this, I just really like Courtney’s creamers).

I clicked on a notification and it took me to her post about how men like flavored creamers too (guilty!).  And right there, top center in a collage she made, was a pic of me I had taken on vacation and posted on Instagram.  It so made my day to be featured in a man crush Monday collage of her loyal, male customers.

As I scrolled through the rest of my alerts I found one from Courtney.  She had left a comment on that picture in my feed.  She commented how proud of me she was at my progress.  I responded to both the post and the comment to thank her for her kindness.  She replied back on the collage post to tell me she thanked me for being such a loyal customer and that she hoped I knew how deeply she appreciated it.

Here is a person I’ve never met face to face and I’m having a positive impact on her life.  By being a loyal customer I’m helping her dream company come true.  By making all the progress on keto I’m a source of inspiration to her.  And to think a short while earlier I was moping about in bed not happy with my life.

Sometimes you never really know the impact you’re having on others lives. In this case it was good, maybe great.  I didn’t take the actions I took that led to that impact with the purpose of creating that impact.  I just lived my life and it happened.  Without even trying I’m impacting someone’s life.

Here’s the thing, it’s a two edged sword.  As I stated earlier I’m not happy with my job, and I’m sure that I’m letting it show through at work.  I’m not trying to have a negative impact on the lives of others, but it’s possible I am.  I’ll never know.

The two points I’d like to leave you with today are this.  First, be mindful throughout the day.  Know what you’re doing and act with purpose.  Try to stay positive even in situations that you’d rather not be in.  Second, be gentle with yourself.  Even if things aren’t looking their best you can still be having a positive impact on someone.  Even when you’re not trying, even if you don’t know it.  And you’re more likely to be having that positive impact if you’re being mindful and positive.

We act and the impact of those actions ripple through the world we live in.  What that impact is may be something you’ll never know.  Just do your best this week to make it a positive one.  Who knows, if you spend all that time being positive the biggest impact could be on you.  Take care and see you soon.

 

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.