Why Keto? (hint: not for weight loss)

“Sweden has adopted the acronym LCHF (low carb, high fat) as a mantra to transform the national consciousness and public policy about healthy eating.”

– from “The Keto Reset Diet”

I’ve been asked on several occasions why I am doing the keto reset diet.  Most people go “keto” in order to lose weight — in fact, nearly every profile I’ve found on instagram that says they are keto are individuals trying to lose weight.  While I don’t want to gain weight while doing keto, my motivations for doing the low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) diet are different than the norm.  The most important factors for me (which I explain more below) is to alleviate /eliminate my sound sensitivities (misophonia), have a simplistic ‘intuitive’ approach to food, and to improve my overall health/energy by making this a lifestyle.


Current Workouts:

I’m done training for “events/races/shows” and am now just training for my own enjoyment and health.  I do a little running, walking, HIIT, lifting, and yoga each week and I’ve detailed my current workout plan here if you want to check it out.


Why Keto (LCHF):

  1. Eliminating/Alleviating Misophonia
    • Misophonia is an extreme sound sensitivity that causes a fight/flight reaction to simple noises – usually noises that don’t even pop up on anyone’s radar.  I’ve posted a bit about the disorder here and why I have been eating a gluten-free diet the past 1.5years.
      • One thing I explained in that initial post is that I discovered that gluten was a trigger for the sound sensitivity when I tried doing a keto diet in May of 2015. At that time, I was training for NPC shows and a half-marathon and it was too hard to adapt to the keto/lchf diet (I kept binging on carbs 2-3x a week because my body wasn’t fat-adapted).  While training for my last marathon, I realized that I don’t care anymore about being an “athlete” – I just want to workout for fun and enjoy being fit/active/healthy. You can see my workout plan here.
      •  Since I am not longer training for peak performance in running or bodybuilding, I thought this was the perfect time to give the keto diet another shot – because if it does eventually eliminate  (or alleviate a little more of) the misophonia, it is Way worth it.  I have had a great experience on the gluten-free diet, and NEVER regret giving  up gluten-foods — I Honestly with I could go back to my teens and start eating Gluten-Free sooner! I am hopeful that I will have the same feelings about LCHF after a few weeks into it.
      • I caught a recent podcast with Shawn Stevenson interviewing Mark Sisson (author of The Keto Reset Diet) and really liked his philosophy and approach to doing keto as a lifestyle. So I picked up his book and read it within 24 hours and began putting it into practice.  I have a few excerpts I will include in this post to help me explain my reason for trying it out. 🙂 And, if this is something you decide to try, you’ll definitely want to check out the podcast and get his book.
      • One thing the book explains is how Keto has been used to help cure/eliminate brain disorders.  Misophonia has not been studied a ton, but sound sensitivity is one of the symptoms in autistic individuals, where a ketogenic diet has helped.

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2. As a Lifestyle – to Improve Overall health/energy

3. Simplistic intuitive approach to food

  • I’m going to lump reasons 2&3 together here because (for me) they are connected since a simplified approach is more desirable for me in life- I do best with a diet that is flexible in it’s approach and that I don’t have to think about/plan for too much.
  • As a lifestyle, the keto reset diet is very intuitive and should be personalized (each person’s lchf diet will look different) because the premise is that you eat when you are hungry, and you eat foods you like that fit into the ‘keto’ framework.  As a result, you don’t really have to ‘meal prep’ or worry about bringing a bunch of food in case you get hungry because most people find they only need to eat 1-2 times a day.  When you become fat-adapted, your body uses fats for energy instead of glucose.

Here are the Basics of the diet as explained in the book:

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I really appreciate this type of gradual approach.  I am about a week into it, and this is what it looks like so far:

Feelings and Foods during my First Keto week:

  • so far: 
    • I love the LCHF approach and the simplicity of it.  I eat 1-2x a day and am averaging 90-115grams of fats.  The kcals have been all over but I’m not worrying too much about that.
    • I eat when I am hungry.  To quote my friend Allison who does keto as a lifestyle: “Most of my food Volume comes from low-carb veggies and Most of my food calories come from healthy fats” .. She has a great post here on why she does keto.
    • Most of my food choices this first week have been green/cruciferous veggies, mct and coconut oil, nut butters, and my 3-ingredient protein muffins.

 

  • I am tracking my food currently to make sure my fats are high and my net carbs are close to 50grams or less.  I have been over 50 net carbs on a couple of days, but am not stressed about it.  From The Keto Reset Diet, I realize this is a time to be patient with my body and allow it to ‘reset’ gradually without forcing it.
  • Right now I can still feel a bit of the switch from using glucose to fat. I’ve noticed it mostly in working out – it’s been a struggle the last couple of days with the glycogen depletion.
  • As far as beverages, a lot of ‘keto-peoples’ do a bulletproof coffee so they can push back their food for the day.  I don’t really enjoy the taste of coffee, but I have found a combination that I like and it has less calories than adding a tbsp of butter/oil so I can save more for later on. (the scoop of MCT powder is 65kcals and I prefer the taste of it to the mct oil — a lot of people use the powder as a creamer for coffee as well)

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  • Exogenous ketones are optional in the above recipe.  I’m trying them out but am not completely sold on them yet.  They supposedly give your body extra ketones to use for energy so you can prolong fasting.  They taste super gross, but combining them with the mct powder made them delicious.  Mark writes a bit about ketone supps in his book and here’s a little more in this post about his experience/view on them. The ones I found (in photo below) on amazon seemed to be the best ingredients for the best value.  There are 60scoops in the container (each scoop is 5kcals or something negligible).
  • STAYING HYDRATED!  This has been a surprise to me!  I found myself drinking about 2 gallons of water a day this past weekend.  I asked google if this was normal, and this site gives a decent explanation of it here.  I have been drinking about 8liters of water a day (in various forms- regular, mixed with powders, tea), and I also found a good sea salt to use with my veggies.  I’ve also been using a Magnesium supplement (code REBEKAH for discount) to help.  You can see my other supplements here.

How Long will it take to Adapt?

Basically, I think it will take as long as my body needs- I’m not putting a time limit on it or anything.  From what I’ve read:

 “three weeks is about the average acclimation period to any low-carb diet. And at less than 20 grams a day, this was a true low-carb/ketogenic diet. During that three week period, when you cut carbs so dramatically from previously levels, your memory and cognition will likely get fuzzy, your mood will swing and your energy levels will drop. This is normal and to be expected when cells that have been programmed for decades to burn primarily glucose are now being deprived of this main fuel. It’s especially true of the brain. But as we discuss here so often, life is about gene expression and the signals your send those genes. When you deprive a sugar-burning human of his/her carbs and replace those calories with fat and protein, your genes get the signal to start up-regulating fat metabolism and ketone production.  After three weeks, the acclimation (we call it “keto-adaptation”) is usually complete and brain cells start to thrive on a mix of ketones and the small amount of glucose produced in the liver via gluconeogenesis in the complete absence of carbohydrates. In fact, much of the brain prefers ketones to glucose when you are in ketosis. It’s a beautiful thing. Energy overall increases, mood stabilizes, you think more clearly, that regular three-hour hunger for carbs disappears, you burn of fat stores, you can skip meals with no noticeable effects, etc.”


I hope this sufficiently explains my reasoning, and possibly gives an insight into the keto-diet.  I am just a week into it, so I know things will change.  I’d like to say I’m doing this forever and it’s awesome, but that is TBD.  For now, I’m just looking for improvements related to misophonia and easier ‘meal prep’ (less meals per day).

I’ll leave with this — another great point in the book is the compensatory effect of exercise, which is something I have done many times and am now realizing that Exercise is something to be done for its benefits – not to try to ‘burn kcals’…  This is picture part of my “keto reset” highlight reel I’m compiling from the ‘stories’ I share on my instagram, which you can follow along with if you’d like 🙂

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Have a great day!

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13 thoughts on “Why Keto? (hint: not for weight loss)

  1. Great info! I’m on day one of Keto adaption which I’ve used in the past (and loved) for competition prep. I needed to read EVERYTHING in your post today. God given!! Thanks friend- you’re doing great things ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is such a great post! I started going keto a couple months back and also NOT for weight loss reasons. I have lingering nerve damage from chemo treatments I received while I was battling Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, and I’ve found Keto to be the ONE thing that actually stops the pain in it’s tracks. Thank you for sharing your experience! People really need to know that there’s more to this than just a weight loss fad. https://jamieleroy.com/2017/11/18/going-keto-how-this-all-started/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!!! I’m really happy the miso is going away too. I am finding some days I’m not too hungry early and can do IF, but some days I need to eat at like 830/9am. I think overall, Keto has helped me be more in tune with what true hunger is vs being bored.

      Like

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