My attempt at a ketogenic diet lasted 4 days. Yes only 4 days – bit of a anti climax! I really wanted to give this diet a try and see how it would affect me. Prior to this I never really believed in restrictive diets and this just made more evident.
I also was recently eating a lot of crap and developing a slight sugar addiction, a chocolate bar here some ice cream there. Fat was storing, Not good! Also I felt it would be a good experiment and I could learn a lot from giving it a try. Maybe even reap the benefits.
A standard ketogenic diet ratios look like this.
I currently weight 95kg, body fat % sitting at 16 % and my muscle mass is 75kg. So my macros looked like this:
Fats: 233g / 2100kcals
Protein: 140g / 560kcals (highest point 160g)
Carbs: 35g / 140kcals
At first sight it looks difficult but in practice its harder! Mathematically harder. The purpose of a keto diet is to get your body into a state where it starts to produce and use ketones for energy; and its main fuel source. Ketones are supposed to be super energy but unfortunately I didn’t stick it out long enough to find out.
So even fixing your meals so you attain enough fats, minimal carbs but also stay within your protein limit is a challenge. Foods that are off limits include soda, fruit juice, smoothies, cakes, ice cream, candy, grains, wheat, rice, pasta, cereal, peas, legumes, lentils, chickpeas,root veg, potatoes, sweet potato, parsnips, condiments, mayonnaise and sauces.
I’m a self confessed big foodie so this was instantly a challenge. The problem arises when you overshoot on your protein intake. If this happens your body will turn these protein molecules into glucose and use that to fuel the brain. The brain primarily uses glucose. You need to leave your body nothing else but fats to use as fuel. This is the aim anyway.
Over the 4 days I found it extremely difficult to keep the proteins down whilst hitting the high fat value. Other trainers more experienced than myself did warn me it would be really hard to hit fats without overshooting on the other two macros. The problem is a lot of high fat foods especially meats and fish carry a lot of protein. Keeping to the plan the only real way of knowing even if you are in ketosis is to test your urine or blood with kits you can buy online. But this would take anywhere between 7-30 days, depending on your body composition and your ability to hit the macro targets each day.
Some may say I’m quitting too early but today has been really unenjoyable for me and surprisingly it has affected my mood more than I thought possible. As far as processes go it’s the most disagreeable one’s iv attempted. Going forwards it would continue to disrupt training protocols like HIIT, Metcon and high rep ranges. I was willing to sacrifice performance for the benefits that are possible on a keto diet but i will be calling it a day on this diet today and having some peanut butter jelly cinnamon bagel! I don’t think it would suit someone who really wanted to have a high level of performance in the gym or in sports. A lot of these processes rely on the breakdown of carbs, think anaerobic.
Maybe this type of diet would suit a more sedentary lifestyle or someone who doesn’t train and is just looking for pure weight loss.
On the plus side I haven’t had sugar in 4 days and feel better for that. I plan to maintain this. I’ve also very quickly and drastically cleaned up my diet so I can now reintroduce carbs and continue along a healthier balanced diet. I have also learned an immense amount about this diet through intensive research. But not only research I had to reach out to other trainers and fitness experts that are far more experienced than myself. A lot of what they told me and advised me helped me to get my head around the fundamentality’s of this diet and the ratios.
As always a healthy balanced diet seems to always win.
Mikhail St. Catherine
IG: powermoves. fitness