After a very enjoyable bulk from October till now, I have decided to try the Keto Diet for 8 -12 weeks to see what happens. The only thing I have to get in shape for this year is some promo work at BodyPower 2018 and the summer!
I have always not been sure about Keto as I don't like the idea of cutting out carbs or any macro from a diet. I feel all are necessary in a balanced diet. However...I can't knock it till I've tried it!
I plan to live on a light maintenance amount of calories, so not a serious diet as a lot of weight loss isn't really my goal, I just want to see if surviving on ketones alone will really encourage extra fat loss, without (hopefully) much muscle loss, and I will be keeping a log my progress, thoughts, stinky breathe and feelings through the process.
Starting end of this week, will allow me to try this diet, and if it works continue till BodyPower..if not return to what I know. I have heard a lot of positive feedback on it.
For those who are unsure of what a keto diet is, it is a high fat, low/no carb diet with a medium to low amount of protein. The theory is this - The brain can live off two types of fuel, blood sugar (glucose/insulin produced from carbs), and ketones (from fat).
The idea is to force the body to live of just the ketones, by depleting it of glucose. By therefore, cutting out the carbs, means no/low glucose to live on.
On a Ketogenic diet, your bodies only fuel supply becomes fat. Fat turns to ketones by the liver. Insulin is low due to lack of carbs, and so fat burning increases, making it easy for the body to access fat stores to then burn them off. That's the theory anyway.
My macros will be 70/20/10 Fat/Protein/Carbs. Its a lot of fish/eggs/cheese/nuts etc. Only low carb veg for carbs. Very much like the old Atkins diet (less meat!). So lots of quite tasty food. My shopping list was quite different! The ladies at Tesco's wanted to feel my forehead for a fever! Lol!
I will also be cutting out all sweeteners. Which I am pretty addicted to. So no protein shakes, and no more of my beloved Musclemoose and Options chocolate drinks. Booooo!
If you are thinking of trying this, after reading this, do not jump in if you are on medication for diabetes, or high blood pressure. Or you are breastfeeding. 😉
OK, wish me luck. Should be interesting....or horrid!
I wanted to include this as I have had many private messages telling me various negatives about a body builder doing this diet. I just want to clear up that this is just me experimenting and researching a diet for myself. I will be following it by the book. To see what happens when you follow the Keto diet as it is intended. I have studied nutrition and I know also from my years of experience as a body builder, what is required of food to grow muscle. This is not a muscle growing exercise, it is fat burning research. I do thank you for your messages of concern, but I will definitely not be living this way for long, as the protein levels are way too low for my chosen sport and lifestyle. But I have a keen interest in gaining knowledge and experiencing for myself what diets are like. And discovering new foods, new recipes and ideas these extreme changes to regime introduce you to.
So, today I got my delivery of Erythritol sweetener. And it is the NUTS! All natural, totally tasting like sugar. Happy days! My first cup of tea with this was bloody amazing. Easy to please!
I don't seem to be as hungry today. But I have been super busy working. This always takes my mind off eating so that could be the reason why.
I also didn't realise quite how bloated I was before I started this, until now. I didn't know it was an issue before as it was the norm. But my torso and legs are definitely less swollen looking, feel less solid, and unless its my imagination, I look better already in the mirror. But I do think there has been a lot of excess water loss, which could account for this. As us body builders know, when you loose water you look tighter.
I also watched a TV program last night which happen to follow Josie Gibson of Big Brother fame, on a months ketogenic diet. And after a month she lost 1 kg or 2.2 lbs. And she wasn't happy, and said it was a rubbish diet. So she lost 0.5 lb a week. Meaning she must of been under-eating by 250 calories a day. If she had under-eaten by 500 calories a day she would of lost 2 kg or 4.4 lbs. The latter is an ideal weekly weight loss. Calorie deficit is what makes you loose weight, not the diet. This diet supposed to ensure you loose more stored fat on the diet, it doesn't promise to double the speed of weight loss!
And as for loosing muscle mass, and gaining % fat? Well, I did say in this blog earlier , that I predicted this would happen with me too on my Tanita scale readings. And they were using these scales on the show. As I said before, this diet makes your muscles deplete of glucose, meaning your muscles will shrink. Therefore the Tanita's will read that you have less muscle mass. Leaving more mass between your muscle and skin, which makes the reading for % fat go up. You should wait for the Tanita scales to stabilize readings, always weighing your self at the same time of day after eating the same amount of food, and when Ketosis is reached. Then you should see these come down, providing, of course, you are eating a calorie deficit. Taking body composites is never an exact science, as your body changes by time of day, what you have been drinking and what you have eaten.
Rant over. Tomorrow, I am food shopping. And will be attempting to make some Keto rolls. Something like bread..apparently!
Averaging about 3 hrs deep sleep a night! That's a lot! The norm is 1.5 - 1.8 hours a night, or about 18% - 20%. Mine is 27% +. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz! This is of course trusting my Garmins readings.
I am settling into the food more. Not thinking about what I'm eating so much. Just getting on with it. The one thing you really have to do on the Keto Diet is measure everything! You can't judge these portions by guesstimating! It is much less than you think. This being due to 70% of your diet being fat. Fat per gram is just more than double the calories than Carbohydrates and Proteins. Fat is 9 Calories per gram, and Carbs and Proteins are 4 calories per gram. So you get more for your money! Look at these portions below -
Look at these tiny amounts of food, and the calories they contain. Most people use about 4 - 5 times that amount of peanut butter in a sarnie! 5 x 20g = 100g = 645 calories in peanut butter alone! 33% of a woman's recommended daily amount of calories in peanut butter only.
20g of peanut butter is what I have in my morning shake each day. And I HAVE to still measure it each morning.
So, measure everything, or you could easily end up over eating. And not losing the weight you wanted to. Because remember...it's the calorie deficiency in a diet that will make you loose weight.
Training wise, I guess that's suffering a little. I feel a little less enthused. Lost a bit of strength, and I am more achy than usual. (Although I always tend to ache somewhere!) I also have some arthritis in my hands, which is really playing up this week. And grip is very poor. Is it the diet? Or is it the weather, as this can have and effect? Won't know I figure until I stop the diet. Will need to monitor this.
I thought I'd have a practice run today at making the Keto/Vegan Bread rolls recipe I found. It was interesting. They did sort of give me the feeling of eating a roll with some butter and peanut butter on them. Which was nice. But if I gave one to someone who wasn't keto, and told them it was a bread roll, they probably would be too impressed! I quite liked them. A bit like Rye bread. And they are really filling! This probably is because they are 75% fiber.
If you are blocked up by this diet, these could help get things moving at they are made of Flax Seed and Psyllium Husk, which both have very high fiber, in fact nearly all fiber and a laxative effect! Watch this space....or maybe not!
The recipe I worked with was -
Keto/Vegan 'Rye' Bread rolls
- 1 tsp, Ground Cinnamon
- 0.75 cup (8 fl oz), Water
- 1 tsp, Baking Powder
- 0.05 tsp(s), Salt
- 85 g, Naked Organic Tofu Extra Firm
- 3 Tbsp Organic Flaxseed
- 85 g, Psyllium Husk Powder
1. Preheat the oven at 180 degrees. Blend flax seeds, tofu, salt and water till smooth.
2. In another bowl, mix together the baking powder, Psyllium husk powder, cinnamon and nutmeg.
3. Mix in blended mix till all mixed together.
4. Split into 4 and put onto baking paper on a tray, making sure they are about 1/2 inch thick. Bake for 45 minutes (fan assisted oven time, adjust if not) and bingo.....
I did also feel listless, lethargic and achy. And for someone who's always in control and on the ball, I couldn't think straight. Kept forgetting what I was supposed to be doing. But was it just because I was generally tired from the bad sleep? Possibly?
I had an hour out cold on the couch in the morning...and again in the afternoon. WHich did make me feel better.
I tried those rolls today, not good the following day. Could of bounced them off the walls! Best eat them fresh if you decide to make them.
I checked my Keto sticks to give me an idea of if anythings changing-
I also jumped on the the Tanita scales on the morning of Day 8 (so 7 days were complete) and here's how it read -
DAY 7 -
Weight – 72.2 kg / 11st 5 lbs
Height – 5 ‘6 / 168 cm
Body Fat – 24.5%
Muscle Mass – 51.8 kg / 8st 2lb
Water % - 56.4%
Visceral Fat - 4
Compared to -
DAY 1 -
Weight – 75.3 kg / 11st 12lbs
Height – 5 ‘6 / 168 cm
Body Fat – 22%
Muscle Mass – 53.5kg / 8st 6lb
Water % - 61%
Visceral Fat - 4
This may shock you. Reading these it says I have lost 7 lbs in a week, lost 5 lbs of muscle mass and gained body fat. Isn't this remember, what I predicted what would happen?
It is actually impossible to loose 7 lbs of good quality weight (fat) in a week. There is 3500 calories in a lb of fat, so I would have to under eat by 3500 calories a day to loose this much fat. Its impossible to achieve without eating nothing for a week!
Most people don't have Tanita or any composition scales, and would just see a 7 lb weight loss on your normal scales and think 'Wow, this diet is amazing!' But this is mostly what I call fake weight loss. Only a 1 lb or 2 lb will be real. So where has that weight gone you may ask?
Reasons why this could happen in the first week of Keto (or most diets) -
- Pigging out the day before weigh in - As I said on Day 1 (and like most people do) I had a feast the day before I started the diet. On the morning of day 1 when I first weighed in, I was packed full of food from the feast the night before. That could of had an impact on my initial weight. Sandwiches, sushi, cheese and crackers, pumpkin pie and Christmas cake was sat in my belly still when I stepped on the scales. This probably added 1 or 2 lbs to the first weigh in.
- Muscle Depletion - I also said my muscle felt solid, I was bulking and eating well on the run up to this diet, and the week before even more so as it was the Christmas season. So, what this diet does is deplete all glucose stored in muscles. And I have mentioned that they look like they have shrunk, and are smaller. So of course the muscle mass will go down...why?...because my muscle mass HAS gone down during the depletion. This isn't necessarily permanent muscle loss. As soon as I eat carbs again, they will reload. Competing Body builders should know all about depleting muscles and loading them, as that what most of us do before shows. And by the way to, this is also why when you return to eating normally after a diet, you gain a load of weight quick in that first week back, your probably re-loading your guns of the carbs they've been missing!
- Water loss - Remember I was wee-ing loads at the start? There has definitely been a lot of water loss. As you can see in the stats. Water went from 61% to 56.4%. A 4.6% water loss is a lot of weight! This could account for all the weight loss, as the glucose in your muscles will be read as water loss too.
- Body Fat % Up - My water has reduced a lot, and my muscles have shrunk due to carb deletion, leaving what seems to be more 'mass' between my muscle and skin. So this causes the body fat % to go up. I have seen this pattern over the years of my diets (being a professional dieter!) When I did the carb cycling diet, the morning after carb loading, my body fat would drop because I was full and tight, and on low carb days, my body fat would go up. Head wreck!!
Therefore, I am going to monitor weight loss and body fat measurements from now on. I have still got a bit of depleting to go, here is where I'll keep and eye on things to see what changes.
Week 1 is over. I have to say. It isn't an easy diet to follow. I have a sweet tooth, and there is not much sweet about it. But luckily, I love oily fish and cheese, and these I am enjoying.
I have a Keto / Vegan dinner party tomorrow. And I will be putting up the meals I have opted for. And a review of what it all taste like! As I have never made any of it before! Wish me luck!