It is usually the ‘kiss of death’ for my diet to mention these things, but the above picture is from my lunch at Legal Seafood, which is one hell of a seafood restaurant and should be visited if you ever get the chance – there’s not a lot of them around.
This was the roll for me. The three others were being consumed by my wife and kids while this one sat forlorn.
If I had any interest in appearing to have willpower and projecting upon myself some nobility of character I would tell a story of how my steely will and the dedication to my diet and my goal allowed me to refrain from this fresh roll hot out of the oven sitting in front of me.
That wasn’t the case, however. My character nor willpower played no part in it. There was no heroic struggle involved. It didn’t even appear on my radar. No neural circuits fired with conflicting eat/don’t eat messages.
As mentioned before, it is easy to miss non-events and I was completely oblivious to this thing until my younger daughter asked me to butter her roll for her. Only then did I dimly realize that: “Hey – why aren’t I drooling over this thing sitting in front of me?”
I think it was the ketones.
On the 4th day of 70% plus of my calories coming from fat, with ketones flooding my body, foods that only recently would torment me with their siren calls didn’t make a peep. The thing registered a zero on my desire scale.
This is what I think is the coolest thing about a low carb diet: it can deaden not only hunger but cravings.
I think my success so far has to do with mixing things up a bit more. I’ve had a bit more variety in the past week and have not felt deprived. My average fat intake for the week was 75% of my calories and about 25 grams of carbs. My protein was adequate but not too high – 93 grams. My calories averaged around 2,200 calories, so I certainly wasn’t starving myself. While I can’t say the weight is pouring off me, I can say that I’ve set the stage for slow and steady, easy and pleasant weight loss in the future if I keep up this routine.
I will also note that I feel like I am eating more than I need to because I think eating is fun. And what I am eating is fun – I enjoy my decadent fatty meals, my dark chocolate, my pork belly, butter, sour cream, pork rinds, burgers, sausages, and all the other low carb goodies I’ve indulged in.
I went from a high of 212 last Sunday to a low of 207 on Saturday. I’m up a bit today but this is probably more due to water weight than fat accumulation. I missed my ambitious goal of 205 for Saturday, but I’ve also eaten rich foods until I was full – and a bit past that – all week.
That’s a pretty good compromise in my book.
My posting on fat from yesterday has inspired me to try to make my own mayonnaise again so I can ditch the canola oil version I am currently using and make one with pure olive oil. The last time I tried this I made a speckled, oily goo. We’ll see how this goes later today.
While I consider vegetables optional, I had a huge Caesar salad at Legal Seafood yesterday, and some zucchini and some salsa during the week, as well as raw onion, so there were some vegetables in my diet.
While there are ketones in my urine, a more accurate way to measure them is in the blood. I ponied up the bucks for a ketone test meter but haven’t had the chance to use it because I haven’t been in ketosis – and because the test strips are like $1-2 each(!). If you are really into self-experimentation, the blood test meter is the way to go, though not being independently wealthy nor able to have health insurance pay the cost, I’ve decided to only test it once a week as long as I stick to my diet.
My understanding is, if you stay in ketosis, this number will rise steadily. I just measured and I am at 0.5 mmol/L – supposedly 10 times the level of a person who eat 300 grams of carbs a day, but only a ‘pee-wee’ league number for hard-core ketogenic marathoner.
The urine strips can really only tell you if you are in ketosis or not – the color of the strips will vary depending on how much liquid you’ve drank, so a light color or dark color tells you very little.
Can I get all ‘sciency’ on you for a minute?
This 10-fold range of serum ketones, from 0.5 to 5 mM, is your body’s normal physiological response to varying degrees of dietary carbohydrate and protein restriction. This response range is called ‘nutritional ketosis’, and is associated with metabolic adaptations allowing your body to maintain a stable state of inter-organ fuel homeostasis. This process is dependent on an adequate, albeit minimal, ability of the pancreas to produce insulin in response to dietary protein and serum ketones, thus maintaining serum B-OHB in the range where it replaces much of your body’s (and your brain’s) need for glucose without distorting whole-body acid-base balance.
Nutritional ketosis is by definition a benign metabolic state that gives human metabolism the flexibility to deal with famine or major shifts in available dietary fuels.
Phinney, Stephen; Volek, Jeff (2011-07-08). The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living: An Expert Guide to Making the Life-Saving Benefits of Carbohydrate Restriction Sustainable and Enjoyable (p. 5). Beyond Obesity LLC. Kindle Edition.
(By the way – it is absolutely AWESOME that the Desktop version of the Kindle allows the above to be copied and pasted right from the book – along with the citation note. Saves me a lot of typing – that’s for sure.)
I have been feeling the cut over this time. It’s a vague general fatigue. From the book referenced above, it is supposed to take a few weeks to become fully ‘keto-adapted’.
I’m going to try – but please, no congratulations – writing this post is jinx enough.