Keto Experiment Results & Future Revisions

As I mentioned two articles ago, I was going to attempt a 2 week experiment in which I would take in 4000 calories, mostly coming from fats. I ran into a few problems that I will outline below.

Here is a recap of my diet set-up for the last 2 weeks:

I was working out in a 3 days on, 1 day off split. On my days off I would only consume 2 meals which put me at around 3000 calories, at least 75% from fat. It was on the off days that I would achieve ketosis. On days I was working out (and my protein intake was far higher) I would be just outside of ketosis. I did gain 3 pounds of weight and seemingly slightly more muscle definition, specifically in my shoulder.

A few of the mistakes I made were:

  1. My protein intake was too high to induce true nutritional ketosis. In the absence of insulin in the blood, protein can cause an increase in blood sugar that inhibits ketosis.
  2. Energy was lacking because of a lack of sodium intake
  3. Saturated fat was too high in relation to my polyunsaturated fats which wlikely provide more benefits
  4. My so called “ketogenic” pre-workout contained 250 mg of caffeine which is enough to raise blood sugar

Protein Intake

In consuming this meal plan, it started to become very apparent that something wasn’t right when my blood ketones were consistently under 0.5 mmol (the standard for being in nutritional ketosis). In the beginning I thought that with my workout schedule being so dense, the blood sugar response to protein would not be substantial. Unfortunately, it seems as though consuming this level of protein regardless of energy expenditure, causes me to stay out of ketosis. It could be that my full scoop of 30g of whey protein post workout was enough to keep me out of ketosis.

Sodium Intake

Sodium is feared by so many people but what they don’t realize is that carbs are the driving force behind why sodium can have such negative effects. In the absence of carbs, sodium can allow the body to retain water (when carbs aren’t available to do so) in order for energy levels to be maintained. It also staves off cramping which is great.

Saturated Fat Intake

Many advocates for the ketogenic diet claim that you can basically inhale saturated fat while others suggest a well balanced ketogenic diet. Thinking about it, I thought that it might be beneficial to increase my intake of polyunsaturated fats (Omega 3 and Omega 6). There are some scientific studies claiming that polyunsaturated fats may be more ketogenic. [1]

Caffeine Intake

Consistent intake of caffeine has been shown to increase fasting blood glucose levels. [2] It seems contradictory then, to put 250 mg of caffeine in a so-called “ketogenic” pre-workout. This is another possible explanation as to why I wasn’t entering ketosis.

The Revised Plan

The issues I was experiencing before have been addressed in this revised meal plan. In the next two weeks, I will consume these macros, measure blood ketones once a day and take blood pressure readings once a day.

References

[1] Pubmed.gov. “Differential metabolic effects of saturated versus polyunsaturated fats in ketogenic diets”. [Online]. Available: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15070924

[2] American Diabetes Association. “Effects of Coffee Consumption on Fasting Blood Glucose and Insulin Concentrations”. [Online]. Available: http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/27/12/299

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