Over the past month, I have experimented with 2 separate 4000 calorie meal plans. I was originally going to consume the same meal plan for 1 month but I soon realized that it had to be revised, since I was not entering ketosis as often as I should have.
As I mentioned in my last article, there were a few problems with this meal plan that were limiting my body’s ability to enter ketosis. I made some revisions after the first two weeks.
In this one month I gained 2 pounds (ending at 147 pounds).
Throughout this past 30 days, I realized that although the keto diet is an extremely satiating diet, I was still very hungry. On most days I would find myself snacking on keto-friendly(ish) foods till I was full. This included things like almonds, peanuts, peanut butter, sometimes eggs and coconut milk (canned) ice cream. Therefore on most days I was closer to 4500 kcal with a couple of days being at around 7000 kcal (days when I ate coconut cream ice cream). On my rest days at the gym (my split was 3 days on, 1 day off) I decided that I would only eat when I was hungry (making sure that I kept carbs under 20g net). Somehow on those days I consumed far fewer calories.
I realized that for the keto diet to have its satiation effect, I had to consume larger meals (or eat until I felt satiated). By doing this, I staved off hunger for over 4 or 5 hours! On days when I was consuming my regular meal plan, my meals were small but numerous, making it hard to feel full at any time.
In doing these self experiments, I’m learning more and more about what it takes to compile good data. In this particular meal experiment, I measured blood pressure daily (because my sodium intake was extremely high) and blood ketones throughout different times of the day. Here is what I compiled:
I’m not sure how accurate my blood pressure meter is so I decided to take at least 2 readings (immediately after each other) once a day. At a certain point I decided to stop because I wasn’t seeing a blood pressure reading that was concerning to me. In terms of ketones, I was all over the place. Some days I would drop below the 0.5 mark (nutritional ketosis). This could be because of a couple things. FIrstly, I may have over consumed some of my keto snacks, pushing me over my own carb tolerance required to stay within ketosis. Secondly, the time of day changed things. Some days I would take readings before a workout, other days I would take readings after a workout. All of these variables couldn’t be controlled since I went to the gym at different times every day. An example of the effect that exercise can have on blood ketones can be seen on August 19th. On August 18th, my ketones were at 1.7 mmol in the mid afternoon. I finished my last meal on that day and fasted until I took my reading the next day. Before taking my reading however, I went for a jog. This caused my muscles to take in all of the ketones in my blood for energy.
My original plan was to see if I could drop my kcals to 1500 for the next 2 weeks to see if I would lean out without getting hungry but that completely backfired. After 3 days, I gave up. The meal frequency kept me hungry all the time and since I’m going to the gym so often, I probably shouldn’t ignore the hunger.
Instead, I have decided to continue to stay in ketosis except i’ll eat what I want, when I want. I will probably do this for about a month.