In this video I talk about my weight loss journey and mini transformation over the last three months. If you’d rather read then here is everything that I’ve covered in the video, and then some 🙂
In April, I started with a simple carb cycling plan where I was averaging to about 150 g of carbs per day in a week. That’s still high but considering that I was eating way more than that before, it was a good way for me to ease into a lower carb routine and shed significant water weight.
So the lesson learned here is that slowly introduce your body to new eating habits. Making drastic changes might throw off your digestion and hormonal balance, and it’s also more difficult to cope with emotionally. You can’t just wake up one morning and tell yourself that you’re never going to eat bread again!
Carb cycling is also good in this sense because you get to mix up low and high carb days.
All in all, first month was a success and things went as planned.
In May I decided to cut carbs even further, averaging 75 g of carbs per day in a week. I also mixed up my workouts at the gym, cutting out any sort of heavy lifting and relying only on interval style cardio.
Second month was a total failure. I had plateaued. There was no change on the scale or in the mirror.
The mistake as I later realized was not in reducing carbs or changing workout, not directly that is. While cycling my carbs, I was eating relatively high amount of protein per day, anywhere between 80-90 g per day. Since I had taken out lifting, I wasn’t breaking down and repairing muscle anymore. My muscles were getting stronger but they weren’t getting bigger and so all that excess protein that I was eating was simply getting converted to sugar!
That’s right, the body is equipped to break down protein into glucose and would much sooner do that than break down fat for energy.
So lesson learned was that eating high protein is only beneficial when doing some serious heavy lifting. For my lifestyle 50-60 g of protein was going to be just fine.
Finally, it was June and armed with this newfound wisdom, I decided to give ketosis a try! Low carb, high fat and moderate protein seemed like the right thing to do, and it was. I was already used to eating low carb from my carb cycling days so I had many go-to recipes which is my number one tip to anyone attempting the LCHF life. Don’t think you’ll figure it out along the way because the initial days are tough and if you can’t whip up a healthy and satisfying meal quickly, you’re likely to succumb to cravings.
My favorite breakfast to this day is an almond meal pancake made in generous butter or coconut oil, with a tablespoon of peanut butter. It is delicious and extremely satisfying.
Tip number two is be prepared to feel like crap for about 2 days after the first 4-5 days. I had headaches and felt no energy. I missed the gym and made sure to read anything and everything I could find on the internet about keto diet. IT HELPED BIG TIME! It gave me the motivation to keep going, in fact, it actually made me enjoy the misery knowing that it meant my body was learning to burn fat!
Eventually, I was back to normal and I had the energy to do fulfilling workouts at the gym. The one thing I did notice, which is a negative, is that I didn’t have enough strength to see progress in my pull up progressions because I had almost no muscle glycogen. Based on what I’ve read, it takes about 2-3 months to get fully keto-adapted so the depends on glycogen is gone but I’m not going to try it. As of July I’m back to eating a regular diet with moderate carbs, fats and protein.
Overall, I was satisfied with my keto results. I lost 2 kg in fat and I felt energetic.
There’s one instance I specifically want to share. I had eaten a high carb dinner one Saturday as part of my re-feed so I decided to do sprint intervals Sunday morning to exhaust my glycogen stores. So there I was in the park across from my house, doing sprint/walk intervals for close to an hour, and just as I was starting to feel like I had reached my limit I suddenly got this immense burst of energy and I kept going for another 20 minutes. I was still not exhausted by the time I was done but my right knee was busted so I had to stop.
I like to think that just as my muscle glycogen depleted to a certain level, my ketosis machinery kicked in and supplied me with endless source of energy. Ok, well not endless but you know what I mean 😉 Regardless, I thought that was pretty cool!
A note though… I didn’t do a strict keto diet because I was eating a serving of fruit each morning and I was eating loads of vegetables with each meal. I don’t condone extreme diets, and especially diets that deprive one of nutrients so I made that allowance and I’m still happy with the results. In my post-keto world I feel more energetic and efficient, and I’m still losing weight. I’m still far from my personal best in terms of appearance but I’m not in a rush to get there.
If you decide to give ketosis a try, or if you find this information useful, do leave me a comment. Would love to hear from a fellow fitness “student”, or even a teacher… we’re all about learning here 😀