You might remember in a previous post I told you about my preference to fat over carbs for a day to day diet plan, trying to get over 100g of carbohydrates in my diet each day was a struggle, without feeling sluggish!
(unless it was made up of cake and chocolate of course).
I’ve decided to try the ketogenic diet for a few months to see how I feel. A brief explanation of what that is:
The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet. The diet forces the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates. The reduction in carbs puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis. When this happens, your body becomes incredibly efficient at burning fat for energy. It also turns fat into ketones in the liver, which can supply energy for the brain.
Ketogenic diets can cause massive reductions in blood sugar and insulin levels. This, along with the increased ketones, has numerous health benefits
The ketogenic diet has had a bad rep over the years, from what I understand it comes from the Atkins diet which, for a while, from what I can remember became the ‘bible’ when it came to diet books in the 90s and early 00’s. Until it almost became ‘fashionable’ to be on a high carbohydrate diet, because that’s the ONLY way too build muscle. It’s not, a high carb diet is just an easy way to get your calories in. Remember, to build muscle you must be in a calorie surplus, it doesn’t necessarily matter where those calories come from, what does matter is how those calories make you FEEL. I feel lethargic, tired and constantly bloated on high carb, I feel better on a high fat diet. Some people would find their workouts extremely difficult without carbs, some won’t. Our bodies are all different and you have to find what is best for you.
After doing some research there is various different types of the ketogenic diet you can try. The hardcore one (SKD) where 7 days a week you try and stay below or around 30g of carbohydrates a day (that’s no glass of wine at the weekends and definitely no chocolate! eek) the targeted ketogenic diet (TKD) According to this approach, you eat carbs right before exercise. This means that the carbs consumed before exercise are used effectively and are completely burned without disrupting ketosis for too long. Again you would only eat between 20-50g of carbohydrates before exercise. Then there is Cyclic ketogenic diet (CKD), you alternate days of ketogenic dieting with days of high-carb consumption, known as “carb-loading”. Typically, carb-loading lasts for 24-48 hours.
To begin with, my boyfriend and myself are going to try the CKD version of the ketogenic diet. Mon-Fri monitoring carb intake on myfitnesspal and being a bit more relaxed at the weekends. A cop-out you might be thinking?! To be honest, just now, a world without the occasional glass of wine, chocolate bar or scoop of ice cream at the weekend is a world i’m not interested living in. I know I wouldn’t enjoy the hardcore SKD, nobody would!? It pretty much cancels out all of life’s simple little pleasures that we have the right to enjoy occasionally. You never know, I do like a challenge, it might be something that interests me in the future, once I become more used to the lower carbs but at the moment I am having to make my tea as soon as I get home from work (4.45pm) to stop me delving into left over Easter Eggs!
I’m not too worried though about cravings, you can make some pretty tasty dishes from higher fat foods so I don’t think i’ll have a problem thinking of new creations.
A lot of the foods that make up a ketogenic diet are:
- Greek Yoghurt
- Cottage Cheese
- Nuts and Seeds
Over the next month or so – I am going to post as much Keto friendly recipes as I can, in case you ever fancy trying it with me! 🙂