Nutritional Ketosis Experiment


Last fall I attempted to achieve Nutritional Ketosis (NK). It took me a while, about a month to get there, to find the right food that would bring the right level of ketones. Once I finally got it, I lost some weight which was a relief from a long plateau. 

So I tried it again in April.  

This time, I tracked my waist measurements and weight, the carbs, fat and protein I ate, and measured my blood glucose and blood ketones first thing in the morning and before bed, at least 2 hours after eating supper (see chart below). I was not exercising at all during this experiment.

You can see exactly what I was eating here and here are some more "dairy free- keto" meals and recipes.

Here are the results of my NK experiment:
  1. It only too me three days to get in to NK. (even with a little dark chocolate almost every day, my ketones were much higher than last time, guess I found the right macro nutrient ratios)
  2. I felt great the whole time and sometimes had to remind myself to eat, as I could go for long periods without feeling hungry. I had no carb cravings at all, after the third day.
  3. I lost an inch, at least, around my waist and a little over three pounds in 21 days.
  4. The other really noticeable result was that I could breathe better. Due to my allergic sinusitis/rhinitis, my nose is often stuffed up, requiring steroid or natural sprays a few times a day. But I found that the higher my ketones, the better I felt. I am no longer taking any nasal sprays at all (and it is the worst time of year for that - spring!). 
  5. I also found I was waking up earlier in the morning and that my heart was a little racy (I have come to be certain that I am loosing weight when my heart gets a little speedy).
  6. Another thing that happened was that my "womanly cycle", which is usually like clockwork, went a little wonky, OK, REALLY wonky. I don't know if this would have happened anyway because I am 44 or if there is a connection between that and my ketone levels.
Around April 23, 24th, my personal and work stress load peaked, so I had, not one, but TWO rice krispie squares (classic emotional eating, but I did not beat myself up; I was actually quite kind and compassionate to myself about it). Sometimes real life gets in the way of my nutritional challenges. So, my ketones dove, but much to my surprise I was still in ketosis the next day.

Since the end of April, I have added little fruit and upped the carbs a little. I am hoping that by having a little bit more, I might not be as tempted to fall for my irrational justification of having sugary crap once in a while. (I wasn't eating fruit or having some raw goats milk, but I would treat my self to an occasional crappy chocolate bar- it makes no sense!) My cycle returned to normal, I started doing slow burn again twice a week again. I gained a couple pounds back but my waist remained the same. (I find I always gain weight the minute I start lifting weights again). 

Would I do it again, YES, I think going very low carb/high fat is the only way, after almost three years of being paleo, that I can loose weight, because my metabolism is that messed up. Plus I feel great when I am in NK. 

BUT for the last month I have been suspecting that it is time to do away with my weight loss goals.  I wanted to lose 40-45 pounds and I lost 35.  Now I am tired of having a fat loss goal. This goal has been with me for too many years! I am thinking that the weight I have lost so far, may have to be enough, although I am far from slender. 

So I have been thinking about whether I want to continue to have my mental and emotional energy spent on wanting to lose weight. I don't want it to be part of my psyche anymore because I feel that goal is blocking my focus on what is most important and distracting me from what I most value.  Even if this aspiration to lose more weight only takes up a little space in my thoughts (I doubt that) I still think it is not what I want to be thinking about or motivating me at this point in MY journey. This wonderful post by Stacy of Paleo Parents, recently confirmed my suspicions.     

Scales are for fish.  And there are Better Ways to Measure your Health.

I am very pleased that I learned how to achieve NK. I may strive for it again to a lesser extent. My focus has shifted from wanting a smaller body to wanting a stronger body and wanting to maintain the improvements I have already made with my health. 


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