“I remember exactly where I was sitting in a clinic at Johns Hopkins in 2002 explaining to (admonishing, really) a patient who was on the Atkins diet how harmful it was … I am so embarrassed by my complete stupidity and utter failure to pick up a single scientific article to fact check this dogma I was spewing to this poor patient.” ~Peter Attia, M.D.
In late June I felt that my sugar cravings were getting out of control. What was intended as a “cheat” meal had morphed into an entire day, then a whole weekend, and before I knew it, I was consuming gluten free cookies 2 to 3 times during the week.
Everyone has dragons to slay, and my biggest one is sugar. I’ve managed to kick the habit in the past, but I always seemed to relapse after convincing myself that sweets could be consumed in moderation, and I have been wrong every time. I now know that sweets are something I need to stay away from completely. Much like a recovering alcoholic, I can’t just have one on occasion without completely falling off the wagon.
In the past, I have managed to kick my sugar habit by going on a strict ketogenic diet, or ‘keto’ for short. Keto is a low carb diet made famous by Dr. Robert Atkins. Eating low to no carbohydrates forces your body to switch to burning fat for energy instead of sugar. There is a lot information out there, both for and against eating this way and I could care less about any of it. I know, through my own trial and error, that eating keto rids me of my uncontrollable desire to binge on sweets. So, that’s exactly what I did and it has improved nearly every aspect of my life.
My health and body composition
I didn’t get any blood work done before starting, however I have in the past and have seen great results. My fasting blood sugar would drop, triglycerides and bad cholesterol (LDL) went down, while my good cholesterol (HDL) went up.
The most obvious evidence of my improved health is my overall body composition. I finally managed to break the 240 pound mark, and am on my way to dropping below the 230 pound mark for the first time in ages. Additionally, I have lost over an inch on my waist, and my energy level has noticeably increased. My daily naps are now a thing of the past. Keep in mind I didn’t do this to get leaner, but to get rid of my uncontrollable desire to eat sweets, getting lean is just a “sweet” byproduct.
Eating keto definitely hasn’t raised my income but it has had the effect of reducing my spending. I no longer have the desire to eat cookies at the coffee shop, or treat myself to gluten free doughnuts. Because of this, I have spent considerably less money eating out over the course of the past month. Not to mention, the meals I usually splurge on such as gluten free pizza have gone away, along with it the added cost.
Another interesting fact is that; because I’m eating nutrient and calorie dense foods, I get more full faster and stay satisfied for a greater length of time. This leads to me having left overs and essentially getting two meals for the price of one.
As a weight loss coach, and the creator of: The Complete Guide to Primitive Eating, eating keto has reassured me that the advice I am giving is credible. (Especially since Step 12 of The Complete Guide to Primitive Eating is to go sugar free.) Posting updates of my progress, as well as pictures of my meals has generated a lot of interest in my coaching services.
Since I’m no longer hungry in the afternoon when I get home from my daily endeavors, I don’t eat and veg out watching Netflix like I have in the past. Instead, I have been getting my laptop out and writing. Finally, I can not only say I’m working on my next book, but actually follow through and make progress.
My mental health
Being able to work on my next book is so mentally stimulating. Writing it is allowing me to be creative, to learn, and to feel accomplished by seeing the progress made.
Do you know what it feels like to be in better shape that you were in high school? I am currently the leanest I have ever been in my adult life and there is no sign of the progress halting.
My physical performance
Quitting sugar cold turkey had a negative effect on my activity initially. However, with in a week, I transformed into a fat burning machine. My body kicking over to using fat for energy instead of sugar accelerated weight loss, and improved my rock climbing ability over time. For the first time ever, I climbed a 5.11 wall route, which was something that was so out of my abilities that I didn’t even aspire to do it. I have also noticed my number of pull-ups increase, as well as noticeable improvements in my barefoot long distance runs.
My love life
Well I did say “nearly” every aspect. So far eating keto has not helped me get a date… but perhaps some of its benefits will.