“If one TRULY stays in ketosis, is it IMPOSSIBLE to over eat?” My gut instinct is to say “No, I can find you people who can over eat, even in “nutritional ketosis.” ~Robb Wolf
Time follow up on my last post on Keto. You can check out that post here. Since publishing that post, I have been hit with a lot of questions. Here are the most common ones.
Ok, you convinced me to go keto so, how do I go about doing it?
This is pretty simple, lower your carb intake. This is done by avoiding starchy carbs like rice, pasta, bread, potatoes, etc. Some people like to put a number on it like, no more than 20 grams of carbs a day. This is not a bad way to go but I am a fan of simplicity so, I went the unweighed an unmeasured method and stuck with only eating meat, fish, fowl, seeds, nuts, good fats, and low glycemic vegetables (greens mainly).
With this method alone I was able to get into ketosis within a couple of days. You can use ketone sticks to check your urine for ketone bodies, but I didn’t even bother with this. I knew I was in ketosis because the weight started coming off and my energy levels were shot. (More on this later.)
What are good fats?
Easy answer: Animal fat like lard and tallow, butter, avocados, coconut oil, and olive oil.
Fats to avoid: Soybean oil, canola oil, corn oil, industrial seed oils and, if possible, animal fat from conventionally (not pastured and not grass fed) raised cattle. To understand why this is important, check out my article on the Omega 3 – Omega 6 ratio.
What about dairy?
If you go the Atkin’s route, dairy is ok, but this isn’t the Atkin’s diet. In Primitive Eating, dairy is avoided because of the inflammatory response it causes. Plus dairy has lactose in it, which is a carb. Can you get into ketosis by eating cheese? Yes. But, my goal is to help people improve their overall health not just to get skinny.
What about working out?
First of all, I am no longer a fan of “working out” but if you are a fan of getting your ass kicked once a day, then going keto isn’t for you. If you are training for some event or competition, like MMA or Crossfit, I do not recommend going keto. This doesn’t mean you can’t be active. You just can’t expect to excel at those high-intensity, glycogen demanding workouts you love so much.
A good rule of thumb for training while on keto is, subtract your age from 180 and try to keep your heart rate under this number.
Do I have to eat this way forever?
Depends, if you are highly sensitive or addicted to sugar, it might be a good idea. Alcoholics don’t have cheat days or reintroduce booze after a short period of time. If sugar is your booze, you may want to consider never going back.
However, many people have great success with what is called Cyclical Ketogenic diet. This is where you are keto 5 to 6 days a week in any combination of days on and days off. This is very handy for people who like to do some intense training a couple days a week.
I recommend staying keto until you hit your goal weight. Once you hit your goal weight (Meaning: repaired your metabolic syndrome), you should be able to reintroduce some carbs back into your diet. Keep in mind this means fruits, squashes, root vegetables, and tubers NOT bagels and donuts. If you went keto to lose weight, hit your goal, and then go back to how you were eating before, you will gain all the weight back.
Can I pig out as long as I don’t eat carbs?
Not really. In most cases you will feel very satisfied with your meals and, if you listen to your body, you will stop eating once you are full. There are some exceptions, and those are called hyper-palatable foods. These are foods that you just enjoy eating and can eat until they are gone. For me, these come in the form of macadamia nuts. They are crunchy and delicious, and I love them!
Just like anything else, even in a high-fat diet, there is a line where you can overdo it. Keep this in mind when you are shoving slices of meatzza in your face.