How Exactly Did keto Make Me Feel Super Human?
For me keto helped change my life! I’d even go as far to say, it has even made me feel super human at times. Thats pretty funny because looking back on my first introduction to the “keto diet”, I couldn’t grasp the concept nor could I understand how eating a diet high in fat could actually provide any health benefits. Why? My own hands-on experience with other diets and meal plans had allowed me to develop my own belief system, so of course keto was utter non-sense to me. But over time curiosity got the best of me, and I started doing my own research. Turns out not only is there is a huge keto movement going on in this country today, but there are also thousands upon thousands of testimonials, as well as photos’ and information to support it.
What is the Keto Diet Anyway?
Keto or Ketogenics, is a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet which in the field of medicine is now being used to treat epileptic patients. This low-carb lifestyle is very similar to Atkins except Keto minimizes carbohydrates to 30-50 grams per day, where Atkins had eliminated carbs completely. Keto also discards all sugar alcohols, sodas, artificial sweeteners, fake and processed foods as well as grains. Talk about scaring people away, which was also playing on my mind before starting the keto diet! Why? On the one hand we’ve been taught that bread & grains should be part of our daily food intake, that they are nutritious and good for you (part of the SAD diet – standard american diet). And on the other hand, we’ve also been taught that fats from foods like bacon and eggs are bad for you, raising your cholesterol levels which can put you at risk of a heart attack.
Within my research as well as my own experience keto has proven to help with fat loss, muscle gain, relaxing anxiety, boosting energy and clearing foggy-thinking. It’s also been known to kick some forms of cancer in the pants, eliminating irritable bowl syndrome and helping dementia/Alzheimer’s amongst a host of other issues. Simply put, Keto forces the body to burn fat (just as our ancestors did thousands of years ago) rather than sugar (aka: glucose after your body breaks down carbohydrates eaten as fuel) which is what most of you that are reading this article are, sugar burners not fat burners. But don’t be ashamed, you can blame both our government and food manufacturers which I will get into within my next blog.
Why Did I Start Keto?
For a host of reasons, but mainly because I wanted to feel and look better all day every day, and I also wanted an edge so to perform at a higher level during my outrigger canoe races and fitness training. Carbs at the time were having their way with me leaving my body me feeling bloated, irritable and unhappy. I was also getting tired of having to constantly refuel and eat all day, which as a sugar burner (again carbs are glucose the body burns as fuel) requires constant refueling which can feel like a job in itself.
With further research I combined another element into the mix called intermittent fasting, which fit very naturally into my daily lifestyle. It required me to only consume food from 12:00pm (noon time) until 8:00pm (at night) an eight-hour window, thus fasting from 8:01pm until 11:59am the next day (16 hours). This in fact forced my body to burn additional body fat for fuel while protecting precious muscle fiber during sleep.
Before starting keto I took my time researching before jumping in head first because I needed to understand clearly what and how I’d be eating. And truth be told, a low carb-high fat diet sounded a little scary, but the more I read I started to understand the science behind it. Through further research and what most people also do not know, is that cancer and tumors thrive on sugar, which was discovered by Otto Heinrich Warburg. You may also not know Otto Warburg actually won a Nobel Prize for his discovery and having had testicular cancer back in 97′, I took this as pretty serious shit. Yes glucose (sugar) feeds cancer! The more sugar we introduce into our system, the more cancer is encouraged to grow. Eliminate sugar and you starve it, which was a bonus for me!
The Transition to Becoming a Fat Burner
The word keto comes from the word ketosis, which means your body is producing ketones on this diet. Ketones essentially are produced in the absence of carbs, what your brain originally used to process. In the absence of carbs, it produces ketones instead and when you are in ketosis, your body burns fat like crazy making it easy to lose as much as a pound a day for those who are very over weight. Once starting on keto and during your first week it’s very common to feel tired and/or dizzy with a head-ache here and there. This is called the “keto-flu” which some never experience at all, a good reason why to stay on the keto diet so you do not have to experience it all over again. Additionally and while on keto it’s also very important to hydrate, which negates cramping in the legs. Why? There are lots of salts and sodium in the processed foods you had been eating, so when you eliminate these items from your daily intake, cramping is natural which is why hydration is important so drink up! It’s also suggested to start taking Potassium & Magnesium while on keto. Finally and after doing my research, I drafted up an initial meal plan which made sense for my personal bio/activity level and within a 4-5 days, my body had been converted from sugar burner to fat burner with moderate to light “keto-flu” type symptoms. A ride I’ll never forget!
Feeling Super Human
Within time I possessed a new-found energy all day every day, dropped 15 lbs of body fat, became even more ripped and performed like a super human during both my practices and races events. Super human meaning able to perform at a high level, and not feeling so beat up after the race. I also didn’t need to eat or drink any performance drinks to restore my fuel during these races or practices either, my body was simply using my own body fat for fuel so hydration (water) was my only responsibility. Transitioning into my new lifestyle also came without any hitches, yet I’d always get that look from people when they saw what I was having to eat. Most questions asked were, “aren’t you gonna get fat from eating all that fat?” and, “man, your cholesterol must be really high eating all of those x, y and z’s?'”. Sugar and carbs are like a drug to most people, but it’s the only thing they know because it’s what they’ve been taught. It’s what’s been engrained in their head like the star-spangled banner and so instead of me pushing keto onto people, I simply engage them when asked “what diet plan are you on to get in the shape you’re in?” It’s been a fun journey and rather life changing experience, and it all started with me too as a keto hater because of my belief system.
Here are some initial resources I’d though you’d enjoy!
This article was written by Ray Dente, Owner & Founder of Get Fit With Ray. If you’d like to contact Ray or you have any questions, he’d be happy to help. You can reach him at Ray@getfitwithray.com