Ketosis – Day 18

Okay, I’ve officially lost any idea about how ketosis works. Limiting carbs is supposed to do it, right? Here’s the problem. That worked at first. I cut my carbs in a big way, then slowly, my weight came down and my ketones came up. That was what I expected. Things seemed to be going more or less according to plan until this weekend, when my VLC plan fell flat on its face. Then I cranked back down on the carbs, but didn’t see ketones start in again. Then I had some berries and ketones came back the next morning. Maybe a fluke. Then cranked down again, with only a very small amount of potato for dinner, and saw no ketones again. Then yesterday I was pretty good all day, with a few notable exceptions. For one, I read Mark Sisson’s piece on how good dark chocolate is for you, so I had a little bit of that.

It was also my wife’s birthday, and we went to Outback (after our appointment with the midwife, then going to look at granite slabs, but before our first birth class. We’re busy.) and got steaks. I got broccoli and she got a sweet potato. I also got a cup of melted ghee, and dipped the broccoli into it, then poured the remainder over the steak. I’ve been doing this for over 4 months now, and I still get a thrill every time I get to eat delicious fats in a way that would have made me cringe before I learned the truth. Also, it was insanely delicious. Absolutely perfect in every way. I was pretty full, but since it was jenna’s birthday, we got the Chocolate Thunder from Down Under, which is a flourless brownie with ice cream and whipped cream and chocolate syrup. It’s one of their only gluten-free desserts, so we shared one to celebrate. I ate a fair amount of the brownie and a lot of the whipped cream/ice cream. It was sugary as all get out, but it was delicious, and Jenna didn’t want to eat the whole thing by herself. So anyway, the dessert dairy (non-pastured, of course) got me feeling a little icky during our class, but overall I felt fine.

We went home, went to bed, etc. I woke up and peed on my stick and I’m back to moderate ketones. What the heck? I was really expecting to be back to zero or trace, given the sugar blast I just put into my system. What gives? No idea. But hey, I’m over halfway through the ketosis trial now, and I’m succeeding with it most days. I’m definitely noticing continuing weight loss, though it is definitely slower the closer I get to my goal. I’m going to try to push the exercise a little bit more, and see if that helps me in leaning out, and I’m pretty sure it will. I’m doing higher-intensity full body movements, and those get my heart rate really high in a short period. It doesn’t take long, it feels great, and it’s building the cardio capacity i want. All good things.

Anything else? Oh yes, I mentioned pictures, didn’t I? Well here you go:

Same jeans I wore for the last fat pants shot. They’re quite a bit looser now (I’m about 10 pounds lighter), but I think the real change is in my arms, my chest, etc. I’m certainly still losing belly fat, but I’m also losing fat everywhere else. here’s a side by side of the two “fat pants” shots, for comparison:

I’m seeing improvements in my leanness in my arms and in my torso, which I think means that I’ve worked through enough belly fat to start losing it from other areas. I think this is the last stage before real, ab-showing leanness. Fingers crossed.

Okay, that’s it for now. Links, though.

The Vegetarian Myth – An interview with the author of the book The Vegetarian Myth. I’ve heard of it many times, but hadn’t really looked into it. She definitely has some different political/social views than I do, but we can agree on some things and disagree on others.

Damn Your Low Fat Diet – Reformed vegan talks about how much better his life is since ramping up his meat and fat intake. Great story.

Is Sugar Fattening? – Dr. Guyenet makes some very interesting points. I would have said “Yes” unequivocally before. But maybe not? Or maybe it’s not that sugar is fattening on its own, but that sugar increases insulin, which can then lead to leptin dysregulation, which then leads to overconsumption of sugar (as well as everything else). It’s a complex issue, but one very much worth digging into and learning about.

Sugar: The Bitter Truth – I know I’ve posted this before, but I just rewatched it today. I love it, and every time I see i get a little more out of it. I now have a much more comprehensive understanding of nutrition in the body and nutritional history, so I feel like I’m really understanding the video in context moreso than I used to. However, Lustig and Guyenet disagree, and hearing what both of them have to say is interesting.

I’m off! Thanks for reading.

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3 comments on “Ketosis – Day 18

  1. Part of the issue is that healthy, normal, lean creatures (imagine a lion) excell on surges of sugar. Your body accepts it, and outputs it. The only real reason you WOULD store it is related to insulin resistance and fat buildup in your kidneys, etc.

    So as your health improves, so will your abilty to correctly utilize sugars the way they were meant to be used (as spikes in energy).

    Seperately, I think you’re expecting your ketone response to follow your meals, as if your body turned around what you ate in 4-8 hours. I remember reading in Tim Ferriss’ book 4 Hour Body that he did a number of experiments, and was shocked to find that his meals often led to blood sugar / insulin spikes FARRR later than he expected.

    • Errr, excuse me. I said kidneys and meant liver. Wish there was an edit button =P

    • Septimus says:

      I definitely think I’ve gotten leaner, and I’m certain my insulin sensitivity has improved, so I think I’m more likely to burn than to store. But I thought that a significant input of carbohydrate, even if (and maybe especially if) it went to your cells to burn, would turn off ketone production? I’m wondering if it has something to do with the fact that the test is based on pee, and pee may be hanging out in my bladder for quite a while? I had another potato-heavy meal last night and am still at Moderate ketones this morning. As is so often the case, the body is more complicated than we think, and our assumptions are very often wrong or at least not all the way right.

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