Winter Ketothon Half Way!

It’s always really interested to see which part of my food cravings are biological, and which part are emotional.

I just completed 2 weeks of a strictly ketogenic diet yesterday! When in ketosis, biological carb cravings pretty much disappear, and it’s very easy to see the emotional cravings revealed when the biology is shut off.

I do this every year near the end of winter, when my Slavic and Northern European ancestors would have run out of stored food and could only eat what little they could hunt. It was very hard to avoid carbs so religiously for so long, especially at first! I had keto flu for about 4 days when I started. However, I’ve had a lot of really stressful shit going down recently, and my anxiety level has been *much* lower than usual, because in addition to reducing general anxiety response, keto also disables the carb cravings that frequently come with stress. I worked in a progressive fast in the last week, eating a little less each day. Yesterday I only had 2 cups of bulletproof coffee until around 8 PM. That was my official two-week time, so I choose to break the diet with a bowl of pho and some sweet coffee and a brownie, the last of which were like being beaten over the head with a firehose full of sugar water, because reducing carbs greatly increases insulin sensitivity. Most people in the US are highly insulin insensitive because they eat more carbs all year than their body evolved to handle.

I think I’m going to stay in ketosis for another two weeks, with one cheat day per week instead of the no-exceptions policy I’ve had for the past two. At that point I will resume my low-carb Paleo diet with some intermittent fasting, which I’ve managed to dial in over the years to figure out how many off-diet things I can get away with without losing the health benefits. Once I finally have my own kitchen setup again, I might actually start tracking macro calories, which is a lot easier once one has a large recipe book from which to cook. It’s a lot easier to eat just a *little* of an off-diet item and make it work if one measures precisely.

In the meantime, I’m going to try making some keto ice cream and meatloaf this weekend and see how it turns out! I’m also going to start weaning myself off of coffee. I was able to reduce a lot of the problems I usually have with coffee by mixing it with butter and coconut oil, but I’ve previously seen some other health benefits from completely stopping my intake, so I’m gonna give that another try.

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4 Responses to Winter Ketothon Half Way!

  1. atkokosplace says:

    I’m currently doing a zero sugar, grain, dairy, beans….Figuring out what foods I may have issues with. I do intermittent fasting as well. I do have to be careful and want to make sure I am getting proper nutrients as I workout a lot. So far, so good. I am free of some of the allergy issues I was suffering from. And no swollen joints and I feel like I recover from workouts faster. I really enjoy bee pollen! I’ve been very interested in the ketogenic diet. I’ve been reading up on it. Very interested in your keto ice cream! Awesome on your breaking your diet with Pho. It’s my favorite food. If you haven’t tried; Bún Thịt Nướng (but get it with grilled shrimp and eggrolls). And brownie is a must! Haha…take care.

    • Scott Mauer says:

      It’s cool that you’re trying an elimination diet. Everyone’s body is different. You can start with a given diet you’ve seen work for others like Paleo or keto, but it always has to be adjusted for each person, and experimentation is the only way to be sure. My allergies are also *much* less when I’m eating low-carb and low-grain, which really helps because Austin is a cesspool of pollen pretty much all year. I also have less body pain, clearly thinking, and a better ability to control my sleeping habits. I haven’t tried bee pollen. Still looking for a the right ice cream maker to try the keto ice cream. I might go halvsies with a friend on it, because I probably won’t use it that often. Thanks for commenting!

  2. Nick says:

    question for me is: if keto is so good, why don’t you stay in ketosis all the time?

    • Scott Mauer says:

      My kitchen environment hasn’t been stable enough for me to control my diet as well as I’d like. I can only pull off strict conformance when I’m 100% in control of my kitchen and what’s in it. I get a lot of benefit from staying in partial ketosis, which is manageable with things like MCT oil, etc., because it can help maintain some degree of ketosis even when eating a bit more carbs. I generally go back and forth over the line, trying to find the right balance. Right now I’m once again having sleeping problems, which was the main reason I started doing Paleo eating to begin with. I came back from a big festival with a bunch of left over carby, gluten-loaded foods, and just finished eating them all. Luckily, I’m finally getting the kitchen in the yurt dialed in, and will be better able to control my diet long term. If I have non-conformant food in the house, I eat it. I can only exercise self-control at the grocery store, not in the kitchen. 🙂 So the only way I can stay conformant is to not have off-diet foods in the house.

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