Happy 4th of July! As promised, here is a review of my last couple days experimenting with the ketogenic diet.
I made it six days. In my last post, I explained that my husband and I were heading to northern Michigan to spend time with family and to celebrate the birth of America. I continued the keto diet one more day while we were there, but did not pressure myself to finish the last day. We had awesome company, good food, and refreshing drinks… I did not want to miss out on that!
The 6th day was like all the others; consisting of tons of butter, MCT oil, salmon, nuts, etc. Day 7, I ate pasta salad, bean salad, strawberries, chocolate chip cookies, and drank a couple corona lights… so of course, I was no longer in ketosis. And that was fine with me!
In summary, the ketogenic diet was difficult. Personally, I did not struggle because I craved carbohydrates. I struggled because of how extremely high fat the diet was – the buttered coffee, cheese-caked foods, and soggy MCT oil lettuce was just too much to handle after 6 days. I also could not figure out how to eat less protein to truly get into ketosis. My body was definitely producing ketones, but to say that I was 100% in ketosis would be wrong. I felt like absolute crap on days 4 and 5… I was tired, achy, and had massive headaches. And I did not see any distinct changes in my body. I know it was only 6 days, but many individuals I have talked to swear to quick composition changes after going keto. I did not; therefore, the sluggishness and headaches just weren’t worth it to me.
I do not recommend this as a way of eating over an extended period of time, especially if you are active or an athlete. Our bodies are most efficient at using carbohydrates for fuel, so if you are extremely active you may find that your workouts suffer on the ketogenic diet. I also do not recommend going keto if you have a big presentation or assignment at work or school in the next 2 weeks or so. The brain fog is real and you might find you struggle to get a big project done on low energy. In addition, if you don’t enjoy high fat foods, like beef or bacon, it is difficult to keep protein in line and truly get into ketosis. Finally, if you are like me and enjoy fruit, vegetables, and toast you might find yourself a little angry after six days. That being said, I am really glad I tried it, as I learned right away that it isn’t a style of eating I am willing to stick to for the long term!
Allison Tropf, MS, RD, CSSD
Allison is a Sports Dietitian in Michigan. She enjoys helping others reach their nutrition and fitness goals through reliable and trustworthy recommendations.
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