Mission Keto: Day 1

Today, I began my keto diet.

I first learned of keto (a low-carb, high-fat diet) through Dom D’Agostino on the Tim Ferriss show.

Molecules known as ketones are created in the liver’s break down of fat. Through a Low Carb/High Fat (LCHF) diet, the body’s ketone levels increase until eventually a state of “ketosis” is reached. In ketosis, energy is not derived from glycolysis, but rather from mitochondria converting ketone bodies directly into acetyl-CoA. Thus, fat is burned quickly and glucose doesn’t enter into the equation.

How is this helpful?

The first clear benefit of the keto diet/ketosis is that the body becomes a fat burning machine. Rather than expecting a continual supply of carbohydrates for energy, the body begins to rely on fats for energy, so fat is quickly burned.

But the real reason I’m interested is because a number of studies have shown the efficacy of a ketogenic diet in preventing and treating neurogenerative disorders. Epilepsy has seen a massive rise in the use of ketosis to reduce seizures, and other studies have pointed out the potential of ketosis in preventing diseases from Alzheimer’s to cancer.

The ketogenic diet is a seemingly “magical” solution to burn fat and prevent disease, and I want in. Today, I finally gave it a shot, and it sucked.

And that was after one meal.

So here’s what happened:

4:20 PM – I have my last non-keto meal of tuna fish on white bread and orange juice.

4:40 PM – I go to the library to get the copy of Ketogenic Diet and Metabolic Therapies edited by Susan Masino that just got in.

5:40 PM – Feeling pumped and motivated to try keto, I head to the dining hall to discover that EVERYTHING is made out of carbs.

So I make myself a salad of lettuce and chunks of chicken topped with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. My “entree” consists of a pile of tuna on a plate, and my drink is of course – water.

It was probably the blandest meal I’ve had in months, or maybe years.

Right now, it’s past 10 PM (over 5 hours later) and I’ve not felt hungry since. I’m slightly nauseous, but no pain no gain, am I right?

Supposedly, when transferring to a keto diet, there is this common transition period consisting of a “keto flu” where headache, nausea, and exhaustion are expected. Keto flu varies from person to person, but I should expect some of it by tomorrow evening.

I plan to document all my keto adventures here in a series of posts called Mission Keto.

Hoping for the best,

Stephen

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