Ketosis after 3 Months – The ups and downs

It has officially been three months since I started living a Ketogenic lifestyle. It hasn’t always been easy but it has been very rewarding. I have been keeping a record of my weight and body fat percentage so that I can track my weight loss progress. I understand that at the end of the day the numbers on the scale don’t really amount to much, but it is still nice to have something quantifiable to encourage you on those days where you might be struggling. I would say that while my experience with Ketosis thus far has been a good one, I have had a few interesting moments that I will discuss here, but first the good news!

The first bit of good news isn’t something quantifiable, but it’s definitely something noticeable. I would say that on a whole my moods have been much better, I don’t get quite as grumpy as I used to, especially if I haven’t eaten in awhile. Along with the improved moods I would also say that my brain fog is pretty much a distant memory. I don’t get sleepy at my desk anymore and I find it much easier to keep on task while I am working. Even if there were no other benefits I would say Ketosis is worth it just for that!

Weight loss is something everyone seems to obsess over these days. Many people start a Ketogenic diet for this sole purpose. ‘Losing weight’ isn’t something I’m particularly interested in, but losing fat, on the other hand, is of great concern to me. Losing fat is not only important for my fitness aspirations but also for my overall health and longevity. When I first started this whole thing I tipped the scales at 301.2 lbs (136 kg) and 36.3% body fat. While my weight has been slightly higher (306 lbs) this is pretty much the fattest I’ve ever been in my life. By comparison, when I was leaving high school and quit running I was around 185 lbs (84 kg) and 6% body fat. There is still a big part of me that identifies with that younger self. Sometimes when I look in the mirror or see pictures I don’t even recognize this huge person that I’ve become. That person is not me, that is not who I am. I don’t know that I ever want to return to that super skinny version of myself though, and because I want to have a great deal more muscle this go around I am shooting for more of a 210-220 (95 – 100 kg) range. I took a year before my wedding to get in shape and lose weight and I was able to get myself from 260 (118 kg) down to 215 (97 kg). This was before I knew a lot that I know now and I am hoping to reach that goal much faster this time, and ketosis is definitely helping me to reach that goal!

Ok, so how did I fare over these past 3 months? Well, I am happy to report that by sticking with a ketogenic diet and by keeping up my workouts I lost a total of 29.1 lbs (13 kg)!! That’s an average of almost 2.5 lbs (1.1 kg) per week! Remember how it took me a year to lose around 50 lbs (22.6 kg) for my wedding? Well, I’ve lost about 30 is just 3 months! An important note is that I’m doing almost exactly the same workout routine too, so I know this is almost all because of ketosis. I have included a screenshot of my spreadsheet so you can see the progression. I am going to continue this spreadsheet and post a six month update as well.

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The blue and green highlighted dates are the dates that I did the Spartan Super and Beast respectively. The Super did a number on my body so I thought it was important to note why there were such huge swings over those few days.

So, I did mention there were some bad things, didn’t I? Well, in light of all I’ve got out of this experience the bad pales in comparison, but they are still there. The first bit of hardship is trying to find foods that my wife and I can both eat. For the most part we are doing fine, but as someone who loves pasta, rice, and bread and isn’t on a ketogenic diet it’s hard for her some nights when we are planning dinner. There’s only so much zucchini pasta you can eat before you really start missing the real stuff. She has talked about doing the diet with me since she’s seen what great results I’ve had, but while she is still breastfeeding she needs to maintain a more balanced diet.

The worst thing about the diet thus far has been the dreaded Keto Flu!! I was a bit foolish in assuming you only contract it during the first phase of the diet. At that time I was eating pretty balanced and was taking mineral supplements and made it through unscathed. Well, just due to laziness I stopped paying attention to what I was eating and definitely had been slacking on the fresh, whole plant foods. I was also not taking my supplements the way I should. I ended up getting really bad headaches for about a week. The first few days I didn’t think much of it, but by the end of the week other symptoms started in: chills, lethargy, etc. I pretty much took the whole weekend easy and upped my carbs a little to help regulate my electrolytes better. I also started eating more plants and got myself a good multi-mineral supplement. It took a few days to get it right, but I think I’m out of the woods there, and now that I know the symptoms I can prevent it from coming back.

Of course, this all happened during the last week of my first three months, which I think partially explains why my numbers got all crazy that week. I also am not sure what my scale thinks it’s doing, but for some reason it thinks my body fat jumped up over a percent overnight. Doing the math it put me as having almost 4 more pound of fat than it had been reporting. I know for a fact that’s not accurate, but since the jump the scale has gone back to being mostly consistent. I am trying to forget about the numbers and just focus on the progress. This same week it says I put on four pounds of fat I went down a belt loop, so it’s not always wise to trust the scale!

Overall, things are going great and I am excited to see what the next 3 months holds! I haven’t been working out since I got ‘the flu’ and I am excited to get back into that. I can feel some of my progress slipping and I haven’t worked this hard just to lost it all. I am going to start back strength training and I am going to work in more regular and strategically planned runs. I am also working on a program to improve my biggest running weak spots. I plan on starting that in the new year. I know that I am on the right track and I am very excited to start 2017 off on the right foot and to really make this my year!

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