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Report on ketogenic diet

Report on ketogenic diet
Answer
8/16/13 7:08 AM
I have now been eating a mostly ketogenic diet with no food after 4:00pm for two months or so. I have a bunch of other restrictions, also, which makes my diet highly restrictive. No bread, no legumes, no high-fiber-content vegetables, and some others. I basically two meals, breakfast 30m after waking up and "lunch" around 3-4pm" each consisting of organic meat or fish with a small bowl of cooked vegetables or salad, cooked and/or seasoned with a lot of good fats, such as (organic) lard, coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil. Recently I added two or three pieces of fruit per day.

The diet has not been strictly enforced, I didn't count calories or weigh my food, and I had the occasional day when I ate two entire bananas (!), or when I had my last meal at 6pm... Nonetheless, the effects of the diet are obvious and quite powerful.

Here is what I have to say:

1. It is nowadays very easy not to eat in the evenings, even when other people are eating delicious dinners around me. It is a bit harder if I have eaten my last meal before 3pm, which sometimes happens for social reasons. I am not hungry until the next morning, and even then I am not ravenous or anything, and could easily delay my first meal for an hour or two (then I get very hungry). I have very little cravings with regards to food in general, which is unusual and fun. For instance I can see a family member eat a delicious-looking desert, recognize that it is delicious, and yet have very little craving to deal with. This happened naturally and spontaneously over the course of several weeks as I got more and more used to the diet. At first I sometimes ate a soup or a piece of fruit in the evenings, but soon that was no longer necessary. I only struggled during the first week, when it became clear as day just how addicted I was to sugary food. Well, no more!

2. My alertness levels are pretty much constant throughout the day, though I get adequately tired at night. That is, except if I overeat on one of the meals, in which case I feel bloated and sleepy just like I used to. There is a general feeling that energy is burned more steadily, without spikes.

3. As long as I don't eat too much, and stay away from the foods I am intolerant to, my belly pain is completely gone, as well as several body pains I used to have. However, I have developed a mild form of tendon pain in the shoulder and arms... this could be explained because I spend a lot of time in the computer, but on the other hand I have always done this, and never had tendon problems, so the diet could have something to do with it. On the other hand, I am approaching my 30s, and my close family reports that they started getting unhealthy in all sorts of ways at around this age.

4. I am now able to become absorbed into activities (you know when you are so into something that time flies by). This is actually the most welcome of all the changes brought about by this diet, and it made me realize that the ability to become absorbed had all but disappeared in the previous three years.

I can now get absorbed working, playing music, talking to people and meditating, in a way I couldn't before, and so all of these activities have improved somewhat. However my concentration abilities are still very far from desired, and I still feel a general lack of duration and power/depth compared to what I was able to do before my depression.

5. My mood is much more stable. Waaay more stable. I am diagnosed bipolar, and used to feel either extreme sadness or exhilarating euphoria in alternating periods. I still see the ups and downs, but they don't last as long and they have smaller amplitude. This is a big relief.

However, I am far from satisfied mood-wise, as the highs and lows have been replaced with fits of tedium which can last for several days and have an intensity of their own. It is as if the body/mind gets less stimulus than it used to, and I get terribly bored. As an analogy I could say: these "fits of boredom" are to "bouts of depression/euphoria" like indifference is to sadness/joy.

Also, since I am much less prone to euphoria, I can't depend on the temporary extra mental boost I used to get from it, which has always been useful for work.

6. I am concerned about whether the diet I follow is good enough in the long term. I want to reintroduce all those healthy vegetables (I miss broccoli!) but my attempts so far have been met with pain and suffering. I am going to the doctor, but IBS (my probably diagnosis) is relatively unknown and I am considered a low-priority case, so it takes ages.

Also, I do not feel like I need less sleep, nor do I feel that my mind is "very clear" (though perhaps clearer than before).

----

I am prone to believe that the reason I was unable to become absorbed was because of a gut imbalance that was brought about by my very strong bipolar, anxiety-ridden period in 2009 (the generic term is Irritable Bowel Syndrome). The gut imbalance is still there, but by favoring protein and fat as a source of energy, whichever bad bacteria was ruining my gut ecosystem are no longer thriving as before, and I am given a sort of truce.

Seems like another fascinating science-fiction future research subject.

RE: Report on ketogenic diet
Answer
8/16/13 8:10 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
: ) Bruno,
I am really happy for you!!

Nice, nice work! I know it is not easy to start this diet.

(Okay, if anybody lands here from the general public or whatnot: the KD can be done with meat, lacto-ovo vegetarian and vegan...give it a consideration; there is even a diabetic MD that does it...needs super-close medical supervision in such a case. Check with your MDs, but it's often worth the "fascinating science-fiction future research subject").

RE: Report on ketogenic diet
Answer
8/16/13 9:27 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Cool experiment, right?

RE: Report on ketogenic diet
Answer
8/16/13 1:49 PM as a reply to Fitter Stoke.
Good for you Bruno!

What "diet" are you following? I can't imagine why broccoli would cause you problems?

Heres something that may interest you: I've been following the paleo diet as prescribed by Loren Cordain, Robb Wolf, Jason Sieb et al since last august. Although I have seen many of the same benefits you have over this last year, it is only in the last month that I ahve seen the really big gains. Suddenly all this visceral fat I had been carrying in the chest/abdomen just fell away and I started packing on muscle like you wouldn't believe. I have bags of energy to spare and feel fantastic all the time.

My theory is it took a year to repair damage done over the last 42, then suddenly the conditions were right for body composition change etc.

Me and Mrs B have researched this area very thoroughly. Let me know if you have any questions I might help with..

And well done again. Sounds fab emoticon

RE: Report on ketogenic diet
Answer
8/16/13 2:11 PM as a reply to Bagpuss The Gnome.
Indeed it is a very interesting experiment. It takes some trouble to follow, though.

After the sugar addiction resolved itself, one of the things I miss the most about previous eating habits is the activity. Eating is a fun way to spend time. But having only two meals a day, and such simple meals at that, is very time-saving.

Bagpuss The Gnome:
What "diet" are you following? I can't imagine why broccoli would cause you problems?


Anything that has high fiber content gives me constipation. True for both soluble and insoluble fiber! Which is weird, given that fiber is exactly what doctors recommend to stop constipation.

I am considering a fecal transplant... but that is also complicated.

RE: Report on ketogenic diet
Answer
8/16/13 8:50 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Anything that has high fiber content gives me constipation. True for both soluble and insoluble fiber! Which is weird, given that fiber is exactly what doctors recommend to stop constipation.

I am considering a fecal transplant... but that is also complicated.
Fecal implant I think has just been used with infants. Maybe I'm wrong, but you're talking about repopulating probiotics in your intestines, yes?

I imagine you know this already, but you've tried already drinking like a liter a day for three months of something like So-licious-- a conconut-based probiotic drink, or kefir (actual dairy) and drinking other probiotics (I think I read a finnish study a few years about L. Casei being good.) This restored my stomach. I probably used probiotic drink intensely for three months (during KD) and then less intensely for 6-9 months after. My favorite was "So'licious' the coconut "kefir" (probiotic drink).

Also, green, leafy fresh salads with lime/lemon juice are not helping? Sometimes it takes a few days...

Also eating 1-2 big sugary slices of cake in the middle of a KD-lifestyle can also trigger the bowels...but then you may have to deal with sugar cravings again for a while.

6. I am concerned about whether the diet I follow is good enough in the long term. I want to reintroduce all those healthy vegetables (I miss broccoli!) but my attempts so far have been met with pain and suffering. I am going to the doctor, but IBS (my probably diagnosis) is relatively unknown and I am considered a low-priority case, so it takes ages
Yes, yes. I think you can. I did and do. It can be used as more of a dynamic tool within the context of an alternating low sugar-whole foods diet and a smattering of junk food every month emoticon

What do you think, B?

RE: Report on ketogenic diet
Answer
8/17/13 6:12 AM as a reply to Bagpuss The Gnome.
Bagpuss, I'm curious to hear about the specifics of your diet. Would you mind emailing me at my gmail account? Name's "apperception983". I'd use the PM system here, but it's all jacked up.

RE: Report on ketogenic diet
Answer
8/16/13 9:44 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
However, I have developed a mild form of tendon pain in the shoulder and arms..
Are you still doing that rotating-wobbly kind of relaxation/movement technique that you mentioned several months ago?

However, I am far from satisfied mood-wise, as the highs and lows have been replaced with fits of tedium which can last for several days and have an intensity of their own. It is as if the body/mind gets less stimulus than it used to, and I get terribly bored. As an analogy I could say: these "fits of boredom" are to "bouts of depression/euphoria" like indifference is to sadness/joy.

Also, since I am much less prone to euphoria, I can't depend on the temporary extra mental boost I used to get from it, which has always been useful for work.
So this I think is terrain for sati and metta (friendliness), and may also have something to do with perhaps approaching 30s/30s, when novelty*** is starting to be seen through and one is looking more at an unknown (or even a static, quasi-known future) rather than constantly towards one's presumptively opening future, like a young expectant, eager-to-get-out-of-the-house-college-etc person. ?

***by no means do I think novelty has worn off, but a question about how one spends time, what's worth doing, etc, gets can get bigger here especially if one has achieved well already here, as in music/art, work, studies, movement/body... now what? Maybe I'm waaay off with your experience, Bruno ;)