The Keto Experiement - Week 2
First, if you missed my first post on our keto experiment, go read it here! Otherwise, today’s will sound like nonsense.
Let’s dive right in, this week was ROUGH!
I’ve given a day by day recap. Just so ya know, I’ve questioned what we’re doing multiple times!
This morning marked the first day of our second week. We were planning to go snowboarding so I knew I needed to fuel up but I just couldn’t bring myself to eat eggs again so I grabbed a protein shake. It wasn’t enough food but I just couldn’t think of anything else to eat! While on the mountain, Aaron kept commenting on how grumpy I was and how I didn’t seem to be enjoying myself even though I didn’t feel like I was in a particularly bad mood.
After we finished the day riding we popped over to one of our favorite post-boarding eateries. We were both starved! Aaron ordered a bun-less burger and I ordered a bun-less chicken sandwich. We also got an order of fried cheese curds to split and ended up peeling the breading off of them and eating the greasy cheese. Cute right? I got home, still hungry, and ate several cheesecake fat bombs while Aaron made some “fat-head” pizza. The pizza was good, but heavy, and after tracking all my food I realized I’d gone over my carb limit by 20 carbs.
Aaron migrained out! The goal of this experiment was to hopefully utilize a high-fat/low-carb diet to help prevent migraines or break him out of a migraine cluster as needed, so this wasn’t a great sign! I was starving all day and ended up over on all my macro targets…I went over by 30 carbs that day! I used my urinalysis ketone test strips and had nearly kicked myself out of ketosis.
Part of me just wanted to say screw it and give up, but…I feel like I’ve gotta see this little experiment through because:
It’s so much easier to stick to a new diet with a friend, Aaron and I need each other on this one.
I want to give it a fair go to be able to share about the experience here in case any of you guys are considering this! And I kinda told you I would last week ha ha. I meant what I said, I said what I meant.
So…I got myself back on track!
I was at work and felt a headache coming on so I took a couple Excedrin and hit my work gym to get my blood moving a bit. I had a really solid sweat-sesh but a few minutes after getting back to my office I GOT A MIGRAINE! I very rarely get migraines, I’ve only had a handful in my life, but the aura on this one took out my vision for about an hour. It eventually passed with a really mild headache coming on after as I was able to function normally the rest of the day.
Aaron hit the gym first thing in the morning and had a migraine as soon as he got home. Keto doesn’t appear to be helping as we hoped. BUT I feel I must say we’ve had a completely disrupted sleep/gym schedule this week that may have contributed to the migraines. Olivia was sick and waking up constantly throughout the night for days which was hard on all of us!
I took to Instagram stories and complained…a lot. I ended up with a bunch of DMs that were super excited keto wasn’t working because they think it’s dumb and a bunch saying they thought it could be keto flu and to press through. I also got a number of recommendations for what diets we should try next as we’ve become human guinea pigs ha ha.
Keto makes you want to lick the crumbs of your kid’s graham crackers off the counter. Like, seriously. I made Hudson a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and nearly lost it.I never stop thinking about food. I’m serious, it’s distracting from my life and kinda frustrating.
I’ve noticed that this diet requires you to be extra focused on your food prep. You have to have things to look forward to trying and eating. We tried really hard with food this week, some of it was disappointing but some was really good! I made some tasty fatty cheddar broccoli soup (it still has 20g carbs per serving,albeit, mostly fiber carbs), I also made carb-less cheesy breadsticks that were pretty good and we made up our own chocolate mint fat bomb recipe that Aaron was stoked on (in the context of keto food), which all helped us get through the week! We tried a new artificial sweetener in an attempt to make a dessert, it was awful and we put it straight into the trash. I’m done trying to make keto desserts that resemble real dessert, I’d rather just go without.
We slept a full night! Livvy ended up having and ear infection which we’re treating and she’s feeling so much better! She slept through the night for the first time in a week which was AMAZING!
BUT…Aaron migrained out again. This one was pretty bad.
One of you lovely humans sent me a link to this clinical trial which was really interesting:
A strict ketogenic diet (KD) is unlikely to provide a feasible long-term solution for episodic migraine patients, because it is difficult to implement in an ambulatory setting and patient adherence may be limited. An alternative means to induce a state of mild to medium nutritional ketosis (0.4-1 mmol/l), irrespective of blood glucose levels, is the dietary supplementation with ketogenic substances, such as beta-hydroxybutyrate (bHB) salts (and unpublished observations). This approach could be easily implemented with intake of a ketogenic powder dissolved in water (consisting of a calcium-magnesium-bHB salt) three times a day (with or after a meal). This nutritional intervention seems much more feasible than a KD in larger patient populations and avoids the complications of a very restricted high-fat diet.
We may try adding in bHB to see if there’s a positive effect. I haven’t decided if we should try it after the 30 days in order to keep the keto-diet isolated to give us a clear idea of it’s effects, or if we should add it now throwing an additional variable into the mix. What do you guys think?
We’re pretty committed to sticking this out for 30 days as the goal is to become “fat adapted”. What does that mean? Basically, your body has stocked up on mitochondria.
Eating a diet high in carbohydrates leads to variable levels of insulin resistance. Limited carbs for a time allows your body to become more sensitive to insulin.
On a high-fat/low-carb diet glucose levels don’t go up and down as frequently or as high/low. The body starts using fat for fuel because glucose just isn’t around. It burns through the glucose stores in the blood, then muscle, and then glycogen in the liver. Fatty acids then begin being utilized as an energy source along with ketones but it’s not a super efficient process at first, resulting in a lot of ketones in the urine
Over time, your body builds up more mitochondria to more effectively use these energy sources. This takes weeks, which is why the longer you’re on a ketogenic diet the less ketones you see in the urine as time goes on.
Most people we’ve talked to and most articles we’ve read say 4-8 weeks is normal. We’ve committed to 30 days and are hopeful to at least see signs of fat adaptation at that point. We’ve been doing ketone urinalysis testing daily and have remained in the small-moderate range.
While this wasn’t our goal, I know people are interested. Aaron has lost about 7lbs and a few inches so far but says it doesn’t feel like healthy weight loss. My weight is the same but I’ve lost a couple inches as well. Honestly, we’re both pretty terrified we’re just dropping hard-earned muscle.
I’d love to see some fitness competitors or something who have done this diet and not stripped themselves of muscle to make myself feel better. If you know of any, please, let me know!
It was a rough week. We’re still committed but a little grumpy. I’m hoping to find some new recipes this weekend to help stay motivated and stick it out! What do you guys think about keto? Is it something you’d be willing to try?