The Keto Experiment - Week 3

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The good, the bad, and the ugly

Week 3 was pretty different for Aaron so I thought I’d share both perspectives


The Good -

Aaron - I’ve noticed my brain doesn’t feel foggy like it did last week. I’m rarely hungry, and eating has been more about the love of the game. I accidentally fasted 16 hours Tuesday, I ended up eating a few tillamook cheeses but only because I missed eating.

I also had a fasting blood panel which showed, as a specimen I’m impeccable! Isn’t that what Gaston says?

Courtney - “As a specimen yes I’m intimidating”

Aaron - Yeah, that’s what I said. I’m just saying, HDL, LDL, total cholesterol, blood glucose were all in enviable ranges.

Courtney - rolls eyes These guys aren’t going to be hearing your sarcastic tone, they’re going to think you’re stuck up.

Aaron - *shrugs*

Courtney - I haven’t been feeling as snack-y as I usually do, however, I feel like part of that might be from feeling so limited and unenthused about the food I have available. Either way, I think it’s made me more aware of when I’m feeling snack-y because I’m bored and when I’m actually hungry. It’s harder to prepare snacks and meals which makes you think more before you eat! That added awareness has been useful.

Aaron - I think limiting macros has forced more creativity with our eating.

Courtney - YES! Learning how to prepare meals and snacks on very few carbs has actually been really insightful. With traditional macros, I know sometimes we’d get to the end of a day and have macro targets that still needed to be hit, but our carbs were so limited we’d sometimes under-eat simply because we didn’t have the creativity or motivation to find something that fit.

Aaron - You’re going to tell them about your fasting blood panel, right?

Courtney - Well yeah, but I don’t think it falls into the good category…

Aaron - Well I guess it’s time for the bad then!

Courtney - Fine.

The Bad -

Courtney - I have a lot of things for this section. but, Aaron already called me out so I’ll cover that first. I had my blood work done too buuuuut….my results were garbage! Seriously. My total cholesterol came back as 308 mg/dL. It kind of sent me into a panic. BUT! In my defense, this blood work was done at Aaron’s work health fair and I was less than confident in the tech running my sample and have no idea if her machine is qualified or QC’d in any way. I immediately made an appointment with my doctor after ha ha!

After speaking with her, and looking over my past results on her records, she feels that my results from the health fair are most definitely inaccurate. THANK GOODNESS!

Other bad things…

I’m irritable, really irritable. And my brain feels…well, when I try to think through things at work or recall something it’s like trudging through mud. It’s just slow and sluggish. I’ve also been really tired. I usually don’t ever feel like I need caffeine in the morning but this week I have. My body isn’t used to it so it lead to me feeling a bit anxious any time I opted for a caffeine boost.

Aaron - Actually, I didn’t have any migraines this week. My last one was last Friday.

I miss the taste of real ice cream. We discovered Rebel Creamery ice cream this week. I was expecting, that with keto being all about the fats, the ice cream would be pretty amazing. In reality, it was just disappointing. The sugar alcohol is quite offensive. I’m very offended. Certainly we can think of something better to do with all the creamy fats at our disposal, right?

The Ugly a.k.a. neutral -

Courtney - Do you have anything you can think of that falls into the ugly category?

Aaron - isn’t my ice cream experience ugly enough?

Courtney - Well maybe ugly is too strong of word? Maybe we should make it more neutral? Any interesting observations you don’t feel strongly about?

Aaron - I’ve dropped 10lbs in 3 weeks but my lifting game is still strong.

Courtney - Oh yeah! We were both sure we were going to lose muscle, feel weak, and suffer at the gym on keto, but honestly, we’ve both been hitting workouts hard, feeling sore, and putting up the same or more weight. It definitely hasn’t negatively impacted our gym routine. My weight has mostly stayed the same.

Aaron - I wouldn’t say it’s actually helping with the migraines, not yet anyway. While I’ve had none this week, I had 4 last week.

Courtney - We are still awaiting the fat adapted stage of keto that I discussed in last weeks’ post. We’ve continued testing for ketones in our urine this week (we’re so hot right now) and we’re still spilling ketone despite being fully compliant with the diet indicating that we’re not fat adapted yet. The migraine study (referenced in my week 1 post) showed that outcomes were more favorable the longer patients were on the diet. Maybe we just haven’t been on it long enough?

Aaron - Yeah, that’s a possibility.

Courtney - But we also really feel this diet is not sustainable, not for us at least. We’re used to being strict about macros, sticking to targets, prepping healthy meals, etc. but this is just so much more limiting than standard macros. AND in order to become fat adapted you have to remain very strict until you reach that point, otherwise you just push your body out of ketosis. For us, tracking and keto is just a hard sell. I think we feel just as good on standard macro targets but we have so much more freedom and I’m a much more tolerable person! If cycling keto could pull Aaron out of a migraine cluster it would be worth it, but otherwise, I feel like I’m happier and have more control over body composition with standard macros.

Courtney - Oh, another thing! With how calorie dense these fatty foods are, you hit your macro targets quickly and with less volume of food. That can be kind of disappointing. For us, the food has also been fairly repetitive. While that may make meal planning easier because you have limited options, the longer we eat this way the more I’m getting bored with my food options. Food should make you happy, right?


Overall

Courtney - I think this diet is going better for Aaron than it is for me. He’s moved past being irritable, he’s not hungry and thinking about food all the time, he’s down 10lbs and feeling lean/strong. Maybe I’m just lagging behind but at this point I feel like my body might be rebelling.

Aaron - Or maybe you just need to suck it up and eat more bacon.

Courtney - Okay, you’re done. Interview over!

One last thing…

Making changes to your diet doesn’t have to be scary. It’s okay to try something, see how it goes for a few weeks, and decide whether or not it’s for you. I’ve found that experimenting with my nutrition in the past, and with this current keto experiment, teaches me so much about MY body and what works for me. We’re all totally unique, our biochemistry is different, and different styles of eating are going to be better for different people. Even if a diet is not right  for you, giving it a shot will FOR SURE teach you something, and it won’t significantly impact your progress. If it IS something you find you really love though, it could have a huge impact on your life and health so don’t shy away from trying new things!