It's 1 pm and I have eaten 115g of fat and 62g of protein and 32g of carbs today, and I'm feeling hungry, but full. My head is a bit dizzy and I'm feeling giddy. I'm 8hrs into my Keto-journey. My experiment with fat and protein.
I ate a large bowl of nuts and seeds for breakfast, edamame pasta (high protein, low carb) with 2 boiled eggs, chickpeas, avocado and broccoli for lunch. I have devoured the slice of keto bread I made last night, the loaf contains 12 egg whites and 84g of butter... In other words, I've eaten so much fat and proteins, that if it was eaten with a normal amount of carbs, I would be stuffed.
But all I can think of right now, is something sweet.
It's supposed to take 2-3 days before I enter ketosis and this hunger dissipates...
What is Keto?
"Keto" is a way of eating where carbs* are restricted to such an extent that the body starts breaking down fat tissue to make energy, a process which is called ketogenesis.
Our constant need for carbs is related to the brain. The brain can't store energy, and needs about 120g of carbs every day for normal day-to-day function. When carbs are restricted, the brain signals the liver to break down stored carbs.
Glucose is the sugar molecule that all carbs are broken down to in the body, and glucose is used in our cells for fuel. We store some glucose in the liver as glycogen, a little bit in our muscles. Glycogen is two glucose molecules stuck together.
When all the glycogen is used up, after 2-3 days, the body tries to break down muscle tissue to make more glucose from protein. The idea of "Keto" is to eat enough protein to stop muscle-wasting and enough fat to promote our fat cells to be targeted for ketogenesis instead.
Ketogenesis is the process of fat in the body restructured into ketones. Ketones is another fuel to our cells. Usually, our bodies only use ketones during times of famine and starvation, when there is no glucose available. During starvation, its our own body tissue that breaks down, and whilst we try to eat enough calories during "Keto" to feed our bodies and stay healthy, there is still a celebrated side-effect of fat cells breaking down!
My goal is to follow the "Keto" diet for 4 weeks. My aim is to experience this type of eating, so I can recommend it to my clients with personal experience. I will collect recipes, design tools for counting carbs and hopefully loose a few lock-down kilos.
I'm 42 years old, my current weight is 68kg, I'm 168cm tall; my goal weight is 62kgs.
*Not all carbs are restricted in Keto, only the ones that can be broken down to sugars in the body and used for immediate energy. Fibres are needed as they are important to ensure the gut stays healthy. The fibres are also needed to bind all the fat that goes into a day of Keto. My years of eating plant-based is proving handy, as I know all the protein and fibre rich foods.
Jensen, Nicole Jacqueline, Helena Zander Wodschow, Malin Nilsson, and Jørgen Rungby. 2020. “Effects of Ketone Bodies on Brain Metabolism and Function in Neurodegenerative Diseases.” International Journal of Molecular Sciences 21(22):1–17.
The Nutrition Source. 2021. “Diet Review: Ketogenic Diet for Weight Loss.” Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Retrieved April 6, 2021 (https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/healthy-weight/diet-reviews/ketogenic-diet/).