I am repeatedly asked by skeptics why I’m keeping my body in ketosis for 6 months. The idea that I could not just survive but even thrive without the blessed sugar pumped glazed over high fructose sweetened carbohydrates our society so dear. Please do not misunderstand me, I LOVE EATING SUGAR, especially in the form of glazed donuts, Mountain Dew and pasta with garlic bread. If I could survive and be healthy on Mountain Dew and donuts I would. I also do not believe that ALL carbs are EVIL!!! I don’t believe any carbs are evil! I simply understand that some things are healthy in moderation but moderation is not a word we use in the gold ole U.S. of A.
I also do not believe that the healthiest and most manageable way to survive is to stay in ketosis and eat almost no carbs for the rest of your life! I’m doing this as a proof of concept. I’m doing it to prove that it is not unhealthy. If John Hopkins can keep people in a deep state of ketosis for 14 years without health problems and the Inuit indians were able to survive their entire lives without eating any carbs then why do doctors only study ketosis and the ketogenic state as part of starvation? It’s because the average doctor only has 23.9 hours of actual nutritional education. If you have studied the science of nutrition for 1 full week for 8 hours a day, you now probably know more about nutrition then a general practitioner. They are great diagnosticians but they are by no means nutrition experts unless that is their field of expertise.
So let’s talk about Insulin because it is such an important topic in today Diabetes filled world. Insulin is a hormone produced by your pituitary gland. It is one of the most anabolic if not the most anabolic hormone in the body. Insulin is used to transport glucose to your liver, muscles and fat cells. It also blocks the release of glucagon which keeps your body from using fat for energy. If you are overweight then insulin is the backstabbing friend who puts you behind the wheel of the car when your 3 sheets to the wind! Keep your insulin low if you are overweight, have metabolic syndrome or diabetes type 2 and you will be on the right path to giving the overtaxed pituitary gland a well needed break to possibly heal and recover. Don’t do this and you can enjoy jabbing a needle in your arm every time you stop for a bite to eat and the surgical removal of your feet down the road.
So now someone says “If insulin is anabolic then why don’t I want to spike my insulin levels?”. Answer: You do, if you’ve exercised and depleted the majority of your muscles glycogen throughout your entire body! That way when you eat the carbs for your cheat day it all goes into the muscles. I may be staying in ketosis for the next six months but the best maintenance plan in my book is a Cyclical Ketogenic Diet where you get a day to eat whatever you want. It takes the edge off and you can go out with friends and gorge on some pasta. Then hit the weights really heavy the next day! This causes super saturation of the muscles with glycogen. In other words, you will walk into the gym with 50% more fuel in your muscles than usual. This is a great way to prepare for a grueling Crossfit competition and to help you last till the end of whatever nightmare workout the contest has!!
Back to the bastard child insulin! to make this short and sweet (which I have already failed at miserably) if you keep your insulin low then you will burn fat for fuel and avoid adding weight. The leptin in your body will suddenly begin to work like it was suppose to and you will know when it’s time to stop eating because your body will let you know IMMEDIATELY!!! Not 15 minutes after you’re full in the chinese restaraunt, but immediately. Insulin blocks leptin. Take in too many carbs too quick without fiber and the signal never gets to the brain!
Once you have this down pat and your appetite is working correctly then it’s time to take a step further and start cutting back on your fat intake so that you can start dropping even more weight. Don’t cut too much because the hunger level will cause you to break your diet. It will make life unenjoyable and everything you see will suddenly look like a Krispy Kreme glazed donut with your name spelled in the glaze. Shave off 500 calories a day and see if that works for you. Make sure you ahve stable energy throughout the day and only weigh yourself once a week at max. Eat no more than 30g of net carbs a day for 5 1/2 days a week and then spend a day and a half eating whatever you want. Try this for one month and then see how you look, feel and perform.