Wednesday, January 2, 2013

the ketogenic semi-elemental diet day 12: chasing sheep on a low-carb diet

Santa Fe, NM 2004

Friday August 17, 2012

Well I have to say the tossing and turning at night is getting old, and I never was one to thrive on chronic poor sleep, especially as an athlete.  I am reading on the forums that is's pretty common to sleep like shit on a low-carb diet, which might be another reason I might want to reconsider continuing this long-term.   I was psyched that I am 118.4 this am; it looks like unless the carbs I will eat today and tomorrow for the 4 hour road ride interfere with fat loss (hypothetically they should not because even though I will take in extra 300 kilocalories as carbs tomorrow above the 1650 allotment for the day,  I usually burn anywhere from 1400 to 2400 on a typical Saturday ride.)  I'm going to have 56 g of carbs today, which is well above what I've been consuming in order to finally get my blood ketone levels up to where they've been the past couple of days; and I'm curious to see how that will affect the ketone meter tonight.  According to some, once you have keto-adapted you can actually creep up your carb intake a bit, although it seems most have to stay around 50g per day.  Just as a point of reference, there are around 60g of carbs in a large baked potato, and about 31 in a large banana.  So for a daily intake, 56 grams is pretty darn low.

I started this diet at 132 lbs, although I had gained 5 lbs while on the antibiotlics for the SIBO, and that was mostly water, but so far I am down 14 lbs in less than 2 weeks.  Wow.  A lot of that is water, and unfortunately a decent amount is lean mass too, and although my stomach is flat I still have a layer of fat over my midsection which has to go.  My body composition is probably around 17%; I would prefer it at 14% with me at around 115-116 ish, which is where it was a few years ago before the SIBO started.  The challenge will be to do this while eating food.  I'm going to have to count calories for a couple of weeks which I hate to do because it's obsessive, time-consuming, and completely goes against my belief that eating healthy, nutrient-dense food should be a pleasure and the shortest route to a beautiful lean, strong body.  I hate to obsess over macro-nutrient partitioning when I would rather spend my time using my creative energy  to create delicious, inventive, healthy meals that satisfy AND nourish.  But I will have to suck it up initially as this is a scientific experiment after all and the results will mean nothing without some hard data as to calories and macro-nutrients.

My plan now is to finish out through Sunday on the semi-elemental ketogenic diet, and then continue to eat keto for the week with food and keeping my carbs less than 30g per day and see if I ever get that energy spike they talk about on the bodybuilding forums.  No matter that I'm only in the gym three days a week, and my needs as an endurance athlete are very different from those of a gym rat.  I know, I know, I do lots of cardio.  I have pretty much decided through more research that as a cyclist the strict classic ketogenic diet as described by Lyle McDonald and many others is NOT for me, but I will do a version of low-carb diet.   The other option I am looking at is the cyclic ketogenic diet, where I could eat carbs on the weekends to fuel those longer efforts.  And then there is the question of whether or not I start eating meat again.  I am attracted to the paleo diet, but the problem with paleo is there is no dairy or beans, which means no homemade yogurt, kefir,  or hummus.  I mean if you're not eating wheat, beans or soy, and you're an athlete, you really have to start eating meat again I'm thinking.  I certainly tried the alternative.