Wednesday, March 8, 2017

My Experience with my First Keto Fast

Ketosis is the metabolic state of using ketones instead of glucose for energy. It's a natural state of metabolism when you're body isn't running on carbohydrates. Your body essentially begins using fats, and can more easily burn your fat stores.

One of the major downsides of the ketogenic diet is trying to even get into burning fat for fuel instead of glucose. During that time people often have what is known as the "keto flu". It's a result of withdrawal from glucose essentially and can last days or weeks. That's where the keto fast comes in. It's purpose is to get into ketosis as fast as possible.

Preparing for the Fast

Fasting is one of those words that instantly makes me cringe. When I hear that my friends or family are fasting, my stomach twists around in my body. It squeezes into itself almost as if I'm experiencing the hunger pangs they are. Suffice it to say that I wasn't very excited to do any sort of fasting.

When I read that Tim Ferriss does a 3 day fast as a sort of primer to begin the keto diet I was intrigued. A friend had told me he had done a 2 day version and ended up so far into ketosis that he stopped. He was scared that he would lost too much fat too quickly. That's not something that I could quite comprehend when he said it. How could you lose too much fat?

The next time I saw him he looked almost gaunt. He was a skinny guy but I had not expected that he would lose this much weight. Just a few weeks ago he had just been normal, skinny, Richard to me. I asked him how his fasting went and he said it was great! It was easy, and he had lost a ton of weight. Not that he needed to lose any.

I decided to do it myself. I ordered the Abbott Precision Xtra to take reading of my blood ketone levels. I also ordered Brain Octane and KetoCaNa since Tim Ferriss had mentioned that's what he had used. I found later that the two supplements were not only recommended but a necessity. The test strips that I ordered to measure ketone levels hadn't shipped on time and the battery was drained, they weren't going to arrive until the week after the fast. I didn't have much of a choice though. I couldn't see another chance for me to fast in the coming months so I went through with it 2 weeks after Richard told me about it.

Fasting to Get Into Ketosis

I started my fast on a Friday night after a good work out. I worked out my upper body that day and went to have a nice low carb dinner with my cousin. Once I finished my meal I considered the fast to have begun. The rest of the night was easy. It was like any other Friday night except I hadn't come home drunk after dinner.

Saturday I geared up for a 4 hour walk. Tim recommends that you walk for 3 to 4 hours as soon as you wake up and have some caffeine and the two supplements. I mixed the KetoCaNa in some water, blended the Brain Octane in my coffee, grabbed a small packet of salt and went off. I decided that my Nike Running shoes would be appropriate. That was something I would regret later. If you do this, I suggest you use shoes built for walking, not running. 

The walk was great but the shoes took a toll on my back. I started having lower back pain as I was recovering. My legs had been killing my so I must have shifted my weight onto the lower part of my spine. I didn't care at that point, I was just happy to be home. 

After the walk I felt fine. Exhausted but in good spirits. When I started to become hungry I took some more of the exogenous ketone supplements to curb my appetite. It worked until later that night. I broke down and convinced myself that having a few nuts couldn't hurt. The hunger was keeping me up, if I didn't eat I wouldn't be able to sleep. I had some nuts and fell asleep almost immediately. Best of all I slept like a baby.

The next day I woke up bright and early but I was trying to sleep in as late as possible. I'm not a morning person at all, I love sleeping late. This time I felt refreshed upon waking, which I found odd. The rest of the day I was in a haze but I was still productive. As long as I was productive I wouldn't be nearly as hungry. I got an immense amount of things done that Sunday, all while fasting. That night I broke my fast with a nice fat juicy steak that I had been craving. I thought it was fitting to have a couple beers as well. 

Since then I've switched to a fully keto diet. So far so good. Let's hope it stays this way.