Ever striving for self-improvement and wanting to help a friend out, I decided to try the keto diet this summer. My workout and diet routine had not changed much in over two years, leaving me feeling in a rut. The upside to keto seemed a good one being over forty now as cutting back on some fat would help fight the natural decrease in metabolism that leads to the dreaded middle age spread. I also had a friend looking to lose significant weight as he finally hit 300 pounds on the scale. I am here today to recommend this eating style as a shock to one’s system.
It is the most counter-intuitive eating system out there for modern Westerners to trust. If you eat a lot of fat and minimize your carbohydrates, you will burn fat. It is similar to the Atkins diet, but it goes further. It tricks your body into burning fat for energy, therefore you eat those fatty deposits that accumulate over the years. The real revelation is that our modern diet recommendations have been based on faulty science that borders on the malicious. That no adjustments have been made to FDA recommendations makes one wonder if it is benign neglect or deliberate nudging to make Americans sick and fat.
If you do eat significant protein for your workout regimen, how much of a leap is going keto for you? I found that the big change was switching from sandwiches at lunch and avoiding sweets. Pasta fans may run into trouble. You are going to become aware of just how much added sugar is in everything. This will cause you to drift towards eating nothing but whole foods and avoiding anything processed. You can put away the shakes and protein bars and just eat a whole ribeye to hit every macro.
That might be the real trick. Keto causes you to stick to basics and maximize your calories with fat, which you will only find in cuts of beef and pork. By eating whole foods and avoiding corn and pasta, you avoid Monsanto tainted products and whatever other wrinkles processed foods have that are causing people to look inflated, bloated and inflamed. Forget sugar, which is another positive as we all must realize that refined sugar to the natural sugar cane is akin to cocaine to the coca leaf.
If you have been a follower of Dennis Mangan and understand the power of fasting, keto makes fasting easier. They naturally pair with one another because the high fat of meals satisfies your hunger cravings. You will learn that many times when you are hungry, it is just your body being thirsty. I now add a once a week fast to my diet regimen. Adding that and adding in a day or two of cardio melted the fat away after my body had accumulated.
This endeavor was not just about my health or aesthetics. I did this for a friend, and like any new behavior, it is going to be easy to get into a groove with a social network of support. I have a text group of checking in and sharing helpful hints. I know of other contributors here who are doing keto. My friend who was shocked to see 300 on the scale for the first time is down over thirty pounds. Would he have stuck to it and made it through the initial keto flu and head fog period without a circle of friends encouraging him? I do not know. I do know each Monday is a fun report in for the week’s change. One of our guys finds a new recipe or meal idea, and we all end up trying it. I have become the avocado advocate. It has become a fun competition.
Did all my heavy compound lifts drop a bit once I started keto? Yes. I also squeeze in a cheat meal or treat on occasion. I still have not found a worthy replacement for a refreshing soda on a hot summer day. I know even after a bad weekend where I stray from the path that I can hook the chain on the sprocket and get back to ketosis and fat burning in a snap.
This is why the social element matters. When one of us strays or dogs it, we see several messages about losing gainz and bloating. Even our small circle has seen mini-match ups as the bigger guys compete on total weight lost and the guys doing it more for support compete on how many can reach sub-10% body fat. It is a mix of vanity and self-respect. Some of us politically lean far right but had a doughy body 20 pounds away from the SJWs and leftcaths we mocked. It is a small, personal reach for excellence. If we can do it ourselves and likewise affect our small circle, how many others can we help? For all the talk of mannerbunds and helping one another, how we eat and look should be one of the first things we can do together.