keto

I Tried Keto For a Week, Here is What Happened (with real numbers!)

Blum, Michelle Blog

Keto is the new South Beach...which was the new Atkins....

Every decade or so, a low carb diet comes around that promises us we can eat bacon in our skinny jeans. That's a pretty powerful campaign promise.

I "diet experiment" on myself all of the time. I figure it is irresponsible to do it on others right? At Nutrish Mish, we aim to get people off the dieting hamster wheel, which we do through one core belief: whatever eating philosophy you subscribe to, it must be something you can do forever (this is why people gain weight back, or become chronic dieters). That is why almost all of our clients (over 75%) keep the weight off for a year + vs. only 5% of people keep the weight off on any given diet program according to the NY Times*.

That being said, I tried it out so you don't have to! But first, you need to know the basics about keto:

Keto 101:

From what I could see, the Keto diet followed the same premise as other low carb diets, except for two differences:
1. It encourages more healthy fats than proteins
2. It encourages healthier choices than it's low carb predecessors (there is a version called "dirty keto" which neglects this rule)

Here is a quick Bill Nye breakdown of what happens on a low carb diet
1. Your body has 3 choices for fuel
-Protein (as food or muscle)
- Fat (as food or fat stored in the body)
- Carbs (as food- there is no storage form for carbs, extras = are converted to fat)
2.Your body wants to run on carbs for energy
3. You stop giving it carbs
4. It can run on Protein or Fat BUT
5. Protein and Fat can't get to your brain (oh no!)
6. Your body saves the day by producing something called a ketone which your brain can run for energy, which is made from breaking down fats

Make sense? Here we go...I will miss you fruit...and bread...

The Experiment:

Day 1:
Weight: 126.4lbs
Body Fat: 24%
Muscle/Water Weight: 96lbs

Was able to follow it to a tee, definitely missing my carbs, but felt pretty good, didn't really notice having more or less energy.

Day 3:
Weight: 124.8lbs
Body Fat: 25.1%
Muscle/Water Weight: 94.6lbs

First thing you might notice her, my weight is down BUT I haven't lost any body fat, it is actually coming off my water/muscle number...hmmm....

I have noticed the passed two days I have had to use the lady's room like every 5 minutes and I have been drinking my normal amount of water. Think about the word carboHYDRATE the word hydrate is in it right? That weight that seems to be coming off so quickly in the beginning couldn't possibly be fat, but most people probably aren't able to look at the KIND of weight they are losing, just that the number is going down.

Day 5
Weight: 123
Body Fat; 25.8%
Muscle/Water Weight: 93.8lbs

Ok, this is getting a little tough, and it is almost the weekend, and I am not losing any actual body fat yet!

Day 6
As an experiment today I had a few grams of carbs over my allotment, interested to see what happens on the scale tomorrow.

Day 7
Weight: 125
Body Fat: 25%
Muscle/Water Weight: 96lbs

Interesting! A few extra grams of carbs definitely threw off the whole thing! Notice, this didn't come from my body fat (that actually decreased a little), but it is some of the water weight that was initially lost now that my body is running on carbs again.

The Verdict

It takes a few days to get into ketosis, so if I continued it is possible I would have been movement in my body fat, but the diet is so strict that if I slip up by a few grams of carbs, it threw the whole science of it off.

This can be a problem because a high fat diet + carbs can definitely halt someone's weight loss efforts real fast.

Would I Recommend Keto?

There is a time and place for everything! If someone was getting married in a week or HAD to fit into something in a few days, keto isn't a bad option to drop a few lbs fast, but unless you can cut out carbs indefinitely, you will likely gain the weight back just as quickly as you lost it.

If you are serious about losing weight or eating healthier, here are the signs of a successful program:

  • Nothing is eliminated
  • Focus on nutritious foods
  • It accounts for life events i.e. holidays, weekends, vacations, out to eat
  • You enjoy that eating style
  • You could eat more or less like this forever
  • It changes your eating habits over time

Sort of sounds like Nutrish Mish! If you want to schedule an info call, fill out the form below!