Ketogenic diet results vary from person to person. It jives with many people, but for some it doesn’t. The purpose of this post is to explain to you the background story on why Nutrition Adventures is a website. It all started with this keto diet.
This post explains where the root of my search for optimal wellness came from, and why I use this diet. I’ll share my initial struggles and misunderstandings, and then how it forever has changed how I eat, whether I’m doing keto or not.
Why A Ketogenic Diet?
Seeing illness up close in my own family at a young age is probably why I’ve always been in search of optimal health solutions in all facets of life, from car natural cleaning products to nutrition.
Long before ever learning about the power of ketosis, I sought natural performance enhancers.
My schedule was packed, and I didn’t always have the mental energy to keep up. Bogging down was affecting my personal relationships, my work relationships and my life in general. Being health conscious, the last thing I wanted was to load up on sugary drinks to stay wired. So I went the holistic route.
I tried various alternative methods to increase my mental energy and focus:
- good sleep habits
- audible frequencies
- alkaline water
- lots of sunshine
- a positive mindset
- good music
- regular nutrient-dense salads each week
- regular workouts, etc.
I also experimented with nootropics, herbs and anything else that was natural, safe and potentially effective:
- Bulletproof Coffee
- MCT oil
- Herbal teas
- Adaptogens like Ashwagandha
- Magnesium supplements
- Piracetam and Choline
- Alpha Brain from Onnit
- Ciltep from Natural Stacks
- Amino acids like L-Tyrosine and more.
It wasn’t until I researched what makes Bulletproof Coffee so great, that I learned about what ketones are and how cellular energy production works.
Learning about ketones changed everything.
Ketogenic diets have been shown to provide many health benefits:
- Protection against and possible therapy for neurodegenerative brain diseases like Alzheimer’s
- As a therapy for Multiple Sclerosis
- Protects against Type 2 Diabetes and insulin resistance
- Promotes healthy weight loss
- Rids brain fog, increasing mental clarity, energy, and focus
- Helps protect against cancer
I always knew that food was medicine, but I didn’t know about cellular energy, and how it affects us. Ketosis opened my mind to how our bodies have the power to truly heal themselves. I now saw all the potential benefits of using ketones as fuel instead of carbohydrates all year long.
This is why keto.
I decided to embark on a low-carb, high-fat ketogenic diet. These 3 reasons were the ones that made me so interested in going keto:
For Increased mental energy and focus:
I never used to need coffee. Not even while working at a busy restaurant and going to school full-time. When the bulk of my work went from a restaurant to a laptop, mental energy and focus became an issue. I relied heavily on coffee and tea.
To hopefully avoid chronic diseases later in life:
I’ve seen what Type 2 Diabetes and what neurodegenerative disease can do to a person first hand in my immediate family. When I first learned that diabetes is a disease of aging, looking back it all made sense. What started as type 2 diabetes, soon after turned into preliminary supranuclear palsy (PSP), a neurodegenerative disease which I always said seemed like a cross between Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. In hopes to avoid this same fate, since I was young I’ve been in a constant search to find the best ways to avoid diabetes and neurodegenerative brain disorders.
To get rid of stubborn belly fat:
I bet my girlfriend I could lose my years-old beer gut before a trip to the islands we had planned later in the year.
For the first time in my life, I now feel as if I have control over all these areas of my life, thanks to the ketogenic diet. The next step was learning how to do it properly.. how to do it the healthiest way possible. The last thing I want is an autoimmune condition, thyroid problems or nutritional deficiencies from going into a new way of eating blindly.
Keto Diet Failures
Going keto is easy if you’re prepared. But if you’re not, IT IS NOT.
I wasn’t successful at first with ketosis. Ketogenic diet results were non-existent. I lost muscle, I gained fat, I ate too many carbs. I didn’t get enough minerals nor micronutrients. I didn’t know what to eat.
I relied too much on butter and I started to smell like milk, my girlfriend said.
I ate too many mangoes (sadly, they’re not very keto friendly). It’s hard when you love mangoes, live in a country where they grow year round, yet a single luscious mango takes up your whole day’s carbs.
Here came my first big problem adopting this new ketogenic diet lifestyle.
The big problem with the ketogenic diet for me was not sticking to my macros… it was FINDING them.
I needed to learn my keto macros.
I didn’t know my keto macros, so I didn’t know how much of what to eat. This was a big issue because you can’t guess. Not when you’re starting out for the first time. This is the point where mixed ketogenic diet reviews and results throughout the internet made me more confused. So I bought all the top books on low carb high fat dietshigh-fat find.
By reading these books, I was able to find a general theme when it comes to finding your macronutrients.
Ketogenic Diet Results – The Breakthrough
After about a year of road bumps, this keto stuff began to get much, much easier. The single biggest breakthrough I had was when I learned how to calculate my macronutrients. Right alongside this major breakthrough of finding my macros, was how to utilize these new target numbers and track daily food intake.
Thanks to the Cronometer app, the learning curve for this whole onboarding to keto, was very light. I then learned about the importance of nutrient-dense vegetables and started concocting fiber-rich green smoothies in support of this high-fat diet.
So once I knew my macros, and how to track them by tracking what I ate, the next breakthrough was when I was able to have several keto meals and snacks I could eat or cook up without thinking too hard about it.
I partially knew about the importance of nutrient-dense vegetables. A ketogenic diet can throw off your pH balance and offers your gut fewer fibers. Therefore it’s important to still eat a lot of plants for the fiber intake and to not count fibers in your carb counts. This is why I count net carbs (carbs minus fiber) for my carbohydrate macronutrient target.
Nutrient and fiber-rich vegetables help keep your body alkaline. Fiber is essential for gut health, something you must pay special attention to when on a low-carb high-fat diet. The ability to start creating recipes and meal plans for myself was a major breakthrough to this ketogenic lifestyle.
My goal was to get all my essential micronutrients in a smoothie while at the same time helping reach my day’s fat and protein macronutrient targets. I stocked up on the right foods, got a Ketonix breath analyzer, blood glucose meter and developed a handful of go-to recipes I began to rely on.
I learned how to use ketosis as a tool.
Ketogenic Diet Recipes
Eventually, my girlfriend who is an expert Thai chef helped me craft up various mouth-watering keto dishes. I gladly added these to my keto diet meals throughout the week. Combined with my green smoothies, I was SET.
For example, Ling’s Hinlay Curry should be illegal. It’s too good. The fatty pork and tantalizing sauce it sits in makes my mouth water as I write this.. low carb Thai food is perfect.
Green smoothies, go-to fatty hunger stoppers, and properly portioned keto recipes: These are the big secrets to making a ketogenic diet work. These are the secrets to anyone having successful ketogenic diet results. No matter the goal.
While it’s easy to calculate your macronutrients (carbs, protein, fat) – micronutrients often get overlooked. Once you learn about micronutrients, the next big hurdle is how to get them all into your diet. Luckily, green smoothies fill this gap very nicely. By blending the right set of vegetables, seeds and more together each day, you get essential plant-based carbs, fiber, and phytonutrients which when combined with a ketogenic lifestyle, makes getting your needed fats for the day easier too.
It’s important to make this diet work for you. Green smoothies and delicious low carb Thai or any low carb recipes will make a world of difference.
Conclusion: My Keto Experience
I enjoy using ketosis and let my body access it now far more than ever before. I always used to wonder how some people can operate without a full breakfast in their belly. Some people can manage to get up and start the day. I always would get shaky and “feel weak” if I didn’t have a heart bowl of oatmeal or eggs and toast. I realize now that it was because I had blocked my ability to access ketosis. Others who don’t rely on food every 4 hours have a leg up on the rest of us. They unknowingly are using ketosis and are healthier because of it.
These days, I have become one of those people. Sometimes I’ll do a butter coffee and go strong until 1 or 2 pm. Other days I will do a black coffee with a nice breakfast. When your meals are full of healthy fats, and your body is acclimated to ketosis, you have options. That is much, much better than feeling like you must eat.. those days are now over.
Now that I have learned how to use ketosis, I have it so good that as soon as I turn on my work music, I start buzzing with mental energy. I get into the zone with ease now. Sustained mental focus and energy is no longer an issue for me. That’s the ketones at work. I know it because I test it. They talk about flow states and how our notion of time can expand or compress in them. I believe using ketones increases my flow state effectiveness.
I also have more structure in my days now. I don’t waste mental energy on food choices, and my meals don’t bog me down a couple hours after eating them like before. Eating ketogenic gives me so much mental and physical energy, that it’s worth it for that alone. I get more done.
Another thing I noticed is that my coffee and teas I drink have become stronger (still looking into this one). And the cherry on top is that I know I am doing my best course of action to stave off neurodegenerative brain diseases and type 2 diabetes. Once you’re in your 30’s you no longer have the liberty to put these concerns off. Going ketogenic has been an all-around win for me.
I now use this keto diet more as a low carb high-fat dieting tool, for concentration, weight loss or general health, rather than a rigid or mechanical way of eating and viewing food. All that does is lead to dreams about macronutrient tracking.
In order to make my ketogenic diet results work long term, we continue to create low carb recipes, hunger stopping fat bombs and snacks, and healthy green smoothies, plus more new creations each month.
In life’s search for optimal health, you come upon answers that change the trajectory of your life.
A high-fat, low-carb ketogenic diet is one of them.
Why do you use a ketogenic diet?
Related Reads from Nutrition Adventures:
- The Beginner’s Guide To The Ketogenic Diet
- 8 Benefits Of A Ketogenic Diet
- Ketogenic Diet Weight Loss Tips (+3 Steps To Success)
- 9 Reasons For Keto Hair Loss
- How To Find Your Keto Macros