In my last post Rejuvenation I mentioned that Pete and I were in ‘nutritional ketosis’. I am sure there were a few comments like “what the heck?” and “gosh that sounds truly awful I hope they survive”. This post is snapshot of what nutritional ketosis is.
According to Jimmy Moore in Keto Clarity: Your Definitive Guide to the Benefits of a Low-Carb, High-Fat Diet, “Ketosis is a metabolic state that happens when you consume a very low-carb, moderate-protein, high-fat diet that causes your body to switch from using glucose as its primary source of fuel to running on ketones”. While Jeff Volek and Stephen Phinney state in their book The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living that “nutritional ketosis is by definition a benign metabolic state that gives human metabolism the flexibility to deal with famine or major shifts in available dietary fuels”. Of course there’s more to it than these definitions, but if I were to put it in a nutshell ketosis is a state where the body burns ketones as fuel instead of glucose which is what our body makes with the carbohydrates we eat.
By consuming a high fat, low carbohydrate diet Pete and I continually live in a state of high ketosis. Well more so he: on the weekend I like to have a few wines which of course contains carbohydrates and being a female it doesn’t take much to kick me out of ketosis. However, I find I now only drink a couple of glasses, so generally I just drop down the scale a little and am usually back on track by midweek. Then of course the weekend rolls around again…you get the picture.
There are many health benefits of this diet. As stated in ‘Keto Clarity’, Nora Gedgaudas a well-recognised expert of the Paleo diet and experienced nutritional consultant has observed many benefits including the following:-
- mood stabilisation
- reduced or eliminated depression
- reduced or eliminated anxiety
- improved cognitive functioning
- greatly enhanced and evened out energy levels
- cessation of seizures, improved overall neurological stability
- cessation of migraines
- improved sleep
- improvement in autistic symptoms
- improvements in poly-cystic ovary syndrome
- improved gastrointestinal functioning
- healthy weight loss
- cancer remissions and tumor shrinkage
- improved symptoms and quality of life in those struggling with various forms of autoimmunity
- fewer colds and flus
- total reversal of chronic fatigue
- improved memory
- sharpened cognitive functioning
- significantly stabilised temperament
I have personally benefited from many things on this long list. I was a particularly bad sleeper, now I sleep well. I no longer have the huge mood swings caused by menopause or the hot flushes. I have masses of energy and even if I do have very little sleep I don’t feel tired. Anxiety is less. I achieve more because I am able to to extend myself. I always had trouble with constipation and suffered from gastrointestinal upsets, this also has stopped. Unlike other diets you aren’t starving and you don’t battle cravings. For the first time since I was a sixteen I am happy with my body shape and feel a sense of freedom with that. I know we could debate whether wanting to change body shape is healthy. I truly don’t care, being the size I am now is something I have always strived for and have not been able to accomplish without completely starving myself.
Our journey to this point has been a long one, starting with what we thought was healthy eating. That is, making everything from scratch eating whole foods, etc… From there we moved to eating no sugar or grains. That was a big step and at first was very beneficial. This is a good way to eat: mostly vegetables with a moderate amount of protein and plenty of healthy fats. However we plateaued and when we analysed what we ate, we were still eating high carbs and too much protein. Subsequently I read about ketosis and its benefits and we haven’t looked back.
I won’t say it has been easy there were hiccups along the way which I will write about in future posts, but determination saw us through and I can’t foresee us changing things in the near future.
I have written this post to give you some background into the way we live and eat. In future posts I will give more detail on how we got here and how we overcame those hiccups I mentioned. There will be recipes, tips that we have picked up along the way and reviews of anything we have used to help us progress to this point or restaurants and cafes where we are able to eat within our diet.
Until then if you have any questions or have experience in nutritional ketosis I would love to hear from you in the comments.