High-Fat Diet for a Low Fat Body? The Ketogenic Diet: My Experience 1 Year In…Part 1
My Food Story
About 4 years ago, I was in school studying physical therapy. My life was full with studying, working as a personal trainer, working as a physical therapy aide and trying to manage all the stresses of life. I continued to finding myself with constant stomach problems that I attributed to stress at the time. These symptoms could range from day to day, but would be generally a combination of; upset stomach, increase bathroom trips, poor sleep quality, and trouble eating many types of food because they would increase these symptoms. I've always been into learning about health and nutrition and have mostly tried to eat foods that I thought were the healthiest for me. I've also been involved in sports as well as weight lifting and would try to match my eating with my fitness goals. This would include items you see typically in a “healthy” diet for most Americans who are trying to eat “healthy”. I was focused on getting enough carbohydrates to have energy for activities, enough protein to support my muscles and some fat to balance all of this out. I took a very similar approach to the very familiar Food Pyramid.
Some typical foods for me include, sandwiches, salad, chicken breast, eggs, broccoli and hummus, chips with beans and salsa, and multiple protein shakes throughout the week. I would fluctuate between trying to eat every 3 hours to just eating at the 3 meal times of breakfast, lunch and dinner. I also have struggled at times with cravings for sweets, mostly chocolate, ice cream and cookies as these were plentiful in my household growing up. And to be clear, I would not only indulge these cravings but would go to the extreme of eating so much of these foods that I would make myself sick that night and often times into the next day. I have been known in the past to eat an entire half gallon of ice cream in one sitting. This may be hard to believe for many of you but those who have lived with me in the past can attest to this unfortunate fact. Other than this, I would have the occasional burger and fries or fast food meal, but those were not daily occurrences. I finally started to try the elimination style dieting, where I would eliminate suspect foods that I think may be causing some problems, and then after a few weeks, try reintroducing them one at a time to see, if in fact this food did cause a problem.
I tried this with dairy and with wheat, and found out some very interesting things. Both of these for me are problematic, but in different ways and to a much different degree than each other. I find that for dairy, as I used to drink lots and lots of milk, milk was actually one of the biggest problems. But, butter, cheese and eggs all seem to be fine. As for wheat, I found this to be very problematic to the point where I have tested myself after months of not eating this and within 15 minutes of eating an english muffin, I was in the bathroom. I have also found that other grains although not as problematic, tend to affect my stomach and can cause some digestive problems including; corn and to a lesser degree rice. So, after figuring out which foods I know I should not be eating, I started to adjust my diet in a way that made me feel much better, but still left me with some lingering problems. I would oftentimes go from being slightly under what I needed for total food intake for the day, to taking jumps over what I needed by eating too much late-night dark chocolate and peanut butter, cookies and ice cream, which are my kryptonite. Then, I started hearing about this idea of the ketogenic diet which is a diet that is high in fat, moderate protein and low carbohydrates. This made me start thinking about my own fat consumption and realized that I had a very low fat diet. I used to think this was good but after reading and understanding more about food nutrition and biology, I understood that our bodies desperately need good quality fats for so many of the physiological processes that are going on, as well as for repairing tissue, such as nerve tissue and brain tissue. The more I learn about this, the more my view about nutrition has shifted. I have now been eating a modified (slightly more protein) ketogenic diet for about a year now and have never felt this good before in my life!
Stay tuned for Part 2: What Is The Ketogenic Diet?
Where I discuss my understanding of the Ketogenic Diet
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Author : Jordan Proudfoot
Here are my thoughts and insights into fitness and wellness to be the best you possible.