My Learnings of 2 years of Low-Carb and Ketogenic Diet
For the last 2 years, I have been eating mainly a Low-Carb diet. During this time I have also reduced to a minimum the number of Carbs which at points made it a Ketogenic Diet.
Just to clarify, a Low-Carb diet is when you reduce significantly the number of carbohydrates that you eat. It is a diet focused on protein, healthy fats, and non-starchy vegetables. Usually, fruits, legumes, starchy vegetables, and grains are excluded. Generally, a diet with less than 150 gr per day of carbohydrates is considered a low-carb diet.
A Ketogenic diet is very similar, just that it is more strict in the number of Carbohydrates allowed and a bigger emphasis on the number of fats. Usually, you can eat less than 30 gr of carbohydrates per day. That is very little! The idea is to get the body to use fat as a source of energy instead of carbohydrates.
I am the kind of guy that has tried pretty much every diet that is out there. I have been vegetarian, vegan, raw food only, carb-cycling, high-carb, carnivore, you name it!
So, sticking to a Low-Carb diet for 2 years has been a great accomplishment. The main reason why this diet has stuck over time is because of the way it has made me feel.
Here are my learnings which I hope you find useful:
Regulating Insulin and Blood Sugar Levels has a bigger effect than what I have imagined
When you reduce the number of carbohydrates in your diet considerably, your level of insulin and blood sugar is reduced dramatically. This has a major effect on your body and mind.
Physically, your hormones get balanced. For the first time, I felt that by eating this way I had more steady calm energy, fewer spikes, and drops. Also, appetite hormones got regulated, I was not hungry all the time and the foods that I ate kept me satisfied longer.
Plus, I got rid of the usual sleepy feeling after eating a meal, which is usually a sign of blood sugar dropping while the body tries to re-adjust insulin and hormone levels.
I’m happier and brighter
This was a big surprise for me! But the more I stick to a Low-Carb diet the better my energy and mood are. Therefore, the happier I feel!
This is quite an amazing proof of the power of food and how our body functions. This is a result not only of keeping our insulin levels low but providing our brain with its favorite food. Fats! Yes, the same fats that you have heard that will make you fat. But the truth is that it is not like that.
Fats consumed in the right amount and quality are the best source of energy and fuel for the brain. When insulin level is low, your liver produces from fats ketones which are the best quality fuel for the brain and also body. Think about fats as jet fuel vs. carbs as diesel. Ketones are much more cleaner, effective and powerful.
It’s much easier to maintain a lean muscular body
By eating a Low-Carb diet I can be certain that I won’t accumulate extra fat in my body.
Not only because I’m limiting the consumption of carbohydrates, which are the ones that get transformed into stored fat when they are not used and burned.
But also, because eating a diet mainly focused on proteins, good fats, and vegetables is extremely satisfying, therefore there are fewer cravings for sweets and cheat meals.
When exercising regularly and intensively I need a bit more Carbs
I love to exercise! And I love to push myself. I train between 5 to 6 times per week a mix of cardio and weight training.
When I’m pushing myself physically I do feel I need a bit of carbohydrate to get that fast responsive energy that you need when sprinting, doing burpees, or lifting heavyweights.
The trick for me has been to find the right amount so that I can keep the benefits of a Low-Carb diet at the same time that I get a bit of extra energy for my workouts. If I stay in the range of 80 to 150 gr per day of carbohydrates I feel that I am in that sweet spot.
These are the main things that have kept me hooked to a Low-Carb Diet. Many other benefits are just a consequence of eating this way, like weight loss, extra energy, better sleep, more flexibility, faster recovery, etc. If you haven’t tried yet, I encourage you to give it a try.
Just stay consistent and strict for the first month! The body will have to go through a big change to get adapted to your new way of eating. Therefore, give it time, be patient and enjoy the fruit of your determination after your body will be running smoothly on fats and your mood and energy will be high in the sky.
And if you need help to start this diet, please contact me. I have over 10 years of Health Coaching experience and have helped hundreds of people to change their eating and lifestyle habits.
Wishing you a healthy and happy life!