Last Monday I started what I called ketosis 2.0. This was a five day reset that I would be going super low carb (less that 30 grams per day) in order to propel myself back into Ketosis. It was very successful. In addition to the diet shift I also took blood sugar measurements and tracked when and what I ate during the five days. On the last day I would take part in a large Carbohydrate refeed.
I had two goals for this reset. First was to monitor my blood sugar throughout the week so I could see how that was affected by certain meals and how it varied as the low carb days progressed. The second goal was basically to get myself back on track because my discipline had dropped a bit in the preceding weeks
I decided to do a reset because Colleen and I had a few nice dinners mid-week that didn’t correlate with workouts. I definitely had been eating too much fruit during the day. I really started to feel myself dragging a bit and I needed a kick start. Ok so let’s delve into the results and my observations from the trial. After about 50 pin pricks to my finger I learned that as advertised, my blood sugar self regulates in the absence of carbohydrate ingestions. Also, my blood sugar resides in a pretty healthy range from 90-100 mg/dl, but is relatively high considering my diet. The lowest I got down to was 74 mg/dl and the highest was 124 mg/dl. If I take in carbs it goes up to between 107-120 mg/dl. Not surprisingly, when I do not eat carbs my blood sugar does not raise very much after the meal. I have the pin pricks and readings to prove it. What did surprise me, is that Day 2 I got the highest reading of the entire trial in a fasted state! (124 mg/dl). Overall though, the blood sugar tracking proved relatively uneventful. It basically backed up the science I know about eating this way and the theories I have developed in my head about this. Essentially when a person does not eat carbohydrate their body’s internal mechanism to regulate blood sugar is allowed to do it’s job rather than being shunted each time a carbohydrate ingestion occurs and large amounts of insulin are released.
Before this time I have never really tracked my total caloric intake. It was cool to see my numbers. My intake ranged from 2000 to 2500 Kcal per day. My fat to protein ratios on non workout day were about 80/20 as a percent of total calories. On the workout out days that shifted down to 67/33. The carb re-feed day was 41/25/33 fat/pro/carb. I also measured my ketones via Urinalysis regent strips, but not as scientifically as I would have liked due to issues with practicality. I did have a constant level of ketones in my urine that elevated post high fat meals. I went on a fasted bike ride Wednesday afternoon and my ketones ended up in the 8 range, but they went back down to the 1.5 to 4 range the next day. Here is a link to all of the data I collected.
The primary aspect that stood out for me was how easy it was to go low carb from an eating perspective. At this point I have a large range of awesome meals that are calorically dense and very nutritious that have close to zero carbohydrate. Also, I had virtually no cognitive decline or any feeling of stress or panic associated with eliminating carbohydrate. My first reset was in January and lasted 10 days. I felt pretty weird in the beginning. This time I basically felt normal. The hard part was not having backloads after workouts. I put myself through 3 really tough glycolytic workouts and one long bike ride before Friday’s full body muscle crusher workout. Basically as the week wore on, my workouts seemed to struggle at the top end because I wasn’t refueling that energy source. By the time friday rolled around I was completely sapped of energy. That workout was a struggle. I did light weight back squats, front squats, chest press, shoulder raises, reverse fly, lateral fly. All in the 3×8-12 rep range. It was pretty brutal. But it put all of my muscles in a very receptive state to uptake glucose. What I found interesting is that during my re-feed, my blood sugar never got above 120 mg/dl. I was checking 30 minutes post ingestion. I ate one large chocolate bar, 1 pint of ice cream, sushi, 100g of dried mango. I didn’t feel particularly tired or “stoned” from the ingestion either which is a side effect I have experienced in the past . During my initial re-feed in January I felt completely out of in while I shoveled down the carbs.
All in all I think that this reset was a great success. I learned a few things, confirmed a few things, and generally felt really good. Now it’s back to the basics with carb backloading.