My husband went on the ketogenic diet a little over two months ago and has been reaping all sorts of benefits from it like better sleep, sustained energy, increased mental focus, etc. I want that. So, I decided to do some major research into the ketogenic diet and especially how that would work as a vegan. I've read every article, every peer reviewed paper, every blog, every reddit post, and then some and I've learned so much. After all this research, I decided to go for it and start my very own vegan ketogenic diet! After reading the SCIENTIFIC FACTS about the ketogenic diet I couldn't ignore the results and decided to make the switch. I'm super excited to go on this journey and I'm going to keep track of every little part of it and share it with everyone. Oh, and I want to share what I've learned so far with you too.
Some resources I recommend checking out are the podcasts from Tim Ferriss featuring Dr. Peter Attia and Dr. Dominic D'Agostino, especially the Q&A podcasts. These podcasts are DENSE with tons of amazing information; I've listened to them a few times just to absorb all the info so take notes while you listen so you can look things up after!
The ketogenic diet has been used to treat drug resistant epilepsy and neurodegenerative disorders as well as aid in weight loss since the research was conducted in the 1920s. There's promising evidence to support it's claim that it improves mental focus and metabolic function. It's even currently being used in cancer prevention - controlled and monitored fasting has been shown to help purge pre-cancerous cells from the body - and cancer assistance techniques which have shown to increase the body's ability to shield itself from the negative effects of chemotherapy while making tumors more susceptible to chemotherapy. Neat huh?
Basically, it's a high-fat (saturated and monounsaturated fat) and low-carb diet. It's recommended that you use saturated fats for cooking like extra virgin coconut oil and monounsaturated fats like avocado oil and MCT oil to eat raw - do not fear saturated fats! That concept took me awhile to come to terms with because I grew up in the low-fat movement. Don't let preconceived notions keep you from opening your mind and learning about new scientific breakthroughs. However, as with all diets, it might not be right for everyone. Some people experience elevated small LDLs and Triglycerides which could mean that your body isn't responding well to the diet. Elevated large LDLs coupled with elevated HDLs, however, may be beneficial as that ratio is an important one.
Now, I work out a lot so I've modified my macros to fit my active lifestyle. Normally, a keto diet restricts your carbs to 30g or less per day but for me, I workout intensely so I can push that to 40g on some days. Also, it's recommended that you eat around 0.8-1.2g of protein per pound of lean body mass and that can be on the higher side if you're working out and want to build muscle. There are great keto calculators out there to help you get an idea of what your macros should look like for light, moderate, and heavy activity and your weight management goals.
I highly recommend talking to a doctor before even thinking about attempting any diet! Please don't jump into any diet without consulting your doctor. I have alerted my doctor to my diet and go in for regular blood testing to ensure I'm on track and healthy.
Getting into ketosis can be tricky (and not that fun). It's easiest if you severely cut your carbs to less than 10g or none at all to get into it faster. Some people say it can take a few days to get into it but my husband got into it in 24 hours. He went on a water fast for a day and then ate high fat with almost no carbs the next day for half the day and was in it by that night. Lucky guy. I'm going to follow a similar plan (modified for my active lifestyle) which I will post on here and I'll post updates on my Instagram story so stay tuned for that!
I've started creating recipes, meal plans, and researching products that I will be sharing very soon. For me, the reason I fail at diets is that I don't plan options and then feel stifled so I end up giving up. I'll post daily updates through my journey with detailed macros and lifestyle outlines so you can see exactly what I eat, what's in it, how to make it, and more.
I'm excited to go on this journey!
It's important that you speak with a physician about your lifestyle and specific needs before diving into a major change. I know I said this before but I can't stress this enough. I'm not a doctor, this is only my opinion and my personal journey that will hopefully inspire people to do their own research and talk to their doctor about the potential benefits of a ketogenic diet.