I know I sound like a broken record, but I love this diet…more with each passing day. It’s a deep, meaningful, and abiding love. I blush and become inexplicably emotional when I think about my diet. I would like to serenade my diet with romantic songs on a moonlit night and buy it a ring to symbolize my undying commitment to it (shhh…don’t tell!).
While I am thrilled with the ongoing weight loss, it’s about so much more than weight loss. The combination of moderate ketosis and avoidance of foods that can cause inflammation and food sensitivity reactions has resulted in reliably excellent mood, energy, appetite, stamina, concentration, confidence…you name it, this diet takes care of it. As some of you may know, I have been in the throes of a major relocation this summer, from Harvard University in eastern Massachusetts to Smith College in western Massachusetts, a logistically complicated undertaking requiring sustained physical and mental effort over the past 2 months. This diet has allowed me to function at a very high level from dawn to dusk every single day without fail. I have moved many times in the past but it has never been this manageable. No matter how hard I’ve needed to work moving large items to and fro for hours on end, I’ve never once felt sore or tired.
Here’s my low-tech graph for this month [my ongoing apologies to you technophiles out there…I know, I know…one of these days…]
Yes, there are a few missing data, because as I drove back and forth across Massachusetts I would sometimes forget either my ketone meter, or my scale, or a device battery would die on me…but such is the life of a moving woman.
- Morning glucose range: low 70’s to high 80’s
- Waist circumference= 88 cm (down 9 cm in 4 months)
- Body fat percentage (Tanita home scale) on day 84 = 34.5%
- Body fat percentage on day 119 = 31.5%
- Weight on day 84 = 144.2 (BMI = 24.0)
- Weight on day 119 = 139.8 (BMI = 23.3)
- Weight loss since day 84 = 4.4 lbs
- Total weight loss since day zero (4 mos ago) = 16.4 lbs
As a reminder, I eat zero to 30 (net) carbs per day and have been aiming for 80 grams of protein or less per day. You’ll notice that there are a few days when I exceed my goal of 80 grams, typically during times of particularly strenuous or prolonged exercise, letting hunger be my guide. I don’t worry about fat grams, calories, or fat to protein ratios at all.
My diet consists almost entirely of roasted chicken (with skin), duck (with skin), duck fat, turkey, fish, chicken liver, zucchini, spinach, plantain chips, berries, lettuce, small amounts of black coffee, and salt. I’ve been avoiding chocolate entirely. Every once in a while I eat beef, pork, or a very small amount of cheese, or when at a restaurant might order something that includes a cream, wine, or butter-based sauce, but these don’t usually agree with me, so I keep them to a minimum, and most days I completely avoid them. I steer clear of preserved, smoked, cured, aged, fermented, canned, and processed foods whenever possible.
As you can see, most of the weight loss during month 4 occurred towards the end of the month. My theory about this has to do with exercise. I wanted to get in shape this summer and found I had great energy as I continued to adapt to ketosis, so I was intentionally MUCH more active during month 4. Whenever possible, on days when I wasn’t constantly active because of the relocation process I made sure to go to the gym for an hour, and varied my workout considerably–stair climbers, power yoga, circuit training, rebounding classes, free weights, dance classes, etc. I didn’t try to run during month 4 at all because it had gotten so frustrating.
During the first half of month 4 it was clear that I was building muscle and getting into shape, so I was not disappointed that weight loss seemed to be minimal at first. The drop in body fat percentage supports this theory. I don’t think I’ve ever weighed less than 140 pounds as an adult. As you may imagine, I am quite happy with my progress. Reader Marcd requested a photo, so see comments section below for a recent picture.
I’m also pleased to report that I’m finally able to run again! I was able to run effortlessly for 40 minutes twice in the past week, which makes me very happy; I’d really missed running. Clearly adaptation to a ketogenic diet for me has been a very slow process but well worth it.
I can see that I still have more body fat to lose to achieve optimum physical condition, but it’s hard for me to estimate how many more pounds I will need to lose to accomplish that goal. I would guess that a weight of approximately 125 pounds might be ideal for me. I have no interest in being underweight or going to extremes, so I’m happy to adjust my goal depending on how things go. What amazes me is that I have complete confidence that I’ll be able to continue to lose weight until I’m satisfied with the final result.
I hope that some of you will be attending the Ancestral Health Symposium in Atlanta later this month and that you’ll come say hello–I would love to meet you! My presentation on nutrition and mental health is scheduled for 3:25 pm on Friday Aug 16th. Here is the complete schedule. For those of you who can’t be there, once a video of the presentation is available, I will post it on this site.
I hope you are all enjoying the summer!
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