I recommend reading this post first if you have not already.
I’m a little more than a week into my ketosis experiment and I have some data and observations that those interested in this diet may find interesting. Based upon my signs and symptoms, it took my body about 2.5 days to enter ketosis. I also checked with a urine analysis stick but they are clinically not reliable enough to be one’s only measure of circulating ketone bodies. Many (glucose blood meter) models will also register ketone bodies in the blood. They require a different and a small amount of blood but are much more accurate. Because I am a graduate student with very limited funds, I chose to rely on symptomatic indications instead of purchasing a glucometer and strips.
I tried to keep my total carbohydrate intake between 30 and 40 grams and make sure that fat is making up 75% of my daily intake. I’m using an app called My Net Diary and a to get a relatively accurate nutrient intake picture. I’ve also been maintaining a roughly 850 kcal daily deficit in order to test the weight loss properties of ketosis.
Net carbs are calculated by subtracting the grams of dietary fiber (and sugar alcohols if the food you’re eating contains sugar alcohols) from the total grams of carbohydrates. There is not agreement about how accurate or useful this number is so be cautious to keep your total carbohydrate intake below the level you set.
While I am clinically overweight, weight loss is not the primary purpose of this experiment. Regardless, I am tracking my weight with a that syncs with my smartphone for easier data collection.
This chart is totally subjective but I did experience notable differences in energy level throughout the first week of ketosis. The first three days were difficult because I almost constantly had a headache and difficulty focusing or thinking quickly. Some describe this as a “mental fog” which seems fairly accurate to me. Physiologically the cause of this was that my brain was “tuned” to run on glucose and I was depriving it of the amount of glucose required to run well. Most of the brain cells can run on ketone bodies so after my glycogen stores were exhausted and my body started to produce enough ketone bodies for the brain to use, this cleared up.
As you can see, on day three my energy level and mental clarity increased dramatically. I do not have an explanation as to why I feel better than I normally do while in ketosis but I theorize that it is at least in part due to very even blood glucose levels and corresponding insulin levels.
I’ll provide another update next week, I will start to give recipes that I have developed, and by the end of this experiment (5 weeks) I will give a weeks worth of vegetarian ketosis friendly meals.