60 Days into the Ketogenic Diet

I’ve mentioned it a few times now, but for the past 60 days (actually 62, but who’s counting!) I’ve been running a ketogenic diet, which is a very low carbohydrate diet. No, it’s not paleo. No, it’s not Atkins (though Atkins is a low carb diet that has phases of ketogenesis). While there are similarities, the core difference with keto is that carbohydrate levels are kept very low. Typically under 20-40 grams per day. You really don’t appreciate how low this is until you try it and you realize everything you most likely consume on a daily basis contains carbs.

Any way, there are plenty of resources out there to learn more about ketogenic diet if you’re interested and don’t already know enough. The point of this post is to talk about how I’ve been doing, sixty (60) days into it. This is not my first round of keto (and surely won’t be my last) but this time around, I’m committed to staying the course and achieving the best health and fitness of my life.

I began this particular stint of the ketogenic diet sixty days ago, weighing in at 201.8 lbs and ~20.3% body fat as measured by my scale. Ready? Drum roll please! I currently weigh 189.0 lbs with ~17.5% (scale) / ~16.2% (Omron). I’m giving two body fat percentage measurements now because I recently purchased an Omron handheld body fat measurement device. I think these are a bit more accurate than the scales, but I suppose I have no real proof for that. I could just be biased because I get lower measurements for body fat using the Omron. <grin>

Measuring body fat using at-home bio-electrical impedance devices like my scale or the handheld Omron device aren’t terribly accurate. The important part is the trend and any lasting magnitude of change! As you can see from the numbers, in just two months, I’ve dropped over 12 lbs of weight and ~4% body fat. That’s pretty damn good! Keep in mind that I’ve also been lifting weights consistently. I have not been doing a lick of cardio, just trying to include more active activities, like kayaking, beach volleyball, and hiking. I HATE running, either outside or on a treadmill, so I’m not doing it this time around.

Time for some pictures!

Before and after photos 60 days into keto diet - side

Before and after photos 60 days into keto diet - front

It might be hard to see a ton of difference between the shots above, but that’s largely because I’ve been doing both fat loss and muscle building at the same time! A very difficult thing to do. But focus closely on some of the “problem areas,” as you’ll see the progress clear as day. For example, the “pouch” area just below the belly button: in my 5/19 shots, you can easily see the outline of the fat pocket, but in the 7/20 shot, the pocket is virtually gone!

Another area is in my arms. Focus on my forearms, and you can see in the 5/19 shots, they are soft and have zero vascular definition. In the 7/20 shots, things are tighter and you can clearly see vascular definition! In my shoulders and neck, you can see the change from a softer appearance to a more defined one. My face is also leaner on top of it all! And it’s all thanks to the ketogenic diet, for real guys!

OK, so now that you’ve seen my progress thus far… where am I heading? Well, my current goal is to get around 12% body fat. I’ll accept victory if I can get this as a trending measurement from my Omron device. If I can sustain this rate, then I should be able to attain this within the next 60-90 days! How exciting! =) Wish me luck, and stay tuned guys.

Keto while traveling

This blog post is about being on a Ketogenic Diet while away from home. To learn more about the Ketogenic Diet, see my blog post here and this fantastic website Ruled.Me here.
Trying to stay on the Ketogenic Diet while traveling, or otherwise away from home, can be difficult for many reasons. Without having the ability or time to prepare and cook your meals, you are at the mercy of restaurant menus and other people who don’t fully understand what Keto is all about. But fear not, all is not lost! There are plenty of ways to try and stay in ketosis, or at least limit the damage caused by eating carby foods.
1. Learn about basic food stuffs/ingredients.
The more you know about basic food ingredients, the better prepared you will be for the curve balls you will encounter when you are away from home. At restaurants and friend’s homes, you’ll be able to pick out the “bad” foods from the “good” foods. This is a large topic, and I cannot begin to cover it here. My advice is to start Googling foods you are unsure about. And understand that sugar and carbs are hidden in many things, so if you’ve never looked it up, don’t assume it’s OK until you learn more.
2. Don’t take advice from friends who aren’t keto aware.
People who don’t know what ketosis or ketogenic diets are will often not understand enough about food in general to give you good advice. I can’t begin to count the number of times I tell people I can’t have carbs, and then they turn around and offer me fruits or a beer. People also have hundreds if not thousands of excuses they are armed and ready to fire at you, to peer pressure you into cheating. “It’s just this once.”, “You can go back on it tomorrow.”, etc. etc. Only you should have the authority to grant yourself a cheat day, based on your progress and you past determination. Do not accept other people’s excuses as your own.
3. Take advance of the grocery store while on travel!
While you may not be shopping for groceries as if you were home, that doesn’t mean the grocery store is no longer a viable option. If you’ve got a refrigerator in your hotel room or friend’s apartment, you can buy some frozen things like Jimmy Dean’s egg and sausage breakfast bowls. If you’ll be around an area for a few days, you can buy some stuff like a package of shredded cheese, which you know if you use it every day for 3-4 days, you could use it up no problem. Also look for hard boiled eggs, which can be a handy snack or breakfast item. You can even find some good stuff at 711’s and other convenience stores. I found a single serve mozzarella stick wrapped in prosciutto the other day, and that was amazing. Prefer fat-protein ratio with virtually no carbs! Also: bacon jerky. Seriously. Enjoy.
4. Watch out for relying too much on protein for calories.
You should not rely too much on protein for your calories, as this will kick you out of ketosis as your body burns protein for fuel. You MUST prefer fat over all other macros. This is why I avoid lean beef jerky and steaks, because they are just too protein focused. As I mentioned above, bacon jerky is a great alternative here, as it has a higher fat content than other jerky.
5. Learn and research common restaurants so you have options when your in a pinch.
Most burger places are actually a pretty good choice, as it’s easy to tell them to hold the bun, swap the fries for a salad, and load it up with bacon and cheese. Here’s a picture of the burger I just had from Erukea! here in Dallas, Texas.
I’m sure I have more advice, but that’s a good list for now. Good luck on your keto journey and feel free to write me comments on these blog posts if you have any questions! For the record, I’m around 193 lbs right now at 15.9% body fat. As mentioned previously, I don’t really care too much about my raw weight, but rather I’m more focused on body fat percentage. I started at about 21.0% so you can see I’ve had great progress so far!