A fitness blog about ketosis and ketogenic diets.
A few weeks ago i was bemoaning the fact that my body weight had hit a hard plateau and although i was still getting slightly leaner i wasn’t making my primary objective which is to get rid of body fat without losing muscle. Now ok, i know that’s a hard balance to achieve and i was somewhat comforted that i was actually getting slightly more leaner mass in some areas and i guess because of the amount of exercise that i was maintaining.
I decided though to have a serious attempt at another ‘cut’ by which i mean a deliberate loss of fat for a few weeks so that i get below my first primary target which was a 10kg loss : i do actually want to get lower than that and a medium term goal is still 90kg (from 102.6). It was a bit tempting to run with the small muscle gain because that’s still a hard thing to achieve at 59 but i still think i will be better off long term and health-wise by getting that visceral fat right down.
So for a few weeks i am back to a harder routine on the diet front and mainly using the higher protein/moderate fat and very reduced carbohydrate as a primary tool and slightly increasing my exercise. My daily routine for 5 days this week was to start the day with either bacon & eggs or an ommelette , crucially taking bread out of my morning routine. If i have been at home i then do my admin here and then start my exercise with a ‘rucking’ trip and then do a weights/bodyweight exercise routine and then have a protein shake. This week i have also been putting in solid days in the garden : not so much heavy work but just going at it steadily for several hours. In my weights training i still haven’t been able to get more reps at a 90kg deadlift and haven’t bought more plates yet. I do feel that i need to be really safe and steady at that weight before pushing it up again. I have though been doing quite a lot more weighted squats after my ‘ruck’ , the limit being how much weight i can safely press overhead and then get back down behind my neck…..i just dump the bar after a set.
If i am at work i have the same breakfast but i have been trying to get to work slightly earlier so that i can pack in more sets thus more exercise volume. This week i tried for at least 6 sets of each exercise or at least 150 press-ups in the morning workout and as many chin-ups as i can get : peak day was 200 press-ups and 62 chins. My aim is to push into ketosis quite hard and fast, most days i get there noticeably within about 3 hours of breakfast. It might be happening sooner but that point is when i definitely get the metallic taste on my breath. From then i have tried to stay in ketosis for most of the day….one day at work i was feeling a bit rough during the afternoon so deliberately came out of keto with coffee and biscuits : the sugar rush was quite intense !
The key element in achieving ketosis seems to be having a high protein breakfast and not having carbs at that time . Its odd but if i even have a couple of slices of bread with some poached eggs for breakfast then i just don’t seem to drop into a ketotic state even if i eat very little. From a bit of reading this seems to be all insulin related and doesn’t ‘reset’ until the next day. For me that’s been a useful learning point as it seems that timing of carbs intake might be the important thing , it seems less problematical tom have some carbs later on for example.
This week it has felt that ketosis has been noticeably uncomfortable, not just the unpleasant taste but continuous mild headaches as well. What i have had to do is drink a lot more water as i think the headaches are dehydration related and seem to help to clear the bad metallic taste for a while…..i have been really conscious not to breathe on people !. It has really changed my taste this week , for example i really haven’t enjoyed coffee which i usually run on !. The end of week result is at least going in the right direction with a 300gm loss : it can be difficult to tell what is happening over so short a time so i may get a better view on that in another couple of weeks.
Stephen Mundane wrote : “Steve, I reckon those long sessions in your beautiful garden likely do more for weight loss than all that resistance training — I applaud your determination and commitment. One thought I had, in the way of unsolicited advice, is that you might want to increase your zinc intake to try and make up for the lower testosterone levels due to being an older man. A daily zinc supplement containing no less than 11 mg is recommended for men over 50. Or you could be strong to the finish and just eat just eat more spinach like Popeye.
Me : i’m going to take this on as the main theme of a much longer post, one that i have started and stopped several times but never finished. There are arguments both ways that i know of. I have btw started taking a zinc and magnesium supplement again and will soon be starting vitamin d again as i am prone to SAD in the winter.