3 Reasons Why I’m ditching Soda, Sugar and Carbs on the same day — maybe forever
This week I start a 3-month ‘test’ of the ketogenic diet
I’m not unhealthy, I don’t need to lose weight — at ~90kg with a 6'4" (190cm) frame I’m pretty close to good in that department. I row 10KM 3–4 times a week, lift weights every-other-day and manage to do 30 minutes of walking in the sun on most days. So please keep in mind for the rest of this topic — either this article, or the next 3-months if you are keeping track — I’m not doing this out of a desire to lose weight. Body recomposition is a bonus, but its not my primary driver — and it’s very rare that it should be THE reason for anyone.
From February 27th I’m changing from a western traditional diet ( high carb, good protein, low fat) to a ketogenic diet High fat (70%), medium protein (20%) low carb (5%). I’m going to commit to 3-months with 90%+ compliance — my aim is 100%, but I need to be realistic.
For me — this means a few things
- No Pepsi MAX — I drink between 3–4 litres a day of the stuff when I’m off-the-wagon. It has no Sugar, but plenty of caffeine and fake sugar which has its own collection of health concerns.
- No Refined Sugar — again, I have an incredible sweet tooth and can easily destroy multiple 500g chocolate bars or family sized tubs of ice cream.
- VERY few carbs — I love breads, pastas and anything with carbs in — so this is a radical change to my diet.
- As a indirect result of the above — gluten is likely to be at best fully removed, and at worst significantly reduced.
So lets start with the WHY am I doing this :-
While I’m physically in good condition — I have an ok fat percentage and no serious health issues — I subjectively don’t FEEL good. I’m always tired, and I have pretty crazy energy fluctuations, in part I believe caused by the high/low sugar cycle. On the other side — the caffeine i consume impacts my sleep and that causes performance issues during the day AND impacts my fat and stress levels. My hope, is that a ketogenic diet will improve many of the above low level health concerns in a sustainable way.
I’m self-employed, so for me, time is literally money. I’m looking at all aspects of my life — attempting to identify ways to increase my output and improve efficiency. Exercise was stage-one of this — Ive moved from being super-tired all the time & getting breathless walking up some stairs to doing a 36 minute 10km row in 3 months. I believe that via diet change, I can improve this even more. The ROI is pretty compelling so it’s worth investing time and money in.
I’ve been experimenting with performance supplementation for a while now, so-called nootropics. It’s not quite at the level of the movie and TV shows limitless with its NZT wonderdrug.. but a good amount of performance improvements can be achieved by some good quality supplementation.
You can start with natural supplements … caffeine and nicotine are two common ones, or progress to drugs which require medical involvement — the biohacking scene is growing in popularity as people look to achieve boosts over everyone else.
A ketogenic diet has a growing body of evidence suggesting that it can, either in isolation or conjunction with other supplements provide some great benefits — and thats one area I want to monitor closely.
So..whats the plan ?
Starting from the 27th of February I’m going to commit to eating with a ketogenic diet template for at least 3 months — if it works it will be a permanent change. I’ll be continuing my exercise regime, because I want to adjust as little else as possible. The change to my macro nutrient profile is huge and it needs to be isolated so the results are clear and uninfluenced by other factors.
Each day, I’ll be taking measurements.. thats ~90 data sets in total, each one consisting of the following.
- Body Weight — using my Withings Scales (tweeted from @adriancantrill on twitter)
- Body Fat Percentage — as above, Withings Scales… i’ll record daily, and post frequently…initially daily, moving to weekly.
- Body lean Percentage — as above.
- Body Water Weight — as above.
- Sleep Time (Fitbit measured), Quality (Measured) and subjective quality.
- Utterly subjective (how i feel) 1–20 value — 10 being a subjective NOW. 1 being terrible, 20 being amazing.
- Blood Ketones — measured using a test device/strips
- Blood Glucose — measured using a test device/strips (this may be after a few days when my strips arrive)
- Body Measurements — chest, waist, gut
- Exercise Details — type, duration, approx. calorific burn
- Details of my meals — calories, macros and pictures if you are interested.
I’ll find some way of making those available — if you are REALLY interested then follow me on twitter @adriancantrill and i’ll find some way of giving you access — might be a google sheet or other public document.
Less frequently — probably more of an ad-hoc thing, i’ll be doing update posts/videos so you can follow along and see if any of my experiences might influence or inform your plans.
If anyone has specific things they want me to add — I’m happy to help, just let me know via twitter, email, or as a response to this, or any of the posts in the series.
As always, I’d appreciate a share on social media, or a recommendation on here to help spread the word. Unbiased and data-driven reviews of alternative nutrition plans are often hard to come by — and since I’m nowhere near popular enough to be influenced financially by sponsors, my hope, is that this is one such resource.