Hi everyone. So you may have noticed on my Facebook page that I haven’t exactly been posting a tremendous amount of recipes of late. Reason being I have been testing out a ketogenic type diet called The High Fat Diet and didn’t want to confuse you with incredibly high fat recipes that you might then consume thinking it would benefit you.
For the last 2 weeks I have been following a HIGH fat, MODERATE protein and LOW (almost non existent) carb eating plan. It consisted of a 4 day “pretox” getting my body used to this new way of combining my macronutrients, followed by a 10 day “blitz” period. The principal behind this diet is that of ketosis.
A quick brief on Ketosis:
Ketosis is when the body, in the absence of glucose, produces ketones, which are produced from the breakdown of fats in the liver. When you eat something high in carbs, your body will produce glucose and insulin. Glucose is the primary source of energy used by the body as it is the easiest to convert. Insulin is produced to shuttle glucose around your body. As glucose is used for energy, fat is not needed and is therefore stored.
The aim of a ketogenic diet is to adapt your body into using FAT instead of GLUCOSE as energy and will begin to burn ketones as the main energy source.
I don’t want to drag on about the details but feel free to read more HERE
So in the spirit of transparency I would like to review my last 2 weeks of eating HIGH FAT and LOW CARB.
Days 1 to 4: In the first four days of the diet, called the “pretox”, I was introduced to eating a lot more fats than usual. Things like avocado and walnuts were on the menu but also whipping cream, cheese and fatty meats. Recent studies have proved that saturated fat is not bad for us (of course anything in excess will be).
Here’s an example of one day in the pretox period:
Breakfast: 2 whole eggs, scrambled with 10g butter. Served with 1/4 avocado.
Lunch: 100-120g fresh salmon + mixed salad of spinach and rocket + spring onion and green beans +25g pine nuts + 2tbslp olive oil and lemon juice
Dinner: 140 – 180g Rib eye steak + side cream spinach made with 50g fresh spinach + 25g full fat cream cheese + 20g pine nuts.
During this period I took heed of the “keto flu” warning, which is characterised by headaches, dizziness and nausea. On day 4 of the pretox I woke up feeling like I was going to perish. My heart was pounding and I felt so dizzy. Everytime I stood up I had to wait until my vision followed with me. I tweeted the author who suggested I drank a small glass of OJ with lemon juice, but by the time I saw her tweet I had recovered, thank goodness.
By the end of this pretox phase I had already lost 6 pounds. In the book the author says some people lose weight in this period but during the next phase is where people would really see the weight shed. Sadly this was not the case for me, but I was surprised that over the next 10 days, the 6 pounds stayed off.
Next I moved on to the 10 day “blitz” where my fat intake began to increase.
Here’s an example of one day on the Blitz:
Breakfast: One whole egg and one yolk, scrambled + half a tea spoon pesto +15g pine nuts and 45g cream cheese
Dinner: 140 – 200g Spice rubbed pork or lamb chops + 60-70g green beans fried in 20g butter with 50g walnuts
Yes, you are correct, only two meals a day. When I first read that I would only be eating two meals a day I thought pfffffffffffffft whatever and resigned myself to the fact that I would be taking the 3 meal option, thank you very much. But I was wrong, I just wasn’t hungry. Fat has 9 calories for every gram, whereas protein and carbs have 4 calories per gram, making fat the most satiating of them all.
There is an option to drink coffee with whipped cream or butter and coconut oil to tide you over.
I think my favourite was shopping at Landmark the one day and I desperately wanted to have something at Starbucks so I asked them to make me an iced latte, with cream instead of milk and a sprinkle of cinnamon. The friendly staff obliged and stared at me until I explained why. The one lady said “M’am, this is the first time I am making this”.
It was freaking delicious. Maybe because I am starved from sugar, but it was amazing. Ever since I have been thinking of excuses to go to a Starbucks and wondering where my nearest branch is.
So what about exercise you might ask? Well, this my friends is where I faced a challenge.
The diet from the book prescribes 12 minutes of high intensity exercise, which to many may sound delightful, but as a personal trainer I just couldn’t do it. I stuck to my normal workouts from approximately 45min – 60min, purely because I love it.
When it came to doing my HIIT routines including a lot of jumping around, my body didn’t have the explosive energy to follow through. Towards the end of the 10 day blitz I read on ruled.me about a concept of “carbing up”, where I ate 20g carbs 30 min before my HIIT explosive workout, and low and behold it worked wonders.
So what is my overall opinion on this? I am not against it, I am not overjoyed by it either. I didn’t really feel like myself, but I never felt hungry. I have lost the weight and gone down lower than I have in ages and lost 2cm around my waist and about the same on my arms and I feel firmer. Which isn’t a bad thing but I have to weigh up the value of it for me and my life. Food was tasty, but I missed the feeling of eating something that wasn’t laden with fat. I also don’t like avocado so that posed a bit of a problem for me. I also felt low on energy but that may have had something to do with my poor sleep patterns with wedding stress on my mind (not bad stress but you know when you lie awake at night and imagine every second of your big day?).
At one point I grew concerned about micronutrient deficiencies and ketoacidosis caused from an excess of ketones in the blood, which can have extremely harmful effects on my life…as in deadly effects. Although it is more risky for diabetics as far as my not-so-scientific-brain can tell. This diet was designed with diabetics and epileptics in mind but the principals cannot really be faulted (I mean I am sure someone will but generally speaking). Don’t quote me.
I even read about the potential benefits in fighting cancer, which I wouldn’t put my money on quite yet.
On my last day I tried my ketostix that arrived from the UK, and I had the highest reading, which in the contraindications suggested I contact my doctor – but I think that was meant for diabetics.
So NOW WHAT!!!?
Well part of the diet has a maintenance plan which reintroduces a lot of food that I was banned from in the pretox and blitz, EVEN carbs, which you would have twice a week.
BUT…I have been reading a lot on this guy’s website RULED.ME and I have also looked at the idea of carb cycling, because let’s face it, I love me some carbs.
I don’t want to be one of those people who lives their lives on a diet and can’t take part in fun social things, but at the same time I want to find a routine that works for me, because if I take my eye off the proverbial ball I may slip back into my old ways. So my next step is to continue with this for a bit longer, but also introduce carb cycling paired with a grueling exercise regime. I am always looking for ways to better myself and to have a challenge is key for my progression.
This is not yo-yo dieting, this is trying to find the perfect match for my life.
I will let you know my feedback on my next challenge.
If this diet interests you, you can buy it on iTunes or alternatively the paperback on Amazon.