I follow a way of eating called keto and a nutritional ketosis diet. I don’t call it a diet anymore than we call the standard American diet (SAD) a diet. It’s just the way I eat now. I discovered keto during my on line research and through my older brother living in the UK. He was following a ketogenic diet while undergoing chemotherapy. He also had the same MSL condition as me, and was experiencing good results with this way of eating. We reconnected over Keto before he passed in January 2018. He came to Keto too late to experience the full benefits, I think. I am very grateful to him for pointing me in the right direction.
My adult son also follows this way of eating, mostly because I buy the groceries and cook the meals. We talked about it before I began this journey. I told him that I would only be buying keto friendly foods and cooking keto meals going forward. He’s old enough to buy his own kind of food but he chose to follow the path of least resistance. He eats what I cook.
Ketogenic Diet ( 1 – 3 months)
Once I decided to on my dietary intervention, I set about finding resources to support my decision. Unfortunately, I could not find many healthcare professionals, including my medical team, that were willing to support my diet. I planned to eat less than 20 grams of net carbohydrates per day. The balance of my calories would be from high quality, nutrient dense protein and fats. I set my caloric intake at 1,200 kcal a day for the initial three months.
My plan was to track everything and I purchased an online app for this purpose. I bought a kitchen scale and weighed, measured and documented every single thing I put in my body. There were no cheat days and I did not exercise during this initial stage. There was an adjustment phase of about two weeks but I was able to manage this by tweaking my supplements. My specialist agreed to monitor my interventions through dietary analysis, blood work and MRI’s.
Very Low-Carb High Fat Diet ( 3 months to current)
Between December 2016 and August of 2017 I dropped over 50 pounds with out exercise. My bio markers had improved and I was no longer pre- diabetic. I felt good and confident enough in my energy levels to want to attempt an exercise program. If I wanted to increase my activity levels, I knew I needed to increase my calories. I re calibrated my macro nutrient levels yet again. While strict keto was helpful while I was fat adapting, I no longer wanted to lose weight. This meant I needed to find a more functional approach to my food based therapy. I needed to maintain my current weight of 130 pounds and to fund a proposed increase in muscle mass.
I decided to transition to a very low carbohydrate, high fat diet, sometimes described as nutritional ketosis. My macros would need to increase to 35 net carbs per day and the balance of my calories would be made up from nutrient dense fats and protein. Protein would need to play a bigger part of my diet also given my age and my planned increase in activity. I still measure, track and documented everything I eat. I still kept all my appointments with all specialists and continued to see improvements to my health across the board. Keto and the nutritional ketosis diet are just the way I eat now.