Every day my brain asks me, “Chris, when the fuck are we going to eat some pasta?” And I say to my brain, “Sorry, brain, we’re not eating pasta for a while.” And my brain replies, “You’re a jerk.”
Such is my life at the moment.
But in reality #lifeafterpasta isn’t so bad. Because there is still cheese.
So while I have been in ketosis for almost two weeks I wouldn’t yet say I am fully keto adapted. Which just means my brain has not yet fully made the transition and accepted it must now burn fat as its primary form of energy.
So how do I know that? Well, I don’t really, but there are some indicators:
- Steady Ketone Levels
- Measurements have fluctuated from between 1 and 4 mmol/g (>.5 mmol/g indicates ketosis) but I might now expect them to be closer to 4 or higher more often. Today I measured at 8 mmol/g (>20 is not good) which is more than I expected, though I did do a pretty intense bike ride out to UBC and back where I really pushed through some intense pain. My thinking behind this (and the Grind) is the intense activity will push me more quickly towards being fully keto adapted.
- Increased Energy and Power
- While my energy levels are very steady my energy is often lacking. Several runs late last week came to abrupt ends at about 1.5km as I just lost all energy instantly. Today I did a slow 5 km which felt ok – though not great. I find hills are still difficult due to the increased power needed to maintain speed.
- My brain tells me very strongly to not speed up and my thinking is that its way of saying, “I can still only access so much fat energy at a time, and I need a good 600 calories for me – so if you think you’re going to sacrifice my optimal functioning just run up this hill a bit faster you are sorely mistaken.”
- Consistent Energy and Power
- My energy levels do dip when working out, but interestingly, right after a workout, I feel ready to right at it again! Can’t wait until this is sustained
- Improved Concentration/Less fatigue
- I actually don’t feel my brain function has suffered too much, if at all, on this diet (though I have yet to ask those around me!) but maybe it will get better anyway!
So the most interesting thing thus far is how long I can go without eating. Typically I need to eat a lot to avoid getting hangry, but now I can go very long periods without eating yet:
- Not lose energy
- Not lose mental focus
- Not feel anxious about getting food
I am getting a bit nervous about being better keto-adapted for my next race which is August 29 in Whistler. And am a bit nervous my training has suffered from the diet. However, my energy and power seem to be getting better daily and while I am actually running due to early run fatigue I am still getting in 1 to 3 Grinds a week (though at embarrassingly poor times!) and doing a good amount of km on the bike to help make up for it.
So far I am about 12 lbs down from my high weight of 193.8 to 181.7. This is the weight I used to be fairly steady at for many years so I am happy to be here. I will try to get down to 175 for the Whistler race and then try to maintain that weight for training. Which, actually, means potentially losing more weight for future races, then gaining weight back for training. This will more likely be a project for next year, though I hope to do one more road 5k to see how much I can bring my time down. My two road 5 k times this year are 20:10 and 19:55. I think I can get below 19:00 with a good prep and run. Being 15 lbs lighter should also help!
Tomorrow I will do about 10k on the bike in commuting and will try to make it out for an evening run and then will do a Grind on Wednesday. I want to have a pretty intense early part of the week and then start tapering Thursday to get some good rest in before the race. I may do some pool work next week, but no Grinds, and no long bike rides…oh, and hopefully some sleep.