This is simply a short personal post that I’ll categorize in the health department of one’s preparedness.
I am going to tell you about a life-altering diet change that has been absolutely remarkable for me, and Mrs.J.
I have literally never felt better in decades, am (almost) down to my college weight, have WAY MORE ENERGY, I feel sharper – mentally, and ambitiously working out… AND, I’m eating foods that I really like to eat. Some of which you have been told are “bad for you”. My blood-work says otherwise…
I’m not going to get all technical on you. There’s plenty of information for you to research online if you’re interested.
Instead, I’m just going to say what it is, and briefly explain how it works, as well as my personal experience over the last four months on this diet change.
KETO / CARNIVORE
You have likely heard of the Keto (Ketogenic) diet. Simply put, it is a LOW CARB diet. Some stay below 50 grams of carbs a day, while others recommend a maximum of 20 carbs a day.
You might not have heard of the Carnivore diet. Carnivore is ZERO carbs a day. None. Nada.
How Does Keto / Carnivore Work?
They both work the same way. I am going to simplify it as best I can.
Most People’s Energy Source Is Glucose In The Body
Your body consumes energy to stay alive and function throughout the day. That energy SOURCE for people on the typical American diet is… Glucose (blood sugar).
Most Americans have WAY too much blood sugar, even to the extent of being pre-diabetic or diabetic. Glucose is fine when it exists at normal levels in the body. However that’s not the case for the vast majority on the American diet.
A few bullet points from WebMD:
- High sugar levels slowly erode the ability of cells in your pancreas to make insulin. The organ overcompensates and insulin levels stay too high. Over time, the pancreas is permanently damaged.
- High levels of blood sugar can cause changes that lead to a hardening of the blood vessels, what doctors call atherosclerosis.
Almost any part of your body can be harmed by too much sugar. Damaged blood vessels cause problems such as:
- Kidney disease or kidney failure, requiring dialysis
- Heart attacks
- Vision loss or blindness
- Weakened immune system, with a greater risk of infections
- Erectile dysfunction
- Nerve damage, also called neuropathy, that causes tingling, pain, or less sensation in your feet, legs, and hands
- Poor circulation to the legs and feet
- Slow wound-healing and the potential for amputation in rare cases
MOST CARBS TURN TO GLUCOSE IN THE BODY
There are three kinds of carbs. Sugar, Starch, and Fiber. Sugar and Starch turn to glucose in the body. Your body is “trained” (for lack of a better word) to use glucose as it’s energy source. Not using fat as an energy source, but glucose.
You will crave carbs for energy. Your body wants it for it’s energy source. As a result, most people eat way too much sugar and carbohydrates (starches).
Do you know what happens with the EXCESS glucose in your body from eating too much sugar and carbs?
Simply put, it converts to FAT, which is deposited in various places on your body… Your body will not “burn that fat” as a primary energy source while on the typical American diet. Instead, it will demand more carbs and sugar. So you just keep getting fatter…
Force Your Body’s Energy Source To FAT Instead of Glucose!
The Keto diet (low carb) or the Carnivore diet (zero carbs) will force your body to switch from glucose as it’s energy source, to fat as it’s energy source.
Ketosis is a process that happens when your body doesn’t have enough carbohydrates to burn for energy. Instead, it burns fat and makes things called ketones, which it can use for fuel.
How do you do that? It’s simple! Stop eating carbs and sugar!! Or in the case of Keto, limit your carbs to 20 grams or less a day. Yes, that means you’ll have to become familiar with how many carbs and sugars are in your foods. But it’s not as difficult as you would think. Read labels. But more importantly you will find that most all of what you’ve probably been eating are loaded with too many.
First, let me back up a little bit…
I am going to be honest with you about my weight. And in NO WAY am I intending to disrespect anyone out there who happens to be overweight. I’m just putting this out there as an example of my own experience.
I am 6’2″ tall. So I am able to hold more weight without looking terribly “fat” I suppose. I’ve always considered myself to be in pretty good physical shape. I do a fair amount of daily physical work – depending on my projects. HOWEVER, my weight had been slowly creeping up. Though I felt alright, when I hit 230 on the scale, I said to myself, “that’s it — time to do something about this”.
Jumping forward to today (4 months later), I have lost 40 pounds. 190. My college weight was right around 185ish.
How will I know when I get to where I want to be? Easy… while looking in the mirror I no longer detect ANY excess… not even any evidence of “handles” whatsoever. I’m almost there.
A HUGE extra bonus is how good I feel, physically. It has all been so successful that I just had to post about it, even though it’s a personal thing. Maybe there’s one of you who might find it useful. Or maybe someone down the road will do a internet search and hit on this article. Hopefully it will encourage more research.
Okay, back to the rest of the story…
I decided to go full-tilt Carnivore to kick it off (zero carbs). My plan being to transition to Keto once I get to where I want to be. Though once in a while I’ll incorporate (less than 20 grams) of carbs on given day, mostly during the last four months I’ve been strictly ZERO CARBS.
It doesn’t take long (a few days) and your body will switch over to ketosis and starting “eating” it’s own fat for energy – that’s how it works to get rid of that fat! Unlike glucose as energy (which does not consume your body fat), you actually start losing that fat on a low carb or no carb diet. The concept is simple.
What can I eat?
Meat (preferably beef, but any meat). Fish. Eggs. Butter… (there’s lots more to this)… But it’s basically a high fat diet. Sounds counter-intuitive, but it’s not.
Whether Keto or Carnivore, I am going to suggest that you watch the YouTube videos of Dr. Ken Berry (1.3 million subscribers). I discovered him while doing my initial research about Keto, and I really enjoyed and learned from what he has to say. He’s down to earth and tells it like it is. So if you want to learn more about how this works and what you can eat, etc… check him out. It’s my tip to you…
While on Keto or Carnivore, your cravings will disappear. You DO NOT have to count calories! At all! It just works. I eat twice a day. Around 11 AM and again in the evening. Eat until comfortably stuffed (as Dr. Berry says). In between I am not hungry. At all. In fact I’ve gone numerous times eating once a day without any issue.
The Keto Flu
I’m going to give you a heads-up about something that happens to varying extents depending on the person. When you start, your body is going to go through a brief withdrawal (from carbs). It happened to me and Mrs.J. Worst part was mostly one day – I think it was the 2nd or 3rd day after starting. I kind of felt sluggish, a bit of a headache, kinda crappy. It might have lasted about 2 days. That’s why they call it the Keto flu. Though it’s not bad like a real flu!
Once you get through to the other side, you’ll know it. For me, it felt great. It was obvious to me, especially as time went on, that this energy source is far superior to sugar and carbs! Wow…
Okay, one more warning about the transition. How do I put this… well, you WILL have a time with diarrhea. Sorry to be blunt, but fair warning. Your gut microbiome is transitioning. It’s not horrible, but it may last a week or two or thereabouts.
The Bottom Line
I went on for way more than I thought that I would. I have recently crossed the threshold into that “60” year stage of life, and I feel decades younger! Which is my motivation to post about this today. Preparedness is also about one’s health. There are many ways to be healthy. And I’m not pushing this on anyone. I’m just telling you what has worked very well for me.