Ketosis is the state that you are trying to achieve with a keto diet.
In my experience I can get into a ketogenic state quickly by drinking my morning coffee blended with butter and MCT oil, followed by taking a long walk, drinking lots of water during and after, and then followed by eating a fat-heavy breakfast like eggs, bacon and avocado. This usually sets the pace for the day and gets me back on track with keto. I’m not hungry for several hours after that, but then will have a meal with some kind of salad loaded with some protein and fat again. I have learned to cut back on protein though because that was a pitfall in the past. I try and remember that a serving of protein looks like the size of a deck of card; so, smaller than your hand.
Ketosis is the state that you are trying to achieve with a keto diet. You want your body using fat as fuel basically and slimming down your body and improving your cognitive functions. Several factors can kick you out of that state so it’s best to monitor in the beginning with the keto test strips or blood testing if you’re super into exact measurements.
I test my pee to see if I am there yet, and then I watch it to see if certain carbs or drinks kick me out of it. It’s a nice way to obsess over your progress in the beginning. I have noticed that large diet drinks, some dishes with beans or even too much protein will slow my progress. On the other hand I have noticed that once I am in ketosis I can maintain it even when having dark chocolates, certain ice cream and some diet drinks. So it’s a trial and error process that you really need to learn for yourself.
I think it goes without saying that I am not a doctor and I don’t know the exact science behind why it all works, however I know that it makes me feel better. I have lost weight and I am never really hungry unless I am intentionally fasting for a planned period of time.
Having a holiday feast is fine and doesn’t have to end your diet goals or send you careening off the rails for weeks. I am taking the next day to fast back to ketosis as quickly as possible and get back on track. After eating to my heart’s content yesterday, I ended the night with a full glass of water and about an hour of stretching and some crunches. It wasn’t going to undo the binge-style eating, but it centered me and helped me sleep better perhaps.
I thought about my goal last night for today which is an attempt at fasting with only coffee, mct, and water. I am about to go for a long walk and then test my keto levels for any signs of progress.
As the day progressed I was back in ketosis quicker than I thought. I drank a green tea with MCT oil and butter to help ease into the evening without dinner, but it made really nauseous. I ended up drinking a protein shake with no sugar and about 100 calories. I sipped on water and fell asleep hungry. I am looking forward to food today. That was my first successful fasting test, usually I cave by lunch –so there’s that.
The term that is most commonly used is intermittent fasting and there are more ways than one to use this approach. Typically I like the one that works while I sleep. The trick is not eating past 6 o’clock then sleeping as long as possible, and breaking the fast with a late breakfast like a normal human being. Some doctors and nutritionists swear by a monthly 3-5 day fast and there are always the more extreme ones as well. The important thing to remember is that the people fasting are doing so in an extremely controlled manner with careful attention paid to their supplements, electrolytes and water intake. Additionally, they test their ketone levels, blood, urine and whatever else these uber-obssessed types like to measure. It’s not just starvation and see what happens; fasting requires some level of research and the consultation of a doctor when you become more interested in the practice.
But for the average person a day to give your body a break and boost back to where you want to be on a keto diet seems harmless to me and something that I would only recommend post holiday diet crash. But hey, that’s just me and I like to eat. I do as a general rule try and have dinner before 6 and eat around 9 am after my morning bulletproof coffee which I have first thing. This is working really well when I don’t stray from the routine. 🙂
So, there are lots and lots of explanations about why and how MCT helps you and your brain. But the only proof that you need is the proof you will find yourself by using it
Medium-chain triglycerides are triglycerides whose fatty acids have an aliphatic tail of 6–12 carbon atoms. The fatty acids found in MCTs are called medium-chain fatty acids. Wikipedia
So, there are lots and lots of explanations about why and how MCT helps you and your brain. But the only proof that you need is the proof you will find yourself by using it. The easiest thing to do is to pour it into your coffee, tea or smoothie in the morning and see how you feel. I started with a tablespoon in my coffee and then increased as I got used to the dose and the effect.
It has no taste or smell so you can add it to virtually anything. You can cook with it too. It is basically super concentrated coconut oil, but it tastes like nothing. If you are trying for ketosis or the fat burning phase of a low carb ketogenic diet this will also help put you there and keep you there for longer periods which I believe will help lead to weight loss.
What does it do? It gives me an instant boost in the morning and clarity in my brain. I feel like I can think better and function at a high level for hours without breakfast as the fat acts like fuel and food. When coupled with caffeine the drink gives me a nice steady level of energy, less to no sugar cravings and no feeling of a crash before lunch when I am actually hungry and ready to eat.
All I suggest here is that you try it for yourself. This is a routine that I have stuck to for years and beyond brushing my teeth I can’t really say I have stuck with anything as loyally as the MCT supplement.