“Would you like a fat-bomb?” I ask my housemate and long-time friend Hannah.
“Sure! What is it?”
“Cream cheese, wrapped in bacon”
“Aren’t you on a diet or something?”
“Yup, this is it!”
I wasn’t lying. The ketogenic diet, which I’ve been experimenting with for the past two weeks, has had fascinating effects. I’d like to share them here.
A partial list:
- Consistent, constant energy levels
- Focus increase by ~60%
- Increase in peripheral vision ~10%
- Hunger suppression up to 8 hours
- Overall increase in well-being
I decided to experiment with the Ketogenic Diet (Keto) as my first real foray into dietary design. I’ve long thought of changing my diet and making more conscious decisions about the foods I eat, but it was not until reading Tim Ferriss’s Tools of Titans that I found a diet compelling enough to try. I began it with a spirit of interest and exploration, and I must say that my results thus far have been incredibly encouraging. At the same time, I am a sample size of one, and I am certainly not immune to the placebo effect. In addition, I have only tried it for two weeks, a fairly small period.
A full description of Keto would probably bore most readers, but a short summary will do for now: The diet is a low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) diet that triggers a metabolic shift in your body’s biochemistry. The Ketogenic Diet is, in essence, a generalized form of the Atkins diet, with more focus on blood biochemistry and less on eating specific foods–more on that later. The goal is to restrict carbohydrates and provide excess fat in order to convince your body into converting its metabolism to be primarily fat-burning. This is done by eating ~80% fat, ~15% Protein, and ~5% carbohydrates. While the effects for me have been fascinating, the diet does not come without its risks, so please read the disclaimer at the end of this article.
In terms of dancing, I have noticed benefits primarily in my ability to focus when practicing. When my mental activities are more accurately directed, so too seem to be my feet, arms, etc. I’m impressed by the constancy of the energy levels as well. Instead of tiring out halfway through a long practice, my motor seems ready with consistent energy. As an additional benefit, my perception of 3-D space has increased, likely due to an expanded peripheral vision.
It’s not the easiest diet to follow. While initially a fat-full diet may seem like a wonderful treat, it’s reality is quite difficult. You’ll find ways of including coconut oil into everyday foods. Avocados become your best friend. Bacon and cream cheese makes itself into an entire meal. As with any diet, finding ways of keeping yourself engaged and committed is key. I’ve enjoyed the effects so far.
For more information about the Ketogenic Diet, I’d recommend checking out ruled.me, a site with a fairly good rundown of what the Ketogenic diet is and has to offer.
I am not a nutritionist, nor am I a doctor. Playing with your own biochemistry can reap rewards, but should be done with plenty of forethought and consultation from a trained professional. If you have a history of liver or kidney problems, read up on the risks associated with Ketosis. In addition, if your body fat percentage is considered ‘lean’ (3-6% in men, 13-18% in women) you should carefully consider your daily caloric intake before starting the diet. As always, do your research, don’t just take my word for it.