Pardon the analogy, but after nine months of being on this “nutritional ketosis” experiment inspired by the book The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance by Dr. Stephen Phinney and Dr. Jeff Volek, I can’t help but feel like I’ve birthed something pretty spectacular in my own life as well as the lives of so many of you. I’ve heard and read about people (like Dr. Georgia Ede, Recomp Hacks, BJJ Caveman, Low So Paleo and the amazing folks doing this on the Low Carb Friends forum) who are experiencing some truly remarkable benefits to eating in the appropriate manner for their bodies to produce an adequate level of blood ketones (measured with the Precision Xtra blood ketone meter) to make that switch from being a sugar-burner to becoming a fat-burning machine.
It’s so much more than just simply cutting carbohydrates to your personal tolerance level–it’s also a deliberate action to be conscious of how much protein you are consuming without kicking in the gluconeogenetic effect where your body starts creating glucose for fuel when you consume an excess of protein beyond what your body requires. Additionally, consuming an appropriate amount of healthy saturated and monounsaturated fats to stave off hunger and cravings is the key to making this NK thing work so beautifully. Avoiding the key low-carb mistakes and embracing this high-fat, moderate protein, low-carb nutritional approach customized to the individual that doesn’t obsess over calories has been the missing element that so many of us who have been a part of the low-carb community for years have been needing to get us focused and back on track in our personal health journeys.
If you haven’t been following my n=1 NK experiment since May 2012, then I invite you to look back at all of my 30-day updates to see how my testing of this has been to date: Day 1-30, Day 31-60, Day 61-90, Day 91-120, Day 121-150, 151-180, Day 181-210 and Day 211-240. Additionally, I was given the unique opportunity to present a lecture about my NK experiment in a speaking tour through eastern Australia in November 2012 where I shared a 6-month update of my findings so far. I’m continuing to learn new things the longer I travel down this NK journey and I look forward to sharing more about those in upcoming lectures at the Become Superhuman conference in Spokane, Washington in early March, PaleoFX in Austin, Texas in late March and as a featured guest speaker on the 2013 Low-Carb Cruise leaving out of Galveston, Texas in May. Plus, when I’ve completed my one year of daily testing, I will be handing over all of the raw data tracking my food, exercise and blood testing results to a researcher who will attempt to get this published as a case study in a medical journal. COOL! And my publisher is already very interested in having me write a book about my nutritional ketosis experience after I’m finished writing and publishing the book I’m currently writing on reading your cholesterol test results.
Speaking of that cholesterol book, I’ve been typing away feverishly on that this week and I’ve got tens of thousands more words to write in order to get it completed. I’m so excited about the message we’ll be communicating in this book and can’t wait for you to see it when it releases later this year. But I REALLY need to get back to work on that, so let me share with you the latest results in my NK testing from Day 241-270:
AM BLOOD KETONE LEVELS
The low levels of blood ketones in the morning continued this month averaging right around that .5 millimolar mark for the lower end of nutritional ketosis. I still can’t help but wonder if you do this long enough that perhaps your body becomes quite efficient at utilizing the ketones for fuel so that they don’t show up in the morning readings as much as they do later in the day. This will definitely be something I’ll be watching in the final few months of my testing.
PM BLOOD KETONE LEVELS
In stark contrast to the AM blood ketone levels, the ones I’m seeing at night are consistently higher averaging around 1.8 millimolar during this 30-day cycle. I noticed when I did my every-hour-on-the-hour testing for a week recently that my blood ketones almost like clockwork saw a spike once the sun went down around 6:00PM. Coincidence? I don’t think so. There’s gotta be something happening at that point to drive up ketone production in the blood. Is it melatonin starting to kick in? And if it is, then that would explain why ketone levels are lowest in the morning time when serotonin production becomes more dominant. This is all just an educated theory right now based on the data I’m seeing. Again, I’ll be keeping a close eye on these trends.
WEIGHT LOSS DAY 241-270
After seeing a paltry weight loss of .6 pounds last month reflecting the Christmas holidays, I was ready to rebound in January working my tail off to see some good results. And while it’s never a perfectly smooth downward path, the net result was a 5-POUND WEIGHT LOSS. I’ll take it! My current weight of 240.2 is the lowest I’ve been since I started this experiment and I’m within a whisker of being back in the 230’s again…something I haven’t seen since 2006. You wanna hear something funny? I went through my closet the other day trying on clothes to get rid of the ones that are too big for me now and to see what actually fits me now. I was shocked to find clothes that I wore back in 2004 when I got down to 230 pounds fitting me perfectly at 240-something pounds. That’s encouraging to know that my body composition is changing with more muscle weight while I’m losing stored body fat. I feel like whatever happens from here in my weight loss is forging new territory not seen by my body since I began my low-carb journey. It’s exciting stuff and I’m happy to be sharing it with you.
CUMULATIVE WEIGHT LOSS DAY 0-270
Overall, this now gives me a TOTAL WEIGHT LOSS OF 66.0 POUNDS in nine months. Now that’s what I’m talking about, baby! I’m now just a little over 10 pounds away from being back at the weight I was following my 180-pound weight loss success in 2004. But one thing I’ve avoided doing as part of my NK journey has been to limit myself by placing arbitrary goals on what defines success with this. I think many of the improvements I’ve seen in my weight, cholesterol, inflammation, blood sugar and the like have made this a resounding success. But I’m not content with just packing up my bags, patting myself on the back for a job well done and allowing all of this progress to become unraveled. I fully intend to continue down this journey that is obviously right for me making the appropriate tweaks along the way to KEEP it working for me. That’s my wish for everyone in their own personal health journey to find what works for you, do it and shift things here and there when need be. Complacency with what you are doing in the absence of seeing results is pure insanity. There is something that will work for you–there just has to be a willingness to remain focused on discovering exactly what that is.
AM BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS
Getting blood sugar levels in line can be quite frustrating for a lot of people. During my week-long hourly blood testing last week, you’ll notice there weren’t wild fluctuations in my blood sugar throughout the day. Many marvel at how well-regulated my blood sugar was and I credit that to two things: eating high-fat, moderate protein, low-carb foods that don’t unnecessarily spike my blood sugar outside of a healthy range and the consumption of a supplement designed to manage blood sugar levels called Glycosolve with the active ingredient berberine. This is a powerful one-two punch for getting my blood sugar under control as you can see from my morning readings which average around 83 this month. I’ll take that!
PM BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS
My nighttime blood sugar levels were at bit higher at around 86, but again that’s pretty good in my book. The fact that I’m consistently getting normal blood sugar levels as opposed to the upper 90’s/lower 100’s when I started this experiment last May, that’s yet another sign of great success that has made this NK testing all worth it.
With just three months left in my official n=1 daily testing of nutritional ketosis, I’m still very interested in running any health tests you would like to see to gauge how this experiment has gone. All of the testing supplies and blood tests I have been doing as part of this experiment have been out-of-pocket expenses since I don’t have any medical insurance to pay for it. If you would like to contribute towards getting more health tests run, then feel free to share what tests you would like to see along with making a donation towards this effort through PayPal:
Or CLICK HERE to donate!
I received several requests lately from people curious about what my testosterone levels are in light of doing NK. As I’ve shared previously, my testosterone levels have tended to lean more towards the lower end of the spectrum and I attempted to remedy that with testosterone cream previously. On the advice of Dr. Jeffrey Galvin at Vitality Medical Wellness Institute in Concord, North Carolina, I had my PSA, DHEA, Sex Hormone Binding Globulin, total testosterone and free testosterone tested with a blood draw on February 4, 2012 to see where I stand:
Dr. Galvin noted my PSA was fantastic, but my DHEA was a little low with that 190.2 reading. He suggested I take 50 mg DHEA in an effort to raise my levels to 500 ideally noting that this will improve my mood (hey, I’m a pretty happy guy already!) and shed more belly fat. Hey, I like that one! On the testosterone front, he said my levels are in the normal range but could certainly be enhanced by some hormone replacement therapy that is a lot more customized to my specific testosterone needs than the cream I was probably using previously. This also could contribute to even more muscle growth and fat loss in my final push to get my body where it needs to be to operate optimally and quite frankly look as good as it can. WOOT! I’m excited to see what will happen once we can get these things going. Stay tuned!
Again, if there’s any other health test you’d like for me to have done as part of my NK experiment to report on in future updates, then please e-mail me those suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org. As funds allow, I will do as many of them as I can. What did you think about the results I saw in my n=1 experiment in Day 241-270? It’s always a pleasure getting your thoughts and analysis, so feel free to share in the comments section below. Now it’s time for me to get back to writing on my cholesterol book and hammer away at that as much as I can every waking moment. I promise you it’s gonna be worth the wait.