Brotosis and a Short Ketogenic Life
How to Jumpstart Ketosis with a 2–3 day Water Fast.
- The Story of a Boy, and his Sleepless Adventure to Ketosis
Disclaimer: I am skeptical as hell. In fact, I am so skeptical my fiancé confuses my skepticism with pessimism. I do not think I’m a negative Nancy, I view myself as a simple realist. I like to present information with as much science as possible. Also, I wrote this when my mind/body was at a low point. Be kind.
I’ll be honest, I’m doing this so I can talk shit about it. My goal is to bring science and anecdotal evidence to anyone selling me on the keto diet. I just want to be able to say ‘fuck off’ with confidence.
So what am I doing? The goal is to put my body into ketosis as quickly as possible. One of the fastest ways to do this is to fast. Stop eating. It’s crazy.
There is, and never will be, a cure all for health. The only rule set in stone is the rule that health is individual and personal, and what works well for you may not work well for anyone else. Not that I maintain this (I like my whisky among other vices), but I believe a balanced diet, a consistent exercise routine, and quality sleep, is all you need to be healthy. It’s hard to find a healthy state unless you are rhythmically juggling these three things.
- 28 year old male
- 176 lbs
- Body type - lean/slim/athletic
-Things I needed- Water, Electrolyte water, Salt, Lemon juice (100% lemon juice) A Medium Chain Triglycerides supplement (I used MCT fuel)
-What is Ketosis-
Ketosis occurs in the body when a consistently low level of carbohydrates depletes liver glycogen and the body burns fatty acids which create ketones as byproduct. Ketones replace glucose as fuel and your body switches to burning fat for fuel. Sounds like something everyone should do right? Well, it’s not that simple. Research for this is all over the place with opinions convincing readers one way or another. Is it healthy? Is it dangerous? To be honest, it’s not black and white. Every single human body is different and will react differently to this kind of state. So, here goes nothing.
So the day was January 10th, a Tuesday, I consumed 2 cups of coffee, one bowl of vegetable curry soup, a generous handful of tostitos restaurant style chips, a small bag of Snyders nibblers pretzels and a couple bites of chicken curry salad. My adventurous fiancé walked in the door at 6:00pm and claimed she was fasting. We are a competitive couple, so that was the last time I ate food until I reached a deep state of ketosis, or died. NOT because I think living in a state of ketosis is healthy. I gave this a shot because I support her and want to prove her wrong at the exact same time. I know, this kind of dissonance doesn’t make dancing with me easy. She is a saint.
January 10th — Considering this was my first night fasting it was super easy. I slept well and didn’t notice anything out of the norm.
January 11th — In the morning I drank a cup of coffee and half a liter of water before I left the house for work. I also grabbed a spoon and scooped up some of that liquid MCT fuel. Tasted like shit. Around 10:30am I ran over to Walgreens and grabbed lemon concentrate, salt, and a bunch of electrolyte waters. It is really important to stay hydrated when fasting. Especially if you have gout. Fuck gout. Anyways, the lemon concentrate and salt serve two functions; 1. To remove boredom from water, and 2. Supply the body with sodium. Drinking salt water alone is like having mother nature vomit ocean water in your mouth. I added the salt and lemon juice together to spice things up. It was a real gas.
By the afternoon I started to feel a little weak but nothing else was very noticeable. I drove home and crashed on my couch. You are not supposed to strain yourself too much during a fast.
Right around 10:30pm I started to feel horrible. My legs had little spasms/cramps and even my right eyelid was doing that sleepless twitch thing. I started to feel really fucking hungry around 11:00pm. I tossed and turned most of the night. Of course, my princess was sound asleep. I am convinced she is a type A robot designed to keep my ego in check.
January 12th — I woke up hungry. Remember that MCT fuel that tasted like shit? It was as if Jesus Christ, our lord and savior himself, came down from the heavens and hand fed me a silver spoonful of glory. Some sort of beautiful hymn climaxed as the flavors hit my lips. I just let the liquid goodness sit in my jowls. The thought of swallowing the substance and leaving a vacuum of nothingness in my mouth was too much to bear.
I grabbed my electrolyte water and left for work.
More coffee, more water, more salt.
45 hours in and I’ve reached the Ketone zone. I peed on a thing that told me so. Truplus Ketone strips… you can find a pack of 50 at Walgreens for $12. I made sure to leave the urine soaked strip on my desk so my colleagues could see how healthy I was. I may have even waved it around the lunch table and shoved it in their faces as they shoved carbohydrates in their glucose driven vessels. It was obnoxious, pretentious, and awesome. For the next couple hours, life was good…
Right around 11:00pm I started to feel like crap, again. I barely slept.
January 13th — Friday the 13th. I woke up feeling weaker than ever and with a tiny scratch in my throat. I was getting sick… And this made sense. No food, horrible sleep, and my white blood cells had been decimated.
Sure, I may have set myself up for disaster by going to work during the cold season. But remember, this is a competition.
A weakened immune system is no joke. When surfing the interwebs for information on ketosis you find all these studies, and mountains of research on rebooting, restoring, regenerating your immune system, and any other ridiculous buzz word that literally holds zero scientific weight. You should be very aware that your body is wiping out your white blood cell count for a short period of time. During this time, your immune system is down and you are more susceptible to anything that loves entering your body and fucking up your weekend.
-Breaking the fast-
At noon on January 13th I broke my fast. I ate a Norwegian grilled salmon salad with bacon. The flavors… oh the flavors. The unsweetened ice tea even tasted like deep south sweet tea. I will say one thing… I recommend fasting, not for the science, not for the health benefits, but purely for the meal that breaks the fast. A culinary experience unmatched by any other is the complete consciousness of every flavor.
I’m definitely getting sick though. Probably a cold. I’m also down an unhealthy 6 lbs.
My conclusion is no different from when I started. Being healthy is as simple as living healthy. There are no tricks, no odd diets, no need to strain your body to find some desirable results. However, my fiancé might have a different conclusion, because she is a different human. If she is human at all. We will never know.