What I’ve learned in 2 years of ketogenic diet

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

In those two years, I have been trying different quantities of carbs. ≤ 20 grams/day is what works best for me. Better sleep, mood, focus, concentration, and capacity of learning is what I got.

Sleep

Improvement in sleep is the main reason for my strict ketogenic diet. It has solved my sleeping disorders. I have a deep sleep and wake up feeling invigorated, full of energy, and ready for a new day.

A ketogenic diet is known as being responsible for sleep problems such as insomnia. It only happens during the adjustment period. As long as your body becomes fat adapted, your sleep quality will get better.

Dreams

My dreams have also improved. I can perceive the transition between being awake and falling asleep. I’m laid in bed, thinking consciously, when thoughts and memories start to appear in my mind. Alternating between thinking and dreaming. This perception is only possible when under 20g carbs per day or fasting.

You might experience vivid and lucid dreams in a ketogenic diet. Also, no nightmares. Everything which increases consciousness and concentration will help, like meditation.

Mood

I’m more patient, optimist, happy, and kind. I feel neither angry nor nervous. A paleolithic diet is better than a junk-food diet, but paleo-keto is better than a paleo diet.

Mood gets destabilized because of the highs and downs of glucose. When levels of glucose drop you can feel sad, angry, and crave sugary foods. Nothing like these happens in a keto diet because you consume an insignificant quantity of carbs and your glucose remains stable.

Focus and mental clarity

Ketogenic diet shut that noise in my head;
I’ve gained more focus on each activity;
Task transition is easier;
I can study, read, and learn efficiently; 
Consciousness is improved while meditating.

If you need to study, read, and learn, do this on ketosis. It is known for being a better and cleaner fuel than glucose. When you go very low-carb, your brain use ketone bodies as an energy source, resulting in focus, concentration, and learning improvement.

Memory

I’ve realized a huge improvement in short-term memory.

It gets sophisticated because you have more focus, clarity, and concentration. You’ll notice that highs and downs of the glucose were the main responsible for memory loss.

Satiety

I usually have 1 or 2 meals a day in a ketogenic diet. And I always fast on the next day. Sometimes I eat because I’m fasting for 36 hours. Hunger disappears.

You’re satiated when your body consumes its energy. It’s liberating going to work or travel without worrying about the food. Eating becomes a pleasure, not a despair. Besides, satiation makes you more productive because you can work, and study, with the benefit of focus. You can level your skills up faster.

It is good seeing people eating and don’t feel the desire to eat. Ketogenic diet makes it possible for you.

Dr. Jason Fung says:

Eating less, when you go very, very low, makes you LESS hungry, not more hungry.

Water

I usually drink three or four liters of water per day. Seems too much, but is not. Honestly, I don’t like to drink water and feel thirsty all the time, but in fact, it does not bother me.

Euphoria

Sometimes I feel so euphoric that is hard to relax or sleep. It seems that I drunk a lot of coffee and it’s uncomfortable.

On the first days of a low-carb diet, you’ll usually feel euphoric. It’s different. You laugh, feel a great sense of well-being, and everything seems perfect. It does not happen very often when you’re on a low-carb for months or years. In general, the mood keeps higher than before.

Energy

I started to walk ten kilometers per day every day three months after a ketogenic diet. Five months later I went to the gym. I never felt so much energy and disposition before.

Ketogenic diet makes you plenty of fuel to burn. You’re more willing and can spend the night wide awake — without coffee! It’s good to perceive that you have enough energy to run out the day. It depletes slowly throughout the day. During the night you sleep very well.

Skin

The pimples I used to have on my face has gone. My skin is cleaner and softer than before.

Healthier and softer skin;
No more pimples;
Controlled oiliness.

Ketogenic diet doesn’t make any miracle for you. In fact, what happens is that all the junk food you were eating stops to damaging your skin.

Electrolytes

I’m always supplementing my electrolytes, especially in the summer when I sweat more.

Electrolytes are something that you have no idea what it is till you go LCHF. Reducing carbs makes your body claims for magnesium, potassium, and sodium.

Ketosis reduces your liquid retention and when the water leaves, electrolytes go away with it. If you don’t supplement the minerals you have lost, you have symptoms of keto flu, muscle cramps, anxiety, headache, confusion, and palpitations. Remember to supplement your electrolytes.

Carbohydrate crave stops

I was frequently craving for carbs. It used to happen because my insulin was always high and glucose was low. Nowadays my glucose and insulin remain stable. I don’t need to eat carbohydrate to fix hypoglycemics.

Hypoglycemia happens even in non-diabetic people. The more carbs you eat, the more insulin you release. The more insulin you release, the more resistant you become. It seems like a domino effect. This condition makes you crave for carbs — usually industrialized ones and rich in wheat and sugar.

Health

I was concerned with diabetes when I decided to go on a low-carb diet. My family has that disease and I knew my pancreas would get sick if I keep eating brigadeiro every week. In the first week, it was hard. It’s always hard cutting the carbs out, but you become adapted.

Eat 150 or more grams of carbs per day leads you to insulin resistance and some chronic diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure. 200 or 300 grams of carb is a lot of carbs. Our body was not developed to support so much of that. Cut the carbs out, start a ketogenic diet and you’re going to be healthier. Diabetes and high blood pressure need high carb consumption to develop. If you reduce your carb consumption, you won’t need to bother with that kind of disease.

People will call you crazy

I often hear that question “why so low?”. Most of the people don’t understand why it’s so important to me eating 20 grams of carbohydrates per day. Well, I hope they can understand now.

Many people still believe that a healthy diet means less meat and more grains. In a ketogenic diet, you usually don’t eat grains and increase your meat consumption. There’s still a belief that ketosis means ketoacidosis and more protein damage your kidney. Bullshit. Perhaps people start to bother you about your new lifestyle and diet. Be prepared.

New taste

I’ve chosen a restricted ketogenic diet. I don’t have many options for food, which is good. I can discover new tastes. When you think that you can’t eat a banana, banana automatically becomes the more delicious food in the world. I enjoy other foods that I have never liked — except liver and cashew juice. I still hate them.

You try to find out new food when you don’t eat old ones. Today I like a lot of food that I did not eat in the past. Also, you got a new taste.

Coffee works

I remember in 2011 when I used to drink cups and cups of coffee. I could drink one cup of coffee and go to sleep. Coffee didn’t seem to have any effect on me. After my ketogenic diet, I could feel the effects of coffee on me.

Ketogenic diet cleanses your body from all that trash you’ve been eating. You notice the changes when using a good source of fuel. In a junk diet, your body is so polluted that it can’t even work well.

Cons

A ketogenic diet has its inconvenience. Sometimes you feel so euphoric that is hard to relax or sleep. That is unpleasant. You’re often thirsty and supplementing electrolytes, which is annoying. I usually carry a bottle of magnesium, potassium, and sodium diluted in water. But this is not the worst. Bad breath is very inconvenient. Ketogenic diet makes you produce ketones, which is very volatile and easily enter into the respiratory system. Your breath is always exhaling ketones, mainly when you’re fasting. For me, that is the most unpleasant consequence of the ketogenic diet.

Conclusion

Maybe you’re asking about the whole thing you have just read.

I leave my considerations.

I recommend that everyone should experiment some change in their diet in some moment of the life. Even if for a short period. I’m not saying you should go very low-carb or become a biohacker. I’m talking about changes in the diet.

Drastic changes in our diet make us comprehend all of our eating habits. I just perceived how I was emotionally dependent on candy when I removed them — for starting a ketogenic diet.

Change my diet also brought me a lot of benefits.
My mood is stable and higher than before;
I’m sleeping better;
I don’t feel any symptom of my gastritis;
Pimples, leg pain, and tiredness have all disappeared.

In any case, changing diet triggers a deeper consciousness about you. If you worry about what you eat but sustain old habits, you perceive your behavior as contradictory. To avoid that contradiction, you’re going to align your new eating habits with your other new ones in general.