Starting Keto: Day 4

Yes, sir, I’m ketotic

(Previously: day 3, day 2, day 1)

Hooray! I have fooled my body into thinking it’s in starvation mode.

Despite eating fairly late (for me) last night and getting up early — two factors that usually lead two a higher morning weigh-in, I was down by 100g. This week, sadly, weight loss is likely to be mostly glycogen, water and (oh no!) a bit of protein. According to Lyle McDonald (McDonald, 1998, pp. 38–39), I’ve been the third phase of “starvation” and a lot of the fuel will actually be produced by breaking down muscle proteins and converting them to glucose. Around about now — or maybe as late as early next week, my body will enter the fourth phase of starvation and start actively to protect all those puny muscles I’ve spent so much time trying to build.

My Amazon order of ketone urine test strips arrived today – and I rushed to test myself. They aren’t frightfully precise each colour bar represents a doubling of the level of blood ketones — I’m matching the 4 mmol/L square.

There are more accurate blood & breath tests, but this is good enough to see whether I’ve been successful in getting myself into ketosis; and it seems I have. Quietly satisfied.



Coffee, fish oil, vitamins

  • Exogenous Ketones (17g)
    Net carbs: 0
    kcal: 48

Up at 05:30 and out for a 9k run at 06:00. It’s a hill course that I’ve fallen out of the habit of running. Moreover, as I got to kilometre 6, I decided to add in a loop around another nearby park. As a result, it’s not easy to compare my performance (not many similar runs, none recent, course has changed) so the best I can do is to compare the splits for kilometres 2–6 where I’ve found my pace and am running the same course.

I didn’t feel particularly tired, and the times seem more or less on par (although not as fast as when I ran it a couple of months ago. But that was quite fast.)

This is more or less to be expected: endurance sports seem not to deteriorate much with a ketogenic diet.

Reading more deeply, though, I may need to rely on something other than the exogenous ketones (keto salts) in my pre-workout drink for energy when it comes to weight training. Once I’m happy with my diet I may switch to consuming 20g carbs before a workout per Lyle McDonald’s advice. Maybe a large banana half an hour before, or some cyclic dextrin in my pre-workout.


  • Tofu (200g)
  • Shirataki noodles (113g)
  • Coconut cream (100g)
  • Spinach (10g)
  • Sesame oil (1 tsp)
    Net carbs: 1.6g
    kcal: 499

Afternoon snack

  • Chocolate flavoured protein powder (45g)
  • Creatine Monohydrate (5g)
  • Almond milk (150ml)
  • Double cream (50ml)
  • Coconut oil (10g)
    Net carbs: 5.6g
    kcal: 521

Lots of people are mad about coconut oil, which may be the only saturated fat that comes from a vegetable source. Can’t see it myself, and more to the point, nor can the WHO, the NHS, or the American Heart Association.

Now I’ve done a little research, I may not want to use this too much. I’ve got enough saturated fat in my diet already. Might also be a good idea to have a blood test.

Today’s saturated/unsaturated fat breakdown is 68g saturated and 25g unsaturated. Yesterday’s was 82g saturated vs. 41g unsaturated. I probably need to redress the balance, keep the saturated fats down to an average 10% of calories per day across the week.

I’ve been so excited by the possibilities of eating more fatty foods that in this week’s shop I’ve swapped out my usual fats (predominantly nuts, olive & nut oils, avocados) for bacon, cheese, and cream. While there’s clearly room for these, I may have gone overboard. So — let’s begin by swapping out the hollandaise for mayonnaise in future. Only not tonight.


All. Of. The. Pans.
  • Salmon fillet (140g)
  • Poached egg (1 large)
  • Asparagus (50g / 2 stalks)
  • Butter (50g)
  • Egg yolk (1 large)
  • Bacon (20g / 1 rasher)
    Net carbs: 2.3g
    kcal: 695

Hollandaise made with vinegar turns out to be just excellent. I’m sure mayonnaise and dijonnaise will be just fine from now on, though.

Because I’ve not been batch-cooking as I work my way around this new regime, I’m using a lot more pans than usual to prepare dinner. It went something like this:

  1. Put small saucepan of water on boil for bain marie (to make hollandaise)
  2. Fry off salmon fillet in small frying pan over a medium heat
  3. Steam asparagus for 3 minutes (big silver double pot)
  4. Whisk hollandaise over heat (I’m using cubes of soft butter, rather than melted butter to reduce pans by the count of one)
  5. Remove hollandaise from heat the moment it turns glossy
  6. Add bacon rasher to frying pan
  7. Remove asparagus, refresh under cold tap
  8. Poach egg in the saucepan I’ve been using to warm the bain marie.
  9. Put everything together

That’s a lot more work than I’d usually put into making supper for one. Mrs. M wandered in after I’d finished and made herself an omelette. One pan.

Evening snack

  • Keto shake (modified)
    Net carbs: 4.2g
    kcal: 367

Added 2 egg whites (66g) left over from the two small batches of hollandaise I’ve made to hit my protein targets for the day, and reduced the amount of cream. Still deliciously creamy.

Daily Subtotal

Net carbs: 13.7g (total carbs 20g)
kcal: 2,130

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