Ketosis…or not?

I’m fat, overweight, obese. I’m not sugar-coating that fact. I’ve tried dieting on and off my whole life. So…here’s the outline for my current attempt at losing weight, and keeping it off.

I eat a “clean keto” diet. The bulk of each meal has vegetables, and meat is more of a side dish.

So, how does this keto protocol work?

  • Two square meals, spaced within 4-6 hours of each other (that final bite finishes, doesn’t start, within those hours.) I can go without snacking. Since when did we need to snack all the time? My parents and grandparents didn’t do it; if they were hungry after school, they were told to wait until dinner, and if hungry after dinner, they were told to have eaten more earlier!
  • The bulk of each meal is 4+ servings of low-carb, leafy veggies, small amounts of things like onions and tomatoes, and either 4 ounces of meat/fish, or 3-4 eggs. The only dairy I’m eating is imported Feta cheese, which follows a specific law that mandates sheep and goat milk only. Not the strictest definition, but it allows for a wider variety of foods and access to more phytonutrients. I feel this will be much more sustainable long term than a strict diet of only spinach, kale, or other lettuce with steak, fish, or eggs.
  • My extra fats, except for coconut oil, are generally going to be in their whole food forms—olives, avocado, fatty nuts and seeds. Oils in general are very inflammatory, so I’m minimizing them. I’m using mustard, soy-free traditional mayonnaise, salsa, pickle juice, sauerkraut juice, and vinegars to add flavor to my veggies instead.
  • Daily fasting of 18-20 hours, and a monthly extended fast of 48 hours once per month. I have no problem drinking black coffee, water with raw and unfiltered apple cider vinegar, tea (usually more tisanes like peppermint and sometimes dandelion) during this time. Maybe it spikes a bit of insulin, but just barely, and the benefits to my body far outweigh this one negative.
  • I’ll still have fruit on occasion, but only when out and about, or as an occasional dessert.

The money I’m saving from eating less frequently, I’m reinvesting into higher quality foods—organic greens, pasture-raised eggs, and grass-fed (preferably also grass-finished) meats, imported Feta cheese, condiments without sugar added. Sure, I can save money going with conventional foods, but I’m experimenting to see if these foods really do help reduce inflammation and improve my general health, too.

What am I doing for exercise? No, not for increased weight loss—it’s been show that weight loss is 80% diet, 20% working out. More for other benefits to my body, like better brain cognition, minimizing the effects of depression and general anxiety, improved bone health, improved blood circulation, and minimizing muscle atrophy.

  • Daily walk, either on the treadmill or local park, of at least 30 minutes. If on my treadmill, currently I’m walking at 2mph, at a 3% incline. I have a list written down, with each new week increasing either the incline or the speed.
  • This article is helping me start a resistance-training protocol based on calisthenics, though I’ve modified it to utilize inverse planks, and left lifts in places of jumping jacks and lunges. Very basic, but I am not in shape right now, and with local gyms closed, I don’t want to invest into a lot of home gym equipment I may or may not use. I won’t bulk like on dedicated machines or free weights, but calisthenics will allow me to better use my muscles and physique for everyday movement and range.
Planks are so versatile…

Currently I weigh 185.5 pounds on a 5’5” frame (84 kg at 165 cm). My goal, basing on an average between female and male goals, is 130-135 lbs (59-61 kg), with 17% body fat. I’m not bulking, but instead toning and building my muscles with their tendons for everyday strength and endurance. I’m slimming down to fit into a 30” waist band in pants brand not prone to vanity sizing, like Nike and Levi, and small t-shirts. Luckily many lines of pants have an “athletic” cut, with some extra room for thighs, and athletes tend to have wider hips than waste.

I don’t want to be 70 and on an expensive healthcare plan to cover continuous doctor visits, lab tests, and drugs that treat things that could easily be avoided. The only insurance I want then, as now, is a hospital-emergency plan, and pay for the few visits per year and the vials I need for my testosterone therapy, all which I can negotiate without the need for health insurance. I want to be lively, youthful, working my dream job in the coffee industry when my career as a welder becomes too much for my body.

An ounce of prevention now, will spare me the pound of cure later on.

Author: Charlie

I live my life trying to be your everyday guy. Drink—maybe too much?—coffee. Watch hockey. Work to pay the bills. The truth is, there’s one major aspect of me that separates me from most men: I was born with a female body. I am three years post-op, and have never been happier with both my body and my life, or quality of life.

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