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Old 26th November 2020, 15:02   #91
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Amazing transformation Sir!!

I am also 90+ kgs & in my late 30s and I can relate to your journey!!

It is almost 'Now or never' for me too!! Let me get started. I will keep you posted on the progress or revert if I have any queries!!!

Thank you very much for the inspiration.

Cheers
Rahulb22
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Old 26th November 2020, 15:49   #92
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Originally Posted by rahulb22 View Post
Amazing transformation Sir!!

I am also 90+ kgs & in my late 30s and I can relate to your journey!!

It is almost 'Now or never' for me too!! Let me get started. I will keep you posted on the progress or revert if I have any queries!!!
Thank you so much for your kind words!

Very glad to know you plan to get started with your health and fitness journey. Wishing you all the very best. Please update the thread with your progress and also ask any questions which I will try to answer.
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Old 26th November 2020, 16:53   #93
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G Raaja, we have frequently interacted previously on the weight loss as well as cycling threads. I am aware of your achievements in triathlon, cycling and the IF as well. Reading everything in sequential order in this thread helped me understand how you approached it.

While on the topic of low carb diets, I understand it is difficult to follow it using the Indian vegetarian diet. But from you vast reading on it would you be able to put together a low carb list of foods? I know there is another thread on low carb foods but it is mainly on the options that are available in restaurants while I am requesting for something that could be cooked at home.
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Old 26th November 2020, 23:53   #94
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This is an extraordinarily inspirational journey graaja! Thank you for sharing this, very motivating!

I have struggled with weight issues for most of my life, have always been overweight. I did not care about it too much, always used to think that it does not matter. And the more people used to call me fat, the more I developed a sort of confrontational attitude to deliberately disregard what they were saying. Exercise and physical activity was never a way of life, I have hardly been to the gym a couple of times. I used to love playing badminton, but then gave up because of lack of company (or maybe lack of effort in finding the right company to continue).

The Tamilian diet of rice twice a day since childhood, and also lot of sweet dishes like payasam, sweet pongal etc. made every alternate day as offering for some or the other religious stuff also probably did not help. I have also been a foodie throughout my life with a weakness for pizzas so never really considered my eating choices. I developed this stupid attitude that staying healthy only prolongs your old age and you are actually missing out on the joys of life of eating merrily. Life is meant to be enjoyed because you only live once is what I thought.

My weight has always hovered between 80 to 90 kgs. Always wearing XL or XXL clothes, and compromising on choice because size option not being available became a way of life for me.

My sister was 100+ kgs and much more lethargic as compared to me. However, she underwent a transformation over a one year period and dropped close to 20 kgs through strict diet and cross fit exercise regiment. She motivated me to join crossfit classes during the lockdown and introduced me to her trainer.

I did that and saw a massive change over a three month period. I lost weight, felt much lighter and more energetic. I would be exhausted after a workout session and sore all over, but would feel extremely good. But the biggest change that I had was my own perception of how others see me. I always thought if I go to the gym or join some classes, everyone would make fun of me because of my weight or because I look sloppy working out. But that was far from the truth, everyone was incredibly supportive and encouraging, no one would judge me for the way I looked or me getting tired early. In fact it was the completely opposite, everyone was so encouraging and my trainer was brilliant.

I have had to take a pause due to COVID and my doctor advised to avoid strenuous physical activity for a couple of months to help my lungs recover. I have gained back a few kgs lost so it is a setback, but I intend to restart from December. But the main difference this time is that my attitude has changed and for the first time in my life, I am actually looking forward to working out.

I have never considered IF so your journey is incredibly helpful. I had a few questions, I am sorry if you have already answered this earlier:

While doing IF, during the eating period, can we eat anything (including junk food, sweets etc.)
Does IF have any impact on the body organs due to the stop start method of eating
During the fasting period, should there by no intake or some things are acceptable e.g. a glass of milk before bed
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Old 27th November 2020, 06:33   #95
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Originally Posted by shipnil View Post
While on the topic of low carb diets, I understand it is difficult to follow it using the Indian vegetarian diet. But from you vast reading on it would you be able to put together a low carb list of foods? I know there is another thread on low carb foods but it is mainly on the options that are available in restaurants while I am requesting for something that could be cooked at home.
In low carb dieting, though vegetarians do not have as much options as non-vegetarians, there is still enough choices to make it interesting, especially if the target is not Keto, but general LCHF where 100 to 125 grams of carbs are allowed. I have not put together any list per se, but I can give a high level idea to create a menu.

Here is a list of ingredients one can use in vegetarian. The list is in order of liberal to strictly in moderation.

1. Butter, ghee, coconut oil, olive oil
2. Coconut
3. All vegetables except potatoes, yams and beetroots
4. Dairy products - paneer, cheese, fresh cream and curd. Avoid milk as it has lot of carbs.
5. Lentils like green moong dal, channa dal, toor dal etc. Though lentils have significant carbs, they have lot of dietary fiber which does not count as carbs. Also, they are rich source of protein. 100 grams of moong, channa dal and toor dal have 24g, 25g, and 22g of protein respectively.
6. Millets like little millet, barnyard millet, foxtail millet etc. Millets also have significant amount of carbs, but have higher fiber content. Replace rice with a small portion of millets.

Indian cuisine revolves around two concepts - vegetables or meat curries to go with rotis or rice, with some dry sabji. And rice and rotis form 75% while the rest 25% is from curries and sabji. This concept has to be changed. Curries and sabjies should be 75% and 25% should be rice or rotis. In this, replace rice with millets and wheat rotis with jowar roti, missi roti etc and keep that in moderation. Add lots of healthy fat like butter, ghee, fresh cream to curries and sabjies, and you got yourself a healthy diet. Add IF to this diet and this will take care of the insulin response of whaever carbs you consume in the form of millets or pulses etc.

When I am following the general LCHF with upt 125g of carbs, I am a vegetarian most of the days and here are some of the combinations I use.

1. Small portion of millets with vegetable + lentils, or just plain dal from toor dal or green moong dal. Gourds go well with lentils. My favorite are snake gourd + channa dal, ridge gourd + moong dal or toor dal, bottle gourd with moong or toor dal.
2. For roti days, I usually use something called Keto atta which is made of various low carb flours. I combine this with paneer gravy or just plain green moong dal or dal fry etc. The taste of this Keto atta is quite bland and not everyone would like this. In this case, you can have rotis made of millets like jowar roti, or maybe missi roti from channa dal flour.
3. On most days, there will be one sabji like cabbage, cauliflower, bitter gourd. These sabjis will be prepared mostly with either coconut oil or butter and ghee.

Check out below post from Fortified. He is a vegetarian and he has formulated his own diet for low carb and has lost a lot of weight.

https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/shift...ml#post4762430 (The Weight Loss Thread)

I will try to compile a list of vegetarian recipes from the internet and post it soon.


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Originally Posted by venkats2001 View Post
This is an extraordinarily inspirational journey graaja! Thank you for sharing this, very motivating!
Thank you so much for your kind words!

Quote:
She motivated me to join crossfit classes during the lockdown and introduced me to her trainer.

I did that and saw a massive change over a three month period. I lost weight, felt much lighter and more energetic.

But the biggest change that I had was my own perception of how others see me.
This is fantastic! Now that you have experienced how good it feels to remain fit, there is no looking back. Welcome to this journey of health and fitness.


Quote:
I have had to take a pause due to COVID and my doctor advised to avoid strenuous physical activity for a couple of months to help my lungs recover. I have gained back a few kgs lost so it is a setback, but I intend to restart from December.
Did you get COVID? Wishing you a speedy recovery.

This is the main drawback of using workouts for weight loss. This is not sustainable. We may be forced to stop working out due to various reasons like illness, injury, or even a busy phase in work. If we use physical activity as the main approach to weight loss, we will always end up gaining back the lost weight. So, diet is the key to weight loss and health, physical activity is to fitness.

Quote:
While doing IF, during the eating period, can we eat anything (including junk food, sweets etc.)
Does IF have any impact on the body organs due to the stop start method of eating
During the fasting period, should there by no intake or some things are acceptable e.g. a glass of milk before bed
No. IF is not a license to continue eating junk. IF is part of a healthy lifestyle. And junk food cannot be part of a healthy lifestyle. There is this 80:20 rule. Eat clean 80% of your meals. Enjoy some cheat meals the rest 20%. Say you follow 16:8 IF with 2 full meals a day. That makes it 14 meals a week. Of this have 12 meals clean. 2 meals can be to enjoy some unhealthy stuff like pizzas or sweets. And in your initial weight loss phase, you have to be much more strict - maybe one cheat meal in two weeks.

During fasting period, nothing with calories is allowed. Only things allowed are water, green tea, black coffee without milk or sugar. When doing long fasts, a couple of glasses of lime juice with salt is allowed to replenish sodium.

Quote:
I developed this stupid attitude that staying healthy only prolongs your old age and you are actually missing out on the joys of life of eating merrily. Life is meant to be enjoyed because you only live once is what I thought.
Let me share my experience on this.

I used to have this mindset. But then over the past decade, I started to think "is food the only thing to enjoy in life"? Our culture attaches so much emotion to food that we "live to eat" instead of "eat to live". We give so much importance to food that we forget all the other joys in life.

And yes, we have just one life. There is just so much in this life to enjoy and hobbies one can develop to enjoy. Old age will be boring only if I am unfit and unhealthy, swallow 10 pills with each meal, and expect help from others to perform my day to day functions. If I am fit and healthy, I will have so much to do in old age. How can it be boring if like Narayan sir says "my skin is glowing and I get wolf whistles from 60 year old ladies"?

This is another mindset that is generally present - life is over when someone retires at 60. I would say life begins at 60. Once you retire from your mundane task of earning for life, you get lot of time to do stuff. You need to be healthy and fit to enjoy this second innings.

Once I started looking at life in this perspective, I started seeing food as it is - just a fuel. Of course, I do enjoy food. I have those occasional sinful days when I enjoy that pizza or that brownie and ice cream. But the importance I give to food in terms of bringing joy in life has reduced from maybe 80% to 10%. Now I have developed many more hobbies - those long drives, triathlons, half marathons, calisthenics, astrophotography, farming, chess, the time I spend writing these posts, and the list keeps growing day by day!

Last edited by graaja : 27th November 2020 at 06:35.
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Old 27th November 2020, 13:52   #96
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The purpose of this thread is to share the story of my journey so far, the concepts I learnt on the way and also as a journal to record my future fitness goals and milestones.
That was a very informative and very well documented post. Kudos to your new healthier lifestyle and thank you for sharing it with all of us. I took up Keto based on how Prasanna Dhanna and few other had posted their positive experiences here in our forum. It was rather effective, I went down from 75 to 67 kg in about 2 and a half months, but it was also very tough to sustain Keto diet for me, as my wife had to cook two dishes for each meal, and I eventually gave up and no I have slowly come back to 72-73 kg. IF certainly seems to be a sustainable diet to incorporate and adapt to.

Few queries -

I did read almost the entire thread, however because several similar diets have been discussed, I am a little confused.

For IF, is it necessary to keep it low carb like in Keto, or is it the normal diet within the eating window?

How about sugar intake within the eating window? I have our typical filter coffee in the evenings, and sweets or cake say like twice a week - can I still continue them?

And since IF is like skipping my breakfast, should I compensate for it during the eating window, or would the usual quantity for lunch and dinner be suffice?

And say if we happen to have a meal late in the night (outside of the usual eating window) can we delay the first meal of the next day and continue IF, or is that considered a cheat day? As an example, say my eating window is 12PM to 8 PM, having dinner one night at 10PM, can I reduce the eating window the following day to 2PM to 8-PM to stay in IF?

I plan to have the last meal of the day by 8:00 today, and have my first meal tomorrow at 12:00, with a cup of black coffee at around 8 tomorrow morning. Hope it is a good start

I have followed your Triathlon threads too! Keep enjoying life and inspiring people, 'Coach' !

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Old 27th November 2020, 15:49   #97
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Originally Posted by aravind.anand View Post
That was a very informative and very well documented post. Kudos to your new healthier lifestyle and thank you for sharing it with all of us.
...
I have followed your Triathlon threads too! Keep enjoying life and inspiring people, 'Coach' !
Thank you so much for your kind words! It's my pleasure sharing my learnings on health and fitness with you all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aravind.anand View Post
I took up Keto based on how Prasanna Dhanna and few other had posted their positive experiences here in our forum. It was rather effective, I went down from 75 to 67 kg in about 2 and a half months, but it was also very tough to sustain Keto diet for me, as my wife had to cook two dishes for each meal, and I eventually gave up and no I have slowly come back to 72-73 kg. IF certainly seems to be a sustainable diet to incorporate and adapt to.
Keto is a very effective tool in weight loss and managing diabetes. It is also used effectively to manage other diseases like epilepsy, Alzheimers, cancer recovery etc.

But it is quite a tough diet in the Indian diet in context. Also, unless everyone in the house is following Keto, the additional cooking is not sustainable.

I usually recommend IF + Keto as a short term tool to reach the goal and then switch to IF + moderate carbs to sustain. I had used Keto to drop from 80 to 68 and after that have been managing with IF and moderate carbs.

IF is much more a sustainable lifestyle for our eating habits than Keto and is much more flexbile as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aravind.anand View Post
Few queries -

1. For IF, is it necessary to keep it low carb like in Keto, or is it the normal diet within the eating window?

2. How about sugar intake within the eating window? I have our typical filter coffee in the evenings, and sweets or cake say like twice a week - can I still continue them?

3. And since IF is like skipping my breakfast, should I compensate for it during the eating window, or would the usual quantity for lunch and dinner be suffice?

4. And say if we happen to have a meal late in the night (outside of the usual eating window) can we delay the first meal of the next day and continue IF, or is that considered a cheat day? As an example, say my eating window is 12PM to 8 PM, having dinner one night at 10PM, can I reduce the eating window the following day to 2PM to 8-PM to stay in IF?
1. The actual extent of diet to accompany IF depends on the present weight, insulin resistance etc. If you want to just maintain your weight or ok with slow weight drop like a couple of kilos a month, then you can do your regular diet, but totally cut the sugars and keep the carbs to moderation. If you want to achive higher result like getting that washboard abs or reverse an advanced state of diabetes, then Keto is recommended. Once the goal is achieved, you can go into maintenance mode where you can bring in carbs in moderation.

2. Sugar in everyday diet should be completely avoided. I would suggest you develop a taste for green tea or black coffee without sugar. The occasional cakes or ice creams once a week is completely fine. If you are working for some higher results, then the frequency of these cheat meals should be reduced.

3. Not nessary. If your body fat % is high, then you really do not need to eat more than the two meals. If you are feeling hungry, then you can add a healthy snack like say 20 salted almonds or a couple of eggs scrambled, or some peanuts etc. Otherwise, when your body starts burning fat, you will usually not feel hungry. Also, if you keep the carbs in moderation and substitute with quality protein and fat, that will also keep you full and you do not need to have the third meal.

4. By all means. If you had to have a late dinner on a day, just extend your fasting window by a couple of hours the next day and shrink the eating window. This is perfectly fine. I do this many times. There are times when I may need to have breakfast on a day due to a drive with friends or some family event etc. What I do is I shrink my eating window the previous day and have my last meal before 4PM, so that I get 16 hours of fasting window on the day I have my breakfast. As IF is a lifestyle, you can tweak it as required.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aravind.anand View Post
I plan to have the last meal of the day by 8:00 today, and have my first meal tomorrow at 12:00, with a cup of black coffee at around 8 tomorrow morning. Hope it is a good start
This is awesome! I guarantee you will not be disappointed
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Old 27th November 2020, 17:35   #98
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I will primarily credit my fitness journey to "coach".

I too subscribe to the mantra that fitness is not a target, but a journey.

Started at 80 at the beginning of lockdown in march and currently down 14 kgs.

I realised that fad diets will only cause a temporary weight loss and cannot be substained, so I chose to make changes in my lifestyle that can be maintained. I started eating right as no workout will help if one eats junk.
Reduced carbs in my intake and replaced them with veggies. Benefit of this is that one can still eat the same food as the rest of the family and not need special dishes. Reduced consumption of packed snacks and sweets as most are unhealthy.

Took up 30 to 40 mins strength training daily with a rest day every 3 days.
Began running as cardio to supplement the strenght training.

As a result of all this managed to lose more than 14 kgs and more importantly..keep it off, consequently I feel healthier and lighter on my feet.

Only con is that I feel colder in winter.
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Old 27th November 2020, 18:00   #99
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I was not aware of IF till I read your posts. I have couple of questions if you can answer:
1) My regular breakfast used to be between 8.00-8.30am and dinner time used to be 7.30pm. Now I am doing my dinner at around 5pm. And having my breakfast after 16 hours (that is at around 9am). But I am finding it difficult to control my hunger in the morning. I usually wake up at 6.30 and used to have my morning beverage as soon as I brush my teeth. Now, my question is, can I still have my morning beverage as I was having before? Or do I need to wait till my eating window starts even for beverages?
2) We have been using Jaggery instead of Sugar for most of the stuff. Is it okay to use Jaggery or we need to get rid of Jaggery usage as well (similar to Sugar)?
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Old 27th November 2020, 18:21   #100
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I will primarily credit my fitness journey to "coach".

I too subscribe to the mantra that fitness is not a target, but a journey.

Started at 80 at the beginning of lockdown in march and currently down 14 kgs.

I feel healthier and lighter on my feet.
Thank you for your kind words! It has been a pleasure to watch your transformation from 80 kilos to 66 kilos. Once you develop a mindset that health and fitness is a journey and not a goal, there is no looking back. Keep going and keep inspiring.

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Originally Posted by kavensri View Post
1) My regular breakfast used to be between 8.00-8.30am and dinner time used to be 7.30pm. Now I am doing my dinner at around 5pm. And having my breakfast after 16 hours (that is at around 9am). But I am finding it difficult to control my hunger in the morning. I usually wake up at 6.30 and used to have my morning beverage as soon as I brush my teeth. Now, my question is, can I still have my morning beverage as I was having before? Or do I need to wait till my eating window starts even for beverages?
2) We have been using Jaggery instead of Sugar for most of the stuff. Is it okay to use Jaggery or we need to get rid of Jaggery usage as well (similar to Sugar)?
1. Regular coffee with milk and sugar will break your fast. So, you should not have that during your fasting window. Instead, you can switch to black coffee or green tea without sugar. Hunger control is usually a matter of few days till you train your body for the new routine. How long have you been doing this 16 hour fasting routine? If you started recently, then give your body a few days time to adjust to the routine. Another reason for hunger is if you are eating a highly carb loaded meal during your eating window. Carbs usually make us hungry. Try cutting down the portions of carb (rice or roti) and replace with veggies or even dal or pulses and add some good fat like butter or a couple of spoons of ghee. That should help with hunger.

2. In terms of body's insulin response jaggery is as bad as sugar. Only thing that may not be in jaggery are the traces of chemical used in the processing of white sugar. Otherwise jaggery is as bad as sugar. Jaggery being projected as good for health is one of the biggest misconceptions. Sugar in any form in daily diet is bad for the body. So get rid of jaggery from your diet.
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Old 28th November 2020, 12:56   #101
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Really this thread has enlightened me.
I have also been trying to reduce my weight from 75 to 65 kgs from last two years.
I am doing a daily exercise of playing shuttle for an hour and cycling for about 45-60 minutes. But still iam only able to maintain weight of 75 kgs but no reduction in weight.
All these days, I was not taking care of diet at all.
Will try to implement IF. Thanks much sir for this motivating thread.
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Old 30th November 2020, 05:54   #102
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LCHF and Keto 101 – A Beginners Guide to Low Carb Eating, Part – 1


Fat to Fit - A journal of my fitness journey-title-logo.png

Introduction:

In my previous post about my weight loss journey (link (Fat to Fit - A journal of my fitness journey)), I had mentioned about switching to an LCHF (Low Carb High Fat) diet at one point of time which helped bring down the weight from high 80’s to high 70’s, and then doing strict Keto diet with IF for 4 months, which helped in reducing my weight from 80 kilos to 68 kilos. In this two part series, I will discuss about the LCHF and Keto diets.

The wrong food guidelines:

For decades we have been brainwashed about how bad fat is for the heart. We have been taught again and again to eat more grains, eat meat in moderation and completely avoid fat.

Following pictures show a couple of food guidelines issued by USDA, where grains form major part of the diet with 6-11 servings a day while fat from oils is kept to minimum.

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USDA guideline 1984
Image source: https://www.choosemyplate.gov/eathea...da-food-guides

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USDA food guideline – 1992
Image source: https://www.choosemyplate.gov/eathea...da-food-guides

I believe these food guidelines are the most important contributors to the increase in obesity, diabetes and heart disease in populations around the world. Our Indian diet almost resembles the above guidelines with rice and wheat as major part with moderate quantities of vegetables and low quantities of meat and eggs.

Why we get fat:

Before we get into details of LCHF and Keto, it is very important to understand the anatomy of why we get fat.

There are three macronutrients in food – carbohydrates (or carbs), protein, and fat. Protein is used by the body to repair and build muscles. Carbs and fat are energy sources. Most modern-day diets are based on carbs as the main macronutrient – rice, breads, pasta. And the comfort food we are used to in our modern life – cakes, pastries, ice creams, soft drinks etc., are full of sugar which again is carbs.

In the highly recommended low-fat diet, out of the 2000 calories a person consumes on average in a day, almost 1500 calories come from carbs.

Carbohydrates are converted into glucose in our body. When glucose level in the blood rises, the pancreas secretes a hormone called insulin. Insulin is the hormone that tells the cells to use this glucose for energy. Insulin is also a storage hormone which signals the fat cells to convert the sugar into fat and store it for later use. So, the body works in a spend-save mode where most of the glucose is spent and some of the glucose is saved. So far so good. As long as the cells burn most of the glucose for energy and save a little as fat, and when the body uses this fat when there is no food (in the nigh when we are sleeping) things are normal.

However, when the body is exposed to a constant supply of glucose in a high carb diet, cells start developing resistance to insulin (just like pests start developing resistance to pesticides). This triggers a couple of chain of events.
  1. As cells resist using glucose, more of this glucose gets stored in fat cells, and we start becoming fat.
  2. As cells resist using glucose and glucose levels do not go down, this triggers the pancreas to put more insulin in the blood. So, to maintain the same glucose level in the blood, more insulin is required. More insulin means more storage of fat. And with more insulin, the insulin resistance of cells become higher. This becomes a chain reaction which takes place over a couple of decades and at some point, the pancreas maxes out on its insulin generating capacity. This is when we develop type-2 diabetes and need external medication to keep blood sugar under control.

Understanding the role of insulin is very important in dealing with obesity and diabetes. This concept is explained very well in the book “Why we get fat” by Gary Taubes (link). I have mentioned in my previous post how this book was a turning point in my life.

As high insulin level in blood is the root cause for obesity and diabetes, reducing carbs in the diet which in turn reduces insulin levels and/or increasing the time the body stays free of insulin will naturally reverse the above chain of events.

Of late, there have been lot of awareness about how dietary fat is good for health. An example is the comparison of the cover page of Times magazine in 1984 and 2014.

Fat to Fit - A journal of my fitness journey-times-magazine-fat-good.png

In the 1980’s fat was considered as the biggest contributor to heart disease. Of late lots of research supports the fact that carbohydrates lead to all lifestyle diseases and fat is not the culprit.

Intermittent fasting helps in keeping the body free of insulin for longer duration of time which helps in reversing insulin resistance. I have covered this in my previous article on Intermittent Fasting 101 (link (Fat to Fit - A journal of my fitness journey)).

LCHF Diet Basics

LCHF stands for Low Carb High Fat. As the name implies, in this diet, carbs are restricted and replaced with dietary fat. LCHF is a general diet plan and specific diets like Atkinsons, Keto etc. fall under LCHF. In the regular low-fat food pyramid, carbs can be as high as 350 to 400 grams a day. Whereas in LCHF, it can be anything between 20g to 100g a day. Some even consider 125g LCHF. Below is a comparison of the macronutrient constitution of a typical low-fat diet and an LCHF diet.

Fat to Fit - A journal of my fitness journey-low-fat-vs-lchf-food-chart.png

In a low-fat diet, carbs can range from 55% to 75%, and the rest split between protein and fat. In a low carb diet, carbs are limited to 100g, and the rest replaced with fat, and protein remains the same.

LCHF Diet guidelines:

Eat: Meat, eggs, fish, vegetables, fat(butter, ghee, coconut oil, olive oil etc.)

Avoid: Sugar in all forms(soft drinks, sweets, cakes, ice creams etc.), grains (rice, breads, pasta etc) and starchy vegetables (potatoes, yams etc.)

Compared to Keto which is much strict with carbs, LCHF is a little flexible. As long as you keep carbs limited to 100 grams (or even 125 grams), you can include food groups like grains, fruits etc. in moderation.
  1. Avoid sugar in all forms – processed, unprocessed, honey etc.
  2. Avoid or keep in strict moderation, all forms of grain – rice, wheat, legumes, beans etc. Legumes and beans are better than rice and wheat because they have higher protein and fiber and lower carbs compared to rice and wheat.
  3. Avoid anything that is labeled low fat, for example low fat milk, low fat yoghurt etc. Instead go for full fat milk and full fat yoghurt
  4. Keep protein in moderation, typically one serving per day of meat, poultry, fish etc. Use fatty cuts of meat instead of lean cuts. Have chicken with skin as skin has more fat.
  5. Eggs should be consumed in whole. Do not throw away the yolk.
  6. Have as much as vegetables as you want, except starchy vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams and sweet vegetables like beetroot which should be in moderation.
  7. Include liberal amount of dietary fat from butter, cheese, coconut oil, olive oil etc.
  8. Avoid sugary fruits or keep in moderation

Advantages and disadvantages of LCHF:

As LCHF allows 100 to 125g of carbs, it is much flexible and easy to implement compared to Keto.

At the same time, as it is flexbile and allows 100-125 grams of carbs, there is always the risk of getting carried away in adding those food groups like grains, fruits etc., and overdoing it. This could lead to slow progress, weight plateaus etc.

Conclusion:

In this Part – 1 of LCHF and Keto 101, we have looked at wrong food guidelines which have been the root cause of obesity, diabetes and heart diseases, the anatomy of why we get fat, and general guidelines of an LCHF diet.

In Part – 2, let us have a detailed look at the Keto diet.

Disclaimer: This article is to share information on LCHF and Keto. I mention about LCHF and Keto in reversing medical conditions like diabetes, blood pressure and in treating Alzheimers, epilepsy, cancer etc. This information should not be taken as medical advice. If you have any of the medical conditions, discuss with a doctor and nutritionist who are open to these concepts and then follow these concepts to get well.

Last edited by Aditya : 30th November 2020 at 17:30. Reason: As requested
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Old 30th November 2020, 06:21   #103
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LCHF and Keto 101 – A Beginners Guide to Low Carb Eating, Part – 2


Fat to Fit - A journal of my fitness journey-title-logo.png

In Part – 1 of this two part series, we looked at the wrong food guidelines, the anatomy of why we get fat and the basics of LCHF diet. In Part – 2 of this series, let us have a detailed look at Keto diet.

What is Keto Diet?

Keto is also an LCHF diet, but much stricter in carb intake – less than 20 grams of net carbs per day. Below chart shows the macronutrient composition in a Keto diet.

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When we consume less than 20 grams of net carbs a day, our body goes into a metabolic state called Ketosis. In this state, the liver produces ketone bodies from fat cells and these ketone bodies are used as an alternate fuel in the brain, heart and skeletal muscles. However, liver itself cannot use ketones for energy and it produces glucose from fat and protein by a process called gluconeogenesis.

In the absence of glucose, as ketone bodies are the alternate fuel and as ketone bodies are produced only from fat, body essentially turns into a fat burning machine.

Who Can Do Keto?

If you are a diabetic on medication, Keto has to be followed with doctor's supervision. Keto by design reduces sugar level in the blood and will also reverse diabtetes. So, the dosage of medication will have to be adjusted downward as you continue with the diet. If dosage is not adjusted correctly, it may lead to hypoglycemia.

If you have high blood pressure and are on medication, Keto will actually make you healthy and reduce your blood pressure. Having blood pressure medication over this healthy reduction in blood pressure can result in low blood pressure. Because of this, you will have to carefully monitor your blood pressure over time and have your doctor adjust the medication.

If you are a breastfeeding mother, it is not recommended to be on Keto which has very strict carb restriction. Instead you should do LCHF which is liberal in carbs.

If you have any other pre-existing medical conditions for which you are under medication, Keto should be implemented after consulting with your physician.

If any of the above are not applicable, then it is fine to follow Keto.

Advantages of Keto:

Below are some advantages of Keto.
  1. As body uses fat as its primary source of fuel, ketogenic diet is very useful in weight loss.
  2. Due to the very low carb intake, insulin levels stay very low. This helps in reversing insulin resistance which in turn can reverse type-2 diabetics.
  3. Ketogenic diet is also used therapeutically in managing diseases like Alzheimer’s, epilepsy and in cancer.

Disadvantages of Keto:

Below are some of the disadvantages of Keto.
  1. As the body flushes out electrolytes while in ketosis, there is possibility of deficiency of micro-nutrients (sodium, magnesium and potassium), which can result in symptoms like cramps, constipation, lack of sleep etc. This has to be compensated by carefully planning the diet and including food groups that are rich in these micro-nutrients (link to an article on this) and by taking supplements.
  2. In the initial months of starting the keto diet, hair loss is very common. This can be controlled by taking biotin supplements.
  3. In ketosis, there is no in between state. The body is either in ketosis or not. Usually it takes anywhere from 4 days (for a fat adapted person) to even a couple of weeks (for a person who is not fat adapted) to put the body into ketosis. But body comes out of ketosis with just one cheat meal loaded with carbs. After this, it again takes the same 4 days to 2 weeks to get into ketosis. Because of this, cheat meals must be completely avoided in Keto, whereas LCHF diet (where Ketosis is not targeted) is much more forgiving when it comes to cheat meals.
  4. During high intensity workouts, muscles need glycogen (stored in muscles and liver) as source of quick energy. But as there is no stored glycogen in ketosis, performance suffers in high intensity workouts.

Formulating the Keto diet

There are two ways to follow Keto – the strict Keto and lazy keto.

Strict Keto:

In strict keto, the diet is formulated carefully for each individual and is accurately tracked by using apps like MyFitnessPal. Let us go through the steps with an example calculation.
  • Decide the daily calorie target. This greatly varies based on gender, age and activity level. There are many calculators available online to estimate an individual’s daily calorie targets. For the sake of this calculation, let us assume 2000 calories.
  • Decide the amount of net carbs. Net carbs are total carbs minus fiber. Usually, in Keto, net carbs are limited to 20 grams. Some go for 30 grams. For this calculation, let us consider 20 grams of net carbs.
  • Decide the amount of protein. For individuals without any physical activity, this can be around 0.5 grams per kilo of lean muscle mass. For individuals who are physically active, it can vary between 0.75 grams to 1.5 grams of grams per kilo of lean muscle mass depending on the activity level. For example, if an individual weighs 100 kilos and has a fat % of 30%, he is considered to have 70% lean muscle mass which is 70 kilos. So, for the physically inactive, protein should be set to 35 grams (70 kilos x 0.5g). For the physically active, protein must be between 52 grams (70 kilos * 0.75g) to 105 (70 kilos * 1.5g) grams. For body builders this requirement would be even more. For this calculation, let us consider 1 gram per kilo, which is equal to 70 grams of protein.
  • Calculate total calories from carbs and protein. Carbs and Protein have 4 calories per gram. So, for 20 grams of carb and 70 grams of protein, total calories = (204) + (704) = 360 calories.
  • The rest of the calories must come from fat. Subtracting 360 calories from 2000 calories, we get 1640 calories. 1 gram of fat is equal to 9 calories. So, amount of fat required = 1640/9 = 182 grams.
  • Once the macronutrient requirement is decided, the meals must be planned to meet this goal and tracked using apps like MyFitnessPal, Keto Diet Tracker etc.

The advantage of strict keto is that as the macros are accurately tracked, ketosis is guaranteed. When I followed keto for 4 months, I accurate keto for about 2 months. Below is a sample day of entry in the MyFitnessPal app.

Fat to Fit - A journal of my fitness journey-myfitnesspal-food-diary.jpg

And below is the macro nutrient chart for the above entry.

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The disadvantage of strict keto is the hassle of tracking all the meals. Many times, lots of Indian dishes are not available in the database of these apps. I had to create my own recipes with accurate quantity of main ingredients used in the dishes I ate.

Because of this many people do not prefer the strict keto method. For them Lazy Keto is to the rescue. After the first 2 months of strict keto, I had switched to 2 months of lazy keto.

Lazy Keto:

In lazy keto one needs to follow a basic list of food groups – food that can be consumed liberally, food that must be consumed in moderation and food that must be avoided. Below is an example of such a food chart.

Fat to Fit - A journal of my fitness journey-keto-food-chart.jpg
Image source: https://www.facebook.com/KetogenicPh...2859747236059/

Another very useful article about low carb food groups is from the website dietdoctor.com.

https://www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb/foods

This article groups food into various categories like vegetables, fruits, nuts, meats etc., and provides information on net carb content of various foods in each group. I am attaching a few sample images from this article below. Visit this article for complete list and more details.

Fat to Fit - A journal of my fitness journey-lowcarbfruitsberries.jpg

Fat to Fit - A journal of my fitness journey-lowcarbnuts.jpg

Fat to Fit - A journal of my fitness journey-lowcarbvegetablesag1.jpg

Images source: https://www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb/foods

The advantage of lazy keto is that it can be followed easily by anyone without need for an expert nutritionist to design the diet. The disadvantage is that it is possible to get carried away with the “in moderation” food groups which can drive the net carbs above the target and result in getting kicked out of Ketosis.

Common doubts, misconceptions and mistakes in Keto

Below is a compilation of common doubts, mistakes and misconceptions of Keto diet.

Replacing carbs with protein:

This is a very common misconception and mistake many make in Keto. They replace the carbs with protein. This is wrong. In Keto, protein has to still remain the same (0.5g to 1.5g per kilo of lean body mass). Carbs must be replaced with fat.

How often can I include a cheat meal?

In Keto, the body is put in a metabolic state called Ketosis. It takes anywhere between 4 days to even 2 weeks to get into Ketosis. But one cheat meal can kick you out of Ketosis and it would take the same number of days to get back into Keto. Of course, as your body gets used to Keto, it becomes metabolically flexible and can switch over to Ketosis sooner than it did when you did Keto the first time. Even when the body has become metabolically flexible, it takes 3 to 4 days to get back into ketosis. Because of this cheat days have to be kept very rare – maybe once in 4 to 6 weeks.

I get head aches and mood swings when I start Keto. Why is this?

This is something called Keto flu and is very common when one begins Keto. This is your body resisting the change from using glucose as primary fuel to fat as primary fuel. It takes just a few days of persistence to get out of these symptoms. Once the body transitions to ketosis, all these symptoms will go away, and you will feel much more energetic.

The daily carb limit is 20 grams. Can I have a 200ml can of Coco-Cola which has about 20 grams carbohydrates?

Absolutely not! The 20 grams of carbs is to be consumed spread over the day. That is how the insulin level will stay low. Body will be in ketosis only when insulin level is very low. A 200ml can of coke will pump in 20 grams of carbs which will result in an insulin spike. This will signal the body that it can switch to glucose as energy source and the body will come out of Ketosis. The 20 grams of carbs should come mostly from vegetables. For those sweet cravings, you could have a small piece of dark chocolate (85% or more).

Due to the very low carbs, wouldn’t I suffer from hypoglycemia (low blood sugar levels)?

In the absence of carbs, liver can synthesize glucose from fat and protein by a process called gluconeogenesis. Blood sugar levels are maintained by this process. However, if you are a diabetic under medication, the dosage of medicines will have to be properly adjusted to avoid hypoglycemia.

Micro-nutrients and supplements

As the muscle glycogen is completed depleted in Keto, the water molecules that are held by the glycogen are also flushed out by the kidneys. This results in electrolytes like magnesium, sodium and potassium getting flushed out by the body which can lead to symptoms like muscle cramps, constipation, reduced sleep etc.

This can be addressed in two ways.

Include multiple categories of food groups which are rich in micro-nutrients and minerals. Below article provides a good summary of food groups in Keto that provide various micro-nutrients

https://compoundsolutions.com/micron...etogenic-diet/

Add micro-nutrient supplements like magnesium citrate, potassium citrate, more salt in the diet to supplement sodium, multi-vitamin tablets etc.

This is an important part of formulating a good Keto diet. Ignoring micro-nutrients can result in undesirable side effects.

Is doing Keto safe?

This is a very common doubt everyone has on Keto. We still do not have any conclusive study that proves Keto is safe in the long-term. But in my opinion, I feel human body has evolved in a million years to burn both fat and glucose as fuel sources. As fat is a much cleaner fuel, it should have evolved to use fat as the primary source of fuel and glucose as secondary source for those high intense needs from muscles. So, Keto should be safe in the long run provided micro-nutrient requirements are properly taken care of.

Sustainability of Keto diet over long time

There are a few factors that affect the sustainability of Keto diet over long time.

Societal pressure: From the perspective of Indian diet, there are many challenges in following Keto in a society that eats a carb rich diet. When you attend a social gathering with is no option for Keto, it is going to be very difficult to explain to others why you are sipping on that salted lime juice or black coffee. You become a social pariah and people start giving you that “is this guy crazy?” look!

Cooking two meals at home: When everyone in the family is following the regular carb rich diet, it becomes necessary to cook two different meals – Keto for you and regular meals for others. This results in extra effort for the family and over long term, there is bound to be resistance to this diet.

Vegetarians: For vegetarians, Keto can become quite boring, as the options for fat and protein are very limited. This becomes much more challenging when egg is also ruled out of the diet.

Micro-nutrient deficiency and side effects: As micro-nutrient supplementing is very important to avoid side effects like constipation, cramps, lack of sleep etc., this can become a little stressful in the long run to manage the diet.

Despite all the above factors, I know many who have been sustaining Keto over long term.

Conclusion:

Keto is a very effective tool that can be used depending on a person’s state of health and goals.

For those who want to live a healthy life with all the health benefits that Keto offers and can sustain Keto over long term, Keto can become a lifestyle.

For those who want to achieve quick results in weight loss, but cannot sustain Keto for long term, it can be used for a short term like 3 to 6 months, and once the goal is reached, they can switch to maintenance mode with IF and moderate carbs and physical activity.

For those with health conditions like Type-2 diabetes, Keto can be used effectively to reverse the situation and once reversed, they can go back to a lifestyle with IF and moderate carbs to maintain.

Disclaimer: This article is to share information on LCHF and Keto. I mention about LCHF and Keto in reversing medical conditions like diabetes, blood pressure and in treating Alzheimers, epilepsy, cancer etc. This information should not be taken as medical advice. If you have any of the medical conditions, discuss with a doctor and nutritionist who are open to these concepts and then follow these concepts to get well.

Last edited by graaja : 30th November 2020 at 06:27.
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Old 1st December 2020, 10:24   #104
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Excellent @graaja. Can't get more comprehensive than this!

What's your opinion on other oils like Sunflower oil, ricebran oil, etc for the "fat" part? I guess the main concern here is that it is "refined"?
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Old 1st December 2020, 12:02   #105
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excellent article put together. Never read such detailed information. Easy to understand as well. Thanks.
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