Welcome to Keto Koaching Week 4, by now this way of eating is starting to become a habit. That is a good thing. Follow the lessons below you are almost there!

Take Stock

So there are two reasons we decided to make this course 6 weeks long. One is to make sure we stick with you long enough that the new lifestyle starts to become a habit and the second to make sure it was long enough that most of you will have completed the first phase of adaptation completely.

The first part should be achieved as we get to the end of this week. It is fairly common consensus (which we are not turing on it’s head, for a change) that it takes doing something for 28 days for it to become a habit. By the end of this week, you will have been consciously restricting your carbohydrate intake and tracking everything you eat so that you are aware of your intake and you are able to tweak it to achieve your desired result.

If you have continued to exercise through this adaptation you should now start to feel better on a daily basis. I know I felt better and better every day and my running got easier and easier as my energy levels increased and my weight started to come down. If you have not been active, you should still find you have a lot more energy and you will tend to get around a lot quicker than you used to. Your mental clarity will be a lot more pronounced and it remains consistent throughout the day instead of fluctuating many times a day in sympathy with your insulin highs and lows.

Now might be the time to go back through your records and start to try to see some patterns. See if you can see some correlation between stalls in weight loss, or your sensation of wellbeing. There may not be any trends showing themselves yet, but they will, for sure, as time goes on.

As you get to the end of your sixth week, almost all of you should be well adapted and clearly on the road to exceptional health and well-being.

An Introduction to Intermittent Fasting

Now that you are nearing the end of your 4th week and this way of eating is starting to become a habit, it’s time to get your head around another concept and that is the fact that you really don’t need to eat 3 meals a day. For as long as you can remember, I’m sure, you have been told that you must have at least 3 meals a day and possibly even been told that you should be eating small snacks in between those meals. The only reason this was necessary was because you were eating a bunch of carbs all the time which was causing these huge highs and lows in blood glucose so you had to keep eating.

Now that you are not eating all those carbs, you don’t crash anymore and it is no longer necessary to eat all the time to prevent it from happening.

In our natural environment we would never have had consistent access to food, even on a daily basis. There would have been long periods of time, days even, where we would not have had anything to eat at all and our bodies are perfectly designed to deal with that. Fasting is a term which just means going without food and we all fast every day while we sleep. Breakfast was named appropriately because it was the meal in the morning to ‘break the fast’ from the time you had your last bite to eat in the evening. So now, all we do is start to extend that fast a little bit at a time and start to eat less frequently throughout the day.

The concept of intermittent fasting is to extend the window through the day during which you don’t eat and restrict your calorie intake to a shorter window in the day.  This does not mean that you have to eat less calories, but that you just eat them over a shorter period of time.  The typical ratio most people shoot for is 16 / 8 hour fast.  So, if you have your last bite at 8 pm, you go through until noon the next day before eating again.  Then you eat all your calories before 8 pm that night again.  Very soon you will find that 2 meals a day is plenty.  You may also want to extend those windows to 18 / 6 and even 20 / 4.  I have basically reached the stage where I only eat one meal a day at around 3 pm and then I have a small snack of something like biltong and macadamia nuts between 6 and 7 in the evening….. and I NEVER feel hungry.

There are tremendous benefits associated with intermittent fasting, the main ones of which are listed here:

  • It reduces inflammation and oxidative stress.
  • It helps balance blood sugar and insulin sensitivity – this leads to reversal of Type 2 Diabetes as well as improved weight control and mental clarity amongst other things.
  • It boosts production of Human Growth Hormone (HGH).  This improves healing and and recover, improves skin tone, reduces arthritis significantly, and generally enhances anti-aging.
  • It results in higher blood leucine levels in the body.  These are Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) which have an anabolic effect and aid in the building of lean muscle mass which means your muscles are more toned in general and recovery from injury or extensive physical effort is greatly improved.

The video below gives you a great overview of the concepts.  Get your head around them this week and dabble a little, if you like.  We’ll revisit this more seriously next week.