Welcome to Keto Koaching Week 6. Well done, you should be proud of yourself! Just a little more to learn.

Taking Stock

Well done, you should be proud of yourself.  By now you have developed the habit of eating properly and are well on your way to vastly improved health.  You should also be on your way to complete adaptation.  At the very least you should now be fat adapted so that your body has learned to oxidise fat as  a source of energy and made you much less reliant on carbs.  If you have chosen to pursue a Ketogenic Lifestyle then you should be fully Keto-Adapted by now and you body will not be relying on carbohydrates for energy at all !  Most importantly though, you are no longer eating sugar, refined carbohydrates and grains.  That in itself is a massive win and will ensure your good health for years to come if you adhere to the lifestyle.

You should also have come to the conclusion by now that this lifestyle is very, very easily sustained and is anything but difficult.  You will most likely be far more interested in cooking and what you are eating and I’m sure you are constantly discovering new delicious foods you can eat and more and more incredible recipes to prepare those foods.  Go with it and savour the joy it is bringing to your life.  Enjoy, also, waking up each day feeling fresh and full of energy and ready to start the new one.  I can tell you from personal experience that you continue to experience improvements in mental clarity and energy and a general feeling of wellbeing for a long time to come.

Keep tracking what you eat so that you keep yourself honest and also so that you have a record to go back to so that you can see where to tweak things a little as you experience small fluctuations in your condition or weight. Make sure that you keep your desired macronutrient profile correctly formulated so that you are able to maintain your goal.

Reaching Your Goal and Beyond

Every one of us had goals in mind when we started this journey. Maybe it was to lose some weight or to improve our endurance performance. Maybe it was to help control our Type 1 Diabetes or reverse our Type 2 Diabetes, or cure our Hypertension or reduce our risk of Cardiovascular Disease. Maybe it was to experience an improvement in energy or cognitive function or maybe just our feeling of general wellbeing. Whatever your original goal was, I am willing to bet that you have seen distinct improvements in many other areas that you were never expecting. I initially started out to lose some weight, which I have done, but my running has also improved astronomically, my recovery time is infinitely better, I feel 20 years younger, I have tons more energy, I can concentrate all day now and never have periods where I feel I am dragging, the inflammation in my knees has cleared up…. and that is just the stuff I can think of off the top of my head as I write this.

Chances are also that after 6 weeks you have become properly adapted and you have seen great improvements but you have probably not actually reached your goal yet. I needed to lose 35 lbs to reach my ideal goal weight and it took me 6 months to reach that goal. Some of you will reach yours much sooner, but most will probably take much longer. It is critical that you recognise your small victories along the way and not get distracted or disillusioned by hiccups along the way. Apart from the obvious fluctuations and stalls you will experience due to all the changes your body is going through, life also just happens. There are going to be times when circumstances will dictate that you just can’t stick to it. A family function you have to attend, for instance, where none of the food there is on your diet and it is impossible for you to adhere to it without being excommunicated. Or there are some of your favorite desserts from the old days there and you just break down. Don’t sweat it! Just pick yourself up the next day and get back on the wagon. We are all human and it would be a shame to let some small bump in the road derail all the hard work you have put in. Go back to your recipes the next day and choose some awesome keto meal to get you excited about your lifestyle again and remind you what it is you are aiming for. As I mentioned in earlier lessons, I find that focusing on, and looking forward to, all the great food I can eat instead of what I can’t eat, or what I have achieved instead of my small failures along the way, provides all the motivation I need to keep me going.

Then there is the question of what to do when you finally reach that goal. I have seen other programs advocate adding some carbohydrates back into the diet once you reach your goal weight. I disagree with that concept totally. First of all, it cultivates that typical ‘diet mindset’ where you are just doing something until you reach a certain weight and then you can go back to what you were doing before. It has been proven time and again that all that happens then is you just put all the weight back on with interest. This is a lifestyle you should be adopting for the rest of your life in order to increase your longevity and eliminate the risk of all these chronic diseases. Secondly, it will result in you dropping out of the state of Ketosis and losing all the inherent benefits associated with that. By now you should have a decent idea of what your personal thresholds are with regard to remaining in Ketosis. You should continue to keep your carbohydrate intake within those boundaries.

Once you reach your ideal weight, you obviously need to do something so that you do not continue to lose weight and become unhealthy. Your protein intake should be established by now, depending on your level of activity. As you become more active, you need to take in a little more protein. Go back to your online Keto Calculator from Lesson 1 and just check that your protein intake is appropriate for the amount of exercise you are doing. Then you adjust your calorie intake to the appropriate level by increasing the fat in your diet. Eventually, when your apistat is completely healed, your hunger will drive you to eat just the right amount to maintain your ideal body weight but, as I also mentioned previously, most of us have a broken apistat and until it is properly healed we need to give it a helping hand. Increase the calories you are consuming by about 100 kCal per day (that’s about 11 g of fat which is not much at all) and monitor things for a week or few. If you need to increase it a bit more after that then do so, but make sure you give it enough time after each increase to ensure you are seeing the true effects of the increase.

And keep tracking everything. I stopped after a while, once I reached my goal weight. Then I found that my weight started drifting up again ever so slowly. I was getting quite despondent and started tracking again so that I could try to work out what was going on. Turns out I had started drinking a cup of Rooibos Tea every night with about 4 Ozs of Heavy Cream in it. That was adding far too much extra fat into my diet and so I reduced it to just 2 Ozs a day and my weight stabilized again in no time. Now I keep tracking all the time so I can adjust things easily as the amount of physical exercise I do every day continues to vary and my body continues to adapt to this new lifestyle. I expect it will continue to adapt for a long while to come.

So, all I can do now is congratulate you on making it this far and embracing your new life. I hope you will continue on with it for the rest of your life and live to experience all the amazing health benefits associated with it. Stay engaged on the forums to keep learning and to help others to learn from your experiences, especially all the new people entering the program. The Low Carb USA Facebook Community group is also a great place to get inspiration and learn about all the great events that come up.

All the best!

Doug and Pam