High Fat for Low Fat: Part 2
So hopefully you’ve read my previous post on The High Fat Diet, otherwise you may be thinking I am delusional for eating fat in an attempt to drop my body fat percentage. Whilst I’d read the whole book, understood the nutritional science behind it, and was already three days in at the point of my last post, I do remember looking down at my dinner of grilled salmon, and boursin-soaked buttered courgette and thinking “This is most definitely not going to work.”
Lo and behold, I have reached the end of my two week spell on The High Fat Diet, which I view as an easy introduction into the keto lifestyle. Before I continue on with how I feel, how easy I find it and the works, let’s get straight to the question I’m sure you’re all asking: did I lose any fat?!
The (pretty shocking) results
As I mentioned in my last post, I chose to continue this diet not weighing myself, relying on measurements and clothes to measure my progress. Despite the very short time span, I was expecting some change due to my colleague’s incredible results. I still did not expect what my final measurements were, which were as follows:
Thighs (problem area) – 1” down
Waist – 2” down
Hips – 3” down
Please excuse the cringe-worthy gym selfies! A few weeks back vs just towards the end of the two weeks
I also woke up daily with a noticeably flatter stomach, partially due to the smaller quantities of physical food I was eating and also due to the lack of carbs. This had me hurrying to do ab workouts which I’d long neglected because “there was fat on my stomach covering potential abs anyway” – the sudden drop in body fat meant there were some visible but I’d conveniently forgotten to go and get abs in the meantime.
Now, these huge numbers were already showing up halfway through the diet, and I feel like they could have been even bigger if I followed the diet strictly throughout the second week, however I did not.
Not Following the Diet
I am not a diet person. This was the first diet I’ve tried, and whilst the first week was relatively easy, I did begin to slip towards the end. As you can see, however, this did not have a huge impact (or at least I didn’t think it did,) on my fat loss. This cemented it for me – whilst the book urges you to follow the diet very strictly, I chose not to and it still paid off, suggesting that keto as a lifestyle as opposed to a diet is both sustainable and just as effective.
I followed the breakfasts and lunches for the most part, but don’t think I followed a single dinner to date, choosing instead dinners from other days depending on what food was going off and what I felt like eating. The book allows you to do this, and I liked having the freedom and choice, as opposed to following a strict daily plan. Regardless, you still get two options for every meal, so even those who are able to follow a strict regime will get the choice.
I also continued my snacking. I snacked on ‘allowed foods (mostly nuts). Because of the high proportion of fats in nuts anyway, I do not feel like this hindered me at all in any way; in fact, the extra fat probably helped. However, the chocolate biscuits I attacked on my last Saturday evening (I know, I know… hey, my friend had brought them all the way over from Hong Kong!) may have had an impact on the final two days, in which you can cut out vegetables entirely and cut the protein to give yourself a final boost. However, I have no regrets!
I praised the delicious, indulgent meals in my previous post, and will continue to do so here. I didn’t try all the recipes, making the salmon-boursin courgette meal a massive four times, the seared pork (also known as PRETTY DAMN DELICIOUS,) twice and I inhaled the cheesy omelette as my fated last meal. The snacking I did was most definitely mental cravings for snack, as I didn’t ever feel particularly hungry.
My cheese-and-butter drenched omelette; my last supper.
I also started to do the one thing they always tell you not to do – skipped breakfast. Okay, I didn’t actually skip breakfast, but I went to my early morning barre classes without breakfast and ate it at home. Without carbs and sugar and with my body happily running on fat, I had a steady stream of energy and did not feel I needed food for energy before a workout, which was quite a nice change – long gone were the days of panicking and waking up super early to eat and allow myself to digest before a workout.
To continue on from the energy levels and constant store of fat for energy, the initial tiredness I felt at the beginning of the pre-tox soon vanished and was replaced with a comfortable consistent energy. I must admit; whilst I absolutely smashed all my weights workouts, reaching a new leg press PR and completing my first set of full chin ups, I struggled to run. I amazingly struggled even my 10 minute warm up run. I reckon this was partially psychological as I am a pre-run carb loader, but it was really surprising to me how difficult something that is second nature to me suddenly became.
Life After the Diet
This is the part where all the wonderful stuff goes downhill, and the only con I have about this diet. Getting out of ketosis is difficult and causes your body much confusion.
I did absolutely not help myself at all in this sense. I was awful. Instead of easing back into my carbs and lowering my fats slowly as is recommended and I had planned, I attacked every carby sugar in sight. I immediately felt bloated after my first slice of rye bread and peanut butter, and this only increased with every carb I put in my mouth throughout the day. I should have stopped there, but was so excited that I didn’t and told myself it would go away tomorrow.
Despite this, I woke up over the last three days with the bloated stomach of a pregnant rhino (goodbye waistline inch loss) have felt disgustingly full and have felt sluggish and disgusting. I’ve never ever felt so full before, and I eat myself to the point of overindulgence at least once a week.
There are a few reasons for this. Because I needed to drink so much water to keep hydrated during ketosis, the sudden reintroduction of carbs puts your body into hyperhydration mode and you retain tonnes of water. TONNES. Despite drinking the normal amount of water I do (3L a day,) I have been retaining it over the last few days, adding to the bloat and making me feel like a sad water balloon.
And of course, my body has become accustomed to running on fats and is now unsure of what to do with the carbs and sugar now in my system and is just letting them hang around in my stomach. Whilst the internet says this will slowly vanish, I don’t feel like I helped at all by transitioning from low carb to a ridiculous amount of carbs.
The book does come with a maintenance plan you can follow, which I foolishly ignored in my gleeful return to sugary goods. I’ve now put myself loosely back on the pre-tox, and from here, will slowly increase my carbs at a sensible pace i.e. not a packet of biscuits in one glorious mouthful. I’m already feeling the difference in the severe lack of bloating today, and I hope that tomorrow morning I resemble less of a beach ball. I feel one good thing that can come out of my crazed sugar bender is at least now I know what carbs and sugars do post-keto. I most certainly am not craving anything, and won’t be for a while.
Yes, keto is amazing. The diet works, and has worked for everyone I know who’s tried it. But be warned that life after keto won’t be as glamorous as it seems; even on my first day I was already looking forward to it. Be sensible post-keto and, according to the book, you’ll be able to keep off the fat that you managed to lose in a very short amount of time, eating a delicious amount of food.