I decided to do something kind of stupid a week before leaving home for a typical Christmas visit with family: I decided to return to my ketogenic diet. Why? Because my attempt to adopt a more traditional weightlifting nutrition plan at a sane calorie level resulted in my gaining a TON of weight in a few short months. Consequently I was showing physical signs that I couldn’t wait for the new year to shed a few pounds. So, a week before leaving for a Christmas holiday I returned to a weightlifting-friendly keto ‘diet’. I lost a bunch of (mostly water) weight in that first week.
When we flew to visit family and I discovered rather quickly that this was a big inconvenience for everyone around me. At first I tried to compensate by being a little loose with the carb requirements. By Christmas Eve that was obviously not going to work, so out the window went the diet, though I did successfully refrain from going overboard. We returned home on Friday, December 28th and the next day I returned to my ketogenic diet. I discovered that I had put back on the water weight but had not returned to the pre-diet weight, thankfully. So, here I am, returning to a healthy lifestyle.
What does this have to do with living like a traditional Catholic? Well, the thing is this: gluttony is a sin, one that I suspect few of us ever actually confess. We live in a world that not only has tacitly accepted obesity but we also live in a world that is starting to celebrate obesity, even denying the undeniable scientifically proven consequences of carrying extra weight. Combined with the basic duties I have as a father and husband to be there for my family, I can make a basic Christian case for shedding weight.
So, posting this on January 1st seems pretty convenient. If you’re hoping to shed a few pounds yourself, I can attest from experience that ketogenic diets do work. My problem was transitioning out entirely too quickly. There are people who decide to live keto for their entire lives, and more power to them I guess. I may try that, once I get to my target weight/body comp, but with the flexibility of birthdays and anniversaries being open to not being a party-pooper. I remember something St. Francis of Assisi is said to have told one of his companions: they were traveling somewhere during a fasting season, when the question arose of what to do if someone offered them something otherwise proscribed by their rule. The response of the saint was that charity was the overriding rule. In other words, they accepted food they were otherwise not supposed to accept, in the name of charity.
The basic philosophy behind the variation of keto I do is this: fat is a lever. I’m not consuming 90% of my calories from fat. Typically I get about 55% or so, with the rest from protein and fewer than 25 grams of carbs (net) per day. In terms of grams per day, my goals look like this: about 170 grams of protein per day, 110 or so of fat, 25 net carbs. That translates to around 1700ish calories per day. Combined with a pretty rigorous weightlifting routine, I should be running in a calorie negative every day.
One thing I plan to do here is to periodically post my own home-recipes for keto, or interesting ones I find elsewhere that I’ve tried. I’ll start with my bro-protein shake:
2 scoops Isopure Zero carb (50 grams protein, 1g fat, 0 carbs) (I’m using vanilla right now)
1 scoop l-glutamine powder (NOW Sports)
2 scoops BCAAs (NOW Sports)
1 scoop Vitacost-brand Creatine
1 scoop Amazing Grass Super Greens, chocolate flavored
All combined into a 45oz shaker cup, with water added to almost the top and shaken (with a blender ball) until properly mixed. It tastes okay and it delivers the post-lifting protein I need as well as the nutrients to aid in an intense workout recovery.