My Keto Experiment: 3rd Time’s a Charm
🕑 5 min read
There are tremendous health benefits to the low-carb, high-fat ketogenic diet, but some people find it restrictive and hard to sustain when “keto flu” symptoms strike. Nutrition Health Coach Kelley Baker experienced these side effects for herself both times she tried keto in the past. For her third go, Kelley used the meals from our best-selling Keto Box to help her stick to the plan.
So was the third time a charm for Kelley? In this article, she’ll tell you:
My Keto Experiment
As a Nutrition Health Coach, I completely understand the science behind the incredible health benefits of a ketogenic diet. I have two attempts at keto under my belt already.
Now for some brutal honesty: when I tried keto previously, I got keto flu bad. In fact, it almost stopped me from trying it ever again. This common side effect of transitioning into ketosis can make sticking to the diet a real challenge.
For my third round of keto, I knew I needed a different approach – a solution that made the transition into ketosis less exhausting and easier to sustain.
Enter: The Keto Box by Metabolic Meals.
The timing was perfect. I’d recently started working at Metabolic Meals as a Health Coach. Not only was this third attempt a great opportunity to give the product a real test, it also let me learn firsthand what our customers experience.
After four weeks of using the Keto Box, my results are in: the third time was definitely a charm. Here’s why.
The Backstory: Why Keto?
I wanted to try a ketogenic diet again for a few reasons: improved cognition, appetite control, better digestion, and more energy were all factors.
So, how does keto help with that? Ketosis is a metabolic state that occurs when the body metabolizes fat at a high rate and converts fatty acids into ketones, which your muscles and other tissues can use for fuel. These energy molecules are naturally produced by our liver when blood glucose (or sugar) is low. When you drastically decrease your carb intake, you deplete your stores of glycogen in your liver and skeletal muscles, and your body will switch to burning fat for energy instead.
Research has shown that nutritional ketosis can help prevent (and even treat) these diseases with its anti-inflammatory benefits by stabilizing blood sugar and insulin levels. Neurological disorders like epilepsy and dementia can be alleviated, plus symptoms of type 2 diabetes can go into remission.
For me personally, diabetes, cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s all run in my family. It’s a big concern and why I wanted to find a solution to help me reap the health benefits in a more sustainable way.
Keto Box Structure: The Science of Why This Works
It’s easy to overthink the ketogenic diet. Counting macros and watching carbs can be overwhelming. The Metabolic Meals Keto Box saves you the aggravation by providing fully-cooked protein and healthy fats in the exact amounts you need. You can mix it up by adding whatever low-carb vegetables you want.
Making the keto diet easier to maintain is so important because certain levels of ketosis can provide powerful therapeutic benefits. What I found was that the level of ketosis offered by the Metabolic Meals Keto Box is even greater than those of typical plans – I was able to get into a state of ketosis in two days (the average person can take up to seven days to reach ketosis).
Why? I contribute my quick transition to how carefully the nutritionists at Metabolic Meals planned the macro and fat ratios: 70-75% fat, 5-10% carbs and 15-20% protein.
When fat is your body’s main source energy, you should focus on monosaturated fat as your primary fuel. According to nutrition researcher Dr. Jeff Volek, this is because the body prefers to use monounsaturated fat from an evolutionary standpoint.
The Keto Box meals all have well-balanced fat content, consisting of 55% monounsaturated, 27% saturated and 18% polyunsaturated fat. Volek discovered that these fatty acid levels mimic very closely the human body’s natural fat cell composition (MUFA 55%, PUFA 18% and SFA 27%).
Getting Started: Easy Transition into Ketosis
Compared to my previous experiences on the keto diet, my first few days using the Metabolic Meals Keto Box were easier than anticipated and exactly what I was looking for.
To ease the transition into ketosis and to keep me feeling great, I incorporated an exogenous ketone and electrolyte supplement (Focussed Ketones). This ketone supplement mimics the main ketone (BHB) produced by our own body when you follow a ketogenic diet, increasing mental clarity and focus, boosting energy, and aiding weight loss efforts. I also made sure I consumed plenty of salt, which helps keep electrolytes in balance.
How I Incorporated Intermittent Fasting
I also incorporated intermittent fasting throughout the whole process. I started with 13-hour fasts for the first three days, and then transitioned to 15- to 16-hour fasts. If I started to feel hypoglycemic (low blood sugar), I would take a tablespoon of oil (almond, avocado or olive oil) or break my fast. Fasting ketosis can have an array of benefits. It’s been used to treat obesity and as a way of inducing ketosis prior to chemotherapy.
How I Tracked and Monitored My Blood Sugar and Ketone Levels
Blood tests are the most accurate way to track blood sugar and ketone levels. The keto blood test measures beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB). There are three main ketones your body produces from fatty acids, and BHB is the most abundant of them. This rock star fuel source makes up 78% of total ketones in the blood, is extremely stable, and is the main ketone used for energy. I also weighed myself once a week and checked my body fat percentage at the beginning and end of the month.
I started this round of a ketogenic diet focused on health improvements, not weight loss. Here’s what happened:
Blood Sugar Levels: When I started the Keto Box plan, my blood sugar levels were around 87-92 mg/dL. By the end, my levels were consistently at 74-82 mg/dL (a normal blood sugar range is around 100 mg/dL).
Ketone Levels: My ketone levels started at 1.0 mmol/L and increased to 1.5 mmol/L, meaning I was in therapeutic ketosis through the whole process.
Sleep and Performance:
My sleep improved, my skin cleared up, my energy stabilized, and my cognition was enhanced.
My skeletal muscles became more insulin sensitive, lowering my risk of disease.
My appetite was suppressed because the hunger hormone, ghrelin, was satiated by the nutrients and minerals I was absorbing.
My performance at the gym remained the same, and I was able continue strength training as normal. The only adjustment I made was during the first week: I decreased my sets and increased my rest periods in between sets. After the first week, I was back to my normal program.
Body Composition: Weight loss was not one of my goals when I started the Keto Box. However, during the process, I experienced body composition changes, with a 3% body fat loss.
Plans for the Future
I originally planned on following the diet for two weeks, but the structure of the Metabolic Meals Keto Box program made it so effortless that I committed to four weeks – and I’m glad I did.
Because I was able to get into ketosis without suffering through the dreaded Keto Flu, I know coming back to the Keto Box will make it effortless to cycle in and out of keto. The effect it has on my body is undeniably worth the dedication, and the cycling method still has lasting health benefits.
Kelley Baker is a Nutrition Health Coach with 15 years of experience of personal training and holistic lifestyle coaching. Her certifications include NASM, C.H.E.K, ICANS, and Poliquin.