One diet that has recently become one of the most popular is the ketogenic diet. For those of you who have heard about it and are interested in trying it, my interview with Donna is a must watch. My son even has a brief cameo doing a little bit of rummaging through the fridge 😀
Our lovely interviewee Donna, a nutritionist, certainly has a pretty in-depth knowledge of the keto diet, having done quite a lot of research on it as well as actually being on the diet herself.
So, what is the keto diet?
For those who only have a vague idea about what the ketogenic diet is, it is basically an ultra low carb, moderate protein, and high fat diet. In this diet, carb intake is greatly reduced which brings about ketosis wherein the body burns fat instead of glucose for energy. According to Donna, the carb intake is usually less than 30g or about 5% to 10% daily but this can vary per individual. Others consume a little bit more, but are still able to stay in ketosis.
Donna is currently on the ketogenic diet, but this is not the first time she has been on it. The first time she did keto, she tried it for 6 months but made the mistake of exercising too much which caused her to be tired all the time.
According to Donna, aside from the general weight loss benefit, people who would benefit the most from the keto diet are people who suffer from Type-2 diabetes, insulin resistance, epilepsy, as well as polycystic ovarian syndrome. Being gluten sensitive, there are a lot of sugars and carbs Donna cannot eat which is why she finds the keto diet beneficial to her.
The keto diet is, of course, not for everyone. However, for Donna, there are variations that can be done or keto diet modifications that can make it work for a lot of people.
Donna’s keto diet experience
Donna is always on the go - she works 2 jobs, has 3 kids, and amazingly still finds time to do weight training an average of 3 times a week. (On days when she is not training, she loves to walk while listening to my podcast and interviews :D)
Donna talked about how she is doing much better on the diet now. She feels that she has more energy, her clarity of mind is there, she does not feel the need to eat that often, she can usually go 4 or 5 hours before needing to eat. She also mentioned that she is sleeping so much better now compared to her first attempt at doing keto.
One diet tweak that Donna believes has helped her greatly is a carb refuel which she does about once a week or every 10 days.
One concern that some people, including myself, have about the keto diet is that a chronically very low carb or no carb diet may cause the downregulation of thyroid hormone in women, which is a concern since your thyroid basically IS your metabolism. This, according to Donna, is what the carb refuel counters or balances.
The carb refuel works to reset the thyroid issue while on the ketogenic diet. As mentioned already, Donna does her carb refuel about once a week or every 10 days, usually during her period. According to her research, because the body works well surviving on protein during the day and burns through carbs at night, it is best to do the carb refuel in the evening (which is why she also refers to it as her higher carb evening). Donna did specify, however, that prior to doing the carb refuel, it is important to be on a full keto diet for at least 10 days to 2 weeks before going on a carb refuel and it is recommended to choose complex carbs.
(Donna recommends checking out some of the people she follows online for tips on carb refueling. Check our show notes)
The keto diet as a follow up to the P3 program
Prior to doing the keto diet again, Donna explained that she has always eaten low carb, never going over 100g with her daily intake, especially since she went back to doing the keto diet from being on the P3 program, on which she had some really great feedback :).
“I’m back doing keto following your wonderful P3 program which is fantastic. I really really take my hat off to you for putting that together. I think it provides great structure coming out of P2. I think your program really provides sensible advice and it works fantastic.”
Donna explained that her transition from the P3 program to the keto diet was not hard at all because of the P3 program’s low carb recipes.
Donna’s advice to people who are interested in and are considering trying the keto diet? Think about why you want to do it and do your research to determine whether the diet is good for you.
For Donna, her choice to do the keto diet is all about health and longevity. She mentioned that her husband has also gone on the keto diet with the desire to lose a little weight but has ended up losing a lot of weight.
She mentioned going on full keto is not necessary to gain its benefits, you do however, need to start on full keto and afterwards make your tweaks or modifications to it based on what will work best for you.