Four Months of Ketogenic Eating Complete

Phase one has ended. I’ve successfully gone four months fully ketogenic.

I have lost 17 pounds on the scale but my body looks completely different. I suspect I’ve lost 25 pounds of fat and put on 5 pounds of muscle from doing nothing but jumpsquats, eating properly, and providing daily adequate protein to allow growth.

I’ve never suffered as much on a diet program as I did on this regimen with the exception of the 100 pound weight loss experience in 2002. I don’t think there was a day from January 1 through mid-October of that year that I was not in real and often intense discomfort. This program was similar although the sources and nature of the suffering changed in phases from start to finish.

I still believe the protocol is healing my body, not harming it, but I do not yet know that is true. I’m proceeding through uncertainty while watching carefully.

Today I begin to return carbohydrate to my body for two months before going fully ketogenic again for four months on July 1st.

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Jumpsquats Upgrade to 40 Per Set

After a setback in February due to a slip on some ice I’ve finally moved from 35 to 40 jumpsquats per set. The additional five repetitions take my body deeply into its reserves, driving my pulse and breathing to the max in the 30 seconds after the set ends while creating significant post workout fatigue and soreness.

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Jumpsquats Upgrade to 35 Per Set

After four weeks of two sets of 30 jump squats per day I increase the number of repetitions per set to 35 on my way to 50.

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Why Ketogenesis and Intermittent Fasting?

In July of last year I gave myself a concussion. It didn’t seem bad in the moment it happened but within hours I was starting to experience confusion and upset. Within days I was having trouble thinking cogently. Within weeks I was having bouts of rage to go along with my inability to think. I had a headache for three months.

It eventually began to clear but I could tell my mind was no longer the same. Everything came more slowly. I struggled to construct thoughts and ideas that had previously flowed without effort.

I began to research the problem.

The past five years have seen an explosion in the science done on Traumatic Brain Injury. The work of the doctors and scientists who led the charge to make public the damage being done to football players in the NFL began to dovetail with work done by a few early researchers in the medical and academic communities. That has lead to an exponential uptick in solid science on the topic and, more importantly, treatment protocols.

After sifting through the most accessible layers of material I began to notice that several things kept showing up, of which the two most relevant to me were that ketosis and fasting are foundational to the repair of the brain.

More important than ketosis and fasting, however, is the need to get rid of inflammation in the body and brain. Chronic clinical and sub-clinical inflammation has to be eliminated before anything else can be done to effectively fix brain function. The most common cause of inflammation in the body? Consuming foods to which the body reacts negatively. Ketosis and fasting tend to eliminate inflammatory foods all by themselves but more was required, which I will discuss below.

All of the above dovetailed perfectly with my desire to return to the dietary ease and the fit, healthy, lean body I had lived with for the 11 years I was not addicted to sugar. In 2014 I spent six months using Tim Ferriss’ Slow Carb Diet to successfully take my body to an extreme level of leanness. Unfortunately, the diet required me to binge on high calorie, high carbohydrate foods one day per week. I became re-addicted to sweets and starches and was unable to stop myself from eating them despite applying every bit of willpower I had remaining after having such a great physique win via the diet and loving my strong, lean body. The subsequent fat gain and deterioration of my health was remarkable to witness but not pleasant to experience. It had become time to permanently solve those problems while also integrating into my diet the protocols that came with my newfound understanding of traumatic brain injury repair.

Trying a ketogenic diet seemed like a natural next step. I had never done it before despite years of disciplined dietary experimentation. I had already experienced extraordinary gains from my first round of intermittent fasting in 2005. Combining the two seemed like a great fit as many of the most famous ketogenic experts were promoting exactly that: keto done with IF.

But there was more.

It is possible to eat a ketogenic diet that still tends toward inflammation. The foods we choose to eat are important so I took a look at my deepest goal – a long term and permanent change in my health and vitality – and decided to eliminate three foods that are acceptable in a keto protocol in proper quantities but I believe I have had trouble with in the past: dairy, alcohol, and sugar. All three of them are well known trigger foods, causing bacterial and fungal imbalances in the digestive tract.

That leads to the final reason I’m doing this diet: to see if I can fix what I suspect is a lifelong case of gut problems caused by decades of eating badly, particularly when I was a child. That, plus several trips into wilderness areas out of the country in my teens, may have left me with organisms in my digestive tract I have never been able to completely eradicate.

I have come to believe that years of eating gluten, a food I have not consumed since 2006, did damage to my body that has not yet healed despite all the years of dedicated effort to fix it. I believe dairy, alcohol, and sugar are the current culprits, keeping the early damage from healing. The constant stream of decades of gluten in my childhood (and later) upset the bacterial and fungal balance in my gut and damaged the delicate lining of the intestines. Dairy, alcohol and sugar have very likely continued to act as irritants and kept the early problems in place, even though their impact was dramatically reduced once I finally quit gluten and reduced the volume of the others a decade ago. The re-addiction to sugar in 2014 began to break those systems down again. Now I must repair them. Hopefully for good this time.

Perhaps now the choices I’m making and the experiences I’ve been describing fit together into a more clear whole. I’m working to:

1. Lose fat while keeping my body strong and fit

2. Build the foundation I need to repair my brain from prior damage.

3. Build the foundation for a lifetime of extended health span and increased functioning at every level.

4. Repair my digestive tract by restoring the proper balance of gut flora and healing the gut lining.

Those four things, together, drive all of my effort and inform the choices I make.

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Jump Squat Set Number One

I have been doing jump squats on and off for three years. They have changed my entire body. They will be the core of my diet and exercise program for this year, with the goal to be doing between two and five sets of 50 consecutive jump squats per day, every day of the year.

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New Year’s Resolution 2018

Welcome to the blog.

Starting today, January 1, 2018, I resolve the following:

To spend the year alcohol, sugar, and dairy free.

To eat on a 20/4 hour Intermittent Fasting/Feasting cycle.

To do my 9th four month long experimental diet: a high fat, moderate protein, very low carb ketotic program. I will eat for ketosis from January 1 through April 30, then again from July 1 through October 31.

To do between two and five single sets of high repetition explosive jump squats per day every day for the entire year.

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Fat loss

I have struggled with fat and body composition all my life.

In 2002 I lost 100 pounds and kept most of it off for 12 years.

I thought the struggles were over. I was fit, strong, and healthy.

In 2014 I did an experimental bodybuilding diet (Tim Ferriss’ Slow Carb Diet) to see how lean I could make myself without losing muscle mass. The diet required one day of binge eating in every seven days. I binged on foods I had not eaten for 12 years. I got very lean and very strong. You can see the result of the diet on the far right in the image below:


I also re-addicted myself to sugar and starches.

While never re-gaining as much fat as I was wearing in 2002 I did balloon up to almost 230 pounds:

Interestingly, knowing I was unable to stop eating sugar in the fall and winter of 2014/15, I used my overamped caloric intake to fuel muscle growth by doing sequential sets of high repetition heavy squats and deadlifts in the gym. I am carrying at least 25 pounds more muscle in that picture than in any of the previous images and I put it all on one very unpleasant squat, deadlift, and pullup at a time day after day after day.

I have since removed 30 pounds of fat and currently look like this:


It’s time to finish the fat cutting and return my body to proper leanness while preserving the muscular gains I made by lifting heavy in the gym.

Fat loss is simple once you understand the process.

It is not easy.

I have never known anyone who lost substantial amounts of fat and kept it off permanently without real effort, often excruciating. I’ve been at this for 14 years and I’ve heard many claims that fat loss should be effortless if done properly. I have yet to meet a single person who took it off and kept it off for whom that was true.

I will post my progress here on the blog.

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