My experiment with keto

OK so if you have reached this blog, you probably already know what keto diet is and what are toying about the idea of taking it up or you are already half way through it and not seeing expected results.
This post may not give you any more raw information. All I wish to do is share my experience of being on keto diet for 30 days. I may have done something wrong that may have impacted the outcome but this post is not supposed to be a guide on how to do keto but just to share my experience and a few learnings.
Keto: Short term vs Long term:
First things first, as you may already know or feel, diets like this are not supposed to be long term. I mean some proponents of keto could say this can be done long term and maybe it can be but what I am saying is its difficult.
For me the goal of keto was a sort of crash course way of loosing a few pounds quickly so that I get motivated to get in better shape. If you have ever tried to loose weight in the past and you are like me (and most humans), you would know the hardest part of the process is consistency and keeping yourself motivated when you reach that plateau.
Form what I see around me, around 99% of folks would quit on weight loosing goals once they stop loosing pounds quickly after the first few.
My average body weight was around 72-73 kgs for about 5-6 years. I have done shredding multiple time and reached 68-69 kgs and also done bulking and reached 78-79 kgs.
This time I wanted to go down from 78 kgs and I thought of giving keto a try. Mind you just for short term.
Here is why ?
  1. With limited calories intake in form of carbs and proteins, I was not sure of the impact it would have on my body if I do heavy weight lifting. So I thought of doing light cardio only. The best you could hope for with keto is not loose any muscles. Gaining them is very difficult (not impossible though). So I wanted to do it only for short while.
  2. There have been no long term studies regarding impact of keto on health. In short term. It has shown remarkable results but we don’t know what happens if you do it for 5-10 years. It may be very good but we simply don’t have the data. (And I don’t intend to find out by experimenting on me)
  3. I just love carbs and can’t live without em 🙂 (I mean whats the point of life anyways).
  4. Its not sustainable. In a normal lifestyle (if you are not a professional athlete or a trainer), you need to socialize, have fun with food. What do you do if you visit some foreign country and want to taste their best in the world pizza. Just say no?
  5. Keto is very efficient in tracking macros but what about other nutrients. In long term, your body needs a range of nutrients like fiber (most important), vitamins and minerals. Again its possible to do it in keto by carefully choosing what you it and add variety (which is limited) but its much easier to just eat an apple or a bunch of fibre and micro-nutrient rich food items.
Keeping the above in mind, I decided to try it for 30 days. For tracking nutrients, I used app – ‘KetoDiet’. (Its a paid app on Apple Store but worth it).
What did I eat?
The most difficult part of keto diet is completing your fat target while keeping protein share in check. As you must be aware, excess of proteins could defeat the purpose of keto.
Here are the major source of fats I relied on :
  1. Butter – I ate around 50g of pure butter per day. This was the simplest way to reach fat goals. I used it with all my meals.
  2. Avocado – Rich source of fat.
  3. Panner – Raw or fried in ghee. Its a bit high in protein so keep the intake to a limit.
  4. Order out – A lot of restaurants are nowadays serving keto foods on they menu out of the box. One downside is, its tough to estimate macros.
  5. MCT – Its a great supplement for keto diet to fulfill your fat goals. You can just put a tablespoon on your meals or in your coffee.
  6. Fried eggs – whole eggs fried in butter.
  7. Almonds – great source of fats. Other nuts are a bit higher in proteins.
On most days I fell short of meeting my fat targets (even after eating so much butter). For me this was the hardest part of keto diet.
Results
What they say is true. Man do you loose some weight. I lost around 3 kgs in 30 days. My energy levels were great even though I was eating around 1200-1300 calories per day. What I realized later though is most of weight you loose initially on keto is water weight which you can easily get back. Also I didn’t find much difference in my body fat percentage.
My recommendation:
If you want to get started quickly on your weight loss goals, give it a try. I wouldn’t recommend it as a long term thing though. Eating fibre is what most people miss. Eat a lot of leafy vegetables. Make sure you reach your fat target everyday otherwise your body may go in starvation mode and you may end up gaining more weight.
I have started following a normal low carb diet and intermittent fasting since and planning to do it long term, I will share the experience in a few months.
Till then happy keto-ing 🙂
P.S – Please post any queries in comments and I will try to answer. I am not an expert by any stretch. Please refer to other health websites for research. This is just my experience.
Also feel free to share your experiences.

My experiment with HIIT

You could find a zillion articles and blogs talking about High-Intensity-Interval-Training HIIT. I would just re-iterate what it is for the sake of completeness of this post.
What is HIIT?
HIIT is a cardio exercise strategy of alternating short period of intense exercise with less intense recovery period. The exercise could theoretically be anything. It could be running and jogging, fast and slow reps of any cardio exercise. The goal is to bring your heart rate up so anything that does so should be fine.
Why HIIT?
There have been a lot of studies that have proven HIIT helps in bringing your body into a fat shredding state.
The cost benefit ratio of HIIT is much higher than a lot of other workout techniques. For instance if your goal is fat loss, 10 minutes of HIIT will be more effective than 30-40 minutes of light jogging.
Long term vs Short Term ?
HITT is suitable for long term as there are no known negative effects.
My experiment
I have been doing HIIT as long as I have heard of it. The reason – time. For me and most people I know the biggest challenge in consistent workout is lack of time. Well you can say good bye to that excuse. Even 5-7 minutes of HIIT could help meet most of your workout requirements.
As is the case with most people, I do not workout consistently the year round. There are periods fo months sometimes when I don’t do anything. For getting back into HIIT regime, I start with different ration of high vs low intensity exercise and gradually work my way up.
For example, I would start first day after a few months with 3 reps
  1. 30 sec sprint at 80% of my maximum capacity.
  2. 60 sec walk/jog.
Within 1 weak, I would increase number of reps to 5-6. Then I start working on reducing the low intensity duration. The goal is to eventually reach 1: 1 i.e. 30 sec sprint at 80-90% intensity and 30 sec walking/jogging.
If you are having trouble with starting at 1:2, you can also start with 1:3 or 1:4. The goal is to keep improving gradually till you reach 1:1.
I prefer to do it early morning in fasted state (Refer to Intermittent fasting) and it works quite well. My average workout duration is ~7-8 minutes.
Results
HIIT has helped me loose a lot of body fat fairly quickly multiple times. At maximum, I have lost 8 pounds in 6 weeks using a combination of HIIT and intermittent fasting.
My Recommendation
Whether you have time to do long workouts or not, whether you want those 6 packs or just loose those extra pounds, HIIT is the way to go. Burn more calories, remain in fat shredding mode for longer and save some time. Its a win-win situation. So far I have not heard of any major side-effects of doing HIIT for long term.
Ofcourse if you have heart-issues, you should consult your doctor before giving it a try.