DISCLAIMER: I am not a dietician, or do I have any professional expertise in the dietary field. Everything mentioned in this article is based solely of research that I've done and experiments that I've tested myself.
It's been about 4 months now since I've fully adopted the Ketogenic lifestyle. That means: absolutely NO sugar, NO booze, and what hits home the hardest--no bread. Going into this, I knew not what to expect, other than it was going to be difficult. "How difficult can it be?" you ask? Well, let me put it this way: It took just two weeks for me to realize just how addicted to sugar I was--or--we all are.
The Ketogenic diet is made up of 75% fat, 20% protein, 5% carbs (which should be leafy greens).
The further down the rabbit hole I fell, the more I began to question and realize what was going in the food I ate (as of now, used to eat). SUGAR! It baffles me to now see just how saturated our consumer market is with sugar. EVERYTHING has it. It's added to damn near every pre-packaged edible product released. Juices are the most common of things thought to be healthy by the general populous, unbeknownst to them is the amount of sugar added to the already sweet enough juice. It was these eye-opening realizations that led me to dig even further...but let me digress for a second and tell you about what I was going through...
As I grew into this diet, I took notice to how well I felt. My body didn't need much food to operate on throughout the day.
I start my mornings off with Bulletproof coffee: fresh ground coffee (I prefer organic Costa Rican beans), brewed in a regular drip coffee maker, then blended with 8-12 tablespoons of Kerrygold's grass-fed butter, along with 5-10 teaspoons of MCT or XCT oil. All of this goes into my Vitamix blender for 60 seconds, and voila! The result? Delicious, rich, frothy, creamy buttery coffee that's good for sustained energy for at least 4 hours.
My caloric intake and overall consumption throughout the course of the day is fair. I eat 4-6 avocados per day, depending on how physically active I am. On days where I train BJJ, MMA, or weights, my fat consumption is generally on the higher end. I do eat a TON of nuts--my favorite are pine nuts and sriracha roasted cashews from Nature Box (to die for).
Coconut cream (extra thick) is a life saver. Who would have thought that eating copious amounts of this rich, fat, delicious cream would be good for you? And porkbellly?! Sign me up! I've had a pack of that Sriracha Maple Bacon Jerky from Trader Joe's in my house for years now, and it's only getting worse now that I've deemed it good for me!
I am my own guinea pig. I test every theory, diet, or challenge that I fancy on myself. I do not preach that which I don't practice. I've tried every diet, might I add, and I can't stress how significantly noticeably different this diet makes me feel. So what does this diet do for me? In short: it makes me feel good. Provided my will is strong and resistance to sugar is adamant, the clarity and performance my body receives is second to none.
Fitness - I work out half as hard, and yield better results.
Hunger - it's virtually non-existent. The fats in the butter and nuts I regularly eat keeps me satiated and fueled.
Testosterone production is significantly increased. I had my test levels checked twice in 4 months, and my levels nearly doubled.
Mental clarity - the oils in the MCT and XCT are clinically proven to help your brain perform better.
That's about it. If you can withstand not consuming sugar or booze, then you're smooth sailing.
One last thing I would like to touch up on is how this diet effects my martial arts training. Most people that I've spoken to about this before I converted would say that the transition is hard and sluggish, and that it's simply NOT ideal for athletes, especially in the BJJ community.
This diet IS for athletes. If the withdrawals from sugar are holding you back, well then suck it up. It'll get better, I promise. Coming from a competitive athlete and fitness addict, I will not accept lack of carbs as an excuse for underperforming. There is always an alternative.
Not to mention, saturated fats (both poly- and mono-) are precursors to testosterone production in men. Meaning, saturated fats help produce more testosterone. If you're a man, you'd be crazy NOT to try this out!
*For those of you who aren't familiar with the Ketogetnic diet, I highly advise you research the leading man in this field, Dr. Dom D'Agostino, for extensive information on how revolutionary and life-changing this diet is.
The ultimate goal is to reach ketosis. If you can weather the hellacious storm of headaches and lethargy from the sugar withdrawals, then you're smooth sailing from then on. But be prepared. The bottom line is the facts speak for themselves: it lowers the risk of cancers, increases testosterone production, increases brain function, regulates appetite, provides sustained energy, and encourages consumption of bacon!