Strategies for Success on a Ketogenic Diet

Below you will find a short eBook presentation capturing my thoughts on why success with a ketogenic diet is predicated on developing a strategy, coming up with easy to use tools and repeatable processes to track your data (even if they’re very basic) and make personalized observations.

For those of you who have NOT – please read my blog on Observations from 6 Months of Nutritional Ketosis – as it will provide some more context on the diet and my thoughts.

Note that this is NOT a “How to do the Ketogenic Diet” guid – that will come later on when I have time to do something comprehensive and have finished some of my own experiments with a more plant based approach to ketosis.

What is this then?

Purely a guide to help you consider the how and why behind successful planning and measuring/monitoring progress, for two very important reasons: safety and optimization.

What’s the value-add?

Well, for those of you familiar with “Build – Measure – Learn”, the popular approach many startups take to implement lean software and product development, this will make sense to you.

For those who are not as familiar – think of yourself as the owner of a service business – and your only client for eternity is yourself…your own human body. This is true with health & performance because your body is always your own client/customer.

So what you can measure, you can learn from and you ultimately manage.

And the goal here is for you to be able look back at your notes, measurements and observations from the first day, week or month engaged in a new nutritional protocol and look back and see where you made adjustments. And not just changed things up for the hell of it, but documented your observations and truly understand why you made the adjustments you did to get to where you are today. Keeping detailed measurments and making observations is not just about optimization…you’ll see it’s also about safety.

*Highly Suggested Reading: My Blog On...

Observations: 6 Months of Nutritional Ketosis

Keto Danger?

Like Timmy F says, “I’m not a doctor, and I don’t pretend to play one on the internet”. But I am going to tell you what 99% of people do not when aggressively advocating for the ketogenic diet. Success, and ultimately your safety, depends on your ability to pay attention to the details. Don’t like details? Simple, skip this diet. Don’t want to measure blood glucose AND ketones? Well, stay off this diet then. Are you OCD about details? Ok, well your probably a good candidate for it.

Ketosis is an internal metabolic process developed as part of our evolutionary biology, that does not have feelings. It’s 100% binary, ones and zeros, do or don’t. So there’s no cheat days and no “sort of in ketosis”. The simplicity is both comforting, and dangerous. Yes, I said it. Why? Because if you have simultaneously high levels of glucose and ketones, your essentially consuming a very, very high fat diet and not using dietary fat as fuel. And that’s where all the dangers and fears of conventional wisdom come in and are indeed valid. So, pay attention to the details friends.


Measuring Blood Glucose + Ketones

First thing you’ll notice, maybe much to your dismay, is the word “blood”. Yep, that’s right. You absolutely need to measure ketones and glucose. Urine strips are flawed and inaccurate so leave those to the people who want to do the meat & cheese diet. The only time I think it’s safe to go keto and not measure your blood daily (at least once) is if you are a nutrition stud, meaning you know a lot about foods & nutrition and impact to biology, or you’ve had a ton of experience with the diet to know how it makes you feel. Check out my article below for more on my rationale.


*Highly Suggested Reading: My Blog On...

Observations: 6 Months of Nutritional Ketosis

Measuring + Monitoring With The Tracker

Now, there’s nothing too fancy in the tracker folks. Feel free to add or remove anything you don’t want to track. However, I think it’s absolutely crucial to track the following:

Nutritional intake before + after the measurments

Blood Ketones

Blood Glucose

Glucose to Ketone Index (GKI) via the Glucose to Ketone Index Calculator (GKIC)

Here’s why. Blindly measuring blood ketones or glucose is ok. It’s a start. But as you start to wonder why you can’t get into ketosis (defined as 0.5 mMol/L) or above 1.50 mMol, where do you look? When you’ve been in ketosis for 5 straight months and feeling good about yourself, then all of a sudden you get kicked out, how do you know what did it? You break out in hives or have a sudden reaction after 3 months feeling amazing, what the fuc* happened?

The log answers those questions. And many more. Just by tracking data on nutrition and exercise activity, you have a wealth of information to make adjustments, avoid the same mistakes, learn about your personalized nutrition needs and have greater success with any nutrition protocol you engage in the future.


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