One of the most surprising and unexpected aspects of my food journey is that I am now keto (“ish”). When I started intermittent fasting, I had no intention whatsoever of changing what I ate, just the timing of what I ate. I still had pizza on Friday nights, drank an IPA and ate starchy foods like potatoes. I still do (but less), hence the “ish” attached to keto. I am just surprised that I am now here in keto location, especially when I never had any intention of changing what I ate.
I guess I should not be super surprised. Keto seems to lead to fasting. Fasting seems to lead to keto.
What’s the connection between the two tribes? Lots, but most importantly, both camps agree on what causes you to become fat and what prevents you from burning stored body fat, the fat storage hormone insulin. Note, insulin is not bad! Indeed, without it, you would die from starvation. Both the keto and fasting camps believe that we humans were just not wired for producing it all throughout the day and that we should not be on the insulin roller coaster through the day. Like sleep, we need it every day, but not all of the time, which is what happens when we eat all of the time from morning until before we go to bed.
Like Goldilocks, you don’t want too much or too little, but just the right amount of insulin, just as evolution intended.
Keto does this through the types of foods, meats, healthy fats, and green vegetables while avoiding foods that cause intense insulin spikes, especially carbs like supervised processed breads, pasta, and refined sugar. Fasting achieves insulin moderation through removing food stimulus (that is eating) at different periods throughout the day. Both camps don’t like insulin roller coaster spikes, peaks and valleys. Just think the It’s a Small World Ride at Disney World, a gentle, natural and organic release throughout the day. Rather than mega intense Space Mountain roller coaster, fun, but super intense followed by deep withdrawals. And no matter how fun, you just can’t do it every day without long term consequences
I add the “ish” to keto because I’ve achieved a lot of the same results of keto through the timing of eating rather than being totally strict about removing all complex carbs. Keto purists don’t even like sweet potatoes, regular potatoes, almost any type of pasta, or even apples! This is especially an issue if you are the only one in your family doing keto. Intermittent Fasters aren’t as dogmatic about carbs, especially if they are interwoven with naturally occurring fibers, which slows digestion and doesn’t lead as much as to intense insulin spikes.
But I do trend keto, even though I had no intention of doing so at the outset of my fasting journey. Why? Well, because after not having food, your body just wants healthy, nutrient dense food. It just does. You somehow just know that you don’t want to break a fast with potato chips and candy bars. Knowing you aren’t eating time just makes you start thinking about eating healthily and mindfully when you do. Keto’s emphasis on green vegetables and healthy nutrient dense meats dovetails nicely with not eating all of the time, allowing you to naturally control hunger while avoiding the artificial hunger cravings with carb and sugar crashes. Carbs just don’t do that very well, placing you on the hunger treadmill, getting super satisfied initially only to feel the crash shortly thereafter. That’s what puts you on that hunger treadmill, constantly trying to satisfy this artificial hunger caused by carb cravings.
That said, if fasting proves too much for you, the 16-20 hours of not eating, you might want to go more pure keto along with old fashioned 12 hour fast, the traditional three meals a day. If you do, order a keto cookbook from one who knows what they are doing. Just go to Amazon and punch in keto. It is very easy for new keto to just start going crazy on eating bacon all of the time.
But above all, avoid processed sugar in your juices, your sodas, and in your foods. With all of the carb versus no carb wars, they all seem to agree to avoid processed sugar and its evil twin high fructose corn syrup. The best that can be said of sugar is that it is “empty calories.” No one needs donuts. I mean just look at Homer Simpson.
That last comment made me think of the virtues of overlapping Venn Diagrams before people have arguments about things, especially in the diet wars.
Tomorrow I am going to write about that. A lot gets lost in the debates. One interesting thing about the diet wars is that it seems like a lot of the experts in these camps actually agree on a lot of things. For example, even for people are against excessive carbs, they appear to agree that refined high fructose syrup is the worst, followed by, table sugar (sucrose), followed by super processed bread like wonder bread, followed by, whole grain, but processed bread, followed by naturally stone ground wheat bread, followed by starches contained in potatoes, then sweet potatoes, that carbs in leafy vegetables are pretty much fine, and that even high carb diets don’t seem as bad in places with very little sugar or food processing. A lot seems to get lost. They should agree (if they can) on certain set of things before they disagree.
See ya tomorrow morning.