June 17, 2024

Weeks 14-15: Keto Vegetarian

Weeks 14-15 –
Weight lost: 3.6 pounds (Total: -27.6 pounds)
% Body weight lost: 1.54% (Total: -10.7%)
Inches lost (waist): 0.25″ (Total: -4.50″)
Inches lost (neck): 0.00″ (Total: -1.0″)
Sleep quality: 89% (+9% from last week)

I had another fat flush a few days ago… I had a weird day where I was craving salt, greens, and protein. When I have weird cravings, I just go with it, so I had a mish-mash lunch of weirdness that I didn’t photograph. The next day, I was noticing squishy fat again, and the day after, I was peeing like crazy. I thought, “Whew, I finally caught up with hydration!” Nope. Still borderline dehydrated – but lost 2 pounds in 2 days of water that my fat cells were holding on to. I’ll take it!

I’m extremely happy with my weight loss, and so is my doctor. I had my annual checkup last week and she was particularly pleased with my blood pressure and loss in waist circumference. We discussed my diet (her nurse just started keto, too) and she wanted to check my electrolytes in my labs. She was concerned that doing this vegetarian, the large amounts of dairy I’m eating might show up in my cholesterol count.

Blood pressure

Blood pressure back to normal (for me). Yeah doggie.

My potassium and sodium both came up on the low end of normal, so that was good. (Doesn’t explain my nighttime foot cramps – though it might just be the chronic near-dehydration). Unfortunately, she was right about the cholesterol. My cholesterol has always been right around 205-220, but I’ve always had very high good cholesterol which keeps the HDL risk factor ratio in a healthy range and keeps the docs off my back. This year, my total cholesterol jumped to 291 and my good cholesterol dropped by 15 points. My HDL risk factor is out of the healthy range. She thinks it’s the diet and wants to see me again in 3 months for repeat blood lipids. She didn’t mention this but I noticed one of my liver tests was high (AST – SGOT) – 19 last year, 44 this year (normal range 10-37). I’ve read that keto can be tough on the liver. My kidney values were all fine, and I don’t drink more than 2 or 3 times per year, so I’m guessing keto is challenging my liver as well.

Cauliflower fried rice and bread cheese

Cauliflower fried “rice” and bread cheese

I don’t want to stop keto. I did some research and there’s some anecdotal evidence that says raising carbs slightly and adding more greens/fruits can help lower cholesterol. I’ve tested my carb tolerance for ketosis a couple times and found it to be at least 50g net carbs/day. So I’m going to keep my calorie intake the same and raise my net carbs from 25 to 38g (so, from 7% to 11% or so). I was at the near minimum recommended protein for my size and activity level, so I’ll keep that at 75g, which reduces my fat intake by a few grams a day. Yes, keto needs fat for fuel, but I’ll still be in the ranges of a ketogenic diet and will test to see if I stay in ketosis.

I’m also going to make an effort to replace some of the dairy I’m eating with other fats. The hard part is that dairy is also a big chunk of my protein – so I may shift to more veg meats (which in some cases includes soy – which I’m not opposed to in small quantities, but the keto police may come knocking at my door).

That’s what I’m going to try, and then we’ll see where I’m at in 3 months.

Broccoli cheddar soup

Broccoli cheddar soup. I took the recipe from Keto Connect and made it in the Vitamix instead.

I’m disappointed and frustrated with my body. I don’t know what I’ll do if she recommends I stop the keto way of eating. I could go with Atkins and a more general low carb and see if that helps. Or I could just go back to the olden days of high carb/low fat and shoot for no added sugar/whole foods. Higher carb is much more convenient as a vegetarian, but I’m always starving and don’t get the awesome mental clarity that I get from ketosis. If my numbers don’t improve in 3 months, I think I will ask her to give me 3 more months to try a higher carb Atkins style low-carb diet. She has been willing to work with me in the past and not resort to medication or ultimatums. If I can’t get things back to normal in 6 months, then it’s probably back to high carb for me. :-

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