Thib Goes Keto - Week 1 - Update
I Quit … Or Did I?
I did make adjustments to my diet (increased fats) and started to feel better. I felt fuller, had more energy and regained my motivation to train.
Not so fast.
I had to get my blood work done (I do 4 times a year) and also got my blood pressure and resting heart rate taken. Understand that I have kidney issues, so I need to keep my blood pressure under control. That has been my number one priority for the past 5 years.
For the past three years, it has been stable at 115 / 80, sometimes 110 / 70. I measure it at least once a year.
Tuesday, it measured at … 160 / 110!!! I haven’t been that high since, hum, I’ve never been that high!
And two days before that I started to have a flushed face, felt out of breath a lot easier and even had some chest tightness.
Needless to say that I panicked. Let me emphasize that besides my diet, I didn’t change anything: the same type of training, still doing morning cardio, waking up and going to sleep at the same time, same supplement regimen. Didn’t. Change. A. Single. Thing.
Since I am absolutely awesome and have the body of a Greek God, of course, some people will quickly say that drugs were responsible for the increase in blood pressure. To that, I can only answer that I will not do anything that might potentially increase my blood pressure. It is a life or death situation for me.
So, you can make up your own mind:
- a) I do not take steroids to avoid stressing my kidneys by increasing blood pressure
- b) I take TRT at a level that does not increase my blood pressure
- c) I take TRT and a small amount of a mild steroid to a point where it doesn’t take my blood pressure significantly higher
Frankly, I don’t really care what people believe because I know the truth about myself.
In any case, as I mentioned I didn’t change anything except the diet. So regardless of if you picked a, b or c, the reason for the sudden spike in blood pressure can only be the diet.
I have followed low carb diets in the past, but fat was moderate and protein was high and I felt fine with it. During my first week of keto, my protein intake was at 140-150g, so it’s not a protein elevation that could have caused the problem. Fat intake was at 150g for the first 3 days and I felt fine. It’s only when I bumped it up to 200-250 that I started to feel like total crap.
My first reaction was to abandon the keto experiment. No experiment is worth risking my health. But I’ve been talking to some of my friends who are keto advocates and whom I trust, and I might reconsider.
I think that my problem was really with fat selection. I started out my first three days with a good ratio of fats, pretty much an equal amount of saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. When I increased my fats on day 4, I used a recipe by Vince Gironda which is a protein shake mixed in with full cream (35%). I also added some cheese (those where two easy ways to get the fat in). That skyrocketed my saturated fats and that’s when I started to feel like crap.
So I have decided to give keto a second chance, but this time I will work with one of the best keto nutrition specialists (who works with many high-level physique competitors) and he will help me find the best ratio of fats for me. I believe that it will help me make better choices, since as good as I am with training, I’m really not an expert at keto dieting (which one can easily see from the stupid food choices I made!).
The moral of the story is this: keto dieting is just like any other type of diet, fat type matters. If you use a higher carbs diet you would see a difference if eating 400g of candy, pastries and such, or 400g from rice, potatoes, yams, etc. It’s no different with a keto diet.
Stay tuned for taking two!
A lot of people have asked me if I’m using the now “famous” ketone supplements that everybody seems to be raving about on social media.
I am NOT.
I will be honest, I’m turned off by the fact that it started out as a multi-level marketing thing. I find it hard to believe that all the social media praises are not impacted by the fact that those praising the product receive money in direct proportion to how many sales they make or people they sign up. Of course, they are going to present the product like it’s a game-changer. Or at the very least they will get a super-strong placebo effect because they want the product to be awesome.
FULL DISCLOSURE: I am aware that it might sound hypocritical of me to say, considering that I’ve been sponsored by supplement companies. But it’s a little different since I didn’t get paid based on sales and I didn’t have to talk about the products. Basically, I was getting paid to write articles to attract traffic. Selling products was not my job. But still, I know that some people will use that angle to discredit my comments and I’m at peace with that.
I’m also skeptical about the product helping you get into ketosis faster. After all, wouldn’t it be logical to delay ketone production if you are ingesting ketones? I mean, if you are supplying it isn’t there less need for your body to make its own? I’m not an expert on the topic, so I may be wrong, but I am still very sceptical. I think that there might be some truth to ketone supplements helping you have more energy and feel better once you are already keto-adapted. However, this is not anything magical and is kind of like ingesting carb drinks when you are carb-adapted: it is simply an increase in energy-providing nutrients.
I also tried ketones once, last year when I was prepping for another photoshoot. I was on a low carb diet and I must say that I didn’t notice anything or feel any different. At the moment, I can’t justify the investment so I will not be using these products. I’m not saying that I never will; quite of a few people I respect are using them. But at the moment, it’s just not enough to convince me.
I could easily make a lot of money selling them. I know plenty of people make a lot of money from endorsing them and they don’t have my reach. I give 20-30 seminars every year and I have a very energetic/convincing style. I often joke around that I could convince the attendees that Zumba is a great muscle-building method! I have no doubt that I could make 15 – 20k per month from ketones. But I will never endorse a product I don’t believe in 100%.
Alright, that’s it for this week. I’m writing this on a Thursday. I will give myself until Monday to lower my blood pressure back to normal by eating low fat, high protein, moderate carbs diet and taking the proper supplements (Carditone, Ubiquinol, Cardisolve). Monday, I will start to work with superstar/secret coach to get things on track!