My diet consists of just a few core foods and recipes. Here’s what gets me through a typical day:
- a glass of iced or cold-brew coffee for early mornings
- two to four scrambled eggs drizzled with honey vinaigrette, black peppers sprinkled on top
- grapefruit halves to curb hunger
- one or two bottles of Soylent throughout the afternoon
- half-pound of salmon pan-seared in coconut oil, flavored with soy sauce, sesame oil, kimchi, and black peppers to taste
- a glass of almond milk before bed
It may not seem like a lot for an entire day’s worth of food and you wouldn’t be wrong. By volume, it would likely take up just a fraction of the FDA-approved food pyramid when placed on a dining table since most of the calories here come from oils. Olive oil, sunflower oil, cannoli oil, sesame oil, and coconut oil all comprise the majority of usable energy from this nutritional regiment.
One might notice the omission of traditional carbohydrate sources–such as rice, bread, and pasta–as is made common in many other modern dietary practices but whereas protein sources are favored in the ever-popular Atkins diet, a ketogenic diet focuses on healthy fats for calories. The name has a biochemical basis as the human body utilizes a different metabolic process known as ketosis when the body is deprived of glucose molecules. Instead of pancreatic beta cells releasing insulin to control blood sugar levels after a meal, the liver kicks into high gear to convert fatty acids into ketone bodies which the body can then use for energy.
Ketosis actually has medical practicality as it can be used to treat pediatric epilepsy. However, the reason why I have personally chosen the ketogenic diet is that it simply makes me feel good. Many of my friends know I have struggled throughout my life with my energy level, often requiring an afternoon nap sometime after lunch to make through the day. The remedy to my cat naps was to protect my body from the typical sugar spikes associated with consuming unrefined grains. Sometimes, it feels like my ketogenic diet is more accurately an avoidance of foods with a high glycemic index rating. Another problem I have experienced more recently is with my weight. I didn’t gain the infamous freshmen fifteen, but I did gain thirty pounds since my freshmen year at one point. It may be counterintuitive to consume fats to fight belly fat, but I lost fifteen pounds in about half a year since switching over to the ketogenic diet.
In truth, I didn’t mean to lose weight by forcing my body into ketosis. I guess the most important lesson I took away from my new diet is that losing weight doesn’t need to be difficult. All the foods I have listed above taste delicious, and the time required to prepare these meals take all but twenty minutes. Moving forward, I would love to try to integrate a more diverse helping of vegetables into my diet, but for now, I am content with my short and easy-to-remember shopping lists whenever I make a trip to the grocery store.