Hormones, Keto Flu, and desserts.
I thought that today’s post was going to be about desserts. It is still, but towards the end. I need to start with the experience/hardships I’ve had with getting started on the ketogenic diet. I have suffered from the dreaded keto flu, as has Lara. Hers has been far worse than mine. Light-headedness, general out-to-Marsy feeling and, in some people, worse: nausea, headache or vomiting.
Like Lara 🙁
But! Do not fear. The “keto flu” lasts only a few days, for some. At most, a few weeks. More importantly, there are ways to counter act these symptoms.
The standard advice is making sure to eat or drink your electrolytes in abundance for the first month, helping to avoid these symptoms. The other, is low-intensity, steady-state cardio, e.g. walking, in order to more quickly burn through the last of your glycogen (fancy name for sugar energy) stores, which arent the cleanest, because of how long they’ve probably been stored. It’s like your car running on dirty oil
Glycogen stores in the liver, and mostly the muscle throughout your body. Part of getting Keto-adapted means literally making new enzymes in the mitochondria of your cells, enzymes that are able to see ketones as the primary source of energy…Instead of sugar. Think of taking dusty boxes out of the garage to eat from…Not the best… So, if you take walks, your body will use those old stores more quickly, leaving you on the other side, with a much more effective fuel source, which is otherwise left untouched. Ketones.
An important rule to remember is, if glucose is present, your body will use it first, everytime, no exception. However, your brain and body prefer ketones. Say “goodbye” to the 3 o’clock slump, say hello to ketones.
I don’t need to tell you, sugar is an immediate high, it hits every addictive pathway in the brain, and your body MUST go through a poopy withdrawl process. Be prepared, both mentally and with electrolyte and fat-rich foods.
Another thing to keep in mind is that, keto affects all cells in your body. It changes how ATP and fat are used and stored. This takes time, unfortunately. But, on the other side of addiction lies…
Here’s Dr. Berg’s quick overview of how insulin resistance affects our ability to asborb nutrients properly. Keto cures metabolic syndrome.
My Favorite Electrolyte Rich Foods to STAVE OFF THE KETO FLU!
…funny…they told me to eat bananas and potatoes…
Spinach makes your headaches go away
BEET GREEENS Y’ALL…Not the beets though…
Salt your water! If it taste good, you need salt, if not, you good, Friend!
Eating fats is the pathway into burning more fats.
Fatty desserts can be a good way to get your body utilizing fats more effeciently and quickly. This is why keto folks push Bullet-Proof coffee. Officially, it knocks you out of a fast. ONLY TECHNICALLY THOUGH… if you are trying to limit calories, CAUTION, count your calories, because a Bulletproof is just shy of 400 calories. I am limiting my calories, and, I still drink them.
A Bulletproof coffee just before work means I’m not eating for a few more hours…for the small price of 400 calories. If I follow up with a healthy salad and lean protein, I’m set. If it means that you don’t eat a proper meal for another 4 hours, I think it’s great. Your window can move based on your schedule.
Intermittent fasting isn’t limiting, it’s liberating. If I’m going to dinner with friends, I fast for the day. Simple. If I want brunch, I eat, and keep an early window. Adjust your eating window to what works best on that day. NOT, what “works for you.” I hate when coaches say that. Life isn’t over if you are busy, and can’t do the “routine” perfectly all the time. People with kids know what I’m saying. What if little Sally’s soccer game runs late and I miss the end of my window…Should I not eat? NO! have a handful of nuts and don’t go to bed hungry because that’s what’s “right”. Don’t be a weirdo.
Just don’t have this freedom become a way you talk yourself out of doing what you know is best for your health. It’s actually in your best interest to MOVE your window. Eat a different amount of calories every day. On some days stay under you calories on purpose, sometimes go over, on purpose. Eat at different times, in order to keep your body guessing about what’s coming in, when. It makes your gut more sensitive. If you eat 1950 calories every day at 3pm, your body won’t be as receptive to ch-ch-ch-ch-changes!
Here’s Thomas Delauer’s explanation of Keto flu and some remedies. I have some issues with his channel. Firstly, he’s sponsored by a bunch of the products he uses, and advertises for them in the videos. I think you should make everything you can at home. Almond milk, Bone broth etc. The other issue is that his B-roll footage is all of him sweating and lifting weights, and general, broad-sweeping doucheyness. I like the simplicity of his explanations though.
Desserts are delicious! Can be made keto, but are still indulgences.
I think I’m stating the obvious here, but, just because a dessert can be keto-hacked does not, I repeat, does not make it healthy. Eat vegetables people. 7-10 cups. That’s…a lot. If you are trying to lose weight, like I am, what do you think will help you? A salad or a peanut butter cup? Let’s be real!
That being said, sometimes you feel like you are on a short leash, limited by the 7-10 cups of vegetables you are supposed to eat daily, and the cravings come knocking.
The macros on these homemade peanut butter cups are amazing!
The recipe makes 24:
|Amount Per Serving|
|% Daily Value *|
|Total Fat 13 g||20 %|
|Saturated Fat 7 g||36 %|
|Monounsaturated Fat 1 g|
|Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g|
|Trans Fat 0 g|
|Cholesterol 13 mg||4 %|
|Sodium 68 mg||3 %|
|Potassium 1 mg||0 %|
|Total Carbohydrate 4 g||1 %|
|Dietary Fiber 2 g||7 %|
|Sugars 1 g|
|Protein 2 g||5 %|
|Vitamin A||3 %|
|Vitamin C||0 %|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipeshave not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|
Without going into a science-driven talk about hormones, mostly because I’m not a biologist, or doctor, just know that hormones are needed to tell your body to complete every task as necessary. Everything from when to store glucose as fat, to when to sprout your first armpit hair.
Obesity is a symptom of a much larger hormonal imbalace. A sickness if you will. Grehlin, insulin, and leptin are all important hormones when it comes to weight loss.
Ghrelin: is a peptide hormone produced by ghrelinergic cells in the gastrointestinal tract which functions as a neuropeptide in the central nervous system. Besides regulating appetite, ghrelin also plays a significant role in regulating the distribution and rate of use of energy.
When the stomach is empty, ghrelin is absorbed. When the stomach is stretched, secretion stops.a It acts on hypothalamic brain cells both to increase hunger, and to increase gastric acid secretion and gastrointestinal motility to prepare the body for food intake.
Leptin: is a hormone predominantly made by adipose cells that helps to regulate energy balance by inhibiting hunger. Leptin is opposed by the actions of the hormone ghrelin, the “hunger hormone”. Both hormones act on receptors in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus to regulate appetite to achieve energy homeostasis. In obesity, similar to resistance of insulin in type 2 diabetes, a decreased sensitivity to leptin occurs, resulting in an inability to detect satiety despite high energy stores and high levels of leptin.
Although regulation of fat stores is deemed to be the primary function of leptin, it also plays a role in other physiological processes, as evidenced by its many sites of synthesis other than fat cells, and the many cell types beside hypothalamic cells that have leptin receptors. Many of these additional functions are yet to be defined.
And the star of the show!
Insulin: is a peptide hormone produced by beta cells of the pancreatic islets, and it is considered to be the main anabolic hormone of the body. It regulates the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and protein by promoting the absorption of, especially, glucose from the blood into liver, fat and skeletal muscle cells. In these tissues the absorbed glucose is converted into either glycogen via glycogenesis or fats (triglycerides) via lipogenesis, or, in the case of the liver, into both. Glucose production and secretion by the liver is strongly inhibited by high concentrations of insulin in the blood. Circulating insulin also affects the synthesis of proteins in a wide variety of tissues. It is therefore an anabolic hormone, promoting the conversion of small molecules in the blood into large molecules inside the cells. Low insulin levels in the blood have the opposite effect by promoting widespread catabolism, especially of reserve body fat.
Beta cells are sensitive to glucose concentrations, also known as blood sugar levels. When the glucose level is high, the beta cells secrete insulin into the blood; when glucose levels are low, secretion of insulin is inhibited. Their neighboring alpha cells, by taking their cues from the beta cells, secrete glucagon into the blood in the opposite manner: increased secretion when blood glucose is low, and decreased secretion when glucose concentrations are high. Glucagon, through stimulating the liver to release glucose by glycogenolysis and gluconeogenesis, has the opposite effect of insulin. The secretion of insulin and glucagon into the blood in response to the blood glucose concentration is the primary mechanism of glucose homeostasis.
These hormones are directly in charge of your metabolism, weight maitnenance and hunger. These relationships are what keto is aimed to fix. They are all out of whack if you are obese.
I hate how doctors fat shame patients, telling them to cut calories and do better. This is hormones telling your brain that you are starving.
It is however, your job to get those hormones back into balance. Fatty desserts are best at the beginning of your Keto adaption. You crave something sweet? Have this instead! Even if it’s a little more carb-rich, at least you know what’s in it. You can count the calories, and there’s no high fructose corn syrup.
I would be remiss in my duty, if I ignored the huge issue of menstruation.
Women are able to get away with a little more carbs during their cycle. Sorry guys, but ladies, keep in your mind that your brain is asking for chocolate because your BODY craves magnesium. Think about the nutrients you might be defecient in, and tasty ways to get a little of both worlds. I make Lara these Chocolate peanut butter cups every 3 and half we- every so often. I like them too though! 137 calories and 13g fat, SIGN ME UP! After a salad though.
Another tip: Look up keto recipes for FAT BOMBS. There are tons out there. They are super tasty, calorie dense and keep you full for hours! Stay full as long as you can. Along with calorie restriction, must come eating the foods that keep you statiated the longest….High Fiber, high fat foods. Eat for purpose, as well as taste.
The musical selection for Keto flu day is none other than my boy, Freddie Mercury!
Cheers! Happy Eating! Gaby