Struggling with weight was something I had to deal with my entire life. I tried to lose weight by eating healthy and working out, but it seemed like I had hit a plateau and my weight just wouldn’t go below a certain number (we can leave it out). None of those ‘magazine’ diets worked either, and I tried pretty much every single diet out there.
Every magazine claims that their diets are healthy and perfectly safe, but whichever diet I tried, all I felt was constant hunger and anxiety. And that’s when I stumbled upon the dirty ketogenic diet. It’s just like a regular ketogenic diet, but with a twist of its own – you lose weight by eating junk food. The average ketogenic (or keto for short) diet consists of consuming 60-75% calories from fat, 15-30% from protein and 5-10% from carbs, except with dirty ketogenic diet you don’t eat the healthy fats, you go all in on processed foods. So, I did some research, read some of the pros and cons people shared and decided to give it a try for a week.
The first three days
The goal was to eat junk food and processed food in the aforementioned ratio during an eight-hour window throughout the day, and fast for sixteen hours. I read that our ancestors did it, so if they could do it, why couldn’t I? However, I forgot to include my body’s reaction into the equation. You see, the human body is accustomed to a certain mealtime schedule and from the moment you skip a meal, your body starts to react – your energy levels dwindle, your mood changes and everything becomes super-annoying.
But that’s just your body trying to tell you that it’s going into battery save mode. The second day was pretty much the same. I had more than enough to eat, but as soon as I felt hunger, the symptoms returned. Nevertheless, I read that the initial symptoms last a few days, so I decided to push through. I also read that some people use supplements to help their body fight through the adaptation stages. That’s why, on the third day, I decided to have a glass of lemonade, a magnesium supplement and some greens powder, which is a mixture of vitamins, minerals and plant compounds.
The next day I woke up feeling much better. I wasn’t feeling slow or anxious anymore. I was able to read without losing focus and then I stumbled upon an article – it turns out that fasting stimulates creativity, increases the maximum potential for intelligence and helps you focus quicker. And it’s actually good for studying so I decided to compensate for the work I skipped. I even managed to go out for a power walk, and it felt food. I felt good. I started to realize the full potential of fasting. Plus, studies were there to confirm everything I was experiencing.
The last three days
The feeling of hunger is one of the strangest sensations to explain. If you have never felt it, then it’s hard for someone to depict what it really feels like. And on the fifth day I was so hungry that I could barely think. I ate, just like I did every other day, but the hunger was still there. When I woke up the following day, I realized that the hunger was still there and I was still hungry, but it felt different. I was able to convince myself that it’s okay; the next meal is just a few hours away. I ordered takeout right in time for my meal, but I could barely finish it. Junk food no longer felt good. On the last day of the week, I could feel that junk food wasn’t doing it for me anymore. I didn’t feel full after eating. I felt like my body was telling me that the junk food was bad for me – which it is, it’s just that none of us think about it that way. I knew it was time to change my diet completely.
What actually happened
I decided to get to the bottom of everything. It was clear that this wasn’t the right diet for me, but I needed to find out what my body was trying to tell me. The initial symptoms I felt were side-effects known as the ‘keto flu’. My body ran out of carbs and switched to burning fat, which depletes your energy levels until you adapt, but that’s the whole point of keto diets. However, I’m not sure whether the good looks are worth experiencing all of the side effects. The world is still divided on that one. But how did I end up with that productivity spike? Well, keto diet helps you cleanse your organism and after a few days, you start feeling the benefits of a healthier body. And if it weren’t for all the side-effects, it might even make a decent diet. That’s why health experts suggest not to stay on a keto diet for too long. Your body needs a break after a while. However, there is an upside to all of this. I learned that fasting is actually good for our bodies. It gives you a natural boost, improves your concentration, increases your self-discipline and betters your mental acuity. It’s just that people aren’t accustomed to feeling hungry. But the fact is that millions and millions of people do it every single day.
Whether they’re fasting because of their religion, doing it to give their immune system a boost, or simply because they aren’t able to make ends meet, people feel hungry every single day. We’re living with a fear of hunger, yet resort to unhealthy and restrictive diets. A simple portion downsizing doesn’t seem that bad after all, does it?