Week three of my diet roadtest has just passed, but unfortunately the ‘Keto fog’ hasn’t.
The Keto fog (or ‘Keto flu’) is something widely reported by those trying this diet. Essentially you get a sudden wave of fatigue, your thoughts get all mushed up, and it’s really hard to get words out, let alone in order.
The following is an accurate representation of what I look like about 2pm in the afternoon for the past few days:
Now this would be something I could handle if it weren’t for the fact that on two occasions I was sitting in fairly important meetings with a whole bunch of other people. I actually did that thing where you start to fall asleep sitting up and you jolt yourself awake.
Apparently this can last for a few days or a few weeks. Why, oh why, would anyone put themselves through this WILLINGLY?
If you want the science, there’s a really good article here that explains the ins-and-outs of what a low-carb diet does and the ‘Keto flu’ concept. It concludes: “Most of us should be able to gain the fat-burning benefits of metabolic flexibility without suffering the pain of trying to adapt to ketosis.”
Note the use of the word ‘suffering’. Because that is exactly what it is.
So is it working, despite all this crap?
I’ve definitely lost some weight and other people have noticed as well. But I’m concerned I’ve also lost muscle mass as it’s really hard to gain and/or maintain muscle when you lose a lot of body fat very quickly.
People doing Keto generally report losing a lot of weight very quickly. When you think about it, it makes sense – you’re starving your body of sugar and carbohydrates, so your body now eats into your fat reserves.
In short, your body thinks it is starving.
Can you imagine explaining that to someone living in famine and poverty?! That we willingly do this? The whole concept is utterly absurd.
The other piece to remember is this is simply not a sustainable way of living. You can’t go your whole life living off a low-carb diet (well you could, but I’d wager you’d be pretty miserable by the end of it).
My conclusion at this point is that Keto is a short term – but miserable – way of losing weight quickly.
Let’s see if I can get through the final week unscathed!