My Paleo Ketogenic Experiment And Meal Plan

Coconut butter, my new best friend.

I’m in my second day of very low carb, moderate protein, very high fat eating. I’m trying to make my way into nutritional ketosis.

Why I’m Doing It
First of all, for more info on what nutritional ketosis is, go here. You can make fun of me for jumping on the Jimmy Moore ketogenic bandwagon, but it’s in the name of science. I’m thinking about writing an ebook on the topic, so I’ll need to know it inside and out. This is a good motivator to research it.

I’ve wanted to try doing nutritional ketosis for years, as I mentioned in my “What Does A Paleo Ketogenic Diet Look Like?” post, but I thought my climbing might suffer. But now that I’m on a self-imposed 2-month hiatus from climbing, I’m ready to try it.

I’m already feeling the low-carb suck-fest I was dreading. I didn’t sleep at all last night and I feel hungry and weak. Hopefully this’ll only last a few days because I’m still planning on working out hard a few times a week.

Let’s be real: I’m not just doing this for science. I’m a vain person and I want to see how lean I can get. I’m hoping it might make me stronger, too. I’d love it if it helped with some of the health things I’ve been working on. But I’m curious to see if it’ll actually make me weaker and more tired, worse at recovering from workouts, and bitchy like I think it might. I want to see what it will do, good or bad.

How Long I’ll Do This Experiment
I’m going to commit to trying to be in nutritional ketosis for the next month. If I like it, I might keep doing it. And if I don’t like it, there’s a chance I’ll give up in 3 days, at which point I’ll let you know and you can chide me for being a worthless failure.

But Thanksgiving and Christmas are coming! you might be saying to yourself in exasperation. Yes, and that same horror struck me yesterday. I should probably wait until after Thanksgiving and Christmas so I can eat whatever I want for the rest of the year, I bartered (with myself). Until I realized that’s the kind of behavior and attitude I can’t stand… the kind of rationalization that keeps people from achieving their goals every single year.

Which made my resolve even stronger.

Why not make Thanksgiving less about gorging myself on leftovers for 2 weeks and more about NOT gorging myself? What a novel idea. Maybe on Thanksgiving we could make enough food for the 5 people we actually need to feed, instead of 25 people so we won’t have so much leftover Paleo pie. Hmmm.

Plus, it’ll be good for me to find out how long it takes my ketone levels to even out after my Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner binges. Like I said, for the sake of science.

How I’ll Test Myself
Speaking of ketone levels, I’ll be testing my blood ketone levels daily with the Precision Advanced Diabetes Management System ketone/glucose meter and the Precision Xtra Blood Ketone Strips. Even though they’re expensive as hell.

What I’ll Eat
I laid out a 2,000-calorie Paleo ketogenic diet in that post about what a ketogenic diet would look like if it were actually Paleo, as opposed to Atkins (with tons of dairy and fake sugars), and it didn’t honestly look too appetizing.

I’m not the biggest fan of vegetables, but I do like to have some every daySo I’ll have to change that meal plan for myself if I’m going to do it. I decided I’m going to add in as many leafy and crunchy vegetables as I can because they’re mostly fiber, instead of eschewing them all. Girl needs her nutrients. I’ll try to put some liver, heart, and other organs in there for the nutrients, as well. But for the record, I hate liver.

Also, I need to cut the calorie content because I only eat around 1,500 calories a day, as an active person bordering on midget status.

Macronutrient Breakdown
I’ve done some research on what the proper macronutrient ratio should be to get into a good, deep state of ketosis, but they vary a lot. I’ll start with my carbs at around 30 net grams a day and see how my ketones start looking. I’ll start with about 75% of my lean body mass in grams of protein a day, because somewhere I read that’s a good rule of thumb. And I’ll make up the rest of my calories with fat. So my numbers will look like this on approximately 1500 calories a day.

By the way, I know I may not end up eating this much, as ketosis generally inhibits your appetite. All of this is just a starting point.

Goals To Start Out

  • Carbs – 30 grams (net) = 120 calories = 8%
  • Protein – 61.5 grams = 246 calories = 16%
  • Fat – 126 grams = 1,134 calories = 76%

On My Plate
But what does that actually look like on my plate? This is a mock day, but one I would gladly partake in…

Breakfast Scramble
3 slices bacon
1 egg
1 cup chopped kale
1/4 of an onion
1/2 avocado
2 tsp bacon grease to fry it up in

Lunch (Coconut Curry Salmon)
3 oz baked salmon
1 tsp curry paste
1/3 cup canned coconut milk
2 tbs coconut butter/manna melted on top
1 cup mushrooms
1 cup cabbage

Dinner (Steak and Carrots)
3 oz eye of round steak with some fat left on it
1 large carrot sliced up, sautéed
2 tbs beef tallow to cook it all in and/or drizzle over
1/2 avocado

Calories: 1,570
Carbs: 13% = 49 grams (much of which is fiber, so the net would be lower)
Fat: 74% = 129 grams
Protein: 15% = 60 grams

I know that equals 102%. I don’t know why can never get it exactly right…

So here I go! Wish me luck! And please let me know about your own experiences with this. I want all the info I can possibly get my hands on.