Megan’s Six Month Ketogenic Challenge!

posted in: Health and Nutrition | 65

I received hundreds of emails after I posted a brief update about myself and how I have been following a ketogenic diet in addition to intermittent fasting for the majority of this year a few weeks ago.  Our patients and readers wanted to know about what I was doing.  I decided to blog about this today because I have committed to a six month ketogenic challenge with 30 patients and my husband starting today.  This means I plan to remain in ketosis for 100% of the time between now and February 1st, 2017!

 

Why am I doing this?

 

I have spent the majority of the last two years sleeping on a plane between Toronto and San Francisco.  My husband’s work brought him to Silicon Valley, California.  Every few weeks I would head down to visit him.    It was like a mini vacation each time I would vist.  In the past, I always let myself eat whatever I wanted on a vacation.  That worked out well when I only took two weeks of vacation a year in a condensed period of time, not every three weeks for months on end.  We would eat terribly, but I kept telling myself that this was OK because I was on vacation, right?  At first I didn’t think it was too bad.  Originally, we weren’t supposed to be living in two separate countries for that long, but life has a way of altering its course without your permission.

 

My monthly carb binging over the last two years has nearly killed me.  We would pig out every time we were together, and I would fly home.  I would then suffer from what many of you refer to as a ‘carb hangover’ for the next week.  A carb hangover is literally the worst kind of hangover a person can have because it lingers for days.  I started getting migraines for the first time in my life.  I would retain close to 10 pounds of water each weekend I was away and feel miserable and bloated.  All of the carbs raised my cortisol levels, which certainly didn’t help because my cortisol levels were already high with the jet lag.

 

For one week every month I was a write-off.  I would have to literally detox from carbohydrates all over again.  I would get shaky all of the time and the cravings would be so intense I felt like a crazy woman.  I would often cave here and there the first week I got home to help cope, which exactly the opposite of what I tell my patients to do when they have cravings.  I started having mood swings and anxiety all of a sudden, which wasn’t me at all.  I wasn’t coping at work anymore either.  I was drowning.  I would give my patients my all and then come home and have to go to bed.  I had no energy for anything.

 

Eventually I was tired of feeling like crap, and I knew I needed to change because my life was falling apart.  Before I had a husband in San Francisco and I was ‘vacationing’ all of the time, I was doing just fine on a low carbohydrate diet.  I felt incredible.  I had reversed my borderline diabetes, fatty liver disease, polycystic ovarian syndrome and lost 60 pounds.   I was never behind in any of my work.  Most importantly, I felt like a stable human being.   I needed to feel that way again.  Also, I have developed a wealth of knowledge after treating hundreds of patients in our IDM Clinic.  With the great success of The Obesity Code, I now have the ability to reach out and share everything I’ve learned with all of our new followers.

 

When following a ketogenic diet, at least 70% of your calories come from fat, 20% from protein and less than 10% from unrefined carbohydrates.  This is a very high fat-moderate protein-low carbohydrate diet, which is ultimately ideal for weight loss.  Also, people following ketogenic diets usually don’t take in more than 20 to 25 total grams of carbohydrates a day, whereas people following a regular low carbohydrate diet take between 30 to 50 total grams of carbohydrates each day.   I selected a ketogenic diet because it can be very challenging at times to keep your carbohydrates so low.  I am the kind of person who loves a good challenge, so I knew my desire to succeed would help keep me on track.  Also, there are so many incredible benefits to following a ketogenic diet such as prevention and treatment of metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s and cancer.

 

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I have been quite successful at maintaining a ketogenic diet since March.  There have only been a few occasions this year that have thrown me of course, but I would say I have been in ketosis for at least 90% of the time.  Fortunately, my husband is my biggest supporter and has joined me on this journey.  Even though we have thousands of kilometres between us at times, I still feel comforted knowing we’re doing this together.

 

I decided to do this six month ketogenic challenge because I have had so many patients that have started over the last year come in and give me every excuse in the book about how busy life is and all of the holidays, and they have literally done nothing over the last year to better themselves.  It is beyond frustrating for two main reasons.  First, we are capable of helping these people in a way not many others can.  We can literally give them their lives back or prevent them from developing metabolic syndrome in general.  Second, they sound just like me always making excuses for myself and my diet.  How can I expect them to take me seriously if I am not 100% practicing what I teach?

 

My next six months I have: four weddings across North America, a relatively minor surgical procedure, four long weekends, two Thanksgivings (Canadian in October and American in November), a two-week long vacation in December, Christmas time and holiday parties galore, a very delayed honeymoon, and I’m moving (suburbs of Toronto to Toronto so I can be closer to work).   If I want my patients to learn better habits, then I better lead by example.  The upcoming six months are pretty busy social months for me, and I want to show our patients that it is possible.   I want them to see how good I look and feel and that it is possible and worthwhile to still enjoy life and follow a healthy diet at the same time.

 

Over the next month I am going to blog each week about ketogenic diets to explain what it is, how to achieve and measure it, go in depth on all of the possible benefits from following a ketogenic diet, and talk about how fat fasting can help you get started.  Hopefully I will provide you with enough information and encouragement to join in with me starting on September 1st!  I will post monthly updates on my own progress as well.

65 Responses

  1. Good for you Megan! I am doing something similar and committing to a LCHF lifestyle. I don’t keep track of my macros though I do IF for 16 to 20 hours a day and am avoiding sugar in all forms. I look forward to your monthly updates.

  2. Debbie from Illinois

    Looking forward to following along, Megan. From July 2015 to May 2016, I had lost 58 pounds doing LCHF combined with fasting (I only ate one meal a day). Felt great. In May, my daughter came home from college, and all bets were off! Slipping here and there, gained back 13 pounds in the last 2.5 months. I need to re-focus and re-commit to something I KNOW works well. LCHF combined with intermittent fasting works.

  3. Megan,

    This is terrific! I am looking forward to reading about your own practices and challenges.
    Thank you for inviting us to learn about your six month challenge. You will be a model for us all.

    Sincerely,
    Jane

  4. I am confident that you will succeed. In fact I’m depending on it because I will benefit from following your example, as will so many of your other patients.

    Thank you for what you and Dr Fung have already done for us.

    As I read your account of your past year, I recognised similarities in recent reverses in my own case, although the obstacles I’ve faced are trivial compared to those that you have already overcome. Your progress will inspire me to persevere.

    You can be sure that your patients will be cheering you on and hoping that you can find some time for yourself, so that you can achieve a sensible work/life balance.

    Best wishes.

  5. Question…I have attempted to lower my carbs to the 20 gram range before, but each time I suffer such irritability that after a few days I add back in more carbs. Do most people find that the irritability passes, and if so, how long does it take for it to pass? It seems overwhelming at times, and I don’t want my family to hate me. 🙂

    • Everyone is different. I find most patients report their spouses and families stop complaining within a month.

      • Hi Megan,
        I started IF an LCHF eating- I fast between 24-36 hours 3 times/week. I take 1000mg metformin 2x/day. What I don’t understand is that my blood sugars actually go up during the fasting. Any ideas? Thanks.

  6. This will be interesting.

  7. I am soooo looking forward to your tips, strategies and recipes Megan!

    Mostly, I eat 1 meal each day and find that more than adequate. I would like to get to the place of fasting for longer than 24 hours (which I’ve done, but not regularly).

    This site is super; I get energized each time I visit! Thanks for all Dr. Fung and company do!

  8. laura joan day

    I recently learned from dna testing i have a high risk for celiac disease ==so carbs from wheat were a problem–have you ever had dna testing done ? What i have been learning about gluten , is it is nasty for anyone–todays wheat is not what it once was, as Dr Fung points out…no wonder we seem to do better avoiding it—that is one carb source I certain will avoid–all the best to you over the next 6 months of your challenge..keep us posted please..

  9. Megan,
    How often will you fast or are you just dieting? Do you find you need to do keto in addition to fasting to see a fat loss benefit?
    Thanks!

    • I usually fast Sunday or Monday night until Wednesday night (48-72 hours), and for 24 hours on Fridays since I’m trying to lose body fat. I will definitely be fasting. It turbo charges the keto diet

      • Hey Megan,
        I am 113 lbs but have a lot of belly fat..due to years of PCOS.. i have lost around 15 lbs with IF and LCHF on and off.. however i have now started with 48-72 hrs of fasting once a week.. hope this is fine since i do nto have weight but fat to loose.. most around me say i must not fast for 72 hrs since i do not have much to loose.. but the alternate day fast had finally got me on plateau. Pls advice

  10. Megan! Thanks for keeping it real! My husband and I have done LCHF + IF since Feb 1st with virtually NO cheats and we are stunned at how good we feel and how damn good we look! LOL My husband was diagnosed with T2D in January of this year, an AIC of 11.5. He has brought that down to 5.9 with diet alone thanks to Dr. Fung and you! But here is my question. Clearly my husband had/has a fatty liver. Typically his first morning Blood Sugar is between 110 and 125, sometimes as high as 135. (Always lower during the day and after meals, like 95-115). But when we do a longer fast (5 days) his first morning Blood Sugar is really low (which is great) like 75 – 90. We also had an insulin test done during that 5 day fast and it was <1, so almost non existent. If lowering your insulin is key to releasing fat from your liver, it would seem that during the long fasts his AM Blood Sugar number would be higher and lower when we are eating, even though it is a very strict LCHF diet. Thanks for your thoughts and looking forward to following you over these next 6 months.

    • I have the same issues. My fasting blood sugar is often >100 while on low carb in the morning. This can occur the first day or so of fasting, too, but long-term fasting makes my morning blood sugar go down. My blood sugar is strange. It does not seem to kick me out of ketosis, even when high in the morning (and a large portion of the day). It seems to be higher the later I eat, even if I eat very low carb. It also often (but not always) goes UP after exercising (I exercise in the morning and do not eat beforehand), and my ketones often (but not always) go DOWN after exercising. The only way I can get into deep ketosis (as measured by blood BOHB) is by eating a lot of fat (and an alcoholic drink helps, too). Even fasting for 84+ hours only gets me to about 1.1 mmol/L of BOHB. The last time I had my insulin tested during a long term fast, it was below the measurable limit.

      This is an example:

      7/28/16 Thursday 6:39 AM 113
      9:30 AM 106
      10:53 AM 102
      11:28 AM 106
      12:20 PM 104
      1:34 PM 92

      Ketones (BOHB, measured by blood) went UP over this time.

      This is a day after eating very low carb lunch and dinner (no breakfast), but eating dinner after 8pm the day before, and fasting all day until dinner the day of these tests.

      I have never taken insulin or any other type of diabetes drug and have lost about 50 pounds using LCHF and intermittent fasting, and have been on a LCHF diet for 2.5 years.

      • Thanks so much for your input. It’s good to see he isn’t the only one. I would imagine, over time, this will work out. My husband has lost close to 50 pounds also. Still has a tummy, but much smaller! He probably has another 30 to go. I’ll keep checking in and thanks again for your response! Cheers!

    • Sue and Bob, I’ve seen the same thing and asked the same question. I believe the answer to both of you lays with Dr Joseph Kraft’s work on blood glucose tolerance testing. He researched this over 30 yrs and has some pretty astonishing conclusions. He does have a book out as well as an interview webcast. My complaint about the interview webcast is that, as we see with reporters, they prompt the interviewee with what they should say. So, to not do him justice the issue with glucose tolerance is given a set amount of glucose to ingest the blood glucose should raise and quickly drop back again. Dr Kraft’s claims revolve around there being 3 distinct patterns of reaction to the gtt, diabetic, impaired, not diabetic. Basically the middle class of result is the resultant blood glucose levels rise, perhaps being even slow to rise, then stay high for a very long time. I believe the ultimate cause is insulin resistance. It may actually go into that in the book. What I saw was that morning fbg was high and didn’t lower until dinner. I was eating just supper everyday, 21 hr fast, 3 hr feed.

      • Walt, did you try moving dinner earlier to see what happens?

        I have heard of Kraft and his unique views on insulin resistance. I will look into his book.

        By the way, I bought the meter to measure ketones, not blood sugar. But since monitoring ketones is expensive (each strips is usually $3+) and measuring blood is relatively “cheap” (<$1/strip), I started measuring blood sugar. I was surprise to see "high" morning blood sugars, as this implies my morning blood sugar has gone up since I've gone low carb. Nonetheless, everything else has improved (every lipid marker is better, for instance), I feel great, have tons of energy, and have lost a lot weight. And everyone tells me I look great. My wife says everything has improved: snoring (don't do it anymore); skin looks better, etc.

        I'm currently also using resistant starch (plantain powder and potato starch) and eating small amounts of natto for its vitamin k7. I'm about to go on vacation, but when I get back, I'm going to perform similar tests as were performed here:

        http://freetheanimal.com/2013/10/resistant-ingestion-blunting.html

        This person used ketone strips, which I find unreliable. I'm using ketone strips, blood test, and breath, and they all seem to give different results. Anyway, I plan on testing plantain starch, potato starch, vinegar (apple cider) in similar tests to see what my results are. I'm also going to move my eating times around, some later, some earlier, to see what happens. I'll post my results one day, but it'll probably take a few months to be able to test this.

        • Hi Bob, no. Where it’s the two of us, dinner is when it is, sometime between 4 and 6:30. I found it interesting the questions Sue asked and you added your voice to as well. I’m within 20lbs of declaring victory. I am not gnawing on the furniture but this whole not eating thing is getting old. Several people have told me, “you’ve probably added 10 yrs to your life”! Maybe, but at what cost? Certainly ending the diabetic spiral was important, done that. Being able to comfortably wear close I wore 30+ years ago, done that. I think the notion of, whether I live to 95 or 85, that if I had just started fasting a year earlier or just increased my fasting period by a day or a week, I could have lived another day or week. It’s just one of those questions that just has no answer. In the last two weeks I have proven to myself I can go a week without eating anything. If I can go 7 days, perhaps I could go 8 or 9 or 14…or 385. I think the challenge for all of us here is not letting this fasting thing go to the point of obsessive compulsion. I am very nervous of not gaining the weight back. If I go to the gym and build muscle, that will raise my metabolism but also raise my weight. If I understand the literature I believe the current scientific thinking on broken metabolism, adaptive thermogenesis is that it is relegated to the NREE portion of one’s metabolism. I would really like to see Dr Fung do a post or series of posts on that subject. If I am stuck on a daily caloric budget of 1,000 cals/day that’s a pretty high price for that extra day to month of life. So is it the research is lacking or the explanation in layman’s terms that is lacking?

          • Hi Walt, I’m trying also to cure some possible dysbiosis (basically, this causes a feeling as if I have to go to the bathroom when I don’t or causes a need to go to the bathroom immediately). That’s the reason for the resistant starch.

            I also have been diagnosed with idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy, basically a form of heart failure. There is new evidence that the heart transitions from using fatty acids to using BOHB (a ketone) as fuel with heart failure. So, I’ve been concentrating lately on getting into ketosis.

            Can I get into ketosis while at the same time taking resistant starch to attempt to cure my dysbiosis? I don’t know. And, do I actually need to take resistant starch, or is eating probiotics like kimchi and sauerkraut and vegetables enough? I don’t know. I usually start eating at 7-8pm, and sometimes finish after 9pm (like last night, where I ate during a short window and only ate during that window–no other food that day). Would my morning blood sugar be lower if I ate earlier? (And if it is lower, does that mean anything?) I don’t know. Does being in ketosis make me feel better? I’m not sure. Would eating “lunch” and “dinner” be better than eating one meal per day at night?

            I can’t answer any of these questions without testing them. So, for me, these are the things I’ll be testing to see what effects they have.

            Were I in your position, I agree that trying to move dinner earlier would be difficult. For me, it’s not, as I can go home early at least one day per week, maybe more.

          • http://getrealliving.com.au/lchf-low-carb-high-fat-diet/
            http://www.dietdoctor.com/potato-starch-lchf-resistant-starch
            http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12643296

            Above are a couple of articles that you might find interesting.

            Here is my most sincere thoughts. Eat Low Carb High Fat. Don’t eat anything that is processed. Then relax. Don’t over think all of this. (And this coming from an “over-thinker”;) We IF when it works. We almost never have breakfast, just some coffee with whipping cream. We probably don’t eat lunch 3 or 4 times a week, so dinner only…. sometimes at 6pm sometimes not till 9pm depending on our schedule, and soon we will do our 3rd 5 day fast. But we don’t adhere to any strict schedule…. kind of just do what we feel. Wishing you all the best in health and healing BobM. Like Walt said, we’re all in this together!

        • Ah, Sue and Bob. I failed to mention the pivotal thing about Dr Kraft. The take away from his research is that diabetes can, and should, be detected perhaps a decade before it shows up in one’s fbg. An individual’s response to a glucose test tremendously predates / harbinger / foreshadows the classic signal of T2D. I would think, by extension, it also out lasts the fbg. Summation being that what you guys, as well as myself, are seeing is ‘the other side’ of Kraft’s thesis. The other manifestation of this, the real physically uncomfortable part (fbg is not uncomfortable) is freezing feet at night. If everything was working properly, I would think, my (our) body should seamlessly transition between 100% of my caloric budget coming orally right through to 0% coming orally. That as opposed to the 2-3 day gap between oral calorie ingestion and ketosis, where there are very unpleasant side effects. Maybe if everyone asked that question as well, it would get answered.

      • Thanks Walt! Always appreciate your input as well. We’ll just keep plugging along! Cheers!

        • Sue, we are all fighting the same battle/war. We’re in this together, thank you as well.

  11. Hi Megan,

    Curious to know what you think of Dr. Phinney’s take on a well-formulated keto diet. On a slide he shows in many of his talks, he suggests that people with 50 lbs or more to lose should get 75% of their calories from fat, but 50% is from body fat while 25% is from dietary fat. So, the dietary macros in his example is be 50% fat, 40% protein and 10% from carbs while limiting calories to 1,400 and carbs to 35g total. As you reach your goal weight, you add calories in fat grams with a slight increase in carbs.

    You can see the slide and discussion around 24:30 min into this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8NvFyGGXYiI

    Thanks,
    Leslie

    • Hi Leslie:

      Everyone is different and I will discuss how I came to the macro count I try to adhere too. My metabolic syndrome used to be pretty bad and I had to stick to 80% fat to start with. Now I can be much more liberal, just like Dr. Phinney discusses.

      Megan

  12. Thank you for sharing. One question about the 10 pound water weight comment… how did you arrive at that figure? I have been reading as much as I can about IF, and on about week 4. I have been really well behaved, but after some beers Saturday night, was shocked at my scale on Monday morning showing an 8lb weight gain since Friday. That was with 2 16 hour fasts included. You bet I blamed my scale first…. 😉 …. but then wondered about the beer carbs causing water retention. I know the beer carbs are not good in general, but first time in 4 weeks was hard to pass up. Thanks for any thoughts.

    • I knew I was up that much weight because there was no way in the world I consumed 35000 excess calories that trip. Also, I lost all of the water weight within 72 hours once I returned home and to LCHF. One gram of carbs retains about four grams of water. I knew I had taken in many more carbs than usual. There are some beers that are better, but I would suspect it is them main culprit in your case. Just get back to it! I love champagne, which is very low carb, and I can still retain quite a hefty amount of water if I drink more than a couple of glasses. We all have to live from time-to-time though.

  13. Hello Megan

    I’m with you – sign me up for the 6 month kept challenge! I use the cronometer app to track my macros when eating. Let’s talk about it tomorrow during IDM meeting!
    I’m blogging at:
    TheFastingKhaleesi.wordpress.com

  14. Hi Megan, Cool, I look forward to your updates. I have a question. There is a guy, who frequents Dr Fung’s blog entries that he and I have been exchanging posts. I got the idea of a 2:5 fast from him. I did that last week except it was more like a 3:4. I had a meal Thurs night and Friday night (being date night for my wife and me). I resumed the fast Friday after dinner. All that week I was clearly throwing ketones and was into Saturday where they sort of petered off. Both days were, likely around 1500cals. Sunday night my feet were freezing, even with wool socks but by early morning my feet became toasty warm and, coincidentally, today I am back to full on throwing ketones. Does a point get reached where one meal does not derail the process. I am guessing the toasty warm was a result of enough cals being acquired from fat to run my body whereas over the weekend my body started to throttle back conserving cals. I would think/hope that the body will adjust to seamlessly transitioning from fed state to ketosis without the intervening 2-3 day wait. What has your experience been in this area?

  15. If there’s 30 of you doing this for a set period of time, I hope you track numbers, it works out to an effective “study” with more statistical significance than say, Kevin Hall following 15 people for 28 days.

  16. I know you can absolutely do the ketogenic diet Megan for however long you choose to do it. I’ve been on a ketogenic diet for 12 months and if you had asked me several years ago to try it I know I couldn’t have done it. Then when I was challenged to do intermittent fasting I thought that it would be impossible for me. I was a carboholic binge eater. The only reason I began the IDM LDP was because I was developing metabolic syndrome and I was not about to let that get the best of me. Your work Megan and Dr. Fung’s willingness and bravery to challenge the mainstream has transformed me into a different person and I thank you both for that.

  17. We would love to hear you stories over at the reddit forum at https://www.reddit.com/r/DrJasonFung/

  18. Determined

    Hi Megan,

    25 grams of net carbs is 100 calories. if you want to have a 10% carb intake, your total calories would be 1000
    20% protein would be 50 grams or 200 calories
    and 70% fat would be 78 grams or 700 calories

    I have recently started doing

    5% -20 grams of carbs – 80 kcal;
    20%- 80 grams of protein – 320 kcal and
    75% -130 grams of fat – 1170 kcal for total of
    1570 calories
    and losing about 1/2 pound per day.

    It seems to me that macro ratios must be adjusted individual, and each person must work out the best macro ratio for him/her but starting with a maximum of 20 to 25 grams of carbs, and a minimum 70% calories from fat.

    What do you think?

    Like you, I fell off the wagon and have just gotten back on a keto diet 10 days ago. I believe that I previously had difficulty staying on it because I was not eating enough protein. (30-40 grams per day)

  19. Wenchypoo

    Megan–YOU GO, GIRL!!!

  20. We are all different so this is just my story.
    Year 2015 did Keto, lost a little weight, FBS stayed the same. Gave up when I had hysterectomy and gained everything back.

    Year 2016 started IF 6 days a week with one 36 hour fasting day per week. Eating carbs and not always good carbs and FBS went down 20 points and weight is where I left off with Keto last year and still losing.

    For me the fasting is the key.

  21. Hi Megan, I’m looking forward to your series. I was on a diet for four years and I’ve tried a lot of things, but ended up low carb with intermittent fasting, so I’m a believer. A year ago I hit my goal and have kept off the weight within a range of about five pounds, overall, not too bad. While I’m a lot skinnier, I’m still not really that skinny, so I’m going to try and lose another 10 to 15 pounds. I need to double down and get serious about this again, will be reading with interest your future posts.

    I should mention to anyone reading this, that yes, in my experience LCHF/IF works, it did for me. What I did was fairly simple, I’d eat once or twice a day skipping breakfast every day. That’s four 16 to 17 hour fasts and three 24 hour fasts. In the seven weeks before I went on vacation I lost 11 pounds, that’s about 1.5 pounds a week. And I started the seven weeks already down 80 pounds so this was not the easy water weight normally experienced when starting to lose weight.

    But it’s just my experience and other people might need a different strategy, and there are many possibilities, you just need to try.

  22. Look forward to keeping up with you! Please give examples, especially pictures of what you eat so we can compare the higher fat portions to what we typically eat. I’ve done very well with LCHF & IF together and estimate I’m staying under 30 carbs for the day but would like to SEE what ketogenic looks like. Not sure if I’m in ketosis yet. Thanks!!

  23. Marie Minton

    Megan – if you can tell us what you are eating I would appreciate it. I have a hard time conceiving of a diet of 70% fat–how do you consume this? Olive oil? Bacon? Thx!

  24. Stuart Gordon

    My personal experience is as follows:
    I am 67 years old and a few months ago weighed 84 kilos, which was probably 25 kgs more than in my twenties; I want to get back to under 70 kgs and maybe even 65kgs. I started a few months ago on LCHF and over 3 months got down to 78 kgs but then went on a long business trip (lots of flying, jet-lag, high levels of cortisol, lunches and dinners) and went back to 82 kgs. I then decided to be determined and add IF to LCHF.
    I now only have coffee with heavy cream in the mornings (2 mugs!) and also miss lunch most days. The days I eat lunch it will be a salad and protein or veggies and protein, as low carb as possible. Most evenings I eat a good low carb dinner of protein plus lots of veggies. I eat the occasional piece of fruit but not enough to throw me out of ketosis. I also drink a few glasses of red wine per week. Once a week I have a smaller dinner of 2/3 boiled eggs plus some spring onions or scallions and shallots plus olive oil. Sometimes I miss dinner altogether.
    I feel great – lots of energy and mental focus and I almost never feel hungry. I play golf 5 times per week and also do HITT and I am never short of energy or excessively tired.
    I do miss carbs, however – I don’t know whether it is a physical or mental craving, so once a week I allow myself to cheat and have a medium to high carb dinner by adding a baked potato or some fries and a beer or two. The crazy thing is, an hour or two afterwards I feel hungry again and I am forced to have some almonds or a piece of cheese to get rid of my hunger. the next morning when I weigh myself I have always gone up a kg or two, presumably due to water retention but it always goes in a day or two.
    I am now down to 74 kgs and expect to hit 70 kgs in about 8 weeks and maybe 65 by year end.

    • Muddygurl

      Glad to see ‘full disclosure’..it helps others to know that we ALL can falter and go off track.
      “Failing to plan means planning to fail”… not making excuses, accepting responsibility, planning ahead, and being an adult…gee it works!
      Having a sole kidney, with CKD Stage 3 I find I must keep to 80% fats to lose…I love butter cream cheese and HWC..so that is not an issue! I must follow a modified LC, vegetarian diet, with VLP* so I can protect my kidney function, keep GFR higher, to avoid future dialysis, and still lose weight.
      Getting off track with popcorn or too many carbs (not candy sweets, bread, etc) I always stall myself.
      For may of us over 50-60 a lifetime of getting poor diet advice- low fat, etc..means we crated more problems now, lose slower, but consistency works.
      * I take essential amino acids designed for kidney patients since our protein allowance is very low, and my muscles/heart stay healthy.

  25. Go Girl! Thanks for sharing the journey.
    Like others I would love to see pictures of what you are eating.
    You have a lot going in the next 6 months. I find that I must keep my stress under control or else I loose it on eating. The only thing that saves me from losing it is to fast on the days when I know my stress will be the highest. Just remarkable how stress stays under control when I fast. I thank you and Dr Fung for introducing me to fasting. I am far from perfect when I come off a fast so reading about your journey will be of huge interest! I have also tried meditation for stress management and setting my intent for the day to be very useful with or without a fast. Who would have known just breathing and being mindful can be so effective.

  26. Even the low carbohydrate diets, proven to have superior weight loss effects in the short term, show the same inexorable plateau and weight regain.
    Dr Fung’s words not mine

    https://intensivedietarymanagement.com/all-diets-fail-how-to-lose-weight-xi/

  27. charles chambers

    Any help for the sugar addicted….
    I’m type 2 and I am Highly addicted to sugar, I feel hopeless….!
    Has anyone found a way to not crave sugar?
    I would be just fine if I could avoid sugar and starch….

    • Deb Griffith

      Charles- I am also addicted, and the only way I have found to even BEGIN to keep it under any kind of control is to not buy it much at all, but to allow myself to have something occasionally. And fast regularly. I also have my go-to recipes for chocolatey, satisfying low carb goodies (chocolate mug cake for one with a little almond butter, cream cheese and whipped cream), or chocolate “ice cream” (lots of low carb ice cream recipes on the web). People like us have to have something to satisfy the urge. I truly believe it is inherited: my mother had the exact same appetite as I do, God rest her beautiful soul. Fortunately, I found these answers and lost the weight and gained the health. Hope that helps you some!

  28. Mark Wilson

    I tended to follow a low carb diet with some strategic higher carb days after weights and long training days. Following a rereading of Volek and Phoney’s low carb performance book I am going full on ketogenic to improve my abilities as a masters athlete. Time will tell. I am currently 76KG at 15% body fat at aged 55 years but want to reduce this to 10% at a slightly lower weight.

  29. Deb Griffith

    Something I have been thinking about recently…..and wanting opinions on: and I have noticed about my own eating habits and weight loss/gain: eating a high fat diet, why would your body need to access it’s own fat stores if it is getting fat from the diet? If I drink Bullet Proof Coffee or add other good fats to my diet, I stop losing, even keeping carbs low (below 10-20%). As soon as I drop fat content, I start losing again. I have tried over and over many times. Nothing else makes sense. Thoughts?

    • Somewhere in IDM blog it talks about another Dr who explained it. Example is you eat 10% carb, 20% protein that leave 70% for fat in which you eat 35% fat and get the other 35% from your body fat stores.

      I stop losing if I up my fat as well, it works with a deficit.

      • Thank you! A lot of people seem to think they should eat 70 percent fat from the fridge!

  30. Go Megan! I am in! I just need to figure out the IF schedule that works for me.

  31. live_with_ease

    I am pumped to join the 6 month challenge Megan!!!

  32. I have just loved finding this webite and I am also with you on your 6 month ketogenic diet – though I have been doing a ketogenic diet since March 24, 2014 when my oncologist told me to lower blood glucose and avoid insulin spikes – a “diabetic diet” could prolong my remission after a bone marrow transplant (ASCT). It really has worked and I am currently off almost all prescription meds, though my cancer markers have crept up a bit – I am eager to see what difference fasting once a week will have on next blood test.

  33. I do a blood ketone test most evenings before bed and a blood glucose test at that time. It is hard for the first month, but might have been easier if I had been careful to take in more salt at first. After the first month, it is not hard. I have never “cheated” in the 2 1/2 years – for me eating carbs is like smoking cigarettes – better to quit cold turkey and not just have a little. I am a good cook and my husband eats what I eat – though he adds more carbs. Here is a great sauce: pour some heavy cream in a skillet and mash in some Borsin cheese. It is wonderful over chicken, steak etc. I have a ton of recipes on a blog I wrote: http://www.cansurvivecancerdiet.com. I have not yet added what I have learned about fasting to my blog!

  34. Pam Forrester

    Where is Megan? Maybe one of those four weddings?

  35. david jebreen

    Megan,, where is your blog? thanks

  36. david jebreen

    Megan,, where is your blog? thanks

  37. Good for you Megan! You can do it 🙂

  38. Hi Megan and everyone! I have been so inspired by Dr. Fung and The Obesity Code. Since reading it I have incorporated much more fat in my diet and reduced processed carbs and anything that tastes sweet (even sugar-free gum and toothpaste! because of the insulin spiking pathway from your taste buds detecting something sweet, even if it is an artificial sweetener.) I have also added beans into my diet because everyone including Dr. Fung’s book extols the virtues of beans and fiber. The recommendation is for women under 50 to try to get at least 25 grams of fiber a day and I tend to agree with this. Even if I have a super tiny portion of beans in a meal (1/4-1/3 cup, this is around 9 grams of carbs) then if you have any nuts or veggies in the day you are at 20 grams of carbs very, very quickly. In fact I have found no way to get enough fiber in my diet while reducing carbs that strictly. How on earth are you folks who limit yourselves to around 20 grams of carbs a day possibly remotely getting enough healthy fiber in your diet? Frankly, I think you are restricting yourselves to a diet that is not sustainable or really very healthy. I think the best thing to do is NOT so severely restrict healthy carbs like beans but instead accept the healthy, slow weight loss that will come from this healthy high fat/high fiber diet of real and unprocessed foods along with the Intermittent Fasting and other great tools Dr. Fung describes like vinegar. I could be wrong on all this. Perhaps you have found a way to get all your fiber needs in despite the extreme carb lows. If you have I would love to know how or hear a different view on this. Thank you all for being here. I love this community and am a huge fan of Dr. Fung and Megan!

    • I was thinking about this further. As long as you are eating 20 ‘Net carbs’ vs. total carbs then you would add back in the fiber so you’d actually be eating 20g carbs + 25g fiber = 55 total carbs. And that would be very healthy since the natural fiber that comes from whole unprocessed foods (the kind Dr. Fung recommends) are not digested anyway and won’t hinder weight loss.

  39. [email protected]

    Hi Megan!! So glad to read your blog. I am Dana Parker, and was in your long distance group last year. I initially lost 16 hard fought pounds and completely eliminated ALL of my T2D meds, Victoza and 2000 mg of Metformin a day. However, I gained back 10 of those pounds with occasional cheating. Cheating undermined all of my progress. I have now been cheat free for 4 weeks and have lost 6 pounds with minimal fasting. I increased my fasting schedule this week and am following your plan now with no cheating and IF from Sunday night to Wed night and then again all day Friday.

    Thanks for being honest about your diet. It has helped me wake up and take the process more seriously!

  40. […] lifestyle after always using every celebration or meal out with friends as an excuse to indulge (Megan’s Ketogenic Challenge).  I was feeling warn down and was unable to keep up with my daily routine.  I felt like the […]

  41. David Wynne

    For everyone that wonders if they can do keto forever and realize it’s not likely. There is another side.
    Keep the I.F. no matter what but switch to apostasy. Do the diet of native people who are thin around the world until they get ‘westernized.’
    I eat potatoes, grains, rice, all kinds of veggies and some fruit. No animals or animal derived anything. No processed anything and avoid sugar. I do I.F. six days a week. I.F. breaks the plateaus and overcomes (small) lapses.
    Ive lost 30lbs with no counting anything. My metrics are excellent. I’m a ways to go but now 6-0, 193.
    I realize I’m from the dark side but I want folks to know you can skin the cat in other ways as long as you do I.F.

  42. […] those of you who have been following my Six Month Ketogenic Challenge know that I am trying to stay in ketosis from August 1st until February 1st (and hopefully even […]

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