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How I Got Into Ketosis (And Why You Might Not Want To)

by jenny sansouci on January 30, 2015

Hi you awesome people!!!! It’s 5am in Abu Dhabi right now so I figured it was the perfect time to write a blog. I keep procrastinating by listening to Bulletproof Radio (I love Dave Asprey’s podcast). Check out what he says about bulletproof birth control in this one, you’ll find it aligns very well with the video Nicole and I made about hormones. Also, listen to what he says about how we biologically choose our mates based on how they smell (pheromones), and if you’re on the pill you can’t pick up on that, which is why many women realize they chose the wrong mate once they get off the pill. WHAT! That’s so freaking cool, life blows my mind.

Ok I gotta get this blog written quickly so I can get on a flight to Mahe Island. I love this blogging challenge because when would I ever normally be making this a priority? Fun.

Honestly, I feel like this topic needs more time and consideration than I’m giving it right now, but I also feel like it’s so FRESH on my mind that I need to get out some thoughts before I head to the islands and totally forget about my bulletproof coffee and dive into a pile of coconuts and rice. 😉

So here’s the short version and I’ll elaborate more later. Consider this PART 1 of my ketosis journey.

The past couple of weeks I’ve been heavily focused on the Bulletproof Diet, and then subsequently, getting into ketosis. Read my initial thoughts in this post – Too Low Carb, Too Fast?

I’ve been doing this because I’m obsessed with experimenting, I’ve always been fascinated by biohacking (I was super into Tim Ferriss’s 4 Hour Body) and I just love figuring stuff out about how my body works and how to function optimally.

Basically, the Bulletproof Diet is a high fat, moderate protein, low carb way of eating. Dave Asprey (the author) doesn’t focus a ton on getting into ketosis in his book, but I’ve done enough research now to figure out the basics.

Ketosis, put simply, is what happens when your body switches over from burning carbs (glucose) and begins to run on fat for fuel (therefore burning more fat in your body). People often call it being “fat adapted” or “keto adapted” and it happens from eating a high fat/very low carb diet.

Don’t take my word for it. Read some great info on ketosis:

Nutritional Ketosis for Weight Loss – Grass Fed Girl

Keto Beginning Book from The Healthful Pursuit

Mark’s Daily Apple – Ketosis

Ultimate Paleo Guide – Beginner Keto Diet

Ok, now that you understand what Ketosis is, how do you get into it?

The way I got into it was to basically eat the Bulletproof Diet for about a week, and then drastically cut carbs out and focus on mostly fat and some protein. A typical day might look like this

  • Morning — Bulletproof Coffee (coffee + grassfed butter + Brain Octane oil (super concentrated MCT oil)
  • Lunch – Eggs cooked in coconut oil or butter + avocado
  • Dinner – Grass-fed meat + broccoli/arugula + sweet potato with butter Drinks – a lot of water, yerba mate and bulletproof coffe

That’s what it looked like – and then when I cut out the carbs, I basically just took out the sweet potato to see how I’d feel.

I bought ketone sticks to test if I was in ketosis or not. I’ve heard mixed things about the accuracy of these things, but since I was experimenting I wanted to see. The entire time I used them (about a week), I stayed in a steady state of ketosis the entire time (with moderate ketones in my system, sometimes mild ketones after eating the sweet potato, but never bumped myself out of ketosis).

Here’s why I titled this “why you might not want to get into ketosis.”

People joke a lot about the “carb flu” or the “keto flu” — but it’s a very real thing, and can be incredibly uncomfortable and intense for some people. You’ll hear some people say they dip into ketosis easily (and the lower carb you eat in general, the easier it will most likely be for you), but for some it can take a couple of weeks of flu symptoms as your body switches over from burning glucose (sugar) to burning fat. It’s really incredible how much work it takes for the body to switch over. From what people say, once you get keto adapted, you feel incredible, your body sheds excess fat, you have tons of energy and your brain feels clear. So I wanted to know.

I had a really rough time with it. When I first started (read about that here) it was dizziness, nausea, etc. There was one point where I was actually feeling like I was going to black out and throw up, and I was sitting on my bathroom floor thinking it was all over for me. Dramatic but true. After that, I went through a few days of legit flu symptoms – no energy, sneezing, headaches, could barely get out of bed. I thought, this can’t be “carb flu” – I must have the actual flu.

So keeping that in mind, I am not going to recommend everyone just go try to jump themselves into ketosis. It’s actually kind of a complicated thing and can feel really awful. (check out this site/ebook for step-by-step guidance on getting into ketosis).

Thank God for my amazing friend Megan who was on the receiving end of every text about what I was eating and what my every urine test strip looked like. 🙂

But then here was the kicker – I woke up one morning last week  – and everything had magically cleared up. People often say that once you become fat adapted, all of your symptoms just go away spontaneously and you feel incredible. That’s what happened to me. I woke up one day and had tons of energy, felt like if I ate a spoonful of coconut oil or an avocado it would completely satiate me and give all the energy I needed.

I started needing less sleep – I noticed myself waking up after about 6-7 hours without my alarm and just being energetic and ready for the day. It was NUTS. And I was definitely losing weight too. To tell you the truth I don’t weigh myself because it makes me insane, but every morning that I looked in the mirror I could feel myself leaning out. And I wasn’t hungry. I was eating a lot of fat still in the form of bulletproof coffee, butter, avocados, coconut oil, MCT oil, etc – and I had absolutely no desire to snack. It was like how I felt when I used to do juice cleanses –once you hit day 4 or 5 you are walking on a cloud and the whole world feels sparkly. That’s how I felt, except without the light-headedness and spaciness and hunger of juicing. I felt satiated, high energy, and like my mental clarity was on point.

So moving forward? Right now I’m headed to the Seychelles for 10 days so I’m putting a plug in the official experiment for now (but will continue to monitor how I feel, of course).

I didn’t bring my ketone testing sticks or MCT oil on this trip (I did bring avocados though!) because my travel schedule is nuts and I also really want to relax, enjoy my time with my boyfriend, and not be a psychopath about food. I’m going to eat the local food of the islands (coconut, fish, probably some rice and stuff too, wheee, carbs!) 😉 and I’ll generally stick to fat and protein and veggies when I can. When I get back I’ll keep experimenting with the ketosis thing.

I’m sorry I don’t have more time to write, but I needed to share this while it was fresh on my mind. I’m going to keep experimenting with it. I will write more later I promise.

If you want to get into ketosis or experiment with it with GUIDANCE (suggested) please check out this ebook Keto Beginning. I love this book and there’s tons of advice and recipes.

Follow me on instagram to see as many play-by-play shots of my trip as I can upload, depending on the wifi situation. 🙂

OK – thoughts? Questions? I’m gonna do my best to check in a bit while I’m away. PLEASE share your experience with this — it means a lot to me and I live for your stories.

Ok that’s it. Love you all. Off to the islands.


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Diana February 9, 2015 at 9:37 pm

Hi Jenny!
Are you eating any Keto snacks in between meals and working out ? Just looking at your daily meals looks so limited in quantity of food. I think I would be able to scrape by without fitness, but thats my soul food right there so cant give that up. Hope the vacay was great!

Jehan January 4, 2016 at 6:50 am

Where did you get keton strips in Abu Dhabi?

jenny sansouci January 4, 2016 at 12:40 pm

Hi Jehan, I didn’t get them in Abu Dhabi – I got them at CVS in New York City

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