Reader, I was once like you. Surfing the internet trying to find appropriate advice for an athlete trying to transition to low carb. I even paid a stranger to give me advice, which wound up being a huge waste of money (who advises to negative split a half marathon in their first two weeks of keto?!).
Fast forward six months, and here I am.
I ran 300km fat fueled, and I didn’t die. And while that doesn’t make me an expert, it means I can help you out.
I’ll put it to you simply, and I won’t even charge you!
Make the switch. There’s a reason you’re here. And it’s not because the standard American diet is working wonders for you. You’re looking for something different. Whether it be the physiological advantages, the mood and energy improvements, the decrease in cravings, cycle stability (for the ladies), weight loss. Maybe you’ve heard a few success stories and you’re curious, but you’re imagining pork rinds and string cheese and it’s making you throw up in your mouth a little.
The keto diet is not pork rinds and string cheese. I had this very same impression when I tried keto the first time. Back then it was called Atkins. My unfortunate approach was to eat lunchmeat and brick cheese for two days and then quit when I could no longer stomach it.
This time was different.
I was actually terrified. Let me tell you about it:
It all started with an unfortunate case of oral thrush due to a questionable approach to retainer sanitation (PSA: water is not an adequate replacement for scope). When antibiotics wouldn’t work, I visited my local naturopath who advised me that cutting sugars would fix the issue.
I almost cried. I didn’t think I could hack it. I thought I had reached the boundary of what I was capable of.
Running hundreds of kilometers is just fine, but the idea of cutting bread out of my diet was totally insane.
Then I thought about it. What if I could make it my very own science experiment?
I had heard about endurance athletes switching to Keto for the performance benefit, what if I could experience the same?
Defining it as a challenge rather than the treatment was the shift in thinking I needed.
I did my research this time. I bought books like The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance and Primal Endurance. I found informative YouTube channels like Keto Connect and Thomas Delauer. I started taking notes and experimenting to validate what I was learning.
The truth is that everyone is different, so you have to find what’s right for you. If you don’t, you run the risk of restricting yourself to someone else’s version of reality. I found that despite advice, timing my carbs in the evening rather than after my workout helped with sleep. I found that my optimum carb level is not the standard 30 that most zealots adhere to but varies based on activity level. I found that carb cycling does NOT work for me. Listening to my body gave me the edge I needed to succeed.
Within a week my symptoms cleared up. My mood improved. Within a month my cycle stabilized. Within two months I was setting new PRs and completing 30k runs fasted.
And I didn’t even have to eat pork rinds!