Tiger Tried and True: The Ketogenic Diet

ScaleFrom time to time, I will use this platform to post about things that I’ve sampled or experienced that are of great value. Most of the time I’ve dealt with good food or great restaurants or some must-have product. This post is going to be a little different from that.

One month ago, I learned that my cousin, who is more a like a brother to me, began a new diet called a ketogenic diet. I wanted to encourage and support him in this effort so I reached out to him, in solidarity, and said I would like to do it as well. In short, it has been one of the best decisions of my life. Let me explain.

I’ve always been a large person. From the time I was in kindergarten to this day, I was always among the largest people in my classes and amongst my peers. While I’m not considered morbidly obese, let’s just say I’ve always lingered on the fluffy side. When I was younger and an athlete, this was obviously advantageous and not a problem. As I’ve gotten older, however, and the exercise was fewer and farther between, the weight is harder to keep off. As a senior in high school, I was 6 feet 4 inches tall and 240 pounds. Now, at the age of 44 (almost 45), I am 6 feet 5 inches tall and (as of this morning) 292 pounds. For the past six years I have taken statin medication for high cholesterol.

One month ago today, I began the ketogenic diet. Basically, it’s an Atkins-like diet in which you eat very low carbohydrates, moderate protein, but, and this is the kicker,  you make an effort to eat a HIGH FAT diet. Yes, a HIGH FAT diet. The goal of the diet is to place your body in a state of ketosis. This is where you transition from being fueled by carbohydrates to being fueled by the ketones your body naturally produces as it metabolizes your own stored fat deposits. The book Keto Clarity by Jimmy Moore can give you more insight. For the last month, I have eaten a diet consisting of 70-78% fat, 18-20% protein and less than 10% carbs. I’ve lost 17 pounds. This morning, my regular physician TOOK ME OFF OF MY CHOLESTEROL MEDICINE!!! All this while eating more eggs, cheese, bacon, beef, butter and coconut oil than you would think would be humanly possible. The diet is antithetical to everything you hear in the conventional health and wellness circles. I keep track of everything I eat on MyFitnessPal so that I can help control what I eat.

Historically, I have a couple of real trouble points in my lifestyle that work against me. First, I’m extremely busy. Between being a full-time husband, father and pastor, I also play radio personality and I’m a doctoral student trying to write and complete that work. It becomes easier to just “grab some fast food” when it is time to eat.

Secondly, I’m a night owl. Always have been. The night is my chance to kick back and try to unwind. This leads to, you guessed it, kitchen grazing! From about 9PM to Midnight, I can burn the floor up between my easy chair and the fridge.

Over the last month, though, I have not been hungry. Not once. In fact, there have been mornings that I have had to make myself finish off my cheesy eggs and bacon. I survive quite well at 1700 to 1900 calories, which, for my size, is conducive to about a 2 pound per week reduction.

At the doctor’s office this morning, my blood pressure was 130/80 and all my numbers were below any level since he began tracking them. He was beyond pleased and I had to spend about 15 minutes explaining the diet to him and he is considering it himself. As of today, I’m no longer on prescription meds of any kind. I have combined the ketogenic diet with the Advocare MNS system (multi-vitamins) and the Advocare OmegaPlex supplements. You can find them through the Health and Wellness tab here on my blog.

To say that I am thrilled with the results and the direction I am heading would be an understatement. Results may vary for different people, but I just had to share that this ketogenic stuff is Tiger Tried and True!!!

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Tracking Tiger

If this is your first time visiting my blog, welcome! If you have “tracked” my blog before you may know that it has been a coon’s age since it was last updated. You may also notice a brand new design. Think of this as tigerbrooks.com 2.0. I was not satisfied with the first generation and I will say that this one may evolve even more, but we are getting there. I appreciate you taking the time to visit.

The title of this post, however, does not just relate to tracking my blog. In June of 2009, my wife Paige and I began a journey toward better health and wellness.  Over the course of time, after developing better eating habits, walking, hiking and some weight training, I lost 55 lbs.  In the Spring of 2010, I slacked off and coasted until Christmas, gaining back about 15 lbs.

Paige made the transition from walking to running in January of 2010 and it has revolutionized her overall health. I scoffed at the thought of starting a running regimen at age 40, throwing up all kinds of excuses from being a big guy to protecting my knees. But as I have observed Paige and her dramatic physiological strides, not to mention, the enjoyment and confidence she has gained from running, I have been won over. Last month, I started a “couch-to-5K” program by downloading an app to my Droid phone. I am currently in week 5 and I can tell with each passing week that I can run greater distances without stopping or… well… keeling over.

Next month, I will be joining a number of folks for the “No Boundaries” program through Fleet Feet in Kingsport. The goal will be working up to running in First Baptist Church’s AmazinGrace 5K in May. So the deeper meaning behind the “Tracking Tiger” title is the opportunity to follow my progress and cheer me on, BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY, the challenge to join me in this effort. If I can motivate someone to begin the transition from sedentary and unhealthy to “moving” in the right direction, I would be ecstatic! There is something to be said for accountability and camaraderie. If I can do it anyone can. When I started in June 2009, I was 6′ 5″ and 317 lbs. Now, I am still the same height, but I am many strides south of 317! It has been a rocky road with many potholes and detours, but I am keeping on keeping on so that I can be fit for the work to which God has called me. You are not too old. You are not too out of shape. You are not too late.

There will be an informational meeting about the No Boundaries program Tuesday, February 22 at Fleet Feet in Kingsport. Click the link to find out more. Go by the store and they can get you information and fully outfitted. It doesn’t hurt that you can listen to 88.3fm WCQR while you are there!

Here’s to your health! God bless!