This Keto Life: It’s nice to be validated

When you tell people you’re eating keto, you get some weird responses. Sometimes those responses are perfectly normal, like “what the hell is keto?” and sometimes there’s a lot of “hmmm, and you say you eat a lot of fat…?” and a lot of reserved judgement (which is fine; at least it’s being reserved) and people privately considering that they’re going to have to visit you in hospital when you have a heart attack and how on earth are they going to resist saying “I told you so, you pseudo-scientific noob.”

That’s okay. I have some of those thoughts about other people’s decisions, and most people handle this in a pretty mature way with the understanding that what goes in my stomach is my business, and what goes in their stomach is their business.

However, at the moment, I am wallowing in a giant pile of smug. Continue Reading

This Keto Life: Why Keto? or MMM! TASTES LIKE INSULIN

When someone wants to overhaul their diet, be it for reasons of nutritional improvement, managing intolerances or weight loss/gain (body recomp), there is no shortage of advice to be found on the internet. Unfortunately, as a friend of mine put it, there’s also a giant bucket o’crazy.

Why, you may be wondering (and I strongly suspect several people in my life of wondering, which is not a bad thing), did I go for this very low carbohydrate deal instead of just trying to refine a “balanced diet”? It seems like a weird choice to many people, and it’s very hard to say, “I did some research” without sounding like a die-hard graduate of Google University.

The fact that my research includes the primary literature and critiques thereof is, I think, a big deal, but then we enter into a grey area of whether or not it should trump the decades old all-things-in-moderation, calorie-counting advice. Continue Reading

This Keto Life: All Up In Your Science (Confirmation Bias)

Scientists are not immune to confirmation bias – no one is. That is, to a large extent, why we have peer review: because otherwise we could publish any old shit that we thought was convincing and not ever have anyone point out “Yes, but you would find that convincing. Have you thought instead that your data could mean something quite different?” or even “Yes, but you failed to account for this confounding factor,” or “Your analysis includes several underlying assumptions that are not met, and thus it is invalid.”

I am reading a few more books about the ketogenic diet (and yes, I am seeking out criticisms online to see if they are valid for me. I already did this before I decided to go low-carb, but I continue to do it. I think it’s important to stay on top of these arguments).

It’s become clear to me that nutrition is a minefield of confirmation bias, much of which is dangerously close to woo, and that if I’d read the wrong books first, I would not necessarily be convinced. Continue Reading

This Keto Life: early days and explanations

I recently decided that I was tired of feeling sick after eating breakfast. Breakfast was a low G.I. (glycaemic index, for those of you not down with the lingo) fruit free, wheat free, nutty muesli. It was delicious. It was also topped with low fat vanilla yoghurt.

For most people, these would probably be reasonably healthy options. Not so for the Kate. For someone who is not technically insulin resistant (numbers leaned that way, last time they were tested, but weren’t over the line) or diabetic, I have a ridiculous response to sugar. Continue Reading