Monday, November 20, 2006

Keto or not Keto, that is the question

I often marvel at the different responses people have to being in ketosis. For some it seems like a long awaited spiritual nirvana, for others its a living hell. My wife and I share this dichotomy. For her, being in ketosis leads to a general sense of well being and a slightly raised energy level. For me however, ketosis is not a happy place. Her placid serenes is offset by my paranoid depression. While she will easily drift into blissful slumber, I all but stop sleeping. The last time I attempted a ketogenic diet I became so weirded out that my wife went to the store, bought juice, and threatened me if I didn't drink it. I thought she was trying to kill me. But her insistence that it would be ok finally won me over and a few minutes later I felt much better. Now wether these effects are from ketosis, sleep depravation, or a combination there of, I can only hazard a guess. Anecdotes about the "Atkins Attitude" abound. Others cannot for the life of them understand how ketosis could be anything but a joy. For the most part now, I only reduce my carbs into the ketogenic range for a day or two at a time. I generally do this after some type of over indulgence, like say Thanksgiving. In a couple of days of very low carbs combined with some exercise, my system has cleared the excess carbs, and for me there is no further benefit at this time of restricting my carbs to such a low level. I understand the allure of the simple elegance of a ketogenic diet, and feel that for many people such a step is probably necessary to fix their metabolism. I also feel, based on my experiences, that there is a portion of the population that should rigorously avoid ketosis. There is however, only one way to find out which side of the divide you are on. My general observations about ketogenic diets; morbidly obese people generally benefit the most; Men who are over weight but not obese, generally benefit the least; Type 2 Diabetes can be controlled by reducing carbs without ketosis, but ketosis gets results quicker; and finally, the one that causes the most trouble, people on ketogenic diets will refuse to belive they are eating fewer calories even when confronted with the evidence. As with most things in life there is no one right answer for all people all of the time. If the was only one right answer, what would we talk about?

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