If ever there was proof that losing weight requires more than simply creating a calorie deficit and dispelling the myth that “a calorie is just a calorie”, one only has to read this post.

Last year was about getting lean and after achieving that, the plan was to get really ripped.. as in getting “six-pack abs ripped”.

I played around with a few diet methods late last year to test my body’s response before embarking on the more extreme methods that I had planned for Jan 1.  Ketosis was first on the list.  Since I have seen great results with low-carb and carb-cycling, I was certain that achieving keto, while cutting calories even further, would be all I needed to finally shred the last bit of fat.

I bought the keto strips and tested every day and night to ensure that I reached the enlightened state of ketosis [que heavenly ahhhhhs].

I decided to go with the cyclical keto diet and have a weekly re-feed day.. with a slightly longer window in the first week as keto can take a while to set in.

Aside from shooting for an all new low on carbohydrate intake, the other major change was a drastic reduction in calories.  Hey.. if 1500 calories a day was showing me slow results, 1000-1200 a day would have to work even better, right?

It didn’t.

My Keto Results

After almost three weeks of keto and only two re-feed days, while on a drastic calorie cut, I am exactly the same weight as when I started.

If your initial thought is that I somehow under-calculated my calories, I can ensure that didn’t happen.  I weighed and measured everything I ate.  I more often ate at 1,000 calories but never went higher than 2,000 except on my re-feed days, where I ate 2,500 calories.

The only carbs I got were from broccoli, green beans and the occasional half-avocado.  Daily carbs never exceeded 40 grams and that kept me in ketosis.

I’d like to believe that I somehow lost fat and gained muscle but I simply can’t make that claim.  The mirror doesn’t show it and my strength is exactly where I started.

Operation Ketosis with a severe caloric deficit = FAIL.

No worries though..  every “fail” is one more piece of information I have on my way to success.

Calories vs Hormones

burn fatIt seems pretty clear to me that losing the last bit of fat is more about controlling hormones and less about controlling calories.

I’ve read it many times before and I’ve never doubted it (just look at what steroids do to the typical body builder in manipulating hormones) but I also believed that I could circumvent the process and achieve similar results by focusing solely on a calorie deficit

No more..  I’m giving the proper attention to hormonal responses.

As world renowned Olympic trainer Charles Poliquin so emphatically teaches, every time we eat, we release hormones into the body.  The type of calories we eat determine which hormones get released.  Hormones have a huge effect on our insulin levels.. levels that are different in all of us.  The secret to a successful diet and leaning out is a successful diet coupled with your natural and diet affected hormonal states.

In short.. I’m going to eat a lot more.  As I don’t have access to the bio-metric screening methods employed by the industry leaders such as Poliquin, I can only be sure that I’m affecting hormones by eating a wider variety of food.. and more of it.

I’ll start focusing more on creating the caloric deficit through exercise.

I still have hopes for a nice six-pack by end of March but should I fail, the quest will continue.

As for Ketosis, I may revisit it after getting my calories back up around 2,000 and seeing a slow drop through the addition of exercise.  For now though, I’ll start with a low-calorie diet and hit a little carb-cycling.

Carb cycling was a proven winner for me last year when I was losing the bulk of my weight.

Ketosis is likely a winning strategy for fat loss so don’t let me discourage you.  Ketosis with a severe calorie deficit, however, is just a recipe to slow metabolism and get fat.

(Absolutely No Spam - EVER)