TechGenix FitITproNews

Vol. 02, #232 - August 15, 2018 - Issue #0047

FitITproNews: Reader feedback on the keto diet

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Editor's Corner

Last week's issue of FitITproNews Keto or no Keto? generated a lot of feedback from our readers, mostly on the side of supporting ketogenic dieting. Before I share some of the best comments we received, let me just emphasize again that the Atkins Diet which includes a ketogenic phase for kickstarting weightloss very likely saved my life. As I shared last week, about 15 years ago I was morbidly overweight (the doctor's words, not mine) with high blood pressure and dangerous cholesterol levels, and by following a ketogenic or near-ketogenic diet for several months I was able to lose weight and bring down both my blood pressure and cholesterol level into the normal range. So I'm not inherently opposed to Keto Dieting, I just don't think it works well as a long-term lifestyle. For me, anyways. Some of our newsletter readers disagree however with me on this matter so let's hear from them now. 

Careful use of Keto is OK

Dan Graham, Fairbanks Inspection Specialist based in Anchorage, Alaska USA, has also tried Atkins, Paleo, and Keto, and based on his experience he has this to say about these approaches:

Hi, and thanks for the FitITPro emails. You have great information presented well, and more about weight training than I'd get through my normal channels. 

I wanted to post a note in support of the careful use of keto.

I'm 53 year old professional (not IT, but indoors anyway), with a body built for comfort (short and pudgy) juxtaposed against my history of endurance sports. As I've aged, I've lost muscle and gained fat pretty predictably and frustratingly. I've made waves of effort to go back to old exercise habits, usually by signing up for a marathon or other big athletic event, in order to force myself to be regimented in my exercise and eating. My problem is always the backsliding, after I complete the goal and go back to 'normal' life. I've been as high as 190 pounds and been as low as 155 in peak condition. I'm at 173 and holding right now.

I've experimented using the Adkins diet about 10 years ago, and lost about 20 lbs, but gained it all back again because I went back to the eating and exercise habits I used to get fat in the first place. I recognize Adkins has some drawbacks but liked that it was using an existing metabolic pathway to burn fat for energy, without resorting to starvation.

I studied and somewhat followed Paleo, encouraged by the great success of a friend. I really like the idea of eating and exercising in a manner akin to our Caveman relatives: Eat and play in the manner that our million-year bodies have evolved, as opposed to like the last 5K years of eating cultivated grains and sugar (e.g. cinnamon rolls). While reading, I've noticed some similarities in eating Paleo and Keto - See Mark's Daily Apple website for good information:

(Note that the owner of the site makes his living selling information and products in addition to stumping for the lifestyle. However, he's an older adult athlete who is able to remain fit, and his blogging/articles/email include current science info. Take it with a grain of salt, but I like his presentation of information.)

I recently started reading where Paleo and Keto were officially working in concert -- 'training' your body to deal with both the ketogenesis and the glycogenesis. This seems to me how the body wants to operate anyway, sometimes feasting and sometimes in famine. I like the concept of being tolerant of both because I still do some distance competitions like running and triathlons (usually very slowly, but they're still fun). I want to be able to use fancy products like gels and mixes, but don't want to 'Bonk' if I happen to run a little longer than the number of calories I brought in my pocket. There are articles about the benefits of training Keto and racing using sugars that support this concept.

This method of swapping back and forth seems to be working. My body weight is down and I'm slowly putting muscle back on during the last 9 months of serious effort. My task will be to make the exercise and better eating habits my 'normal' lifestyle, not another low on the wave form of my health.

Please feel free to edit this email text for your newsletter needs. This is just my opinions and observations.

Please keep up the encouraging emails!

Two things resonated with me from Dan's email. The first is that I too like to "experiment" with different approaches to losing weight and getting fit. For while scientific research can be helpful, it often seems to end up contradicting itself as time progresses. That is, what science "proves" is good (or bad) for you today may be what scientific research tells us is bad (or good) a couple of decades later. So why not just try following different approaches to dieting and building muscle and see what works for you?

The second thing that I agree with is that change in itself can help stimulate new muscle growth and help you break through weightloss plateaus. So periodically shifting back and forth between different diet or exercise approaches can be a very effective tool for achieving your weightloss and fitness goals. 

Drawbacks of keto dieting are debatable

Bob Hunt, Systems Administrator for a biomedical research institution based in Maine USA, has had good success using the keto approach and doesn't feel there are any clearly demonstrated negative effects from following it long-term:

Mitch, very funny how this came in to my email today. I'm have a "discussion" with my nutritionist about the negatives of KETO. I too was on the Atkins diet 15 years ago. Lost weight and didn't take long to gain it back. 5 years ago I ballooned to over 300+. Finally I started being more food conscience and got down to around 265. Still at 5'-7" that is still obese if not morbidly. Started going out for noon walks for about 40 minutes and drank protein shakes for lunch for the past 5 years and got down to around 215. 

2 years ago I started to get a pain in my right calf when I'd go out for a walk. Didn't stay with me all day, but occasionally would be there when I'd go out for a walk. Spoke with my doctor, gout my hips x-rayed and it looked like arthritis. So I lived with it for 2 years. Last fall when picking up the first tub of wood for the wood stove, my leg buckled at the knee and the pain was down my leg. MRI showed a synovial cyst on my spine at the L-5 nerve that goes down the leg. February this year I had back surgery to get the cyst removed. No more pain in the leg. Still at about 215. End of March I got pneumonia and put on antibiotics. Lost my appetite, but when it came back, I starting eating everything. Boom! Up to 230 and guess what, I started getting the pain in my calf again.

Saw some things in Facebook about KETO, but for me I shrugged it off saying it was just Atkins reworked. Then a guy I work with in IT went from 200 down to 145 since January following KETO. I was like WOW! So I read more about it online, Learned about IF (Intermittent Fasting) and started slowly about a month ago, first just not eating all the sugar, bread, etc. Now my wife and I are pretty much using KETO as our new WOE (Way of Eating). It is not a diet.

So a few things: 

  • Watch the movie "Fat Head" -- I asked my doctor if he had seen it. He hadn't. He watched it, and he was like OMG! They don't mention Keto in the movie but it does talk about the benefits of low carb and saturated fats. It also debunks the belief that saturated fats cause high cholesterol and heart disease. Actually, high carb, low fat diet with vegetable fats are worse for you. Watch the movie -- Amazon Prime or Youtube.
  • Dr Eric Berg - on Facebook and Youtube -- Videos like "Fixing a broken Metabolism" helped me tremendously.

[NOTE FROM EDITOR: Readers who send us feedback that mentions online resources like YouTube videos and websites should also include links to these resources as we're sometimes not sure exactly which ones they're referring to because of sites/videos having similar names. Thanks!]

Bottom line -- I'm down from 230 to 216 in a few weeks and my calf does not ache for the extra weight probably bothering the L-5 nerve. I still have a way to go, but this is a good thing. My doctor is also doing Keto now, but he only has about 30 to lose. I have another 65.

I joined a bunch of Keto groups on Facebook and every day I see success stories from people with photos. Sure, some are quick, but for a lot of people this has been a 1-2 year process. In some of the photos it doesn't look like the same person. I will continue to check these out since they are very inspirational.

I asked my doctor if he knew of any long term negative effects of Keto, and he did not. I read the link in your email to the article in lifespa and found all 10 reasons to be easily debatable. The Fat Head movie also has a lot that destroy these as well.

BTW -- attached was my dinner last night -- Shrimp Alfredo on sautéed Zoodles -- The zucchini was grown in my garden.

Bob, I wish you all the best in shedding those final 65 lbs you want to lose. And for the benefit of fat (or fit) IT pros who are reading this newsletter just before the end of your workday, here is Bob's photo of his delicious-looking dinner:


Good explanation of ketosis

Akos Vajda who works on our team here at TechGenix recommends a good resource for readers interested in learning more about how keto dieting actually works:

Hi Mitch, The best explanation I have read about ketosis and what goes on at the metabolic level is from a guy called Peter Attia. Here is his blog:

He has a series about the effects of ketosis on exercise performance as well. It's not an easy read, but I think it's worth it.

Good stuff Akos, thanks for sharing it.

Diet? Schmiet!

Finally here is what Sarah Trammell, Application Analyst Specialist at a university in the southern USA has to say about the subject of dieting in general:

I've personally never wanted to try any of the popular diets. They've always seemed overly restrictive and unsustainable long-term. I've always tried to focus on healthy whole foods while limiting (but NOT eliminating) processed or junk foods. The only food that is completely out of my diet is wheat because I'm allergic. Others I restrict due to high amounts of certain nutrients relative to others. For example, both sunflower kernels and cashews are extremely high in copper relative to zinc, and almonds are very high in vitamin E relative to iron. I have to be careful to balance copper with zinc as well as vitamin E with iron in my diet. I realize my circumstances are probably exceptional (because doctors and others act like they don't know what I'm talking about when I bring up these issues), but what's key is finding the diet that works for you as an individual. So many factors including environment, lifestyle, and genes play a part in what works and what doesn't. Hopefully many of you with questions about your own diet can find a good nutritionist or dietician to work with you to find what's right for you.

I completely agree with this statement Sarah said: "What's key is finding the diet that works for you as an individual." In fact next week I'm going to share in this newsletter how I recently changed my own eating habits and what the result has been. And if any of you have more stories or suggestions they'd like to share about keto dieting or any other approaches to losing weight, feel free to email us at [email protected]


Mitch Tulloch, Senior Editor 

Disclaimer: I am not a certified fitness professional or nutritionist so take any suggestions made here "as is" with a grain of salt and a heaping supply of your own judgment. Please read our full disclaimer at the bottom of this newsletter.  

Exercise of the week - VIDEOS

Dynamic Stretching for Lower Body (Do Before Leg Workout)

Do this dynamic stretching routine for the lower body and properly warm up and prepare your legs for ANY leg workout. These exercises are done by athletes in all sports and they help to prevent injury.

The toolbox


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FitITproNews goes out each week to more than 500,000 subscribers worldwide! That's a lot of expertise to tap into. Do you need help losing weight or learning how to perform some exercise? Ask Our Readers by emailing your questions to us at [email protected]

Send us feedback

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About FitITproNews

FitITproNews is the only weekly newsletter in the world that is entirely devoted to helping IT pros get fit, lose weight, and live happily ever after as they face the daily stresses and workload of being in the gristmill of the IT profession. FitITproNews is brought to you by TechGenix and is created each week by the same all-star editorial team that brings you WServerNews, the world's longest running IT pro newsletter focusing on the administration, management and security of the Windows Server platform in particular and cloud solutions in general. Subscribe to FitITproNews today! And while you’re at it be sure to also subscribe to our other TechGenix newsletters such as our Weekly IT Update and Spotlight Articles!

Editorial Team

Mitch Tulloch is Senior Editor of FitITproNews and is a widely recognized expert on Windows Server and cloud technologies. He has written numerous articles and whitepapers and has authored or been series editor of more than 50 books for Microsoft Press. Mitch also successfully made the transition from being a typical "fat IT pro" to becoming fit by losing almost 50 lbs through a combination of resistance training, cardio exercises, and proper nutrition. Mitch's passion with FitITproNews is to help other IT pros do what he has been able to accomplish by sharing his personal story and lessons learned.

Ingrid Tulloch is Associate Editor of FitITproNews and was co-author of the Microsoft Encyclopedia of Networking from Microsoft Press. She is also Head of Research for our content development business and has co-developed university-level courses in Information Security Management for a Masters of Business Administration program. Ingrid is also committed to personal fitness and is a believer in clean eating and proper supplementation for optimal health and longevity.

Mitch and Ingrid are also the editors of WServerNews, a weekly newsletter from TechGenix that focuses on the administration, management and security of the Windows Server platform in particular and cloud solutions in general. For more information about Mitch and Ingrid see their website.


This newsletter is designed for informational purposes only and the health and fitness information presented in it are based solely upon the personal experience of its editors and of any guests or readers who contribute content to it. Nothing in this newsletter is intended to be or should be construed to be professional medical, fitness, or nutritional advice. Always consult a physician or other health care professional before starting an exercise or nutrition program to determine if it is appropriate for your personal needs. Do not follow any of the suggestions in this newsletter if your physician or other health care professional advises against doing so. If you are exercising or dieting or taking supplements and experience any dizziness, faintness, pain, or shortness of breath, you should stop immediately and seek medical help. The use of any information presented in this newsletter is solely at your own risk.

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