In today’s episode of Walking With Pete I chat to you guys a little about my experiences with dieting over the last few years.
Walking With Pete: My Experiences With Dieting
G’day guys. Welcome to this episode of walking with Pete, even though I guess today I’m not exactly walking.
I thought I would try and video it. So, I’ve set it up just to use my phone at home. We’ll see how this goes. Who knows how it’s going to turn out? And, I’m just videoing it here in my bedroom and I thought I’d talk to you a little bit about diet today. I… I like to diet quite a bit. I change my diet up to see how different foods and different things affect my health and my um… just how I feel I guess, and I became a bit of a gym junky after I broke up with a girlfriend probably three, four, maybe even fives years ago now. I broke up with her and I was a bit overweight, and I was sort of uncomfortable about how… how I felt and how I looked, and I wanted to get a bit more… a bit more confidence back. So, I started going to the gym and obviously when you start going to the gym you start worrying about what you’re putting into your body, what you’re eating, and so, at that time I was more focused on just removing carbs, a lot of excess carbs, and things like… we use the word “carbs” in English to talk about carbohydrates. And carbohydrates are obviously sugars. So, anything from standard sugar to bread, to potatoes, so they’re starches, to different times of pasta. All that sort of stuff that’s carbs. So, carbs, um… anyway yeah. So, I reduced that, and for a while I was training at the gym probably four times a week just to do weights to try and get a little bigger, and prior to that I’d actually just been walking and running a lot. I think I was doing at one point about 10km a day, maybe five days a week, of walking and running, and within five months I lost about 20 kilos, which was… looking back now was pretty impressive, but at the time it didn’t really feel like much, I just, you know, was happy to be thinner and no longer as um… as big, soft and… and cuddly as I was. So, I did that and I was eating um… a really really high protein, which was also probably helping me lose weight but at the same time it’s not necessarily the best for your liver because your liver breaks down proteins and has to deal with all of that. So, my liver was working quite hard and I went to the doctor and he freaked out thinking I um… he looked at my blood. So, he took my blood and measured that and thought I had um… potentially the signs of early liver cirrhosis or cirrhosis of the liver, which comes from drinking too much alcohol, and that definitely wasn’t the case. And he also said something, I think along the lines of “it could also be hepatitis B”, which is a really um… a really bad disease to have, again, it definitely wasn’t that but um… So, I found out that it was effectively that I had too much, high protein in my diet. So, I reduced that and yeah, was just eating sort of a more balanced diet at the time.
Um… I started doing jiu-jitsu and then doing weights there, and I was putting on mass, getting bigger, and… what do I want to say? Um… after about maybe a year of doing jiu-jitus and looking into diets, because I wasn’t getting as lean as I really wanted to be, I came across the keto diet. So, ketosis, ketosis is where instead of relying on sugars and carbohydrates for energy in… in your blood, and thus, you know, having to worry about things like your insulin shooting up and down, and, you know, that’s sort of why diabetes ties into too much insulin production, not enough insulin production, so I sort of… I wanted to try ketosis because ketosis is actually a state that your body goes into when you lack sugar, when you don’t have sugar but you have a lot of fats. So, on a ketosis diet, [ketotic*?] On a diet um… in the keto diet you eat 90% maybe 80% fats, literally fats. So, oils, butter, avocados, all kinds of fatty foods instead of sugary foods, so carb foods, it’s just fatty foods. And in the absence of sugar in your blood your body’s actually forced to use fats. So, your body will use primarily sugars if… if it has access to them, and these things power your brain. So, it uses glucose to power your brain first and foremost and then also obviously every other cell in your body, but when and if you get rid of um… glucose your body will use fats, obviously all the fat under your skin, all the fat sitting around your body, the excess fat that it has. It’ll go into starvation mode and start using that fat to power your body and power your brain. And that was… that was a really really interesting time, because at first I was thinking “isn’t a high fat diet really really bad” but when you look into it it turns out that at least based on the information that I came across, that I read, that I saw, a high fat diet is bad only in the presence of ah… glucose. So, if your insulin goes up because you’re eating carbohydrates the insulin is there to deal with, to um… process the glucose, the carbohydrates, first and foremost, to get rid of that because it’s effectively a um… toxin ultimately. If you have too much sugar in your blood, that’s a bad thing and that’s why you produce insulin to get rid of the sugar. In the presence of insulin fat gets stored away. So, you make [and] store fats, wherever it is on your body you… you store fat in the presence of insulin. If you don’t eat carbs you don’t produce insulin and then the fat in your blood, it doesn’t matter if you’ve got a lot of fat it’s not going to get stored the same way in your body, and it also is tied into heart disease and everything. If you have insulin and glucose and carbohydrates, a lot of that in your body, in your diet then in the presence of a lot of fats that’s a bad thing, at least in layman’s terms, if I really simplify things. And I found out though that you can have a really really really high fat diet and if you completely remove carbohydrates, or near completely remove it so that you’re not spiking your in… insulin all the time, day in day out, um… it’s actually not a bad thing, and you don’t have to worry about things like heart disease and all these other things in the same way… So, anyway, I tried ketosis. I was doing that diet for probably a year. I literally did an entire with, on and off, little bits here and there of um… sugar and carbohydrates that I ate, you know, I had cheat meals every now and then, but for the most part it was just fats and protein, you know, 20% of my diet, the rest of it was just fats. Excuse me. And, for the most part in there too I was eat… I found myself eating more vegetables than I had ever had before in my life, because you can’t obviously… if you just have fats you’re just going to have a warm soup of fat and… and no one wants to eat that, but I found myself, you know, you have to use a heap of vegetables to soak up all this fat. So, ironically when I got on the ketosis diet and was eating more fat than I’d ever had, no carbs, close to no carbs, I was eating more vegetables than I had ever had either in my entire life, which was… which was something that I didn’t expect at first. And, it was really really interesting because at first you go through this haze when you no longer have carbs in your diet, you know longer have sugar, while your body is used to dealing with this sugar, even with eating all the extra fat when you suddenly switch diets your body can’t process the fat. So, the fat sort of… it… it [your body] processes what it’s used to but all the other excess fat [in the food] that it can’t currently deal with you pass through and don’t use as energy, and the glucose you’re not eating your body’s trying to find, “Where’s all the glucose? I need energy?!” And so, it was… it was interesting because I was for the first week I felt sick, like I felt tired, I had no energy, I felt like nauseous at times because I just had my body… it felt like I was starving, it was really really bizarre. It wasn’t pleasant but… the first week sucked, after the first week though I felt fucking amazing! Like, it is so hard to explain what it feels like when you’re in ketosis and the process of a… the um… being in ketosis is where your body can finally deal with these fats, and it’s producing enough enzymes to like break this down and use this as energy, the interesting thing was that I just no longer felt hungry, pretty much ever. There was no “I ate” when I knew I needed to eat and you know, you would feel somewhat, “Ok I can eat at the moment”, but you didn’t feel that up and down every two hours of needing to eat, which is what I feel when I’m on a carbohydrate based diet. I feel, you know, you have breakfast and then two hours later you’re like “EHHHH I’m so hungry!”, and then you have lunch, and then you know, two or three hours later you’re like “Ahhhh I can’t wait for dinner!”. And so, ketosis was so interesting because I realised how much hunger was really driving my… my attitude, I guess, and my personality to some degree, because every day that I was working or that I… whatever I was doing every day you would constantly have this thing in your head every two, three hours telling you “Ok I need to eat! I need food. What food is there? What can I eat! Oh my god, I can’t wait to have lunch!” you know, “What am I going to have for lunch? It’s going to be so good! I’m going to have a big sandwich, I’m going to have chips. I’m doing to do this.” So, you’re really ruled by your hunger to some degree where it’s always in the back of your head, it’s always there, it’s always kind of gnawing at your, you’re constantly thinking “Oh what’s the next meal! Oh I can’t wait to eat!” And so, it was so bizarre when I got onto ketosis and I got into a keto… a state of ketosis and my body… I could eat a meal and then I would suddenly realise that it’s almost midnight and I hadn’t eaten in 12 hours, and I hadn’t been hungry that entire time. It was weird. And the reason for that I think is that when you’re in ketosis, and this is part of the reason people get into ketosis, um… when you eat these high fat diets and you have fat stored in your body if and when your body needs fat, because you haven’t eaten, it just takes it directly from your fat sources. And so, this is why a lot of endurance athletes actually get onto a ketosis diet. So, you will find if you do a search for ketosis there are actually quite a lot of long distance runners and long distance ah… cyclists now that use the diet ketosis because they don’t have to worry about constantly drinking really high sugary drinks, or those, you know those little packets that they sometimes have that are like sugary gels, during marathons and and the Tour De France, and all that sort of stuff. If they’re in ketosis they don’t have to worry about it because they’ve got their fat stored on their body. So they just do their thing and when and if their body needs fat it just pulls it straight out of their fat stores.
So, that was amazing, but the problem was that I do jiu-jitsu and I do weights, and both of these forms of training in the gym are very um aerobic [anaerobic*] so they require a lot of oxygen [they use up all the oxygen and require the use of sugars, i.e. glycogen]. And so, I mean, I don’t really know the technical terms and all of this, and I’m probably really bad at explaining this, but one way or another ketosis the diet is good if you’re doing really low impact um… endurance sports where you’re at a constant steady rate of, you know, running or cycling or swimming [long distance], and you’re just… you’re doing a very long period at a very set, low, sort of intensity, but the sports and the weights training and all the gym stuff that I was doing was very um… [I] probably want to say anaerobic not aerobic, so correct me there. But, where I actually go really intense for a short period of time, so for about 30 seconds/a minute, it drops down, you know, you finish a set of weights, you finish a little bit of a scramble or fight in jiu-jitsu, and then you rest and then you do it again. And so, you have these… it’s like HIIT training, High Intensity Interval Training, these really high bursts of training as opposed to just a flat, steady rate of… of um… intensity like in running [long distance] or like in um… in cycling [long distance]. So, it’s kind of like sprinting, I guess, or, you know, sprinting in cycling or sprinting in running. And, because I didn’t have glucose in my body, my body just couldn’t handle it. So, it was weird because while I was doing jiu-jitsu and while I was doing weights I felt like I could be there for hours doing it at a low intensity, but as soon as I needed to be able to turn it up and do 30 seconds to a minute of high intensity work, such as fighting someone or such as doing really heavy weights or… for that period of time where I… I need the energy, the glucose, the short-term energy to be able to deal with those situations, and the ketosis diet didn’t… didn’t allow me to do that. There was no sugar in my blood so I couldn’t do that rapid use of energy, and I was absolutely ruined all the time in jiu-jitsu. And so that’s what was really funny. I had to get off of the ketosis diet. After about a year I got off the ketosis diet and got back onto a carb based diet but I tried to avoid simple carbs, [I] tried to have more complex carbs that um… didn’t illicit an insulin response as rapidly. So, if you have complicated carbs your body has to break them down and it takes a little longer. So you don’t shoot your insulin up rapidly like that and then come back down. You sort of do it over a longer period of time during the day when you want to deal with these carbs. So, I got on that and within a week I was at my, what I’d been pre-ketosis when I was um… training again, and it was really bizarre how much a diet could affect my abilities when I was doing those um… high intensity sports. Anyway.
This is probably dragging on a bit but I thought it would be interesting for anyone who’s interested in training and likes the gym and likes talking about diets. More recently, I watched a TV show called Gut Reaction. So, it was a Catalyst program, sort of a um… a news program or a little documentary on gut bacteria and how much gut bacteria are actually influencing our health today, modern… modern society’s health, and what junk food and really processed foods are doing to our gut bacteria and the interplay between gut bacteria and everything else in your body. It’s really bizarre when you watch this doco you don’t realise how much everything is actually potentially linked to the health and state of your gut flora. So, “flora” like um… plants, we call gut flora the gut bacteria that live in your gut. Anyway, so the program, to sum it down, effectively said you need to have a lot more dietary fiber. And so, I’ve been having all of these sorts of things like um… shakes every day where I have a… we have this bullet at home, it’s called a Nutri-Bullet, and it’s like a blender, a really really industrial sort of blender where you could probably put rocks or glass or CDs or something in there and it would blend it into a powder. Anyway, I use this Nutri-Bullet to blend up all sorts of things like avocado and banana and a bit of orange juice to give it a bit of um… sweetness but then I put a whole heap of celery, silver beet, um… kale, and chia seeds, a lot of other things that have fiber in them, and I put those into the… into this… it almost looks like um… baby food in the end. You end up with like a little jug about this big full of this green liquid. [I] drink that and I felt amazing. I’ve been doing that for probably about a month or two now once a day as a meal, and that feels absolutely amazing. And then after this Catalyst program that sort of reaffirmed what I already um… what I already had believed about gut flora, I started drinking a shot of apple cider vinegar, and you probably can’t see that very well and it’s probably backwards, apple cider vinegar every morning as I get up, and this is the most brutal brutal thing I think I have ever put in my mouth. And I have put… I have put quite a few gross things in my mouth, food wise, food wise! Um… yeah, this is the most brutal brutal drink. It is just so acidic that I just want to do a shot too because I don’t like the taste and drinking a glass of water diluted a bit with this would be sort of a slower death, if you will. Give me a quick painful death as opposed to a slow slightly less painful death. Um, anyway, yeah, so that’s been burning my throat but I drink something straight after it really quick and it’s been making me feel really really good. And so, the health benefits on um… on the Catalyst program were amazing and there was a whole heap with regards to reducing inflammation in your body, helping with arthritis and asthma um… and just making your body a lot more alkaline. So, you don’t want it to be acidic where you’re inflamed or you… you’ve got a lot of inflammation in your body. If you… ironically if you drink something that is acidic it doesn’t um… it doesn’t increase the acidity in your body because your body’s not producing an acid to have to break it down. So, it’s already acidic. It doesn’t have to produce um… as much stomach acid in order to deal with it, and it’s related anyway. I’m not an expert on these things. I’ve just been trying them, and it’s been really interesting, and I thought I would make a quick episode on it, and also experiment with making it a video to upload to YouTube and… and see what you guys think. So, definitely give me some feedback. Um… if you like the video give a thumbs up. Let me know what you think in a comment. I’ll also make it a podcast episode just so I can kill two birds with one stone.
And yeah, um… if you guys want to support the Aussie English um… podcast then check out AussieEnglish.com theAussieEnglishPodcast.com and suss out the… the donate page. So, I’ve got set up a donation page ah… where you can donate, you know, a few dollars a month if you want, if… ‘Cause I don’t really have anything to sell currently at all. I’m going to try and come up with some products in the future, but I’ve got a Patreon page that’s linked through the donate site on www.TheAussieEnglishPodcast.com and you can always sign up to donate a few dollars a month if you’re interested. Anyway, you don’t have to. It’s just an option if you want to support the podcast. So, that’s probably enough for today guys. I might break this episode down and come up with some expressions to work on in the future, ‘cause I can remember I’ve dropped a few here. And I’ll chat to you next time. All the best!