Ketogenic Diet In The Philippines: A New Concept in Losing Weight by Eating Fat
For the longest time the food pyramid is considered to be the standard in promoting good health.
What if I told you that it is wrong?
What if I told you that there exists a form of diet that is considered so controversial that it is shaking up the entire food industry and the health and sciences?
What if I told you that this form of diet existed for a long time, but was hidden to everyone because of its effectiveness in making people lose weight and make themselves healthy in the simplest way possible?
This form of diet is currently making waves in the Philippines and has been helping a lot of sick Filipinos have the body that they want.
This my friend, is the Ketogenic Diet.
But before anything else a bit of a backgrounder on my coming across this strange diet, perhaps in the form of the Atkins diet which was a fad back in the 90’s.
(Enter nostalgic music)
Basically, I didn't eat any rice or drank any soda, back then, the reason behind it was because when I was really fat in High School, I developed a form of skin asthma where you can literally write your name on my skin and it will pop up.
I was afraid that I thought it was diabetes, being that my family has a long history of diabetes.
(Other than that, I also experienced urinary tract infection (UTI) where I literally pee'd blood and was in pain for at least three days, thus my reason in forsaking soda.)
I can remember that I became skinny for not eating any rice, but I drank a lot of beer though, because our Judo teacher back then believes that after a good Judo practice one should drink cold beer as it helps in recuperation (bad, bad advice really).
(I know, I know this is not an Atkins diet at all, but I just cut out on rice and sodas and it worked immensely when I was trying to lose weight despite eating other foods. Now imagine if you do Keto properly?)
Ketogenic Diet was first introduced to me by a good friend of mine who has Diabetes herself and has been looking for a way to lose weight.
Her name is Dr. Johanna (Jette) Po.
She owns Sugarfix, one of the most authentic bakeshop that serves Keto Friendly cakes and pastries. (I would know because Dr. Jette is very meticulous when it comes to taste and ingredients being a practitioner of the Ketogenic Lifestyle herself, she knows how important having proper macros in serving her Keto cakes and pastries)
But the real test would be if you taste one of her creations and compare it with others. (I warn you, her cakes doesn't last long in her store. They usually sell out quickly like pancakes by 2pm so I suggest you call in advance if you want to taste her creations as Sugarfix also caters to actors and oftentimes they order in bulk.)
So Ate Jette (As we fondly call her) suddenly lost a lot of weight. She also cut back on her medicine intake for her diabetes.
She told us this in one of our get-together sessions in Sugarfix (or SF in short).
We began asking more questions about it, and being that Ate Jette also has a background in science and medicine (A PhD in Molecular Biology yes, she's that intelligent) she was able to properly outline the pros and cons of the Ketogenic Diet its effects and results.
I was very interested in this approach when it came to diet and nutrition.
You see I practice Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, and I also fought in some amateur Muay Thai competitions and I really believe that training is just one part of the equation.
I even believe that training could be 80%, whereas 20% of the food that a person eats is what would make a great athlete.
So, when I went home, I decided to research more about this “strange” diet.
Because basically it goes against what has been properly regarded as the staple diet of the Philippines, which can be summed up to only four categories.
- Carbohydrate heavy
- Sour (sometimes)
Truth be told, everyone in the Philippines eats rice, drinks anything sweet and then eats lots of sweets after.
The salty thing would come across in the snacks and “meriendas” which oftentimes would be another sweet thing.
Turns out, this is what kills most Filipinos.
Because basically it is the after effects of this card-sugar, heavy diet that generates most of the diseases particularly in the Philippines. (High Blood, Heart problem, Diabetes, etc.)
All of which can be considered “caused” by the typical Philippine Diet.
So, I thought to myself: “No matter how much I go to the gym and work-out my weight still doesn't go down.”
Turns out, it is not enough to just go to the gym and lift heavy or run on the treadmill for hours on end.
What you eat is more important than the workout that you do.
I understand that it's complicated, but here's my take on the Ketogenic Diet.
- Your body does not need that much sugar.
- The more you eat carbohydrates and the less you burn it, compounds in time, which eventually could “overwork” your internal organs, create more fat and then bring in more diseases.
- Your body (internal organs) needs to rest from all the digesting (ex: extended fasting, intermittent fasting, time restricted eating).
- Processed food is bad for you.
- Fat is good (we'll delve into this deeper later)
This is good enough reason for me to test this Ketogenic Diet while at the back of my head, looking at it that perhaps it is just a fad that would eventually die away.
(A disclaimer: Before I started doing Keto I wasn't eating rice anymore and I've already shifted to Corn Rice that is because despite only eating half a cup of red rice, my triglycerides are still exceedingly high.)
Despite this, my weight still remained the same as if nothing happened.
I still had no health problems, however, except for the occasional migraines (which I believe is brought upon by the high triglycerides)
I was still 200lbs (and increasing I am 5'9 by the way so this was NOT good)
I also ate every after lunch or breakfast as a snack some “Stick-O” (Chocolate Wafer Stick) and “Nutella”. (I eat a spoonful of Nutella or three to five sticks of Stick-O, both are very sweet by the way)
I did the cold-turkey type of Ketogenic diet because I take myself as an “All or Nothing Guy” and perhaps to really tell myself that I experienced the diet first hand without conditions.
IT WASN'T FUN AT ALL. AT FIRST. (BEWARE)
I removed all carbs in my diet, took Bullet Proof Coffee (BPC) with stevia, ate pork chicharon for snack (with rind) and ate an egg omelet with butter and cream cheese plus other viands for lunch.
And drank lots and lots of water.
First three days of the diet my head hurts like hell, and I poop like there's no tomorrow. (Poop is very watery)
Turns out this is the body's way of detoxifying as per the Ketogenic Diet standards.
This is called the Keto Flu.
On the fourth day my eating pattern changed because I was not that hungry anymore.
I mean I felt that my stomach was always full. This was because of the BPC and (Virgin Coconut Oil) VCO.
On the fifth day I felt a change in my body, my stomach isn't as bloated as before, and I can bend and move properly.
I also noticed that my sleeping patterns became normal, which is to say I didn't stay up as late as 1-2 am unlike before.
Anyway, because I felt that my body needed to adapt to the new diet I decided to forego going to the gym and lifting weights.
My only fear was that if I lift the same heavy weights I was lifting before I might faint. (Turns out I was wrong more on this later)
I made it a point that I would eat anything I want at least one day in a week (Saturday or Sunday).
This was to keep me sane and grounded in what I was doing and in achieving my goals. I look at it as a piece of reward whenever I finish a good week of Keto.
Turns out whenever you go back to your regular diet and you go back to doing Keto you may suffer some headache
I suffered mine the next day, but afterwards rebounded again the following day.
My day usually starts and ends like this:
6:30-45: Wake up drink BPC eat an egg omelet with cream cheese
As for the amount of eggs you may eat and if it is good to eat the yolk I usually eat at least 2-4 eggs a day with yolk included.
Snack in between (pork chicharon)
12pm: Eat lunch (any meat will do and any food as long as there's no carbs in it, you can check the list of allowed foods in the image below)
Snack in between (pork chicharon) or another mug of BPC
7pm Eat dinner (any meat will do and any food as long as there's no carbs in it, you can check the list of allowed foods in the image below)
Snack in between (pork chicharon) or another mug of BPC
10-11 pm sleep
Ketogenic Diet Philippine Version courtesy of Ketogenics PH https://www.facebook.com/groups/KetogenicsPh/FOR A BETTER FOOD PYRAMID WITH MORE CHOICES CLICK HERE
(Remember to drink voluminous amounts of water in between perhaps this is the most important part of doing Keto along with some salt from chicharon)
Now you may be asking, isn't chicharon dangerous? Why chicharon? (Watch Juana Change's Interview in ANC with Karen Davila)
Actually, you can choose not to eat chicharon, there are a lot of other alternatives to it as listed in the food list above.
It just so happens that it is the closest snack you can get the best source of protein and has no carbohydrates whatsoever.
You see, this is the mystery of the Ketogenic Diet. It stands that fat is not the problem, rather, the extreme amount of sugar that everyone eats.
Actually, there have been lots of studies regarding the health benefits of Keto, (I will post links below) that proves its effectiveness in keeping a person healthy while shedding away unwanted body fat.
Needless to say, I lost a lot of weight after that week, and then the week after but one has to remember that water weight is very heavy and can never be an objective measure in judging one's weight.
I would rather go for the muscle to fat ratio.
So, in my case I was shedding away water weight and would need to steadily add more muscle.
I went to the gym after the second week when my body seemed well adjusted to the diet.
Honestly, I was afraid to test out how much I can lift being that I was more inclined to lift weights while taking in carbs.
Turns out I was wrong.
Not only was I able to break my previous record. But I don't feel tired after the lifts!
(Another Disclaimer: if there's one thing I know about myself, it is that I can't stop exercising.
Once I stop exercising I experience the following:
- Migraine – yes really painful migraine that oftentimes stays for days. (three days is the most extreme one) the only drug that worked for me is Excedrin. I even had to order this from the U.S. because no drug work for me in the Philippines.
- Lethargy – and I mean the really bad kind, where your brain doesn't function and it also does not want you to do anything.
- Fat – I gain approximately at least a pound a week or more depending on my diet. And then I eventually can't it in my clothes.
- Gout and Bad Stomach.
- Inflamed joints. (When I wake up in the morning at least 60% of my joints crack and are painful.))
Also, my joints didn't inflame the next day! And the day after that!
(Turns out carbs also assist in inflammation YUCK!)
I started out on Keto carrying a body weight of 90 kilos on September 2017.
Today I am only 85 Kilos.
You might ask; “But Floyd you only lost 5 kilos?! I wouldn't call that losing weight at all?!”
You are correct, that is because I have been lifting weights heavier and heavier while doing Keto and I haven't looked back since.
And remember, muscle is heavier than fat correct?
Also, I never gained new pounds while doing Keto as compared to the other diets I did.
I would always consider that as a win! Knowing that my weight could still continue to go down.
But wait! There will also come a time that your weight will stall, and when that happens, you might need to do some intermittent fasting (IF). (But honestly, I'd rather that you go to the gym. I mean doing IF and Keto might be a bit of a stretch, but yes, I also did that when my weight stalled.)
You could consider me as not being completely doing Keto, according to Dr. Jette one must completely immerse doing strict Keto for a month before really eating a bit of carbs.
Unfortunately, I didn't follow that rule. (Sorry Doc!)
Also, women are much harder to lose weight that is because they menstruate. Their water intake is a bit erratic so I would suggest to not look too much on your weighing scale, If you plan on doing Keto.
If you really want to practice the Ketogenic Diet I would suggest the following:
- Consider your personal health first – If you are a bit older and have some previous health issues, please make sure to check with your doctor if you are going to shift your diet. (Unfortunately some doctors frown upon this form of diet, so better check on your overall condition first especially when you are taking some maintenance drugs.)
- Do it slowly but surely – You can remove certain portions at first every week, just so you can ease your way in, into the diet itself.
- 1st week – No sweets (chocolates, candies, sweet snacks and certain types of fruits)
- 2nd week – No carbs (rice, bread, pasta)
- 3rd week – No Sodas (or juices too)
- 4th week – No Lethargy (exercise by doing brisk walking or yoga)
- Find a support group – In my case I became a part of an FB chat group that closely observes Keto. And we often have Keto parties (Keto-gethers’) while we mourn our good old non-Keto days. Your support group could be in a form of a friend that is willing to share your journey. Also, my wife is the best partner in checking out the foods I eat at home.
SF Keto Group in our 80's themed costumesAlmost monthly Keto get together at SFKeto also inspired me to print our very own SF Keto shirts hahaha ^_^
- Be a part of a Keto FB group – This might sound cliche, but honestly, sometimes you can't rely on what you already know. You need to ask other people you don't know that have been doing the same thing longer than you, and learn from them.
The advantage of also being in one is that you can find out some cool finds on foods that are Keto for the lowest price!
5.Have a strong mindset – Keto is a lifestyle and a habit. Changing your eating habits is like cutting out cigarettes when you've been a smoker all your life.
I promise that sometimes you will fail, you will cheat, one chocolate bar would suddenly become ten chocolate bars.
Keto will challenge you mentally and emotionally. That is because you've been trained your entire life to eat what you’ve been eating ever since.
And don't get me started with the eating out problems where you can't choose what you eat, especially at parties and other occasions.
- Start with the end in mind – Whenever you reach out for some sweets remember why you started. Look at the long term gain of doing Keto than the short term sacrifice.
- Set aside a cheat day – seriously, deep in our hearts we want to eat everything, especially if you are someone like me who can't seem to stop enjoying eating. Look at it as a reward for a job well done.
In my case I notice that my threshold for sweets became lower. Whereas before I can down 3-5 Dunkin Donuts Boston Creme.
Today I can't even finish one because I find it too sweet.
- The most important part of doing Keto is the exercise – I can't emphasize this more. The benefits of exercise exceed that of doing any diet out there. Look at it this way, Keto is a gem on its own, you can literally get thin without moving a muscle but it will take a longer time. Complementing it with exercise triples the effect and leaves your body healthier than when you started.
- Read and research about it – Keto is a lifestyle, knowing its effects will strengthen your fortitude and conviction to say no to sweets and carbs.
- If you fail once, stand up and start again – Keto is a journey, sometimes you stumble sometimes you cheat ahead of the cheat day itself, dust yourself up and try again.
Now will I continue doing Keto?
Personally, YES. I've known its impact and I’m enjoying it!
Favorite brand of Chicharon: Go for Dolores Chicharon, it is cheaper and it really has rind in it. You can check it out in Timog in front of Pepetons.
Favorite brand of Stevia: I usually go for Equal Gold Zero Calorie Sweetener or Natleaf Stevia, both can be bought from Lazada (cheaper too)
Favorite brand of VCO: I usually go for Laurin MCT Boost or Laurin VCO. You can also get it from Lazada, but I have a contact where I buy it for a cheaper price.
By the way you can also eat bread while doing Keto, this is either a cloud bread or good old Keto bread that you can also find in SF. (I am really partial when it comes to SF because I personally know the owner and the quality of their work.)
Other recommended places to eat Keto friendly food: Go for Gourmet Gypsy, the owner Waya Araos is a good friend and also the original mentor of Doc Jette on Keto. Great place and great people! Couldn’t recommend it more! See: These places will convince you to go on a Keto diet
What kind of exercise do you recommend for people doing Keto: It really depends on a lot of factors such as age,current weight, gender, but the best so far is to go and do Yoga and brisk walking. Set a schedule and stick to it after a few days it becomes a habit and then eventually you'll be shedding more pounds. If you plan to do some lifting in a gym that is another story and perhaps a new article altogether. But if you really want some good quality instructionals go to Ketogains.
What Apps do you recommend in doing Keto: At first I used Myfitness Pal in counting my macros but then I grew tired of using it and instead relied on my gut if I still feel hungry although for really strict ones this is highly recommendable. You might need to change some settings inside though to properly calculate your calorie intake. Also better use the free ones first as there's a paid option for this. I also used BodyFast for Intermittent Fasting and so far it has helped me a lot. I got the premium one.
Is Keto expensive: Honestly No. that is because you don't eat that much and you don't crave that much as well. So technically you are saving more money than you ever know. The only thing I spend much on is for the VCO and that's it. Sometimes I crave for sweets and I run to SF and get my fix but their prices are so cheap I don't even bother looking at it as an expense.
What books do I recommend for people who wants to start Keto:
How do I prepare my Bullet Proof Coffee (BPC):
- Hot Water
- Brewed coffee (I am a coffee addict, as such that I even roast my own coffee) you can also settle for instant coffees as long as it has no cream or sugar.
- 1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon VCO
- Natural Sweetener (depends on taste)
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds (optional)
(Better to mix everything using a frother.)
I hope you find this article helpful, please go ahead and comment below, share with me your thoughts on Ketogenic Diet in the Philippines.
P.S. Here is a great video on Ketogenic Diet that I personally endorse. ^_^