Ketone Diet and Psychology

A Day in Food on the Ketone Diet

How endurance athlete Patrick Sweeney puts away nearly 3,000 calories a day on the ketone diet

Read the full article at:

Also check out Tim Ferriss’ podcast on the ketogenic diet.

I can always see new individual rippling muscle fibers when I go on a ketogenic diet even for a few days – so I know I’m burning fat quickly.

But there are several problems that I quickly encounter.


  1. Carb cravings
  2. Boredom
  3. Low energy
  4. The weight comes back with a vengeance


These problems are common to all food restriction diets, and they highlight the controversy over why low carb diets work:

Does the body actually burn more fat stores or do people eat less because of “sensory specific satiety”?


Food restriction diets in general allow you to eat a limited variety of foods in unlimited amounts.  Studies show that we get bored of the same food and habitually eat less of it.  When variety is re-introduced we eat more. Dr. Barbara Rolls, a nutrition researcher at Penn State, showed in a study that if people are offered an assortment of 3 flavors of yogurt they will consume 23% more than if only offered 1 flavor.


This is the same reason the Atkins Diet was so successful at first – it was only meat and veggies – BOOOOORING.  But then all the low carb cakes and cookies came out and everyone on the diet started eating more because of the variety, so they started gaining weight.


There is good evidence that low carb diets work better than calorie-restriction (starvation) or low fat diets, but in order to sustain the weight loss you need a way to beat the carb cravings and the boredom.  It turns out that there is a simple solution to both of these problems that also takes care of the low energy problem and helps keep the weight off as well.


The 20-to-1 ratio

Try applying a simple formula to every nutrition label, the 20-to-1 ratio.  Just divide the number of calories by the number of carbs on the label.  Serving size doesn’t matter since it’s a ratio.

The idea is that your entire diet overall should have a calorie-to-carb ratio of greater than 20:1.  So if you eat 2000 calories in a day you would have no more than 100 grams of carbs.

This simple solution works because it adjusts the macronutrient (protein, carb, fat) components of your diet to include the foods that fill you up and prevent hunger.  They also allow you to feel satiated for a longer time between meals and snacks.  Finally, since sugar and refined carbs are metabolized by the liver to become deep belly fat, limiting intake of these will help you lose body fat overall.


Start the morning with whole grains

The other trick that makes this all work is eating the majority of your carbs, as whole grains, when you first wake up in the morning.  This keeps my energy level high enough to do a solid hour of intense interval training and yoga, and have energy all day, without the carb cravings



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