If you’re ambitious and want to do big things with your life there is no better diet than a well-formulated ketogenic diet. Here are 8 reasons why a ketogenic diet is the ultimate diet for productivity.
1. Consistent Energy
Inconsistent energy levels were a major reason I first started looking for a better diet. Trying to create consistently is difficult enough without swinging between being distracted by hunger and feeling tired and unmotivated after eating. The good news is evolution solved this problem for humans a long time ago by making fat our primary fuel source, we’ve just forgotten over the last 10,000 years or so (a drop in a pool of evolution). There are many reasons why evolution has shaped us into fat-burning machines but here are two major reasons being ketogenic provides consistent physical and mental energy:
a. Giving you quick access to your body’s massive fuel suit (body fat):
When you’re in nutritional ketosis your body has quick access to the abundant energy stored in your body fat. A 180lb person with 16% body fat has over 100,000 calories of energy attached to their body. What this does is fill in energy gaps between meals allowing you to work in a sweet spot of high energy for hours at a time without being distracted by hunger or bogged down by digestion, it is the perfect state to create.
b. Your brain now runs primarily on ketones instead of glucose:
This is huge because not only does your brain work great on ketones, but ketones are primarily a product of your liver as it burns fat. So what this means is that when you’re ketogenic you have a practically endless supply of energy from fat that your liver then converts into energy on-demand for your brain!
2. Mental Clarity, Acuity, and Focus
People are beginning to take notice of the practical effects the ketogenic diet has on mental clarity and acuity. Navy Seals are starting to induce ketosis before missions for enhanced mental and physical performance. Clinicians and researchers use ketones to treat various neurological disorders. Dr. Peter Attia agrees a ketogenic diet is beneficial for people who place a premium on mental acuity. And I feel immersed in laser-like focus every morning while I work in a fasted state.
3. The Power of Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting can be done when you’re not ketogenic but it becomes effortless while in nutritional ketosis due to the absence of hunger caused by burning your body fat for fuel. You can weave periods of intermittent fasting throughout your schedule in whatever way is most beneficial giving you ultimate flexibility.
Have something that needs to be done at your normal lunch time? No problem, I’ll just eat later, no crisis here… Windows of intermittent fasting are also optimal times to be creative and productive since you’re body isn’t bogged down by digestion. It also can become an essential tool for meeting deadlines (set by others or yourself) by allowing you to say to yourself “I’ll eat when I’m done” and be able to maintain high energy and focus until you’re finished. Not to mention all the potential health benefits associated with intermittent fasting.
4. Getting the Most out of your Mornings
Doing your most important task first thing in the morning is one of the most simple and effective productivity strategies there is whether or not you are ketogenic, and if you combine this strategy with a ketogenic diet your mornings become incredible opportunities for productivity. No more waking up feeling like crap and hungry because your brain was glucose-starved half the night.
Imagine waking up every morning refreshed and energetic with a body and brain that spent the night consistently fueled by fat and ketones primed and ready to do the same throughout the morning. Being free to work all morning with no hunger distracting you, no energy wasted digesting breakfast, just the most effective version of yourself and the days work. Combine all this with some high quality green tea, yerba mate, or black coffee and you’ll feel like you’re burning jet fuel all morning.
5. More Time Every Day
When you’re intermittent fasting half the day and having body fat for breakfast this results in less time spent thinking about, preparing, and eating food, not to mention less cleanup afterward. Just by skipping breakfast, if you spend a half an hour every morning cooking, eating, and cleaning up after breakfast that’s 3.5 hours a week, 14 hours a month, 168 hours a year of your best productivity time that you’ll never get back. Not to mention potentially requiring less sleep every night to perform optimally.
6. Longevity (more days in your life)
Understanding and managing your willpower is a critical skill for becoming productive every day. Knowing that your willpower is at it’s highest when you wake up in the morning, declines throughout the day and that changing your environment to make the right choices and habits easier is the best way to make the most of your limited daily pool of willpower.
I can’t think of a better place to start changing your environment than with your own body, and becoming ketogenic has a huge impact on preserving your willpower. No more willpower wasted resisting hunger and cravings throughout the day, planning and attempting failing diets, and cooking and cleaning up after frequent meals and snacks. And every time your blood sugar dips and your brain is low on glucose it temporarily saps your willpower hindering your ability to do any meaningful work until you eat again which most of the time will lower your willpower again while your body is bogged down by digestion.
8. Maintaining Productivity While Losing Fat
Being ketogenic makes losing fat and keeping it off quicker and easier than other diets which is great (check out the ketogenic subreddit), but another benefit of losing fat on a ketogenic diet that’s even more important to me is being able to maintain a high level of productivity while losing fat. The only difference between a ketogenic diet for weight maintenance and one for losing fat is decreasing the amount of fat you eat each day and instead get it from your body fat, so you maintain all the productivity benefits of being on a ketogenic diet while progressing towards your weight goals.
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