2020 Annual Food For Thoughts: Cyclical Keto+IF (1/3)

2020 Annual Food For Thoughts: Cyclical Keto+IF (1/3)
You are reading someone else’s in-depth account/s of nutritional & life intervention/s spanning across ONE YEAR. Covering everything from nutrition, psychology, supplementation and fitness training. All intertwined into both socio-economical and self-scientific (explorative) perspective. This is NOT a light reading. Don’t like it? Then go somewhere else. 

A summary.

I am unable to write this extensively as intended because of so many overlapping obligatories. From the very recent completion of Self Enquiry Journalling tool for 2021. Then there’s the strain from more academia studying. Which that interestingly brought me some 60+ hours work towards re-branding contemplation. Then there’s my next book and the Youtube channel. The latter despite reaching thousandth of hour still somehow remains invisible.

Besides, there’s my five-year anniversary writeup . This may not interests you. Sooner or later, everyone has their own contemplative “deadlines”. This is no different ~five years of lone work. Beyond “work”.

At least, I’m glad having done the three laborious presentations on expired food guide + experiences. Unpretentious, yet deep.

COVID19: opportunities for more Intermittent Fasting challenges

This year allowed me tinkering with longer days of IF. Whilst surviving the lowest glucose reading in recent memory. Though my “sentiments” on high vs low readings is far from black or white (more on this later). 

Occasional 26-27 hour fasting windows, and no full day of eating refeed attempts were indeed passable. Gratifying? Yes. Meaningful? Yes. But do I “feel good”? Subjective. Hunger levels were indeed slightly more apprehensive and anxious. But once nearing towards my sleeping hours ~ such concerns were certainly behind me.

As we get to discuss later down in the “training” section – the pandemic certainly teaches one how to be productive elsewhere. TLDR; resistance bands has now become a permanent accessory into all my proper (volume depletion) training days.

For the non believers ~ these are 2 tests done 4 minutes apart.
For the non believers ~ these are 2 tests done 4 minutes apart.

Survived the lowest Glucose reading. But higher amidst hotter seasons if less mineral accessory supplementations.

It seems I got over the lowest glucose reading so far on record = 2.7 MMOL. This was when things were at the busiest mentally and physically as I slowly returned to full training after a second (mandatory break) due to switching gym/s. The above shows unretouched, grime and dirty original shots as they were; including the Pentax® original DNG timestamps.

What I learned from all this is to neither glamorise nor condemn ~ low glucose readings. I am slightly more confident now that low does not always equate “better” livelihood. Particularly fitness training episodes. 4 to 4.5 MMOL at least half hour before training seemed to be the most “reasonable” at maintaining able, rigorous productivity. That is: exhausted, no-time-to-talk, average rating of 6-7 out of ten on the RPE scale across a 250+ repetition volume depletion.  Lower than 4? Expect me very struggling on compound exercises without  ligaments or resistance joints pains. Even amidst supposedly lower-back “friendly” trap bar deadlifts.

There are however, two things I have learned thus far on interpreting fasted glucose readings.

Firstly a pattern of conviction on higher readings amidst hot seasons. Current consensus, as well as general literatures ~ suggest that lower readings seemingly occur only at summer weathers, yet lower on winters. Close to two years now ~ for reasons still unknown ~ I frequently seem to experience the opposite.

  • Whilst unconfirmed, my speculation on this is perhaps due to to my brief (<1.5 months) experience WITHOUT added mineral supplementations inbetween late October to December. Just to see where and how far well “adapted” I am to this way of CKD+IF life. So far ~ a regretful experience. Intense lingering headaches, Much more weaknesses overall compared to recent memory. These accessory minerals I’m referring to are Magnesiums, Zinc and Chromium. 
  • There is indeed case for concern in regards to dehydration = diabetes connection*. Amidst hotter seasons I drink anywhere between 3L up to a full gallon a day. Zero® advocates 30-35ML per kilogram intake daily; that translating between 2.3 to 2.5L for my metrics (66-67kg). 2.5L ~ to me seems quite “low”, considering my volume depletion training day usually requires anywhere from 1.25 to 1.5L extra sips of water inbetween exercises. Alas, drinking more when we’re not thirsty ~ seems to aggravate hyponatraemia. As signified by clear urine which then also suggesting LOSS of much needed salts. And yes, it is extremely rare for me to see my urine more saturated than off white/off-yellow. 
* Keep in mind that many of these studies track only water intake without other dietary confounders. That is, in the context of pedestrian, low fat diets.

Secondly, Glucose readings reflect somewhat poorly on other surrogate markers for general “health”. For instance, it does not seem to indicate “hunger ratings”. Likewise with “mental state” or “moodiness”. There were times I felt channelled-in, tunnel-vision-like occupied ~ at very low glucose readings of <4.0MMOL. However, general irritability, lingering stigma + stress + apprehension on any given day ~ do not seem to correlate between low or high ~ glucose readings on at least 18+hours fasting windows. I absolutely have had maniacally-stressful episodes on low glucose readings. Yet also feeling the exact same stress on high glucose readings.

I ensure that all testing is done on the very same right hand fingers. Either pinky, or ring.  If anything looks unusual, I retest once again on the left. More often than not – I find my left hand gives slightly lower reading on same sites (either pinky or ring). But of course, testing multiple times per day not only becomes painful but also draining to the wallet.

Nevertheless whilst it seems long overdue ~ next section of this annual writeup  I will be sharing my actual clinical blood test panels.

Yes. Blood panel results after years of so called “abuse”. For all you Dietician-Thought-Police and virtue signallers ~ here’s your chance to shine your superiority insecurities. You’re only owing yourselves more embarrassment.

Here’s a snapshot from my own fasted glucose reports for the entire year. Straight from the Optimum Neo glucometer. Want more details? Download the ENTIRE 50-page report here.

My CKD+IF Setup Thus Far

My routines remain unchanged from my previous write up. But throughout this year extending occassionally to six days of at least 18:6 IF formatting to explore what I can live and get by further with lesser inputs.

Monday to Friday remains the usual 19:5 or 20:4 format Keto/Low Carb IF. 

Overall refeed weekend calories is now on the lower side from the above extended tinkering. Hovering inbetween that of 3500 kcals to only few rare occassion indulgence ~ 4000 kcals. However by Sunday’s occasional full day of eating, carb load hunger at times seem to blunt as night proceeds. Times like these compelled me then to start lowering carbohydrate intake by evening meal onwards. That, at the very least helps me immensely digestion wise. 

A “less carbohydrate” example feature meal during refeed day

Lowest / highest calorie intakes

General IF Days (HC+IF/LC+IF)

Generally speaking, I have been trying to get out of the 1600 kcals “starvation”. Despite longer occasional inclusion of fasting days; I manage to inch closer towards surpluses on KETO/LC/IF days mostly averaging 17-1800 calories. These of course, only made possible given the extra pocket income for extended food supply. Yes, all these are possible ~ under the occasional <$28 per week budgets.

Without me trying to sound like an infomercial, my expired food guides and experiences pretty much remains as an encouraged go-to source; should others involuntary struggles coincide with mine towards pragmatic physiology (and psychology).

Training + Body Composition

During the March – June COVID lockdown fitness training was indeed a rough experience. From 67 kg average end of week CKDIF cycle then plunging down to as low as 62.5kg (after the training break).

However, amidst these times of strictly no gym training – resistance bands training becomes truly indispensable. For anyone who is sedentary, this at least brings some purpose. Just three times mini / small workouts (each comprising of 4 exercise as one set, repeat up to three times) amidst resting or no training days ~ felt suffice inducing just enough “active” exertions on all muscles. Far better than staying idle, all day long. I highly recommend buying two (2) strength levels = one as purple (more “ROM” range of movement exercises) and one as green (limited “ROM” but more intensity potential). 

I also experimented with cold showers. Though my thoughts on these are too premature as is. Suffice to say I do feel “good”, not just “refreshed” despite surge of stress signals upon the cold.

The formatting and frequencies remain exactly the same as previous.

  1. Monday (Chest & Tri’s). Up to 300 reps depletion across up to TWELVE (12) exercises up to or under 1 hour & 45 minutes. An increase from last year on average. 
  2. Tuesday (Legs & middles as accessory(s)). Up to 200 reps depletion across up to eight (8) exercises. 1 hours & 30 minutes. 
  3. Thursday (Shoulders / lats). Up to 300 reps depletion across up to TWELVE (12) exercises. Up to or under two full hours. An increase from last year on average. 
  4. Friday (Backs+Legs again & Biceps). Up to 300 reps depletion across up to ten (10) exercises up to or under 1 hour & 30minutes.


This year has taught me much. More than just a ticking clock towards the Five Years Anniversary feature writeup.

Yes, intermittent fasting is still here to stay. I cannot say for how much long-er. But I can defenitely say how far have I been surviving. A very long time.

Is it “liberating”? Does it make me objectively “happy”? My answers to these remain highly subjective.

Intermittent Fasting strives one to be desirably objective. But also, leaving one more questionably subjective. What else “more” can we do with less? The more fasting milestones one achieved ~ then more contemplations, more unorthodox experiences all remains yet to be chartered.

Despite all the mayhem from COVID19 as it happens everywhere else ~ this year have left me something “good” from having subsisted in this way of life, five long years so far.

For instance, I do not each much fibre.

Why? Because there’d be no toilet papers left for currency. At least, I’ve done my part ~ to reason with one’s own self. In the mean time / for the time being.  That ~ is much better than fighting in the toiletries aisle. Besides, I don’t think toilet papers taste that good anyway.

Every virtue spares a vice. And vice versa.



– AW™.

End part 1 of 3.

Next part I’ll discuss notable highlights and interventions thus far .

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