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Melting Fat at Christmas

Dr. Gary Huber

Enjoying the Holidays doesn't have to include every cookie you see but it also doesn't mean you can't enjoy favorite treats. A day in the life of a ketogenic fan. Eat, drink and be merry.

Having your cake and eating it too is a great way to enjoy the holidays. Straight up I was in ketosis yesterday as I headed to my in-laws for our Christmas gathering. I had been eating plenty of food but avoiding carbs, engaging intermittent fasting (12 hours per day) and working out nearly every day. I had worked out hard that morning with friends which included weights and running sprints.

It is hard to store body fat when your body
is burning fat for fuel.

As we drove over to my in-laws house I was all up in my head having a serious discussion with myself about my game plan for the day. As I sat down for a lovely meal with family I enjoyed mounds of ham and vegetables but was tempted and persuaded to enjoy some amazing sweet potatoes my Mother-in-law made and a piece of gluten free bread with a pile of butter. Not bad, hangin in and feeling good thus far. Now here’s the tough part. My father-in-law is famous for his butterscotch pie. I’m sure you have a “famous” relative recipe that you too enjoy each year, am I right? So of course, the moment of truth as I am asked if I would like piece. A piece? No, I would enjoy inhaling the entire pie but sure why not “I’ll have a SMALL piece please”. As the plate is headed my way my loving wife deposits a good size chuck of cheese cake as well . . . just for good measure. Now I am an adult and perfectly capable of controlling my intake and making good decisions . . . most days. But “it's the holiday” I tell myself. I suck the butterscotch pie down like a prisoner on death row and tomorrow is execution day. The cheesecake I toy with and set aside for later. Later did in fact come and I devoured every crumb. I left nothing for that Christmas mouse. Fully aware that I have likely knocked myself out of ketosis I figure why not top it off with a little wine. One glass of cabernet should work nicely. There we go. All tucked in for the night.

I awaken today to joyous sunny skies and a brisk 32 degree temperature. Out for a morning cold exposure . . . lovely. Now hop on the bike with my friend Pav for a 30 mile spin. Brisk, delightful and sweaty despite the cold temperature. So as I shower off I figure I may as well prick my finger and measure my ketones . . . 1.6 !!!  I’m firmly in ketosis despite my cake, pie, bread, potato, and wine blitz. How?

As I shared in our “How to cheat on a Ketogenic diet” video if you exercise hard and deplete your glycogen stores prior to a carb meal then your body may be able to simply restore lost glycogen without interrupting your fat burning. This is what occurred in lovely fashion and I am still burning fat for fuel right now. I will be a low carb guy today for tomorrow is Christmas and who knows what might arrive on my plate. And in case you were wondering, YES I do plan to workout Christmas day so that whatever Santa brings me, it won’t end up making my pants bigger.

Have a great big joyous Christmas. Love on everyone and be big the biggest hug monster out there. Feel the gratitude of the season and express your spirituality. If you can schedule the time . . . get a workout and a piece of pie. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all.

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