Hacking Test W/ Keto Diet?

Hi all,


 


I'm taking the biggest test of my entire life (COMLEX I, will basically determine which specialties of doctoring I can do for the rest of my life :unsure:) in two weeks. I have been eating pretty healthy (i.e. the cafeteria is closed so I've been cooking for myself) for almost a month now, and a few days ago I decided to go completely ketogenic so that I can run totally on ketones come test day. I've been making things from the BP cookbook, but have a few questions for those more experienced:


 


1) I've read from several sources that to become fat adapted you need to keep your carbs <20-30g/day, and get around >60% of your calories from fat. I've been tracking my food on an app but no matter what I do my carbs aren't able to get that low. Do these numbers seem right? I can get the % calories from carbs pretty low (10-15%), is that more important than the actual grams?


 


2) I've been eating pretty low carb for a while but not full-on ketogenic. I know that the transition to fat adaptation comes with things like headaches, dizziness, etc. for a few days, but has anyone who has run completely on ketones before think it is a good idea to try and do this for test day, or to do this so close to test day?


 


3) Any tips from people who have hacked huge life-determining tests?


 


Thanks!


Comments

  • edited May 2016
    Regarding carb counting. Some databases list fiber as carbs. Chemically they are but biologically they are only carbs to your microbes and not the body. Exclude non digestible carbs (fibers) in the counting. The absolute amount is more important than percentages.


    If you use the keto approach, which I know some master minds use in memory competition and similar, you should test this during practice tests before the real test.


    You need to messure your blood ketones (beta hydroxybutyrate) so you know where you are.


    Fast track to ketosis is fasting. After 48-72h it says "boom" and blood glucose drops at the same time as ketones goes up high (3-5 mmol/l).

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  • ACH85ACH85 ✭✭


     


    1) I've read from several sources that to become fat adapted you need to keep your carbs <20-30g/day, and get around >60% of your calories from fat. I've been tracking my food on an app but no matter what I do my carbs aren't able to get that low. Do these numbers seem right? I can get the % calories from carbs pretty low (10-15%), is that more important than the actual grams?


     


    2) I've been eating pretty low carb for a while but not full-on ketogenic. I know that the transition to fat adaptation comes with things like headaches, dizziness, etc. for a few days, but has anyone who has run completely on ketones before think it is a good idea to try and do this for test day, or to do this so close to test day?


     


    3) Any tips from people who have hacked huge life-determining tests?


     


    Thanks!




     


    1) After a week or so of adaptation, I can reliably wake up above .5 mM ketones on 40-50g NET carbs, aka 60-90g total carbs, with fiber subtracted. But everyone is different. We know carbs are required for most people in the long term, so in my opinion if you're going to do this, you should buy a blood ketone meter and test strips, and find out the max carbs you can handle while maintaining ketosis, then eat that amount. You can get this stuff on Amazon Prime and have it in two days, or perhaps in your local drug store. The strips are expensive, but if you guess, go by feel, or use urine strips you're just messing around. Especially since you also need to dial in your protein - too much protein even on very low carb can take you out of ketosis. There is a case for the Ketonix breath ketone system but it doesn't seem reliable enough to me. Plus, with the blood meters, you can get one that does glucose too which has been interesting for me - specifically seeing that my fasting blood sugar varies greatly between 80-105 mg/dL based on quality of sleep. (Good sleep = lower, OK sleep = 90-100, truly crappy sleep = >100. Blood sugar >100 limits or stops ketone production.) 


     


    2) I do not think it's a great idea this close to test day. I'd take the test on a diet similar to the one on which I learned the material. Plus, if you eat a standard Bulletproof-ish diet with only fat, or fat and moderate protein in the morning, and get decent sleep, you will have some ketone activity and certainly blood sugar below 100mg/dL if not closer to 80. IMO opinion I get 99% of the stable energy benefits with that setup. I've never been one to get major mental clarity improvements from full-on keto, so maybe that's a factor, but for me, a morning "not in ketosis yet" at 0.2 mM ketones and blood sugar below 100 mg/dL feels very similar to a "deep keto" morning at 1.0 mM. What I do get in either setup is stable energy and the ability to think well for long periods of time. That ends for at least an hour or two if I spike blood sugar over 100. 


     


    And keep in mind, in the former scenario you're still running mostly on ketones, with a trickle of as-needed carbs from glycogen, not enough to be reflected in blood sugar. And arguably in the latter, you're still getting a trickle of as-needed carbs from gluconeogensis. So "running completely on ketones" is a bit of an impossibility. 


     


    Plus, MCT or Brain Octane will essentially create low-grade ketosis temporarily even if you aren't in nutritional ketosis. 


     


    So if I were you, I'd take the next two weeks to dial in a fatty breakfast without carbs that gives you stable energy, but still eating carbs at night. And then if the test is so long there are breaks or lunch or something, I'd snack with very dark chocolate or have only veggies/fat/protein for lunch. Carbs after the test. But don't worry about carbs in veggies or dark chocolate or whatever, those come with so much fiber and/or fat they don't really matter. The rest of my efforts would be on sleep and stress management to keep that energy stable. 


     


    3) Not really, I haven't taken a big test since the SAT. 

  • Thanks for the replies! Whoops, I guess I meant to say running mostly on ketones since your brain runs on both ketones and glucose in the fasting state (I promise I knew that, since it will likely be on the test :rolleyes:).


     


    Sounds like it's too close to test time to try this, and even if I fasted for a few days to get into ketosis in time it wouldn't be the huge world-shattering benefits that I imagined. Maybe I'll just stick to what I've been doing (low carb throughout the day, some carbs in evening). Thanks for your input!


  • Anyone have any tips on hacking a test, diet or non-diet related? I'm already doing some things like emWave every night, Piracetam and various other supplements, and things like that. But has anyone who has hacked tests before have anything that just completely changed their game?




  • Anyone have any tips on hacking a test, diet or non-diet related? I'm already doing some things like emWave every night, Piracetam and various other supplements, and things like that. But has anyone who has hacked tests before have anything that just completely changed their game?





     



     


     


    https://www.scotthyoung.com/learnonsteroids/grab/TranscriptFeynman.pdf

  • Thanks for those videos! This is the first time I've heard about the Feynman technique, but it turns out this is pretty much what I've been doing since the beginning of med school anyways!


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