Get ready for an insightful episode as I sit down with Nils, a low-carbohydrate dietitian from The Nourishing State. Join me as I delve into intriguing topics like his personal journey with the ketogenic diet, Nils' daily routines, his previous dietary habits, and his unique coaching approach for clients.
Tune in to gain valuable insights into the world of nutrition and discover Nils' expertise in optimizing health through low-carb strategies.
Nils His Background
Nils has been with The Nourishing State for one month now, where he specializes in coaching athletes. His interest in this field arose around age 20, when he moved to college and became responsible for his own nutritional choices. He noticed that certain choices made him feel better than others, which he found fascinating to discover. Moreover, he was very interested in the combination of sports and nutrition. Therefore, he decided to quit his current studies and began studying nutrition and dietetics, which he completed in 2019.
During his education, however, Nils found that it did not meet his expectations. He had hoped to learn more about natural foods, but the emphasis was mainly on processed foods and recommending a high percentage of carbohydrates. He felt uncomfortable having to give advice that he himself did not support. So he completed the course, but decided to go in a different direction. Three years later, his interest was rekindled and he began to actively pursue this field again. At that time, he was working in a commercial position at a company that produced dietary supplements, so he was still involved in the food industry, albeit in a different role.
Prior to his switch to the ketogenic diet, Nils followed a standard diet of bread, rice, pasta and potatoes. He followed the guidelines as he was taught during his training, but he noticed he was experiencing fluctuations in his blood sugar and poor concentration. He did not realize that this could be related to his diet.
Some time ago, Nils began following a low-carbohydrate diet and later switched to the ketogenic diet. After just one or two days, he noticed that he no longer suffered from energy dips and actually had more energy. This was a great experience for him and a motivation to continue and guide others. He thought this worked so well that more people should try it.
In addition to improving his energy level, Nils noticed other positive aspects since he started the ketogenic diet. He felt less hungry, more energy, and over time he noticed he had less belly fat. He also experienced improved mental clarity and enjoyed the many benefits of this diet.
Although Nils initially only knew about the weight loss aspects of the ketogenic diet, he soon discovered that it offered many more benefits than just losing weight. People often start this diet to lose weight, but it has many other positive effects that Nils himself became familiar with.
Actually, it does not matter whether you are a man or a woman for this diet. Many men claim that they need carbohydrates in the gym to perform well, but this is not entirely true. In fact, this is just as true for women. It is fine for both men and women. It is normal to have less energy the first few days because your body is not used yet to using primarily fat as fuel. The cells responsible for fat burning have to be reactivated, so to speak. The only way to achieve this is to stay in the fat-burning phase for more than a few days, about two weeks. After that period, you will no longer experience the lack of energy because your body can get enough energy from fat burning.
Nils himself does strength training. He noticed that he initially had less energy, but he also found that his fat percentage decreased and his muscle mass increased.
The clients Nils helps have diverse backgrounds and goals. They may be dealing with fatigue, intestinal problems, or they want to improve their sports performance. Nils actually enjoys supporting different audiences.
In the early stages, Nils recommends strict carbohydrate restriction to allow your body to get used to burning fat as fuel. After that, it becomes easier to add occasional exceptions. It's important to understand that on a ketogenic diet doesn't mean never eating anything sweet again.
For example, suppose you eat low-carb for 5 days and take in a few more carbs for 2 days, it can be difficult to go back to those 5 days of low-carb because carbs can be addictive. However, it is possible, but you will need more discipline. The shorter the period of exception, the easier it is to get back on track.
If you choose to make exceptions, do so in moderation, because your body is not used to them anymore.
Is keto recommended for people who do cardio.
For both strength athletes and endurance athletes, the ketogenic diet offers benefits. Endurance athletes especially benefit, since they are mostly in the fat-burning phase. This is also observed in sports such as cycling, where the ketogenic diet allows you to persevere longer.
Many athletes consume a carbohydrate-rich meal, such as a plate of pasta, before exercise. However, during cycling you may experience an energy dip, indicating that your blood sugar levels have dropped. This can be problematic because you then have to switch to fat burning. In the case of a ketogenic diet, where you are already in a state of fat burning, it doesn't matter because you can seamlessly switch from one energy source to another. This allows you to keep going much longer without having to take sugars in between. For endurance athletes, this can have a significant effect.
The challenging aspect is that the ketogenic diet takes some time to take effect and you may experience a temporary dip before the benefits become noticeable. This can be tricky for elite athletes seeking immediate performance improvements.
Tips for keto beginners
It is especially important to keep track of your intake of fats and proteins and make sure you are getting enough. As for fats, it is important to choose the right kinds, such as olive oil, coconut oil and even butter. Although butter has a bad reputation because of its processing, it is actually a good source of fat. Saturated fat is not necessarily bad.
Protein should always come from high-quality sources such as meat, fish and dairy. Especially consider whole cottage cheese because it is better than low-fat cottage cheese.
For people who actually want to gain weight, it is also suitable, but Nils would then recommend low-carbohydrate rather than a strict ketogenic diet. This is because ketogenic diet is very satiating, and if you want someone to gain weight, you actually want them to be able to eat a little more. Counting calories doesn't make much sense because not all calories are the same.
Calories can be complicated and exhausting. It takes a lot of energy to deal with this. Eat as needed and above all, listen to your body so you can sense what is best for you.
In addition to the ketogenic diet, Nils also practices breathing exercises. He came in contact with the Wim Hof method and started using it. He usually does these exercises before bed and at the start of the day. It is a good way to calm his mind.
Another practice he has integrated is cold showering. Although he was not originally a fan because he gets cold easily, he started with just a half-minute cold shower. At first he hated this, but over time his body got used to it. He even felt as if he had just exercised, which he found very pleasant. Moreover, cold showering also seems to be beneficial for the immune system.
A daily day of Nils:
In the morning, Nils often starts with plant-based yogurt, such as coconut or almond yogurt. This is not due to an aversion to dairy, but more because his body can't handle it very well. He adds protein powder, specifically dried egg whites. He also adds raw cocoa powder, flaxseed and stevia drops to make it a little sweeter.
For lunch, he often enjoys fried bacon with scrambled egg. He likes this very much. It is simple but contains a lot of good fats.
As a snack, he makes homemade bone broth, which is rich in collagen.
In the evening, his meal usually consists of meat with vegetables.
This way he gets all his nutrients.