Ketogenic Diet For Anxiety
The Results From My Experiment
- Bodyweight: 86,2 kg
- Stress and Anxiety levels: 00%
- Mood: 80%
- Clear mindedness: 100%
- Self confidence: 90%
Alright, I’m sitting here on day 15 of my “ketogenic anxiety” experiment and I’m ending it today. Not because it does not work, it does, but because honestly, I miss my regular food.
I have tried the ketogenic diet before and I always end it after a few weeks because that exact same reason:
…it’s just TOO restrictive/extreme for me. I like eating all kinds of foods and not just foods with high fat and no carbs.
And that’s a shame. It’s a bit of a shame.
Because it works and keto helps with anxiety…
…for me the keto diet works incredible well for reducing my anxiety and stress levels to the point of, well, completely eliminating them.
The Ketogenic Diet Is Another Tool For My Anxiety
Well, to be honest, it’s OK because, knowing it works, I can use it as a tool for my anxiety just like I have many other tools here on my website. If I have a particular stressful period in my life I know I can, temporarily, go on a strict ketogenic diet…
…and completely eliminate my anxiety and social anxiety. If using it as a tool, or a weapon against anxiety, this is a big gun I can take out from my arsenal when the anxiety demons are nastier than usual so…
…looking at it like that, there is no need to be on it constantly, all year around.
I found a direct correlation between my reduced anxiety and how high my blood ketone levels were
In order to monitor my ketone levels and make this experiment more interesting I used a blood glucose/ketone that works by measuring the blood from a small finger prick. If you buy one make sure you pick one that has the ketone measuring function as well because most of them only measures blood glucose.
This one, found on Amazon, is the one I use and I collected some pretty interesting data with it. Here are a few observations I made as I was measuring my blood ketone levels:
Blood ketone levels and my anxiety:
- Day 3 -Ketone Levels 0,2 mmol/L
(Even though not in ketosis I already feel a slight reduction in anxiety, probably due to the abcense of sugar and blood sugar spikes/crashes)
- Day 7 -Ketone Levels 0,7 mmol/L
-At this point I start to notice the ketones ,with my mind being much clearer, and my anxiety levels reduced even more)
- Day 9 -Ketone Levels 1,1 mmol/L
-Now I feel really good. My thinking is clear and my mood is good. Anxiety down to only about 15-20%
- Day 13 -Ketone Levels 1,6 mmol/L
I feel amazing. ZERO anxiety and I really do mean 0% . No feelings of stress in my body at all and my brain is super sharp. With the risk of sounding arrogant or naive; I kind of feel “super human”
What counts as being “in ketosis”?
Ketosis happens after we reach a blood ketone level of at least 0,5 mmol/L. With ketone levels of 0,5 or higher it means that now the brain is getting it’s primary fuel from ketone bodies (fat that the liver has converted into ketone bodies) instead of from glucose. The brain loves ketones and it’s a much cleaner fuel source.
As you can see on my measurements, the higher the ketones went, the lower my anxiety levels dropped. According to many experts the optimal level of ketones is somewhere between 0,8 and 3 mmol/L and of course there comes a point of diminishing returns somewhere on the scale where going too high is not better.
My feelings about it
When I started to get up to levels over 1,5 mmol/L the feeling I had was amazing. It’s hard to describe but I’ll do my best…
…my”brain-body” connection was just so sharp and “clear”…
…I’m always trembling a bit with a tense body and shaky hands but in this deep state of ketosis I had NONE of that. My brain could tell my hand to do something and my hand just did it with a very smooth precision… and no trembling or shaking whatsoever.
I also felt like a “genius” almost. My thinking became so clear with no brain fog standing in the way of rapid thought processes. For example doing math without a calculator (adding numbers, no difficult equations of course) was suddenly very easy for me.
Ketogenic Diet for Anxiety
This ends my experiment to find out if it’s possible to use the keto diet for anxiety and stress, and I must say I’m very happy with the results. Now of course it would be good if I continued for a few more week to really test it out more but…
…let’s call this one a short experiment that indeed found that the ketogenic diet, at least works short term, for my anxiety. Perhaps I will conduct a longer experiment in the future where I go for several months.
It is clear that it’s not only the absence of sugar that makes the ketogenic diet help with anxiety. Even though the lack of sugar is the first step and, already then, I feel better because I have a steady bloog sugar level, with no sharp ups and downs…
…but no, it’s more than that. It is obvious that the ketone bodies themselves reduce anxiety levels and gives me other cognitive benefits. I now this because the results did not plateau after my body run out of glucose but the effects and benefits kept rising after that. Raising in line with how high the blood ketone levels got.
Would I recommend it to others?
The ketogenic diet is pretty extreme and it is not for everyone. If you are too skinny and already have a difficult time putting on weight then this diet is not for you. The diet is also very restrictive…
…meaning 95% of the food and “good stuff” you see, walking around in the grocery shop, is off limits. You can’t buy it. And absolutely not eat it!
That said, if you are healthy and have a pretty disciplined mindset it might be worth a try. Now, as always, we have to remember that what works for one does not necessarily work for another so, even though the keto diet works for reducing my own anxiety, there are no guarantees it will work for your anxiety.
Personally I will not be on a keto diet as my “default diet”. I love food too much and I have so many other tools for anxiety that I can use. Like for example the ProVanax supplement I often take. along with a whole bunch of other mental tools and tricks. I do like that the ketogenic diet works for my anxiety though because that means I have yet another anxiety tool in it…
…another tool to put in my anxiety toolbox. And if you have been following my YouTube videos or other blog post then, by now, you know that I LOVE collecting more and more tools that can help with anxiety and depression.
Now, however, it is time…
…time for me to finally go get some carbs. I will start with a plate of spaghetti with tomato sauce and later this evening, who knows…
…perhaps a beer or two….or even three =)
Thank you for reading the blog post “Ketogenic diet for anxiety”