Musings on Keto

People keep asking why I’m on keto (I get a lot of shit for it). While weight loss is one of the goals, and easy to explain, the reasons that carry more significance are harder to explain.

From my LLM:

The release of dopamine when consuming sugar is similar to the brain’s response to other rewarding stimuli, such as drugs of abuse. This dopamine surge is believed to contribute to the addictive-like properties of sugar and the tendency for people to crave and overindulge in sugary foods. 【1】【2】

Repeated exposure to high levels of sugar can also lead to changes in the brain’s dopamine system, including decreased sensitivity and reduced availability of dopamine receptors. This can drive individuals to consume even more sugar in an attempt to achieve the same pleasurable dopamine response. 【3】【2】

I noticed this anecdotally before looking it up.

At a time in my life when I’m trying to quit impulse spending, cut back on my phone use, disconnect from television and gaming, kick my weed smoking habit, and eat less junk, I noticed that these habits often fed into each other. Compounding my cravings and making much of how I spend my time a compulsive experience.

By cutting back in all of these areas, I’m starving my brain of dopamine-releasing stimuli.

This, while often uncomfortable, has given me more of a sense of control over what I’m doing moment-to-moment.

I’ve been able to be more deliberate with my time, channeling it into social activities, creative projects, and life-improvement.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m making room for fun. But for me, these days, fun is dancing the night away on a rooftop. Not pounding ice cream in front of the TV.

Anyway, that’s one reason.

The other is that keto literally helps me think faster.

The available evidence suggests that a ketogenic diet can boost brain health and improve cognitive performance. Several studies have found that ketosis, the metabolic state achieved through a low-carb, high-fat ketogenic diet, can improve neurogenesis (the formation of new brain cells) 【4】, enhance brain energy metabolism 【5】, and improve cognition and brain function in both young and aged animals 【6】.

Note: Take these sources with a grain of salt, I don’t check them. The LLM just spits them out and my dumbass believes it.

  1. Your brain on sugar: What the science actually says
  2. What happens to your brain when you give up sugar - CNN
  3. The Effects of a High Sugar Diet on the Brain - TIND Neurology
  4. Does ketosis makes your brain work better and faster? - Quora
  5. Effects of Ketone Bodies on Brain Metabolism and Function … - NCBI
  6. A Ketogenic Diet Improves Cognition and Has Biochemical Effects in …


May 21, 2024