I started this question as a response to dooliemcjules' question about VLC, Crossfit, and ketosis. My answer quickly moved in the direction of my pet topic, and I've been wanting to ask about this for a while, so here goes:
I'm no longer doing VLC, but I continue to be interested in being in ketosis. I believe that it provides neuroprotection and that it also may play a part in lifespan extension (implying a shorter morbidity tail, which is what I'm primarily interested in).
The VLC diet was a great hack for initially losing that 30 pounds I needed to lose, but after about four months it stopped being all that effective at further leaning out. I continued VLC for several years, but I had problems with it, not the least of which was that Crossfit workouts just wore me out and made me want to sleep all the time. There were also other problems like random bouts of insomnia and random bouts of intestinal distress. Adding some carbs back in helped immensely.
But then the ketosis goes right out the window...
So, I've been spending a lot of time wondering if you can have a higher-carb diet and still be in ketosis. Over at Perfect Health Diet, Paul Jaminet has some interesting posts about therapeutic ketogenic diets for children with NBIA. Part 1. Part 2.
So we have three ways to make the diet ketogenic:
1) Make Wilder’s “ketogenic ratio” high by eating a lot of fat, very few carbs, and not too much protein.
2) Supplement with the ketogenic amino acids lysine and leucine.
3) Supplement with coconut oil or another source of short-chain fats.
If we do (2) or (3), then the diet can be ketogenic even if it has a fair number of carbs.
EDIT: I meant to include a mention that there's a lot of discussion out there about using MCTs in conjunction with IFing.
I recently started my N=1 experiment. Coconut oil and palm kernel oil are about one-half MCTs, and so are a good source. However, I'm one of those folks who finds coconut oil unpleasant (haven't tried palm kernel oil). So I bought a bottle of 100% MTC oil and some powdered 100% leucine, and I'm experimenting with ways to incorporate these into my daily diet. 1 Tablespoon of MCT oil and 5g powdered leucine daily. Other than these supplements (and some vitamins), my diet is almost 100% real-food Paleo.
Preliminary results are that I seemed to have obtained a new superpower: I can make ketostix turn deep, dark purple, even while consuming 75-100g carbs daily. This is definitely a change from before.
EDIT: Just to be clear, the goal of this hack is not necessarily to lose fat. The goal is to induce ketosis without being VLC. Why? To gain the possible benefits of ketosis: neuroprotection and life-span extension.
Am I out of my mind? You can't have it both ways. This could never work. Thoughts?
The MCT oil is flavorless. The powdered leucine tastes like crap. If I can't figure out a way to make it more palatable, I'm going to have to abandon it. How do you make leucine more palatable? I swear, I'm going to need psychotherapy to get over the flavor and aftertaste.