The 3-Gun Keto Diet

Last year during one of the last Action Shooting League 3-Gun shoots, I injured my left foot somehow.

It was very painful and for about a month after, I was limping everywhere.

At the time, I didn’t realize that, somehow, my foot size had changed and the size 9 boots I had been wearing for the previous 2 years were too small (I later bought size 9.5 boots that I’ve been wearing since).

I didn’t do anything extraordinary during the shoot, just moved through the stage as I would any other.  To be honest it was very humbling to have gone through that kind of pain and be so badly debilitated.

I’m not a very active person.

I’m a small business owner, engineer, real estate investor, and a father of 4.  I don’t have much time to allocate to physical fitness (but I’m trying).

At 34 years old and 5’11” I presently weigh 205 lbs.

I’m mildly overweight, with a small gut and a bit of fat around the thighs and shoulders.  I wear 36″ pants and large shirts.  My wife sometimes comments I’m quite a bit more “plump” than when she first met me (back in 2007).

(WARNING: Wood-league level shooting below – skip to 2:54 to see how skinny I was without a concealment garment back in 2008)

Looking at old pics and videos, it’s actually a bit hard to believe I once was a medium shirt, 32″ pant, and 150 lbs (although that was after I had my guns confiscated by the police and had lost a LOT of weight from the stress of the ordeal).

I am confident now that the source of my foot injury was a combination of my feet size swelling and me packing too much weight.

At the same time, about the time we started the 2018 3-Gun season, my doctor had remarked during my annual checkup that my blood cholesterol levels were insanely high and that if I didn’t get them in check, I’d be on statins for the rest of my life.

Something I’m not too keen on.

We’re starting up the 3-gun season in 2 weeks, and in the past year, I’ve been on a pseudo-vegan/vegetarian diet, following the belief that cutting dietary cholesterol levels will help reduce my sky high LDL cholesterol levels.

At the same time, my 3rd and 4th daughter (3 years old and 9 months old) have started having health problems we’ve concluded are diet related.  Both girls have severe food sensitivities, but my 3rd daughter especially has severe developmental delay (what previously would have been diagnosed as “mental retardation”).   We’ve concluded it was on account of feeding her too many soy-based products when she was an infant, and hence soy-products as a source of protein are gone from our house.

My wife recently took on a campaign of trying to heal our daughters (and herself) through diet and we’ve made sweeping changes to what we eat.

Sugars, grains, soy, and especially glutten are either gone or almost gone, and while my wife’s not going on keto, she has adopted something called the “Trim Healthy Mama.”  After a few weeks, she’s lost about 10 lbs and feels a lot better.

As for me, about 2 weeks ago I helped organized a Safety Officer Course at The Shooting Edge.  One of the students was a shooter I hadn’t seen over the winter who, on first  glance I could barely recognize.

As it turned out, he had started a keto-diet a month earlier and lost 20 (or 30) lbs.  It was incredible!

More and more people I know seem to be trying it and having similarly startling results.  Being the follower that I am, I’m trying it too.

My Dad recently called me up and told me he started.  A realtor I spoke with told me he’s been on it for 3 months.  Even a coworker of mine just started this last week (that was the straw that broke the camels back for me).

I’m no expert, but my limited understanding of keto is: 70% fats, 25% protein, 5% net carbs (that is, carbs other than fiber).  The idea is to have your body enter a state called ketosis, wherein it derives energy from metabolizing ketones from fat instead of from glucose from carbs.  Doing so, the body rapidly metabolizes body fat, releasing water, which results in rabid weight loss.

For now, I’m modifying the common keto diet, wherein I plan to get the majority of my fats primarily from olive oil as opposed to animal fats.  I’m still concerned about my high cholesterol levels.  I’ve recently read studies indicating only 20-25% of blood cholesterol levels is attributed to diet, but given how high my cholesterol levels are, anything I can do to keep the cholesterol down helps.

I started 2 days ago, cutting off the carbs (which is hard, because I’m such a sweet tooth).   It was made a bit easier with my wife having gotten rid of a lot of sweets and chips.  I’m adding Monk fruit sweetener to my coffee instead of hot chocolate as the start to my day.  I’m also going to try to make “low cholesterol, keto-friendly stews” as a staple of my diet.

My last batches have been two chicken breasts, two cups of mixed greens (no potatoes, as I used to always make with my stews), a variety of different spices, two teaspoons of salt and the kicker: one cup of olive oil.  The last two batches were more than enough to get me through the day, and I think I’ll try sharing my extra with my also newly started keto-diet coworker (if he’ll have any).

My goal through all this is primarily weight loss while not going haywire with my cholesterol levels.  Red meats and certain seafoods are off limits/occasional treats (too high cholesterol).  My kids are also allergic to both.  I’m not a fan of pork (but boy to I love bacon and pork sausage).

I recently saw some videos of some of the younger 3-gunners who are a part of Team Nameless 3-Gun and noticed simultaneously how fast and how skinny they are.  No names mentioned, but two of the early 20 year old members look like they’d fall through floorboards if they stood sideways.

They move like the wind when they’re on the timer and I admit, I’m jealous of their performances.

But I think in general, an important principle in action shooting is to lighten things that move.  That’s why we have slides recesses, carbon-fiber hand guards, and skeletonized stocks and grips.  You move faster if you’re lighter.

Here’s hoping I can lighten things up myself a bit, because I like to move when I’m 3-gunning and I’d like to move fast (without destroying my feet).

(P.S. – If you didn’t notice in the video at the top, watch my body fat jiggle on my back and arms when I’m shooting my shotgun… gross.)

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