Back in 1996 I remember telling a bodybuilding mentor about this new diet I was following.

You eat zero carbs and lots of fat and trick your body into surrendering bodyfat while sparing muscle. But my mentor wasn’t too impressed.

“Oh yeah, THAT diet. Again.”

I protested.

No this diet is NEW and totally cutting edge. You get to carb up on weekends, do “tension” and “depletion” workouts, take vanadyl sulfate and that new creatine stuff, even pee on keto sticks.

But he had already lost interest. While I became obsessed.

I bought every book I could find related to what we now call “ketogenic dieting.” The Metabolic Diet, it’s earlier permutation The Anabolic Diet, and everything I could find (this was pre-internet) on Dr. Walter Bloom and the “fish & water” diet.

But I didn’t just read, I applied it.

For years I experimented with different tweaks and techniques and potential “hacks” to lower my insulin signal and then trigger an anabolic rebound.

And made next to no progress.

Lean yes, but also small and soft and totally unsatisfied.

By the time 2000 came around I realized that there was a reason bodybuilders abandoned this plan (unless they were very experienced and had a near impossible deadline) and instead ate, well, normally.

Lots of lean protein and veggies and yes, even starches to support training and actually build mass.

It was a gimmick and I fell for it and fortunately moved on.

Since then I have seen keto dieting come and go at least three times and its always the same sales schtick — pitched as a cutting edge physiological “hack” that doctors don’t want you to know about, cause they want you to be sick and fat and on a litany of blood sugar medications.

Of course in hindsight I can see how utterly moronic it is.

But it was something I had to try (and fall for) before I could really grasp how dumb it is for 99.9% of the population.

So today, I try not to blast keto diets too often.

Not because they have merit, but because I realize some people (like me) just have to make these mistakes for themselves.

Just please excuse my smugness when I roll my eyes and say/type “Oh that diet. Again.”