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Can You Be In Ketosis And Gain Muscle?

Ketogenic Muscle Building

Ketogenic Muscle Building

For years, I was told, and I believed that it was impossible to gain muscle and lose fat at the same time. The reason for this thinking was a belief in the incorrect calorie hypothesis. If the calorie hypothesis was true, the only way to gain muscle would be to have a calorie surplus, and the only way to lose fat would be to have a calorie deficit. Since math is…math, then it is a logical impossibility to be in a state of both surplus and deficit at the same time. But since the underlying paradigm is incorrect (we don’t lose fat by restricting calories), it is very possible to lose fat and gain muscle at the same time. All it takes is a little bit of discipline, some heavy stuff, and a pig-headed devotion to the ketogenic lifestyle. The only way that we put on muscle is to increase the stress on our muscles to the point where they must grow in order to accommodate the stress. Excess calories don’t do that. Lifting very heavy things does that. When you stress your muscles, you break them, and the body builds them back up bigger, so that they can handle the stress. It is important, however, to have enough dietary protein to heal the injured muscle cells. So if you are attempting to gain muscle, you will need to check your protein levels to make sure you getting enough to build the muscle. At the same time, while building muscle, if you are eating correctly (high fat and very low carbs), you will burn through your body fat. But you’ll also recover quicker, feel less sore, and increase strength faster. So what should you do to build muscle? Well, the answer to that question has filled shelves and shelves of books. But I’ll simplify it. Heavy, compound movements. That simply means using the heaviest weights you can move, and using movements that stress large areas Continue reading >>

How To Exercise On A Keto Diet

How To Exercise On A Keto Diet

Following several requests from my readers, I will be sharing my thoughts on exercise and nutrition that is specific to those of who stay physically active and follow a keto diet. In this post, I'll try to cover the basic facts and myths about training on a ketogenic diet. This post will not cover details of exercise nutrition (e.g. whether to eat carbs before or after exercise which is not as straightforward as you may think), essential supplements, specific types of training or my personal exercise routine. These topics are covered in this post: Keto Diet Nutrition & Exercise: Carbs - and many more will follow in my future posts. So let's start with some basics of training on a keto diet. The "Exercise More and Eat Less" Dogma When you ask people what is the purpose of exercise, the most common answers are: to lose weight (body fat) to get fit and stay healthy to look and feel good to build muscles and strength When your goal is fat loss, the most common mistake is to go on a calorie restricted diet and add more exercise, usually prolonged cardio, in an effort to lose weight. When this approach fails, most people simply decrease their calorie intake and take on even more exercise. By doing so, most become physically and mentally exhausted with no real weight loss. The more they stick to this approach, the more like they will overexercise and/ or overeat, putting an increasing amount of stress on their body. The side effects of that are accelerating the ageing process of their cells and increasing the level of chronic inflammation. This approach is simply not sustainable and can harm your body. Years before I started following a low-carb approach, I used to spend hours exercising every week. In fact, I used to go to gym almost every day for an hour or more, usually doi Continue reading >>

Nutritional Ketosis For Strength Training

Nutritional Ketosis For Strength Training

“Fat is bad for you, your cholesterol is going to go up, and so will your risk of chronic disease.” This is what many of us have been told throughout our lives, and this view point has pushed by the media, trainers, and most of the health world for many, many years. Thankfully, things have changed. Fat as a macronutrient is now being accepted as beneficial for our health (as long as it comes from good sources). Due to this acceptance of fat, more researchers and people have been experimenting with nutritional ketosis, which is extremely high in fat and low in carbohydrates. The concept is that nutritional ketosis allows the body to use fat as its main fuel source rather than carbohydrates. The prevalent thinking today is that carbohydrates are needed with protein after workouts in order to help repair muscle tissue and promote strength gains, but is this really the truth? Can we train for strength on a ketogenic diet or are we destined to wither away into scrawny prepubescents? In this piece I will discuss what nutritional ketosis is, what it means to be in nutritional ketosis, how to get there, how this influences our ability to strength train, and what to keep in mind while in nutritional ketosis during strength training. The Skinny on Nutritional Ketosis Nutritional ketosis means we are using ketones and fat as our primary fuel source not carbohydrates. Our mitochondria (the guys who make our energy) typically run on glucose if it is available. In nutritional ketosis this interaction shifts, and our body starts burning fatty acids and ketones in order to produce energy. The energy that can be produced from fat far outweighs what can be produced from glucose.1 Fat also burns much cleaner then glucose, which can result in less ROS (reactive oxygen species) which ca Continue reading >>

Effects Of Keto On Muscles

Effects Of Keto On Muscles

If you’ve heard any of my podcasts or read any of my articles regarding my exercise preferences, you’ll know that I always recommend lifting heavy stuff. Heavy, of course, is a relative thing. For some people, 45 pounds is a heavy bench press. For others, 315 pounds is a heavy bench press. Some people get hung up on the specifics, but the reality is that the weight of the lift only matters to the lifter. If you’re lifting a certain weight, and it’s heavy to you, then you’re lifting heavy. It doesn’t matter if someone else would or would not be able to lift it. But I digress. Lifting heavy is beneficial for practically everyone, regardless of your age or physical size. These are five reasons why lifting heavy is so helpful: Lifting heavy builds muscle Duh. Of course lifting heavy builds muscles (more on this in a moment). The whole point of lifting heavy stuff is so that the heavy stuff gets easier to lift, and you can lift heavier stuff. And so forth. And building muscle is not the same thing as getting huge (I’m talking to you, ladies). Building muscle is important for all sorts of reasons, and you can build muscle without looking like a “freak.” Lifting heavy reduces insulin resistance Insulin resistance is a situation where your body doesn’t respond well to regular levels of insulin. Since your cells have, basically, built up a tolerance to insulin, your body requires more and more insulin just to do the regular work. More and more insulin means more and more fat storage, and less and less muscle mass. Lifting heavy reverses insulin resistance, and allows your body to use less and less insulin. Which means, over time, your body will store less fat. Lifting heavy improves cardiovascular health Stay with me on this one. If you’ve ever been in a si Continue reading >>

The Definitive Guide To Why Low-carb Dieting Sucks

The Definitive Guide To Why Low-carb Dieting Sucks

The low-carb diet is the latest fad to take America by storm. And like most fad diets, it has a pretty sales pitch but can’t deliver the goods. Here’s why. A decade ago dietary fat was the vilest of macronutrients but these days it’s the carbohydrate. If we’re to believe the doomsayers, eating carbohydrates produces lots of nasty insulin, which in turn triggers rapid fat storage of damn near anything we eat. The key to health, vitality, and leanness, they say, is to eat as few carbohydrates as possible. Well, they’re wrong. Unless you’ve overweight and completely sedentary, low-carb dieting sucks, and I’m going to explain why. You Don’t Lose Fat Faster on a Low-Carb Diet That statement is basically blasphemous these days, but the general advice of going on a low-carb diet to maximize fat loss is scientifically bankrupt. There are about 20 studies that low-carb proponents bandy about as definitive proof of the superiority of low-carb dieting for weight loss. This, this, and this are common examples. If you simply read the abstracts of these studies, low-carb dieting definitely seems more effective, and this type of glib “research” is what most low-carbers base their beliefs on. But there’s a big problem with many of these studies, and it has to do with protein intake. The problem is the low-carb diets in these studies invariably contained more protein than the low-fat diets. Yes, one for one…without fail. What we’re actually looking at in these studies is a high-protein, low-carb diet vs. low-protein, higher-carb diet, and the former wins every time. But we can’t ignore the high-protein part and say it’s more effective because of the low-carb element. In fact, better designed and executed studies prove the opposite: that when protein intake Continue reading >>

Ketosis & Building Muscle

Ketosis & Building Muscle

Choosing the right diet plan is crucial to building muscle. Your body has mechanisms that allow it to adapt to changes in your diet. If you deprive yourself of carbohydrates, your body turns to your stored fat as a fuel source. The fat your body breaks down in lieu of carbohydrates may help you to lose some of the body fat you normally gain while bulking. Video of the Day Ketosis is a biological state caused by eating low amounts of carbohydrates. Your body normally generates energy by breaking down glucose that comes from the carbohydrates in your diet. However, if you consume low amounts of carbohydrates, your body must break down stored fat as an energy source. When your body breaks down fat instead of glucose, the levels of ketones in your blood increase. Ketogenic diets take advantage of your body's tendency to break down fat when carbohydrates are low to help you lose weight. Effects of a Ketogenic Diet Entering a state of ketosis by consuming a low-carbohydrate high-protein diet reduces your body weight and feelings of hunger. A.M. Johnstone et al, in "Effects of a High-Protein Ketogenic Diet on Hunger, Appetite and Weight Loss in Obese Men Feeding Ad Libitum", report that individuals who followed a high-protein, low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet lost more weight and felt less hunger over a four-week period than individuals who ate a high-protein, medium-carbohydrate nonketogenic diet. A ketogenic diet may help with building muscle because it allows you to lose the fat that you normally gain when bulking. Being in ketosis also means that more protein is available to help build your muscles. Normally, some of the protein you eat gets used up generating glucose. However, if your body is using its fat for fuel rather than glucose, the protein that your body would norm Continue reading >>

​the Best Diet For Losing Fat And Building Muscle

​the Best Diet For Losing Fat And Building Muscle

If the latest avocado craze has taught us anything, it’s that people are finally accepting that fat is not the enemy. Researchers have known the benefits of fat consumption for years: Eat the good kind, and your body can shed extra pudge since it won’t need to hold onto it for basic bodily functions. Learn how to step up the intensity of your next cardio workout with a pair of 5-pound dumbbells: But there’s a diet that takes this concept a step further, revolving around high fat, moderate protein, and minimal carb intake. It’s called ketogenic, or “keto” for short—and though it’s been around for years, the diet has recently spiked in popularity, particularly among women looking to get lean. (Rumor has it Megan Fox and Adriana Lima are fans.) Here’s how it works: By eating a very high amount of fat—as much as 75 percent of your daily calories—and next to no carbs (under 20 grams per day…that’s less than an apple’s worth), your body enters a phase called ketosis, where it produces little bodies called ketones. Instead of relying on glucose from carbs for energy and brain activity, your body uses the ketones, in turn burning fat. (The Slim, Sexy, Strong Workout DVD is the fast, flexible workout you've been waiting for!) While you wouldn’t want to go so low-carb if you’re trying to set a personal record for an endurance event, like a half-marathon (you need carbs to sustain energy for longer cardio sessions), recent research shows the keto diet is clutch for those looking to maximize their time in the weight room. One recent study published in the Journal of Sports Science & Medicine found that after eight weeks of resistance training, low-carb dieters saw equal strength gains to those who took in higher amounts of Cs. That’s because the la Continue reading >>

Keto Bulk – Does Bulking In Ketosis Work?

Keto Bulk – Does Bulking In Ketosis Work?

If you’ve ever thought about going through a bulk while in ketosis this is the article for you. Not only have I attempted this personally before but I’ve done plenty of research on muscle-building over the years and have a pretty good understanding of how it works. It seems for whatever reason there is very little information on the internet about bulking while in ketosis. I remember when I was thinking about trying it and was searching for information there was very little out there. There was virtually no information available with the exception of some forums where someone would ask the question and others would weigh in with their thoughts. So I hope to be able to help you with this post. I’m not even going to get into the whole debate on whether the ketogenic diet is a healthy one in the long-term or even short-term. If you are searching for this information I hope you have done some research already. I’m only going to look at how well it may or may not work for building muscle while keeping fat gain to a minimum while in a caloric surplus. After all that is the point of a “keto bulk.” Let me just go ahead and answer the first question people ask about a keto bulk, is it even possible to build muscle while in ketosis? My answer: Of course it is. In fact carbs don’t even play a role in protein synthesis the most critical component of building muscle. Before anyone goes all crazy on me and to defend carbs I’m not saying carbs don’t play a huge role in building muscle, they do in a round about way, but they don’t play a role in muscle-protein synthesis itself. Of course they are very protein sparing and play a role in stopping protein breakdown which all leads to anabolism, but in terms of protein synthesis? Nada. However, just because you can buil Continue reading >>

Build Muscle Without Myth: 3 Body Building Beliefs To Avoid

Build Muscle Without Myth: 3 Body Building Beliefs To Avoid

Believe me, after spending many years heavy in the fitness industry, I’ve witnessed more fad fitness trends come and go than I’d like to admit. I’ve also watched many once revered fitness beliefs get debunked and shredded into myth. Sure, it might take time for a fad fitness trend to get busted - but, thanks to science, the truth is eventually revealed. But, interestingly, the individuals most reluctant to letting go of muscle building and fitness myths are often times personal trainers and exercise instructors, hung-up on the false beliefs and mental dependence to routine. And, some how, even after many years of scientific “debunking,” many fitness myths have managed to float around gyms and health clubs - myths that hold you back when it comes to building muscle. So, in this episode, I’m going to unlock the top three muscle-building myths that you should avoid. Myth 1: Heavy weights are required to build bulk It’s certainly true, lifting heavy things will add bulk to your body. But, there are more ways to build muscle. Ann excellent alternative to strictly relying on heavy weights is simply using light weights (or body weight) and increasing your reps. For example, one study compared the effect of high reps and low reps on muscle growth, comparing sets performed with 80 percent to complete muscle failure with sets performed to 30 percent to complete muscle failure. It turns out that load isn’t the big gun, but simply whether or not a muscle is actually worked to failure and or fatigue, and in this study, high reps and light weights stimulated just as much muscle growth as low reps and heavy weights. So yes, this means you can, for example, build chest muscles by skipping three sets of eight reps on a bench press, and instead doing a few sets of high-re Continue reading >>

Can You Gain Muscle On A Ketogenic Diet?

Can You Gain Muscle On A Ketogenic Diet?

Listen in to Ketotalk Podcast #19 where we talk about inflammatory foods, building muscle with a ketogenic diet & how ketosis affects the Baby Boomer Generation. Keto Talk is cohosted by 10-year veteran health podcaster and international bestselling author Jimmy Moore from “Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb” and Arizona Osteopath and Board Certified Obesity Medicine physician Dr. Adam Nally from “Doc Muscles” who thoroughly share from their wealth of experience on the ketogenic lifestyle each and every Thursday. We love hearing from our fabulous Ketonian listeners with new questions–send an email to Jimmy at [email protected] And if you’re not already subscribed to the podcast on iTunes and listened to the past episodes, then you can do that and leave a review HERE. Listen in today as Jimmy and Adam answer more engaging questions about nutritional ketosis from you the listeners. Continue reading >>

How To Prevent Weight Loss (or Gain Muscle) On A Therapeutic Ketogenic Diet

How To Prevent Weight Loss (or Gain Muscle) On A Therapeutic Ketogenic Diet

The ketogenic diet is becoming increasingly popular as we learn more about the potential benefits in terms of both performance and chronic disease management. However, the diet also has to be tailored to your personal goals, and we’ve previously written about some of the pitfalls for athletes using a ketogenic diet. For instance, satiety may be one of the most notable benefits of a ketogenic diet [1], which seems to provide an advantage during weight loss. But if you’re already lean and your ketogenic diet is causing you to undereat, losing lean mass can be a concern. This is important for athletes, but also for patients using a therapeutic ketogenic diet to control a chronic neurodegenerative disease, because muscle mass and strength are two of the best predictors of long-term health and mortality. Thus, the question that naturally arises is: how can I implement a ketogenic diet without losing weight? The topic of gaining or maintaining weight (specifically lean mass) on a ketogenic diet is often left out of the discussion. In fact, the following question was recently sent to the team at Nourish Balance Thrive: I just finished listening to your latest podcast. Very informative! At the end, you were asking for suggestions for possible topics. I have one: the combination of ketosis and an ectomorphic body type: issues for people like myself who don't want to lose weight or outright cannot afford to but want to apply ketosis for other reasons. In my particular case, it is a neurodegenerative disease I'm dealing with (Parkinson's). There is quite a bit of literature indicating that a keto diet could be helpful, but my BMI varies between 19 and 20 and ketosis tends to lower that considerably. Are there things one can tweak to do keto without the weight loss, or do you t Continue reading >>

Mythbusting: Training On A Keto Diet

Mythbusting: Training On A Keto Diet

There’s a number of myths, misconceptions, and misinformation floating around that are confusing a lot of people about the ketogenic diet. They’re teaching that when you’re training, whether for strength or for endurance, that carbohydrates are necessary in order to get the best results. This is not true, and I’ll tell you why. You Need Carbs To Build Muscle People that tell you this don’t understand how muscle building really works – it’s entirely possible to be gaining muscle mass while on keto. In a simple way, the 3 easy steps to build muscle are: Eating enough protein – For mass building between 1.0 – 1.2g / pound of LEAN body mass. Eating a calorie surplus – You can’t build muscle without eating more calories than you need, and these come from fats in a ketogenic diet. Training correctly – You need to promote hypertrophy in your muscles. Are carbs good for building muscle? Of course they are – they promote insulin release and help restore glycogen in the muscles. With carbs you gain mass quicker, but that’s because you’re also gaining fat. What exactly is glycogen? It’s a molecule that our bodies use as energy. What exactly does glycogen do? Wikipedia explains it nicely: In humans, glycogen is made and stored primarily in the cells of the liver and the muscles, and functions as the secondary long-term energy storage (with the primary energy stores being fats held in adipose tissue). Muscle cell glycogen appears to function as an immediate reserve source of available glucose for muscle cells. Other cells that contain small amounts use it locally as well. As you can see, glycogen is being used as a secondary source of energy, where fats are being used over it. Once your body has become adapted to using fats (you’re in ketosis), then Continue reading >>

Take Your Training To The Next Level With Ketosis

Take Your Training To The Next Level With Ketosis

One of the most popular critiques of a ketogenic diet – a diet that’s high in fat and low in carbs – is that it isn’t good for athletes. The argument is usually that you need carbs to produce glycogen, a stored form of sugar that fuels your muscles. As a result, most doctors and trainers suggest high-carb diets for athletes. If you’ve been working out while eating Bulletproof, Paleo, keto, or any other variation on a high-fat, low-carb diet, here’s some good news: brand new research shows that you not only don’t need carbs for athletic performance, you can actually gain an advantage if you cut them out. Let’s talk about how ketosis can kick your athletic performance into a higher gear. Why you don’t need carbs to train hard A groundbreaking new study out of UConn found that low-carb endurance athletes perform just as well as high-carb endurance athletes, if not better. The results challenge nearly 50 years of research saying the opposite. Until now, most studies have concluded that you top out at around 10% of energy recruited from fat [1] and for the rest you rely mostly on glycogen, a form of sugar stored in your muscles and liver. That’s the main reason high-carb diets have been the standard for athletes for so many years. With a low-carb diet, your glycogen stores empty quickly, you run out of fuel, and you start breaking down your muscles for energy. Right? Well, maybe not. If you teach your body to prefer fat for fuel you can work out intensely without any problems, according to this new study. The paper’s authors measured the performance of ultra-endurance runners who regularly run upwards of 100 miles. Here’s how they set it up: Half of the participants ate low-carb (<20% of calories from carbs) for 6 months The other half ate high-carb ( Continue reading >>

Eat Fat And Lose Fat With A Ketogenic Diet

Eat Fat And Lose Fat With A Ketogenic Diet

The low-carb plan isn’t for everyone, but if you can stick with it, you can lose body fat and gain lean muscle mass. ON DAY 5, I went to the store and bought the fanciest stick of butter available. I was hungry, and desperate. I was trying to convince my body to burn fat on a ketogenic diet, also known as a low-carb, high-fat diet. My body had to fuel itself without staples like potatoes. Instead, I was eating butter, olive oil and coconut oil. Yup: fat. I was skeptical at first about keto. My approach to nutrition has been based on Whole30 (the strictest form of the paleo diet) — eat protein and fresh vegetables; cut packaged foods, sugar and alcohol. It has always worked. But a friend had great results from keto, losing 15 pounds of fat while lifting heavier than the rest of us at my gym. Keto is not for everyone, particularly if you are prone to high cholesterol, or have a family history of heart disease or previous disordered eating, so check with a professional. I went to my friend’s naturopath, Kelsey Klausmeyer. He considers a ketogenic diet effective for many folks, particularly obese patients. He monitors patients using a bio-impedance assessment test, which documents fat, lean muscle mass and hydration. He ran one on me. It showed I was 26 percent fat and slightly dehydrated. I was surprised. While I enjoy meals out and treats, I cook most of my food. I work out, obviously. With my diet and activity level, Klausmeyer said, I was a perfect candidate for keto. In the name of nutrition, energy and higher lean muscle mass, I took keto on for almost three weeks. To help my body adapt, my goal was fewer than 40 carbs per day, while checking for ketosis with urine strips (available at drugstores). I picked up electrolytes; branch-chain amino acids for workouts Continue reading >>

How To Gain Weight On Low Carb Or Keto

How To Gain Weight On Low Carb Or Keto

Do you want to gain weight? Given how most nutrition articles focus on fat loss, maybe you feel in a minority there. The usual advice for weight gain is to eat a higher amount of carbohydrates to “bulk up” and adopt an exercise program. Unfortunately it often results in mainly gaining fat mass, and is not necessarily healthy. This page will examine how to gain weight the healthy way, while staying on a low-carb diet, and has the following subsections: Low-carb for weight gain? While most people see a low-carb diet as a weight-loss diet, this is not necessarily true. Low carb tends to lead to weight loss for people with excess weight, due to increased satiety and fat burning. However, low-carb foods are very nutrient dense, and can assist lean weight gain in people who are underweight. Eating low carb, and eating when hungry, can be considered a weight-normalizing diet (or lifestyle). 1. Why do people want to gain weight? It’s true that most people today are looking to lose weight, but some also want to gain weight. While the majority just want to add a few extra pounds to a skinny frame, others wish to build muscle and increase in size. So, what are the reasons people want to gain weight? That depends on the goal, but here are several: Gain more strength Sporting objectives For better metabolic health (muscles burn more fat) Combat aging (muscle-density loss is a natural side effect) Improve self-confidence To possibly improve overall health (in those who are too skinny) All of these are understandable aims where weight gain could possibly benefit someone’s life. Problems caused by pressure to gain weight Unfortunately, this desire for weight gain often causes problems. This is especially the case in young men, with more than 8.5% of people extremely concerned a Continue reading >>

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