Building Muscle On Keto: Can You Build Muscle On A Ketogenic Diet?
He wasn’t overweight, but wanted to lose some fat and gain some muscle while he was at it. And, after reading a bunch of articles, he was convinced that a ketogenic diet was the best way to go about it. Google around for information on ketogenic diets and muscle growth, and you’ll come across the many great and wonderful things that happen when you cut carbs from your diet. Fat will be lost. Muscle will be gained. You’ll recover more quickly, feel less sore, and get stronger faster. Critics of the diet say the exact opposite. Ketogenic diets limit your ability to train hard. Trying to build muscle without carbs is like Batman patrolling the streets of Gotham without his utility belt. There’s absolutely no way, they say, to add muscle while you’re in ketosis. As it turns out, both sides can bring data to the table to support their point of view. SIDE NOTE: If you want a basic overview of the ketogenic diet, as well as more information about the pros and cons, Jeff Cavaliere explains more in the video below. The Ketogenic Diet and Muscle Growth Fans of keto dieting point to research showing that low levels of muscle glycogen don’t have an adverse effect on your performance in the gym . That lifting weights with low levels of muscle glycogen doesn’t impair the anabolic response to resistance exercise . And that the consumption of carbohydrate has no effect on muscle protein synthesis above and beyond the consumption of protein alone . On the other hand, keto critics claim that low carb diets limit your ability to train hard . That lifting weights with low levels of muscle glycogen dampens the post-training anabolic response [5, 6]. And that carbs are anti-catabolic, playing a key role in preventing the breakdown of muscle tissue . Who’s right Continue reading >>
When You Are In Ketosis Are You Burning Fat Rather Than Muscle?
In recent years high-protein, low-carbohydrate diets have become a popular choice for rapid weight loss. While these types of diets do typically result in weight loss, the initial loss is attributed to the depletion of muscle and liver glycogen and the fluid that is stored with it. Only after several days of being in ketosis will the body resort to burning fat rather than muscle. Ketosis Under normal conditions, the body relies heavily on glycogen stored in the skeletal muscles and liver for energy. When you reduce carbohydrates in your diet, that glycogen becomes depleted. The theory behind many low-carb diets is that once that glycogen is gone, your body will begin to burn fat for energy. That is not entirely true. For the first few days of low glycogen levels, your body goes into starvation mode and will convert lean muscle into glycogen to use for fuel. That process can only be maintained for a few days before your body will need to start using fat stores for energy. Fat cannot be fully utilized in the body without carbohydrates being present. When your body starts to metabolize fat, a byproduct called a ketone is created. Ketones can be used for energy in extreme cases, but they are highly acidic and when they start to build up in the blood they become toxic. Concerns with Ketosis Ketosis may sound appealing because it means you're burning fat for energy. However, there are numerous health risks associated with ketosis. Over time ketosis can lead to organ failure, gout, kidney stones or kidney failure, nausea and bad breath. Avoiding the Dangerous Aspects of Ketosis It only takes about 100 grams of carbohydrates each day to avoid ketosis. That would be equivalent to a sandwich, 0.75 ounces of pretzels, an apple and a cup of orange juice. At that rate, your body wou Continue reading >>
Rewriting The Fat Burning Textbook – Part 2: Why You’ve Been Lied To About Carbs And How To Turn Yourself Into A Fat Burning Machine.
In Rewriting The Fat Burning Textbook – Part 1 you discovered how eating a high fat diet doesn’t make you fat, and may actually increase the amount of fat you burn as fuel at both rest and during exercise, allow you to exercise or function for longer periods of time while eating relatively few calories, massively improve your health and not limit performance in the least. But much of that information is theoretical, and not grounded in hard, sweaty numbers. Sure, there are videos such as this that suggest high-fat diets and ketosis-adapted performance can aid with things such as fat loss and high-altitude resilience, but there is scant data related to the pointy end of human performance potential. However, what if we could actually prove that eating a low-carb, high-fat diet for a long time, becoming fat-adapted and even avoiding carbohydrates during the one time when we’re most encouraged to consume carbohydrates (during exercise)… …could actually turn you into a fat-burning machine without losing a shred of performance capability or causing any metabolic damage? That, my friends, would rewrite the fat-burning textbooks. Let’s find out if it can be done… ——————————————– Enter The Exercise Nerds: The FASTER study at the UCONN Human Performance Laboratory As you’ve already learned – from controlling cancer to reducing your waistline to biohacking your brain – a high fat and low carb diet has been shown to massively enhance health, energy levels, and focus while reducing risk of disease. But what does a high-fat diet do to the body when you’re exercising? Does it actually cause you to burn more fat as fuel? Does it mess up your gut? Does it drain precious muscle and liver energy stores? And most importantly: can you turn Continue reading >>
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Can You Build Muscle On A Ketogenic Diet?
The other day, I was on a phone call with a good friend and fellow strength coach, Joe Dowdell, CSCS, of Peak Performance in New York City. I told him my current deadlift personal record stood at a respectable 420 pounds but that I aspired to pull a 500. He told me it was "doable." Great. Then I threw him a curveball worthy of Dodgers southpaw Clayton Kershaw. I wanted to add 80 pounds to my deadlift … while following a ketogenic diet. Joe let out a big sigh. Staying on a ketogenic diet means eating so few carbohydrates that when your glycogen stores empty, your body cashes-in on a process called 'ketosis' for energy. The carbohydrate threshold to stay in ketosis will vary by individual, but the guideline for most folks is fewer than 50 grams of carbs. I was dead-set on eating fewer than 20 grams of carbohydrates per day. How low is that? One medium banana would place you over your daily limit! Wait, don't carbs stimulate muscle growth? How could this work in the long term? More important, can I add 80 pounds to my deadlift without eating much carbs? These questions and more piqued the scientist in me. So I set out to find the answers not only by poring over the scientific literature but through real-world application on the gym floor as well. Now before you rush down to the bottom of the article to see if I did it, I want to preface the grand finale by explaining the anabolic capacity of carbohydrates. Let me walk you through several key areas of anabolism in which carbohydrates and insulin play a role. Carbohydrates, Protein, and Insulin Carbohydrates create anabolism largely by setting off a cascade of hormone-driven events. (Just so we're clear, you also get an insulin response from protein as well.) Chief among these events is secretion of a hormone called insuli Continue reading >>
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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 >>
Can I Lose Fat And Build Muscle Using Keto And How?
A ketogenic diet is excellent for burning fat and it's possible to maintain and/or build muscle while in a ketogenic state, although that's a bit more complicated. Keto is an extremely low-carbohydrate solution for fat-burning, requiring your body to shift from a sugar-based (glycogen) fuel system, to a primarily fat-burning fuel system. Following a low-carb diet creates a glycogen shortage, during which your body wants to start feeding on protein in muscle tissue. If you're in a state of ketosis your body switches over from glycogen to using ketone bodies (derived from free fatty acids) as fuel. Ketones are considered "protein sparing" so your body ceases to feed off of lean muscle tissue. To reach ketosis you need to reduce carbohydrate consumption to between 30 and 100 grams a day. The less carbs you consume, the faster your body achieves a ketogenic state, however it can take anywhere from 3 days to 2 weeks to get into ketosis. Once your body is in keto, you want to stay there for as long as you can/your goal. Consuming too many carbs will knock you out of ketosis quickly, but flipping the switch back to a keto state isn't a quick and easy process. The protein-sparing nature of ketones makes them an ideal fuel source anyone trying to lose fat and preserve lean muscle tissue. But what if you're trying to build muscle? This is where it gets more complicated. A lot of people get confused by the relationship between carbs and building muscle. Carbohydrates are not directly required to build muscle. Your body can function properly if you're getting enough calories from protein and healthy fats, with a minimum of carbs, as well as making sure you're meeting overall nutritional requirements.. The caveat is that for optimal performance in the gym, the ideal fuel-source is g Continue reading >>
Weight Loss And The Ketogenic Diet
It’s pretty obvious the well-known advice to “eat less, move more” for losing weight is not working for most people — if any. In fact, at least ⅔ of dieters who lose weight not only gain it back, but often do so with some extra weight. Yikes. So the question is, can there be a real solution to this problem? There just might be, and it’s a little-known process that more and more people are catching on to: ketosis for weight loss. Ketosis on a low-carb, ketogenic diet works because it helps suppress your appetite unlike other ways of eating. Not only that, it can also support increased focus and mental clarity. Imagine no longer obsessing about food or worrying about eating too much because your appetite is just… under control. No more counting calories! No more cravings. No more crazy amounts of exercise. Just satiety and a regulated appetite. Not only that, a ketogenic diet might even be able to help you lose weight faster than other methods — while keeping the weight off. If this idea appeals to you (and come on, how could it not?), you might be ready to try a ketogenic diet for weight loss. But you’re still left with some questions, so let’s cover all of the details you need to know to get started. Before you can use a ketogenic diet for weight loss, it’s a good idea to have an understanding of how it works. Here are some important points about the ketogenic diet: A ketogenic diet is centered around bringing the body into a state of ketosis. Ketosis is metabolic process in which the body burns fat for energy instead of its primary fuel, carbohydrates. When you drastically cut down on the amount of carbohydrates or calories you’re eating, and there aren’t enough carbohydrates from food to burn for energy, the body switches to the state of keto Continue reading >>
The Ketogenic Diet’s Impact On Body Fat, Muscle Mass, Strength, And Endurance
This is the first article of a 6-part series on keto Part 1: Body fat, LBM, strength, and endurance Part 2: The ketogenic diet: appetite, adherence and side effects [published in the future] Part 3: Challenges and limitations in the ketogenic literature [published in the future] Part 4: Conflicts of interest in the keto literature [published in the future] Part 5: Keto for disease management [published in the future] Part 6: Going keto: science-based arguments for and against [published in the future] Disclaimer: the following information is not medical advice, please consult your doctor before making drastic lifestyle changes. This is very important if you have diseases that can be modified by ketosis, or if you’re on medication: “patients on diabetes medication who use [a ketogenic diet] should be under close medical supervision” - Yancy et al., 2005 The basics of keto With the ketogenic diet, you aim to eat 20 to 70g of carbohydrates per day. The body then starts using fat and ketones as primary energy sources. A high protein diet (i.e. 2.2 g/kg) does not seem to prevent ketosis (read more). Some claim that keto is the best diet for improving body composition, endurance, and strength. We have reviewed the ketogenic literature and come to the following conclusions: Continue reading to learn more! Continue reading >>
The Definitive Guide To The Ketogenic Diet
If you want to lose weight or build muscle faster and think the ketogenic diet might help, you want to read this article. How did a diet meant for treating epileptic seizures turn into a popular weight loss fad? That’s the story of the ketogenic diet, which was introduced in 1921 by an endocrinologist named Dr. Henry Geyelin. Geyelin, presenting at the annual meeting of the American Medical Association, explained that the ancient Greeks had discovered that fasting was an effective method of managing epileptic seizures. Hippocrates wrote about it and, like Geyelin, found that the seizures would return once eating resumed. Why? What was it about fasting that suppressed the seizures? Well, epileptic seizures are triggered by electrical abnormalities in the brain. The causes can vary, from genetics to brain injury, but more common is chronic inflammation throughout the body. Geyelin found that when people fast, two major changes occur in the blood: glucose levels fall and ketone levels rise. You’ve probably heard of glucose, also known as blood sugar, but not ketones, which are carbon-oxygen molecules produced by the liver that cells can use for energy instead of glucose. This finding fascinated Geyelin and he set out to determine if similar effects could be achieved without starvation. A decade of work proved they could, and the “ketogenic diet,” as it would be later called, was born. The purpose of the ketogenic diet is to maintain a state of ketosis, wherein the body’s primary energy source is ketones, not glucose. Early studies showed it was an extremely effective treatment for seizures, but in 1938, it was eclipsed by the anticonvulsant drug phenytoin. This medication became the standard treatment for epilepsy, effectively retiring the ketogenic diet from cli Continue reading >>
Ten Reasons You Are Not Losing Fat On A Low-carb Diet
“” —Passmore & Swindells, two British dietitians writing in the British Journal of Nutrition in 1963 Whether you agree with the above quote or think it’s hilarious nonsense, there’s no doubt that reduced carb diets are useful for losing body fat. A lot of people find that cutting carbs in favor of a higher protein, higher fat diet is the simplest way to get lean fast. However, people often make mistakes when going low-carb, especially if they are training hard in an effort to accelerate the fat loss process. With these 10 simple tips, you can make going low-carb a lot easier and get better fat loss results. Mistake #1: Not Restricting Carbohydrates Enough Low-carb, high-protein diets are effective for fat loss. This is a scientific fact. But, low-carb is a vague term. Simply cutting the average American man’s carb intake of 310 grams a day in half could be considered low-carb, but if you are overweight and your goal is fat loss, you most likely need to go a lot lower than 155 grams. A review in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests the 50 to 150 g/day range is too high for losing body fat in overweight, sedentary populations. A useful definition of a low-carb fat loss diet is less than 50 grams of carbs a day, which will lead to the production of ketones. When the body is producing ketones it is no longer relying on glucose (sugar from carbs) for its fuel source, which is a state that provides significant metabolic benefits and easier fat loss. Fix It: For best results, get those 50 grams of carbs from vegetables and select fruits, such as berries, or other low-carb fruit. Eliminate all grains—whole and processed. Mistake #2: You are Lean, Active & Restricting Carbs Too Much The AJCN definition of a low-carb diet as less than 50 grams a day w Continue reading >>
Using Keto To Build Muscle
With the right nutrition ratio, low carbers enter a rapid fat-burning state called ketosis. The ideal protein-fat-carb ratio gives low carb dieters three huge advantages. These low carbers: Burn more fat. Lose more weight. Keep their hard-earned muscle. Most diets restrict daily calories, so you lose weight. The bad news: some of that weight loss is fat and some is lean muscle tissue. When we aren’t getting enough calories, we access other forms of stored energy, like muscle. The body tries to preserve fat stores and is perfectly willing to sacrifice muscle instead. Less muscle means a slower metabolism, which makes losing weight even more difficult and gaining it back all too simple. Low Carb Saves Muscle In most weight loss diets, at least some lean body mass is sacrificed to weight loss. Low carb diets are different. Low carbers retain the greatest amount of lean body mass compared to restricted-calorie and high carb diets. Low Carb and Keto Low carbers enter a special, metabolic state of ketosis where the body uses it’s consumed and stored fat for fuel. Once in ketosis, the body actually prefers to use fat over glucose for energy. Since the body has extra stored fat, there is no need to oxidize protein to generate glucose (a process called gluconeogenesis). In ketosis, your body is far less likely to utilize your lean body mass (muscle and organ tissue) as fuel. It doesn’t need to, it already has plenty of fat for energy. Ketosis Tests Special test strips called keto sticks (or ketostix, keto strips) are used to detect ketones in the urine, a sure sign of ketosis. I must admit: I love seeing dark purple on the end of my keto test strip. Keto sticks are a good detector of ketosis, but if the strip doesn’t register the presence of ketones, you can still be ket Continue reading >>
Can Eating Fat Help You Lose Weight? Let’s Look At The Ketogenic Diet.
Fat makes your meals more palatable and helps you feel full, so it’s no wonder the high-fat ketogenic diet is increasing in popularity. The diet has been trending for the past three years, as “keto” blogs and cookbooks continue to pop up and build an impressive fan base. This diet has been used under close supervision by physicians and dietitians since the 1920s for treating epilepsy and has shown promise in managing brain cancer. But is it useful and healthy as a strategy for weight loss? First, the basics: On the ketogenic diet, at least 70 percent of your daily calories come from fat. Five to 10 percent of your calories come from carbohydrates (20 to 50 grams a day). The rest, up to 25 percent of your daily energy, comes from protein. By contrast, the healthy diet recommended by the Institute of Medicine is 45 to 65 percent carbs, 20 to 35 percent fat and 10 to 35 percent protein. The ketogenic diet’s low-carb target can be met only by avoiding grains, dairy products, fruit, and legumes such as chickpeas and lentils. Starchy vegetables such as sweet potatoes and squash are out, and even amounts of lower-carb vegetables are limited. So what’s left to eat? Typically, eggs cooked in butter for breakfast; for lunch and dinner, meat, chicken or fish with salad or green vegetables and plenty of oily dressing. Sorry folks, no alcohol on this diet. Even red wine is out. The ketogenic diet gets its name from a process called ketosis. Ketosis happens when your body doesn’t have enough energy from glucose (carbohydrates), so it adapts by using stored fat for energy. The result? Weight loss. Does the ketogenic diet lead to faster or more sustainable weight loss than other diets? The research to date suggests that initial weight loss on the keto diet is impressive but Continue reading >>
How To Lose Stubborn Belly Fat Through Ketosis
Losing stubborn belly fat is one of the biggest challenges when getting in shape. Belly fat is not only aesthetically unappealing, it has health consequences. It can make you vulnerable to many conditions such as diabetes and heart problems. In this blog, we will share with you why belly fat is so ‘stubborn’ to burn, explain what exactly is Ketosis and how you can lose stubborn belly fat through Ketosis. We will also share a specific exercise and a diet plan to help burn this belly fat. What is Stubborn Belly fat and why it is bad for our health? While you may have fat all over different parts of your body, it isn’t the same. Stubborn belly fat is the soft layers of fat around the waistline that covers your abs. To be more precise, there are three types of fat: Triglycerides– A fat circulates in your blood Subcutaneous Fat– The layer of fat directly below the skin’s surface. This is the fat you can grab with your hands Visceral Fat– The dangerous fat. This is located beneath the muscles in your stomach Belly fat unfortunately does not just sit still. Some visceral fat is necessary, but too much can lead to health problems. You can estimate whether you are carrying too much belly fat by measuring your waist with tape. Anything over 80 cm (31.5 inches) in women and 94 cm (37 inches) can provoke health issues. Carrying excess visceral fat is associated with an increased risk for: Coronary heart disease Cancer Stroke Dementia Diabetes Depression Arthritis Obesity Sexual dysfunction Sleep disorders Why is Stubborn belly fat so “Stubborn”? To understand what makes belly fat so difficult to burn,let’s dive into the biology. Burning fat is a two-part process: Lipolysis is the process whereby fat cells release molecules of stored fat into the blood. Oxidation Continue reading >>
How To Burn Stored Body Fat — A Ketosis Primer
“So, how do you tell your body to start burning stored body fat?” my friend and fellow mother asked. “Cut the carbs,” answered another mom. “I go into ketosis just about every afternoon.” “Ketosis? Isn’t that bad for you?” The short answer? No. I talk to a lot of people who want to lose weight. They try all sorts of things — exercise, calorie restriction, you name it. Sometimes, they lose the weight. Inevitably, they gain it back. That’s because what they’re doing is going on a diet — a temporary fix at best. What they need is a lifestyle change, a perspective shift, a new paradigm. Of course, you all know the paradigm I espouse — a conversion to eating real, traditional foods. Yet even a conversion to eating real food won’t necessarily help the pounds melt away. If you’re still eating 200 grams of carbohydrates a day — even if they’re “traditional” carbohydrates like sprouted or soaked grains, unrefined sweeteners, etc, you’re not going to lose weight without making some serious changes. If your body is regularly storing body fat (you gain a little bit of weight each year), then something is wrong with how your body metabolizes food. Let me introduce you to a new concept: the body fat setpoint. The body fat setpoint is the mass of body fat that your body attempts to defend against changes in either direction. It’s your body’s attempt to maintain homeostasis. This is why if you exercise more, you eat more. It’s also why if you restrict calories, your metabolism slows down to compensate. Why should you care about the body fat setpoint? From Stephan at Whole Health Source: We care because this has some very important implications for human obesity. With such a powerful system in place to keep body fat mass in a narrow range, Continue reading >>
Fasting And Muscle Mass
It seems that there are always concerns about loss of muscle mass during fasting. I never get away from this question. No matter how many times I answer it, somebody always asks, “Doesn’t fasting burn your muscle?” Let me say straight up, NO. Here’s the most important thing to remember. If you are concerned about losing weight and reversing T2D, then worry about insulin. Fasting and LCHF will help you. If you are worried about muscle mass, then exercise – especially resistance exercises. OK? Don’t confuse the two issues. We always confuse the two issues because the calorie enthusiast have intertwined them in our minds like hamburgers and french fries. Weight loss and gain is mostly a function of DIET. You can’t exercise your way out of a dietary problem. Remember the story of Peter Attia? A highly intelligent doctor and elite level distance swimmer, he found himself on the heavy end of the scale, and it was not muscle. He was overweight despite exercising 3-4 hours a day. Why? Because muscle is about exercise, and fat is about diet. You can’t out-run a bad diet. Muscle gain/ loss is mostly a function of EXERCISE. You can’t eat your way to more muscle. Supplement companies, of course, try to convince you otherwise. Eat creatine (or protein shakes, or eye of newt) and you will build muscle. That’s stupid. There’s one good way to build muscle – exercise. So if you are worried about muscle loss – exercise. It ain’t rocket science. Just don’t confuse the two issues of diet and exercise. Don’t worry about what your diet (or lack of diet – fasting) is doing to your muscle. Exercise builds muscle. Clear? Does fasting burn muscle? So the main question is this – if you fast for long enough, doesn’t your body start to burn muscle in excess of Continue reading >>