Why Ketogenic Diets Increase Muscle Loss
By Daniel Gwartney, M.D. For the bodybuilder or image-conscious person, the purpose of dieting is to improve one’s appearance by reducing body fat to reveal a healthy and impressive physique. Few people diet with the intention of losing muscle; certainly not bodybuilders and athletes. Unfortunately, most dieters suffer a balanced loss of both lean and fat mass due to extreme caloric restriction, excessive cardio, or unwise use of stimulant-based weight loss products and thyroid hormones.1 The physical and emotional stress can also disrupt sleep, which promotes fat gain and interferes with optimal hormonal balance. The preservation of muscle mass during hypocaloric dieting, especially in a setting of physical exercise or labor, is challenging. Not only must sufficient calories be consumed, but also amino acids to avoid limiting any anabolic processes. Dieters also need to manage their macro- and micro-nutrients necessary to support lean mass function, repair, and growth. The basis for all successful diets is caloric restriction and long-term compliance, coupled with appropriate lifestyle interventions (e.g., exercise, sleep, alcohol intake). However, calories are not calories, as many advocates of the Atkins Diet and similar programs have learned. Though initially challenged by many in the health care professions, largely due to increased consumption of saturated fat during the induction phase, the Atkins Diet has been shown to be as effective in regard to weight loss, quicker, and surprisingly has heart-healthy effects.2 The Atkins diet is not a true ketogenic diet in that it gradually re-introduces carbohydrates to the diet after an induction phase of variable length. However, the dramatic changes that occur during the ketogenic phase have caused that component to be 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 >>
The Science Of Fasting: Can You Lose Weight By Not Eating?
Find out whether not eating to lose weight actually works or if it does more harm than good: With peoples love for food continuously increasing and the ‘junk’ food industry continuously innovating, who is not worried about getting fat? Women aren't the only ones who are conscious about their figure; men not only wish to lose the excess fat but also want to gain that athletic physique as well. However, few are ready to make the sacrifices needed to make that happen. There are a lot of new types of diets today such as Paleo, Raw Vegan, and Ketogenic among many others. Even though they differ in many ways, they equally highlight the cry from people - "I want to lose weight". The problem with some of these diets is that they may just be a fad and not actually based on any real science. This could potentially put your health at risk. New types of diets often lack research to back their claims and in worse cases they might even lead to certain vitamin or mineral deficiencies. That is why it is much safer to opt for those that have overcome the test of time, such as fasting. If you feel uncertain about what to eat for weight loss, not eating at all to lose weight might be the answer you’re looking for! What is fasting? Related: Does the "Eating One Meal a Day Diet" work? Fasting is a practice you can find in many religions and has existed for many centuries. It is simply the practice of refraining from eating some or any food for a period of time. Water fasting is the most common since humans cannot live without water for too long, however we can live without food as long as we still have fat on our bodies. When you water fast, it means you only drink water. You don't eat anything. You can do this in either of the following two ways: #1: Long term fasting Long term fasti Continue reading >>
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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 >>
When You Are In Ketosis Are You Burning Fat Rather Than Muscle?
Ketosis is when your body is preferentially burning ketones for fuel, instead of sugars. This state should not be confused with diabetic ketosis or keto-acidosis. Ketones are produced when your body is burning fat instead of glycogen. Glycogen, or sugar, is what is referred to as your body's "preferred" fuel, but your body will burn ketones when there is not enough glycogen to meet your metabolic demands. Consult your physician before beginning any dietary program. Video of the Day Burning muscle can occur, usually when your protein intake is not high enough, which can be a problem with some radical diets. The body needs 10 essential amino acids, and if you are not getting them in your diet, your body will scavenge muscle tissue for them. This can also occur when you are just not getting enough calories in general, and your body converts amino acids into glycogen for use. This process is known as de novo gluconeogenesis. The easiest way to avoid this is to simply eat more protein. Remaining in ketosis and avoiding muscle loss requires a balance of nutrient intake. If you take in too much protein, such as possibly more than 30 to 40 percent of your total caloric intake, the excess will probably be converted to glycogen, and your body will no longer be in ketosis. This occurs because it is easier for you to burn carbs than it is to burn ketones, and your body will expend as little energy as possible. So ensure your protein intake is sufficient, but do not get too much. The remainder of your caloric intake needs to come from fat. And if you are active, remember, you will need more protein than your sedentary counterparts, according to Dr. Peter Lemon of the University of Western Ontario. As soon as you consume any significant amount of non-fibrous carbohydrates, such as si Continue reading >>
Will I Lose Muscle On A Ketogenic Diet?
The ability to simultaneously gain muscle and lose fat is a rather controversial topic amongst those in the fitness industry; however, this seems to be the desired goal of anyone looking to optimize body composition. One of the biggest conundrums we face is that in order to shed body fat, we tend to cut calories so much that we lose muscle mass, and in order to build muscle mass, we tend to bring along some fat gain for the ride. These changes in body composition can happen for a number of different reasons, a few of which we will touch on in this article. In any case, the evidence is clear that a properly implemented ketogenic diet exhibits a protein sparing effect, which may allow one dieting to preserve more muscle mass than if he/she hadn’t been ketogenic. This means that we can ideally shed off that pesky lower abdominal fat, all the while keeping those prized muscles we have worked so hard to build. In this article we are going to discuss some of the mechanisms of fat loss and muscle maintenance on a ketogenic diet and why a ketogenic diet may be more ideal for attaining these goals than a traditional low fat diet. One particular piece of dietary advice that people tend to give is the “calories in, calories out,” hypothesis which indicates that it doesn’t matter what you eat or how you eat it, just as long as you eat less than you expend. This is true to a certain degree, but far too often we tend to simplify what both of those equations mean without taking into account other variables (e.g. fiber, thermogenic effect of protein, brown adipose tissue, etc.). If you put yourself in a caloric deficit, it is likely that you will experience weight loss; however, it is possible that some of this weight loss will not come strictly from body fat, and that some of Continue reading >>
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 >>
Can You Build Muscle On A Low Carbohydrate Diet?
Meet my brother Zach Greenfield. He’s been following my Superhuman Food Pyramid for the past 6 months. For anyone who doubts that you can build muscle on a low carbohydrate diet because you don’t have enough “fuel”, my brother is living proof that you can. And no, it doesn’t require shoving a bunch of acidic, ammonia-producing proteins down the hatch. Instead, all you need is a high fat intake (and nothing over 0.7 grams per pound of protein). In a moment, I’m going to show you some more pictures of Zach, and give you a sample daily diet of what he’s been eating. But first, I want to give you a few additional resources, since I haven’t been shy lately about the fact that I also eat a low carbohydrate diet, as do many of the clients I advise and athletes I coach. For example, a few weeks ago, I released the podcast: Is It Possible To Be Extremely Active and Eat A Low Carbohydrate Diet? I’ve also written the book Low Carbohydrate Diet For Triathletes, and produced these articles about how to avoid typical recommended carbohydrates dosages and instead eat a higher fat diet: -Should You Eat Carbohydrates Before Exercise? –How I Ate A High Fat Diet, Pooped 8 Pounds, And Then Won A Sprint Triathlon. –The Hidden Dangers Of A Low Carbohydrate Diet –10 Ways To Do A Low Carbohydrate Diet The Right Way Want more proof that you can build muscle on a low carbohydrate diet? Here’s a few more pictures of my brother: Eliminate fatigue and unlock the secrets of low-carb success. Find out how in The Low Carb Athlete - 100% Free. Sign up now for instant access to the book! Here’s a sample daily meal plan (Zach is 6’5″, about 230 lbs): Breakfast: 4 eggs cooked in coconut oil with side of spinach and a piece of fruit Snack: Half a can of full fat coconut milk Continue reading >>
- The effect of a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet versus a low-glycemic index diet on glycemic control in type 2 diabetes mellitus
- The interpretation and effect of a low-carbohydrate diet in the management of type 2 diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials
- Pre-diabetes goes into remission on higher protein, lower carbohydrate diet (Zone diet balance)
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 >>
The Ugly Truth About Ketogenic Diets
Here's what you need to know... Ketosis occurs when carbs are in such low quantities that your body relies almost exclusively on fatty acid oxidation and ketone metabolism. Ketogenic diets have about 70-75% of your daily caloric intake coming from fat and about 5% from carbohydrates. Ingesting protein above approximately .8 grams per pound is enough to kick you out of ketosis. Ketogenic diets improve body comp, but so does any diet that reduces calories from any source. There is no literature to support that a ketogenic diet is beneficial for promoting increases in muscle mass. Ketogenic diets affect performance negatively. Questions About Ketosis While the ketogenic diet has been used widely and rather effectively in some cases, there's still a lot of confusion about it. What exactly is a ketogenic diet? How does it differ from low carb dieting? Most importantly, at least for the T Nation demographic, is the question of whether ketogenic diets allow you to put on, or at least keep, muscle. Ketosis: What is it? Ketosis is a metabolic state that occurs when dietary carbohydrates are in such low quantities that your body must rely almost exclusively on fatty acid oxidation and ketone metabolism. That sounds simple on the surface, but let's unpack that explanation a bit. To function, your body requires a substantial amount of energy in the form of ATP. So, let's just assume that the average person uses about 1,800 calories per day to create enough ATP to keep him alive (not including any physical activity). Now this is where it gets interesting. You have this thing in your skull called a brain. It uses about 400 or so calories per day and runs almost exclusively on glucose. (There's some evidence it can use small amounts of fat and lactate, but in the big picture it's not Continue reading >>
Our Ketogenic Calculator is based on the Ketogenic Ratio Formula (K/AK, Ketogenic/Anti-Ketogenic), which was originally used for epilepsy patients. The formula gives you the potential ketone ratio of any meal, depending on the macronutrients of the meal. To keep yourself in a state of ketosis, you need to have a ketogenic ratio value of more than 1.5. How To Use The Keto Calculator Almost all other keto calculators are nothing more than low carb calculators. They don’t meet the K/AK equation, as these calculators are not designed for the anti- ketogenic nature of proteins. Keto Ratio Description Less than 1.5 – not a healthy balance. The body will not register ketones 1.5 To 1.6 – Mildly ketogenic where ketones will likely be registered 1.6 To 2.0 – A good state of ketosis where most people will register ketones More than 2.0 - Very ketogenic! Almost everyone will see ketones Why Do We Say This is the BEST and Most ACCURATE Calculator? As we mentioned above, other calculators do not take into account the anti-ketosis ratio of protein. They simply list the entire protein amount as being ketosis friendly, which isn’t true. Our calculator will help you set up an appropriate and safe calorie deficit. By setting a safe amount of protein intake, you will keep your lean muscle and lose only unwanted fat. Our calculator determines your macro NEEDS based on your unique specifications, not simply some generic percentages. When you keep carbs low you will lose weight. Eating enough protein will ensure that you lose only fat, while eating plenty of fat prevents you from feeling hungry and keeps you feeling satisfied with your food. Ketogenic/Anti-Ketogenic Nature Of Macronutrients In case you are new to the keto diet plan, some foods are rather ketogenic, others are not. Continue reading >>
7 Tips To Stay Shredded While Gaining Mass
Sponsored Content I’ll start with two words you might already be familiar with: ketogenic diet. The words “keto” and “macros” have been floating around in the bodybuilding community a lot recently. If you’re familiar, you probably know keto as a way to get shredded: the basic mantra is "eat fat to lose fat." Now you’re thinking… “Wait, this is a keto article? There’s no way to add muscle while in ketosis.” You’re mistaken, and I can prove it because I’ve done it. Ketosis for shredding is only half the story. If you get systematic about the way you eat, cycling off of keto weekly for about 24 hours to refeed, then you can absolutely add lean mass AND stay shredded while you’re doing it. A brief keto overview: (You can skip ahead to the tips if you already know the basics) In a nutshell, a ketogenic diet requires switching your metabolism from glycolysis (burning glucose, a byproduct of carbohydrates) to ketosis (burning ketones, a byproduct of fat). To accomplish that switch, you have to deplete your body of glycogen and keep your blood glucose levels incredibly low. That means eating a high percentage of fat, a moderate amount of protein (too much protein and it can get converted into glycogen), and an extremely low amount of carbohydrates. We all know high protein as a bodybuilding essential and we’ve been talking about carb timing for decades. But flipping into ketosis basically requires that you look at that all-important third macro: fat. And more importantly, ketosis requires looking at all three of those macros in relationship to each other. To stay shredded while getting big, you actually have to lower your protein calories a bit and replace those calories with fat. There’s a lot of research being done on the benefits of operating Continue reading >>
Intermittent Fasting For Fat Loss Without Losing Muscle
This article is about the discipline of intermittent fasting (IF) and the several health benefits of IF research has discovered. In short it sheds fat, allows for lean muscle gains, increases general health and has several neurological benefits. Sounds good right? Well to be clear, IF is not the single magic bullet to optimum health and it does not make you ripped straight away. You should see it as just another tool you can use to improve your body composition and health. It can be used by both men and women. Let’s have a look at what intermittent fasting is and how you could use it. What is intermittent fasting? In summary IF is a diet approach where a person fasts in intervals. There is a long period of no food intake followed by a relatively brief period where you do eat. A great example of an IF diet is the one of Martin Berkhan from the website Leangains. His approach consists of a period of fasting for 16 hours and a feeding window of 8 hours. You focus on three meals a day where you take the majority of your calories (especially carbohydrates) after training. With three meals per day the setup where you fast for 16 hours could be: 12 AM – 1 PM: Meal one with approximately 20 -25 % of your daily total calorie intake 4 PM – 5 PM: Pre workout meal with again 20 – 25 % of your daily total calorie intake 6 PM – 7 PM: Workout 7 PM – 9 PM: Post workout meal which contains the remaining 50 – 60 % of your daily total calorie intake On resting days you consume 50 – 60 % of your daily calorie intake at your first meal. There are some rules that you need to stick to make this approach to IF work. The most important ones are: Consume more carbs and less fat on training days. Consume more fat and fewer carbs on resting days. Eat high protein on all days. You s Continue reading >>
8 Ketogenic Foods That Can Help You Lose Weight
If you're looking for the most hard core low-carb diet of all the low-carb diets, the ketogenic diet is it. The trendy ketogenic diet, which reportedly has fans like Lebron James and Kim Kardashian, reduces your daily carb intake to 35 grams or less, depending on the plan you follow. That's about the amount in one large apple for the whole day. The theory behind the ketogenic plan is that when your body doesn't have any carbs to use as energy, your liver converts fat into fatty acids and ketones. Then those ketones are used as a primary energy source by your body (meaning you burn more fat each day), says Jim White, R.D., spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and owner of Jim White Fitness & Nutrition Studios in Virginia. That whole process is called ketosis. While, in a pinch, ketones can replace carbs as your body’s primary energy source, it often comes at a price. Ketosis can cause side effects like constipation, fatigue, brain fog, and possible nutritional deficiencies, White says. Obviously, we don't recommend any unsustainable eating plan that seriously restricts important nutrients like carbs. However, incorporating certain keto-friendly foods that are rich in protein and healthy fats into a well-rounded diet can get you to your pounds-dropping goals faster. That's because these eats help you build more lean muscle, prevent blood sugar highs and lows, and keep cravings at bay. "Salmon is rich in polyunsaturated omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which you can only get through the food you eat," White says. "Increasing your intake of polyunsaturated fats can help reduce inflammation and therefore improve your ability to lose weight." Plus, salmon is brimming with vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that can help slash your inflammation levels even Continue reading >>
How To Build Muscle On Keto Blueprint
The question a lot of low carb athletes want to get answered to is: “How does a ketogenic diet affect performance?” Secondly: “How to build muscle on keto?” Can you even do it? Well, in my experience, YES you can. Let me give you my story and secrets… When I first heard of nutritional ketosis I didn’t immediately try it out. Being into resistance training, I figured that it couldn’t possibly ever work. Sounds familiar, right? If you’re physically active then you’ve probably been told about the importance of proper nutrition, post-workout glycogen synthesis, recovery, etc. etc. And that you need CARBS to do it. In the athletic community, carbohydrates are being held at the pillar stone of success. But you don’t need them. I’ve never been into this dogmatic belief so eventually, I decided to try out the keto diet. Let’s see what happens and if I lose strength, so be it… I can always get it back. It was meant to be a short experiment, but… After a month of eating less than 30 grams of carbs a day I was in ketosis. I’m not going to lie that some of my performance had suffered, but only temporarily. Other than that, I felt amazing and loved the keto diet. I thought to myself: Why hadn’t I tried it out before? The answer to that was fear of losing my gains – all in vain. I didn’t want to sacrifice the health benefits of low carb and how amazing it made me feel. But I also wanted to regain my performance and continue getting stronger… all while staying on a ketogenic diet. To me, it sounded like a challenge, which I was more than willing to accept My training consists of mainly bodyweight exercises, such as calisthenics, Yoga, and gymnastics. The keto diet is perfect for that and I’ve learned how to build muscle on ketosis. It’s doable Continue reading >>