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Does Ketosis Burn Muscle

7 Tips To Stay Shredded While Gaining Mass

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 >>

Ketosis Burn Fat Or Muscle

Ketosis Burn Fat Or Muscle

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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 >>

Ketosis: Metabolic Flexibility In Action

Ketosis: Metabolic Flexibility In Action

Ketosis is an energy state that your body uses to provide an alternative fuel when glucose availability is low. It happens to all humans when fasting or when carbohydrate intake is lowered. The process of creating ketones is a normal metabolic alternative designed to keep us alive if we go without food for long periods of time. Eating a diet low in carb and higher in fat enhances this process without the gnawing hunger of fasting. Let’s talk about why ketones are better than glucose for most cellular fuel needs. Legionella Testing Lab - High Quality Lab Results CDC ELITE & NYSDOH ELAP Certified - Fast Results North America Lab Locations legionellatesting.com Body Fuel Basics Normal body cells metabolize food nutrients and oxygen during cellular “respiration”, a set of metabolic pathways in which ATP (adenosine triphosphate), our main cellular energy source is created. Most of this energy production happens in the mitochondria, tiny cell parts which act as powerhouses or fueling stations. There are two primary types of food-based fuel that our cells can use to produce energy: The first cellular fuel is glucose, which is commonly known as blood sugar. Glucose is a product of the starches and sugars (carbohydrates) and protein in our diet. This fuel system is necessary, but it has a limitation. The human body can only store about 1000-1600 calories of glucose in the form of glycogen in our muscles and liver. The amounts stored depend on how much muscle mass is available. Men will be able to store more because they have a greater muscle mass. Since most people use up about 2000 calories a day just being and doing normal stuff, you can see that if the human body depended on only sugar to fuel itself, and food weren’t available for more than a day, the body would run Continue reading >>

Whether Low-carb Diets Cause Muscle Deterioration Or Not

Whether Low-carb Diets Cause Muscle Deterioration Or Not

Whenever you limit your calories, your body loses a little muscle. This is true on all diets, old-fashioned and low-carb. Some people have claimed that low-carb diets cause more deterioration than normal diets. The following studies measured the amount of protein (muscle) losses that occurred on various diets. As it turns out, low-carb diets cause less deterioration than normal diets. The human metabolic response to chronic ketosis without caloric restriction: physical and biochemical adaptation. Phinney SD, Bistrian BR, Wolfe RR, Blackburn GL Metabolism 1983 Aug;32(8):757-768 To study the metabolic effects of ketosis without weight loss, nine lean men were fed a eucaloric balanced diet (EBD) for one week providing 35-50 kcal/kg/d, 1.75 g of protein per kilogram per day and the remaining kilocalories as two-thirds carbohydrate (CHO) and one-third fat. This was followed by four weeks of a eucaloric ketogenic diet (EKD)--isocaloric and isonitrogenous with the EBD but providing less than 20 g CHO daily. Both diets were appropriately supplemented with minerals and vitamins. Weight and whole-body potassium estimated by potassium-40 counting (40K) did not vary significantly during the five-week study. Nitrogen balance (N-Bal) was regained after one week of the EKD. The fasting blood glucose remained lower during the EKD than during the control diet (4.4 mmol/L at EBD, 4.1 mmol/L at EKD-4, P less than 0.01). The fasting whole-body glucose oxidation rate determined by a 13C-glucose primed constant infusion technique fell from 0.71 mg/kg/min during the control diet to 0.50 mg/kg/min (P less than 0.01) during the fourth week of the EKD. The mean serum cholesterol level rose (from 159 to 208 mg/dL) during the EKD, while triglycerides fell from 107 to 79 mg/dL. No disturbance of he Continue reading >>

Dear Mark: Glycogen

Dear Mark: Glycogen

Dear Mark, I’m trying to understand how glucose that’s created by proteins and fats is used and stored. Is that ~200g of glycogen stored in the muscles to be used for exercise, or is it stored in the liver and used to fuel the brain and “day-to-day” functions? Also, if muscle glycogen is depleted, will ingested carbohydrates be used first to replenish muscle glycogen and then to fuel other daily functions, or are they used the other way around? I’d like to be able to use ketones to fuel my daily activity, but still have enough muscle glycogen stores to fuel intense exercise. I always appreciate comments and questions that spur more explanation and discussion about the body’s functioning. Let’s take this one apart and have a look. Fat is always the best fuel to use at low levels of effort. We evolved to be very efficient fat-burners and even those of us at single-digit body fat levels have plenty to spare. Glycogen, as you remember, is stored glucose and is the body’s first-line energy stockpile of fuel for harder physical efforts and keeping specific systems (brain, red blood cells, kidney cells) running efficiently all day. It’s stored primarily in the liver and muscles; however, (of the two) only the glycogen stores of the liver can be used by the rest of the body. The muscles can’t share their stores. Selfish, you might say, but that’s how it works. As you suspect, the glycogen stored in the muscles (provided you aren’t taking in other glucose) is used along with fats to fuel physical activity throughout the day like your work out, your daily walk to the train, walk to the fridge, etc. The glycogen in the liver, while it can contribute circulating glucose to working muscles, generally serves up energy (reconverted glucose) to other parts of th Continue reading >>

Is A Ketogenic Diet Really More Effective For Fat Loss?

Is A Ketogenic Diet Really More Effective For Fat Loss?

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a study last week to investigate claims that a ketogenic diet can facilitate greater fat loss than diets relatively higher in carbohydrate. Commonly known as “keto”, a ketogenic diet is a diet typically characterized by a 4:1 ratio of dietary fat to protein and carbohydrate and was originally used in the treatment of childhood epilepsy. It has been theorized that keto diets facilitate greater fat loss in humans as an absence of dietary carbohydrate forces the body to oxidize fat as its primary energy source. Taubes and colleagues set out to test this theory. Their study was conducted over eight weeks in a research facility known as a metabolic ward. Seventeen overweight or obese volunteers participated, with no opportunity to eat foods outside of the diets of the study. For the first four weeks, the subjects were fed a high-carbohydrate, high-sugar diet. Fifty percent of their total calories came from carbohydrate (338g per day), and 25% of their total calories came from sugar. The HCD diet totaled 2,739 calories per day. For the second four weeks, they were fed a very-low-carbohydrate, low-sugar ketogenic diet. Five percent of their total calories came from carbohydrate (36g per day), and 2% of their total calories came from sugar. 15% percent of the calories came from protein. The keto diet totaled 2,738 calories per day. Note that the caloric intakes were kept close to identical, meaning fat loss could only be attributed to the source of the food rather than its caloric content. The volunteers spent two days a week inside metabolic chambers, where their calorie expenditure was measured. Once every two weeks, their body composition was measured via a DEXA scan. The researchers also used doubly labeled water to m Continue reading >>

Keto Diet Science: How Your Body Burns Fat

Keto Diet Science: How Your Body Burns Fat

By now, you’ve probably heard about the keto diet. You've probably heard that it all but bans carbs and sugars, or that it's been clinically shown to reduce epileptic seizures in kids, or even that it helps people condition their bodies to burn fat. As we detailed in our recent feature on the keto diet, all of those things are true. But as any bodybuilder knows, you don't need to be on the keto diet to burn fat. Heck, you can do it with a focused meal and exercise plan. So we've been wondering: When your body "burns fat" for energy, what's really going on there? How exactly does the keto diet work? And why the hell is it called the "keto" diet, anyway? Play Video Play Loaded: 0% Progress: 0% Remaining Time -0:00 This is a modal window. Foreground --- White Black Red Green Blue Yellow Magenta Cyan --- Opaque Semi-Opaque Background --- White Black Red Green Blue Yellow Magenta Cyan --- Opaque Semi-Transparent Transparent Window --- White Black Red Green Blue Yellow Magenta Cyan --- Opaque Semi-Transparent Transparent Font Size 50% 75% 100% 125% 150% 175% 200% 300% 400% Text Edge Style None Raised Depressed Uniform Dropshadow Font Family Default Monospace Serif Proportional Serif Monospace Sans-Serif Proportional Sans-Serif Casual Script Small Caps Defaults Done Well strap some protective boxing headgear over those thinking caps, bros, because we’re about to roundhouse kick you in the brain with some KNOWLEDGE. (For a detailed breakdown of the chemistry at work, be sure to check out our references: this explainer on ketone bodies from the University of Waterloo, and this ketosis explainer from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology [PDF], plus our feature on the keto diet from the July/August issue of Men's Fitness.) Why does the body go into fat-burning mode? For most pe Continue reading >>

Burn Fat With A Cyclical Ketogenic Diet

Burn Fat With A Cyclical Ketogenic Diet

The Cyclical Ketogenic Diet What is a cyclical ketogenic diet and how does it help one burn fat? By the way, what even constitutes an optimal physique? This is different based on each individual’s unique genetic potential but researchers would agree that we should have a moderate to thin structure and good muscular development. While many have sought after a thin physique, the mantra of the 21st century is that strong is the new thin! We want to have a good body fat percentage (6-15% for men and 15-30% for women) and have developed well-toned musculature. This article discusses how to build muscle and burn fat with a cyclical ketogenic diet Ketogenic Diet and Fat Metabolism: A ketogenic diet is a very low carbohydrate, moderate protein and high fat based nutrition plan. A ketogenic diet trains the bodies metabolism to run off of fatty acids or ketone bodies. This nutrition plan has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and reduce inflammation. This leads to improved muscle development and fat metabolism (1, 2). The ketogenic diet is built around good fats such as grass-fed butter, coconut products, avocados, nuts/seeds, pasture-raised animal products and extra-virgin olive oil. This diet should also focus on low-carbohydrate fruits, vegetables and herbs as staple components. The fat levels will be between 60-80% of calorie intake. How Ketones Are Formed? The body has two major energy sources, it burns glucose or ketone bodies. The majority of people burn glucose primarily because they are constantly supplying a steady form of sugar, starches and proteins that can be turned into blood sugar. When one either fasts or goes on a low-carb, moderate protein and high fat diet they switch their energy source to fat. In particular, the fatty acids are broken down into keto Continue reading >>

This Diet Burns Fat Like No Other—and You’ve Never Heard Of It

This Diet Burns Fat Like No Other—and You’ve Never Heard Of It

The ketogenic diet is a low-carb, adequate-protein, high-fat diet. It’s also surrounded by controversy. However, in healthy individuals it is proving to be one of the most efficient ways to burn fat. In the past, the ketogenic diet has been used in the medical profession to treat specific conditions, like seizures in children, but it’s making its way into the mainstream now, thanks to its fat-burning, muscle-building potential. Keep reading to find out how it works! Continue reading >>

Ten Reasons You Are Not Losing Fat On A Low-carb Diet

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

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 >>

Is A Low-carb Diet Effective For Burning Fat? Is Ketosis Dangerous?

Is A Low-carb Diet Effective For Burning Fat? Is Ketosis Dangerous?

“The future is already here – it’s just not evenly distributed.” ~William Gibson One hundred years from now, medical doctors, scientists, nutritionists, and the general public will be puzzled and astounded by how few of us were able to grasp the obvious – high-carb, low-fat diets simply do not achieve long-term fat loss. Athletes, bodybuilders, Hollywood and others have known for decades that a low-carb, high-protein diet achieves incredible fat metabolism and enables rapid muscle gains. Hundreds of scientific studies have – again and again – proven the same. Special interests have ridiculed and disparaged these approaches and prevented most of this knowledge, however, from being incorporated into conventional wisdom. While some diets do follow effective fat loss principles, many take them to extremes (Atkins, Dukan, the Ketogenic Diet, etc.), advocating weight loss at any cost. Avoiding fruits and vegetables while encouraging hot dogs and bacon binges – while it might actually help you lose weight in the short term – is not a healthy or sustainable strategy. The LeanBody System is unlike these diets in that you will achieve fat loss and muscle gains as a direct result of improving your overall health, not sacrificing it. So How Do Low-Carb Diets Work? Extreme low-carb diets push the body into ketosis, which means that the body primarily burns fat (instead of carbs) for energy and levels of ketones in the blood are elevated. Ketones are small carbon fragments created by the breakdown of fat stores after the body is depleted of stored glucose (known as glycogen). Humans can use ketones as energy for bodily functions and even as a replacement for glucose to provide fuel to the brain. Since the body relies on stored fat for energy, people lose weight – Continue reading >>

The Ketogenic Diet’s Impact On Body Fat, Muscle Mass, Strength, And Endurance

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 >>

Why Ketogenic Diets Increase Muscle Loss

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 >>

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