High Intensity Exercise On A Ketogenic Diet?
In this post I will explore the theory behind a Ketogenic diet for endurance athletic performance, and tell you how I tested the idea for myself using both a Half-Marathon and 5k races as performance markers. I will attempt to answer the following questions: What is a Ketogenic diet? Why might a Ketogenic diet enhance endurance performance? Will a ketogenic diet work for high intensity performance such as a 5k? What are the downsides of a ketogenic diet? In their book, The Art and Science of Low Carb Performance, Jeff Volek and Steve Phinney claim that a ketogenic diet may be beneficial for endurance sports performance. The idea behind a low carb, high fat ketogenic diet is this: teach the body to use fat as fuel by restricting carbs. By starving the body of carbs, the liver will generate ketones to act as a fuel in place of glucose. Ketones can act in place of glucose as a fuel for the body, especially the brain, which can only run on glucose or ketones. One advantage of ketones is that they don’t require an active transporter to cross cell membranes; they can easily diffuse to body tissues for energy. They’ve also been shown to treat epilepsy, increase mental focus, slow the onset of Alzheimer’s, help heart attack patients recover faster, and maybe even prevent bonking in a long distance running event. Advocates of this type of diet point out that it’s probably a much more natural way to eat, since in an ancestral environment, carbs were scarce. Fruit was much smaller and less sugary and grains have only been around in large quantities for around 10,000 years. For much of human history the theory goes, we existed in a state of ketosis, sometimes going days without food, and living off stored body fat and ketones generated from fat stores. If you are new to the Continue reading >>
Fasting And Exercise – Fasting 23
Is it possible to exercise while fasting? This is a common question we hear all the time. People think that food gives them energy and therefore it will be difficult to fast and exercise at the same time. Some people with physically demanding jobs feel that they could not fast and work properly. What’s the truth? Well, let’s think about this logically for a second. When you eat, insulin goes up telling your body to use some of that food energy immediately. The remainder is stored as sugar (glycogen in the liver). Once the glycogen stores are full, then the liver manufactures fat (DeNovo Lipogenesis). Dietary protein is broken down into component amino acids. Some is used to repair proteins but excess amino acids are turned to glucose. Dietary fat is absorbed directly by the intestines. It doesn’t undergo any further transformation and is stored as fat. Insulin’s main action is to inhibit lipolysis. This means that it blocks fat burning. The incoming flood of glucose from food is sent to the rest of the body to be used as energy. So what happens during a fast? Well, it’s just the process in reverse. First, your body burns the stored sugar, then it burns the stored fat. In essence, during feeding you burn food energy. During fasting, you burn energy from your stored food (sugar and fat). Note that the amount of energy that is used by and available to your body stays the same. The basal metabolic rate stays the same. This is the basic energy used for vital organs, breathing, heart function etc. Eating does not increase basal metabolism except for the small amount used to digest food itself (the thermic effect of food). If you exercise while fasting, the body will start by burning sugar. Glycogen is a molecule composed of many sugars all put together. When it come Continue reading >>
How Much Ketosis Do You Need To Lose Weight?
How much ketosis do you need to lose weight? Can protein shorten life? And does eating extra fat really make you fat? Get the answers in this week’s Q&A with Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt: Clarification concerning Dr. Fung’s article “Does Eating Extra Fat Make You Fat?” If you review the responses to this article, there is total confusion. One even points out the article contradicts information previously provided on the site. While it is reasonable to conclude that most people visiting the site would be overweight and perhaps obese, if Dr Fung is correct, it would seem there would be cautions provided throughout the site concerning eating too much fat. I’m confused so please clarify. Thank you, Sylvia I think we do caution people not to eat too much fat. We say that for the best long-term weight loss effect, you should only eat more fat if you’re hungry. If you’re not hungry and you have excess weight to lose, don’t eat. Adding lots of extra fat to your meals – when you don’t need it to feel satiated – will indeed slow down weight loss. If you want more clarification – and some entertainment – check out the second tip in this short video: Best, Andreas Eenfeldt At what level of ketosis can I expect to lose weight? How long will it take before the body hits ketosis? I am only registering on the second colour of the strip tests, can I expect to lose weight at that level? Only been going just over a week, think I am fairly strict, maybe a bit of full cream milk in tea and coffee instead of cream all the time. Is it unrealistic to be in ketosis at this stage? Shelley Hi! You can certainly lose weight on that level of ketosis. It’s possible to lose weight even without ketosis. Ketosis is simply a definite sign that you’re burning lots of fat and that th 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 >>
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 >>
Low-carb/ketogenic Diets And Exercise Performance
Low-carb and ketogenic diets are extremely popular. These diets have been around for a long time, and share similarities with paleolithic diets (1). Research has shown that lower-carb diets can help you lose weight and improve various health markers (2). However, the evidence on muscle growth, strength and performance is mixed (3, 4, 5). This article takes a detailed look at low-carb/ketogenic diets and physical performance. The guidelines for a low-carb diet vary between studies and authorities. In research, low-carb is usually classified as less than 30% of calories from carbs (6, 7). Most average low-carb diets consist of 50–150 grams of carbs per day, a fairly high amount of protein and a moderate-to-high fat intake. Yet for some athletes, "low-carb" can still mean over 200 grams of carbs per day. In contrast, a well-formulated ketogenic diet is more restrictive, usually consisting of only 30–50 grams of carbs per day, combined with a very high fat intake (8). This extremely low carb intake helps you achieve ketosis, a process where ketones and fat become the main sources of energy for the body and brain (9). There are several versions of the ketogenic diet, including: Standard ketogenic diet: This is an extremely low-carb, moderate-protein, high-fat diet. It typically contains 75% fat, 20% protein and 5% carbs (8). Cyclical ketogenic diet: This diet involves periods of higher-carb refeeds, such as 5 ketogenic days followed by 2 high-carb days. Targeted ketogenic diet: This diet allows you to add carbs, usually around periods of intense exercise or workouts. The pie charts below show the typical nutrient breakdown of a low-fat Western diet, a low-carb diet and a typical ketogenic diet: In most low-carb and ketogenic diets, people restrict food sources like grain Continue reading >>
Will Exercise Put Me Into Ketosis Quicker?
When using a low-carbohydrate diet, the basic idea of ketosis remains critical to your long-term success. Ketosis involves burning fatty acids as your primary fuel source. Both exercise and diet play a role in your ability to achieve and maintain a ketogenic state. Exercise also plays a role in how quickly you enter ketosis, but this depends on both your training volume and intensity. Consult a health care provider before beginning any diet or exercise program. Video of the Day Ketosis, the state in which your body primarily burns fatty acids as fuel, takes work to achieve and maintain. Even though you will always burn a certain amount of fatty acids, you must drop your glycogen levels low enough that your body relies mostly on burning fat for energy. Reducing sugar levels is primarily done by restricting dietary carbohydrates. The more restrictive your diet, the quicker you enter the ketogenic state. This state is a delicate balance, so once you achieve ketosis, you must work to maintain it. Exercise uses various forms of energy for fuel, such as amino acids, fats and carbohydrates. The more you exercise, the more you deplete your body of its reserves, including glycogen. The more glycogen you deplete, the less your body has to use for available energy. When your glycogen levels drop low enough, you enter ketosis. While light exercise will slowly deplete your blood sugar, exercise intensity plays a significant role in not only how quickly you enter ketosis, but how easily you maintain ketosis. In addition to depleting your blood sugar, exercise also depletes muscle glycogen, but this is also determined by how hard you exercise. A light walk is not a strain for most people, so to significantly deplete muscle glycogen, you would need to walk quite a distance. High speed Continue reading >>
Low-carb And Exercise In The Real World
The general consensus around the Paleo world is that the more active you are, the more carbs you need. That’s especially true if the exercise is intense: walking is one thing, but if you’re getting up into the high-intensity sprinting or ten-mile runs, your body will be hurting for some carbs. This is all based on science, but the vast majority of the science is from a very limited population: trained elite athletes, and/or college-age men doing intense exercise and not looking to lose weight. What about the people who aren’t doing sprinting or 10-mile runs, but might be doing occasional squatting or 3-mile runs? What about middle-aged men? What about women? What about people who went low-carb to lose weight? There’s plenty of anecdotal evidence about exercise on a low-carb diet, but it’s all conflicting. On the one hand, beginners often start trying to do a hard workout every day on a low-carb version of Paleo where they’re also trying to restrict calories for weight loss. Then they get exhausted and their performance completely tanks, but if they add in a potato or two every day, they perk right back up again and feel fine. But on the other hand, there are also plenty of anecdotes about people who eat low-carb and feel just fine in the gym. So here’s a look at some studies on low-carb diets for ordinary non-athletes, how they affect exercise, and the role of different individual factors (for example, everything can change depending on whether or not weight loss is involved, which is not something you’ll find in the elite athlete studies). Performance on a Low-Carb or Ketogenic Diet When it comes to diets and athletic performance, it’s important to distinguish between a true ketogenic diet and a low-carb diet that isn’t ketogenic. If you don’t kno Continue reading >>
Exercise And The Ketogenic Lifestyle
I recently wrote about finding motivation, and in that article, I touched upon exercise, but I didn’t write much about how it relates to the ketogenic lifestyle. So that’s what I wanted to do now. For the past 40 or so years, because of the faulty calorie hypothesis, exercise was used as a tool for weight loss, often times the primary tool. The other being, “eat less”, but we’ll get into that later. Because the hormones responsible for fat accumulation and fat burning (LPL and HSL, respectively) are adjusted during exercise, I don’t put fat loss as a big reason for exercise. That doesn’t mean that exercise cannot be fueled by body fat, in fact, if you’re in ketosis, almost all your exercise will be fueled by your body fat. But calories aren’t the key factor. So, if calories are not the mechanism for fat gain or loss, then what role, if any, does exercise play in achieving health and fitness goals? A bunch. But before I get into that, I just need to bring up a question that everyone needs to answer for themselves. Why do you want to exercise? What goal does your exercising help you achieve? If you don’t know the answer to that, you’re almost guaranteed to fail in your exercise life. A ketogenic lifestyle incorporates a unified approach to all aspects, in order to achieve something better. So, having said that, and having asked you to ask yourself why you choose to torture yourself (or why you are thinking about doing it), let’s talk about exercise. Exercise plays several roles in a healthy lifestyle, a ketogenic lifestyle. Stress relief Mental acuity Fun Let’s start with the first, stress relief. This is the most important reason for regular exercise. Exercise causes a lot of biochemical responses, such as increasing cortisol, the hormone respon Continue reading >>
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Ketogenic Diet : 5-week Plan, Exercise Routine, Benefits & Tips
ketogenic diet is a low-carb diet plan that has helped many women and men to lose up to 15-18 pounds in five weeks. This unconventional diet plan requires you to be on a high-fat (77%), moderate-protein (17%) and very low-carb (5%) diet. Here is the science behind the success of this high-fat diet. Carbs and proteins get converted to glucose in the body, but not fats! Excess glucose gets converted into fat. But, in the case of the ketogenic diet, the body is deprived of carbs or proteins, leaving the body no choice but to utilize fat as the energy source. Since fat cannot be converted to glucose, it is converted into ketone molecules. This process is known as ketosis. When ketosis kicks in, ketones are used instead of carbohydrate or sugar for fuel. This helps the body to burn the stored fat and lose weight. You will be totally amazed to see the results. But you have to stick to the plan till you reach your goal, otherwise, ketosis will stop and you will stop burning fat. In this article, you will find a detailed 5-week plan, exercise routine, benefits, and a keto diet shopping list! Let’s start. 1. Ketogenic Diet Plan Week 1 Early Morning (7:00 am) Options: Warm water with lemon Warm water with 1 tablespoon Triphala powder Breakfast (8:30 am) Options: 1 boiled egg + kale smoothie Oats and milk Quinoa Lunch (12:30 pm) Options: Vegetable soup Mushroom and lettuce salad with high fat dressing Chicken, carrot, bell pepper, and green beans salad with high-fat dressing Post Lunch (2:30 pm) 1 cup Greek yogurt and 2 almonds Evening Snack (5:00 pm) 1 cup green tea with a dash of lemon Dinner (7:30 pm) Options: Shrimp and zoodles Mashed broccoli and potato with sour cream Mushroom and cream soup Why This Works In the first week of the ketogenic diet, there is a greater loss in Continue reading >>
The Keto Workout
Duration 3 Days Exercises 15 Equipment Yes Training when your body is in ketosis forces you to pick your weight room battles carefully. Without carbs in your system, you simply can’t perform the same kind of high-volume bodybuilding or CrossFit routines you’re probably used to and still expect to recover from them—at least not until your body has fully adapted to using fat for fuel. But that’s fine. By learning to be judicious about your training and choosing only the best exercises for stimulating muscle, you’ll keep size while the fat comes off, eliminate the risk of overtraining, and speed up your workout time. How It Works This program turns the volume way down. You’ll train your legs only one day per week, which will allow ample recovery time—a must, given the lower-body intensive cardio sessions you’ll be doing. You may feel like you’re not doing enough sets, but remember that it’s your ketogenic diet that is responsible for most of your fat loss. To see that muscle isn’t lost with the fat, you’ll be going heavy on most exercises, and prioritizing the bench press and squat. Big compound movements like these recruit maximum muscle mass, sending your body the message that even though the number on the scale is going down, it’s not allowed to get small and weak. 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 Fam Continue reading >>
Diet 911: Ketosis For Dummies
Dear M&F, I’m trying to see my six-pack. I’m following a ketogenic diet, but my weight loss seems to have slowed down. Can you help me speed things up? —Wayne F., KS Ketogenic diets (around 50 grams of carbs per day) are extremely effective for getting lean because you reset the body’s enzymatic machinery to use fat as its primary fuel source in the absence of carbs. I see three problems with your diet that are certainly causing your fat-loss plateau—too much protein, not enough good fat, and residual carbohydrates. 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 To break your plateau, pump up the fat in your diet to about 50% of your total daily calories and reduce the protein to 30%–40%. The rest of your calories will come from vegetables. Traditionally, bodybuilders opt to get their protein from tuna and lean meats such as chicken breast. However, on a diet like this, you should switch to darker meats and oily fish. Eating salmon, chicken thighs, lamb, and lean beef allows you to get your protein and fat in one source. The last issue is your consumption of “residual” carbohydrates—the carbs you’re not even aware you’re eating, like those in nuts and meal-replacement shakes. It’s OK t Continue reading >>
How Long Does It Take To Get Into Ketosis?
A question a lot of people who start a Ketogenic Diet want to know is, how long does it take to get into ketosis? After all, it is being in a state of ketosis that makes the diet, “ketogenic” in the first place. Being in Ketosis not only supercharges your body to be in an optimal fat-burning zone. It also gives you a longer, sustained energy, enhanced cognition, improved focus and other neuroprotective benefits. The Advantages of Ketosis don’t end there Being on a Ketogenic Diet and having your body rely on fats as its fuel comes with cardiovascular benefits as well. It has been shown that ketosis lowers bad LDL cholesterol while increasing good HDL cholesterol, decreasing a person’s risk of heart disease as well as improving insulin resistance amongst others. There are also studies into the ketogenic diet’s effects on Alzheimers Disease, Bipolar Disorder among others that have shown promising results. The Ketogenic Diet itself was used in the early 1900’s to control epileptic seizures and is still used today for those resistant to seizure medication. But we won’t dive deeply into all of that today. Today we’re going to answer the question, how long does it take to get into ketosis? So, how long does it take to get into Ketosis? Nobody can tell you accurately how long it will take to get into ketosis as the time it takes for your body to start creating ketone bodies varies between individuals. We all have unique metabolisms, varying resistance to insulin, previous diet, and other biological factors that differentiate us from one another. If one were to give a timeframe, it would be safe to say that typically you can expect your body to get into ketosis within a period of 2-10 days if you stick to the recommended macro nutrients. (use our keto calculator 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 >>
Quick Start Keto
Low carbers know ketosis is the superhero of fat-burning. But what is ketosis? And how do you get into ketosis quickly? Keto FAQs and why it makes a difference in fat loss. 6 techniques to get into ketosis fast 3-Day rapid reach ketosis technique Try a few rapid keto techniques and eat specific low carb keto foods. Our quick start guide covers everything you need to reach ketosis fast. If carbs are limited to small amounts in your diet, your body relies on fat for energy. When you reach ketosis, fat burns rapidly and muscle tissue is spared. Why Does Keto Burn Fat Faster? To get into ketosis you’ll avoid sugar, leading to low insulin levels. Low insulin curbs hunger and accelerates fat-burning. Metabolizing fat and producing ketones burns more energy than metabolizing carbs. The result is a much higher calorie burn. How Do I Reach Ketosis? Ketosis happens when carbs are very low – usually when eating 20 to 50 grams of net carbs or less per day. (Carb grams from fiber are NOT counted in daily totals.) Everyone is different. Some low carbers must eat very low carb to reach ketosis. Typical Keto Ratio Getting into ketosis requires eating meals that are high in healthy fats and low in carbs. Protein grams should not exceed 20 % of total daily calories. Keto Calculator This free online keto calculator determines your ideal nutrient ratio for weight loss or maintenance during ketosis. The keto calculator recommends the optimum daily calories, fat, carb and protein amounts to help you get into ketosis – and meet your weight loss goal. How to Know You’re in Ketosis Keto Symptoms During keto, low carbers experience bursts of energy and heightened mood – just two of the big benefits of ketosis. Some dieters notice a temporary, sweet taste in the mouth or a mild, sweet b Continue reading >>