Ketogenic Meal Plans: Lose Fat, Preserve Muscle
The ketogenic diet is built around the concept of removing dietary carbohydrates from your eating plan to the point that the brain and body are forced to utilize another fuel source - ketones. Physicians introduced the ketogenic diet to the Western world in the 1920s as a treatment for epilepsy. However, this highly effective diet quickly gained popularity within the fitness community as a method to maximize fat loss and preserve muscle mass. The ketogenic diet is built around the concept of removing dietary carbohydrates from your eating plan to the point that the brain and body are forced to utilize another fuel source – ketones. After your body adjusts to using ketones as its primary source of fuel, and while eating in a caloric deficit, your body would then mobilize stored fat more rapidly than a non-ketogenic diet. With regards to macronutrient components, the ketogenic diet consists of high-fat, moderate protein, and very low carbohydrates. Fat, being the most nutrient-dense of the three macronutrients at 9 calories per gram, should comprise a majority of the daily caloric intake. The consensus on “very low carb” ranges on who you’re talking to, but I’ve found the average to be less than 30 grams of net carbohydrates per day (carbohydrates minus fiber). Some users may eat above that range and prove they’re in ketosis using ketosis strips, but for the sake of simplicity eating less than 30 grams of net carbohydrates on your very low carbohydrate days will ensure you’re using ketones for fuel. With typical fat loss diets, people decrease their fat intake first which can negatively impact hormonal function over time. Additionally, prolonged intake of very low carbohydrates can negatively impact metabolism and energy due to the natural down regulation of Continue reading >>
Finding Your Optimal Protein Intake For A Ketogenic Diet
When embarking on a ketogenic diet for health or fat loss, finding the optimum protein intake can be very confusing for many beginners. For smooth adaptation in the transition to a ketogenic metabolism I typically guide people using a caloric spread of around 70-80% fat, 15-25% protein, and 5% carbohydrate from green fibrous vegetables – but this ratio varies for every individual and using percentages is confusing and misleading in many cases. The best way to look at macronutrients is not in percentage ratios, but in grams. The slew of bloggers and gurus spouting so much conflicting information leads many into a mental stalemate about how much protein they should be eating. This article lays out the metrics I most commonly use to quantify how much protein an individual should intake – there is no magic ratio and the needs, preferences, and goals of the individual determine the amount of protein they will likely require on their ketogenic diet which usually lies within a relatively broad range of 1-2.2g/kg (and in some cases even higher *cringe say the protein-phobic) of bodyweight or .5-1g/lb of lean body mass (Lean Body Mass equals Body Weight minus Body Fat). Myth: “Too much” protein turns immediately into sugar I almost always recommend people increase their intake of fish and seafoods in order to get the vital nutrient DHA into their central nervous system and mitochondrial membranes. We see amazing results when people opt for more fish and less red meat, which I also love, but land mammals are not nearly as nutrient dense as seafoods with their incredible levels of DHA, EPA, selenium, and iodine. Sometimes this means they will be eating more protein than they believe will allow them to be “ketogenic”, this protein-phobia can be counterproductive, which Continue reading >>
No More Dragon Breath!
Too many people who eat low carb diets believe that they have to live with the intense bad breath nicknamed "ketobreath" if they are to keep their carbs down either to control their blood sugar or lose weight. That's because they believe that the bad breath is a sign that they are eating what is called a "ketogenic diet" which some dieters and low carb enthusiasts believe makes it much easier to burn off fat. The term "ketogenic" simply means "producing ketones." Ketones are a byproduct of fat digestion. They become significant when you are eating so few grams of carbohydrate each day because at that point most of your cells switch over to burning fats, including ketones, rather than glucose. You can tell when you have entered a ketogenic state because your body will dump a great deal of water when this happens, causing a weight loss of anywhere from two to six pounds within a day or two. When you exit the ketogenic state, those same water-related pounds come right back. Why this happens is explained in greater detail on this web page. Unfortunately, most people who cut carbs low enough to remain in a ketogenic state for more than a few weeks develop a distinctive and truly awful bad breath that they assume is a necessary part of eating a ketogenic diet. This is not true but widely believed. It is also the major reason why the loved ones of low carb dieter, after a period of patience, may start undermining the low carbers' diet, tempting them with carbs in the hope that if they ruin their loved one's diet they will no longer have to live with the wretched smell of that "ketobreath." This is rational behavior on the part of those loved ones. The bad breath--which the dieter usually can't themselves smell--is often so strong it makes riding in a car with the dieter unplea Continue reading >>
Keto Diet Rules
The ketogenic diet is based on eating little carbs, adequate but not too much protein and lots of fat. These are the keto diet rules, but the ketogenic diet is really a lifestyle and a little different for each person. So, work on finding what works best for YOU! What to Eat Carbohydrates, protein and fat are macro nutrients and generally a keto diet consist of about 5% carbs, 20 to 25% protein and 70 to 75% fat. This may seem tough, but these keto diet rules are easier to follow than you may imagine. These three macronutrients have different effects on ketosis. Their effect on ketosis depends on how they are digested and how they affect glucose levels in the blood. The effect of fats on ketosis is minimal. Its main effect is really on how much weight you can lose. Your body can either burn body fat or dietary fat as fuel. So the more weight you want to lose the more body weight you want to burn. However, don’t go overboard with limiting your fat intake too much because this will leave you hungry and is counter productive. Knowing this, still remember that ketogenic diets are very individual and has to be adopted to what works for each person. Now, let’s look at the quantities we need and what we should be eating. Limited Carbohydrates To start, no more than 20 gram of net carbs each day. Over time this could be increased to up to 50 grams as most people should be able to remain in ketosis on a diet that contains up to 50 grams of net carbs. Get your carbs from non-starchy vegetables, but focus on green vegetables. To know exactly what you should be eating check out our detailed low carb foods list . Combine your carb with protein and or fat. Don’t cut out vegetables all together. That is not sustainable and not a good idea at all. Net carbs may be a concept th Continue reading >>
The Top 10 Ketosis Mistakes And How To Prevent Them
What mistakes are you making when it comes to your health? I know I’ve been making plenty. That’s why I’m tracking my data in this recent ketosis experiment that I’m doing. What about you? Most people think that the ketogenic diet is just “low-carb” which leads them to make many mistakes that prevent them from not reaping all of the benefits of ketosis that they could. What benefits? How about an improved immune system, increased longevity, lower inflammation, effortless weight loss, decreased hunger, reduced risk for disease and more. Read on to know the top 10 ways that people make mistakes with ketosis and how you can prevent them. 1: Not tracking protein intake By far the biggest problem with a ketogenic diet is not tracking how much protein you are eating. The far majority of people are simply eating too much lean protein, which ends up kicking them out of ketosis. Protein can turn into carbs by a metabolic process called gluconeogenesis, meaning “making new carbs.” This then spikes insulin, and reduces ketone levels. Even though you are eating super low carb, this could make your body switch back and forth between energy systems, which will lead to high levels of fatigue or “low carb flu.” The easiest way to avoid this mistake is by tracking your ketone levels to see how you respond to different amounts and different types of meat. Everyone is different, so the only way you can tell is by tracking. I “listened to my body” before and it didn’t work. I wasn’t in ketosis when I thought I was. I also thought ketosis kind of sucked. It didn’t, I was just wrong. The only way you know is by tracking. If you consume more fat with protein, it will slow this effect. So think fattier cuts of meat, and less muscle meat. But wait, are you going to Continue reading >>
Keto Diet Macros: How To Calculate Yours
The keto diet (ketogenic diet) has been around for quite some time, but recently there has been a surge in popularity for this ultra low carb eating regime. Firstly I want to emphasize that long-term, flexible dieting (eating normal levels of macros) is just as good at helping your reach your weight loss and fitness goals as a keto diet. It could be argued that flexible dieting is better as it is less restrictive and therefore more sustainable. But, a keto diet may be appropriate for someone looking for faster initial results¹. Those training for fitness competitions. Those trying to lose weight for an event but have a shorter time window. Those who have tried flexible dieting but because of metabolic issues are unable to lose weight eating normal levels of carbohydrates. What is a Keto Diet? The keto diet was first developed for use by those with epilepsy. It later became popular among bodybuilders to cut fat before competitions. It will cause your body to burn nothing but fat for energy instead of using glucose (carbohydrates). A person achieves this by greatly limiting carbs and eating more fat. In the absence of carbs, the body will begin converting both dietary fat and body fat into ketones which are then used by the cells of your body for energy. It’s important to understand that a calorie deficit is still required for fat loss to happen. Looking for keto food ideas? Keto Macro Calculation If you wish to calculate your keto diet macros, the first thing to do is to establish your estimated TDEE (total daily energy expenditure). Here’s the formula:² Now factor in your movement, since you probably don’t lie in bed all day. Sedentary Regular daily activity like a little walking, a couple flights of stairs, eating, talking etc. (REE X 1.2) Light activity Any ex Continue reading >>
Everything You Should Know About The Ketogenic Diet
Recently I had a client tell me that she and her husband were eating more than 2 pounds of bacon a week—usually three strips for breakfast and one or two with a salad for dinner. I’ve been a dietitian for almost 20 years. Few things surprise me. But I had to ask: “Why?” She told me that her husband had heard about a new diet on TV, the keto diet, and they decided to try it. Six months and countless packages of bacon later, her husband had lost 20 pounds and said he felt more energetic. I’m beginning to hear more and more people lecture me about the benefits of the ketogenic diet. “Keto burns fat fast! It turbo-charges your energy! It fights disease! You can eat all the bacon you want!” But as is so often the case with diets, underneath all the initial excitement, there’s a gut check. Here’s everything you should know about the ketogenic diet and whether or not you should try it for yourself. Ketogenesis has existed as long as humans have. If you eat a very low amount of carbohydrates, you starve your brain of glucose, its main fuel source. Your body still needs fuel to function, so your brain signals it to tap its reserve of ketones. It’s like a hybrid car that runs out of gas and reverts to pure electricity. Okay, but what are ketones? They’re compounds created by your liver from your fat stores when blood insulin is low. “Your liver produces ketones all the time, but the rate depends on carbohydrate and protein intake,” says Jeff Volek, Ph.D., R.D., a professor of human sciences at Ohio State University. Eat a normal amount of carbs and protein, and ketogenesis idles. Cut carbs and protein back, and you push to half throttle. This takes about three days to induce. A ketogenic diet requires that fat comprise 60 to 80 percent of your total calo Continue reading >>
How Much Protein Should I Eat On A Lchf Keto Diet?
Many people following a keto LCHF diet are unsure about how much protein they should be eating. It’s a common belief that a low carb diet should be high in protein. As we all know, eating a LCHF keto diet means eating most of your calories as fat, not protein. On a LCHF keto diet your macros (the composition of your diet) should look something like this: 70% fat/25% protein/5% carbs. You definitely don’t want to be eating more than 30% of your calories as protein. A common error we see people making is making protein the central focus and of all their meals and hence they end up eating a large percentage of their diet as protein, with too little fat and too few low carb veggies. What’s wrong with eating too much protein you ask? Read our post about protein to find out. When you are on a LCHF keto diet for weight loss, eating protein in excess results in a few things happening: Less fat is eaten and so the diet is not truly ketogenic. The benefits of being in ketosis do not happen. Peoples macros do not approach the 70% fat/25% protein/5% carbs recommendation You end up consuming too many calories, because your protein servings are huge! You get tired and bored with eating protein all the time and you end up going off your LCHF eating plan and start adding carbs back to your diet just to get some variety You end up not eating enough low carb veggies. The focus of a keto diet should be low carb vegetables which are the perfect vehicle for adding fat to the diet in the form of olive oil, avocado oil, butter and coconut oil. You can roast or saute your veggies in fat or steam them and then drizzle them with olive or other nut oils. See our useful guide to the best low carb vegetables. Your weight loss can slow down or stop People are very confused about how large thei Continue reading >>
Ketogenic Diets: High-fat Or High-protein – Q&a
Question: I’m familiar with the “true” ketogenic diet of 90% fat which historically is a medical diet used to assist in controlling seizure prone individuals, but it has the added advantage of being a fantastic way to shed weight while keeping the brain fed. In your RAPID FAT LOSS diet, you say it’s basically a ketogenic diet but without the dietary fat – why? If I were to choose between the 2 ketogenic diets, why choose 90-95% PROTEIN over 90-95% FAT???? Answer: The issue, as always, comes down to a matter of context. The original epilepsy ketogenic diet was developed, as you note to control seizures. And for whatever reason, at least one aspect of that was developing very, very deep degrees of ketosis. For this reason, a very high dietary fat content and lowish protein intake is necessary. This is for reasons discussed in Ketosis and the Ketogenic Ratio – Q&A. Protein has about a half anti-ketogenic effect and too much dietary protein can inhibit ketosis. Which makes the epilepsy diet not work. So in that context, the diet had to be set up with very high fat and low protein. And while such a diet may make people lose WEIGHT quickly, simply losing WEIGHT is not necessarily the goal. Rather, the goal is (or should be) to lose FAT while maintaining MUSCLE mass. I discussed this difference in some detail in the Rapid Fat Loss Handbook itself (as well as in every other of my books) or you can read the article What Does Body Composition Mean? That is, people who want to change body composition aren’t just interested in weight loss per se, they want to maximize fat loss while (generally speaking) minimizing the loss of lean body mass. And the simple fact is that a 90% fat ketogenic diet, due to the low protein content won’t do that. Rather, dietary protein ha Continue reading >>
Eating Fat To Lose Weight? The Ketogenic Diet Is High-fat And Low-carb
But he didn’t start dropping the pounds until a friend who had lost a lot of weight suggested he try a ketogenic diet. Gross switched to the high-fat, ultra-low-carb diet and lost 70 pounds in seven months. And he’s kept at it for five years. Though online searches about ketogenic diets started spiking last year, the diet was created in the 1920s as a way to treat epilepsy. When you’re on a keto diet and you’re in what’s called ketosis, a metabolic process forces the body to burn stored fat because there’s not enough glucose for energy. Fans of the keto diet say they have more energy and better focus. The diet, however, is restrictive and can be difficult to maintain. A group of local nutrition experts say the diet is safe, but they were split over whether they would recommend it for everyone. Burning fat How does the diet work? Our bodies break down carbohydrates when we eat. Those carbs are turned into glucose that fuels our cells, giving us energy. Eating keto A difficult start Continue reading >>
The 'eat This Not That' Guide To The Keto Diet
The ketogenic diet can be dizzyingly complicated. You want to load up on fats and protein, and keep your carb intake low—but all fats and proteins aren’t alike, and there are some veggies higher in carbohydrates than others. Oh, and fruit is pretty much banned. But don’t worry: We’ve put together the best and worst of each category so you can go keto with confidence. Fats Eat this: 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 Saturated fats including coconut oil, ghee, grass-fed butter, duck fat, tallow, and lard—all essential for a healthy immune system, dense bones, and proper testosterone levels. Monounsaturated fats like olive, avocado, macadamia, and almond oils, which boost heart health and provide vitamin E—important for vision and a strong immune system. Polyunsaturated omega-3s such as wild-caught salmon, sardines, and sustainably harvested seafood—to prevent heart disease and stroke and reduce blood pressure. Medium-chain triglycerides, fatty acids that are easily absorbed and used for energy. Linked to weight loss, MCTs increase satiety and rev-up metabolism. Not that: Refined fats and oils like sunflower, canola, soybean, grapeseed, and corn oils, which have been processed at high Continue reading >>
Too Much Protein Harms A Ketogenic Diet
Too much protein can get you out of Ketosis Protein can get converted to glucose by a process called gluconeogenesis. If you consume too many carbohydrates, your body will stop making ketones and if you consume too much protein, your body will also stop making ketones. Eating too much protein and not eating enough micronutrients are the most common mistakes with the ketogenic diet. More on this here. mTor and too much protein Eating too much protein activates the mtor pathway. mTor is a protein that serves as a nutrient signaling pathway that is the key muscle building mechanism in all mammals. If you active the mTor pathway, cells grow and reproduce quickly. This pathway also reduces cellular repair and regeneration. Because of this, we do not want to stimulate this pathway if we are concerned about longevity and preventing diseases such as cancer. When the mTor pathway is not turned on, your cells are repairing themselves and cleaning up damaged cells (called authophagy). This is a very important component of anti-aging. The Atkins and Paleo diets typically stimulate mTor because of the high levels of protein consumed. The Ketogenic diet is better for anti-aging because a lower amount of protein is consumed, which is important for not stimulating mTor. How to figure out how much protein to eat without stimulating mTor The maximum amount of protein you should eat per day is a calculation based on lean body mass. The formula is 1 gram of protein for each kilogram of Lean body mass. How to figure lean body mass Weight in kilograms x bodyfat % = lbs of fat Weight – lbs of fat = lean body mass Then convert lbs to kg by dividing by 2.2 Example: This person weighs 181 lbs and has 15% bodyfat 181 lbs x 15% (0.15) = 27 lbs of fat 181 lbs – 27 lbs of fat = 154 lbs of lean b 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 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 >>
An Introduction To The Ketogenic Diet
If you haven’t been living under a rock for the past year or so, then you’ve most likely heard of the ketogenic (or keto) diet. If you have been living under one, I’m going to need you to crawl out from under it and take a seat because Ketogenic Dieting 101 is about to begin. So, Like, What Is It? Keto is a diet with high fats, moderate protein, and restricted carbohydrates. Initially designed to help children with epilepsy, it’s garnered attention for its effectiveness in regards to fat loss. The traditional ketogenic diet (also known as the therapeutic ketogenic diet), mimics the effects of starvation by forcing the body to burn its own fat stores rather than glucose. When you restrict carbohydrates, the body enters into a metabolic state known as ketosis, where the liver converts stored fat (triglycerides) into ketones. These ketones are what the body uses to fuel your brain, organs, and muscles. On the therapeutic ketogenic diet, the macro breakdown looks like this: However, as the ketogenic diet’s grown in popularity, especially among people who are looking to lose fat and build muscle, a new form of the diet’s emerged. While the traditional ketogenic diet is an extremely high-fat diet with sufficient protein intake, the physique ketogenic diet is a high-fat diet but with adequate protein intake. Huh, Sufficient and Adequate Protein Intake? This is where a lot of the confusion arises around the ketogenic diet, and it’s important to understand the difference. When the goal is fat loss, the concomitant goal is to preserve muscle mass. On a therapeutic ketogenic diet, protein is set to around 10-15% of total calorie intake. This is the sufficient amount of protein required to keep the body functioning and you healthy – basically so you don’t die. The Continue reading >>