How To Become A Keto Runner
There has been a lot in the press recently about a ‘controversial’ book by running supremo Professor Tim Noakes called The Real Meal Revolution. He is responsible for the training bible The Lore of Running and is a very experienced runner. After years of training on a high carbohydrate diet – carb loading before races and using carbs as a source of energy/fuel he had become lethargic and no longer enjoyed running. He had also developed Type 2 diabetes. A shift in his thinking led to Tim adopting a Low Carb/High Fat approach called the Banting Diet and went from ‘running like a 60-year-old to running like a 40-year-old’. He was so inspired by it that he turned it into his Real Meal Revolution book. Years ago I used to run pretty much entirely fueled by carbs. For the first 20 minutes or so I would fly along and then slowly my energy would disappear (along with my sense of humour) and I would get progressively slower. When I was marathon training I needed to constantly pop jelly beans after an hour or so of running. My skin was bad, my digestive system was a mess and I began to resent how running made me feel. I no longer enjoyed it, it was a chore. NOW, in 2016 it is a completely different picture. When I run I sometimes have to stop myself….I feel like I could run forever…… I am not suggesting that a LCHF/Banting/Keto approach is for everyone, one size doesn’t fit all. BUT and it is a big BUT, if you try it and it works for you then it will change your life. If you are a new runner then now is the perfect time to start. If you are an experienced runner then you may have a bit of frustration becoming adapted to this new way of approaching fuel. Bear with it though and give it at least 6 weeks. Keto Runner – The Diet There is now plenty of Low Carb/Ket Continue reading >>
‘keto Diet’: The Diet To Reverse Diabetes And Lose Weight?
You might have heard or read about so many diet plans across your favourite health magazines. But have you heard about the Keto Diet? If you haven’t, it is one to take note of. Not only does it ensure you to lose a few pounds before your upcoming holiday parties, it has many purported health benefits. So if you’re looking to lose some weight, keep reading on to find out the benefits and suggested meal plan of the keto diet. So… What is the Keto Diet? The Keto diet, also known as the Ketogenic Diet, is a low carb, high fat diet which allows the body to turn into a fat burning machine. So instead of running on carbs, the body produces ketones found in the liver to be used as energy. Ketones are produced if you eat very few carbs (that are quickly broken down into blood sugar) and only moderate amounts of protein, and are an alternative fuel for the body, used when blood sugar (glucose) is in short supply. What Are Its Benefits? Weight Loss: The obvious benefit is weight loss as your body is essentially using body fat as an energy source resulting in a great decrease in insulin levels. Energy Support: You must be thinking, how can a diet plan help with increasing my energy levels? Yes, it can! Fat and the ketones produced from fat are readily available. So once your body is adapted to the fact, you will find that your body can easily go for hours without certain foods and still have lots of energy. Mental Focus: Ketones are a great source of fuel for the brain. When you lower your carb intake, you avoid huge spikes in the blood sugar. In which can result in improved focus and concentration. Reversing type 2 Diabetes: When we consume carbs, the body breaks them down into sugar. From there, they enter the bloodstream making our blood sugar levels elevated. With this di Continue reading >>
The Keto Diet Is Gaining Popularity, But Is It Safe?
A new twist on extreme weight loss is catching on in some parts of the United States. It’s called the "keto diet." People promoting the diet say it uses the body’s own fat burning system to help people lose significant weight in as little as 10 days. It has also been known to help moderate the symptoms of children with epilepsy, although experts are not quite sure why it works. Proponents say the diet can produce quick weight loss and provide a person with more energy. However, critics say the diet is an unhealthy way to lose weight and in some instances it can be downright dangerous. Read More: What is the “Caveman Diet?” » What Is Ketosis? The “keto” diet is any extremely low- or no-carbohydrate diet that forces the body into a state of ketosis. Ketosis occurs when people eat a low- or no-carb diet and molecules called ketones build up in their bloodstream. Low carbohydrate levels cause blood sugar levels to drop and the body begins breaking down fat to use as energy. Ketosis is actually a mild form of ketoacidosis. Ketoacidosis mostly affects people with type 1 diabetes. In fact, it is the leading cause of death of people with diabetes who are under 24 years of age. However, many experts say ketosis itself is not necessarily harmful. Some studies, in fact, suggest that a ketogenic diet is safe for significantly overweight or obese people. However, other clinical reviews point out that patients on low-carbohydrate diets regain some of their lost weight within a year. Where It’s Helpful The keto diet was created by Dr. Gianfranco Cappello, an associate professor of surgery at the Sapienza University in Rome, Italy. He claims great success among thousands of users. In his study, more than 19,000 dieters experienced significant, rapid weight loss, few side Continue reading >>
The Targeted Ketogenic Diet
By now, almost everyone knows about keto, unless you’ve been living under a nutritional rock. Paleo and low carb eating approaches have become widely popular and are just beginning to ramp up. What you’ve probably not heard of is the targeted ketogenic diet. The standard ketogenic diet (SKD) is a low carb diet that restricts the daily consumption of carbohydrates to less than 30-50 grams a day. As a result, your body will eventually shift into a state of nutritional ketosis, in which your metabolism has shifted from burning glucose as the primary fuel source to using ketones. Ketosis occurs either after about 2-4 days of fasting or by following a well-formulated ketogenic diet for 2-4 weeks. The targeted ketogenic Diet (TKD) is an advanced variation of SKD used to boost your physical performance exponentially. In a nutshell, you consume only a minute amount of carbohydrates 15-30 minutes before or intra-workout. There hasn’t been much research about this, but people on SKD have reported increased performance levels when they consume a bit of carbs prior to their more strenuous workouts. The reason might be that raising blood sugar to normal levels helps towards better muscle fiber recruitment and prevents fatigue. Now, how is this supposed to work? Is this even ketogenic? The answer is yes. When you’re not training, you’re still eating as if on a standard ketogenic diet. The only exception is that, once you start to train hard, you strategically use a very small dose of carbs to boost your performance and promote muscle glycogen re-synthesis. This doesn’t mean that you’ll be eating a meal full of carbohydrates. Instead, you use sugar as an ergonomic aid and as an exogenous substance. During intense exercise, you begin to use more glycogen for fuel and decr Continue reading >>
How The Ketogenic Diet Affects Running Performance
Ketogenic diets are on the rise among runners who hope to lose weight or teach their bodies to use fat as fuel. But a new study in Nutrition & Metabolism suggests that following a ketogenic diet may actually hinder your athletic performance. So what’s the truth about this diet and why does it have so much hype? Related: The Beginner’s Guide to the Ketogenic Diet What is a ketogenic diet? For decades, scientists and nutritionists have promoted carbohydrates as the main fuel source for exercise. We know that high carbohydrate diets increase the amount of glycogen stored in the liver and muscle, which improves endurance performance. Yet many athletes and scientists have recognized that the body is full of fat stores, and they wonder if we can tap into those stores for fuel. The major drawback is that it takes longer and requires more energy to utilize fat instead of stored carbohydrates. Still, many scientists are exploring this possibility by feeding athletes a high fat and low carbohydrate diet to observe changes in metabolism and performance. Recreational athletes are now trying this technique in the hope of burning fat and losing weight. The amount of fat one eats on a ketogenic diet varies, but the range is typically 75 percent fat, 20 percent protein and 5 percent carbs. To put that into perspective, a woman eating 1,800 calories a day would eat 150 grams of fat, 90 grams of protein and 22 grams of carbs. That’s a drastic shift from the typical carb-heavy runners diet. What does the research say? A recent study looked at the effects of the ketogenic diet on physical fitness, body composition and fat metabolism in healthy adults. Forty-two healthy people with an average age of 37 followed a ketogenic diet for six weeks. Seventy-two percent of their calories came Continue reading >>
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 >>
How To Exercise On A Keto Diet
Following several requests from my readers, I will be sharing my thoughts on exercise and nutrition that is specific to those of who stay physically active and follow a keto diet. In this post, I'll try to cover the basic facts and myths about training on a ketogenic diet. This post will not cover details of exercise nutrition (e.g. whether to eat carbs before or after exercise which is not as straightforward as you may think), essential supplements, specific types of training or my personal exercise routine. These topics are covered in this post: Keto Diet Nutrition & Exercise: Carbs - and many more will follow in my future posts. So let's start with some basics of training on a keto diet. The "Exercise More and Eat Less" Dogma When you ask people what is the purpose of exercise, the most common answers are: to lose weight (body fat) to get fit and stay healthy to look and feel good to build muscles and strength When your goal is fat loss, the most common mistake is to go on a calorie restricted diet and add more exercise, usually prolonged cardio, in an effort to lose weight. When this approach fails, most people simply decrease their calorie intake and take on even more exercise. By doing so, most become physically and mentally exhausted with no real weight loss. The more they stick to this approach, the more like they will overexercise and/ or overeat, putting an increasing amount of stress on their body. The side effects of that are accelerating the ageing process of their cells and increasing the level of chronic inflammation. This approach is simply not sustainable and can harm your body. Years before I started following a low-carb approach, I used to spend hours exercising every week. In fact, I used to go to gym almost every day for an hour or more, usually doi Continue reading >>
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 >>
Nutrition – Are Low Carb Diets Good For Running?
There’s more than one way to skin a cat. A terrible expression, isn’t it? I’ve had cats as pets all my life and the phrase is particularly abhorrent to me. However it’s very apropos at the moment, because what I am about to tell you flies directly in the face of conventional wisdom about nutrition. It’s a subject near and dear to my heart, so I think it’s worth discussing. Now, I will add the caveat that I am not a nutrition expert by any means, but these are simply some things I have observed in myself and others. Conventional nutritional advice suggests that we fuel our runs with carbohydrates. There is, in fact, a bajillion dollar industry based on this idea, with sports drinks, gels, bars, and jellybeans full of carbohydrates out there on the market. For really long runs, the typical advice is to carbo-load starting several days in advance, but even for a 5k, the idea is to take in some easily accessible carbs prior to your run. Let’s consider why this is. Our bodies store energy in two forms: fat and glycogen. Glycogen is a form of glucose stored in the muscles and the liver, but it can only be stored in limited quantities. It is easily accessible energy for intense exercise. Fat is, well, fat and it can be stored in virtually unlimited quantities in the body. It is a more efficient source of stored energy, but it is also harder for the body to turn fat into energy. Your body will first use up your glycogen stores and then move on to turning fat into energy. So the accepted wisdom says that before runs and races, consuming carbohydrates will top up your glycogen stores and give you more energy. This is where I am going to turn that wisdom on its head. I am a diabetic, and the kind of carbo-loading that is recommended, where the runner starts increasin Continue reading >>
Can I Exercise While On A Ketogenic Diet?
One of the most common questions I’ve noticed, in regards to keto, is whether exercise is needed for results. Having done both, I wanted to share my experience with exercising while on a keto diet. Do you need exercise to lose weight while in ketosis? If you’re like me, chances are you haven’t worked up a good sweat in ages. At my heaviest, I could only dream about running around without having to instantly catch my breath. The thought of any form of exercise was intimidating. Technically, weight loss is all about burning more calories than you consume. So to answer this question, no, you don’t need to exercise to lose weight. Keto can help you feel full longer (fat being more satiating than carbohydrates, it can help you manage your cravings and stick to a more strict caloric deficit. While the majority of weight loss comes from sticking to a solid diet, exercise can aid in the journey. Not only will it help speed up the process, but you will notice tons of other benefits. Why should you exercise on Keto? Enter ketosis faster One of the questions I get asked a lot is: Will working out help me get into ketosis faster? Being in ketosis means your body enters a state in which your body does not have enough glucose (glycogen) to burn for fuel and begins using fat as a source of energy. By exercising, you expend more energy and burn through your glycogen stores at a faster rate, allowing your body to achieve ketosis at a faster pace. Fill out and tighten loose skin If you have a ton of weight to lose (50lb+), chances are your skin has stretched out while putting on those pounds. It will take some time for your skin to readjust, but you can help reduce the loose skin issue by filling out your body with muscle mass. Increase your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) Continue reading >>
What Is The Keto Diet And Why Is It So Controversial?
Low-carbohydrate diets are nothing new. Paleo – aka the caveman diet – has been adhered to by crossfit enthusiasts everywhere, and who could forget Atkins? [Read more: The top 5 worst celebrity diets to avoid] This year there’s a new diet catching on, which promises big things if you’re willing to cut out, well, almost everything. The ketogenic diet – or keto for short – has been growing in popularity - Kim Kardashian and Rihanna are rumoured to be fans - but health experts are worried. What is the keto diet? It’s a very strict low-carb, high fat and moderate protein diet. It’s based on claims that, by eating a very small amount of carbs – less than 15g a day (compared to the recommended 225-325g) – the body is forced into a ‘metabolic state’. Usually glucose is the main source of the body’s energy, but this diet uses ketones (byproducts of fatty acids that have been broken down), produced in the liver, instead. The standard keto diet (there are four varieties) recommends a diet of 75% fat, including coconut oil, olive oil and fatty meats, 20% protein and only 5% carbs. What can you eat? The idea is to make sure the limited carbohydrates come from vegetables, and the diet recommends cutting out all grains, natural sugars like honey, most fruits, including apples and bananas, and starchy vegetables like white and sweet potatoes. You are allowed to eat all meat, poultry, fish and eggs, all dairy, vegetables that are grown above ground, like broccoli and cauliflower, leafy greens, nuts and seeds, some low glycemic fruits like avocado and berries, and sugar substitutes like Stevia. Does the ketogenic diet work? Well, it is technically possible for the body to produce ketones to use as energy instead of glucose. Anthony Warner, chef and author of Th Continue reading >>
Does Running On A Low-carb Diet Burn Fat Quicker?
Runners know they need to carb-up to get the energy necessary to push their muscles to get in those miles. But if you're following a low-carb diet, your muscles don't have the carbs to burn and may turn to fat instead. While there haven't been studies on runners specifically, your body does burn fat for fuel when you exercise on a low-carb diet. Due to risks of injury and fatigue when following a low-carb diet as a runner, it's important to consult your doctor to discuss safety and concerns. Video of the Day Many people choose to engage in aerobic exercise, such as running, as a way to burn fat. However, as an endurance activity, your body prefers to burn off glycogen stores -- stored carbs or sugar -- first. Glycogen is easier to convert into energy than fat. But, after you've been running for about 30 minutes, your body uses up much of its glycogen stores and switches over to fat and protein for fuel. And it isn't until you've been running for about 40 minutes that your body is burning all fat. Someone on a low-carb diet may already have depleted glycogen stores and might tap into fat energy stores at different times. Running and Fat Burning on a Low-Carb Diet Your body may prefer the use of carbs to fuel the first 30 minutes of your run, but if carbs aren't available, your body burns fat for fuel. A 2014 study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition compared the effects of a low-carb diet and a low-fat diet on exercise in a group of overweight men and women. While the study doesn't indicate whether the groups were running, the researchers found that the group following the low-carb diet burned more fat than the low-fat group and didn't have issues with fatigue when pushed toward intense aerobic exercise. However, while a similar study published Continue reading >>
Ketosis: Twenty Mile Run, No Carbs, And No Bonks!!!
It was AWESOME!!! I just ran my first long run, 20 miles, while in ketosis and I didn’t Bonk! or even come close. OMG – I was laughing about it the whole time. It still amazes me, only a few months ago, I would have taken 7-8 gels and would have had some kind of fancy drink in my bottles. It definitely wasn’t my fastest time, but it wasn’t that slow. I averaged a 10:15 pace with a few hills here and there – 1,474 feet of gain. The trail is fairly groomed, maybe a typical Colorado technical trail. On top of that, the day was beautiful and there were tons of other runners. I crossed paths a number of times with the same runners One was definitely an ultra runner and the others were just out for a 3+ hour jog; it’s Colorado. HILLS: I still feel heavy in the legs on the hills and out of breath compared to pre–ketosis runs. I am not in the best of shape, but it is not the same feeling – a bit weird. Hills have always been my thing and now it seems to be my weakness. I hope after I am fully “ketosis adapted,” I will attack them like I used to. FOOD: As I recall, I only had a double shot espresso for breakfast prior to the run. During, I drank lots of water – about 60oz over the 3.5 hours, but ate absolutely nothing. The day before I stopped eating at 8pm, consuming only 1,680 calories with 31 Net Carbs. I was very satisfied all day, just a little low on the veggies. This brings up the fact that I am never hungry anymore and almost have to force myself to eat. It is like a dieters dream. Lately, I have been treating myself to a sundae providing I keep my carbs low all day, Breyers Low Carb Ice Cream, two table spoons of healthy peanut butter, and a serving of Spanish peanuts. It is the bomb! The ice cream has sugar alcohols and I have heard a lot of bad t 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 >>
What Is A Ketogenic Diet?
Before we get to what keto foods you can eat and share with you several 4-week ketogenic meal plans, we need to answer a number of questions, not the least of which is what exactly is a keto diet? To put things in perspective, the modern American diet consists of a macronutrient breakdown of 60% carbs, 25% fat, and 15% protein. A typical keto diet, on the other hand, has a ratio of just 5% carbs, 20% protein, and 75% fat. So yes, a ketogenic diet is very low in carbs. However, calling it a low-carb diet is like calling the Sahara a low-moisture environment. Kinda undersells the extreme nature of it. Eat Fat to Lose Fat With so few carbohydrates available for normal glucose metabolism, a ketogenic diet pushes your body into a state of ketosis, where it switches from using carbs for energy to burning your body’s fat reserves for fuel. So you get rid of unwanted fat and in return get an energy boost! What’s not to like? Total vs Net Carbs Limiting your carbohydrate intake to just 5% of your daily calories is no easy task. For sure. That’s just 25 grams of carbs per day for the recommended average 2000 calorie diet for women (carbs have 4 calories per gram). And it’s just 31 grams for the average 2500 calorie diet for men. However, most people following a ketogenic diet don’t concern themselves with total carbs; they count net carbs instead. Why? Because dietary fiber represents the non-digestible carbohydrates in your food. Just like that coin that drops straight through to the change tray in the vending machine, it doesn’t register. And if it doesn’t register it doesn’t count! But what are you doing getting your food from a vending machine anyway?! Calculating Net Carbs So net carbs are simply the total carbs minus dietary fiber. So with this food label yo Continue reading >>