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Keto And Muscle Preservation

The Definitive Guide To The Ketogenic Diet

The Definitive Guide To The Ketogenic Diet

If you want to lose weight or build muscle faster and think the ketogenic diet might help, you want to read this article. How did a diet meant for treating epileptic seizures turn into a popular weight loss fad? That’s the story of the ketogenic diet, which was introduced in 1921 by an endocrinologist named Dr. Henry Geyelin. Geyelin, presenting at the annual meeting of the American Medical Association, explained that the ancient Greeks had discovered that fasting was an effective method of managing epileptic seizures. Hippocrates wrote about it and, like Geyelin, found that the seizures would return once eating resumed. Why? What was it about fasting that suppressed the seizures? Well, epileptic seizures are triggered by electrical abnormalities in the brain. The causes can vary, from genetics to brain injury, but more common is chronic inflammation throughout the body. Geyelin found that when people fast, two major changes occur in the blood: glucose levels fall and ketone levels rise. You’ve probably heard of glucose, also known as blood sugar, but not ketones, which are carbon-oxygen molecules produced by the liver that cells can use for energy instead of glucose. This finding fascinated Geyelin and he set out to determine if similar effects could be achieved without starvation. A decade of work proved they could, and the “ketogenic diet,” as it would be later called, was born. The purpose of the ketogenic diet is to maintain a state of ketosis, wherein the body’s primary energy source is ketones, not glucose. Early studies showed it was an extremely effective treatment for seizures, but in 1938, it was eclipsed by the anticonvulsant drug phenytoin. This medication became the standard treatment for epilepsy, effectively retiring the ketogenic diet from cli Continue reading >>

Very-low-carbohydrate Diets And Preservation Of Muscle Mass

Very-low-carbohydrate Diets And Preservation Of Muscle Mass

Go to: Metabolic adaptations in VLCARB It is frequently claimed that a VLCARB sets the stage for a significant loss of muscle mass as the body recruits amino acids from muscle protein to maintain blood glucose via gluconeogenesis. It is true that animals share the metabolic deficiency of the total (or almost total) inability to convert fatty acids to glucose [18]. Thus, the primary source for a substrate for gluconeogenesis is amino acid, with some help from glycerol from fat tissue triglycerides. However, when the rate of mobilization of fatty acids from fat tissue is accelerated, as, for example, during a VLCARB, the liver produces ketone bodies. The liver cannot utilize ketone bodies and thus, they flow from the liver to extra-hepatic tissues (e.g., brain, muscle) for use as a fuel. Simply stated, ketone body metabolism by the brain displaces glucose utilization and thus spares muscle mass. In other words, the brain derives energy from storage fat during a VLCARB. Glycolytic cells and tissues (e.g., erythrocytes, renal medulla) will still need some glucose, because they do not have aerobic oxidative capacity and thus cannot use ketone bodies. However, glycolysis in these tissues leads to the release of lactate that is returned to the liver and then reconverted into glucose (the Cori cycle). Energy for this process comes from the increased oxidation of fatty acids in the liver. Thus, glycolytic tissues indirectly also run on energy derived from the fat stores. The hormonal changes associated with a VLCARB include a reduction in the circulating levels of insulin along with increased levels of glucagon. Insulin has many actions, the most well-known of which is stimulation of glucose and amino acid uptake from the blood to various tissues. This is coupled with stimulatio Continue reading >>

Episode 10 – Injury Prevention And Recovery

Episode 10 – Injury Prevention And Recovery

Every athlete, whether an elite performer or a regular hobbyist, has to deal with injuries from time to time. That’s just life. One of the great things about being keto is the lower inflammation. Lower inflammation means quicker recovery. Also, keto is protein sparing (muscle preserving). Some things that regular athletes need to consider: Recovery – sleep, stress management, scheduled down time and deloads, staving off chronic injuries Moving like an athlete 24/7 – maintaining good posture at all times Exercise and load selection – staying away from risky movements, knowing when to push the envelope and when to hold back Rehab and prehab – Proper warm-up specific to the activity you are doing, corrective exercises (shoulders/knees/back), massage therapy, ART, chiro, etc Fix your diet and get rid of the background noise before anything else. This is the first priority. Phinney and Volek: Low carbohydrate diets are anti-inflammatory, producing less oxidative stress during exercise and more rapid recovery between exercise sessions. Epilepsia 2015: Ketogenic Diet Exhibits Anti-Inflammatory Properties -they induced fevers in both groups by injecting lipopolysaccharide -KD group: lower cytokine levels (inflammatory marker), decreased peripheral edema, lower body temperature, decreased cerebral inflammation and injury due to neuroprotective properties of the keto diet. Keto diet is protein sparing: increased levels of betahydroxybuterate decreases nitrogen excretion and increases circulating levels of branched chain amino acids, which helps us synthesize proteins that repair organs like muscles and red blood cells. This is why we can eat much less protein and still maintain and increase muscle on the keto diet If you push hard enough, there may be some BCAA oxidatio Continue reading >>

How Can I Keep Muscle While In Ketosis?

How Can I Keep Muscle While In Ketosis?

Ketogenic diets are great for shocking the body and work very well when body fat levels are somewhat higher (over 12%). Below that, and considering you need to keep protein intake at high levels, muscle retention will suffer as your metabolism will start dropping and your body will prefer to use and break down your much-more-energy-demanding muscle fiber, instead of your necessary-for-survival fat pockets (according to your dna's blueprint). Switch to a high protein diet (0.9 - 1gr of protein per pound of weight daily) with some decent carbs (cycling them between lifting and rest days) to maintain decent testosterone levels, which you need for muscle retention and to avoid the flat look. As long as you are on a deficit (20-25% below maintenance) and your protein is high, while lifting as heavy as before at least twice a week (you might want to leave some additional rest time too), you're golden. Throw in some carb up days on heavy lifting days, as well as occasional diet breaks (every 2 months at least) for a linear drop down to single digits. Continue reading >>

Macro Calculator

Macro Calculator

Body Composition Set your current weight, in pounds or kilograms, and your bodyfat percentage. (How to visually estimate bodyfat %) Activity Level (not counting exercise): Set your usual activity level. This does not include additional exercise like gym, running, etc. If not known, choose Sedentary. Choose "Custom" to set your TDEE manually. Multipliers for activities are taken from Chapter 8 of "Advanced Nutrition and Human Metabolism, 5th Edition" Daily Calories Set your goal to get your recommended calorie intake. If you used the Exercise Info section above, then you can compare calories for those days that you exercise and those that you don't. It is not recommended to go over 25% deficit for fat loss or over 15% surplus for muscle gain. Daily Exercise Info If needed, set your exercise information for those days that you will be exercising. (Click here for Kcal / min calculations). This will allow you to compare calorie limits on those days that you exercise against those that you don't. Activity Minutes Kcal burned / min Total Kcal burned Weights Cardio Other Daily Macros Adjust your protein ratio: To maintain muscle, leave protein ratio between 0.69 to 0.8. It is not recommended to drop below 0.69 or muscle loss may occur. To gain muscle, the protein ratio should be between 0.8 to 1.2. There is normally no advantage to consuming more than 0.82g/lb (1.8g/kg) of protein per day to preserve or build muscle once you're past the novice level as a natural trainee. Source. Adjust the carbs and fat grams to reach daily calorie goals. If doing a Standard Ketogenic Diet, carbs should be set lower than 30g: It is suggested you count carbs as TOTAL for all foods, except for green veggies and avocado, on those count as NET. Protein Ratio Macronutrients Macro Grams Kcal per gra Continue reading >>

How To Prevent Weight Loss (or Gain Muscle) On A Therapeutic Ketogenic Diet

How To Prevent Weight Loss (or Gain Muscle) On A Therapeutic Ketogenic Diet

The ketogenic diet is becoming increasingly popular as we learn more about the potential benefits in terms of both performance and chronic disease management. However, the diet also has to be tailored to your personal goals, and we’ve previously written about some of the pitfalls for athletes using a ketogenic diet. For instance, satiety may be one of the most notable benefits of a ketogenic diet [1], which seems to provide an advantage during weight loss. But if you’re already lean and your ketogenic diet is causing you to undereat, losing lean mass can be a concern. This is important for athletes, but also for patients using a therapeutic ketogenic diet to control a chronic neurodegenerative disease, because muscle mass and strength are two of the best predictors of long-term health and mortality. Thus, the question that naturally arises is: how can I implement a ketogenic diet without losing weight? The topic of gaining or maintaining weight (specifically lean mass) on a ketogenic diet is often left out of the discussion. In fact, the following question was recently sent to the team at Nourish Balance Thrive: I just finished listening to your latest podcast. Very informative! At the end, you were asking for suggestions for possible topics. I have one: the combination of ketosis and an ectomorphic body type: issues for people like myself who don't want to lose weight or outright cannot afford to but want to apply ketosis for other reasons. In my particular case, it is a neurodegenerative disease I'm dealing with (Parkinson's). There is quite a bit of literature indicating that a keto diet could be helpful, but my BMI varies between 19 and 20 and ketosis tends to lower that considerably. Are there things one can tweak to do keto without the weight loss, or do you t Continue reading >>

Ketogenic Diets For Bulking

Ketogenic Diets For Bulking

The ketogenic diet is nothing new. The high fat, low or no carbohydrate diet was first developed in the 1920s as a treatment for pediatric epilepsy. In recent history, the ketogenic diet has been used by the bodybuilding and strength training community as one of the most popular and controversial ways to improve body composition. The diet was initially developed as an alternate means to fasting, which was found to induce the state of ketosis in the patient (1). Early physicians found not only a decreased frequency of epileptic seizures in patients who were in ketosis but also accelerated fatty acid oxidation, which then led to the loss of body fat. Ketosis is often referred to as the body’s “fat burning” mode (2). Some benefits often associated with ketogenic diet include: Reduction in body fat Appetite suppression Mood elevation and mental clarity (after the initial weaning period of 3-5 days) Stable blood glucose levels Reduced cardiovascular risk factors (chronically elevated insulin, triglycerides, etc.) Lowered cancer risk (cancer cells thrive on glucose) So, what exactly is ketosis? Ketosis (not to be confused with ketoacidosis in diabetic patients), occurs during a state of prolonged carbohydrate deficit, where the liver converts fatty acids into ketone bodies (acetoacetate, β-hydroxybutyrate, and acetone). Normally, ketone concentration in the blood is very low and is primarily regulated by insulin and glucagon (4). It may reach high levels during periods of accelerated fatty acid oxidation combined with low carbohydrate intake or impaired carbohydrate use. Glucose is the preferred fuel source for various tissues in the body, including the brain. However, with very little glucose present and ketone body formation increased, most cells in the body can use Continue reading >>

The Ugly Truth About Ketogenic Diets

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 >>

Building Muscle On Keto: Can You Build Muscle On A Ketogenic Diet?

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 [1]. That lifting weights with low levels of muscle glycogen doesn’t impair the anabolic response to resistance exercise [2]. And that the consumption of carbohydrate has no effect on muscle protein synthesis above and beyond the consumption of protein alone [3]. On the other hand, keto critics claim that low carb diets limit your ability to train hard [4]. 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 [7]. Who’s right Continue reading >>

Low Carb Dieting Myths

Low Carb Dieting Myths

The myths about low carb dieting and specifically ketogenic diets abound in the American collective consciousness. These are just a few of the most pervasive myths I've encountered, with explanations as to why they are incorrect and simply don't make sense, scientifically: Myth 1: Carbs are an essential nutrient for good health. Some nutrition professionals still believe that carbohydrates are necessary to provide glucose to fuel the brain and avoid hypoglycemia. It's an old way of thinking, and it's just not true scientifically. Essential nutrients are nutrients which your body cannot make, so they have to be obtained on a daily basis from your food sources. There are essential proteins, and essential fatty acids, but there is no such thing as an essential carbohydrate. When the body is in ketosis, it has a “glucose sparing” effect. First, the skeletal muscles burn fatty acids preferentially which spares glucose for the brain to use. Second, once a person is keto-adapted, the brain switches to using ketone bodies for over half of the fuel it needs, and less glucose is needed since ketone bodies are being used as an alternative fuel. This small amount of carbohydrate (glucose or blood sugar) needed to fuel the brain during keto adaptation can be generated internally. Your liver can make all the glucose needed for brain function from glycogen stored in the liver. And if need be, the body can also make glucose from the protein in your food. Hence, carbohydrates are NOT essential nutrients, and many people, such as the Inuit of Alaska and the Masai of Africa live without them for long periods of time without any effect on health and well-being. The “brain needs carbs” idea is only true if you consistently eat a high carb diet (as most registered dietitians will tel Continue reading >>

Ketones In Keto//os Protect Muscle Breakdown

Ketones In Keto//os Protect Muscle Breakdown

True energy that our bodies use can be measured. For example, macro nutrients such as fat, protein and carbohydrates are measured in calories. Ketones are also a source of caloric energy (roughly between 4 and 5 calories per gram). Other nutrients or stimulants such as vitamins, minerals and caffeine are not a true form of caloric energy. You may have run across products than claim to give you energy, but unless the source of energy can be measured, it’s not real energy that you body uses to function. Now let’s look at the best way to lose fat. The best way to burn fat is to gain and keep muscle. Many people think that the best way to lose fat is to do a lot of cardio (running, aerobics, etc.). Here’s the thing: your body is smart. It keeps itself in proportion. Your body is built to survive. It will make sure your vital organs have the energy they need to function properly. It will find and make energy if you don’t give it that energy it needs. Your body will create it’s own glucose by breaking down protein (muscle). If your body is in a calorie deficit, it doesn’t always go after burning the fat for energy. The muscle will often be broken down and used for energy. That’s NOT what you want. That’s where ketones come in. Ketones preserve and protect muscle. Any time your body might have turned to breaking down your muscle (like when you’re working out or maybe skipping meals), ketones can protect the protein so that your body turns to burning fat. This is what we call smart energy. And this is exactly what KETO//OS can do. A fancy word for this is anti-catabolic. So, no matter what type of diet or workout you find is best for you, KETO//OS can not only provide you with real energy your body prefers and uses, it also helps you from losing muscle mass an Continue reading >>

Timed Ketogenic Diet

Timed Ketogenic Diet

The superior and modified version of the Atkins Diet that actually has no ties with the Atkins Diet, although the principles of the timed ketogenic diet are almost the same, with a few very important differences. The goal of the Atkins Diet is for dieters to reach the borderline state of ketosisor actual ketosis (not sure which one, so don't take me up on this word for word) within the body, which is a state where fat is the sole source of fuel burned by the body. Thus, fat is burned 24/7 in the absence of carbs. However, the consequences of the Atkins Diet far outweigh the short-term benefits. Problem 1: Some (not all) Atkins dieters restrict their calories far too much. This triggers "starvation mode" in the body, forcing the body to actually slow down its metabolism in order to save calories. THE SOLUTION: Rather than drop your calories by 1000 or 1500 below your normal caloric intake, you should only drop by 500 below normal for each day. So if my normal caloric intake is 2800 calories in order to stay the same weight I am now, I would drop the calories only subtly. A 500-calorie drop is not severe enough to trigger the "starvation" signal in the body, so you're safe. So, in my case, I would take in only 2300 calories per day to consistently lose weight. Now, keep in mind, this approach means slower weight loss, but it is a healthier AND permanent weight loss. Because you won't feel like you're starving every waking moment, you won't crave so much either. The golden rule is to lose 1-2 pounds a week. If you're losing 3 or more pounds weekly, like Atkins dieters do, you're probably losing weight in muscle too, which is bad, because with less muscle comes a slower metabolism. Problem 2: Some (not all) Atkins dieters think the diet by itself is the way to go. Actually, Continue reading >>

Will I Lose Muscle On A Ketogenic Diet?

Will I Lose Muscle On A Ketogenic Diet?

The ability to simultaneously gain muscle and lose fat is a rather controversial topic amongst those in the fitness industry; however, this seems to be the desired goal of anyone looking to optimize body composition. One of the biggest conundrums we face is that in order to shed body fat, we tend to cut calories so much that we lose muscle mass, and in order to build muscle mass, we tend to bring along some fat gain for the ride. These changes in body composition can happen for a number of different reasons, a few of which we will touch on in this article. In any case, the evidence is clear that a properly implemented ketogenic diet exhibits a protein sparing effect, which may allow one dieting to preserve more muscle mass than if he/she hadn’t been ketogenic. This means that we can ideally shed off that pesky lower abdominal fat, all the while keeping those prized muscles we have worked so hard to build. In this article we are going to discuss some of the mechanisms of fat loss and muscle maintenance on a ketogenic diet and why a ketogenic diet may be more ideal for attaining these goals than a traditional low fat diet. One particular piece of dietary advice that people tend to give is the “calories in, calories out,” hypothesis which indicates that it doesn’t matter what you eat or how you eat it, just as long as you eat less than you expend. This is true to a certain degree, but far too often we tend to simplify what both of those equations mean without taking into account other variables (e.g. fiber, thermogenic effect of protein, brown adipose tissue, etc.). If you put yourself in a caloric deficit, it is likely that you will experience weight loss; however, it is possible that some of this weight loss will not come strictly from body fat, and that some of Continue reading >>

The Definitive Guide To Why Low-carb Dieting Sucks

The Definitive Guide To Why Low-carb Dieting Sucks

The low-carb diet is the latest fad to take America by storm. And like most fad diets, it has a pretty sales pitch but can’t deliver the goods. Here’s why. A decade ago dietary fat was the vilest of macronutrients but these days it’s the carbohydrate. If we’re to believe the doomsayers, eating carbohydrates produces lots of nasty insulin, which in turn triggers rapid fat storage of damn near anything we eat. The key to health, vitality, and leanness, they say, is to eat as few carbohydrates as possible. Well, they’re wrong. Unless you’ve overweight and completely sedentary, low-carb dieting sucks, and I’m going to explain why. You Don’t Lose Fat Faster on a Low-Carb Diet That statement is basically blasphemous these days, but the general advice of going on a low-carb diet to maximize fat loss is scientifically bankrupt. There are about 20 studies that low-carb proponents bandy about as definitive proof of the superiority of low-carb dieting for weight loss. This, this, and this are common examples. If you simply read the abstracts of these studies, low-carb dieting definitely seems more effective, and this type of glib “research” is what most low-carbers base their beliefs on. But there’s a big problem with many of these studies, and it has to do with protein intake. The problem is the low-carb diets in these studies invariably contained more protein than the low-fat diets. Yes, one for one…without fail. What we’re actually looking at in these studies is a high-protein, low-carb diet vs. low-protein, higher-carb diet, and the former wins every time. But we can’t ignore the high-protein part and say it’s more effective because of the low-carb element. In fact, better designed and executed studies prove the opposite: that when protein intake Continue reading >>

7 Tips To Get Into Ketosis

7 Tips To Get Into Ketosis

Ketosis is a normal metabolic process that provides several health benefits. During ketosis, your body converts fat into compounds known as ketones and begins using them as its main source of energy. Studies have found that diets that promote ketosis are highly beneficial for weight loss, due in part to their appetite-suppressing effects (1, 2). Emerging research suggests that ketosis may also be helpful for type 2 diabetes and neurological disorders, among other conditions (3, 4). That being said, achieving a state of ketosis can take some work and planning. It's not just as simple as cutting carbs. Here are 7 effective tips to get into ketosis. Eating a very low-carb diet is by far the most important factor in achieving ketosis. Normally, your cells use glucose, or sugar, as their main source of fuel. However, most of your cells can also use other fuel sources. This includes fatty acids, as well as ketones, which are also known as ketone bodies. Your body stores glucose in your liver and muscles in the form of glycogen. When carb intake is very low, glycogen stores are reduced and levels of the hormone insulin decline. This allows fatty acids to be released from fat stores in your body. Your liver converts some of these fatty acids into the ketone bodies acetone, acetoacetate and beta-hydroxybutyrate. These ketones can be used as fuel by portions of the brain (5, 6). The level of carb restriction needed to induce ketosis is somewhat individualized. Some people need to limit net carbs (total carbs minus fiber) to 20 grams per day, while others can achieve ketosis while eating twice this amount or more. For this reason, the Atkins diet specifies that carbs be restricted to 20 or fewer grams per day for two weeks to guarantee that ketosis is achieved. After this point, s Continue reading >>

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