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Keto And Muscle Preservation

Using Keto To Build Muscle

Using Keto To Build Muscle

With the right nutrition ratio, low carbers enter a rapid fat-burning state called ketosis. The ideal protein-fat-carb ratio gives low carb dieters three huge advantages. These low carbers: Burn more fat. Lose more weight. Keep their hard-earned muscle. Most diets restrict daily calories, so you lose weight. The bad news: some of that weight loss is fat and some is lean muscle tissue. When we aren’t getting enough calories, we access other forms of stored energy, like muscle. The body tries to preserve fat stores and is perfectly willing to sacrifice muscle instead. Less muscle means a slower metabolism, which makes losing weight even more difficult and gaining it back all too simple. Low Carb Saves Muscle In most weight loss diets, at least some lean body mass is sacrificed to weight loss. Low carb diets are different. Low carbers retain the greatest amount of lean body mass compared to restricted-calorie and high carb diets. Low Carb and Keto Low carbers enter a special, metabolic state of ketosis where the body uses it’s consumed and stored fat for fuel. Once in ketosis, the body actually prefers to use fat over glucose for energy. Since the body has extra stored fat, there is no need to oxidize protein to generate glucose (a process called gluconeogenesis). In ketosis, your body is far less likely to utilize your lean body mass (muscle and organ tissue) as fuel. It doesn’t need to, it already has plenty of fat for energy. Ketosis Tests Special test strips called keto sticks (or ketostix, keto strips) are used to detect ketones in the urine, a sure sign of ketosis. I must admit: I love seeing dark purple on the end of my keto test strip. Keto sticks are a good detector of ketosis, but if the strip doesn’t register the presence of ketones, you can still be ket Continue reading >>

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 >>

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

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

This is the first article of a 6-part series on keto Part 1: Body fat, LBM, strength, and endurance Part 2: The ketogenic diet: appetite, adherence and side effects [published in the future] Part 3: Challenges and limitations in the ketogenic literature [published in the future] Part 4: Conflicts of interest in the keto literature [published in the future] Part 5: Keto for disease management [published in the future] Part 6: Going keto: science-based arguments for and against [published in the future] Disclaimer: the following information is not medical advice, please consult your doctor before making drastic lifestyle changes. This is very important if you have diseases that can be modified by ketosis, or if you’re on medication: “patients on diabetes medication who use [a ketogenic diet] should be under close medical supervision” - Yancy et al., 2005 The basics of keto With the ketogenic diet, you aim to eat 20 to 70g of carbohydrates per day. The body then starts using fat and ketones as primary energy sources. A high protein diet (i.e. 2.2 g/kg) does not seem to prevent ketosis (read more). Some claim that keto is the best diet for improving body composition, endurance, and strength. We have reviewed the ketogenic literature and come to the following conclusions: Continue reading to learn more! Continue reading >>

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 >>

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 >>

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 >>

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 >>

Ketogenic Diets: High-fat Or High-protein – Q&a

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 >>

Ketogenic Meal Plans: Lose Fat, Preserve Muscle

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 >>

Fasting And Muscle Mass – Fasting Part 15

Fasting And Muscle Mass – Fasting Part 15

It seems that there are always concerns about loss of muscle mass during fasting. I never get away from this question. No matter how many times I answer it, somebody always asks, “Doesn’t fasting burn your muscle?” Let me say straight up, NO. Here’s the most important thing to remember. If you are concerned about losing weight and reversing T2D, then worry about insulin. Fasting and LCHF will help you. If you are worried about muscle mass, then exercise – especially resistance exercises. OK? Don’t confuse the two issues. We always confuse the two issues because the calorie enthusiast have intertwined them in our minds like hamburgers and french fries. Weight loss and gain is mostly a function of DIET. You can’t exercise your way out of a dietary problem. Remember the story of Peter Attia? A highly intelligent doctor and elite level distance swimmer, he found himself on the heavy end of the scale, and it was not muscle. He was overweight despite exercising 3-4 hours a day. Why? Because muscle is about exercise, and fat is about diet. You can’t out-run a bad diet. Muscle gain/ loss is mostly a function of EXERCISE. You can’t eat your way to more muscle. Supplement companies, of course, try to convince you otherwise. Eat creatine (or protein shakes, or eye of newt) and you will build muscle. That’s stupid. There’s one good way to build muscle – exercise. So if you are worried about muscle loss – exercise. It ain’t rocket science. Just don’t confuse the two issues of diet and exercise. Don’t worry about what your diet (or lack of diet – fasting) is doing to your muscle. Exercise builds muscle. OK? Clear? So the main question is this – if you fast for long enough, doesn’t your body start to burn muscle in excess of what it was doing prev Continue reading >>

Why Ketogenic Diets Increase Muscle Loss

Why Ketogenic Diets Increase Muscle Loss

By Daniel Gwartney, M.D. For the bodybuilder or image-conscious person, the purpose of dieting is to improve one’s appearance by reducing body fat to reveal a healthy and impressive physique. Few people diet with the intention of losing muscle; certainly not bodybuilders and athletes. Unfortunately, most dieters suffer a balanced loss of both lean and fat mass due to extreme caloric restriction, excessive cardio, or unwise use of stimulant-based weight loss products and thyroid hormones.1 The physical and emotional stress can also disrupt sleep, which promotes fat gain and interferes with optimal hormonal balance. The preservation of muscle mass during hypocaloric dieting, especially in a setting of physical exercise or labor, is challenging. Not only must sufficient calories be consumed, but also amino acids to avoid limiting any anabolic processes. Dieters also need to manage their macro- and micro-nutrients necessary to support lean mass function, repair, and growth. The basis for all successful diets is caloric restriction and long-term compliance, coupled with appropriate lifestyle interventions (e.g., exercise, sleep, alcohol intake). However, calories are not calories, as many advocates of the Atkins Diet and similar programs have learned. Though initially challenged by many in the health care professions, largely due to increased consumption of saturated fat during the induction phase, the Atkins Diet has been shown to be as effective in regard to weight loss, quicker, and surprisingly has heart-healthy effects.2 The Atkins diet is not a true ketogenic diet in that it gradually re-introduces carbohydrates to the diet after an induction phase of variable length. However, the dramatic changes that occur during the ketogenic phase have caused that component to be Continue reading >>

450-700kcal/day Diet Cuts 7% Body Fat In 3 Weeks - Only If You Go Keto, Though, It Will Also Increase Lean Mass By 4%

450-700kcal/day Diet Cuts 7% Body Fat In 3 Weeks - Only If You Go Keto, Though, It Will Also Increase Lean Mass By 4%

Ketogenic diets are characterized by constantly low insulin levels. That's not exactly what has been considered muscle protective in the old age of bodybuilding, where insulin's protein-anabolic and anti-catabolic effects were still hailed as a benefit you wouldn't want to miss (Fulks. 1975; Woolfson. 1979), but according to a recent study from Rome, a ketogenic diet may be the go-to diet for everyone trying to shed as much as weight as possible in as little time as possible by cutting your total daily energy intake down to a hilarious <700 kcal/day (Metta. 2016). Now, cutting calories back that much may sound (and be) idiotic for someone who has been lean all his / her life and is just trying to make his abs more visible. For someone whose overweight is threatening his life, it may be a life saver... It can be a life-saver that backfires if you end up losing the already low amount of metabolic currency (=skeletal muscle) that has remained unused under a thick layer of body fat for years, though. To avoid that from happening Metta et al. (2016) randomized twenty-five healthy subjects (18 and 65 years, with a BMI ≥ 25 kg/m², percentage of body fat (PBF) ≥ 25 for male, and ≥ 30 for female) randomly (R) divided into two groups (X and Y). The group X received the VLCKD, and the group Y received the VLCD - both for 3 weeks over which 3 subjects dropped out: The very-low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet (VLCKD) aimed at an energy intake of 450-500 kcal per day for female and 650-700 kcal per day for male, with 35-40% of calories from fat, < 10% of calories from saturated fat, 5% of calories from carbohydrates (< 6 g), and 55-60% of calories from protein, corresponding to 1.2 g (female) or 1.5 g (male) / kg of body weight, and an intake of 25 mg of fiber per day. The half of 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 >>

Intermittent Fasting For Fat Loss Without Losing Muscle

Intermittent Fasting For Fat Loss Without Losing Muscle

This article is about the discipline of intermittent fasting (IF) and the several health benefits of IF research has discovered. In short it sheds fat, allows for lean muscle gains, increases general health and has several neurological benefits. Sounds good right? Well to be clear, IF is not the single magic bullet to optimum health and it does not make you ripped straight away. You should see it as just another tool you can use to improve your body composition and health. It can be used by both men and women. Let’s have a look at what intermittent fasting is and how you could use it. What is intermittent fasting? In summary IF is a diet approach where a person fasts in intervals. There is a long period of no food intake followed by a relatively brief period where you do eat. A great example of an IF diet is the one of Martin Berkhan from the website Leangains. His approach consists of a period of fasting for 16 hours and a feeding window of 8 hours. You focus on three meals a day where you take the majority of your calories (especially carbohydrates) after training. With three meals per day the setup where you fast for 16 hours could be: 12 AM – 1 PM: Meal one with approximately 20 -25 % of your daily total calorie intake 4 PM – 5 PM: Pre workout meal with again 20 – 25 % of your daily total calorie intake 6 PM – 7 PM: Workout 7 PM – 9 PM: Post workout meal which contains the remaining 50 – 60 % of your daily total calorie intake On resting days you consume 50 – 60 % of your daily calorie intake at your first meal. There are some rules that you need to stick to make this approach to IF work. The most important ones are: Consume more carbs and less fat on training days. Consume more fat and fewer carbs on resting days. Eat high protein on all days. You s Continue reading >>

Fasting And Muscle Mass

Fasting And Muscle Mass

It seems that there are always concerns about loss of muscle mass during fasting. I never get away from this question. No matter how many times I answer it, somebody always asks, “Doesn’t fasting burn your muscle?” Let me say straight up, NO. Here’s the most important thing to remember. If you are concerned about losing weight and reversing T2D, then worry about insulin. Fasting and LCHF will help you. If you are worried about muscle mass, then exercise – especially resistance exercises. OK? Don’t confuse the two issues. We always confuse the two issues because the calorie enthusiast have intertwined them in our minds like hamburgers and french fries. Weight loss and gain is mostly a function of DIET. You can’t exercise your way out of a dietary problem. Remember the story of Peter Attia? A highly intelligent doctor and elite level distance swimmer, he found himself on the heavy end of the scale, and it was not muscle. He was overweight despite exercising 3-4 hours a day. Why? Because muscle is about exercise, and fat is about diet. You can’t out-run a bad diet. Muscle gain/ loss is mostly a function of EXERCISE. You can’t eat your way to more muscle. Supplement companies, of course, try to convince you otherwise. Eat creatine (or protein shakes, or eye of newt) and you will build muscle. That’s stupid. There’s one good way to build muscle – exercise. So if you are worried about muscle loss – exercise. It ain’t rocket science. Just don’t confuse the two issues of diet and exercise. Don’t worry about what your diet (or lack of diet – fasting) is doing to your muscle. Exercise builds muscle. Clear? Does fasting burn muscle? So the main question is this – if you fast for long enough, doesn’t your body start to burn muscle in excess of Continue reading >>

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