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Keto And Muscle Preservation

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 To Use The Ketogenic Diet For Physical Performance

How To Use The Ketogenic Diet For Physical Performance

Should those who are physically active continue eating low-carb? It’s a fair question for those wanting to follow a ketogenic diet for better health, and that’s why we’ll be exploring the main areas of ketosis for physical performance. The ketogenic diet and ketosis have been used traditionally by physicians and other professionals for a few different medical reasons, including improving the health of those with diabetes and treating neurological disorders like epilepsy. But now, we’ve begun to explore other factors where the ketogenic diet can have a positive effect, including mental focus, weight loss, and in this article, ketosis for physical performance. The Ketogenic Diet for Exercise While the emphasis for exercise is usually on high carbohydrate intake, the ketogenic diet takes a low-carb approach to energy. Those on a ketogenic diet generally stay within a range of 30-50 grams of carbs per day, and a large amount of food in the diet comes from fat. The ketogenic diet involves a dietary breakdown of: Low carbohydrate intake Moderate protein intake High fat intake The low intake of carbs is meant to put the dieter into ketosis, where the body creates ketones from fat stores to use as the main energy source, instead of carbs, for the body and even partly for the brain. Molecules known as ketones are produced during the process. This means that someone exercising while eating a ketogenic diet is going to be using primarily fat as fuel for their physical activity. Misconceptions About Ketosis for Physical Performance A long-held belief among the nutrition and medical community is that carbohydrates must make up a high portion of your diet in order to maintain physical performance at an ideal level. This belief mostly stems from studies in the last 100 years l Continue reading >>

When You Are In Ketosis Are You Burning Fat Rather Than Muscle?

When You Are In Ketosis Are You Burning Fat Rather Than Muscle?

Ketosis is when your body is preferentially burning ketones for fuel, instead of sugars. This state should not be confused with diabetic ketosis or keto-acidosis. Ketones are produced when your body is burning fat instead of glycogen. Glycogen, or sugar, is what is referred to as your body's "preferred" fuel, but your body will burn ketones when there is not enough glycogen to meet your metabolic demands. Consult your physician before beginning any dietary program. Video of the Day Burning muscle can occur, usually when your protein intake is not high enough, which can be a problem with some radical diets. The body needs 10 essential amino acids, and if you are not getting them in your diet, your body will scavenge muscle tissue for them. This can also occur when you are just not getting enough calories in general, and your body converts amino acids into glycogen for use. This process is known as de novo gluconeogenesis. The easiest way to avoid this is to simply eat more protein. Remaining in ketosis and avoiding muscle loss requires a balance of nutrient intake. If you take in too much protein, such as possibly more than 30 to 40 percent of your total caloric intake, the excess will probably be converted to glycogen, and your body will no longer be in ketosis. This occurs because it is easier for you to burn carbs than it is to burn ketones, and your body will expend as little energy as possible. So ensure your protein intake is sufficient, but do not get too much. The remainder of your caloric intake needs to come from fat. And if you are active, remember, you will need more protein than your sedentary counterparts, according to Dr. Peter Lemon of the University of Western Ontario. As soon as you consume any significant amount of non-fibrous carbohydrates, such as si 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 >>

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 >>

How To Build Muscle On Keto Blueprint

How To Build Muscle On Keto Blueprint

The question a lot of low carb athletes want to get answered to is: “How does a ketogenic diet affect performance?” Secondly: “How to build muscle on keto?” Can you even do it? Well, in my experience, YES you can. Let me give you my story and secrets… When I first heard of nutritional ketosis I didn’t immediately try it out. Being into resistance training, I figured that it couldn’t possibly ever work. Sounds familiar, right? If you’re physically active then you’ve probably been told about the importance of proper nutrition, post-workout glycogen synthesis, recovery, etc. etc. And that you need CARBS to do it. In the athletic community, carbohydrates are being held at the pillar stone of success. But you don’t need them. I’ve never been into this dogmatic belief so eventually, I decided to try out the keto diet. Let’s see what happens and if I lose strength, so be it… I can always get it back. It was meant to be a short experiment, but… After a month of eating less than 30 grams of carbs a day I was in ketosis. I’m not going to lie that some of my performance had suffered, but only temporarily. Other than that, I felt amazing and loved the keto diet. I thought to myself: Why hadn’t I tried it out before? The answer to that was fear of losing my gains – all in vain. I didn’t want to sacrifice the health benefits of low carb and how amazing it made me feel. But I also wanted to regain my performance and continue getting stronger… all while staying on a ketogenic diet. To me, it sounded like a challenge, which I was more than willing to accept My training consists of mainly bodyweight exercises, such as calisthenics, Yoga, and gymnastics. The keto diet is perfect for that and I’ve learned how to build muscle on ketosis. It’s doable Continue reading >>

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 >>

Mythbusting: Training On A Keto Diet

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 >>

10 Critical Ketogenic Diet Tips

10 Critical Ketogenic Diet Tips

10 Critical Ketogenic Diet Tips A ketogenic diet is a very low carbohydrate, moderate protein and high fat based nutrition plan. A ketogenic diet trains the individual’s metabolism to run off of fatty acids or ketone bodies. This is called fat adapted, when the body has adapted to run off of fatty acids/ketones at rest. This nutrition plan has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and reduce inflammation. This leads to reduced risk of chronic disease as well as improved muscle development and fat metabolism (1, 2). I personally recommend a cyclic ketogenic diet for most of my clients where you go low-carb for 3 days and then have a slightly higher carbohydrate day, followed by 3 lower carb days. This cycles the body in and out of a state of ketosis and is beneficial for hormone balance while keeping inflammatory levels very low. The biggest challenge with this nutrition plan is to get into and maintain the state of fat adaption. Here are several advanced tips to get into and maintain ketosis. 1. Stay Hydrated: This is considered a no-brainer, but is not easy to follow. We often get so busy in our day-day lives that we forget to hydrate effectively. I recommend super hydrating your system by drinking 32 oz of filtered water within the first hour of waking and another 32-48 oz of water before noon. I have most of my clients do a water fast or eat light in the morning doing smoothies or keto coffee or tea. So hydration around these dishes should be well tolerated by the digestive system. In general, aiming to drink at least half your body weight in ounces of water and closer to your full body weight in ounces of water daily will help you immensely. I weigh 160 lbs and easily drink 140-180 ounces of water each day. Sometimes more in the summer time. As you begin super 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 >>

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 >>

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 >>

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 >>

Ketogenic And Psmf Diets

Ketogenic And Psmf Diets

Ketogenic and PSMF Diets: An Overview When it comes to competitive bodybuilding training and nutrition, there is no “one size fits all”. If we took a sample of 100 competitors, we would yield a wide array of approaches to contest conditioning. Most people would agree that between nutrition and training, nutrition is the most important factor in reaching the high standards required for achieving a competitive physique. To continue fat loss as a contest approaches, competitors will make changes to macronutrients (protein, fat, carbohydrates). Usually in the form of lowering carbohydrates. I will cover two possible ways, ketogenic diets and protein sparing modified fasts. Establishing Caloric needs for maintenance Prior to starting any diet, one must firstly establish the amount of calories necessary for maintenance of one’s current body weight. There several factors to consider when establishing individual calorie needs. Some of these factors include daily activity levels, age, weight, height, gender, and exercise program, but to keep it simple there are a few calculators that seem to work well. One is by using the Mifflin-St Jeor Equation. This takes into consideration height, weight, age, and activity level. For men: (10 x w) + (6.25 x h) – (5 x a) + 5 For women: (10 x w) + (6.25 x h) – (5 x a) – 161 Where: w = weight in kg (1 pound = 0.45359237 kilograms) h = height in cm (1 inch = 2.54 centimeters) a = age (in years) Activity Factor Category Definition 1.2 if sedentary, little or no exercise and desk job 1.375 if lightly Active, light exercise, or sports 1-3 days a week 1.55 if moderately active, moderate exercise, or sports 3-5 days a week 1.725 if very active, hard exercise, or sports 6-7 days a week 1.9 if extremely active, hard daily exercise or sports 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 >>

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