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What Is The Ketogenic Diet?

What Is The Ketogenic Diet?

In most weight loss circles, low carb dieting is viewed as one of the best ways to lose fat without having to resort to starvation. Cutting down on carbs eliminates any potential competition for fuel and so your body is more inclined to burn fat. Also, cutting starchy carbs and replacing them with non-starchy vegetables means you automatically reduce your calorie intake. A double fat-loss whammy! However, what if you don’t just reduce your carb intake, but eliminate carbs altogether? That’s the basic premise of the ketogenic diet. Carbs – how low can you go? The ketogenic diet restricts carb intake to between 20 and 50 grams per day. In contrast, a low carb diet allows around 100-150 grams per day. Restricting carbs this low forces your body to almost exclusively use fat for fuel. The trouble is, your brain only really runs on glucose (derived from carbohydrate) and can’t use fats or fatty acids. So, instead, your body converts fatty acids into a substance called ketone bodies which your brain CAN use for fuel. Note these are very different to “raspberry ketones”. This conversion process is not very economical and it takes a large amount of fat to make a relatively small number of ketones. Needless to say, this inefficiency is very good news when you are trying to lose fat fast. In addition, all-but eliminating carbs will significantly lower your blood glucose and pretty much remove the need for your body to produce insulin. This very firmly puts your body in fat burning and not fat storing mode. Carb-free side effects There are a few downsides to the ketogenic diet though none of them are too great to overcome. Getting into ketosis takes several days and during that time as your glucose, carbohydrate and glycogen stores are depleted, it’s very common to s Continue reading >>

What Is The Cyclical Ketogenic Diet (ckd)?

What Is The Cyclical Ketogenic Diet (ckd)?

If you’ve read the resources in this blog and other websites, you’re probably pretty comfortable by now on what standard ketogenic diet (SKD) is. Carbs are restricted to individual tolerance (somewhere between 0 and 30g of carbohydrates a day). Protein is moderate, and you eat fat to satiety. Straightforward stuff. There is another way of doing it that we’ve not really discussed before. An approach that offers a slightly different perspective… What is the cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD)? CKD cycles the standard ketogenic diet approach with short periods of higher carb, and less fat. Protein usually stays the same. These periods are usually 1-2 days, and tend to be taken over the weekend (convenient eh?). The theory here is that the addition of a couple of carb-loading days restores glycogen in the liver and the muscles to support intense exercise across the carb-reduced days. So when you attack these high intensity workouts, your muscles have the energy to respond instantly – without waiting on the body to convert protein to carbohydrates. If you’re about to deadlift a load of plates each side of an olympic bar, your muscles need that energy immediately and often in great amounts. Much like a standard ketogenic diet, there’s a tonne of ways to do it. We’re going to talk about a couple of the different methods here, which to choose if you fancy giving it a go and a few things to watch out for. Who is CKD for? The CKD originated out of the bodybuilding world as a hack to build size and muscle growth. Bodybuilders are the original bio-hackers and have never been afraid to experiment with foods or supplements to get the gains! It was found by those experimenting with a ketogenic diet that if they cycled in a couple of days of high carbs they got better results Continue reading >>

The 3 Ketogenic Diets Explained: Skd, Ckd & Tkd

The 3 Ketogenic Diets Explained: Skd, Ckd & Tkd

Whether you want to gain power, endurance, speed, or muscle, this call all be done through a ketogenic diet. Training While in Ketosis It’s important to know what’s going in your body when you’re training, how those nutrients are being utilized, and how to maximize their effects. Here are some reasons why people find it difficult to stay in ketosis while on a training regimen: Too much protein = knocked out of ketosis Too little protein = lose muscle mass Too many fats = gain body fat Too little fats = low energy levels Too many carbohydrates = knocked out of ketosis Nutritional Needs of a Ketogenic Diet One of the first, and most important things to consider here, is your caloric intake. To find out what your caloric and nutrient needs are, you can visit our keto calculator. If you want to lose weight, subtract 10-15% of your calories from your TEE. If your goals are to gain muscle, increase your calories by 10-15% of your TEE. Easy enough, right? Well, it’s a little bit more complex than that. You have to bring your macronutrients into play and make sure you are hitting the targeted amount. In terms of percentages – you will want to do: For example 110g protein, 150g fat, and 15g carbs will break into a 55% / 40% / 5% split of fats, proteins, and carbs respectively. You can eat once a day, twice a day, or 10 times a day – just be sure you’re hitting your macros and drinking enough water. Once your body enters ketosis, it will start using ketones as your primary source of energy (instead of glucose). While studies show that ketones (fats) are more efficient for the body to use, most people find that they never reach their peak performance without glucose (carbohydrates). Variations of the Ketogenic Diet There are 3 different styles of the keto diet: Stand Continue reading >>

Cyclical Ketogenic Diet: An In-depth Look

Cyclical Ketogenic Diet: An In-depth Look

Instead of ingesting small amounts of carbohydrates around your workouts, the cyclical ketogenic diet devotes one to two FULL days of high carbohydrate consumption in order to fully refill muscle glycogen stores. This means that CKDs are not for beginners that are not able to perform the necessary amount or intensity of training. You must completely deplete glycogen stores each week in order to have a successful CKD. CKD is used for maximum muscle growth, but the downside is that you might gain some body fat. It’s easy to overeat, gain fat, and has extreme depletion workouts – so if you’re a beginner it is certainly NOT recommended. If you’re a beginner or intermediate trainer, then a Targeted Ketogenic Diet is recommended. The standard format for a cyclical ketogenic diet is 5-6 days of ketogenic dieting and 1-2 days of high carb eating. Others have also experimented with 2 week cycles, where 10-12 days are of ketogenic nature and 3-4 days are carb loading. The 2 week split has also had good results, but it doesn’t fit around everyone’s schedules as neatly. The primary goal here is to temporarily switch out of ketosis to refill muscle glycogen, in order to sustain training performance in the next cycle. If you are on a ketogenic diet for health reasons (hyperinsulinemia or hypertension), you may find the CKD unworkable as the hormonal response can trigger health symptoms that are being treated by a low carbohydrate diet. Since the goal of a CKD is to completely deplete muscle glycogen – a proper workout schedule is needed for optimal results. A good workout example would be: Monday/Tuesday – Full body split. Monday could be legs and abs, and Tuesday could be chest, back, and arms. Friday – Full body, high rep depletion workout. The amount of training Continue reading >>

Carb Cycling And Keto – What’s The Difference?

Carb Cycling And Keto – What’s The Difference?

There seems to be a fair bit of confusion around what difference there is between keto diets and carb cycling. The confusion happens because both of these ways of eating involve keto as a baseline, however, carb cycling means that at regular periods you will replenish your body’s glycogen stores by eating some carbohydrates. There are different ways in which you can ‘carb-up’. And people who decide to integrate carb cycling into their eating can choose which one suits them the most. Examples are: Once a week, or every few days you have a day where you shift your fat and carb macros around so instead of eating 80% fat and 5% carbs, you swap them around to 80% carbs and 5% fat. Some people do this through out the whole day, and others will just do this for their evening meal. This is where you anticipate a time when you will be pushing yourself hard physically, and you load up on carbs in advance. Some people swear by this and others claim that carb loading is a load of nonsense, and you’re better off eating some peanut butter and coconut oil. This is where you eat mainly fats and proteins throughout the day and at your even meal you add in some carbs. This means your carb intake for the day is likely to be between 75g-100g, but you eat it in the evening, so you are running on ketones during the day. So in essence, the difference between whether you stay in full keto, or you use carb cycling is up to you. Every one is different and what works for one person might not work for someone else. I recommend you spend some time solely eating keto to make sure you are adapted, and then at that point, you can try out one or other of the carb cycling methods to see if they work for you. You might find that you feel brilliant when you add in a few carbs periodically, or you Continue reading >>

Ketogenic Diet And Carb Cycling For Fat Loss

Ketogenic Diet And Carb Cycling For Fat Loss

Are you very carb sensitive and have had difficulties dropping the fat or plateaued? Eating a ketogenic diet and carb cycling for fat loss could be an approach worth trying to break that plateau. Practicing Carb cycling is intended to help avoid adverse effects of long-term high-fat dieting by enabling the body to replace carbs recurrently. What is Carb Cycling Carb cycling commonly means having 1 day a week where you top up of refeeding your glycogen stores. The process involves dramatically reducing carbs consumption for many days to a level that would be challenging to sustain for extended durations of time. If you were following a keto diet, essentially you would eat anywhere around 20-50g carbs on your normal days. You would then choose a refeed day to one which best suits you. For example, people who work 9 till 5 Monday to Friday may have success having a refeeding day on the weekend when spending time with friends and family. Practicing this way of eating has a few notable benefits. It gives you the energy to perform exercises for the next week. It rewards you for a job well done by strict dieting during the week. Eating your favorite higher carb foods once a week gives your body the chance to replenish what is needed. We’re talking healthier and nutritious foods such as fruits and vegetables. Not the processed or junk foods such as pizza, ice cream, and candy. When you limit carbs and calories over a period, it decreases your leptin levels. Leptin is the hormone of energy expenditure and responsible for regulating appetite. Carb loading boosts leptin levels and keeps metabolism from adapting to a long-term low carbohydrate lifestyle.(1) You can have more energy, lose fat more comfortably, and experience less sugar craving. With each carb cycling cycle, you sh Continue reading >>

How To Use Carb Cycling To Make Fat Loss Easier Than Ever

How To Use Carb Cycling To Make Fat Loss Easier Than Ever

Carb cycling is central to every quality nutritional guide I’ve ever come across. It is recommended by some of the most highly-regarded coaches and transformation experts in the world and has been used by fitness models, bodybuilders and athletes to acquire some of the most impressive physiques ever seen. In 2013, a British study confirmed what the fitness elite already knew instinctively, when it was found that this style of diet was superior to a standard, daily calorie-restricted diet for reducing weight and lowering blood levels of insulin (more on this later). Yet, despite its effectiveness and popularity amongst the fitness elite, it’s a method of dieting that is shrouded in mystery. For years, I wrongly assumed that carb cycling was an advanced technique that would make my life more complicated, and that I didn’t need carbs in my diet at all. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Implemented properly, carb cycling makes fat loss easier from a physiological standpoint and, best of all, it makes dieting enjoyable because you actually get to eat carbs (aka pretty much every food you love). Many diets, such as Paleo or Atkins, almost completely ban you from eating carbs. When I tried the Paleo diet for myself, I found this style of eating overly-restrictive, and after months on the diet – and many missed social events – I finally gave in. But here’s the thing: I did lose weight, and lots of it. To get a better idea of why that might have happened, it’s important to understand the effect that carbohydrates have on our bodies. How Do Carbohydrates Affect The Body? When you consume carbohydrates they are broken down into sugars (otherwise known as glucose) that then enter the blood stream. A hormone called insulin is released to remove glucose from the blood Continue reading >>

Using The Keto Diet Effectively For Health & Performance

Using The Keto Diet Effectively For Health & Performance

Hey guys, Keto King here. I wrote an article on this topic many moons ago, but as with most things in life you kind of look back and say, “I can do better.” So to follow my first guide to the ketogenic diet, and in response to “How do I use the Keto Diet for health and performance?” being one of the questions I most frequently get asked, so I thought I would rewrite a page from that chapter. Okay, before I get into the how-to section, I am going to give you my personal opinion. I guess we are all entitled to our own opinion, and this is mine. So let’s just start here on the most controversial questions. The answer is YES, you can eat carbs; and NO, not all carbs are bad for you. So how can I use carbs to add to my performance? As I go on all will be explained – I certainly don’t want you all think I am waving the ‘high-carb banner’ now, because that I won’t do, I can assure you. I find it hard to take when people are extreme with anything in life, and being so extreme with keto only makes my life so much harder. How do you think you are helping more people? By scaring them to death with the idea that if you ever eat a carb again you will die?! Thanks for making my job so much harder. If you are eating 90 per cent of your weekly meals in a ketogenic way do you think 10 per cent of your weekly macros coming from carbs is going to kill you? The typical American diet consist of up to 70 per cent of carbs per day and sometimes even more, so tell me: How much better off do you think you will be reducing that to 10 per cent? Eating some types of carbs as little as half a day a week can be the difference in making this diet palatable for life. And you may feel all the much better for it! Diets such as the Paleo Diet, Low Carb High Fat (LCHF), Targeted Ketoge Continue reading >>

Why Cheat Day Works And How To Use It

Why Cheat Day Works And How To Use It

For those who follow a carb-restricted diet (low-carb, cyclical ketogenic diet, intermittent fasting, etc.), introducing a cheat day is not only a way to bring sanity into your meal plans – it is almost a requirement of sorts from a metabolic perspective to ensure that the progress with fat loss does not slow down. It is a bit hard for some people to understand how they can eat whatever they want and still get leaner – so let’s look into how and why it works. What exactly is a “cheat day”? Popularized by The 4 Hour Body book, it’s essentially cyclical strategic refeeding. You pick a day in a week (during which you would otherwise follow a restricted diet) where you allow yourself to consume copious amounts of absolutely anything you want, to your heart’s content. This concept is not new. It has been used for a while by those who followed calorie-restricted diets and allowed themselves one day per week where they would consume more calories than what they estimated their daily requirement was. As you now know, counting calories is a useless task. So we will discuss cheat days purely from the perspective of “carb refeeding”, because the assumption is that during the rest of the week you would be consuming limited amount of carbohydrates. Your total caloric intake during the day is never taken in consideration – only the ratio of different macronutrients. So, why cheat at all? There are many reasons. Pure ketogenic diets (those that strictly restrict any carbs) or diets that at least call for a significant reduction in carbs are psychologically tough. They are extremely effective in achieving the goal you might have in mind (whether it is shedding extra body fat and getting very lean, or using ketone bodies to improve energy levels, cognitive function, Continue reading >>

Staying In Ketosis Vs. Carb Cycling

Staying In Ketosis Vs. Carb Cycling

Many people struggle, sometimes for years, to lose stored fat and lower body weight. One of the biggest problems with low-calorie and even low-fat diets is that they can cause the dieter to lose weight indiscriminately, reducing fat, muscle and water weight. A ketogenic diet, a type of very low-carb eating plan, attempts to fight this problem by causing the body to lose fat while maintaining or building muscle mass. A carb cycling diet attempts to reduce some of the side effects of a ketogenic diet through limited carbohydrate intake. Video of the Day Nearly all the carbohydrates must be removed from the human body to put it into ketosis. When there are no carbohydrates left in the diet, the body relies on stored carbohydrates for energy. Once all of the stored carbohydrates are used up, the body switches to using fat stores for energy. Entering ketosis can be a difficult process for the dieter. The first couple of days on a ketogenic diet, or a diet designed to induce ketosis, often result in lethargy and muscle fatigue. It is only after you've reached ketosis that your body achieves a sort of equilibrium and the fatigue fades. However, staying in this ketosis phase is very difficult. If you eat carbohydrates, your body leaves ketosis and the initial phase must start over again. A carb cycling diet is designed to help to reduce some of the negative effects of a ketogenic diet by allowing the body to replenish its carbohydrate stores on a periodic basis. During the carb depletion phase of the diet, the dieter reduces carb intake to almost nothing, and focuses on workouts that deplete the carbohydrate stores more quickly. Then the dieter eats a specified set of carbs to refill the body's carbohydrate stores; this is called a re-feed or carbo load. This gives the dieter t Continue reading >>

What Is The Cyclical Ketogenic Diet?

What Is The Cyclical Ketogenic Diet?

A ketogenic diet is a style of weight loss plan where the body is forced to enter a state called ketosis. The human body is designed to work with either carbohydrate, stored in the muscles as glycogen, or fat as its primary fuel source. If glycogen is present, the body will use that up first before beginning to burn fat. Ketosis is the state where the body uses fat as its primary energy source, which leads to healthy but rapid weight loss. To make your body enter ketosis, you need to follow a diet that is very low in carbohydrate, so your body has to switch to using fat for energy. The Atkins diet, and other well known low carb eating plans, are examples of ketogenic dieting. The Downsides to Ketogenic Dieting Some of the main complaints people have about ketogenic diets are that while they are undeniably effective, the lack of carb powered energy can make it hard for them to work out at their normal level, and that the absence of carbs can make the diet very hard to stick to long term – people simply enjoy eating carbs. If you find a ketogenic diet difficult for either of these reasons, a cyclical ketogenic diet could be the answer. What is a Cyclical Ketogenic Diet? A cyclical ketogenic diet is where you follow a standard ketogenic diet from Monday to Friday, incorporating three workouts into your week, and then on weekends you load up on carbs and don’t exercise. This works because carb loading allows you to store up some carbohydrate energy for the week ahead, helping you keep a reasonable level of strength up for your workouts (you won’t break any personal records, but you’ll feel good) and preventing your body from going into “starvation mode” (where weight loss slows down) as a result of the low calorie intake on your ketogenic diet days. This also me Continue reading >>

Carb Refeeding And Weight Loss

Carb Refeeding And Weight Loss

Part of the allure of the Primal eating plan is that it’s effortless. There’s no calorie counting, no stressing over macronutrient intakes – eating PB simply means choosing to eat real, whole foods that man has been eating for tens of thousands of years. You can go higher carb or lower carb (I initially recommend low carb, just because it makes losing weight and stabilizing your metabolism incredibly easy, especially for folks coming off the SAD), and as long as you’re eating real foods you’ll be getting healthier and losing body fat. This isn’t enough for everyone, though. To go back to yesterday’s “hormones as software” analogy, some people are hackers who relish digging deep into the fine print of software manuals discussing human nutrition and hormonal responses. Others – the bulk of my readership – are cool with using their standard-issue, factory Mac or PC to reap the basic benefits of Primal living, while others prefer learning Unix and taking night classes in comp sci down at the local community college after work. They’re the ones who spend the time to fiddle with the programming language of our bodies in order to become real hormonal hackers. I get that. I love that stuff, too, if only to able to take the information and distill it for a large audience. Though one can see tremendous results with minimal effort following the simple principles of the Primal Blueprint (i.e. how I approach my own eating habits and how I recommend others do as well) digging deeper into the science of leptin and how carb refeeds impact leptin levels can unlock an entirely new level of fat loss (and understanding of why that fat loss is occurring). All this leptin and carb refeeding stuff was prompted by reader questions; I get a fair amount of questions about Continue reading >>

Keto Calculator – Low Carb Macro Calculator

Keto Calculator – Low Carb Macro Calculator

Are you eating a low carb or ketogenic diet or want to start? Perfect! We’re going to guide you through the steps you need to take to figure out how much you should be eating depending on your goals! This is a highly individualized macro calculator and will be tailored to you and only you! Using this Macro Calculator Knowing how many calories you need to eat as well as your macronutrient numbers is important for your success in weight loss or weight gain goals! Generally, you want to keep below 50 grams of carbs to stay in ketosis, but how about your fat and protein? Use our macro calculator to find out exactly what your daily macronutrients and calorie intake should look like. After all, calories are not created equal! You can read more about Calories vs. Macros if you’re interested! Know your Body Fat Percentage To use this calculator you’ll need a rough estimate of your body fat percentage. This is important because the macro calculator uses your lean weight (total weight minus body fat) to calculate the macronutrients you need on a daily basis. Use our body fat percentage guide to understand how to get this number. Recommend to a friend: Continue reading >>

A Guide To Low-carb & Keto Cheating

A Guide To Low-carb & Keto Cheating

To cheat or not to cheat? That is the eternal question. Almost everyone is occasionally tempted – are you? This five-part guide will help you think through low-carb cheating… and if you do decide to cheat, it will help you do it smarter. 1. Bad and Less Bad Reasons to Cheat Why cheat? Some reasons are better than others. Bad reasons Politeness or wanting to fit in Aunt Martha will get over it when you skip her gooey dessert. Your dining companion’s surprise when you swap out potatoes for extra veggies is typically fleeting. Don’t overplay others’ interest or investment in your personal dietary choices. Remember, people are usually wrapped up in their own experience and quickly move on from yours. However, some people do get overly curious about your food choices. When that happens, be ready with a line like, “I’m sorry, I have a sensitive stomach.” Impulsivity An impulsive reach into that bowl of candy is an unsatisfying cheat. A last minute decision to eat a few of those cold French fries on your kid’s plate is rarely that satisfying. Planned cheating can empower – random cheating undermines. Be true to yourself and stick to your cheating plan. Bad Planning Grabbing a mediocre two-day-old sandwich from a gas station is a wasted cheat. Anything worth cheating on yourself for is, by definition, delicious. That stale sandwich is not. Keep quality low-carb emergency food in your car, purse, or briefcase so you never cheat because you are starving. For tips about on-the-go low-carb foods, check out our travel guide. For great snack ideas, check out our low-carb snack guide. For how to eat at restaurants and eateries, check out “How to Eat Low-Carb When Dining Out”. Less bad reasons To stick with low-carb long term A low-carb lifestyle lasts forever Continue reading >>

Introducing The Cyclical Ketogenic Diet (ckd)

Introducing The Cyclical Ketogenic Diet (ckd)

So, you’ve heard about the ketogenic diet – no carbs, some protein and a ton of fat. But, have you heard of the cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD)? It’s the steak and cake diet. Current to this writing, I’ve been doing keto for nearly 2+ years. I’m going to lie…It’s been quite the trip with periods of exhaustion, low thyroid, brain fog and OCD’s but I’ve managed to fix all these issues. Now I feel just amazing – stable energy throughout the day, sharpened cognition and improved biomarkers. All in all, it’s been totally worth it. With that being said… Although I could happily eat the standard ketogenic diet (SKD) for the rest of my life and be perfectly fit and healthy on it, I must say that there’s an even better option that can work for you. Because I mean…although I LOVE keto foods, you can get kinda bored with it if that’s ALL you eat. If you have the same thought then keep reading… The Cyclical Ketogenic Diet (CKD) is, basically, keto with some short occurrences of carb loading. You eat ketogenicly for maybe a week or two, then you have 1-2 days of carbohydrate feasting. Now, wait a moment… How the hell is this supposed to work? If you have to spend a lot of time and effort on getting into ketosis in the first place, then wouldn’t all that work be in vain? Not entirely. Your body adapts to almost anything and always tries to maintain homeostasis – a state of inner balance. Because of that, you won’t go through any serious metabolic alterations on a daily basis either. The same way eating keto for one day won’t put you into ketosis, you won’t get kicked out of it by over-consuming carbs in one occasion either. If you do CKD right, then, chances are, you’ll be in ketosis 90% of the day, be burning sugar for the rest and re-esta Continue reading >>

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