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Will Ketosis Burn Muscle

How To Burn Fat & Spare Muscle: The Cyclical Ketogenic Diet

How To Burn Fat & Spare Muscle: The Cyclical Ketogenic Diet

One of the toughest things to do is to burn fat while sparing muscle. Unless you have a hormonal issue working against you, proper diet and exercise will help you burn off those unwanted inches. The problem arises, however, when all that sweat and effort begins to eat away at your muscle gains, as inevitably happens whenever you begin cutting calories and forsaking the weights for the treadmill. Fortunately, there’s a metabolic trick you can perform that will largely fix the problem. THE BACKGROUND Anyone familiar with the Atkins Diet has heard of ketosis. Ketosis is a state your body enters when it runs out of free glucose or glycogen for its energy needs and begins burning fat instead. Diabetics try to avoid this state, but bodybuilders, fitness athletes, and anyone looking to get lean gladly invite and, indeed, even work to initiate the condition. While most doctors will tell you ketosis is something you want to avoid (because it could potentially lead to a buildup of ketones, causing ketoacidosis to set in), the fact is that it is one of the most remarkable feats of metabolic legerdemain you will likely ever find. Like the Atkins Diet, the ketogenic diet (particularly the one written by Lyle McDonald) relies upon the elimination of most carbohydrates from the diet for a predetermined period of time to allow ketosis to set in, creating an environment where your body burns all the fat it wants. Now, before you get overly excited and start throwing away all the bread and pasta in the house, there’s a laundry list of rules and directions to familiarize yourself with first. To do otherwise is to invite failure. First off, there are a number of different ways to follow a ketogenic diet. You can simply stop eating carbs for a few weeks – or even a few months if you 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 >>

7 Tips To Stay Shredded While Gaining Mass

7 Tips To Stay Shredded While Gaining Mass

Sponsored Content I’ll start with two words you might already be familiar with: ketogenic diet. The words “keto” and “macros” have been floating around in the bodybuilding community a lot recently. If you’re familiar, you probably know keto as a way to get shredded: the basic mantra is "eat fat to lose fat." Now you’re thinking… “Wait, this is a keto article? There’s no way to add muscle while in ketosis.” You’re mistaken, and I can prove it because I’ve done it. Ketosis for shredding is only half the story. If you get systematic about the way you eat, cycling off of keto weekly for about 24 hours to refeed, then you can absolutely add lean mass AND stay shredded while you’re doing it. A brief keto overview: (You can skip ahead to the tips if you already know the basics) In a nutshell, a ketogenic diet requires switching your metabolism from glycolysis (burning glucose, a byproduct of carbohydrates) to ketosis (burning ketones, a byproduct of fat). To accomplish that switch, you have to deplete your body of glycogen and keep your blood glucose levels incredibly low. That means eating a high percentage of fat, a moderate amount of protein (too much protein and it can get converted into glycogen), and an extremely low amount of carbohydrates. We all know high protein as a bodybuilding essential and we’ve been talking about carb timing for decades. But flipping into ketosis basically requires that you look at that all-important third macro: fat. And more importantly, ketosis requires looking at all three of those macros in relationship to each other. To stay shredded while getting big, you actually have to lower your protein calories a bit and replace those calories with fat. There’s a lot of research being done on the benefits of operating Continue reading >>

In A Ketogenic Diet, Will I Lose Muscle If I Have A 17 Hour Gap Between Meals?

In A Ketogenic Diet, Will I Lose Muscle If I Have A 17 Hour Gap Between Meals?

Ketogenic diets will actually help preserve muscle mass as when you're in a state of nutritional ketosis, the primary source of energy your body will try and use will be ketones instead of glucose (most of which goes into brain function). Most current studies on muscle catabolysis are showing that even fasted (no food whatsoever), you will not lose muscle for at least 3 days after your last meal. Gluconeogenesis and the Cori cycle in 12-, 20-, and 40-h-fasted humans At 12, 20, and 40 h of fasting, respectively, blood glucose was 93 ± 2, 83 ± 2, and 71 ± 2 (SE) mg/dl; glucose production was 2.3, 1.8, and 1.77 mg ⋅ kg−1 ⋅ min−1; the recycling of labeled carbon was 8, 15, and 15%, and that of glucose molecules (Cori cycle) was 18, 35, and 36%; the contribution of gluconeogenesis to glucose production was 41, 71, and 92% This means that your body will continue to produce the glucose/glycogen it needs to retain muscle mass for at the very least 40 hours. For more insights on this, I'm starting a project called (KetoLiving | KetoLiving) that's still under construction, but feel free to join my Facebook page to see the current studies I've reviewed so far. 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 >>

Ten Reasons You Are Not Losing Fat On A Low-carb Diet

Ten Reasons You Are Not Losing Fat On A Low-carb Diet

“” —Passmore & Swindells, two British dietitians writing in the British Journal of Nutrition in 1963 Whether you agree with the above quote or think it’s hilarious nonsense, there’s no doubt that reduced carb diets are useful for losing body fat. A lot of people find that cutting carbs in favor of a higher protein, higher fat diet is the simplest way to get lean fast. However, people often make mistakes when going low-carb, especially if they are training hard in an effort to accelerate the fat loss process. With these 10 simple tips, you can make going low-carb a lot easier and get better fat loss results. Mistake #1: Not Restricting Carbohydrates Enough Low-carb, high-protein diets are effective for fat loss. This is a scientific fact. But, low-carb is a vague term. Simply cutting the average American man’s carb intake of 310 grams a day in half could be considered low-carb, but if you are overweight and your goal is fat loss, you most likely need to go a lot lower than 155 grams. A review in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests the 50 to 150 g/day range is too high for losing body fat in overweight, sedentary populations. A useful definition of a low-carb fat loss diet is less than 50 grams of carbs a day, which will lead to the production of ketones. When the body is producing ketones it is no longer relying on glucose (sugar from carbs) for its fuel source, which is a state that provides significant metabolic benefits and easier fat loss. Fix It: For best results, get those 50 grams of carbs from vegetables and select fruits, such as berries, or other low-carb fruit. Eliminate all grains—whole and processed. Mistake #2: You are Lean, Active & Restricting Carbs Too Much The AJCN definition of a low-carb diet as less than 50 grams a day w Continue reading >>

Whether Low-carb Diets Cause Muscle Deterioration Or Not

Whether Low-carb Diets Cause Muscle Deterioration Or Not

Whenever you limit your calories, your body loses a little muscle. This is true on all diets, old-fashioned and low-carb. Some people have claimed that low-carb diets cause more deterioration than normal diets. The following studies measured the amount of protein (muscle) losses that occurred on various diets. As it turns out, low-carb diets cause less deterioration than normal diets. The human metabolic response to chronic ketosis without caloric restriction: physical and biochemical adaptation. Phinney SD, Bistrian BR, Wolfe RR, Blackburn GL Metabolism 1983 Aug;32(8):757-768 To study the metabolic effects of ketosis without weight loss, nine lean men were fed a eucaloric balanced diet (EBD) for one week providing 35-50 kcal/kg/d, 1.75 g of protein per kilogram per day and the remaining kilocalories as two-thirds carbohydrate (CHO) and one-third fat. This was followed by four weeks of a eucaloric ketogenic diet (EKD)--isocaloric and isonitrogenous with the EBD but providing less than 20 g CHO daily. Both diets were appropriately supplemented with minerals and vitamins. Weight and whole-body potassium estimated by potassium-40 counting (40K) did not vary significantly during the five-week study. Nitrogen balance (N-Bal) was regained after one week of the EKD. The fasting blood glucose remained lower during the EKD than during the control diet (4.4 mmol/L at EBD, 4.1 mmol/L at EKD-4, P less than 0.01). The fasting whole-body glucose oxidation rate determined by a 13C-glucose primed constant infusion technique fell from 0.71 mg/kg/min during the control diet to 0.50 mg/kg/min (P less than 0.01) during the fourth week of the EKD. The mean serum cholesterol level rose (from 159 to 208 mg/dL) during the EKD, while triglycerides fell from 107 to 79 mg/dL. No disturbance of he 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 >>

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 >>

Burn Fat With A Cyclical Ketogenic Diet

Burn Fat With A Cyclical Ketogenic Diet

The Cyclical Ketogenic Diet What is a cyclical ketogenic diet and how does it help one burn fat? By the way, what even constitutes an optimal physique? This is different based on each individual’s unique genetic potential but researchers would agree that we should have a moderate to thin structure and good muscular development. While many have sought after a thin physique, the mantra of the 21st century is that strong is the new thin! We want to have a good body fat percentage (6-15% for men and 15-30% for women) and have developed well-toned musculature. This article discusses how to build muscle and burn fat with a cyclical ketogenic diet Ketogenic Diet and Fat Metabolism: A ketogenic diet is a very low carbohydrate, moderate protein and high fat based nutrition plan. A ketogenic diet trains the bodies metabolism to run off of fatty acids or ketone bodies. This nutrition plan has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and reduce inflammation. This leads to improved muscle development and fat metabolism (1, 2). The ketogenic diet is built around good fats such as grass-fed butter, coconut products, avocados, nuts/seeds, pasture-raised animal products and extra-virgin olive oil. This diet should also focus on low-carbohydrate fruits, vegetables and herbs as staple components. The fat levels will be between 60-80% of calorie intake. How Ketones Are Formed? The body has two major energy sources, it burns glucose or ketone bodies. The majority of people burn glucose primarily because they are constantly supplying a steady form of sugar, starches and proteins that can be turned into blood sugar. When one either fasts or goes on a low-carb, moderate protein and high fat diet they switch their energy source to fat. In particular, the fatty acids are broken down into keto 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 >>

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 >>

Keto Build Muscle And Burn Fat At The Same Time

Keto Build Muscle And Burn Fat At The Same Time

The ultimate goal when it comes to body composition and fitness is to build muscle and burn more fat. For vanity and looking good, surely. But there are other health and longevity benefits to this. Muscle is actually our biggest organ, as the fascia connect all the dots between our ligaments, creating a tissue that covers our entire body. The advantages to having a lean physique are obvious, as it will increase our metabolism, increase our life span, improve nearly every biomarker and actually sharpens our cognition. What You Need for Muscle Growth Building muscle is an anabolic process that needs to be facilitated in some way. There are 4 main conditions that need to be met. An Adequate Stimulus (Train Hard Enough) – Resistance training that makes the muscle fibers contract at near maximum effort signal the body to adapt to the stimulus. If there’s a perceived necessity in your environment to be stronger, then you will eventually get stronger. It’s the first determining factor of muscle hypertrophy. Protein Synthesis (Eat Enough Protein) – Training causes scarring damage to your muscle fibers that needs to be repaired, if you were to recover from the stimulus. Amino acids found in protein are essential building blocks of our organism. They’re used for growing lean tissue, skin, nails, hair – everything. Enough Energy (Be at a Caloric Surplus) – All of this is a costly process and requires heat to be carried out. Muscle growth will occur only if there’s a surplus of energy – when the body has managed to cover its more vital functions. Hormonal Output (Mainly Testosterone and Human Growth Hormone) – Hormones are your body’s signaling mechanisms that send messages to conduct certain processes e. protein synthesis, muscle building, fat burning. All of Continue reading >>

“starvation Mode” And Muscle Wasting Myth On A Low Carbohydrate Diet

“starvation Mode” And Muscle Wasting Myth On A Low Carbohydrate Diet

Another one of the fallacies that seems to pervade is that a ketogenic diet is the same as being in starvation – whereby the body significantly reduces it’s metabolism and starts tapping into the muscles for energy. This is completely bogus and you’d be best off just ignoring the idea altogether. In light of restricted carbohydrates through either keto or starvation the body will focus on maintaining glucose homeostasis, ie constant blood-glucose level. It’s highest priority is to provide sufficient energy to the brain and other critical functions, and can do so with a mix of glucose and ketone bodies. The only real common ground is that ketone production is elevated in both a keto diet and in starvation due to reduced carbohydrate intake. Conflating keto with starvation is guilt by association – eg falling asleep makes you unconscious; being punched out also renders you unconscious and can cause serious injury; therefore falling asleep is dangerous like being punched out. Starvation is just that – severe restriction of calories over a long period, and “starvation mode” is what anti-low-carb people tend to call it as a scare tactic. After a few days of complete fasting the metabolic rate only drops 5-10% – sometimes increases – and even on an intake of half the amount of energy you’d normally consume for maintenance, you would be fine for months without too much of a drop. If you have a significant amount of fat to lose then your metabolism will barely drop at all, even on severe restriction your extra adipose stores will make up any energy requirements you have. A ketogenic diet stabilises glucose and maintains very low levels of circulating insulin, so access to liberating energy from your adipose stores is unhampered. A ketogenic diet is extreme Continue reading >>

How To Exercise When You’re In Ketosis

How To Exercise When You’re In Ketosis

Since going keto means greatly reducing carbs, and since carbs are the body’s primary source of fuel, you might be wondering what your options are when it comes to how to exercise while in ketosis. The good news is that while there are some things to keep in mind, exercise is totally possible on the ketogenic diet and even has some big benefits health- and energy-wise. These are important to know when wading through any misconceptions around low-carb eating and working out. Exercising in Ketosis First, let’s note that the traditional view of weight loss—simply eating less and exercising longer, often with long bouts of cardio—is outdated and unsustainable. In order to see real results when it comes to losing weight and getting leaner, what you eat really matters. A great place to start is checking out a guide on sourcing meat, dairy, and seafood. Therefore, paying attention to the quality of your ketogenic diet itself, and maintaining a steady state of ketosis, is the most important first step you can take. To see if you are actually in a metabolic state of ketosis, testing your ketone levels is vitally important. However, exercise also has many benefits for your health. It’s good for the heart, builds muscle to keep you lean and toned, and strengths the bones. Thankfully, exercise can completely fit into your routine while eating for ketosis. You just need to keep in mind a few simple considerations: Type of Exercise Nutritional needs vary depending on the type of exercise performed. Workouts styles are typically divided into four types: aerobic, anaerobic, flexibility, and stability. Aerobic exercise, also known as cardio exercise, is anything that lasts over three minutes. Lower intensity, steady-state cardio is fat burning, making it very friendly for the Continue reading >>

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