Take Your Training To The Next Level With Ketosis
One of the most popular critiques of a ketogenic diet – a diet that’s high in fat and low in carbs – is that it isn’t good for athletes. The argument is usually that you need carbs to produce glycogen, a stored form of sugar that fuels your muscles. As a result, most doctors and trainers suggest high-carb diets for athletes. If you’ve been working out while eating Bulletproof, Paleo, keto, or any other variation on a high-fat, low-carb diet, here’s some good news: brand new research shows that you not only don’t need carbs for athletic performance, you can actually gain an advantage if you cut them out. Let’s talk about how ketosis can kick your athletic performance into a higher gear. Why you don’t need carbs to train hard A groundbreaking new study out of UConn found that low-carb endurance athletes perform just as well as high-carb endurance athletes, if not better. The results challenge nearly 50 years of research saying the opposite. Until now, most studies have concluded that you top out at around 10% of energy recruited from fat  and for the rest you rely mostly on glycogen, a form of sugar stored in your muscles and liver. That’s the main reason high-carb diets have been the standard for athletes for so many years. With a low-carb diet, your glycogen stores empty quickly, you run out of fuel, and you start breaking down your muscles for energy. Right? Well, maybe not. If you teach your body to prefer fat for fuel you can work out intensely without any problems, according to this new study. The paper’s authors measured the performance of ultra-endurance runners who regularly run upwards of 100 miles. Here’s how they set it up: Half of the participants ate low-carb (<20% of calories from carbs) for 6 months The other half ate high-carb ( Continue reading >>
Keto Youtube: Can I Workout While On A Ketogenic Diet?
There seems to be a lot of confusion about working out while on a ketogenic diet, so here I try to clarify that yes you can workout while on keto, but you need to pay special attention to your electrolytes and also allow your body to adjust to a new way of eating. Continue reading >>
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High Intensity Exercise On A Ketogenic Diet?
In this post I will explore the theory behind a Ketogenic diet for endurance athletic performance, and tell you how I tested the idea for myself using both a Half-Marathon and 5k races as performance markers. I will attempt to answer the following questions: What is a Ketogenic diet? Why might a Ketogenic diet enhance endurance performance? Will a ketogenic diet work for high intensity performance such as a 5k? What are the downsides of a ketogenic diet? In their book, The Art and Science of Low Carb Performance, Jeff Volek and Steve Phinney claim that a ketogenic diet may be beneficial for endurance sports performance. The idea behind a low carb, high fat ketogenic diet is this: teach the body to use fat as fuel by restricting carbs. By starving the body of carbs, the liver will generate ketones to act as a fuel in place of glucose. Ketones can act in place of glucose as a fuel for the body, especially the brain, which can only run on glucose or ketones. One advantage of ketones is that they don’t require an active transporter to cross cell membranes; they can easily diffuse to body tissues for energy. They’ve also been shown to treat epilepsy, increase mental focus, slow the onset of Alzheimer’s, help heart attack patients recover faster, and maybe even prevent bonking in a long distance running event. Advocates of this type of diet point out that it’s probably a much more natural way to eat, since in an ancestral environment, carbs were scarce. Fruit was much smaller and less sugary and grains have only been around in large quantities for around 10,000 years. For much of human history the theory goes, we existed in a state of ketosis, sometimes going days without food, and living off stored body fat and ketones generated from fat stores. If you are new to the Continue reading >>
Can I Exercise While On A Ketogenic Diet?
One of the most common questions I’ve noticed, in regards to keto, is whether exercise is needed for results. Having done both, I wanted to share my experience with exercising while on a keto diet. Do you need exercise to lose weight while in ketosis? If you’re like me, chances are you haven’t worked up a good sweat in ages. At my heaviest, I could only dream about running around without having to instantly catch my breath. The thought of any form of exercise was intimidating. Technically, weight loss is all about burning more calories than you consume. So to answer this question, no, you don’t need to exercise to lose weight. Keto can help you feel full longer (fat being more satiating than carbohydrates, it can help you manage your cravings and stick to a more strict caloric deficit. While the majority of weight loss comes from sticking to a solid diet, exercise can aid in the journey. Not only will it help speed up the process, but you will notice tons of other benefits. Why should you exercise on Keto? Enter ketosis faster One of the questions I get asked a lot is: Will working out help me get into ketosis faster? Being in ketosis means your body enters a state in which your body does not have enough glucose (glycogen) to burn for fuel and begins using fat as a source of energy. By exercising, you expend more energy and burn through your glycogen stores at a faster rate, allowing your body to achieve ketosis at a faster pace. Fill out and tighten loose skin If you have a ton of weight to lose (50lb+), chances are your skin has stretched out while putting on those pounds. It will take some time for your skin to readjust, but you can help reduce the loose skin issue by filling out your body with muscle mass. Increase your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) Continue reading >>
Intermittent Fasting And Fitness
We’ve all heard the phrase: “To get big, you have to eat big.” This is true because you can’t build tissue, muscle, etc. without the building blocks of nutrient rich foods. It’s also said: “Everything has its season.” This is the truth behind intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting is a controversial topic to some, because it’s often touted as a cure-all or magic bullet. It’s neither. But it is a tool that you should have in your fitness toolbox, and it probably wouldn’t be a bad idea for you to get very comfortable wielding it. [EDITOR’S NOTE: I, Brian, have just begun experimenting with fasted exercise and I have enjoyed it so far. I plan to see how the two areas can be used to push personal performance. So…you know…I’ll let you know.] When people hear me talk about intermittent fasting a few questions always come up. Am I going to starve? Do I have to deprive myself? Am I going to lose muscle or become atrophy? But first…what is intermittent fasting? Intermittent fasting is just that, intermittent. It’s not full fasting and it doesn’t go on for days at a stretch. Intermittent fasting is done within a 24 hour period with a fasting / feeding cycle. Your fasting / feeding cycle can be adjusted to your own schedule and other variables, such as nutritional needs, which you dictate. A common ratio is 16:8 – fasting for 16 hours with an 8-hour feeding window. It’s good to experiment with what cycle works best for you. During the feeding window, you can choose to eat one, two, three or whatever number of meals you choose. During the fasting window, there is no eating, snacking or calorie intake. Some people choose to allow things like gum, pre-workout, coffee and tea during their fasting period. Now, back to the questions I listed. Al Continue reading >>
Keto Diet And Exercise – Should I Exercise On A Ketogenic Diet?
Yes and No! If you are just starting out on a ketogenic diet and you don’t normally exercise, then NO. When you just start out, you are likely to have some keto flu symptoms. Get through this period first. Then YES, definitely incorporate exercise into your life! Once your body becomes fat adapted, you may find that you have much more energy anyway and actually want to exercise. I know this may sound hard to believe if you normally don’t have the energy or the desire to exercise. If you have always exercised, then YES! You definitely want to continue to exercise. If, however you initially feel a little weaker than normal, just listen to your body and slow down for a bit. Your energy will return. We all know exercise is important no matter what eating plan or lifestyle we follow. However, exercise can be way more efficient when following a ketogenic diet compared to a high carb diet. As a sweetener, the results achieved from exercise whilst fat burning can be much better. Just remember, that you cannot “out exercise” bad eating. Eating good healthy and nutritious food always has to be the starting point if you want to change your life. It is your diet that essentially supply the building blocks for your desired outcome. Are you interested to know exactly how exercise can support you while on the ketogenic diet? Then read on and find out… Exercise Improves Insulin Sensitivity Unfortunately, for many of us, insulin sensitivity decreases as we age and many of us become less active. Inactive people are more likely to have elevated levels of blood glucose. They tend to have higher levels of insulin secretion over the course of a day and as result have excess body fat. This is also the first step on the way to metabolic syndrome and may lead to pre-diabetes. Or ultim Continue reading >>
Pre & Post Workout On Keto – My Experience
This is about a question that I often get, which is what what to take/drink/eat before and after working out. My mindset about this has changed a lot over the past few years, so I wanted to share my own experience. Who knows, maybe you can relate to this. Before starting Keto 1,5 years ago, I used to be obsessed with timing my carbs and protein perfectly pre- and post workout. If I didn’t have a big portion of rice or pasta approximately 2 hours before working out, I felt less energy and my performance would suffer as a result. Then, after working out I had to have my double Protein shake mixed with cheap carbohydrates in the form of maltodextrin. As soon as I got home, I would force myself to eat as big of a meal as possible, consisting of carbohydrates and protein, as I thought all of this was essential to build muscle and to maximize protein synthesis. I was always really tired and crashing after working out, so my day was pretty much done after that. Doesn’t sound like too much fun, right? Now, lets fast forward one and a half years later. Thanks to the Ketogenic Diet, I’m able to only work out once/week in the gym since August 2015 while maintaining the physique I want. As an example, here is what my weekly workout day looked like last saturday: – 7 AM: Cup of coffee with coconut oil after getting up – 12 PM: Lunch: Cabbage with butter and some Mackerel – 6 PM: Full body gym workout with my girlfriend Zsofi. We both felt tons of energy, she managed to beat her own bench press record. We finished after 45 minutes, without the slightest energy crash and still being able to make the best out of the rest of our evening. – 8 PM: Dinner: Buttered Cauliflower-mash with ground beef That’s it. No supplements/boosters/aminoacids/carbs or other powders before, Continue reading >>
Low-carb And Exercise In The Real World
The general consensus around the Paleo world is that the more active you are, the more carbs you need. That’s especially true if the exercise is intense: walking is one thing, but if you’re getting up into the high-intensity sprinting or ten-mile runs, your body will be hurting for some carbs. This is all based on science, but the vast majority of the science is from a very limited population: trained elite athletes, and/or college-age men doing intense exercise and not looking to lose weight. What about the people who aren’t doing sprinting or 10-mile runs, but might be doing occasional squatting or 3-mile runs? What about middle-aged men? What about women? What about people who went low-carb to lose weight? There’s plenty of anecdotal evidence about exercise on a low-carb diet, but it’s all conflicting. On the one hand, beginners often start trying to do a hard workout every day on a low-carb version of Paleo where they’re also trying to restrict calories for weight loss. Then they get exhausted and their performance completely tanks, but if they add in a potato or two every day, they perk right back up again and feel fine. But on the other hand, there are also plenty of anecdotes about people who eat low-carb and feel just fine in the gym. So here’s a look at some studies on low-carb diets for ordinary non-athletes, how they affect exercise, and the role of different individual factors (for example, everything can change depending on whether or not weight loss is involved, which is not something you’ll find in the elite athlete studies). Performance on a Low-Carb or Ketogenic Diet When it comes to diets and athletic performance, it’s important to distinguish between a true ketogenic diet and a low-carb diet that isn’t ketogenic. If you don’t kno Continue reading >>
Is It Dangerous To Exercise While On A Ketogenic Diet?
Ketogenic diets restrict carbohydrate consumption. Dieters employ ketogenic diets for rapid weight loss. When subjected to a ketogenic diet, your body enters ketosis. Carbohydrates serve as the primary source of energy for the human body. Fat acts as a secondary source of energy. Because ketogenic diets restrict carbohydrate intake, energy needed for exercise comes from other sources. Scientists differ in opinion on the safety of exercise during a ketogenic diet. During ketosis, keto-acids build up in the blood, and are eliminated from your body through your kidneys. If keto-acids in the blood build up beyond the ability of the kidneys to eliminate the acid, fatigue, irregular heartbeat or dizziness may occur. Avoid exercise if you experience dizziness or irregular heartbeat while on a ketogenic diet. Both may represent serious conditions like dehydration or electrolyte imbalance. The aim of a ketogenic diet is to burn fat instead of carbohydrates. The human body uses fat as the primary source of energy during extended ketosis. Initially the body will use stored carbohydrates for energy. After depleting carbohydrates, the body switches to fat for fuel. Keto-acids or ketones, the end-product of incomplete fat metabolism, serve as a source of energy. While on a ketogenic diet, ketones provide energy for brain function. In their book "The Treament of Epilespy," Dr. Eric Kossoff and Dr. Eileen Vining note that ketones maintain 65 percent of brain energy when in ketosis. Inuit populations in the Arctic survived on low carbohydrate diets prior to the introduction of modern carbohydrate-based nutrition. Dr. Stephen D. Phinney, professor of Medicine Emeritus at University of California at Davis, suggests the carbohydrate-restricted diets of the Inuit population prove that ketog Continue reading >>
Do You Need To Exercise On Keto Diet?
It is often said that one of the best things about following a ketogenic diet for weight loss is that you don’t have to adopt an exercise regime to lose weight. Many people don’t like the idea of working out, or think they don’t have time, and this makes the ketogenic diet appealing to them. But is it true? Constant Fat Burning Through Ketosis In essence, yes, you can lose weight, and at quite a good rate, without adding additional exercise to your daily routine. This is for two reasons inherent to the way the ketogenic diet works, which are different to the way a traditional low fat diet works: Firstly, when you are on a ketogenic diet, your body is in a state called ketosis where it is burning fat you eat and your own body fat for energy. Energy of course, isn’t just used up by exercise and conscious activity, but by everything you do. Even when your sleeping, your body needs fuel to keep itself going. Because all of this fuel is coming from fat, you don’t need to exercise to burn it off and lose weight. Secondly, because a ketogenic diet curbs your appetite, even though you don’t count calories you are likely to be eating a low calorie diet naturally. This means that your calorie use every day is likely to exceed your calorie intake, even without burning through extra calories by exercising. So, this is good news for people who are too unfit to exercise safely, or who can’t exercise because of injury or disability. It is also good news for people who just don’t want to exercise, however, don’t rule it out just on that basis… Why You Should Still Work Out if You Can If you are able to work out, from a physical perspective (everybody can make time, so being too busy is no excuse!) then you will find it has an even greater impact on the speed and eff Continue reading >>
What Are The Best Exercises For Fat Loss While On A Ketogenic Diet?
while in keto you usually wont have enough glycogen in the muscle to support true HIIT workouts or super heavy lifting (1–3 rep lifts where you are testing maxes). This is the case after probably 1–2 weeks of being in ketosis, depending on how fast you deplete your glycogen. After this, your body has to go through another process to create glycogen and that will come from converting protein (either the protein that you eat or from your muscles). Ketosis does have a muscle sparing effect so the jury is still out on this. Also, how your diet is set up can change how your body is responding. A true ketosis diet (the one patients are prescribed) would be about 75-80% fat, 15–20% protein and 5% carbohydrates. This macro distribution is not one for active adults working out 5–6 times a week. The expenditure is low for these people so they don’t need a lot of carbohydrates supporting their energy output. Some athletes who do ketosis use a bit more carbs and time them around the workout or in the evening before bed. To test how much carbohydrates you can tolerate you need to monitor with a blood glucose monitor. Basically, my answer is that there is not clear definition of where your macros should be without being specific and measuring your glucose levels. If you are on 5% carbs or trace carbs 20–50g then walking or moderate intensity is about all you’ll want to do. Lifting weights will also be good to add into your program, but be aware that you’ll have better luck doing more low weight/high reps work. Your body NEEDS carbs, where those carbs come from is important and should come from low glycemic natural food, fruit, vegetable (mainly pulses), nuts and seeds. A ketogenic diet trains your body to burn fat but glucose is stored mainly in the muscles and liver Continue reading >>
Can You Build Muscle On A Ketogenic Diet?
The other day, I was on a phone call with a good friend and fellow strength coach, Joe Dowdell, CSCS, of Peak Performance in New York City. I told him my current deadlift personal record stood at a respectable 420 pounds but that I aspired to pull a 500. He told me it was "doable." Great. Then I threw him a curveball worthy of Dodgers southpaw Clayton Kershaw. I wanted to add 80 pounds to my deadlift … while following a ketogenic diet. Joe let out a big sigh. Staying on a ketogenic diet means eating so few carbohydrates that when your glycogen stores empty, your body cashes-in on a process called 'ketosis' for energy. The carbohydrate threshold to stay in ketosis will vary by individual, but the guideline for most folks is fewer than 50 grams of carbs. I was dead-set on eating fewer than 20 grams of carbohydrates per day. How low is that? One medium banana would place you over your daily limit! Wait, don't carbs stimulate muscle growth? How could this work in the long term? More important, can I add 80 pounds to my deadlift without eating much carbs? These questions and more piqued the scientist in me. So I set out to find the answers not only by poring over the scientific literature but through real-world application on the gym floor as well. Now before you rush down to the bottom of the article to see if I did it, I want to preface the grand finale by explaining the anabolic capacity of carbohydrates. Let me walk you through several key areas of anabolism in which carbohydrates and insulin play a role. Carbohydrates, Protein, and Insulin Carbohydrates create anabolism largely by setting off a cascade of hormone-driven events. (Just so we're clear, you also get an insulin response from protein as well.) Chief among these events is secretion of a hormone called insuli Continue reading >>
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Fasting And Exercise
Is it possible to exercise while fasting? This is a common question we hear all the time and the simple answer is ‘Yes’. People think that food gives them energy and therefore it will be difficult to fast and exercise at the same time. Some people with physically demanding jobs feel that they could not fast and work properly. What’s the truth? Let’s think logically about what happens when we eat. Insulin goes up telling your body to use some of that food energy immediately. The remainder is stored as sugar (glycogen in the liver). Once the glycogen stores are full, then the liver manufactures fat (DeNovo Lipogenesis). Dietary protein is broken down into component amino acids. Some is used to repair proteins but excess amino acids are turned to glucose. Dietary fat is absorbed directly by the intestines. It doesn’t undergo any further transformation and is stored as fat. Insulin’s main action is to inhibit lipolysis. This means that it blocks fat burning. The incoming flood of glucose from food is sent to the rest of the body to be used as energy. So what happens during a fast? It’s just the food-storage process in reverse. First, your body burns the stored sugar, then it burns the stored fat. In essence, during feeding you store food energy. During fasting, you burn energy from your stored food (sugar and fat). Note that the amount of energy that is used by, and available to, your body stays the same. The basal metabolic rate stays the same. This is the basic energy used for vital organs, breathing, heart function etc. Eating does not increase basal metabolism except for the small amount used to digest food itself (the thermic effect of food). If you exercise while fasting, the body will start by burning sugar. Glycogen is a molecule composed of many sugar Continue reading >>
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 >>
the Best Diet For Losing Fat And Building Muscle
If the latest avocado craze has taught us anything, it’s that people are finally accepting that fat is not the enemy. Researchers have known the benefits of fat consumption for years: Eat the good kind, and your body can shed extra pudge since it won’t need to hold onto it for basic bodily functions. Learn how to step up the intensity of your next cardio workout with a pair of 5-pound dumbbells: But there’s a diet that takes this concept a step further, revolving around high fat, moderate protein, and minimal carb intake. It’s called ketogenic, or “keto” for short—and though it’s been around for years, the diet has recently spiked in popularity, particularly among women looking to get lean. (Rumor has it Megan Fox and Adriana Lima are fans.) Here’s how it works: By eating a very high amount of fat—as much as 75 percent of your daily calories—and next to no carbs (under 20 grams per day…that’s less than an apple’s worth), your body enters a phase called ketosis, where it produces little bodies called ketones. Instead of relying on glucose from carbs for energy and brain activity, your body uses the ketones, in turn burning fat. (The Slim, Sexy, Strong Workout DVD is the fast, flexible workout you've been waiting for!) While you wouldn’t want to go so low-carb if you’re trying to set a personal record for an endurance event, like a half-marathon (you need carbs to sustain energy for longer cardio sessions), recent research shows the keto diet is clutch for those looking to maximize their time in the weight room. One recent study published in the Journal of Sports Science & Medicine found that after eight weeks of resistance training, low-carb dieters saw equal strength gains to those who took in higher amounts of Cs. That’s because the la Continue reading >>
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