What Is The Ketogenic Diet?
The ketogenic diet (or keto diet, for short) is a low-carb, low to moderate protein, high-fat diet that offers many health benefits.
In fact, over 20 studies show that this type of diet can help you lose weight and improve your health (1).
Ketogenic diets may even have benefits against diabetes, cancer, epilepsy and Alzheimer's disease (2, 3, 4, 5). I will further discuss this later in this blog.
The Ketogenic diet is now more popular than ever. With famous actors touting their weight loss results through social media and hundreds of articles being posted daily on the internet, has propelled this way of eating to new levels. The largest debate over the Ketogenic diet has been whether or not it is a sustainable and healthy way to live life. The foods eaten to satisfy the requirements of this style goes against what many doctors, nutritionists and health enthusiast have been teaching for years.
So, Why Is It Called The Ketogenic Diet?
As many people call it “The Keto Diet”, got its name from the energy source ketone bodies. It involves the body producing ketone bodies out of fat, and using them for energy instead of sugar from carbohydrates. When your body uses ketone bodies as a fuel source your body reaches a natural metabolic state called ketosis.
You can get into ketosis by following a very low-carb, moderate to low protein and a high-fat diet. From the day you start the ketogenic diet to the day your body starts switching over to ketone bodies for energy instead of carbohydrates varies from person to person. When I fist started eating to reach ketosis, it took me about 2.5 weeks until I started measuring ketone bodies in my urine. Yes, one way to measure if you are in ketosis is to urinate on a keto strip which then measures the amount of ketones bodies in your urine (I will post a couple of links below of this must have tool). Research studies have shown major medical benefits of being on a ketogenic diet. I will post a couple of links below of this must have tool.
What Are The Health Benefits Of The Ketogenic Diet?
The ketogenic diet relies on three specific dietary elements: extremely low-carb intake, very high-healthy fat intake, and, depending on the type of keto diet, a certain intake of protein. By reducing carbohydrates — such as starches, fruits, pasta, and breads that are loaded with glucose — you’ll push your body towards fat burning. By increasing healthy fat intake, your body will become an efficient fat-burning machine! Along with burning fat (revealed as possibly the superior source of energy), ketosis — accomplished via the ketogenic diet — has also been shown to lower blood sugar and insulin levels leading to a healthy insulin sensitive state.
Here is a really good keto cookbook to help you get started.
So, we know what the ketogenic diet is, but how to do we accomplish a state of ketosis? There are actually multiple variations of the ketogenic diet that all work towards similar and yet differing goals.
Why People Lose Body Fat On The Ketogenic Diet.
The ketogenic diet is a very low-carb, high-fat diet that shares many similarities with the Atkins and low-carb diets.
It involves drastically reducing carbohydrate intake and replacing it with fat. This reduction in carbs puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis.
When this happens, your body becomes incredibly efficient at burning fat for energy. It also turns fat into ketones in the liver, which can supply energy for the brain (6, 7).
Ketogenic diets can cause massive reductions in blood sugar and insulin levels. This, along with the increased ketones, has numerous health benefits (6, 8, 9, 10, 11).
The diet is an effective way to lose weight and lower risk factors for disease (8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13).
In fact, research shows that the ketogenic diet is far superior to the often recommended low-fat diet (2, 14, 15, 16).
What's more, the diet is so filling that you can lose weight without counting calories or tracking your food intake (16).
One study found that people on a ketogenic diet lost 2.2 times more weight than those on a calorie-restricted low-fat diet. Triglyceride and HDL cholesterol levels also improved (17).
Another study found that people on the ketogenic diet lost 3 times more weight than those on the diet recommended by Diabetes UK (18).
There are several reasons why a ketogenic diet is superior to a low-fat diet, including the increased protein intake, which provides numerous benefits (14, 19, 20).
The increased ketones, lower blood sugar levels and improved insulin sensitivity may also play a key role (21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26).
Variations Of The Ketogenic Diet.
There are several versions of the ketogenic diet, including:
In my 30Days 2Burn! Ketogenic Bodybuilding program I follow a higher protein Ketogenic diet.
This risk I run by doing this is a spike in the hormone insulin. Insulin is the diets worst enemy. I am OK with this because I maintain higher fat intake along with the protein, so it minimizes the insulin response.
Keto Diet And Intermittent Fasting, The Perfect Match.
I often follow an intermittent fasting pattern of eating to assist with my weight loss and strength in the gym. There are several benefits to intermittent fasting such as:
Don't go it alone. I take you through a 30 day program where I show you how to implement both of these strategies into your lifestyle. Add weight training and some cardiovascular activity, and you now have a life long winning plan to live a healthy lifestyle. I name the program30Days 2Burn!
Below are a couple of great Ketone Testers that you may want to check out before starting the ketogenic diet. This will assure you are on track and eating the right foods that put you into ketosis. This is a must have tool.
Don't go it alone. I take you through a 30 day program where I show you how to implement both of these strategies into your lifestyle. Add weight training and some cardiovascular activity and you now have a life long winning plan to live a healthy lifestyle. I name the program30Days 2Burn!
For more information on the ketogenic diet and the intermittent eating pattern, please visit my website and social media links below.
Hope this article helps you
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Have you ever tried to find research on this topic using an ordinary Google search? Wholly shhhhhugar! Why Do Athletes Use It?*Some athletes say that branched-chain amino acids helps improve strength-training and endurance results.
What Do the Advocates Say?*A good deal of research has been done on branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) in athletes, but results are quite mixed. BCAAs do not seem to enhance training benefits or exercise performance in most situations. Some athletes, however, may experience increased mental clarity during exercise or may be less susceptible to infections caused by the stress of exercise. Performance under extreme conditions, such as high altitude or heat, may also be improved with BCAAs.
*Athletes and fitness advocates may claim benefits for this supplement based on their personal or professional experience. These are individual opinions and testimonials that may or may not be supported by controlled clinical studies or published scientific articles.
Well after hours of research I have come to several conclusions. While researching this topic there are many research articles out there that demonstrate that BCAA infusion not only fails to increase the rate of muscle protein synthesis in human subjects, but actually reduces the rate of muscle protein synthesis and the rate of muscle protein turnover. The catabolic state in the two studies was not reversed to an anabolic state. Further, a sustained reduction in the rate of muscle protein turnover would be expected to have a detrimental effect on muscle strength, even if muscle mass is maintained. Muscle protein turnover renews the muscle fibers and results in increased efficiency of contraction at the single fiber level, which is reflected in increased strength in vivo, independent of muscle mass.
Here is the link to the study with the negative results.
Because many of you do not want tot take the time to read boring lengthy studies, here is the conclusion
A physiologically-significant increase in the rate of muscle protein synthesis requires adequate availability of all amino acid precursors. The source of EAAs for muscle protein synthesis in the post-absorptive state is the free intracellular pool. Intracellular free EAAs that are available for incorporation into protein are derived from muscle protein breakdown. Under normal conditions about 70% of EAAs released by muscle protein breakdown are reincorporated into muscle protein. The efficiency of reincorporation of EAAs from protein breakdown back into muscle protein can only be increased to a limited extent. For this fundamental reason, a dietary supplement of BCAAs alone cannot support an increased rate of muscle protein synthesis. The availability of the other EAAs will rapidly become rate limiting for accelerated protein synthesis. Consistent with this perspective, the few studies in human subjects have reported decreases, rather than increases, in muscle protein synthesis after intake of BCAAs. We conclude that dietary BCAA supplements alone do not promote muscle anabolism.
Another study shows several benefits. These benefits were broken down based on different factors such as cancer, immunity, intestinal health, cardiovascular disease, and much more. Although this research showed many positives it seemed the main link to the results was due to the amino acid Leucine.
What About Leucine?Given that leucine has proven more effective than the other BCAAs at promoting protein synthesis, there have been a number of studies to look at the effect it has by itself.
At first, leucine showed a lot of promise, especially in studies that looked at short-term changes in muscle protein balance. But it hasn’t delivered the goods when it comes to producing measurable gains in muscle mass over longer periods of time.
Here’s how one group of scientists summed up the research so far:
“Studies in both elderly humans and rodents subjected to free leucine supplementation have shown that such supplementation's indeed acutely improved muscle protein balance after food intake by increasing muscle protein synthesis and decreasing muscle proteolysis in the postprandial state. However, the few chronic studies conducted with such free leucine supplementation's did not succeed in promoting an increase in muscle mass.”
Unfortunately, most of the data they looked at comes from research on elderly subjects and rodents. What happens when leucine is given to a group of young, healthy men lifting weights for 12 weeks?
That’s exactly what happened in a Leeds Metropolitan University study, where a group of 26 untrained men received either four grams of leucine per day or a placebo on top of their regular diets .
After 12 weeks of lifting weights, the leucine group got better results across the board. Strength gains were around 30% higher compared to the placebo group. They also gained 40% more muscle mass, despite the fact that both groups followed the exact same training program and much the same diet.
Check out my video on how I lost 8lbs in 1 week
All of which sounds pretty compelling.
If I wanted you to buy some leucine, this is exactly where I’d insert the “buy now” button.
But once again, the devil is in the detail. The average weight of the men taking part in the trial was 172 pounds. Yet they were getting just 94 grams of protein per day, or the equivalent of 0.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight.
A couple of scoops of whey protein would have bumped up their protein intake by around 50 grams per day, as well as providing around 50% more leucine than they were getting from the supplement . While leucine may have proven effective, it did so only against a background of an insufficient protein intake.
In fact, follow-up studies show that as long as you’re getting enough protein in your diet, taking extra leucine has no effect on muscle growth [10, 11].
Summary: Do BCAAs Work? In summary, there’s plenty of research out there to show that BCAAs have a number of benefits as far as muscle growth is concerned.
But there’s little evidence to suggest that it matters where those BCAAs come from – a chicken breast, a scoop of whey protein or a BCAA supplement. Once they’ve made it to the bloodstream, they’re going to do exactly the same thing.
Moreover, most studies have measured short-term changes in protein synthesis, rather than long-term gains in muscle mass. Very few have looked at the effects of BCAA supplements on top of an adequate protein intake, or compared free-form BCAAs with an equivalent dose of BCAAs from a milk protein supplement or even just food.
It’s true that taking BCAAs before and after training can reduce markers of muscle damage and soreness, as well as accelerating the recovery of muscle function.
But if you compare large doses of BCAAs with large doses of nothing, particularly in someone on a low protein intake, this shouldn’t come as any great surprise.
Personally I will consume them when I am trying to lose weight. I have always taken them when I have been in a caloric deficit and seem to always have great muscle gain or maintenance while losing anywhere from 15-25lbs of body fat. I prove this year after year and decided to video tape my results. I notice a huge difference in soreness when I do not take them. I tend to cycle all of my supplements in an effort to create the need for them that my body may want not to mention the few bucks that I save by doing so.
Click here to watch my results here.
Here is another study with positive results. This one was geared more towards weight training.
Positive BCAA Study.
Although this study seems like it may be product endorsed, this study is what I go off of and is relative to the goals of bodybuilders, strength and endurance athletes. The product used in this study was made by Scivation, a science based supplement company and product that I use and recommend. I also like it because they have a BCAA option that does not have
pre-work out ingredients.
Scivation BCAA's can be purchased for a great price here on Amazon.
Hope you enjoyed this article.
I get asked this question a lot. If you are asking me that question, you're telling me a couple of things about yourself and I would ask the following questions in return.
Everyone is different. Some have more time constraints than the other but if you narrow it all down, food shopping, food prep and eating portion is what really takes up most of your time. But, we all have to eat right?
So, if you're going to eat, might as well eat right, right?
The most important part of healthy eating starts with knowing what your definition of healthy eating is and what foods to buy. This will all depend on what kind of meal plan or "diet plan" you are following. I recommend making a list of all of the foods that fit into that eating lifestyle and keep that list on your phone. Now don' go crazy here, my list is consists of the main foods that fit into my meal plan but are the ones I love and will actually eat on a daily basis. As you all know, I follow a ketogenic meal plan and my grocery list consists of food such as; avocado, NY strip steak, ground beef, pork chop or loin, rotisserie chicken, salmon and different types of shredded cheeses and a boat load of veggies. So prior to going to the store or while at the grocery store, I'll take a quick peak of my list to see if I am running low on any of the items just to be sure I am managing my portion of the grocery list.
To watch my meal prep videos click here.
With respect to exercise, this can also vary from person to person based on things like; time, motivation and your desire for change to occur in your body and life. In my opinion everyone should be doing a form of cardio vascular exercise a form of resistance training. Despite what you may read from other so called "guru's", the two do not have to be performed all in one session. You can go for a walk in the morning and then do some resistance training after work or during your lunch break. Your combined exercise regimen should at minimal consist of 20 minutes of cardio with 20 minutes of resistance training, that is less than 1 hour. If you cannot find 40 minutes at least 3 days per week to achieve this, well then, you really need to take a look at your lifestyle and break down your priorities. There is absolutely nothing more important in life than your health. I know you may have an important role in your career or have kids, well so do I, and if you are not happy the peoples around you will not be happy, but that is a whole other topic.
The point here is that cardiovascular activities and resistance training both have a boat load of health benefits, too many to list in this blog. With the thousands of books, DVD's, online information and programs available today, I recommend doing your research and selecting the program that may be most suitable for your lifestyle and get started ASAP. I am a huge advocate for following a program because it helps take the guess work out of it and makes it easier for you to maximize your results.
I believe following a program is so important that I created my very own program called 30Days 2Burn! My program is for individuals who are seeking to lose weight and build muscle at the same time and in the shortest time possible.