100 1 25 25 bodybuilding.com
Bodybuilding.com Information Motivation Supplementation
in:
The Keto Diet: A Low-Carb Approach To Fat Loss!

The Keto Diet: A Low-Carb Approach To Fat Loss.

The idea of the ketone diet is to get your body into a process called Ketosis where you stop burning carbohydrates as fuel... Learn more about how it works, variations, etc...

Part 1 | Part 2

Along with the Atkins diet and the South Beach diet, individuals who are interested in low carbohydrate approaches to dieting will likely want to look into the Keto Diet. Popular among many who are trying to maintain blood sugar levels and lose body fat, the main premise of this diet is, 'eat fat to lose fat'.

So How Does It Work?

The idea of the ketone diet is to get your body into a process called Ketosis where you stop burning carbohydrates as fuel and instead turn to the burning of what are known as ketones. This will occur when you bring your carbohydrate levels to around 50 grams per day or lower.

Many keto activists advise that number to be 30 grams of carbohydrates but most individuals can still maintain ketosis while consuming the 50 grams and this allows for a little more leeway in the diet since you can increase the consumption of vegetables and a variety of flavoring's that contain a few grams of carbohydrates.

You Can Increase The Consumption Of Vegetables.

TKD Or CKD

Usually people who are involved with exercise will follow either a TKD (targeted keto diet) or a CKD (cyclical keto diet).

TKD:

A TKD is one where you will eat carbohydrates right before and right after your workouts. This is the best bet for those who are involved in more intense activities and require some carbohydrates to fuel them and who are not as interested in doing carb loads and depletion workouts.

CKD:

A CKD on the other hand is a diet where you will eat a minimum amount of carbohydrates per day (that 30-50 gram number) and then on the weekend (or at a time that is appropriate for you) do a large 'carb-up' phase where you will eat a large amount of carbohydrates in an effort to refill your muscle glycogen stores so you can continue to workout the coming week.

Normally right before the carb-up phase you will do a depletion workout where you try and get your muscles to completely eliminate their glycogen supply. Then when you do the 'carb-up' phase, you cut almost all the fat out of the diet so you are now just consuming protein and carbohydrates.

Setting Up The Diet:

To set the diet up, first you take your lean body weight and multiply it by one. This will be the total number of grams of protein you are required to eat per day. After you get this number, multiple it by 4 (how many calories are in one gram of protein) to get your total calories coming from protein.

Now the rest of your daily requirement will come from fat calories. You don't really need to calculate carbohydrate grams specifically because by default you will likely reach your 30-50 grams per day simply by including green vegetables and the incidental carbs that come from your fat and protein sources.

To figure out how many fat grams specifically you want, you would take the total number of calories it takes to maintain your body weight (normally around 14-16 calories per pound of body weight). Subtract your protein calories from that number and then divide by 9 (number of calories per gram of fat). This should give you how many total fat grams you need to eat per day.

Divide these numbers by however many meals you wish to eat per day to get the basic layout for your diet. Be sure to consume plenty of green leafy vegetables for antioxidant and vitamin protection and you are good to go.

KETO DIET CALCULATOR
Weight
BF %
Meals
   Results
Protein Per Day
Fat Per Day
Protein Per Meal
Fat Per Meal

Weekend Carb Load:

Now this brings us to the weekend carb load period and usually the 'fun' part for most individuals. You are now able to eat large quantities of carbohydrate containing foods, cereal, bagels, rice chips, candy, pasta and so on are all good options here.

Since you won't be eating very much fat at all, there is less likely of a chance that these carbohydrates will get turned into body fat as they will be going towards filling up your muscle glycogen stores once again.

Most people will choose to begin their carb-up on Friday night and end it before bed on Saturday. This is usually most convenient as it's when you are off of work and can relax and enjoy the process. If you aren't overly concerned with fat loss and are just using this diet as a way to maintain blood sugar levels, you can likely eat whatever carbohydrate foods you like during this period. If you are worried about fat gain though, then you need the math.

Try and aim to keep your protein the same at one gram per pound of body weight and then take in 10-12 grams of carbohydrates for every kilogram of body weight. Start taking these carbohydrates (usually the first bit in liquid form) right after your last workout on Friday night. This is when your body is primed and ready to uptake the carbohydrates and it will be most beneficial for you.

Note that you can have some fat here, since it will be hard to consume many of the foods you really want to eat without being allowed any (pizza for instance) but do your best to keep your fat grams around your body weight in kilograms (so if you weigh 80 kg's, eat no more than 80 grams of fat).

CARB LOADING CALCULATOR
Weight
   Results
Protein
Carbs
Fat

On a second note, some individuals find they like to eat a little fruit along with protein before their final workout on Friday night as this will help restore their liver glycogen levels and give them the energy they need to push through that workout. Plus, by refilling the liver glycogen you will help put your body into a slightly more anabolic state so you don't see as much energy breakdown.

Pros & Cons:

Overall this seems to be a very good diet for most people as far as fat loss is concerned. Some do deal with negative side effects while in ketosis but most people will find that although it's really hard the first two weeks, after that period their body begins to adapt and it gets much easier. Furthermore, one of the biggest benefits of being in ketosis is appetite blunting therefore it can actually be an ideal program for someone on a diet.

The only draw back you will see is for those who do have high activities or are involved in lots of sprinting type exercise. Although a few will find they feel fine, even have more energy on a high fat/moderate protein diet, most of the time carbohydrates are the best source of fuel for these activities. That isn't that big of a problem though, it just means that that person should instead look into doing a TKD instead of a CKD.

Conclusion

In part two of this article, we'll go over how you should set up a TKD for those who want to keep their carbohydrate intake slightly higher on a daily basis so as to allow for more intense training levels.

To sum up, for fat loss, this diet would rate 4 out of 5.

For muscle gain though, it is slightly harder to put on muscle since usually a large amount of insulin is needed to put the body in an anabolic state, so it would be more along the lines of 2 out of 5 (TKD though could bump that higher).

RELATED POLL
How Would You Rate The Keto Diet?

One Star.
Two Stars.
Three Stars.
Four Stars.
Five Stars.

Part 1 | Part 2


Bookmark and Share

Related Articles

About The Author

I’ve been working in the field of exercise science for the last 8 years. I’ve written a number of online and print articles.

RATE THIS ARTICLE
POOR
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
EXCELLENT
OVERALL RATING
N/A

Out of 10

3 Ratings

15

Comments

Showing 1 - 15 of 15 Comments

(5 characters minimum)

      • notify me when users reply to my comment
BigKen76

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
BigKen76

Shannon, I am confused about the difference between my protein requirements.
You say that they should be the same from the week to the carbo load day, but then it states to use lean body weight for the week and then total body weight for the carb day.
Can you please clarify for me? Thanks!

Mar 28, 2012 9:56am | report
stactum

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
stactum

CARB LOADING CALCULATOR - is this basically total for 1.5 days?

Sep 5, 2012 8:59pm | report
IvyBeitner

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
IvyBeitner

If I read that correctly it would be for a full 24 hours Friday night before bed start carb loading and then stop Saturday night before bed.

Mar 22, 2013 7:07pm | report
Spawn8214

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
Spawn8214

It's the amount of carbs for the entire weekend. Friday night to Sunday night

Jun 21, 2013 11:06pm | report
ardefran

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
ardefran

When they say you should intake Protein and Fat, what Fats are they talking about?Do they mean trans and saturated?

Nov 23, 2012 7:15am | report
Achilles1994

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
Achilles1994

Any kinds of fat.

Jul 30, 2013 8:42pm | report
  • Body Stats
  • ht: 13'4"
  • wt: 160.94 lbs
  • bf: 13.5%
IntraStellular

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
IntraStellular

If you do it it works, BIG TIME. If you're above 15% bodyfat you don't need carbohydrates at all. There's enough "motivation" in your hips, legs, and dare I say..."breasts"? Lol
But Ketosis is as much an enigma as fitness and bodybuilding itself. Trial & Error are all you've got. Science accounts for the bulk of the truth, but your individuality and mechanics are under the knife when you inflict change in your metabolic processes. Humans adapt. Food is plentiful. Pick a pathway and explore your God given right to knowledge

Jan 26, 2013 11:15pm | report
BigManChris

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
BigManChris

im starting a keto diet at the moment. Im using it in a cutting program at the moment. Im planning on having 1680 calories with 34g carbs 190g protein 79g fat. Are these good ratios?

Feb 26, 2013 11:55pm | report
BigManChris

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
BigManChris

im starting a keto diet at the moment. Im using it in a cutting program at the moment. Im planning on having 1680 calories with 34g carbs 190g protein 79g fat. Are these good ratios?
and when im overloading on carbs for the short period of time do i really need that much. could i have 300 grams spread between 48 hours?

Feb 27, 2013 12:00am | report
nh4forh20

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
nh4forh20

I need help for this diet, I have tried it and lost 14 lbs than gained it all back by eating carbs again. I dont know whats going on anymore. And now I'm starving myself for half the week...its not good.

Apr 13, 2013 11:13am | report
KidColossal

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
KidColossal

You may have become carb sensitive. I went through the same exact thing my first time on this diet. The best bet is to slowly introduce carbs back into your diet so your body can get used to the reintroduction of carbs. Also make sure those carbs your eating are healthy complex carbs and not refined fast digesting carbs. Fast carbs will spike your insulin levels putting your body into fat storing mode. Not to mention the water retention you'll suffer which gives you the bloated look.

May 1, 2013 5:50am | report
artbum

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
artbum

Wow, I have to eat around 160-190g fat. A whole avocado is 27, olive oil and coconut oil are both 14g per tbp, and peanut butter is only 8g per tbp. What else are you guys eating??

May 11, 2013 12:30pm | report
  • Body Stats
  • ht: 13'11"
  • wt: 168.4 lbs
  • bf: 12.0%
CarbZero

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
CarbZero

Up to 4oz of cheese a day, 4tbp of full-fat mayo. Meat has fat too. :)

Jul 17, 2013 8:54am | report
Saab786

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
Saab786

New here: what are the best foods to eat for protein, fats, and carbs. Does one have to exercise everyday whilst on this diet?

Sep 13, 2013 2:39pm | report
  • Body Stats
  • ht: 11'9"
  • wt: 141.68 lbs
  • bf: 35.0%
tremel1929

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
tremel1929

Ive started the keto diet yesterday (1/13/14) and have had no ill side effects. Actually my mood is improved, I slept better last night and woke up less groggy!! Hopefully it will stay this way.

Jan 14, 2014 5:33am | report
Showing 1 - 15 of 15 Comments

Featured Product

Give Us Feedback:
Report A Problem
Site Feedback
Follow Us:
Twitter
Facebook
RSS Feeds
Bodybuilding.com Newsletter

Receive exciting features,
news & special offers from Bodybuilding.com