Ketogenic Diets: What Are They? Do They Work?
This is Part 2. Click Here for Part 1!
By now you should have read part one and maybe we got your attention. You are now asking: "What do I need to do to have this energy you spoke of?" "What kind of foods can I eat?" "What kind of training can I do to maximize this diet?" This is what we will discuss in this article. My co-author is the 'Master of The Keto' himself, Fitnessman. You can always find him on the Bodybuilding.com forum in the nutrition and losing fat section, educating those who need it. He is currently working on his masters in nutrition and he is the man to listen to when it comes to a Ketogenic diet for bodybuilders. Now on with the show...
Unfortunately not everyone can eat everything in sight and get away with it. Some of us do put on excessive fat doing so. Why? Could be a number of factors but the number one factor is eating the wrong foods and ratios. As we age our body's metabolism starts to slow down and fat is a lot easier to put on and keep on our bodies. We soon find that a simple food item we once were able eat with no problems, now causes us to gain fat. We also find our training suffers due to being too tired to workout, let alone stand and walk. We find ourselves taking supplements like ECA stacks to keep us going through the day. But the ECA stack only works temporarily and then we are listless once again. Never really knowing why all this is happening, we continue (or should I say try to) with our daily lives. We are constantly striving to find ways to increase our metabolism and lose the excessive fat we have hanging over our belts, but more often then not we fail in this quest.
Most of the time it is because we are not forewarned of certain diets, such as the food guide pyramid that the USDA puts out. How many have actually followed this guideline to only find out it didn't work? Or how many have been told that the key to proper nutrition is to mix your foods and eat fats, carbs and a small amount of protein at each meal. Ever wonder why those who lose fat fail again in the future? They didn't condition the body for permanent weight loss. They went on a strict diet to lose 10 pounds the first week, then 5-6 pounds each time thereafter. That is great but, with the lack of calories during the diet, (eating carrot sticks or drinking Slim Fast all the time) once the diet is finished the fat creeps up once again. In my opinion mixing carbs and fats is a major NO, NO. Why is this?
We all know that eating carbs will create an insulin response and this is good. While eating fats and carbs together, the fats will enter the adipose tissue as it is trying to be drawn up into the body. This is what causes fatty deposits in the body. This in my opinion is the problem with obese people. They really don't understand the proper way to eat, and eating potato chips (carbs and fats) is not the way to go. Food is the most powerful drug around and it can either make you or break you. It's all up to you. Even bodybuilders seem to make the same mistakes in their diets. I have seen trainees trying to cut by eating a 'well balanced diet' with carbs, proteins and fats, only to stall out and have a hard time losing the fat. They say you have to eat carbs and fats. Well... Yes and no.
If the timing is correct, yes, there is a right and wrong time for everything. When we were younger it seemed that everything we ate passed right through our system and we didn't gain any weight by eating garbage. My parents used to ask me if I had a hollow leg, due to the fact I ate all the time, and ate anything I wanted to eat. As life progressed I learned that it was not possible to keep living this lifestyle of eating everything in sight. It was time to change the diet. Lets look at the diet for cutting and bulking on a ketogenic diet for bodybuilders.
When cutting up to lose fat deposits, Fitnessman recommends eating 10 calories per pound of bodyweight with one gram of protein per pound of bodyweight.
We will use a 200 pound man as an example. A 200 pound man will consume 2000 calories a day. This will come out to roughly eating 200 grams of protein. Fitnessman feels that this is the way to go, not only because it works for him, but because he has seen it work for others. While on a ketogenic diet he feels that one gram per pound of protein is the best way to go to conserve muscle mass while cutting. Now this would equal out to 800 calories of protein, spread this out through the day into roughly six meals.
Fitnessman feels that carbohydrate intake should be around fifty grams a day for a 200 pound person. Spread this out over the course of the day for your meals. This will equal roughly 200 calories of carbohydrates. In my opinion, only because this is what works for me, I eat only 30 grams of carbohydrates a day and in only one meal. I do not mix fats with this meal. My morning meal consists of proteins and carbs only and I eat this early in the morning when hormone levels are at their highest. This seems to aid in recovery and fat loss for me. But again this is something you will have to experiment with for yourselves. Don't eat simple carbs, although in my opinion simple and complex are not really that much different, only the more complex version which will be discussed further in this article.
As for fats, here is the good news: Eat any kind you want to. The ratio is roughly 111 grams of fat which will equal 999 calories. This will be discussed later in this article.
The post workout shake should consist of 30 grams of whey and 30 grams of just about any juice. This will be immediately used by the body to replenish lost glycogen stores in the muscles.The whey is a faster absorbable protein than most other kinds. The only real thing that varies with this diet, Is energy levels. If a person runs low on energy they need to bump up the fat intake a bit. If recovery is too slow, then bump up the fat and protein intake. Everyone's metabolism is different, even when cutting some one can handle more calories than others. So let your body be your guide.
Foods To Eat
As for foods to eat, well this the easy part:
All full-fat cheeses are allowed
Cottage cheese the full fat variety
Egg yolks and all
Slim Jims (Fitnessman will probably end up fighting you for these.)
Extra virgin olive oils (do no cook with it, the properties will change.)
Just keep your eyes open for the carb content when you shop for foods.
Vegetables are also an excellent source of carbs and will keep the digestive system working properly. We suggest eating a lot of fibrous vegetables, there are many to choose from, you will just have to do your homework. Here are a few vegetables with the amount of calories in them.
These all are roughly 10 grams of carbs per serving.
Asparagus: 20 spears
Black beans: 1/2 a cup
Broccoli, raw: unlimited amounts
Brussels sprouts: 11 sprouts
Cucumber 1 cup
Endive: 4 cups
Carrots: 2 medium
Green beans: 1 cup
Iceberg lettuce: unlimited
This is just a small example, not exhaustive of what can be eaten. I would be typing this list all day and some, to list them all. I suggest doing a search on the Internet or go to a bookstore to find books on carb and calorie content in foods.
"I have had a few clients bail on the ketogenic cutting diet, not because they weren't losing fat, but they were putting on weight. They just couldn't understand that for the first time in their lives they were actually giving their bodies the proper nutrition it needed. The muscles responded in kind and grew thus making them heavier. The one fellow put on 10 pounds in six weeks and dropped two inches off his waist, but he was still convinced the diet was not working." This is what Fitnessman has found with some of his clients. With the proper nutrition your body will respond and do what you want it to do. No longer does the excuse "I am too old to lose weight" hold any validity. Fat loss is made simple and yet is actually tasty at the same time. What other diets let you eat the good stuff? This is something that should not be hurried. I hear a lot of trainees complain that their fat loss is too slow. Or they will complain that the scale doesn't show any weight loss. Do yourself a favor and throw away the scales. You should only be losing 1 to 2 pounds a week. This will be mainly from fat. If you lose any more than that it will more than likely be from muscle tissue. If the weight doesn't change you could be very well adding muscle, so don't fret about it. Use the mirror as your guide. I have weighed myself in the past only to see that I wasn't losing weight. I realized why, I was getting bigger and more cut, which is something we all want to happen. Some guys will actually complain that they lost 6 pounds during the first week then the loss slowed down. This is due the highly diuretic effect this diet will have on the body. This will be water loss and that is normal. Make sure you put it back in by drinking water."
While on a ketogenic diet there are a few vitamins and minerals that I suggest should be used. I like folic acid to keep homocysteine levels down. I also use a B-complex and a good multi-vitamin. You can use an ECA stack with this diet to enhance your fat loss if you wish to do so, but it isn't necessary. Niacin and vitamins E and C are also beneficial for you. A lot of guys will use this diet with a cycle of 1-testosterone or a transdermal prohormone spray to keep the testosterone levels at a maximum. This will enhance the diet due to its already raising effect on T-levels. This will aid in fat loss and enhance muscle building.
For those skeptics out there, all I got to say is give it a shot. What do you have to lose? Fat? Give it a fair shot before you dump it in the trash. Usually in a few weeks time you will notice some differences.
During the next article in this series we will discuss bulking up and it's ratios. I will also include some training tips to help maximize fat loss and bulk.
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