Ketogenic Diets (specifically Cyclic Ketogenic Diets) are the very best diets for achieving rapid, ultra low bodyfat levels with maximum muscle retention! Now, as with all such general statements there are circumstantial exceptions. But done right – which they rarely are – the fat loss achievable on a ketogenic weight loss program is nothing short of staggering! And, despite what people might tell you, you will also enjoy incredible high energy and overall feeling of well being.
Despite these promises, more bodybuilders/shapers have gotten negative experiences than have experienced positive results. The key criticisms are:
Massive decrease in gym performance
Severe muscle loss
All of these criticisms be a consequence of a failure to heed the caveat above: Ketogenic Diets must be done right! It should be realised that they are a completely unique metabolic modality that adheres to none of the previously accepted ‘rules’ of dieting. And there is absolutely no going half-way; 50 grams of carbs per day plus high protein intake is not really ketogenic!
So how are ketogenic diets ‘done right’? Lets quickly look at how they work.
Overview of Ketosis
Simply, our body, organs, muscles and brain can use either glucose or ketones for fuel. This is the purpose of the liver and pancreas (primarily) to regulate that fuel supply and they also show a powerful bias toward adhering to glucose. Glucose will be the ‘preferred’ fuel because it is derived in abundance through the diet and readily available readily from liver and muscle stores. Ketones have to be deliberately synthesised through the liver; but the liver can easily synthesise glucose (an activity called ‘gluconeogenesis’ which uses aminos (protein) or other metabolic intermediaries) too.
We don’t get beta hydroxybutyrate, acetone, or acetoacetate (ketones) from your diet. The liver synthesises them only under duress; as a last measure in conditions of severe glucose deprivation like starvation. For your liver to be convinced that ketones are definitely the order from the day, several conditions should be met:
Blood glucose levels must fall below 50mg/dl
Low blood glucose levels must lead to low Insulin and elevated Glucagon
Liver glycogen has to be low or ’empty’
A plentiful supply of gluconeogenic substrates should not be available
At this particular point it is important to mention that it is not actually a question for being ‘in’ or ‘out’ of ketosis; we don’t either totally run using ketones, or otherwise not. This is a gradual and careful transition so the mental abilities are constantly and evenly fuelled… ideally. Ketones Needs to be manufactured in small amounts from blood sugar levels of about 60mg/dl. We consider ourselves in ketosis when there are greater concentrations of ketones than glucose inside the blood.
The truth is that many people – especially weight trainers – have gotten an ordinary consumption of glucose to get a good couple of decades, at least. The liver is perfectly able to producing ketones but the highly efficient gluconeogenic pathways can maintain low-normal blood sugar above the ketogenic threshold.
Couple this with the reality that many people are a minimum of partially insulin resistant and possess elevated fasting insulin (upper end of the normal range, anyway). The little bit of blood sugar from gluconeogenesis induces sufficient insulin release to blunt glucagon output and the production of ketones.
Sudden glucose deprivation may have the consequence, initially, of lethargy, hunger, weakness etc in most people – until ketosis is achieved. And Ketosis will not be reached until the liver is forced to quit with gluconeogenesis and start producing ketones. As long as dietary protein is plenty then the liver continue to produce glucose and never ketones. That’s why no carb, high protein diets usually are not ketogenic.
Whats So Excellent About Ketosis Anyway?
Once the body switches to running primarily on ketones a number of very cool things happen:
Lipolysis (bodyfat breakdown) is substantially increased
Muscle catabolism (muscle loss) is substantially reduced
Stamina are maintained in a high and stable state
Subcutaneous fluid (aka ‘water retention’) is eliminated
Basically, when we will be in ketosis the body is utilizing fat (ketones) to fuel everything. Therefore, we aren’t breaking down muscle to provide glucose. Which is, muscle is being spared as it has absolutely nothing to offer; fat is perhaps all your body needs (well, to your large extent). For the dieter what this means is substantially less muscle loss than what is achievable on every other diet. Make sense?
As a bonus, ketones yield only 7 calories per gram. This can be more than the equal mass of glucose but substantially less (22%, in fact) compared to the 9 calorie gram of fat from whence it came. We like metabolic inefficiencies like this. They mean we can eat more nevertheless the body doesn’t get the calories.
Even cooler is that ketones can not be turned back into essential fatty acids; your body excretes any excess in the urine! Speaking of which, you will have a significant bit of urine; the drop in muscle glycogen, low Insulin and low aldosterone all mean massive excretion of intra and extracellular fluid. For us that means hard, defined muscularity and quick, visible results.
Regarding energy, our brain actually REALLY likes ketones so that we have a tendency to feel fantastic in ketosis – clear headed, alert and positive. And because there is never a shortage of fat to offer ketones, energy is high on a regular basis. Usually you even sleep less and wake feeling more refreshed when in ketosis.
Doing it Right
From whats said above you may realise that to gain access to ketosis:
Carbohydrate intake needs to be nil; Zero!
Protein intake needs to be low – 25% of calories at a maximum
Fat must make up 75% of calories
With low insulin (as a result of zero carbs) and calories at, or below maintenance, the dietary fat can not be deposited in adipose tissues. The reduced-ish protein means that gluconeogenesis will quickly prove inadequate to keep blood sugar and, whether the body likes it or otherwise, there exists still each of the damned fat to burn.
And burn it will. Our prime dietary fat is oxidised for cellular energy inside the normal fashion but winds up generating quantities of Acetyl-CoA that exceed the capacity from the TCA cycle. The significant result is ketogenesis – synthesis of ketones from your excess Acetyl-CoA. In additional lay terms: the high fat intake ”forces” ketosis upon our bodies. This is how its ‘done right’.
Now you just must get rid of whatever you thought was true about fats. Firstly, fat will not ”make you fat”. Most of the details about the evils of unhealthy fats, specifically, is really disproportionate or plain wrong anyway; on the ketogenic diet it really is doubly inapplicable. Fatty foods make ketosis fly. And don”t worry; your heart will likely be a lot better than fine and vntjcc insulin sensitivity is definitely not reduced (there is absolutely no insulin around to begin with)!
Once in ketosis it is far from necessary, from a technical perspective, to keep up absolute zero carbs or low protein. Yet it is still better if you wish to reap the greatest rewards. Besides, assuming you might be training hard, you may still wish to adhere to a cyclic ketogenic diet where you can eat all your carbs, fruit and whatever else, every 1-2 weeks, anyway (much more on this in another article).