High Fat Low Carb
What Is The Ketogenic Diet?
Muscle gain, fat loss and getting a lean physique by eating a high-fat diet. The headline captures many people just after they have done little to no research on the ketogenic diet. Before you start you should be aware of some things that pro-keto articles may not mention. The ketogenic diet is high in fat, low in carbohydrates which raises the ketone levels in your blood this signals the brain to use ketones as fuel. Which means fat = ketones = fat as fuel for energy.
I decided to start the keto diet to break a plateau; I did break the plateau just not necessarily how I wanted to. First off, for those that are not aware, the ketogenic diet allows your body to enter into ketosis, hence the name, which is when your body utilizes ketones as fuel. The proper fats will turn to ketones, therefore fat in = fat used as fuel. Sounds easy right? Not necessarily! The foods primarily used in this diet are high-fat foods such as grass-fed beef, bacon, eggs, salmon, nuts, coconut oil, dark leafy veggies will make up the rest. Notice I didn’t mention carbs, bread, alcohol or sugar. Many people adopt the high-fat diet but never really enter ketosis because they are still consuming sugar or too many carbohydrates or they simply don’t give up the evening or weekend alcohol. You will almost certainly gain weight if you take that route. It is important to eliminate sugar and avoid alcohol for this diet to work in the way it is intended. Many articles will state you can have a glass of wine or a low carb beer like Michelob Ultra; you will have to test it on your own. This can be tested by using a blood glucometer and keto strips which will be discussed later in this article.
Depending on what you eat, it can take a few days to several weeks for your body to enter into Ketosis. If you work out and fast you can enter into Ketosis sooner. To begin the diet it is best to start off your day with a cup of coffee mixed with grass-fed butter and MCT oil. Mixing these things together makes for a fatty morning coffee that keeps you full throughout the morning into lunch.
Why It’s Popular
The diet is popular because the food tastes great because… bacon! Also, people notice weight loss quickly within days to weeks. What most fail to realize is that the initial 5-7 lbs of weight loss are contributed to shedding glucose and what does glucose attach to, water! Therefore, your body is ridding itself of glucose and water causing the initial “ripped” look or overall weight loss if you have more you want to lose.
How To Make It Successful
In order to be successful with the ketogenic diet you will want to purchase a blood glucometer (click here) and keto strips to test your level of ketosis. Urine test strips are not very accurate and can change frequently throughout the day, not giving you a consistent reading. I experimented with urine strips daily nearly every time I used the bathroom and it is frustrating and inaccurate.
What can you expect the first few days of the diet? Tired, irritable, lethargic, and all around awful, depending on your level of carbohydrates and sugar your body is used to. Then after a few days, you will start to recover and not crave carbs or be tired as much. I did notice from the diet you have fewer highs and lows throughout the day because your blood glucose levels are not fluctuating much at all. Some may experience brain fog with a lack of carbohydrates at first. I did not experience this at all. You will also find yourself with more time because you actually eat less often due to the higher fat content. After being in ketosis for a little while you will begin to crave fat! Now is the time to be careful of the foods and amount of fat you are consuming which is another common mistake people make. I can speak firsthand about this as I consumed far more fat than necessary. I am a rather lean person, to begin with, but I did gain several extra pounds of mass and I wouldn’t say it was very lean mass. If you are an active fitness enthusiast and workout a lot you may notice a decrease in strength and stamina since you cut processed carbohydrates from your diet which leads to a lack of energy, initially.
If done properly the diet can help you lose weight, especially if you have higher amounts of overall body fat. I had a training partner that did this diet for several months with a high intensity/strength workout routine and lost about 20 lbs. and got noticeably lean. For me and my body type, I gained mass but it was not lean as I mentioned, maybe this was due to the over consumption of fat or maybe my body type just doesn’t respond well to ketosis. Either way, I would recommend someone try the diet and give it a few months before not trying at all! Of course, if you are type 1 diabetic, this diet is not for you! Everyone should check with their doctor before starting any new diet.
I would recommend preparing for the diet prior to starting it. This will make your life easier. First, cut out sugar, once that craving is gone, cut out alcohol if you are a consumer. Step by step, work up to the keto diet requirements. Many want to start this diet and change everything at once, anything too drastic it can reduce your chances of success. If you are an all-or-nothing person and that works for you, like I am, then dive straight into the deep end!
There are plenty of resources available for recipes and workouts to do while you are on the keto diet. As with anything in this field of research, there are negatives and positives associated with the diet. That is why I wrote this article, to provide you some of the experience I had with it as opposed to people who have researched it but not lived it.
Day In The Life Of Keto
- 1-3 Egg(s) over easy, with or without the egg white. Recommend without egg white at first. (harder eggs become oxidized and lose their healthy fat properties, so NO scrambled)
- One avocado or half of avocado with salt
- Optional: Handful of nuts or coffee with butter and MCT oil, if you are short on time
- Grass-fed burger with cheddar (NO bun, try a lettuce wrap instead)
- Dark leafy green vegetables (kale, green beans, collard greens, broccoli)
- Baked chicken and zucchini boats with cheddar Click Here for Recipe