Tag: Ketogenic Diets

What Is a Ketogenic Diet and How Does It Relate to the Atkins Diet?

What Is a Ketogenic Diet and How Does It Relate to the Atkins Diet?

What Is a Ketogenic Diet and How Does It Relate to the Atkins Diet?

You’ve probably heard plenty about the Atkins Diet over the years. You know, that incredibly popular and controversial diet that involves cutting right down on your carbohydrate intake. You may have also heard of “ketogenic diets” – it’s a more scientific term so you may not recognise it. Did you realise that the Atkins Diet is a type of ketogenic diet? In this article we’ll have a brief look at what the term means and my experience of this type of diet.The Atkins Diet
The Atkins Diet
The original Atkins Diet book, Dr. Atkins’ Diet Revolution, was released in 1972. Dr Robert Atkins was interested, among other things, in getting his own weight under control. Primarily using self-experimentation techniques he found that eating a diet very low in carbohydrates tended to make him lose weight quickly. His experimentation was based upon other research papers and, as a result of his own studies, he became confident that the science behind the diet was sound. The resulting book was a resounding success and, over the next 30 years up to his death in 2003, Robert Atkins continued to produce popular diet books based upon the low-carbohydrate principle.
Ketogenic Diets
Some would argue that only the first “phase” of the Atkins Diet is “ketogenic” but it’s very clear that this element is central to the whole diet. There are many other diets of this type with different names and claims but, if they talk about severely restricting the intake of carbohydrates, then they’re probably forms of ketogenic diet. The process of “ketosis” is quite complicated and would take some time to describe but, in essence, it works because cutting down on carbs restricts the amount of blood glucose available to trigger the “insulin response”. Without a triggering of the glucose-insulin response some hormonal changes take place which cause the body to start burning its stores of fat as energy. This also has the interesting effect of causing your brain to be fuelled by what are known as “ketone bodies” (hence “ketogenic”) rather than the usual glucose. The whole process is really quite fascinating and I recommend that you read up on it.
Controversy
All forms of ketogenic diet are controversial. Most of the debate surrounds the issue of cholesterol and whether ketogenic diets increase or decrease the levels HDL “good” cholesterol and/or increase or decrease LDL “bad” cholesterol. The number of scientific studies is increasing year on year and it is certainly possible to point to strong cases on both sides of the argument. My conclusion (and this is only my opinion) is that one could equally make the case that a carbohydrate-laden diet has negative effects on cholesterol and I think that, on balance, a ketogenic-type diet is more healthy than a carbohydrate-heavy one. Interestingly, there isn’t so much controversy about whether ketogenic diets work or not (it’s widely accepted that they do); it’s mostly about how they work and whether that is good/bad/indifferent from a health perspective.Ketogenic Diet
My Experience
I too am a bit of a self-experimenter. I know this approach isn’t for everyone and it does carry an element of risk. I’ve experimented with a ketogenic diet for around eight years now. I sometimes lapse, mostly during holidays, but I always return to the diet as part of my day-to-day routine. I find that I can easily lose the several extra pounds that I put on during the holidays within around two weeks of starting up the keto diet again. I suppose it helps that I really enjoy the type of food I get to eat by following this regimen. Many of the foods I like are quite high in protein and fat. I do miss carbohydrate-rich foods such as pizza and pasta but I think that loss is outweighed (sic) by the benefit of being able to each rich food and still keep my weight under control. It goes without saying that I have to avoid sugary foods but I don’t have much of a sweet tooth and I can still enjoy things like good dark chocolate, in moderation.
Conclusion
It’s difficult, if you are just starting out looking for a diet that works for you, to know where the truth lies in this debate; if the scientists can’t sort it out then how are you going to? The plain truth is that you’ll need to educate yourself, weigh up the arguments, then follow your own best judgement. My experience has been largely positive but you will, no doubt, have heard of friends having problems on low carbohydrate diets for one reason or another. There is no such thing as a miracle diet and most of them are just variations on a theme but all ketogenic-type diets are based upon a very specific principle and that principle has been demonstrated to induce weight loss in many people. Perhaps you should try to base your opinion on the available evidence and not on anecdotes. It’s your body and your health, after all.

Making Ketogenic Diets Work

Making Ketogenic Diets Work

The Truth
Ketogenic Diets (more specifically Cyclic Ketogenic Diets) are the most effective diets for achieving rapid, ultra low bodyfat levels with maximum muscle retention! Now, as with every such general statements there are circumstantial exceptions. But performed correcly – that they rarely are – fat loss achievable with a ketogenic diet is nothing short of staggering! And, despite what folks might tell you, you will probably enjoy incredible high energy and overall a sense wellness.
The Perception Ketogenic
Despite these promises, more bodybuilders/shapers have experienced negative experiences than have seen good success. The main criticisms are:
Chronic lethargy Unbearable hunger Massive reduction in gym performance Severe muscle loss
All of those criticisms derive from a dysfunction to heed the caveat above: Ketogenic Diets have to be done properly! It have to be realised that they are a totally unique metabolic modality that adheres to not one of the previously accepted ‘rules’ of dieting. And there is no going half-way; 50 grams of carbs per day plus high protein intake is NOT ketogenic!
So how are ketogenic diets ‘done properly’? Lets quickly look at the way they work.
Overview of Ketosis
Simply, our own bodies, organs, muscles and brain are able to use either glucose or ketones for fuel. It is the function in the liver and pancreas (primarily) to modify that fuel supply and they also show a robust bias toward keeping glucose. Glucose is the ‘preferred’ fuel because it is derived by the bucket load from your diet and readily available readily from liver and muscle stores. Ketones need to be deliberately synthesised through the liver; though the liver can simply synthesise glucose (a procedure generally known as ‘gluconeogenesis’ which utilizes amino acids (protein) or other metabolic intermediaries) too.
We aren’t getting beta hydroxybutyrate, acetone, or acetoacetate (ketones) from the diet. The liver synthesises them only under duress; as a last option in conditions of severe glucose deprivation like starvation. For the liver to be convinced that ketones will be the order through the day, several conditions must be met:
Blood glucose must fall below 50mg/dl Low blood sugar levels must cause low Insulin and elevated Glucagon Liver glycogen has to be low or ’empty’ A plentiful availability of gluconeogenic substrates must NOT be available
At now it is very important mention that it’s not actually a question of being ‘in’ or ‘out’ of ketosis; unfortunately we cannot either totally run on ketones, or otherwise. It is a gradual and careful transition in order that the mental faculties are constantly and evenly fuelled… ideally. Ketones SHOULD be produced in moderateness from blood sugar levels of about 60mg/dl. We consider inside ourselves ketosis when you’ll find greater concentrations of ketones than glucose in the blood.

diet

The truth is that a lot of people – especially weight trainers – also have an everyday intake of glucose for a good handful of decades, at least. The liver is perfectly capable of producing ketones nevertheless the highly efficient gluconeogenic pathways are able to maintain low-normal blood glucose across the ketogenic threshold.
Couple this with the idea that everybody is a minimum of partially insulin resistant and also have elevated fasting insulin (upper end of the normal range, anyway). The small volume of blood sugar from gluconeogenesis induces sufficient insulin release to blunt glucagon output as well as the production of ketones.
Sudden glucose deprivation could have the consequence, initially, of lethargy, hunger, weakness etc for most people – until ketosis is achieved. And Ketosis won’t be reached before liver is forced to stop with gluconeogenesis and begin producing ketones. As long as dietary protein is plenty then your liver continue to make glucose and never ketones. That’s why no carb, high protein diets are NOT ketogenic.
Whats So Great About Ketosis Anyway?
When one’s body switches up to running totally on ketones numerous very cool the unexpected happens:
Lipolysis (bodyfat breakdown) is substantially increased Muscle catabolism (muscle loss) is substantially reduced Energy levels are maintained inside a high and stable state Subcutaneous fluid (aka ‘water retention’) is eliminated
Basically, if we are in ketosis your body is using fat (ketones) to fuel everything. As such, we are really not wearing down muscle to supply glucose. That is, muscle will be spared because it has nothing to supply; fat is all one’s body needs (well, to some 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 is above 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 similar to this. They mean we can easily eat more though the body isn’t getting the calories.
Even cooler is the fact that ketones can’t be turned back into essential fatty acids; your body excretes any excess within the urine! Speaking of which, there will be a substantial amount of urine; the drop in muscle glycogen, low Insulin and low aldosterone all equate to massive excretion of intra and extracellular fluid. For us which means hard, defined muscularity and quick, visible results.
Regarding energy, our brain actually REALLY likes ketones so we often feel fantastic in ketosis – clear headed, alert and positive. And because there is never a shortage of fat to deliver ketones, energy is high on a regular basis. Usually you sleep less and wake feeling more refreshed while in ketosis.
Doing it Right
From whats said above you may realise that to find yourself in ketosis:
Carbohydrate intake must be nil; Zero! Protein intake ought to be low – 25% of calories at the maximum Fat must be the cause of 75%+ of calories
With low insulin (as a result of zero carbs) and calories at, or below maintenance, the fat cannot be deposited in adipose tissues. The low-ish protein signifies that gluconeogenesis has decided to prove inadequate to maintain blood glucose levels and, whether our bodies likes it you aren’t, there is certainly still all of the damned fat to lose.
And burn it will. The high dietary fat is oxidised for cellular energy inside normal fashion but winds up generating quantities of Acetyl-CoA that exceed the ability from the TCA cycle. The significant result can be ketogenesis – synthesis of ketones through the excess Acetyl-CoA. In more lay terms: the high fat intake ”forces” ketosis upon the body. This is how its ‘done right’.
Now simply throw out that which you thought was true about fats. Firstly, fat doesn’t ”make you fat”. Most with the information about the evils of fats, particularly, can be so disproportionate or plain wrong anyway; over a ketogenic diet it really is doubly inapplicable. Saturated fats make ketosis fly. And don”t worry; your heart is going to be better than fine along with your insulin sensitivity will NOT be reduced (there is no insulin around within the first place)!
Once in ketosis it isn’t necessary, from a technical perspective, to maintain absolute zero carbs or low protein. But it’s still better if you need to reap the greatest rewards. Besides, assuming you happen to be training hard, you are going to still desire to consume a cyclic ketogenic diet in which you arrive at eat all of your carbs, fruit and other things that are, every 1-2 weeks, anyway (read more about this in another article).
Don’t be mistaken; ‘done properly’ does not make ketogenic dieting easy or fun for your culinary acrobats among you. They are one of the most restrictive diets you are able to use instead of a choice unless you love animal products. Get out your nutritional almanac and workout an 20:0:80 protein:carb:fat diet. Yeah, its boring. As an example, your writers daily ketogenic weight loss program is 3100 Calories at 25:0.5:74.5 from only:
10 xxl Whole Eggs
160ml Pure Cream (40% fat)
400g Mince (15% fat)
60ml Flaxseed Oil
30g Whey Protein Isolate
Supplementation?
There are several supplements that really help to make Ketogenic diets far better. However, many popular supplements can be wasted. Here can be an overview with the main ones:
Chromium and ALA, although it is not insulin ‘mimickers’ numerous claim, increase insulin sensitivity resulting in lower insulin levels, higher glucagon as well as a faster descent into deeper ketosis creatine is a little of the waste – for the most part, 30% might be used up by the muscles that, without glycogen, is not meaningfully ‘volumised’. HMB (if it works) would/ought to be a great supplement for minimising the catabolic period before ketosis is achieved Tribulus is great and comes strongly suggested because it magnifies the increased testosterone output of the ketogenic diet Carnitine in L or Acetyl-L form is surely an almost essential supplement for Ketogenic Diets. L-Carnitine is necessary for that formation of Ketones within the liver. Glutamine, free-form essential and branched-chain aminos are worthwhile for before training. ketokJust don’t overdo the glutamine mainly because it supports gluconeogenesis ECA stack weight reducers are incredibly useful and important though don”t worry about the inclusion of HCA Flaxseed oil is a good but do not think that you will need 50% of the calories from essential efas. 1-10% of calories is a bit more than sufficient. Whey Protein is optional – you don’t desire to much protein remember A soluble fibre supplement which is non-carbohydrate based is great. But walnuts are easier.
Conclusion
Ketogenic diets give you a host of unique benefits that can not be ignored if you’re chasing the best, low bodyfat figure or physique. However, they may not be one of the most easy to use of diets and then for any ‘middle ground’ compromise you might prefer is going to be only the even worst worlds. Your choice would be to do them right or otherwise not whatsoever.

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