The Ketogenic Diet. Not a fan. I'm sure low carbers love the fact this diet is becoming popular once again as it seems to basically validate the fact that carbs are not needed to survive. Which is true but surviving and thriving are two totally seperate things. If you are wanting to be a physically active person it's the worst idea you could have. The body prefers glucose, which we mainly get from carbs, as it's primary energy source plain and simple. In the absence of glucose though we do have a safety mechanism to keep us alive called ketosis. In ketosis when the body requires energy and we have no stored glucose (glycogen) the liver starts producing ketone bodies and releases them into the blood stream so we can do work. This all takes a little time of course (with no food coming in it takes about 3 days) but once your body starts cranking out ketone bodies you are golden! Not really. When you only have ketones and dietary fat for ATP makins' you're really never going to perform optimally because both are relatively slow processes when compared to the use of glucose. By the way you have to eat alot of fat, I mean a lot. Your total fat intake on a ketogenic diet is roughly 75% of your total calories. Carbohydrate comes in at 5% and protein at 20%.
We will use me as an example to give you guys an idea of what that looks like. To maintain my current body weight I would have to eat 225 grams of fat a day, 135 grams of protein, and 34 grams of carbs. So here's how this works when we are talking about weight loss. Let's say I give this keto thing a shot. Initially I will lose weight due to the major decrease in carbohydrates for two reasons. Glycogen, the storage form of carbohydrate, has weight so when you stop eating carbs you see a drop on the scale. But glycogen is not a lone wolf and he doesn't party solo. For every gram of carbohydrate stored your body stores 3-4 grams of water. So the fewer carbs eaten, the fewer carbs stored, the less water is stored and we are losing some weight! But aren't we trying to lose weight to get rid of some fat? Still no fat loss yet. Let's talk about all this fat I have to eat. I can tell you right now 225 grams a day ain't happening. Not in a healthy manner anyway. Maybe if I could eat more protein it would be doable but I can only eat 135 grams. Let's say I manage to get to 175 grams of fat and can't get any more in. That's 50 grams off the mark which gives me a calorie deficit of 450 calories. Now if I can be consistent and hit these numbers everyday I will start to lose some fat. The 2 driving factors for fat loss with any style of eating or diet is consistency and calorie deficit. If you only remember one thing I ever write or say regarding fat loss remember that. Without those no diet works.
So if the two most important factors for fat loss are consistency and calorie deficit then why bother with the ketogenic diet? You will perform better with carbohydrates in the diet and get just as lean as the keto guy.
P.S.- If you want to learn how to eat carbs, fat, and protein in a balanced diet and lose fat or put on some muscle send me an email at email@example.com or Knoxville natives can come see me at the Health Shoppe.