What is the “Keto Diet?”
There are tons of “fad diets” throughout the diet world. A fad diet is a diet that is usually advertised as the “next big thing” or “melt fat fast” to lose weight or fat fast. One of the more controversial fad diet plans circulating is the keto diet.
The Keto Diet, or Ketogenic diet, actually has some scientific background behind it. A basic breakdown of what is consumed on a keto diet in terms of macro nutrients is:
- High fats
- Extremely low carbs
- Moderate protein
The logic behind this type of macronutrient split is that by practically eliminating carbs, you put your body into a state of ketosis. Ketosis occurs when your body does not have enough glucose to burn as fuel and energy, so it turns to the fat storage in the body. The stored fat is turned into ketone bodies, which are used for fuel and energy instead of glucose.
By doing this, you supposedly turn your body into a fat burning machine.
Now, there are a few important things to understand about the keto diet.
First off, it is difficult to get into ketosis. Too many grams of protein or carbs can knock you out of ketosis, thus halting the fat burning.
Second, while transitioning into ketosis, you will likely encounter the “Keto Flu.” You will likely feel dazed, have headaches, and maybe even lose some motivation (I tried this diet for about a week a while back and battled headaches, but did not lose any motivation!).
Lastly, it is important to know that it is pretty much impossible to make any serious muscle gains while doing the keto diet. Your muscles NEED glucose to recover and grow. Since you are depriving your diet of glucose, by the transitive property, your muscles aren’t getting the fuel they need. Therefore, the people you read about or watch on youtube that are miraculously making huge muscle gains while on this ketogenic diet are likely to be getting some extra help from outside resources (I’ll let your imagination do the rest of the work).
What I am doing to prepare for the Ketogenic Diet?
This diet is unlike anything I have ever attempted before. Personally, I have always fueled my body like it is a machine, making sure it gets proper nutrients for optimal performance. In the last six months or so, I have hit a metaphorical wall in regards to what I am eating and how I am training. My fitness journey has gotten repetitive. In light of this realization, studying the keto diet and figuring out ways to optimize its potential has helped me rediscover that excitement for my fitness journey. My goal is to stay on the ketogenic diet for five plus weeks, from October 9th to November 14th. It is going to be one hell of a journey, and going to require quite a bit of sacrifice. But I am ready for it. I am confident in the preparation I have made. So here is the end goal: Burn as much fat as possible while maintaining the muscle I have gained over the last five and a half years of training.
I have had quite a bit of preparation for this diet. First and foremost, I tested a mini-diet at the end of august to see how eliminating carbs would affect me personally. This was important because I was not only able to get a feel of what to expect, but I also saw the loss of about three pounds in six days (more than likely water weight, but still fascinating).
Second, I have been doing copious amounts of research. I have been looking into old nutrition textbooks from a nutrition class to understand ketosis from a more scientific lens. Also, I have been watching videos on what types of foods are working for other people who have been successful on this diet.
Lastly, I have been on quite the carb-heavy food binge the last week or so.[There will be another post about this glorious cheat week, so be on the look out for that. Just know there are fries, calzones, gourmet pasta and beer involved!]
What my diet will look like
Through my research, I have seen a lot of people having success on the keto diet by performing intermittent fasting. Because of my class heavy schedule in the morning, I will be in an intermittent fast every morning Monday-Friday. Four of these days, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, my first meal will be a KetoChow meal replacement shake. These contain the ketochow powder, a cup of cream, and water. (You can purchase the powder here). On Wednesday’s, I will make a meal most likely containing eggs. For Dinner, I will likely make a large amount of good fat, meat/fish (steak, ground beef, salmon, bacon) with eggs (not with salmon though!) and a fibrous veggie (broccoli, asparagus, spinach, etc). Weekends I will not be intermittent fasting, so I will resume consuming breakfasts and dinners on both Saturday and Sunday.
In conclusion, I am very excited about this journey. Don’t feel too bad for me- Ill be eating some assortment of steak, eggs, bacon, and burger meat every single day! The goal is to burn lots and lots of fat in order to start with a clean slate at the beginning of next semester. That will hopefully lead me into another summer of gains at 1RM Performance, or wherever I get a job (YIKES!). So, cheers to a fun five weeks!