By Matt Ferro – MuscleTech® Social Media Ambassador
Who here would like to shed some unwanted body fat? Chances are most of you responded yes. For that reason, the ketogenic diet might be something that you may want to add into your daily routine to aid in reaching your goals.
So, what is ketosis and the ketogenic diet all about? Essentially, it’s a diet based around a high-fat, adequate-protein and low-carb breakdown of your macronutrients. The term ketosis is simply describing that the quantity of ketone bodies in the blood are at a higher-than-normal level. When this happens, your body will turn to your own body fat to fuel your activities of daily living, thus burning stored fat. By keeping your carbohydrates low (typically lower than 50g per day), your body won’t have any residual carbs that will be left to be stored as fat. Instead, you are resetting the body to target and utilize its fat stores as its primary fuel source.
One of the key points of this diet is to ensure sufficient protein – many experts recommend 1g per pound of body weight. When the protein is kept at adequate levels, this diet will have a protein-sparing effect and the body is less likely to break down its protein for fuel due to the abundance of consumed protein and fat. This high-fat diet will also keep your body insulin levels low, which in turn will allow the body to utilize those fats for energy and, which I’m sure many of you will like to hear, release beneficial hormones such as growth hormone in the body. The ability to control your insulin levels plays a huge part of being able to control and lose weight. When your insulin levels are constantly high, your body will continue to use glucose as its energy source and the excess energy will be stored as fat. This is why a ketogenic diet keeps a very low dose of carbohydrates and boosts the amount of fat you will eat. This will ensure your insulin levels remain low and your body can target its stored fat as the primary source of energy, which will ultimately lead to fat and weight loss.
In case the low carbs are making you think that you’ll be starving during the duration of this diet, remember that fat contains more than double the calories of carbs, and so a diet high in fats and protein can help you feel full.
Remember that any diet, especially one in caloric deficit, can take some time to get accustomed to. For the first two weeks or so, you may notice some exhaustion, fatigue, etc., but that will fade. Try including high-fat meats, such as steak and whole eggs, to ensure you are getting a good source of high fats with your protein. Instead of the common three meals per day, with the ketogenic diet you will want much more and aim for five or more to ensure your muscles are consistently supplied with the necessary nutrients to repair and grow.