Ketogenic Diet Basics

Fattening foods like burgers, meaty pasta, and steak and potatoes are great muscle building meals strictly from a macro nutrient perspective. Lots of protein to repair damaged muscle, and lots of fats to keep testosterone levels high. The problem is that the carbohydrate that is also in these meals will cause us to gain fat due to the insulin release that they cause. Insulin is a storage hormone, and often causes excess calories to be stored as body fat. In order to turn these muscle meals into fat busting meals as well, just remove the carbohydrate.

If we remove the energy source that your body has the easiest time using, the carbs, then our body will be forced to use fats as it’s primary energy source. After a few days or a week, our brain will give up on using carbohydrate for our energy needs. Our brain will now switch to using ketones for fuel.

When this change occurs our body will now use it’s own fat for fuel 24 hours a day. No longer is there a mystical fat burning zone that you must try to enter. You are in that zone all the time-even when you’re sleeping.

We still need to consume fewer than maintenance calories in order to shed the unwanted fat. Ketogenic dieting doesn’t mean that our caloric intake can exceed what your body uses for maintenance calories. It’s not a magical state that burns fat regardless of how much you eat. On a side note you don’t burn fat unless you’re barbecuing, but that’s an entirely different discussion.

Vegetables, fruit and nuts should still be included in a ketogenic diet for optimal health.

An issue that critics of this dietary approach have is that eating a diet based on bacon cheeseburgers minus the bun can’t be healthy. It’s to those critics I have this to say: obviously.You don’t have to shun all vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and the like. To do so would be very unwise. You’d feel terrible for starters.

What you are avoiding is carbohydrates, not. You are essentially replacing your carbohydrate intake with fats, low carbohydrate fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and even some dairy.

Happy Lifting!

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2 comments for “Ketogenic Diet Basics

  1. August 30, 2012 at 12:33 am

    Another great post, Matt – with one caveat: If you’re following this diet to get shredded while building lean mass, be sure to have carbs with your pre- and post-workout shakes or meals. ‘Insulin-carried glucose’ is how you store glucose in the muscles, specifically the sarcoplasm. Without those well-timed carbs, you’ll not only run out of energy a lot quicker in your workouts, but by not replacing the glucose you use you’ll lose size as well, leaving the muscles looking ‘flat’.

    • August 30, 2012 at 3:46 pm

      I have a post discussing that very subject, and it will be revisited shortly in this new ketogenic series!

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