Believe it or not on the left of both pictures is me before I started a Keto style diet (April ’16) and on the right is after 6 weeks.
Never Heard of the Keto diet?
I’m surprised! It has come to prominence as some kind of super fat stripping diet! To put it simply, it is a low carbohydrate, high fat diet. But don’t confuse it with the Atkins diet. What you may not realise is that a pure Keto diet also has restricted protein.
A true Keto diet means ingesting 10-15g of carbs a day, 1g per kg of body weight in protein a day, and the rest of your diet is made up of fats.
Say you weigh 80kg and need 2500cals a day to maintain weight you should eat 15g of carbs (60cals), 80g of protein (320cals), and the rest of your diet would be fat (2120cals, which is 236g). Myfitnesspal is a great app to track this kind of stuff!
- suppress hunger
- Eliminate sugar cravings
- Reduce LDL (bad cholesterol)
- Lower blood pressure
- Reduce the risk of diabetes
Ultimately, and the reason why you are probably reading…
It can help you to shed excess fat!
The lack of carbohydrates, and thus glucose and glycogen stores in the body, will mean you utilise fat as an energy source! BUT more significantly, it is likely to lead to a calorie deficit (less calories going in than being burned).
This is a good review of the keto diet that explains in more depth some of what I have said.
As the journal review (above) in the link states ‘one diet does not suit the metabolic profiles of everyone’ – Basically, One size does not fit all. It may work for your best mate but not for you.
AND if you want it to work you have to commit to it. It is supposed to be a lifestyle change that you can sustain rather than a fad diet. It could take 4 weeks to kick in (‘keto-adaptation’) and your body may find it difficult to adapt to start with.
To be honest I couldn’t and didn’t want to maintain it – I like cake and ice cream too much! I also felt tired more often, which I believe was due to the calorie deficit and the high intensity exercise I was doing – Fats are good at providing energy when performing low intensity exercise, but they provide energy slowly. When performing exercise like HIIT, Tabata, Crossfit etc. your Heart Rate is extremely high and you require a faster energy supply. This has to be done through Glycolysis, which requires you to ingest Carbohydrates. Without Carbohydrate intake performance will suffer at high intensity
The Keto Diet is good for shedding fat whilst maintaining muscle mass! However, from my own experiences I think it is hard to build muscle mass with this diet AND it would be interesting to see if muscle mass is sustained long term.
Remember, if you found this interesting, helpful, or want to know more make sure you like the post and or leave a comment at the bottom – Thanks 🙂
You’re heading to the supermarket…
You want to be filling your shopping bag with Meat, fish, butter (including the peanut kind!), olive/coconut oil, nuts, seeds, eggs, leafy greens. I could list every food but rather than fill this post with an exhaustive list take a look at this.
If you want to give it a go, read food labels and avoid foods with additives and or added sugar such as some peanut butters, yoghurt, almond/soy/coconut milk and cured meats like bacon and sausages.
Run away from the cake aisle!
Sorry – no cake for you! Avoid sugar i.e. cakes, sweets, chocolate, fizzy drinks etc etc and avoid carbs including starchy veg such as potatoes, pasta, and root veg such as parsnips, carrots.
A Keto day could look a little something like this…
Breakfast – Scrambled eggs (made with butter) and bacon (uncured) – not a bad start to the day ay!
Lunch – Tuna salad with lettuce, spinach, cucumber, spring onion and boiled egg with full fat mayo (no additives, sugar)
Dinner – A big fat steak with leafy greens like kale and spinach and asparagus smothered in garlic butter!
Doesn’t sound too bad!
Snack on a few nuts and avocado throughout the day and jobs a goodun!
Trivia for the Pub Quiz!
The Keto diet was introduced in the 1920’s to treat epilepsy as it can help reduce seizures!