What Is The Keto Diet - A Brief Introduction

by Josh

Intro to the Keto Diet

A healthy lifestyle is one of life’s most noble and rewarding pursuits. Whether you want to live longer, run farther, or just look good naked we’re here to help! Exercise however is only half the battle. Perhaps you’ve heard the saying “Abs are made in the kitchen?” Well it’s absolutely true. That’s why today we want to introduce you to a diet you may not be familiar with, but has led to some amazing results when it comes to weight loss. Including a loss of about 30 pounds over the last 6 months for yours truly!

I hope that this introduction to the Ketogenic diet is helpful whatever your goals may be.

Focusing On Nutrition

Our muscle ropes might be a great way for you to get your body in shape but without a proper nutrition your progress will quickly stall. By breaking away from conventional wisdom and the Standard American Diet AKA "SAD" you WILL very quickly begin to see results.

But the nutritional world is a seemingly endless jungle of complicated fads and trends. It seems like every year we hear some new type of diet that people are raving about. Within a few weeks the diet fails and people forget about it all together.

This guide is going to teach you the basics to a ketogenic diet, one that is backed with science and astounding loss of body fat. We would never endorse something that is merely a fad with lackluster results. This diet uses a unique formula of macronutrient intake to manipulate your body to switch from using glycogen for energy to using that fuel tank of fat you're carrying around.

What Is It?

All of the specific science behind the diet can be a bit tedious to understand. The short answer is that by depleting the body's store of glycogen which is constantly replenished by your intake of carbohydrates, the body will "switch over" to using fat for energy. The chemical byproducts of using fat for energy are called ketones which is where the diet gets its name.

The first and most important step is cutting out carbohydrates. I know how difficult this sounds, especially if you’ve got a sweet tooth like me, but after your blood sugar stabilizes you will be in control of your cravings in a way that might have once seemed impossible.

After 3-4 days your body will be out of stored glycogen (and you'll probably be feeling like crap which is known as the Keto Flu) and your body will begin utilizing a process called gluconeogensis to break down your stored fat for energy.

Clearly cutting down on carbs is important here, which we will elaborate on later. The carbs that you do ingest should be from whole food sources like vegetables. Broccoli and spinach are two keto favorites because of their low caloric level and high dietary fiber content.

Essentially the diet focuses on the quality and type of food rather than quantity. Your intake of calories simply depends on your goal. If you are looking to put on muscle, you will want to be slightly over the caloric limit (about 10%). If you are looking to shed body fat, you should eat at a 10-20% deficit from your daily caloric expenditure.

If you have had trouble with an excessive food intake in the past, this diet could be your savior. After adjusting to the new macronutrient ratios (Fat: 65% Protein: 30% Carbs: 5%), the high levels of fat in your diet will keep you feeling fuller for much longer during the day.

What Is It Supposed To Do?

Every different kind of diet has its own specific goals. Most of them simply call for a reduction in overall calories in order for you to lose weight. Just cutting down doesn’t always give the best results however. It can be difficult to do and starve your muscles of the nutrients they crave.

Renowned fitness enthusiast Shannon Clark states that the ketogenic diet uses the excess of ketones to make your body more dependent on using body fat for fuel. When your body adjusts to the change in carb intake, ketosis begins. The priority fuel for everyday energy shifts from the glucose in carbs towards body fat. After a few weeks on the diet your body will become a fat utilization machine AKA Keto-Adapted or Fat-Adapted. This leads to one big question.

Will I have to Sacrifice Gains?

When you are losing body fat you usually have to sacrifice a good deal of muscle mass with it. With the proper intake of protein, (0.8 – 1.2 grams/pound lean body weight) you’ll preserve your muscle and melt the fat.

Another way the diet helps you reach your fitness goals is through controlling your blood sugar. Shifting to keto foods and avoiding carbs helps your body stabilize the levels of insulin in your blood stream. This helps you control cravings and keep your metabolism steady. It also encourages fat utilization over glucose fuel.

Foods to Stock Up On

So perhaps you are feeling daring and considering taking the leap into the scientifically backed keto diet. What is the first thing you do? Go shopping for the right foods of course!

  • Meat - One of the most important parts of your Keto diet. They contain high amounts of protein and fat with very little carbs. Some great sources to stock up on are steaks, bacon, sausage, salami, pork chops, and ham
  • Dairy - Great for Keto dieters to focus on because of the mixture in protein and fats. Try picking more wholesome products like whole milk and avoid anything low-fat. Good dairy products to keep in mind are eggs, cheese, greek yogurt, and heavy whipping cream.
  • Oils and Butter - Since you are going to be focusing a lot on healthy fats, stock up on some good oils and butter. They are easy to incorporate into virtually any meal and contain great health benefits. Coconut, olive, and fish oil should be at the top of your list.
  • Veggies - As much as you may love grains, veggies are going to be your main focus for carbs on this diet. Stocking up on them is advisable to keep your belly full with minimal carb intake. Their dietary fiber and vitamins will help you push towards a fitter lifestyle.
  • There is a lot to learn when switching to a diet like this. A small article like this one doesn’t give justice to the culture and science behind the Keto lifestyle. Sites like www.ruled.mewww.reddit.com/r/ketogains and www.reddit.com/r/keto are invaluable tools for learning and implementing a keto diet. You might also check out Lyle McDonald's site for more info.

    Educate yourself first before beginning any diet.