How To Do A Ketogenic Diet
By Travis Wade
It’s really simple and I’m not going to make it complicated. You need to get at least 75% of your calories from fats. You might have to weigh your food at first and use this keto macro calculator. There are 4 calories per gram of carbohydrates, sugars, and proteins. There are 9 calories per gram of fat. Alcohol is not included in this diet, but there are 7 calories per gram of alcohol.
The Problems With Keto
One of the problems with a keto diet is compliance. Nobody wants to cut their carbs to just cruciferous vegetables and that’s what you need to do for the first 2 weeks. It takes about 10 days to get into full ketosis and after that you can keep track of your weight to decide if you want to add some extra calories to your diet. If you want to lose weight and you stop, then you know you’ve added too many calories.
Another problem comes around day 10. There are some cells in your body that can’t process fat for energy and they will have to go through a process called autophagy. This is the natural death of a cell and it must be replaced by a new cell. During this transition, you’ll have serious carbohydrate cravings. This is because your cells don’t want autophagy, they want to live. At this point you’re just going to have to suck it up. It will be over in a few days. Sorry about the crappy advice but after those few days you will feel better than you ever have 🙂
The most common problem people encounter with a keto diet is they eat too much protein. Protein digests like a carb in a sugar burning mode. It will increase your insulin and may pull you out of ketosis. Fat, for the record, does nothing to your insulin.
The Problems With Carbs
So why go through all the trouble? I hate to say it but a high carbohydrate diet for most people will make them fat. Carbohydrates go through sugar burning mode of the body and have a very high oxidative load on the body. They cause inflammation which leads to disease and sickness. Carbohydrates feed diseases like cancer.
Sugar is in almost every packaged food available in some highly refined form to make it as addictive as possible to keep people coming back. Sugar causes weight gain, hunger, and slowed metabolism. When you run out of energy from carb intake then your body is more likely to breakdown muscle for energy instead of fat. The more muscle a person has the higher their metabolism.
Another thing I need to mention is sugar is genetically modified these days. GMOs is my biggest nightmare as a personal trainer because people don’t know what they are or what they do to them. I need you to read this article on GMOs.
If you really want to see the problems with a high carb diet just look at our society. In the 50s, 2 Harvard professors were payed off to write articles explaining that fat was bad and sugar was ok. The evidence against this was stored in Dr. Ansel Keys’ basement for a very long time. Dr. Ansel Keys was trying to prove that fat was the cause of heart problems. Our society has been getting more obese ever since and for the first time in history people are dying faster than the generation before them. I believe GMOs do play a huge part in this but that’s a completely different topic.
The Benefits For Athletes
Listen up bodybuilders; this is the diet you should be doing! Same with you endurance sports people. You will burn through your carbohydrates in about 45 minutes of exercise and then your body will use fat and muscle for energy. As mentioned a high carb diet leads to more muscle burning and a high fat diet leads to more fat burning. The energy you get from fat will last much longer. You keep burning fat for fuel depending how much you eat and how much is on your body. I know when I use Brain Octane Oil for a pre-workout I have instant energy and sustained energy for hours! Lots of savy marathon runners have switched over to fat and exogenous ketones for energy from sugars.
What they will do is first induce full ketosis for months leading up to an event. Both marathon runners and bodybuilders. Then bodybuilders will start cutting weight and reducing calories in ketosis right up until they go back to nothing but cruciferous vegetables a bit of fat and high protein just before they compete. A marathon runner will induce ketosis and stay there until they compete. During their run they can use sources like Brain Octane Oil to get them to the finish line.
Which brings me to intermittent fasting. Without adding carbs to your diet in the morning you will have very low insulin and as long as you have low insulin, growth hormone goes up. That’s why you produce growth hormone at night when you sleep. Insulin goes down at night while you sleep and GH goes up. As soon as you add carbs in the morning your GH goes back down. GH burns fat and insulin stores fat.
A sneaky trick is to not eat carbs or protein (or alcohol) in the morning and your insulin doesn’t go up so your GH keeps increasing. I’ve heard an expert say that it can go up as much as 400% and I’ve heard another expert say it can go up as much as 1200%. All I know is GH goes way up when you don’t eat carbs/protein/alcohol in the morning and people get shredded.
I wouldn’t ask anyone to starve however, but as I said, fat does nothing to your insulin. One thing you can do is eat nothing but fat in the morning. Some people will do Bulletproof Coffee in the morning. Fat reduces ghrelin (also known as the hunger hormone), better than anything and it also increases CCK (Cholecystokinin), which is the hormone that makes you feel full. If you have the right amount of fat you won’t get hungry.
A Few Tricks Of The Trade
In either case, when lunch comes, a cruciferous vegetable is great with a source of protein and another fat. The sources of fat I recommend are nothing but healthy fats; coconut oil, high quality olive oil (the vast majority of olive oil is fake), avocado, nuts and nut butters (if you don’t have a food sensitivity and no peanuts, they’re a bean), and GRASS FED butter or ghee.
My secret ingredient is coconut milk. I get the stuff that has no additives and it’s 85% pure coconut extract. This coconut milk is 96% fat and it tastes great! I put it in everything. My soup in the morning, my frozen berries, my stir fries, all my curries and I’ll even sip it occasionally. I get it in the international section at Superstore near the spices.
Avocado is the new apple. An avocado a day will keep the doctor away. There are many things you can do with avocado but I like them so I just eat them plain. You can mash them up and make guacamole or add some coconut oil, vanilla, organic cocoa, and just enough raw honey to make more of a dessert type thing. Avocado are also great in smoothies or cut up as a side instead of a grain.
A lot of doctors are trying to get the word out about the health benefits of eating good fats. It seems like every doctor has a book out and there is a summit with over 30 experts talking about the benefits of fats. If you’re still unsure of how to use fats properly then I highly recommend listening to this summit. Also, have a look at these 2 articles: Ketogenic Diet, Truth About Fat
What A Ketogenic Diet Look Like
For the first 2 weeks your carbs are limited to cruciferous vegetables. These are spinach, kale, cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, horseradish, cabbage, kohlrabi, Bok choy, rutabaga, radish, and wasabi. Your proteins make up the rest of the diet after you factor in 75% healthy fats from the list mentioned above. I’ve seen many clients track their macros (macros are macro-nutrients meaning proteins, carbohydrates, and fats or all of the calorie intake) on a Fitbit or measure their food and calculate their macros.
After 2 weeks you can slowly reduce the fat intake down to 65% and increase your carb intake if it still works for you. If you reduce your fat to 70% and you stop losing weight then return to 75% fat for a while and try again later. You can play with the amount of calories you take in, in a day as well. You don’t want to reduce calories too much or weight loss will stop.
The amount of calories you should be shooting for will vary from person to person. A 200 pound man should be shooting for approximately 1600 calories in a day. If he exercises more he will need more calories. If a person weighs more they will need more calories. If they weigh less and exercise less they will need less calories. Use this keto macro calculator to help determine your macros.
Once a week you will need to do what they call a carb load. Once a week you have a high carb meal and increase your insulin. When I say high carb I don’t mean eat garbage, I mean healthy carbs please. This levels off hormones and keeps your body stable. Women need this more than men do. Try to do your carb load before leg day. You will still increase your insulin and hormones will stabilize but you will also have a great workout and burn off those carbs.
I wish you lots of health, love and happiness!
The only holistic personal trainer in Edmonton