The Ketogenic Diet: My Favourite Weight Loss Diet
Learn the secrets of weight loss, building muscle, and reaching your fitness goals!
By Travis Wade
There’s the counting-calories method,
the cutting-out-allergens method,
all kinds of gimmicky brand-name methods,
the detox method,
the intermittent-fasting/fasting method,
the graze-all-day (small meals many times a day) method.
Geez!! There’s a lot of methods!
The Keto or Ketogenic Diet
At forty-nine years old, my metabolism has slowed down several times. As a child, you could count my ribs up to my pecs. (I always had big pecs.) Also, I had nice abs my whole life. I can’t go without them now!
There was a time I lived off of pasta and burgers. I had skin issues but didn’t know why at the time. Those days are long gone! The more I got into exercising, the more I got into eating right as well. At first, I could eat what I wanted as long as I exercised enough and I had a great body. I don’t know when that changed??
Now I eat a very stringent diet, which led me to stumble onto magic! I never knew how good I could feel! I always lived a life just like every other day and didn’t feel great but assumed chronic fatigue and brain fog were normal. The other thing is I was clueless I had chronic fatigue and brain fog. It wasn’t until I got the nutrients and ketosis I needed before I realized how crappy I felt before.
I started tracking everything I ate, and I will show you how I did it. Now that I know what the other side is like, I could never go back! This diet is like the movie “Limitless” but for the mind and body! Here’s what a ketogenic diet can do for you and how to do it properly, but first…
These are two of my clients that did a ketogenic diet and Kyle lost 100 pounds in 7 months!
WHAT IS KETOSIS?
Ketosis is a metabolic process where your body uses ketones from fat as its primary energy source. Anytime you are burning fat off your body you are in ketosis.
THE BENEFITS OF A KETOGENIC DIET
Many doctors and nutritionists agree that fat is our preferred energy source and a ketogenic diet offers many benefits, including:
- disease prevention
- weight loss
- increased energy
- decreased brain fog (increased alertness)
- a decrease in muscle wasting
- increased hormone production
When I mention disease prevention, I’m referring to some diseases that experts once believed were caused by a ketogenic diet. The latest research shows eating fat does not increase “bad cholesterol,” leading to heart disease or elevated blood pressure. In reality, it’s allowing yourself to indulge in sugars and fast-acting carbohydrates like flour or grains that lead to these diseases. A proper ketogenic diet can help prevent these diseases (and others).
Research is also showing excellent results in controlling, and in some cases, curing epilepsy and some forms of cancer with a keto diet. As a result, research studies evaluating the benefits of a ketogenic diet have expanded to other diseases, like Parkinson’s.
I am sure a big part of this disease prevention is because ketones burn much cleaner than carbohydrates. If you are eating a high-carb diet, there will be a higher disease-causing environment. There will be increased inflammation, thyroid problems (which regulates your metabolism), and increased insulin. If you’re in a calorie deficit, it magnifies the problem.
WEIGHT LOSS ON THE KETOGENIC DIET
Not all ketogenic diets cause weight loss. For weight loss to occur, you must have a calorie deficit. Because you consume low quantities of carbohydrates on a keto diet, your blood glucose level and insulin will remain low. Low insulin leads to storing a lot less visceral adipose tissue (the fat around your belly) and producing more growth hormone, which burns fat.
As carbohydrates are more accessible for the body to metabolize, the body does not breakdown much fat to produce ketones when you eat lots of carbs. It’s well established that it’s not the high fat but the absence of carbs that stimulates the process of fat burning or “ketosis”.
In the absence of carbs, you will burn fat from your body and your meals at the same rate until you run out of the fat from food. At that point, you will continue to burn fat off your body to produce ketones to meet the body’s fuel requirement. Consequently, weight loss will occur as long as you don’t take in too many calories.
Inevitably, you will have to go through a phase called “the keto-flu” before you get into full ketosis (it’s wonderful!). You will have low energy and might even feel a bit lightheaded due to a reduced blood sugar level. During this time, your body is getting fat-adapted. However, after you get past this phase, you’ll be shocked at your increased energy levels.
While you have the keto-flu and you’re getting fat-adapted, your body is going through what is called autophagy. Autophagy is the natural cell death of old cells and the replacement of them by new cells. The cells that die are the ones that can’t burn fat for fuel. It’s all the low-lifes, the losers, the ones you don’t want, and they can just die! Cancer cells, for example. Basal cells get activated, and new cells get generated.
During this time, you’ll have low energy and be starving for carbs. You’ll see just how addictive sugar can be!! Stay strong because you are literally days away from never having those cravings again and feeling better than you’ve ever felt in your life! There are ways to speed up this process, including intermittent fasting and fasting, but they need to be done correctly. Please don’t mess with fasting if you don’t know what you are doing.
DECREASED BRAIN FOG
The first thing you will notice when you shift into full ketosis is mental clarity like you never thought possible! That’s because there are ten times more mitochondria in a brain cell than other cells of the body. Mitochondria are the energy factories of cells and ketones are a much cleaner burning fuel than sugar. When your mitochondria get good at burning ketones for energy, your mental clarity goes way up. I was shocked the first time I felt it.
DECREASED MUSCLE WASTING
If you reach a calorie shortage while on a high-carb diet, there will be more muscle wasting than being in ketosis. Carbs and proteins metabolize through the same process called the “Krebs Cycle.” When you’re using a high carb and have a lack of fuel, your body is inclined to burn muscle for energy. Conversely, on a ketogenic diet, your body will burn your love handles, with less muscle wasting or health issues that occur due to a caloric deficit.
Also, you never want to have weight loss at the cost of muscle. The more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism.
INCREASED HORMONE PRODUCTION
My most significant source of calories comes from grass-fed butter. As mentioned, dietary cholesterol or the cholesterol we eat is not harmful. In fact, we need it. It is the precursor to hormones. We will create muscle building and fat burning hormones if we get sufficient cholesterol. Do you know what inhibits the production of hormones? Again, it’s the sugar and fast-acting carbs like grains, rice, corn, and potatoes.
Grass-fed butter isn’t just a source of good cholesterol, it’s also a source of Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) and butyrate or butyric acid. CLA is a mild weight loss supplement. Butyrate feeds the good bacteria of the gut (bacteriodetes) which leads to fat loss and increased nutrient absorption.
HOW TO FOLLOW A KETOGENIC DIET
To be in ketosis, you must avoid grains and sugar and eat more fat. It takes about 10 days to reach full ketosis and about the same amount of time to lose your addictions to grains and sugars. The bonus is, a ketogenic diet reduces hunger.
Here’s What A Keto Diet Looks Like
It’s mostly fat: At first, 75 percent of your calories are from fat, 20 percent of your calories are from protein, and no more than 50 grams of carbs per day. Cruciferous vegetables are your carbs at first. You can calculate your macros here.
After two weeks, you should be in full ketosis. However, it can take up to two months in rare cases. Once you’re in full ketosis, you might be able to add more nutrient-filled carbs a little at a time.
HOW TO TEST YOUR KETONES
You can test your ketones using urine test strips, but they only change colour when you are going into ketosis. Once in full ketosis, your body is burning ketones, and you no longer urinate them out. Your test strips will no longer change colour when you are in ketosis.
You can use chem test strips and poke your finger like blood glucose testing, but the chem strips are $4 a pop. Those are the cheapest ones I found. It’s the most accurate way to test your ketones but also the most expensive.
Many doctors and I use Ketonix, which tests for the amount of acetone in your breath. The higher the ketones in your blood, the higher the acetone. There are other cheaper breath testers, but if you look at their reviews, they aren’t very accurate. Ketonix is reliable, and you only need the initial cost of the unit. It’s more expensive, but I think it’s worth it.
Unfortunately, they don’t ship batteries to Canada, but their partners in the USA do. However, you don’t need a battery because it plugs right into your computer. Plus, you can download the app, which has a meter that shows you exactly how many ketones you’re burning. Additionally, it has a handy feature that keeps track of your tests so that you can analyze them later.
KETOGENIC DIET MISTAKES
Unfortunately, since the “Atkins Diet,” people have made massive mistakes with the ketogenic diet making it look like Chernobyl. Consequently, it has received a bad reputation. You have to follow a keto diet precisely, or you may do more harm than good. For best results, kindly avoid the following mistakes:
1. Not tracking your macro-nutrients – carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and alcohol. Carbs and proteins have four calories per gram, alcohol has seven, and fat has nine. For a quick calculation of your macros you can use my keto macro calculator.
You can also use an app called “Chronometer“ to track your macros, which I recommend because it tracks your micro-nutrients as well. Micro-nutrients include vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients. You’ll need a food scale to weigh your food before entering the numbers in Chronometer. I have a twenty-one dollar food-scale from Amazon.
2. Consuming too much protein. Dr. Mercola has a whole chapter in his book called “Fat for Fuel,” dedicated to the adverse effects of too much protein. Excess protein increases growth pathways, which is great for bodybuilders but terrible for avoiding cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and weight gain. Plus, too much protein often pulls people out of ketosis. As a result, the right amount is crucial; you need approximately 0.5 grams of protein per pound of lean body mass or twenty percent of your calories.
3. Staying in ketosis for too long. Having chronically low insulin can be worse than chronically high insulin. So once a week, you must eat a carbohydrate-rich meal to increase your insulin. I do this right after my workout, as increasing insulin and protein activates growth pathways. Generally, a great time to boost growth would be right after a workout to get the desired anabolic (muscle-building) effect.
4. Dirty keto. Many people eat keto for the weight loss benefits but still eat processed food and trans fat. Basically, everything that will kill you fast and when health goes terrible, it’s the keto diet to blame. Bad sweeteners (non-organic) and bad fat mixed together kill people more quickly than anything. Don’t blame keto; blame dirty keto.
WHY IS THIS MY FAVOURITE WEIGHT LOSS DIET?
Mostly, for its health benefits. (Ok, I love bacon!) Does it work? I have had many clients that have tried it; there are photos of a couple at the top. Also, at forty-nine, I still have my abs! I’ll show you proof that it works! Of course, I don’t get abs through diet alone. I exercise regularly and recommend everyone engages in some sort of fun, physical activity. If you’d like to inject some fun back into your workouts, while boosting your metabolism, then get in touch.
And here’s my proof.
I wish you lots of health, love and happiness!
The only holistic personal trainer in Edmonton