Ketogenic diet - how it works and how to proceed with the implementation

Those little more informed in preparing competitive bodybuilder already met with this regime diet. In bodybuilding circles, this diet is considered to be highly effective in phase definitions, ie. At the stage when the goal is to get rid of excess body fat. Otherwise, about the child bind some controversy, but the fact that the vast majority of those who have tried it can attest to the extremely low percentage of subcutaneous fat tissue on which it accomplished.

The ketogenic diet is a 20-ies and 30-ies of the last century used as therapy in children with seizures with great success, however, with the advent of new anticonvulsant drugs this was abolished. According to statistics, today 20-30% of patients do not respond adequately to such drugs. In this population, particularly in children, the ketogenic diet is again found its place.


How the ketogenic diet works

Simply put, the keto diet works by reducing carbohydrate intake to a minimum and the consequent formation of ketones, forces the body to as a primary source of energy is consumed free fatty acids.

So, as we already know, under normal circumstances the body as the primary source of energy used carbohydrates. If we exclude carbohydrates from the diet, the body is forced to find an alternative source of energy. One such energy sources are free fatty acids. The brain can not use free fatty acids as fuel. However, ketone bodies can be used.

Ketones are a byproduct of incomplete decomposition of fatty acids in the liver. When it rapidly products accumulate in the blood and it is the state called ketosis.

Because now the body again has a power source, there is no more need for carbohydrates and is stopped gluconeogenesis (glucose production from amino acids). Consequently, the protein remains spared degradation (otherwise would be used for energy purposes)

Ketogenic diet


Given all of the above, it becomes perfectly clear why a growing number of bodybuilder decides to keto diet: efficient spending of surplus fat while preserving muscle mass!

Ketogenic diet makes the above adjustments in metabolism possible, by manipulating two hormones: insulin and glucagon.

As we know, insulin is a hormone storage, which allows the transport of nutrients from the bloodstream into the cells. So, it allows the storage of glucose in the cell in the form of glycogen.

In contrast, glucagon is mobilizing hormone. It breaks down glycogen to provide the body glucose.

When carbohydrates are removed from the diet, insulin levels fall, and the level of glucagon increases. This results in the increased release of free fatty acids from fat cells and their increased combustion in the liver. As a byproduct resulting ketones.


How do we know we're in ketosis?

The simplest diagnostic method is to blow someone in the nose and if you get a menacing look or the person falls unconscious, more or less, you are sure that ketosis occurs. The ketones have an intense, sweet "smell" so it is easy to smell.

Ketones appear in the blood (ketonemia) and urine (Ketonuria). The most accurate indicator that the body is in ketosis is evidence of the presence of ketones in the blood. However, in daily practice, a blood test, is quite impractical for the detection of ketosis can serve as proof of ketones in the urine. The test is simple to perform strip that in the presence of ketone bodies change color (Ketostix etc.).

The level of ketones in the body is lowest in the morning, and the highest around midnight. Also, women develop more ketone concentrations than men, and children from adults.

In some individuals, who have achieved ketosis, test your urine for ketones will be negative. This however does not mean that they are not in ketosis, because we said that the ketones in the blood indication of whether the body is in ketosis or not. Otherwise, only 10-20% of total ketone produced in the liver occurs in the urine.

Some supplements, eg. the antioxidant N-acetyl-cysteine can produce false-positive test for ketones.


How to get started with the keto diet?

You should first determine how many calories the body uses at rest, that is to maintain the status quo. There are several equations, some simple and some more complicated. For this purpose will serve the following formula:

Men -> kcal = weight in kg * 35.2
Women -> kcal = weight in kg * 33

Then we need to determine how many calories we enter. Of course to lose fat surpluses should reduce caloric intake. Most prone to excessive deficit calories, which causes slowing of the metabolism and consequently weakens the effect of a diet.

Keep in mind that calorie deficit does not only restricted diet, but also consumption for which is responsible training.

When it starts with diet, calorie intake should not be reduced by more than 10-20% of the originally specified calories at rest. It is reasonable to expect a loss of 0,75-1kg week. Anyone who loses weight faster should increase the intake of calories or reduce aerobic training because most likely lose muscle tissue!


Types of Ketogenic Diet

1. The standard ketogenic diet (SKD)

This is the original version of a keto diet, which is based on low intake of carbohydrates, and moderate to high intake of protein and fat

To achieve the state of ketosis, carbohydrate intake should be reduced below 100 g / day, and most will need to reduce this figure to approximately 30 g / day to achieve and maintain ketosis. Carbohydrate intake of 30g / day and even less is recommended in the first few weeks SKD until your body adapts and does switch to an alternative fuel source (free fatty acids).

As far as the choice of carbohydrates, should choose those with a low GI, because we aim to maintain insulin levels as low as possible. So most will be in the form of green vegetables. Fruit and various sources of starch should be completely out of diet.

keto diet


As far as the proteins, their increased intake can also interfere with ketosis. Ideally, their input will be high enough to prevent muscle loss, and low enough to not affect ketosis. During the initial phase of a few weeks, the intake should be at least 1.75g / kg and a minimum 150 g / day to prevent catabolism. After this initial period, for someone who regularly trains are recommended intake of 2 g / kg.

Although the ketogenic diet may consist only of carbohydrates and protein, calorie intake would be so low that the metabolism very slowed down. Fats in this case, the calorie ballast, ie. Are used to achieve an adequate caloric intake. So, after we determine the calorie requirements and after we determine how much carbohydrate and protein needs, the rest of the calories will be entered from fat.

Ketogenic dietThe main problem with SCA is that such a diet can not go hand in hand with intensive training due to very low carbohydrate intake. Why is this so? When carbohydrates are very low, glycogen replenishment after training and therefore practically no intensive training through the next period will not be possible.

Why is it necessary to make two types of modified SCA involving more carbohydrates in the regime, but without compromising the ketosis.

2. "Targeted" ketogenic diet (ketogenic diet targeted - TKD)

TKD has the same dreams and SKD, with the added carbohydrates and at specific times - around training. Total calories remain the same, which means that in comparison with the SKD fat intake be reduced.

The safest time when we enter the carbs without fear that we will disrupt ketosis is before training. Most will agree that suits them best consuming 25-50g carbs approximately 30 minutes before training. As for the type of carbohydrates, they are recommended with higher GI which are easily digestible and to avoid tension in the stomach during training.

Some individuals will feel the need to enter additional 25-50 g of carbs after your workout. If entered, it is very important that these sugars are glucose or glucose polymers, as will other sugars, eg. fructose first charge hepatic glycogen stores and so interrupt the production of ketone bodies.

3. The cyclical keto diet (CKD)

In CKD, practiced already described SKD through 5-6 days, followed by a phase of filling carbohydrates that can last from 1-2 days. Filling phase aims to restore glycogen in muscles. That such a diet function, muscle glycogen must be completely spent every week.

Unlike TKD, state of ketosis during high carbohydrate intake temporarily stopped. 1-2 days filling i the story for itself. Simply, it should be at this time to enter large amounts of carbohydrates.

Once you are completely empty glycogen stores, in the first 24 hours of glycogen can be refunded at 100% of normal concentration if they entered a sufficient amount of carbohydrates. For 36 hours is achieved super compensation (150%).

In the first 24 hours the amount of carbohydrates you should enter is 8-10g / kg body weight without fat (LBM) and the resulting amount divided so that each two hours enter an equal amount. In the next 24 hours is enough to enter 5g / kg LBM.

There are no available data on the long-term effects of a ketogenic diet. Due to this fact, it is not advisable to practice keto diet forever, but as long as we do not achieve the desired fat loss. Then should follow a diet that is less extreme is balanced macronutrients.

There are conditions in which the ketogenic diet is contraindicated. These are: kidney problems (especially kidney stones), diabetes type 1 (Changes in insulin sensitivity may influence the need for insulin), coronary artery disease, and high cholesterol, gout, pregnancy.


Has already been mentioned that the keto diet following some controversy. However, by itself, the question arises: if such a diet successfully used in the treatment of some diseases, why is unhealthy and unacceptable for the purpose of losing excess fat? Children with epilepsy are kept in deep ketosis and after three years of no consequence. Also see HCG diet.

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