The ketogenic (keto) diet seems to be the “in thing” at the moment.
Every man, woman, and their 'curl-in-the-squat-rack booty band' wearing friends seem to be talking about it.
Even celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Lebron James have been experimenting with it.
Like every new buzzword or dieting style that does the rounds in the fitness industry, it is important to fundamentally understand the trend before you attempt to implement it.
So What Is a Keto Diet?
Put simply, a keto diet is a low carbohydrate diet which puts the body into a state of ketosis.
Typically speaking, most diets limit carbohydtrate intake to 30 – 50g per day or ~5% total calories. The fat intake makes up between 60 – 70% of the total caloric intake. And finally, protein fills the remaining 25 – 35%.
A Quick Recap:
Fat : 60 – 70%
Protein: 25 – 35%
Carbohydrates : 5% or less.
So, What Is Ketosis?
Ketosis is the metabolic process of using fat as the primary source of energy instead of carbohydrates. When your body is in a state of ketosis, it's fuelled by ketones, which the body produces by breaking down fat stores (instead of using glucose which comes from carbohydrates).
A few things to keep in mind when considering a ketogenic diet:
- A ketogenic diet is not the magical unicorn that will undo years of poor dietary habits.
- Following a ketogenic diet can be a convenient way to control cravings, and regulate appetite. It can also be easy to stick to.
- A keto diet does not put your body into ketosis due to the high fat intake. Your body goes into ketosis due to the absence of carbohydrates. We cannot stress this enough as it is PRIMARY REASON why many fail to experience the benefits of a ketogenic diet.
- A high intake of dietary fat does not make a diet ketogenic and does not make your body produce ketones. Only a low carbohydrate diet, containing less than 30 – 50grams per day does.
The Good, the Bad and the Scientific Facts About Keto Diets:
A keto diet can be fantastic for those who have issues with:
- Difficulty controlling blood sugar or
- Those who are sensitive to certain types of food.
Due to the low carbohydrate nature of a keto diet, reducing the consumption of grains, fruits and other sources of carbohydrates can provide a great relief from stomach issues that often plague people who follow a moderate to high carbohydrate diet.
Another benefit of the keto diet, is the appetite control effect. Due to fat being a more satiating (i.e. it makes you feel fuller) macronutrient than carbohydrates, most on a keto diet note a significant reduction in appetite. This often makes losing fat and controlling your caloric intake much easier.
Energy levels on a ketogenic diet are often a concern. During the initial adaptation phase of a ketogenic diet, you may feel fatigued and your workouts may feel like a drag. This is normal for most people. And the tiredness is only short-lived, while your body adapts to running on ketones for energy, instead of glucose. Most people find their energy levels are much more consistent while on a ketogenic diet, but this varies from person to person.
Eating out is easy. Almost every place you eat has the option of salads, a source of protein and a source of healthy fats. Choose the right option and you’ll have no issues.
Keto diets aren’t for everybody.
If you have issues digesting fats or have significant stomach discomfort when embarking upon a keto diet, it is best to consult with a doctor. Always ensure you aren’t doing yourself any harm.
It can take a while to get used to.
Some people are able to adapt within a week, others may take a month or two. Just like everything, you need to be patient. Your body is a complex organism and it will take time to adapt.
High volume training might not be suitable for a ketogenic diet.
Many people during the initial stages of a keto diet find it difficult to push through their training sessions without experiencing fatigue.
There are many foods you have to avoid.
Almost an entire macronutrient is removed from this diet. The tastiest treats and cheat meals are likely comprised of carbohydrates and fat. Carbohydrate consumption under 50g daily makes it difficult to fit these foods into your daily intake. Bye-bye ice-cream! :(
It can be easy to exceed your daily caloric target.
Due to the calorie density of fats (9 calories per gram), it can be easy for people to go over their target caloric intake without realising. The 200 calories from carbohydrates will not give you the same visual effect and predicted “fullness” after a meal than 200 calories from fats. This is why it's important to plans your meals effectively.
It is important to understand that if the goal is fat loss, the most important factor in achieving fat loss is achieving a calorie deficit. Without creating a calorie deficit, whether it be through calorie restriction or exercise, you will not lose fat.
Although a ketogenic diet has your body utilising fats/ketones for energy, if you are still consuming too many calories for what your body requires, you will not lose any body fat.
Take two identical twins. One was to put on a ketogenic and the other on a non ketogenic diet, both with the goal of fat loss. With all factors taken into account and equal, and provided they were both in a calorie deficit, they would both lose the same amount of body fat over any given period of time.
Now for one of our favourite topics...
Supplements to help improve gym performance, energy and focus while on a keto diet.
BHB salts, AKA “ketone salts” are a relatively new but extensively studied supplement that is designed to be used by those on a keto diet or anybody wanting to experience the benefits of ketone supplementation any time of the day or night.
This product is perfect for those who are starting a keto diet and are needing something, non-caffeinated, to help with energy levels and improve gym performance.
A simple ingredient list comprising of essential electrolytes and “goBHB” Beta Hydroxybutyrate. No wasted or pointless ingredients, just a simple and effective Ketone formulation!
For those who want a keto pre-workout supplement that will pack a bit more of a punch, look no further than Keto Industries Keto Perform.
A generous 12 gram serving of goBHB ketone salts combined with 7.5 grams of goMCT is bound to provide a consistent energy supply during your workout.
Many users, even those not following a keto diet, have reported an improvement in cognition, focus and drive during the training session when supplementing with products containing goBHB and goMCT.
With 225mg of caffeine, 100mg of Theacrine and 500mg of Choline Bitartrate rounding off this supplement, you'll get a strong and steady energy boost that will further complement the use of ketones during a training session. This formula is bound to be a top seller!