Oh yes, another keto article …
Yes, Keto is hot right now. And if you just look at the surface-level information, you might think that keto means biting on bacon and ribeye, while the fat melts out of your body as if by magic.
I assure you, that is not the case. Let's get to the facts where keto seems and where it is short.
First, it is not new
Ketogenic diets have been around since at least the 1920s, when doctors discovered that glucose as the major fuel (via severe carbohydrate restriction and increased fat intake) forced the body to become "fat-adapted" Reduction or complete secretion of seizures in epileptic patients.
Removing or greatly reducing carbohydrates from your diet and increasing fat intake leads to a metabolic change in the body that causes a fuel source in the absence of glucose to be formed. Once the body is depleted of glucose, the liver converts fatty acids into ketone bodies for energy, namely acetone, acetoacetate, and beta-hydroxybuyterate (BHB).
Once in ketosis ̵
Being vain and selfish, we have found that with a few manipulations, the same diet can be used to lose fat as it naturally has high levels of fat associated with it. Who knew that eating a lot of lard and bacon would curb hunger?
Vince Gironda used a similar approach to the keto in the 1950s. In the 80's and 90's Dr. med. Mauro Dipasquale the anabolic diet where you go keto all week to promote fat burning and increase hormonal production (that's the theory at least). Afterwards, the weekends were used to destroy carbohydrates to replenish the used up glycogen stores
So this is not a fad, folks. It is not new.
Keto and Body Composition
There has been fairly solid research on ketogenic diets compared to other types of diets and how they improve body composition, both in muscle building and in fat loss
The good news For keto lovers, keto actually does slightly better work in the fat loss department, most likely due to the high level of saturation associated with it. (They feel full of it after a while.)
The JISSN meta-analysis, which looked at the most popular body composition diets, concluded that keto diets offer a slight advantage in terms of fat loss When calories and protein were present alike, but only marginally. (1) Nevertheless, every bit helps.
The bad news for keto lovers is that keto shallow in muscle growth compared to diets that are not too limited to carbohydrates.
To make this clearer, a recent study looked at the changes in body composition in resistance-trained men to a calorie surplus when using a ketogenic diet (compared to a non-keto group and a control group). The keto group lost fat, but looked virtually zero in lean muscle tissue. (2)
It is possible that the keto group actually did not eat any calories above the level of maintenance due to the high degree of saturation. Even if a hypercaloric condition is reached weekly, you still see a net zero gain in muscle mass. It turns out you need carbohydrates for accelerated muscle growth.
So you can not build muscle on Keto … or can you? There is something called Targeted Ketogenic Diet (TKD) in which you spend a few weeks or even months adjusting your body to keto and then using carbohydrates in high amounts during or after exercise. Then you are much more sensitive to insulin and less likely to be kicked out of ketosis (it's just the term glut4).
Due to the incredibly high levels of anal remanence on the Internet, people will ask, "Well, how many carbohydrates?" I can not tell you. You would have to manipulate and test that yourself.
However, I would recommend starting with about 30-50 grams of carbohydrates in the peri-and post-workout window (combined carbohydrate intake here). If you are really anal, measure your blood ketone levels before, during, and after this window to see how carbohydrate intake affects you. I know it's hard to try things out.
Keto and Performance
When it comes to keto and performance, the most common result is a general slump in performance and the return to baseline once the athlete is fat
It looks like if an athlete is really fat-adjusted, he or she will experience a performance similar to that of a traditional Western diet. This is especially true for endurance athletes, where fat-adjusted athletes tend to perform the same compared to those taking carbohydrates. (3, 4)
Things change when the power output is included in the equation. Keto-transition athletes often report a reduction in power output compared to glucose-containing ones. (5, 6)
However, there is always anecdote reservation about all these things. There are many people who have seen performance improvements after switching to a ketogenic diet. You could say that fat loss increases performance. Perhaps. The law of individuality tends to prevail more often than not in the performance world.
Keto and Metabolic Diseases
Here Keto really seems to shine and appears to have the greatest benefit compared to other types of diets. In combating disease, increasing longevity, and improving overall health and well-being, Keto stands out.
This should come as no surprise if you know that BHB has a strong anti-inflammatory effect in the body. (7) Virtually every disease known to man is associated with chronic low-level inflammation.
However, this is not the only factor. It is believed that disruption of glucose metabolism could be a major contributor to diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. Because ketones can cross the blood-brain barrier, they can provide brain fuel under conditions where glucose is not available.
In cancer, it is believed that glucose tends to nourish cancer cells. These cells starved in a BHB-rich physiological environment. (8) Starve the fuel for cancer growth, and you can improve your chances of getting a crab's ass. At least that's the theory.
There is still much research to consolidate these ideas. However, there is enough evidence to suggest that a keto would not be bad if you woke up tomorrow with one of the above problems.
Stop Chasing Ketosis
If you are not suffering from a metabolic disease The wrong way to approach the keto is to actually pursue the ketosis. From the standpoint of fat loss or the composition of the body, nothing from the ketosis is too magical.
If you like to eat keto and keep it, this is a viable option for fat loss. However, reducing body fat through an energy deficit is always the major factor, regardless of what type of diet you use – high carbs, low carbohydrates, paleo, IIFYM or whatever.
It all comes down to more energy The most important variable in all of these diets is your own ability to be consistent with them, and to help you move toward your physical and performance goals.
Let's sum up …
- Keto has a very slight fat loss advantage compared to most other diets mentioned, most likely due to its high level of satiety.
- Keto is a much worse option than diets that contain carbohydrates when it comes to building lean muscle.
- A TKD approach could offer you the best of both worlds, keto for a few months and then use carbohydrates in the peri-and post-workout window.
- Performance-oriented, endurance athletes compete with glucose athletes alike are fat-adjusted. Once the need for power comes into play, the results can vary from individual to individual.
- If you have any metabolic disease, Keto is pretty much king. And from the point of view of health and longevity, it probably has significant benefits compared to other diets. Reducing inflammation and controlling insulin are two major benefits.
Keto – You're doing it wrong
Should you go keto?
- Aragon, et al. (2017) International Society for Sports Nutrition: Diets and Body Composition
- Salvador Vargas, Et al. (2018) Effectiveness of the ketogenic diet on body composition during resistance training in trained men: a randomized controlled trial. doi.org/10.1186/s12970-018-0236-9[19659041dSiephenDDPhinneyKketogenicDietsandPersonalPower(2004)doi:101186/1743-7075-1-2
- Paul Urbain and other consequences of a 6-week non-energetically-restricted ketogenic diet becoming more physical Fitness, body composition and biochemical parameters in healthy adults (2017) doi: 10.1186 / s12986-017-0175-5
- Caryn Zinn, (2017) Ketogenetic composition of the body and well-being, but no performance in a pilot study of New Zealand endurance athletes. doi: 10.1186 / s12970-017-0180-0
- The effects of a ketogenic diet on the metabolism and physical performance of off-road cyclists, Adam Zajac et al. (2014) doi: 10.3390 / nu6072493
- Youm YH, et al The ketone metabolite β-hydroxybutyrate blocks the inflammatory disease caused by NLRP3 inflammation. (2015) doi: 10,1038 / nm.3804.
- Caroline W. Cohen, et al. A ketogenic diet reduces central obesity and serum insulin in women with ovarian cancer or endometrial carcinoma (2018) doi.org/10.1093/jn/nxy119