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Nutrition

Ketogenic diets

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We´ve been told our entire lives that carbohydrates is the best source of energy for our bodies. But this is not completely true, ketones are another source of energy that our bodies can use efficiently.

A ketogenic diet reduces carbohydrates but you´ll find different macro nutrient ratios because there´s not a rule to set a proper ratio, we´re all different and our lifestyles play a big role also. The goal of a ketogenic diet is to get into ketosis, this is possible by reducing carbohydrates, increasing fats and keeping protein moderate. Some people recommend 20% to 30% of carbohydrates, other people want to go lower in carbohydrates and recommend 5% to 10% of carbohydrates, 15% protein and 80% fat. If you go higher in fat and lower in carbohydrates it is possible to get into ketosis faster.

When glucose is available in the blood, the body will use that to make energy instead of using stored body fat.  When glucose is not available the body starts breaking down fat, and ketones become its primary fuel source.

When you lower carbohydrates blood glucose levels lowers and the body´s glycogen stores are depleted. When blood glucose is low and glycogen stores are depleted it forces your body to use another fuel rather than glucose. The body naturally utilizes glucose whenever it is available in the bloodstream or from the breakdown of stored glycogen. By lowering the amount of glucose from food which are mostly carbohydrates and the amount of glucose stored as glycogen the body is able to start burning fat/ketones as its primary source.

In the presence of a low-carbohydrate diet, all healthy fats are easily metabolized and broken down, including saturated fats (trans fats are not part of this, they are unhealthy fats and have negative effects for your health).

Ketogenic diets shifts the body from relying on glucose to relying on fat as its primary fuel, where you are in a state of ketosis, the body easily taps into fat stores when it needs energy. Before your body starts using fats efficiently it needs to adapt, this adaptation and switching from utilizing carbohydrates as its main source of energy to utilizing fat take some time. The period of adaptation varies from person to person, consider 4 to 6 weeks to give enough time for your body to adapt, it may adapt sooner or it may take longer. The first days and weeks you may feel tired, unfocused, you may have headaches and other symptoms all related to this diet, this phase is known as the “keto flu”, most people give up during this period thinking that the diet is not for them.

The anabolic diet may be a good nutrition program for some people, but others may find it difficult to sustain, on the anabolic diet by Mauro Di Pasquale you follow a ketogenic diet for 2 weeks very high in fats and very low in carbohydrates to help your body adapts faster, on the second or third week on weekends (Saturday and Sunday) you´ll change your macro ratios from high fat/low carbohydrates to high carbohydrates/low fat, making this two days or for some people just one day a cheat meal or cheat day, I´ll explain more about this diet which I consider to be a modified ketogenic diet in other post.

If you want to try a ketogenic diet I do not recommend counting calories or trying to lose weight and reduce calories during the adaptation period, if you are training continue with your cardio and resistance workouts but you´ll need to lower the volume and intensity. Once your body is adapted you´ll shred fat faster and your strength and energy increase so you´ll be able to continue with your workouts and make consistent progress.

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Pam