The Ketogenic diet has become a household name and for good reason. When it comes to building muscle and losing fat, most men seem to struggle. Building muscle is extremely difficult at the best of times. Yet building muscle while losing body fat, is darn near impossible. Most people go on a calorie deficit to lose weight, and as a result, their strength and energy levels decrease dramatically. Their existing muscle tissue reduces slightly, and as calories are required for new muscle gains, that certainly doesn’t happen. However, a diet principle that has been getting a lot of attention recently. Especially amongst professional athletes and bodybuilders, is known as the ketogenic diet.
What is the ketogenic diet? –
Basically, the ketogenic diet is a diet, which relies on the consumption of high amounts of fat, moderate consumption of protein, and the low consumption of carbohydrates. People often draw comparisons between the ketogenic diet, and the Atkins diet. Which is like comparing two different things entirely. Yes, they do have similarities, one being the fact that they’re both low carb based diets. With the other based on the fact that you have to get your body into a state of ketosis before you begin to see the fat loss. That’s where the similarities end, the Atkins diet places an emphasis on high protein, whereas the ketogenic diet places an emphasis on high fat.
Do you get fat on the ketogenic diet? –
Not at all. Like the Atkins diet, you restrict your carbohydrates. Meaning that the body has to instead eat away at your existing body fat to get its energy. However, what makes the ketogenic diet so beneficial for people looking to actually bulk up and build muscle, is the fact that you consume high amounts of fat. Before you get excited, these fats are all healthy fats, fats rich in omega 3 6 and 9 fatty acids, as well as being low in saturated fat.
The great thing about the ketogenic diet, is that you don’t count calories, you ensure your healthy fat intake is where it should be at, as well as your carbohydrate intake being extremely low indeed, and hey presto. Your body remains in a state of ketosis. Meaning that it uses your body fat for energy, and as you consume healthy fats, your calories remain high, and therefore your body doesn’t go into a catabolic state, and also eat away at your muscle tissue. Your muscles are unaffected and can, therefore, continue to regenerate and re-grow. Not only that, but as you have so much extra energy, your workouts will be extremely effective indeed, and you’ll even be able to train for longer.
Are there side effects? –
The diet is completely safe, and is completely healthy. However, when you make the transition onto a low carbohydrate based diet, you will feel pretty awful for the first three days or so. This is completely normal, and it affects some people worse than others. It’s simply the shock to the system, of going from around 300 grams of carbs per day. To less than 20 grams per day. Once the body adjusts to the changes and falls into a ketogenic state, you’ll look and feel amazing.