T Nation

Can I Build Muscle with Keto?


#1

hi guys.

im on carb cycling diet and im gaining weight both muscles and fat ,i dont lose weight easily cause im hypothyroid if i eat the same amount of calories i lose more fat in keto(no cardio) than carb cycling(with cardio).
so how important is carb to build muscle or is it about calories in calories out?
or should i do one more cycle then start cutting

thanks


#2

Carbs help a lot to build muscle.

Short answer: get your hypothyroidism sorted out first. While you’re doing that learn healthy eating habits so you don’t get into a bulking/cutting mentality. Once that’s sorted, pick any program you like and figure out the maximum carbs you can use without gaining unnecessary fat.

Without knowing more about you, how you’re eating and how you’re training it’s hard to give really useful advice. I will offer that personally, I have found the more muscle you carry, the more carbs you can use without gaining fat.


#3

taking care of thyroid might take long time as my doctor does not really want me to switch meds.
i took lean body mass test in december and it was 99lb and the other 30 was fat (im 5’2 by the way with low t)

i started keto dieting in September 2016 to November 2016 lost 16lbs (i took hcg with it didn’t make any difference).
started going to the gym/cardio and added carbs cycling 100g-200g-200g-400g and maintained weight then i increased my carbs slowly but i was slightly gaining fat so i kept my diet and decided to under fill the measuring cup slightly.
keep in mind i gain weight with eating 2000 calories (100g carbs) even when i do my cardio and train 5 times a week.
now i stopped dieting and doing cardio but im still maintaining my weight.


#4

i started my diet 8 day ago and i lost 8 pounds i feel like im losing weight too fast im worried i might lose the few pounds of muscle i have , right now im on t3 30mg under doctor supervision and might increase it up to 40mg before the next visit.
when i was in the doctor office i did bmr test and mine was 1475 calories and i have been eating more than that yesterday i had a cheat meal from mcdonald and i ate 2000 calories and still lost over a pound in one day.

my diet is
1 pound of ground beef
1 tablespoon coconut oil
2 tablespoon olive oil
unweight amount of peanuts
some white cheese about 200 calories
im eating around 1500-200 calories and this is without any cardio or working out


#5

Simple answer: if you’re losing weight too fast, eat more until you lose weight at the speed you want.

Just a couple of things I noticed in your most recent post though:

  • no vegetables? BAD idea. Eat lots of veggies,
  • how do you know how many calories you’re getting in if you don’t know how much you’re eating? You aren’t weighing your peanuts, and apparently not your white cheese either;
  • there is a HUGE difference between 1500 cal/day and 2000 cal/day.

All that leads me to suspect that firstly, you’re eating far less than you think and not very well at that; and secondly you have a similarly warped view of your training.

I’m not saying this to be a jerk, but because that appears to be the reality of your situation. You absolutely need to fix your diet, and that starts with knowing how much you’re eating. The fact that you lost eight pounds in eight days pretty much screams ‘not enough food’: you’re at such low calories combined with minimal carbs that your body is shedding water weight and burning off what reserves it has. Very quickly, it’ll go into emergency starvation mode and hold on to every last bit of fay while slowing your metabolism way down.

TL;DR accurately track what you’re eating. Add calories until your weight loss slows to a reasonable rate.


#6

im using my fitness pal app to track micros and calories.

im eating on average 1800 calories with out counting peanut (reason why im trying to overeat to slow my weight loss). im checking the serving size on the food to make sure and about the white cheese its accurate.

im gonna try to add veggies, i know its bad idea but i dont like eating veggies and im trying to stay in ketos

last year i was eating 1200 calories just to lose 2 pound a week , now that im on t3 and packed 10-15 pounds of muscle im losing when eating 1800 calories.
i dont think im under eating unless beef lose macros when cooks? cause im expecting 960 calories from ground beef.
should i add 100g carbs?
i truly appreciate your help thanks.


#7

Keto and 1800 calories does not compute.

What am I missing!?!?


#8

If you aren’t weighing everything (raw if it’s something you cook), you don’t know how much you’re eating so you don’t know your average intake. I cannot stress this enough: you are not currently aware of your intake. Weigh your food. All of it, except veggies (see below).

It isn’t hard. Buy veggies, prepare veggies, eat veggies. Not sure how they’re going to affect ketosis. It’s not like carrots, broccoli, spinach, cucumber, capsicum, etc have a whole lot of carbs (or calories, for that matter).

Except the scale keeps dropping. Doesn’t matter what you think when the facts are staring you in the face.

No shit. That’s going to raise your energy requirements hugely. That said, whether it’s actually all muscle is doubtful because 10 to 15 lbs of muscle is huge. At a guess, I’d say you’ve added maybe five pounds of muscle at the absolute most (which is still plenty, and will certainly drive up your energy requirements) while the other 10 lbs or so is water, glycogen and things like bone mass, with a little fat.

You’re sitting around 130 lbs, right? You’re not exactly super fat, but you aren’t lean either, yes? That puts your minimum maintenance at 1800 cal/day. Now, that’s obviously not enough, because you’re losing weight, and losing it fast. Bump calories up to 2000 cal/day, and see how that works. If you’re still dropping too fast, bump to 2200 cal/day.

Add 50 grams first: that’ll take you to 2000 cal/day. Then if you need to bump up to 2200 cal/day, add another 50 grams. Consume them right before, during and right after training. For example, 15 grams half hour before, 20 grams during, 15 grams half hour after. Try to have the pre and post with protein but no fat. The intra you can have on its own, with protein or with BCAAs.


#9

10 to 15 pounds of muscle in a year. Hmmm. You should start selling your program.


#10

lol the first three months i lost 8 pounds of fat and gain muscles i dont know how much as my weight was dropping and i looked bigger then i did two short cycles test and eq the first cycle i gained 15 pounds in 5 weeks and the second cycle my weight did not change but i still got bigger and now i lost 8 pounds of the 15 pounds lol but im guessing i gained more than 7 pounds at least 10 with noobie gains(and it only been like 9 months since i started)
im still tiny i had no upper body when i started so i made good gains but im not impressed


#11

I’m having a hard time believing anything being said about all this gaining and losing fat and muscle over such short periods of time.


#12

most of the weight gain was water weight
and i was carb cycling the first three months on low carb day i eat 100g and on high carb 600g and i was going 45 minutes cardio everyday so i lost 8 pounds when i could of lost 12 pounds if i wasnt trying to gain muscle in the same time.(my weight was 154lb dropped it to 128lb then got it back to 150lb and now its 135lb)
and i have low t and i have hypothyroidism so i have 25% body fat and underdeveloped muscles so building muscle and losing fat in the same time is not impossible but not easy


#15

I’m a big fan of keto but over the longer term it does appear to mess up your thyroid. Given you’re on meds this may compound matters?

Another issue I see all the time (and I did it myself) is eat too much protein and not enough fat. An actual ketogenic diet is around 80% fat. When folks do the math the first thing they see is protein is below 1g per lbs, panic and revise their macros. For fat, try and get all 3 types in and don’t over rely on stuff like nuts and but butter to get most of your macros.

Other folks have already mentioned greens. Sound advice for the entire population.

Lost 8lbs in 8 days? You’re lucky if more than 1lbs of that was fat. When I first start keto I could convince myself of similar losses as upper abdominal definition kicks in. Two days of heavy carb intake and it’s gone like Brigadoon.