T Nation

Ketogenic Diet Guide/Questions


#1

I have been reading up on the diet and thought it would be great to have a thread for the keto diet. Not really for fat loss stint purposes but, as a way of eating. A few questions, some simple/silly but, I would rather have them answered by people who follow the diet.

  1. Who should one read up on for the most up to date information?

  2. Do you count carbs or net carbs?

  3. Once in ketosis what determines how many carbs you can have without being pulled out? Are there any supplements that can bring you back in quickly?

  4. Does being pulled out of ketosis too often have a negative effect?

  5. How has the keto diet made you feel as opposed to a “regular” diet?

  6. I have read that the “keto flu” may be from a lack of certain minerals/electrolytes and not really a sign of adaptation. Any truth to this?


#2
  1. Required reading imho: Lyle McDonald’s/Dan Ducchaine’s Ketogenic Diet, Dr. Mauro Dipasquale’s Anabolic diet. Even if you don’t do refeeds on purpose, it’s important to know that a heavy carb meal once a month won’t kill you and might actually help. Don’t go a’ll keto dogmatic about it.

  2. Count both. If you’ve never done keto before fibrous veggies are your friend. You will get bound up if you go low on fiber and water.

  3. About 1000 variables. Activity level, sleep, type of carbs, genetics. Don’t sweat it, just go low to start with and you will enter ketosis. Later on if you find out you can handle 75g of carbs and still stay in keto, good for you.

  4. It just means you’ll go through the annoying adaptation multiple times.

  5. Less hungry. No lunch energy crash from carb meals. Sleep is better.

  6. Only way to find out is to try it. The adaptation won’t kill you. You just get kind of dizzy if you stand up to fast. You’ll feel slightly dazed for like 2 days.


#3

Although tainted recently over some questionable studies, Dr Jacob Wilson’s Ketogenic Bible is still the best source of evidence-based ketogenic dieting.

Arguably everything that goes in your mouth should be counted. As a starter, I would aim for 30g net.

Varies hugely. The main objective is getting keto-adapted, which could take weeks. After that you can purposely drop out of ketosis via a targeted ketogenic approach. No supplement will ‘bring you back in quickly’, and this includes claims by the exogenous ketone peddlers.

Again, at risk of counter-arguments as this originates with Jacob Wilson, there is evidence that both cyclical ketogenic dieting as well as the reintroduction of moderate/high carbs for standard keto dieters can lead to muscle loss/fat regain. It stands to reason, your body is trying to jump from one ship to the other (ketones v glycogen) but can’t get far on either.

I’ve dieted on 1500 kcals on high carbs and felt like death; and 1000 kcals on a PSMF and felt ‘normal’.

I can’t comment on that. For whatever reason, I have always felt good from day 1 so much so I used to question whether I was doing it correctly. Perhaps another reason why it works well for me.


#4

Regarding net carbs, fiber (the non-net component of total carbs) can supply calories, but only after intestinal flora turns it into short chain triglycerides which would count as fat calories. 1 gram of fiber typically nets about .1 grams of fat. It’s this stg’s produced from fiber consumption that provides the bulk of calories in grass eating mammals like Cows, sheep, elephants and gorillas. These animals are all probably in ketosis most of the time.


#5

Is testing the only way to know if ketosis has been accomplished? What is the best test?

Is there a difference between being in ketosis and being fat adapted? I have read that getting into ketosis can be quick but, being fat adapted (for athletic purposes) can take much longer.


#6

Blood testing. The devices are cheap but the testing strips are expensive. I use mine’s sparingly, usually to find out how I’m reacting to certain foods, etc. However, quite simply, get your macros right and it will happen after 3-5 days.

Yes there is a difference. Many folks reach mild ketosis after a quick fast, athletic feat, etc. Keto adaptation occurs when your body becomes used to the fuel source. This can take weeks, even months. Using my own example, I started keto on 1 September last year. Apart from the odd slip up, my compliance was excellent. For my Christmas night out, I let my hair down; drank lots of beer, ate burgers, chips and chocolate. That ended on Thursday night. I blood tested on Saturday morning (less than 36 hours later) and was back in ketosis.


#7

What kind of macros should one shoot for? I assume too much protein can be an issue.


#8

You really need to do the research here or you will fail big time. Don’t rely on advice in forums to set up a drastic lifestyle change, like the keto diet.

However, I will give you one great tip: when I did the research it led me to the Ketogains site, run by a really nice chap called Luis Villasenior. They have a FAQs and a macro calculator, all free and accessible. I guarantee both these resources will answer every question you have and, importantly, a plan on where to start. I also spent a good bit of time listening to various podcasts where Villasenior again holds nothing back and gives out a lot of good practical advice.


#9

Does the ratio of fats you eat matter? I have read that as long as omega 6’s are kept under 9g with a 1:1 ratio of omega 3’s you are good

Anyone eat bone marrow? What kind of fat is that? I can not find any real info.


#10

Just supplement with some fish oil. Depending on potency you need roughly 6-10 grams of fish oil/day. You can cut back on how much you take on days you eat oily fish.

Unless you’re wealthy. In which case eat a bunch of grass fed and finished red meats all the time. They have lots of Omega 3’s and a decent ratio of 6/9 to 3.

Never eaten bone marrow. I eat bone broth made in a pressure cooker. Have no idea of fatty acid content.