Due to the recent “onslaught” of posts on keto diets and people wanting references to particular JB thoughts on them, I thought I might just add why I like them and some of the research/experience I have had with them–
Issue #1: Fat-Rebound and Fat Gain following keto diet–
The most likely reason why people coming off a keto diet gain back the fat, is simply due to this: ENERGY BALANCE. Unless you are doing a CKD, where you carb-up for one day only and then head back into below maintenance energy (kcal) it is very easy to start craving carbs, esp. high GI ones that don’t fill you up and jack insulin, and start bingeing. As a result, above and beyond glycogen supercompensation, you begin to add back fat, which is very noticeable, esp. if you got real lean. The most amount of discipline is required coming out of the diet, not during it in my opinion. Even the carb-up of a CKD is easy, if you structure it, but coming off, you must taper your re-entrance into maintenance kcal and then slightly above so as to avoid fat regain, and this is hard esp. if you have been dieting severely which i normally due.
Issue #2: Insulin sensitivity destroyed or impaired by keto diets–Ironically, studies have shown that keto diets can actually improve insulin binding (Robinson & Williamson, 1980). While I would not say that keto diets don’t possess negative aspects, I believe if done correctly, and for structured amounts of time w/proper supplementation, the insulin issues can be mitigated to a great extent. When coming off, or during a load, always ingest a small amount (around 70g or so) of CHO prior to any major refeeding (5-8hrs) to upregulate liver enzymes and begin the transition out of ketosis. I use honey and something like blackberries/blueberries/strawberries which I blend with a pro shake. The fructose here is key, becuase it upregulates liver enzymes and doesn’t go directly to muscle. When coming off, it is necessary to slowly reintegrate carbs over a total time span of 3 days or so, as it takes approximately 24-48hrs to upregulate muscle enzymes such that they are able to OXIDIZE cho once again (they can still store it though). Obviously, during a chronic high CHO refeed above and beyond glyco comp, if the muscles can’t oxidize it, then it will be stored as fat.
Issue #3: Fat-loss on Keto: From my personal experience, muscle is spared if properly supplmented while on the diet. Here proper amounts of MCT, BCAA’s, and HMB, all taken collectively, and in higher dosages (see Berardi’s article on how supp. companies try to dick us over) are necessary. Sometimes, the dosages used in the studies are simply unattainable for us, but the more the merrier if supplmenting and eating the best quality proteins etc. It seems to me, (maybe its more psychological) that on keto diets, you can almost visualize the fat coming off and as we all know, the psychology of fat loss is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT when dieting. One final comment. If calories aren’t dropped too low (less than 1000 below), no major issues with metabolism shut down should occur if cardio and proper ECA supplementation is ensured. Yes metabolism will slow down invariable depending on the individual, length of diet time etc. but, as long as kcal are kept at moderately below mntc. fat loss should continue to occur (again, my experience).
Hope this helps and provides food for thought.