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When to Use the Keto Diet?

Is the Keto diet optimal for people who already have experience losing fat the real way but they’re bored/need motivational spike to a new diet?

I first heard of keto diet like several years ago 2010-2012 of bodybuilders going in it (or carb cycling too) before competing

Now it’s a trend and even people who don’t workout do it lol.

At least a couple people I know tell me they had success with it while keeping the weight off in last couple months.

I tried a 30 gram low carb diet and lost 25lb in 6 weeks sometime in 2016 than gained 10 back and it was hard to maintain other weight off but I got use to it eating my own way…

Keto is 50 grams carbs max and high fat…and I guess I’ll add high protein since it keeps one satieted.

When I officially start this idk right now I’m mentally brainstorming

I’ve been wanting to get under 20% bf or lower for a couple years but my diet is too inconsistent to lose a good amount of fat overtime. …so I just stay around maintenance usually. I have lost 30+lbs over 3+ months twice in my life and gained it back however my body composition changed in different ways. I have no problem with cardio as I already do 3+hours per week after I lift.

Right now I’m 5’7" 235lbs 23% bf using calipers but probably closer to 28-30% using the “eye” test. And would like to be under 200lbs.

What do you think about keto? I’m with IFBB pro Greg Doucette on this and believe diets are stupid and the normal way is better but I wanna try it out of boredom vs staying same weight / being inconsistent on a lower calorie meal plan.

Keto is a poor choice if you consider long term cardiovascular health. It works simply because you restricted carbs drastically, meaning you suddenly forced your body into a huge caloric deficit.

Eating good quality food under maintenance calories consistently over a long period of time is your best, albeit, boring, bet. Have a cheat meal every once in a while. If you’re consistentmy staying under maintenance most days of the month, one or two cheat meals won’t matter in the grand scheme of things.

because amazing blood lipid profiles, reduced chrronic inflammation, superior insulin sensitivity, and reduced oxidative stress are poor for cardiovascular health? Most people speak about keto without understanding it. Heck, most people who do keto for “weight loss” don’t understand it. The reality is that low carb dieting is the healthiest way to live for long term health. It doesn’t have to be all bacon and butter, but even still bacon and butter is better than bread and sugar…

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I started keto to lose a few pounds on a cut. When I went down the keto rabbit hole I discovered just how amazing it is and the science backs it up. It’s not mainstream yet and it’s easy to make fun of, but the people that do so don’t know anything about it. Chronic inflammation and insulin resistance are the real dangers of the western diet. Fat doesn’t make you fat and cholesterol is not inherently “bad”. Cholesterol can turn bad in the presence of glucose (carbohydrates, sugar). If you’re thinking of doing keto there’s lots of good evidence based videos from doctors and scientists online, but I think the best channel is Low Carb Down Under. They are literally curing type 2 diabetes with ketogenic diets.

Have you thought much about some kind of exercise?

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If I do not suffer from epilepsy, I see no reason to utilize a diet meant to treat that condition.

I like keeping carbs low. I’ve never felt a need to be in ketosis for that.

At 5’7, 235lbs and near 30% bodyfat, I’d work on eating habits before moving on to keto.

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  1. A very low carb diet will always result in a short term weight loss due to loss of muscle and liver glycogen and water that is associated with the glycogen-even at maintenance calories so it is important to understand that this is not equivalent to improved body composition.

  2. It is important to distinguish between a ketogenic diet with maintenance calories and a ketogenic diet with caloric restriction.

  3. A ketogenic diet attempt that falls short of adaptive ketosis does not necessarily improve insulin sensitivity. Muscles will load up with fatty acids instead of glycogen and they will stop making enzymes that break down glucose for fuel so in reality a ketogenic diet improves insulin receptor sensitivity, but it does not make the muscle better at using glucose so it causes physiological (metabolic) insulin resistance-cells actually need more insulin to manage a given amount of glucose. IF you are chronically insulin over-exposed it can remove the over-exposure which can let your cells receptors resensitize, but your body will still need more insulin to manage a certain amount of carbs. However if you are in a calorie deficit you will still clear out room in the liver and muscles to put glucose, so a calorie deficit on any diet is going to improve insulin sensitivity. Daily insulin release is much more closely linked to daily calories than daily carb intake. Fat requires insulin to manage since it fills up muscle cells and makes it harder for insulin to push glucose into muscle cells.

A ketogenic diet may eventually result in the body making more growth hormone instead of cortisol, which tend to improve body composition, however this can be achieved on a 16-20 hour fasting period.

Keto is a tool, so is fasting. I find both absolutely horrible for building anything. But both work in terms of dieting. I have found that doing an 16h fast before ketosis is good way to make achieving ketosis quicker.

Anyway. I still much more prefer pretty much anything over either one. Both are in most situations just needless suffering.

Yes, you wouldn’t prescribe either for muscle building but, IMO, done properly I believe it can happen. I’ve personally seen gym gains while doing a bunch of 44-hours fasts. I attribute this to net weight loss, e.g. increase in reps on pull ups and dips, etc. But it also demonstrates an ability to recover not dependent on food.

In short, all effective diets are effective because they get you into a calorie deficit.

There is no such thing as a universally optimal diet.

Lots of diets have been studied and tested and it has been demonstrated time and again that, with equal deficits, diets perform equally well over the short - medium term as long as a threshold level of protein has been achieved. (low protein diets have equal weight loss but unfavourable lean mass:fat mass lots ratios)

The question then is, which diet helps YOU maintain a calorie deficit.

This is going to come down to lifestyle and preferences. Some people will adhere better to a low fat diet because of their food preferences. Some people will adhere better to a low carb diet, again because of their food preferences.

There are things I love about keto, and things I find difficult.

I love the satiety, easily the least hunger of any diet modality i’ve tried for an equivalent deficit. I also love the mental clarity I get, where I get more ‘brain fog’ dieting with higher carbs.

The issues for me with Keto are that I lose a fair bit of top end performance, doesn’t hurt bodybuilding style training in my experience, but work over 85% 1rm becomes very challenging.

The other issue is that is more difficult to comply with in social settings.

As a married man its also very difficult because my wife doesn’t diet, and has no intention of living a keto lifestyle. She’s on maternity leave at the moment and so when I get home she has cooked dinner for herself, she has kindly made enough for me to have some too. For me to be using keto now I’d have to tell my wife to cook for one, and sort my own food out. Obviously not an impossible challenge, but when other diets are equally effective I don’t see the need.

If you struggle a lot with satiety, have a high personal preference for fatty foods rather than starches and you woulnd’t struggle with compliance, then keto might be optimal FOR YOU.

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I actually get STRONGER with IF, but I will do low rep strength training fasted with electrolytes only. I think that there is an improved growth hormone release training in a 12-20 hour fasted state as I tend to improve body comp and get stronger. I tried peri-workout carbs for several years and if I was in a calorie surplus it would make sense, but 16-20 hours fasting windows each day is really the key to improving body comp and strength to weight ratio and peri workout carbs HURT my top end strength for low reps.

I don’t believe that Keto provides any benefits over IF in terms of health, performance, insulin sensitivity, metabolic syndrome, body composition. I actually think it’s worse for autophagy because ketones eventually shut down autophagy. I may be worse for insulin sensitivity because glucose itself upregulates th body’s ability to burn up glocose. It has similar effects on appetite suppression. I don’t think peri workout carbs matter for <1:00 hour of strength training as long as you get carbs reloaded in your window.

I have to say that what I liked in ketogenic diet turned out to be completely provided by IF, except that keto lead to a drop in scale weight from water. TRE itself shifts the pathways toward anti-catabolism but still activates autophagy while it is my believe that autophagy is most prominent when the body desires carbs rather than in adaptive ketosis when carbs are not essential for neurological. In deep ketosis, the brain runs on ketones so there is no urgency to autophagize tissue to provide glucose for the brain. Honestly, I think autophagy is most prominent in the 16-24 hour fasted state, and lessens when the fast goes longer because of less reliance on glucose.

All of the original proponents of IF for autophagy that I talked with believed the the best protocol was normal eating one day, and OMAD the next (or 2-3 days a week). Autophagy is a catabolic mechanism and their opinions were that OMAD 2-3 times a week provided maximal benefits of autophagy, basically enough to clean up ALL malformed or precancerous proteins and cells in the body. Beyond that point the immune system just starts recycling perfectly good proteins.

I have to say that I believe that having a longer fasting window may raise GH enough to make a difference in some individuals, and my theory is that people who have a harder time keeping lean may benefit more from time restricted eating because when they simply reduce calories they get higher cortisol and adrenaline levels but this pushes up insulin and blocks GH. GH can do much of the job of cortisol by mobilizing fat and providing glucose, but it stimulated IGF-1 over insulin which preferentially puts glucose, fatty acids and amino acids into lean tissue versus insulin which builds fat as much as lean.

So I think that insulin resistant people may be GH underproducers and TRE allows the to go GH->IGF1 route rather than Cortisol->Insulin route. Also the GH can shore up microinjuries which can end up reducing chronic inflammation.

Lean people probably are not GH deficient to begin with. If I were still active in research I would be looking into this “conjecture” that insulin resistance may be linked to whether someone tends to produce more cortisol or GH under stress, and also whether eating/activity patterns independent of calories in and out may affect those pathways.

Hey there. I’m still new to keto and IF but I’ve consumed dozens of hours of content from the prominent doctors and scientists who put out written and video content on the matter. I do not in any way doubt what you’re saying, I’m just wondering if you could provide me some sources for your information regarding ketones shutting down autophagy? I would just like to see/read it so I can be more informed is all.

I’m currently experimenting with fasting until my evening workouts and taking peri-workout carbs. Or carbs/protein/bcaa, with or without phosphatidic acid and HMB to activate mTOR.

I’m doing OMAD 3x per week on my workout days except I’m splitting it up to two meals in within about a 2-3 hour window so I don’t feel sick.

Again, you seem very knowledgeable about this so I’m really just wanting to understand as much as I can and not spin my wheels.

The only thing I like keto is when I’m trying to break 10%. I can’t do it with low fat, with carbs. Just due to hunger. But I’m a weak man. (Fucking binge on cereal day 4 lol)

Exactly. I’ve thrived on a carnivore style diet.

Dude… Blueberry rice Chex are like crack

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I will work on putting together the rationale, but For now I want to be clear. Ketones don’t shut down autophagy (they probably help activate it) but prolonged ketosis reduces rather than enhances autophagy. It is the process of going into ketosis that coincides with activation of autophagy and autophagy is not a state that the body maintains at high levels in a healthy state. It is something that you pass through and which tapers off and so it may be better to activate it 2-3x a week than to try to prolonged it.

If autophagy is what you’re specifically targeting then you’ll want to plan regular periodic fasts, preferably 48hrs+

Excellent post, as always Mertdawg.

I personally agree with much of the rationale you have outlined. I also employ a similar system: alternate day fasting followed by OMAD.

The natural benefits of autophagy coupled with a rise in GH is, IMO, what makes this system superior to the traditional prescription of a modest caloric deficit over time.

In terms of peri-WO carbs, I have experimented with every combination known to man and have settled on what I would loosely term a targeted ketogenic diet. I believe these make a real difference to my gym performance. Of course, if I was back doing low rep strength work with longers RIs then I would reconsider revising carbs down a bit. However, I do think CT makes a valid point about their use in moderating cortisol, which is an issue for me given the time of day I train. I also believe the amount of carbs required for this effect is modest, e.g. 20-30g.

Another interesting observation. There is quite a lot of anecdotal evidence now about the healing effects derived through autophagy via prolonged fasting and/or extreme fasting, such as dry fasting, for treatment of conditions like cancer. Swedish bodybuilder/coach Joachim Bartoll charted his own experience of this, worth checking out.