Bumping into Keto diet as a beginner to fitness programs could result in disaster, unless you understand the concept and commit to a proven well-established plan, especially in regards to meal and supplement. The following guide is to provide basics to Keto, as well as the athlete-proven meal plan to reach your desired “lean body” goal.
Introduction to Keto diet
So, what do you know about Keto diet? Technically, this method enables you to lose fat and gain muscle at the same time, without losing weight.
In case you are not aware of, our energy is produced by absorbing carbohydrate (from different sources) that is stored under the form of glycogen within our body. If you consume an ordinary amount of carbohydrate every day, your body will automatically use glycogen for daily activities, especially work-out.
Consequently, leftover amount of glycogen, which could not be burnt into energy, will be stored in your liver. When this contingency is overwhelmed, it will be released as fat under your skin. The issue is, when carbs are redundant, fat is not the main driver for your energy. Hence, the point here is to cut the absorption of carbs as much as possible to force our body to naturally generate energy by burning fat.
With the concept explained, you now understand why your carb-based diet methods did not go well. Spared energy from carbs can result in more fat that fat itself, subsequently more weight.
Benefits of Keto
Keto diet also equips you with more energy and prolongs “I am full” feeling. Believe it or not, glucose is not our body’s favorite source of energy. Research indicates that free fatty acids can generate a lot more of energy than carbohydrate, which usually has redundancy throughout the metabolic process. The structure of fatty acids is denser than carbohydrates – like a higher quality gas for your vehicle. Due to its density, fat needs more time to fully digest. Apparently, it has ability to maintain the “full” feeling to your body. You will be more tolerant to the diet.
Proper approach to Keto diet
By now, you have been able to evaluate pros and cons of Keto, and ready to step up in the game. However, Keto is not for everyone. Some weightlifters were able to survive very low-carb, high fat for a long time. They definitely feel good about themselves as they achieved their lean body goals.
On the contrary, to some others, Keto has been a miserable experience. They failed to maintain muscle mass but gain weight as they input inconsiderable amount of carbohydrate. They wish they would have had better approach in the meal/supplement game. The following nutrition plan is from Jason Wittrock, well-known keto trainer, and nutrition specialist.
As mentioned before, the key is to cut carb and absorb fat. Highly-contained carbohydrate food such as rice and oat subsequently will be out of the list. Even fruit will be cut off to reduce fructose consumption as much as possible. Wittrock suggests that even carrots and onions are too glycemic to Keto.
Suggested diet for Keto
Basically, there are some staples that you can build your Keto diet around. However, these followings are interchangeable as long as that keeps you commit to the program.
- Every single type of fatty cheese
- Every type of meat
- Whole eggs
- Olive oil
- Salted butter
- Fish contains high amount of fats such as mackerels or sardines.
- Vegetable: asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, mushrooms, spinach and black beans
- Chicken stew that contains 1-2 gram sodium
In this list, Wittrock would like to emphasize the importance of the last item – the bouillon to the whole diet. This is critical to your body as it provides an adequate amount of sodium, which will support overcoming the dehydration. As discussed, Keto is about cutting carbs thereby deplete glycogen quickly. As per 1 gram of glycogen we lost, 3 gram of water we wasted. Thus, the bouillon is a rescue to not only body dehydration, but also exhausted and demotivated feeling of our chemistry. Wittrock cannot stress enough the significance of sodium in this must-have list.
If you even want more instructions, the following tips will help you out. It was delivered by Teryn Sapper – leading dietician of the Department of Human Sciences at The University of Ohio.
The Anytime Quick Keto Meal:
Basically, you have to prepare in advance. The variety of ingredients is very important since you can get bored with the meal easily. However, you need to make sure the crucial elements are adequate:
- Protein (sausage, bacon, beef)
- Vegetable (asparagus, bell peppers, cabbage)
- Sugar-free seasoning (salt, taco, garlic)
Aside, snack also plays their part. Jerky, nuts or cubed cheese are recommended to add more carbohydrates to the menu.
Macronutrients in Keto:
Tracking macros are very important at the beginning of Keto. Calculating and controlling your macronutrients allow you to gain feedback from your body and adjust diet accordingly until you start to feel the difference. As discussed previously, Keto user has to be restricted on carb absorption, medium on protein and high fat intake. Teryn suggests the ideal proportion will be:
Keto-related myths explained:
It is argued that Keto diet cannot help you build muscle that requires a lot of protein intake. The answer may surprise you. Wittrock believes that ketones – byproducts of keto diet from your body – has the ability to retain protein so “tons of protein is not necessary” he said. Besides, taking too much protein can result in the same effect as carb does to your body.
Further, then physical matters, Keto beginner has to duel with psychological uncertainty regarding the actual effect of Keto. Having to absorb through-the-roof amount of fats can intimidate anyone in related to fatphobia. Wittrock recommends butter, nuts rather than soybean or corn, which are unhealthy fat, in the early days.
The discomfort caused by Keto is real. Some bros jumped right into Keto and suddenly got overwhelmed by the symptoms of low-carb effect. They feel exhausted and experience a headache. Backed up sciences advise that Keto dieters have to take more of the 3 main electrolytes: Sodium, Potassium, and Magnesium to overcome this stage.
Supplement advice: Wittrock believes that any glucogenic supplements should be avoided as much as possible. Keto dieter should intake adequate amount of supplements that are helpful to their workout performance like Pre-workout. BCAA is alright, however, the valine intake is necessarily limited.