“Ketogenic Diet” and “Ketosis” are words that don’t mean much to the average person. To a fitness enthusiast these words are gaining more and more momentum. Most new diet aficionados have seen these crop up in recent publications, articles and books. The art of ketosis is gaining traction in the fitness communities across the globe. But what is Ketosis? What is a ketogenic diet?
I’m not a doctor or a scientist so I’ll keep this brief and leave the nitty gritty to the big dogs. Put simply: Ketosis is when your body begins utilizing its stored fat as its primary source of fuel. This also produces ketones, which your body can use as an energy mechanism. Ketosis is achieved through a “Ketogenic diet”. By restricting carbohydrates to about 50 grams or lower in a given day, you can begin to move your body into ketosis.
This is an excellent way to burn up fat and lean out your body. Like all things, there needs to be moderation and monitoring. Going overboard by starvation or completely elminating all forms of carbohydrates can throw your body into ketoacidosis, which can be a big problem for those in favor of living.
When you eat a diet that forgoes breads, pastas, potatoes, processed carbohydrates, and all forms of sugar, your body instinctively reacts by turning to its stored fat for sustenance. Without the presence of fast digesting, quick energy carbs, fat will become the furnace feeder. For anyone who is struggling with an excess of body fat or has struggled to drop weight in the past, this style of eating can be incredibly beneficial.
There are hardcore believers, like in any school of thought, that think this is the be all/end all way to live. Carbs and grains are the devil and we should burn down all bakeries!
I think the balance always lies somewhere in the middle. I believe a person can eat in the Ketogenic spectrum 75% of the time and enjoy a few “cheats” the other 25%. Food is not inherently evil, except for high fructose corn syrup! The problem lies with us. When we consume massive amounts of processed sludge, our bodies begin acting abnormally.
Over time, we develop diseases, excess fat, mental deficiencies, and a multitude of inflammatory issues in response to the unnatural “american” diet. Our bodies were not designed to handle 100s of grams of sugar a day or a constant pound of croissants down our face holes. We are at our optimal when we introduce our guts to good greens, healthy fats, and animal/plant proteins. Diversity is the name of game.
I utilized a Ketogenic lifestyle as part of an experiment Dr. Ed Adams constructed for the Wreck It Crew. (You can read about that here: 2 month experiment) I ate this low carb/high fat diet for 60 days and some crazy things happened. I wasn’t hungry all the time, my brain seemed to operate on a clearer plane, my energy didn’t dip in the afternoon, and I lost 15 pounds (mostly fat).
I felt great, looked great, and was free to design my day based on how I felt instead of how hungry I was or what macro-combo I needed. It was an awesome experience and I believe everyone should give it a shot for at least 30 days. Ketosis could be the missing link in the chain to fitness and nutritional success!
Without the presence of fast digesting, quick energy carbs, fat will become the furnace feeder.
Here are some great resources and guides to help you along your Ketogenic journey. I utilized the Primal Blue Print by Mark Sisson. It can be a technical read, but it provides some great research and concepts to help you craft a high fat/low carb happy bus. Here is an awesome resource guide to Ketogenic living from Bodybuilding.com. You will find some ballin insight, FAQs, common made mistakes, and general knowledge about this style of eating. Also, check out this big low carb foods list that will aid you in your search for the perfect ingredients to ignite your fat burning voyage!
I thoroughly enjoyed this body/mind experiment. It taught me so many things about my physical needs, reactions to outside stimulus, and gave me the tools to better create a lifestyle that meets my end game goals. Give this diet a try and see for yourself how beneficial it can be!