What is a ketogenic diet?
Ketogenic is a term referring to a ketone based diet, hence the term “in ketosis.” This is caused by the consumption of ultra low carbohydrates – under 100 grams per day for sure, but most often I think, under 30-40 grams – in order to force the body into ketosis. Ketosis is the point where there is not enough glucose to fuel the system, particularly the 100 grams or so it takes to fuel the brain, which forces the liver to produce ketones for fuel.
After a period of time, between 1-4 days normally, the brain adapts to using the ketones for fuel. After a longer period of time, between 2 and 4 weeks, the body begins to efficiently use bodyfat for fuel and decreases the use of ketones to fuel the muscles.
There are several popular low carb diet books available. The most well known is the Dr. Atkins Diet Revolution. Also see the Drs. Eades Protein Power, Dr. Sears’ The Zone (which is less low carb than the rest I believe), the Drs. Heller CAD – Carbohydrate Addicts Diet, Beyond the Zone, and Ray Audette’s Neanderthin. All have the same basics, with slight variations.
The book most of us used to refer to is Lyle McDonald’s The Ketogenic Diet, which is a compilation of all the low carb studies he researched, plus descriptions and methods to use the diet in combination with heavy or moderate weight training. Another really popular one (and more current these days) is Rob Faigin’sNatural Hormonal Enhancement.
For those who don’t know, Lyle has expanded upon the low-carb theories of Dr. Atkins, with an eye toward weight training. He warns that the standard Atkin’s style low carb will hurt your weight training after a fairly short period of time as there’s not enough muscle glycogen to fuel a strong workout not long after beginning a ketosis-based diet. Others disagree, so again it appears to be an individual thing to test for yourself.
The Atkins diet is what Lyle calls a “SKD” – standard ketogenic diet. Lyle’s training-geared diets are called “CKD” – cyclical ketogenic diet, or “TKD” – targeted ketogenic diet. CKD is a 5-6 day low-carb diet, followed by 24-48 hours of high carb to refill glycogen stores for the week. TKD is a full time low carb diet, except that extra carbs are taken 30 minutes prior to workouts. In a nutshell. Laree
Some people need to restrict their carbohydrate intake to less than 10 grams a day to enter ketosis; others have been able to enter ketosis while eating up to 100 grams a day. The only way to be sure that your carbohydrate intake is low enough is to measure ketones in your urine with ketostiks.
Also, the number of grams of carbohydrates per day is not the only factor determining whether you enter ketosis. Individuals who are eating less than 20 grams of carbohydrates but are consuming exceedingly high amounts of protein may NOT enter ketosis. If protein intake is too high, the body can convert the protein into glucose (through a very inefficient means) and avoid ketosis. Also, certain micronutrients may prevent ketosis. Millard
Carbohydrates, all carbohydrates, simple and complex are converted to glucose by the liver and enter the bloodstream as glucose. Excess glucose in the bloodstream triggers an automatic insulin response from the pancreas. The insulin’s purpose is to remove the excess glucose, which is toxic to the organs and the nerves, from the bloodstream. It stores the glucose in the adipose tissue (fat) and activates glycolysis which stimulates the adipose tissue to store fat. Mark
I think the problem is in your approach towards carb intake. It’s really not as bad as you think and the results will prove better than you think. Try this simple approach to carb intake. (You must use the Ketostix to show positive ketone readings.)
Week 1 – 10 grams of carbs max per day – this is the worst one
Week 2 – 20 grams max per day
Week 3 – 30 grams max per day
Week 4 – 40 grams max per day.
After the fourth week, just keep a close eye on your ketone readings. You should be able to add a few grams of carbs still, however if you get a negative reading just drop back to 10 grams the next day and you should be right back in ketosis.