The Ketogenic diet, or “Keto” for short, has picked up a lot of steam in late years. The short of it is that it’s yet another low-carb diet but it necessitates a high amount of daily fat with moderate protein intake. Carbohydrates are typically kept at 30 to 50 grams or less a day.
The reasoning? The Keto Diet suggests that the body turns to burning fat in the absence of carbohydrates. Ketosis is a condition of the body where ketones are raised, resulting in abnormal fat metabolism… aka – rapid fat loss.
Ketones are molecules that build up when the body needs to break down fats and fatty acids to use as fuel. They are present when the body starts turning to fat for energy instead of glucose, which is what is typically burned.
There are typically two keto diets that are followed:
- TKD or Targeted Keto Diet – All of your daily carbs are consumed immediately before and after your workouts.
- CKD or Cyclical Keto Diet – Daily carbohydrates are kept the same but the weekends feature a “carb up” phase (1 or 2 days) to consume an over-abundance of carbs with the goal of raising glycogen levels and delivering more energy over the next week. During the high carb phase, fats are nearly eliminated.
How are Keto Macronutrient Ratios Calculated?
If you’re interested in calculating Keto calories, I have for you a very easy to use Keto Calculator that will create your macronutrient ratios in a jiffy.
For those that like to know how things work, let’s detail what the Keto Calculator is doing.
To calculate protein, you multiply your lean body mass x 1. If you weigh 200 lbs and you’re 15% body fat, that’s 200 x .15, which equals 30. Subtract that from total body weight (200) and you’re supposed to get 170 grams of protein every day.
You would then calculate the rest of your daily caloric intake to come from fats. The idea is to keep the carbs so low that you would simply get “natural occurring” carbohydrates from your protein and fat sources.
You can also add in a few green veggies if you need a few extra low-glycemic carbs.
If you are interested in the CKD version, the high-carb phase typically begins Friday night and lasts until Saturday at midnight. Calculate 10-12 grams of carbs p/ lean body weight for this number.
Is the Keto Diet Effective?
I’ll preface this with by saying that the Keto Diet is one of those “Please visit your Doctor first” diets but it is effective and does seem to achieve the desired goal of burning fat.
Keto is another “calorie deficit” method and there are those that claim that Ketosis is responsible for more fat burning that one would normally see and there are those that claim that the calorie deficit is what makes this work and there are no “extra” fat burning properties to the method.
Keto is known as more of a fat-burning method and typically isn’t considered useful for adding muscle. If you’re cutting, you typically can’t expect much in the way of muscle gains anyway so I’m okay with that.
What you might be wondering is… “Is it more effective than a typical low-carb diet at burning fat?”. Well the topic is hotly debated online but rather you agree that it is or isn’t, there’s an important point here to consider.
Since we know that Keto works as a proven fat-burning method, it makes sense to keep this in your arsenal and use it to “switch things up” when you hit a plateau. This should be an exciting find for you if you’ve never used the method before and consider using it in a way to boost stagnated fat loss results.
It’s worth mentioning that those trying the Keto Diet for the first time will sometimes find it particularly challenging. Expect a good two-week adjustment period and things get easier. The body always adapts.
And finally, as this is a “calorie deficit” driven diet, the idea is to start at the numbers produced by the Keto Calculator and slowly reduce every week. You should be seeing fat melt away in no time at all.
Is the Keto Diet the best diet around? I don’t know if any nutrition plan can make that claim, but the Keto Diet is certainly another effective means of ridding the body of unwanted fat.