Updated: Apr 24, 2019
Many of my clients ask me about what the ketogenic diet and if it’s right for them. So here’s a brief overview. Disclaimer, I have never personally tried a ketogenic diet.
What? Basically a diet high in fats, moderate in protein, and low in carbohydrates.
How? A high-fat/low-carbohydrate diet puts your body in a state of ketosis, which increases conversion of fat into ketone bodies, which are then used for energy.
Why? A diet higher in fats and proteins typically help suppress appetite, which could lead to eating fewer calories and weight loss. Consuming fats also help increase healthy HDL cholesterol and decrease unhealthy triglycerides, which could promote a healthy heart.
Who? Ketogenic diets are not for everyone. Individuals looking to put on significant muscle mass and gain strength probably should not follow a ketogenic diet. Carbohydrates promote an insulin response, leading to glucose and amino acids entering the muscle cell to initiate protein synthesis. The human body is not efficient at burning fat for energy. Therefore, this diet may not be suitable for any athletes that require intense workouts where a lot of power and strength is generated in a short period of time. A ketogenic diet may be more suitable for low-intensity activities like marathon runners or cyclists.
Verdict? Until I try the diet myself, I can’t give an honest opinion. After some research, I can see the pros and cons to the ketogenic diet. What I would suggest to do is research and decide what your training goals are before you decide whether or not to follow a ketogenic diet.