**The video version of this article is here**
What is a ketogenic diet?
A ketogenic diet (keto, for short) is a low carb diet that consists mostly of fats, with the secondary source of calories being a moderate amount of protein.
The whole goal of a ketogenic diet is to get into a metabolic state called ketosis, where fats become the main energy source for the body instead of glucose (sugar), which is the main energy source in a “regular” diet (standard western diet).
To get into Ketosis, you eat less than 30g of net carbs a day, and the carbs must come from low-glycemic fibrous vegetables (which I will talk more about below).
On average, it takes about 12 weeks to become fully adapted to the diet, which is why I decided on 90 days in the first place. I want to give this a fair assessment.
Keep in mind this is a strict diet and it is not ideal for beginners or people unfamiliar with counting and tracking calories / macros.
What are the benefits of a keto diet, why eat it?
In the course of my research, I came across a few things that appealed to me:
- Fat provides more consistent energy throughout the day than carbs do.
- The diet is known for providing a high level of satiety.
- Keto is muscle-sparing and lean body mass is easily preserved on this diet.
- Many people who eat keto report the need for less sleep, finding quality sleep in fewer hours, and report an overall increase in feelings of well-being.
- Research has linked it to the possible treatment and / or prevention of various diseases and illnesses, including but not limited to cancer, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, depression, PMS, epilepsy and more.
I also wanted to see if it’s true…will removing sugar from the diet cause me not to crave it so much? Can I have even better adherence with a ketogenic diet, lose the fat I’ve been struggling to lose on a conventional diet, and get even stronger despite little carbs in my body for 90 days?
What kind of food do you eat on keto?
Most meals are meat, lots of fat and green vegetables. Picture a plate full of scrambled cream cheese eggs, broccoli roasted in a skillet with olive oil, several slices of bacon, and you would be looking at a keto-friendly meal (it’s actually what I ate this morning).
This is a very exciting aspect of the diet for me. With a conventional diet and tracking my calories, I often struggle with trying not to go over on my fat intake. That is not an issue on keto as fat makes up a large portion of the diet. I really enjoy butter, fatty cuts of steak, sausages, smoked / cured meats and cheeses, so this diet actually feels a bit “luxurious,” as Dr. Volek has put it.
Carbs that are not allowed include bread, rice, pasta, potatoes, grains, legumes & beans, and even fruit (some fruit can be re-introduced in small amounts later). High glycemic vegetables have to be limited, or not had at all (tomatoes, carrots, squash, etc). Carbs that are allowed are lower carb veggies like spinach, kale, broccoli, cucumbers, and mushrooms.
What are the results so far?
First I will break down my macros, which are – Carbs: 23g, Fat: 140g, Protein: 113g; with the total calorie count being: 1800. This is roughly -20% of my maintenance calories.
Right now I am on Day 39, have lost 10lbs (4.5kg) and 2 inches (5cm) from my waist. Really, I have lost 15lbs but did not count the few days of dieting before officially starting the 90 days. I have increased strength on various lifts, and have even been able to increase volume. My workouts usually go very well, still get pumps and overall feel solid in the gym (especially with caffeine pills and BCAAS).
The above photo is kind of poor for comparison purposes, but can still see that there has been a change. I am getting excited to see what the results will be like at the end of 90 days (which will include better comparison pics).
Where are good places to find out more?
I will be doing a full review of the diet when I finish. Will also be sharing my thoughts, opinions, and tips for anyone that is thinking of trying it or just generally curious, so subscribe if you would like an e-mail as soon as the results are in.
Could you ever see yourself doing a Ketogenic Diet for 90 days? Let me know in the comments.