Ketogenic diet for defining and muscle mass

The main benefit of ketogenic diets is that they improve the body's ability to use fats as fuel, as opposed to diets that include carbohydrates, which only harm this process.

Done correctly, it can lead to spectacular results quickly.

How does the ketogenic diet actually work?

The idea of ​​the ketogenic diet is to determine a process of ketosis in the body, at which point carbohydrates are no longer the main fuel, but will be replaced by ketones, which will become the main source of energy. The state of ketosis allowed the first people to maintain a high energy level, metabolic efficiency and physical strength. This will happen when the carbohydrate level reaches about 50g per day or just below this threshold.

Those who have been tempted to try diets like Atkins or South Beach should also take a look at the keto diet. It has a very high popularity among those who want to keep their blood sugar levels within reasonable limits and for those who want to lose more body fat, having as main premise “I eat fat to lose fat”.

Many diet promoters claim that the ideal level of carbohydrates should be around 30g, but many individuals can maintain ketosis by consuming 50g, thus tolerating the introduction of several types of vegetables.


  • In the case of SKD (standard ketogenic diet): it does not contain periods with carbohydrate consumption other than those from the other two sources, namely fats and proteins.

In general, people who do sports choose to follow either the directed keto diet or the cyclic keto diet.

  • TKD (targeted ketogenic diet): it involves consuming carbohydrates before and after training. It is mainly used by those who are not interested in exhausting workouts and do not practice loading up with carbohydrates.

  • In the case of CKD (cyclic ketogenic diet): minimum amounts of carbohydrates per day (30-50g) will be consumed, about once a week a large load of carbohydrates will be made; large amounts of carbohydrates will be consumed in the idea of ​​restoring glycogen stores in order to be able to continue training. In general, before this “loading” will be a workout until exhaustion to eliminate glycogen stores. On this day, only protein and carbohydrates will be consumed, no fat.

The beginning of the ketogenic diet

It is recommended that before starting the ketogenic diet, to perform a complete set of medical tests, which should highlight the state of functioning of the whole body. It would also be advisable to purchase a kitchen scale, until we get used to judging the quantities. For a better organization, a table with the foods and their content is very useful, and attached should be a list of allowed foods depending on the category in which they belong: fats, proteins or carbohydrates.

  • Fats: seeds and nuts, raw almonds and hazelnuts, vegetable oils (flax, hemp, coconut, olives, grape seeds, etc.), butter, avocado, brain, liver, marrow, bacon, coconut.

  • Protein: beef, pork, sheep, fish, fermented cheeses, eggs, protein concentrates and amino acids. Another source of protein is nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, flax seeds, etc.).

  • Carbohydrates and fiber: salads, vegetables with low glycemic index (spinach, broccoli, cabbage, onions, peppers, green beans, cucumbers), tomatoes and citrus fruits – in moderate to small amounts.

  • Prohibited foods: any kind of cereals or derived products (flakes, pasta, bread), corn, rice, potatoes, fruits, fermented dairy products, honey, sugar, carbonated drinks, alcohol. However, these can be included in the loading up periods.

The ketogenic diet – described

It is important that the meals are not skipped and that they are in a fairly high number, namely at least 4. To lose weight, the number of calories will have to be about 500 below the maintenance level. The metabolic rate can be calculated in special centers or by certain imprecise formulas.

You will need 1-1.5 protein for every kilogram of ideal body weight, calculated simply as the number of centimeters over a meter for men. For example, a 185cm man will need 85 grams. The rest of the calories will come from fat.

The 30-50g of carbohydrates will generally be added up from the inclusion of some vegetables and from the carbohydrate intake that proteins and fats have. The amount of fat is calculated based on the total number of calories allowed per day, minus the calories covered by protein and those covered by carbohydrates (generally fats will reach about 7-8 calories/kg). It is ideal to eat an amount of fat in grams at least equal to that of protein.

In short, if we are looking to define mass, we consume more calories from fat and less from protein: fat – 60-70%, protein – 30-35%, carbohydrates – 0-5%. When we are looking to grow muscle mass we will consume fats and proteins in equal amounts or fats – 50%, proteins – 45% and carbohydrates – 5%.

Carbohydrate loading

Carb load is in a way the culmination of a restrictive week. From bread to chips, from pizza to sweets. Carbohydrate madness is reserved only for those who do not worry about the weight loss process. Moderation must define the eating style of those who want to lose weight. The loading should start from the second week of the diet.

Protein levels should be maintained as in the rest of the week, 1-1.5 grams per kilogram. Loading can start with these carbs from the last workout on Friday. It should start with liquid variants, sweet natural juices, etc. This is the time when your body needs the most carbohydrates and you are sure that it is stored where it should be: in the muscles, not on the abdomen.

Most foods in this “cheat day” will also contain fat but it is ideal to try to maintain a maximum of 1 gram of fat per kilogram of body weight.

The days dedicated to this load vary depending on the body. Some people can consume carbohydrates for 2-3 days, while others risk getting out of ketosis if they exceed one day.

During the diet it is ideal to consume various vitamin and mineral supplements.


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