Fat for Fuel

Embrace a Keto Lifestlye to Reach Your Physique Goals

Ever wonder why athletes decide to commit to the Keto lifestyle? It seems that more and more people have been interested in the benefits of going Keto and its amazing power that it unleashes within the body.

Athletes who have successfully made the switch from using carbohydrates to using fat and ketones for fuel find they're leaner, healthier, and more mentally focused than ever. But for every person who ends up loving this approach, you'll find another who had a miserable experience and bailed after just a few days. To avoid failure, we'd like to give you a rock-solid plan based on lifestyle and nutrition that will set you up for future success.

Starting Keto

This initial keto-adaptation process usually takes about four weeks to complete, at which point you'll reach peak fat-burning adaptations. No matter what your diet has been to this point, keto will be a big change. If you're coming from a standard American diet (SAD) background, your carbs will go way down, protein may either go up or down, and fat will go way up. If you're coming from a bodybuilding-style diet, your fat intake will jump to alarming levels, and your protein will likely drop significantly. So for your first month, be restrained but not necessarily strict. If BCAAs help you train and recover, drink them during your training, but don’t guzzle them all day. And if you have any doubts about whether they're affecting your ketone levels, your test sticks should tell you.

Living the fat life

When following a ketogenic diet, most people inherently start with a fat phobia and are scared to lather it on. "You spend your entire life hearing that fat makes you fat and causes heart attacks and strokes. Now, all of a sudden, you're eating 200 grams of fat per day. There is a huge psychological component to conquer before you can become successful with the keto diet. In the beginning, it's like trying to convince people 1,000 years ago that the world is in fact round, not flat," says Jason Wittrock. For Ketosis to work, you need to fuel your energy with fat so whatever you do, resist the urge to cheat, refeed, or otherwise deviate from the plan. The first few weeks in particular, ketogenic dieting demands strict adherence. Give it a chance to work!

JASON WITTROCK

PERSONAL TRAINER AND PHYSIQUE ATHLETE

PAM NISEVICH BEDE

EAS NUTRITIONIST, REGISTERED DIETITIAN

Your must-have (and must-not-have) foods

Feeling ready to start buying groceries? Slow down there, chief. Go through the pantry, fridge, freezer, and secret stashes under the bed, and get rid of foods with any significant carb content. It could be in the first few days, you could end up craving them—badly. Likewise, it can be hard to get enough fat in the early days. Butter, nuts, coconut and olive oils, and fatty cuts of meat are all on the menu. However, don't go overboard with polyunsaturated fats like soybean, corn, or sunflower oil. Keto dieters who increase their intake of those fats often end up with gastrointestinal distress that causes them to jump ship too soon.

Avoiding and DEFEATING THE "KETO FLU”

You've likely heard horror stories of what competitors feel like when they cut carbs low, or when the average bro talks about going keto. However, the odds are that those people were not actually in nutritional ketosis, or more importantly, following a well-formulated ketogenic diet. Pretty much all of the side effects you'll hear about happen in those first four weeks—or even in the first 4-5 days—and experienced ketogenic dieters swear that most of them can be chalked up to a single cause: lack of electrolytes. Yes, you may experience some fogginess and discomfort, but it doesn't have to be intense if you handle it right.

Keto-friendly workout Supplements

The most science-backed performance-boosting supplements, such as creatine monohydrate, beta-alanine, and caffeine, are all A-OK on the ketogenic diet. So, if you take a pre-workout, you should be able to continue without issue. I would also recommend gulping down some bouillon before your session to ensure your sodium and magnesium levels are on point. If you want to slam a protein shake post-workout, that's probably fine as long as you've got room for it in your macros. But shoot for one that is very low—like zero—in carbohydrates. If you struggle to fit fat in during the day, toss a tablespoon of olive oil in with your shake. You won't taste it, and it gives a quick 13-14 grams of fat.

Read the full article at Bodybuilding: Ketogenic Diet: Your Complete Meal and Supplement Guide

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