Adding more info ...
This is LOOOOOOOONG, but it completes the overview of a CKD. It is good reading, and should answer most questions. If you have any others, post them in the CKD forum.
Here we go:
There are a great number of myths associated with the low carb diet. Many authoritative sources have indicated the public must consume a diet, which is 60% carbohydrate, 15% protein and 25% fat for optimal health and performance. Carbohydrates are considered the primary fuel source by the body and those who have achieved degrees in institutions of higher learning would like us to believe that dietary carbohydrates are of such importance that without them, we won't survive, or if we do, we'll be so unhealthy we'll wish we were dead.
I'm here to tell you these ideas are only partially true.
NORMAL CARBOHYDRATE METABOLISM
Let's look at what happens when carbohydrates, the typical primary energy source, are nearly removed or greatly reduced This is where dietitians start to panic and ill informed medical professionals start to cry because they've forgotten their biochemistry from way back when
First, let me paint a very clear picture of what type of low carbohydrate diet I'm about to describe. This diet is considered extreme and compared to the typical U S D A Food Guide Pyramid, is extreme.
Typical dietary intake on this low carbohydrate diet will contain carbohydrates at no greater than 5% of dietary intake, fats at approximately 55% of dietary intake and protein at 40% of dietary intake. This diet will herein be called the ketogenic (producing ketones) diet and you'll see why later.
I am going to briefly describe the basic metabolism of food that it will upset some, cause a great sigh of relief from others but in the end will hopefully provide just enough information to help you understand how food is processed and why we can live on a ketogenic diet for intermittent periods, with energy, vitality and weight loss.
When we eat a meal, typically consisting of some carbohydrates (sugars), lipids (fats) and proteins (amino acids), digestion begins in the mouth. Enzymes begin ripping apart the carbohydrates in the mouth and when the food hits the stomach more acids and enzymes begin ripping apart the proteins and fats. The food then passes into the small intestine where it is further digested and absorbed into the blood stream for transport to body tissues That which is not absorbed and remains unused is passed further to the large intestine and finally is defecated
Let's briefly cover what happens specifically with carbohydrates during digestion.
Remember that carbohydrates start to digest in the mouth and are further digested in the stomach and small intestine. When they are finally absorbed via the small intestine all carbohydrates circulate in the blood as glucose. This means that whether you consume carbohydrates from bread, fruit vegetables, pasta or candy the various usable sugars eventually are dismantled into plain old glucose.
When glucose is plentiful, such as when a person is eating the typical high carbohydrate diet described in the beginning, the body will use glucose preferentially as a fuel to produce energy (ATP). This means that fats (stored or dietary) are not a major fuel source when following the typical high carbohydrate diet. Major organs use glucose and so do our muscles when carbohydrates are the major source of energy. Pretty convenient how the body does that isn't it? You should also know that carbohydrates yield about 4 calories per gram
GLUCOSE AND INSULIN INTERACTION
When glucose enters the blood the pancreas is signaled to release a hormone called insulin. Insulin's primary function is to keep glucose levels from soaring too high. If glucose was left unchecked, the body would enter a very unhealthy metabolic state of hyperglycemia after eating a high carbohydrate meal. Therefore insulin prevents this condition from occurring, among many other functions.
One other action which insulin exerts is fatty acid synthesis (making fats) and storage. Simply stated, when insulin levels are high, such as a 2-4 hours after a high carbohydrate meal, you stand a greater chance of storing fat and a lessor chance of lipolysis (breaking down fat).
TYPE II DIABETES - A PERFECT METABOLIC CONDITION FOR OBESITY
Untreated type II diabetics are walking examples of what continual high blood glucose and subsequent high insulin levels can do to the body. This disease literally makes you fat. Untreated type II diabetics almost always have high glucose/insulin levels because their body is not functioning optimally and insulin is doing a very poor job of removing glucose from the blood. Glucose levels remain high. The body is signaled to release more insulin. It doesn't do its job very well so glucose and/or insulin levels remain high. The body is signaled to secrete more insulin and the vicious cycle continues on and on.
Many overweight individuals (literally millions of Americans) are type II diabetics and don't know it. What they do know is they can't seem to reduce bodyfat no matter how hard they try.
A very important point to understand at this point, is that it is very well established that when insulin levels are high, the body stores fat quite easily and may convert carbohydrates or proteins into adipose (stored fat). Also, lipolysis (dissolving fat) is nearly blocked in the presence of insulin.
STARVATION VERSUS THE KETOGENIC DIET-CARBOHYDRATE METABOLISM
Now that some very basic carbohydrate metabolism has been covered I'll address the issue of starvation/fasting versus the Ketogenic diet.
The two conditions are relentlessly compared because there are some similarities between the two. There are some striking differences, however, that can't be ignored. During normal periods of fasting (2-6 hours, in between meals) the body will secrete glucagon, another hormone, but considered the opposite of insulin.
Glucagon will break down stored glycogen at the liver, increasing blood glucose so we have glucose to fuel major organs, such as the brain, kidneys, small intestine and muscles. This process occurs everyday and is a part of normal physiology for most Americans who aren't eating constantly. After 12-36 hours of fasting, however, we will run out of stored glycogen at the liver.
When this occurs during a fast some deleterious effects occur such as severe muscle wasting because the body will begin mobilizing body proteins to make glucose until adjustment has occurred to the fast. Once adjustment has occurred, (usually within a two-week period or less) the body will reduce the use of precious body proteins and rely on high levels of fat burning and ketone bodies as fuel sources.
Ketone body production occurs as a direct result of mobilizing and burning large amounts of fatty acids for fuel. When stored body fat and body proteins have run out, or become so low the body can't function properly, (about a week for a normally lean person) they die.
A very fat person may be able to live for months, however, with only water and a vitamin/mineral supplement (Don't even think about it This is very unhealthy!)
It might not be obvious at this point, but one major difference between a ketogenic diet and starvation is FOOD. With a ketogenic diet you're not starving and are eating a plentiful diet. One reason the body begins mobilizing body proteins to make glucose, during starvation, is because there are NO dietary proteins to use. There's no food!
The body still uses non-carbohydrate sources, like amino acids from proteins; to make glucose (called gluconeogenesis) during a ketogenic diet but a greater proportion of the protein used to make glucose can be provided by the diet, instead of muscle and other cellular proteins. Thus, muscle wasting, a real concern for someone starving, is much less of an issue for someone following the ketogenic diet
A period of adjustment may still follow initial startup of a ketogenic diet and some muscle proteins may be sacrificed for a few days to a week but dietary proteins will be plentiful and will be used for gluconeogenesis.
STARVATION VERSUS KETOGENIC DIETING-FAT AND PROTEIN METABOLISM
I've made the distinction between starvation and the ketogenic diet with respect to protein for gluconeogenesis but what about fats? During starvation the body uses adipose (stored body fat) as its major fuel source after the adjustment period. It also uses ketone bodies, which are acidic byproducts of very high levels of fatty acid oxidation (burning fats for fuels). Both fatty acids and ketone bodies are used preferentially over glucose as energy sources during starvation.
During a ketogenic diet the body doesn't solely rely on stored body fat and ketone bodies as the primary fuel sources. It will also rely on dietary fats as well. Once again, a major difference between starvation and the ketogenic diet. It is also for this reason that one cannot eat unlimited calories with a ketogenic diet and expect to lose weight.
The body will use dietary fats as a primary fuel source along with the subsequent ketone bodies from oxidation of dietary fats and then will use adipose only if calories are below those needed to maintain current body weight
If calories are kept at just below maintenance, and you are following a ketogenic diet, the body is forced to begin a fat dissolving state called lipolysis. Simply stated, we are breaking down adipose and using the fatty acids as an energy source. Not only is lipolysis activated, it is now the primary energy source with other physiological mechanisms stepping up to allow normal and efficient operation of our everyday lives while following a ketogenic diet.
Most reading this and wanting to lose weight have a tremendous store of energy in the form of fat just waiting to be used. The typical fuel reserves in a young, adult male amount to about 90,000 to 110,000 calories of energy In contrast, the carbohydrate energy reserve is about 2% of this total, or approximately 2000 calories.
THE BODY'S INHERENT NEED FOR GLUCOSE
But what about the body's inherent need for glucose? Doesn't the brain need glucose to function? Yes, the body does have a need for glucose and as I briefly stated earlier, glucose can be made within the body from non-carbohydrate sources such as amino acids. This is called gluconeogenesis.
Additionally, the Cori cycle and the Glucose-Alanine cycle are pathways that ensure critical glucose will be available for the organs that absolutely require it. We will not cover those cycles in this article.
Suffice it to say that they are very efficient cycles for the body to preserve glucose levels so they don't fall too low when dietary carbohydrates are nonexistent (such as during starvation) or very low with the ketogenic diet. Let's not forget that we're eating with a ketogenic diet, and at least a small part of our diet (5%) is derived from carbohydrates, which ultimately ends up as circulating glucose
FATS BECOME THE PRIMARY ENERGY SOURCE
Probably the most feared but greatest asset a ketogenic diet has on its side is the fact that when the diet is not rich in carbohydrates, the body relies on them less as an energy source. This is called the glucose-fatty acid cycle it basically says that when glucose is low and fatty acids are high glucose needs will be less. Isn't the body a wonderful machine?
When carbohydrates were plentiful it used them as the primary energy source. Now that fats are the primary energy source the body uses them preferentially over carbohydrates. Simply amazing!
One question you're all thinking relates to how we can possibly lose weight eating 55% of our calories as fat. The greatest answer is that carbohydrates are no longer the primary energy source-fats are. Doesn't fat make you fat? Let me give you a law you can use forever:
**Dietary fat doesn't make people fat. Excessive calories, a lack of activity, metabolic disease or combination of any two or more of these factors make people fat**
If you stopped reading right there and based any diet you use on this law you would know everything you need to know to lose weight and stay lean. Since dietary fat doesn't make us fat, we need not fear a relatively high fat diet, as long as calories are controlled for age, lean mass and activity.
KETOACIDOSIS- IS THERE NEED FOR CONCERN?
At this point the naysayers are hoping I'll forget about the metabolic condition called ketoacidosis so they can show their friends and whine about how the ketogenic diet is really a killer and how anyone who even remotely suggests it's an alternative diet is also a killer and a lunatic. Sorry, you don't get your wish.
Ketoacidosis is a condition in which ketone bodies are created in such large quantities that they literally make the blood more acidic. When this happens a series of events occur which may cause impairment of organ function and eventual death. It is a very real concern for diabetics who are insulin dependent because they are missing a natural feedback mechanism to prevent excessive ketone body formation. For them, or any other person with any condition being treated by a physician, this diet should only be implemented with physician assistance and guidance.
For normally healthy, non-diabetic individuals, there is always some insulin present in the blood. Always!
As you mobilize more fat for energy, ketone production rises. When ketone production reaches a particular threshold, however, insulin is released by the pancreas (even in the absence of dietary carbohydrate) which slows the mobilization of fats and subsequently reduces the number of ketone bodies produced. Insulin is believed to keep ketone body production in check. Because this is so, those individuals who possess the natural ability to secrete insulin from the pancreas, will not allow ketones to be produced in such excess that the blood becomes acidic. The body also has several buffering systems in place which react quickly to changes in the pH of the blood. These systems are highly effective and minimize potential changes in blood pH.
Therefore ketoacidosis is not a condition experienced by adults with normal pancreatic function and who are otherwise healthy, even on a ketogenic diet. If this were the case we'd have a lot of dead bodybuilders and dieters on our hands right now that have used the ketogenic diet with positive results.
HIGH CHOLESTEROL-IS THERE NEED FOR CONCERN?
The same naysayers who hoped I'd shut up a page ago before the ketoacidosis section, are now pointing a finger and saying that with all that fat in the diet we're going to have cholesterol levels shooting through the roof. Wrong!
First of all, if foods are chosen wisely, the source of dietary fat is given due consideration, and the person using the ketogenic diet is also reducing calories and losing weight, I can almost 100% guarantee that cholesterol will drop or at the worst, remain the same. Triglycerides (another factor being given weight with respect to cardiovascular disease) will fall substantially. Good cholesterol may also go up, which is a positive factor for reducing cardiovascular disease risk. I hope I've kept this article somewhat readable so far and I'm not going to change course and go into the dozen or so studies which prove my point but they are readily available for anyone wanting to do some digging.
KETOGENIC DIETING AND ATHLETES
If, by using the ketogenic diet, we've created a fat burning machine that will:
Still function perfectly fine,
Will make and preserve necessary glucose,
Will not store fat easily,
Won't raise cholesterol,
What else could there possibly be to say about the diet and why isn't everyone using it?
The first point to address is using the ketogenic diet along with weightlifting or other exercise.
While we've created a fat furnace of sorts and the body functions optimally during daily activities, muscles need glucose and/or stored glycogen to be at their very best. This is why we must incorporate a period of carbohydrate loading to refill or even overfill muscle glycogen stores so they have the energy needed to function optimally. If you're not exercising this carbohydrate loading period is not necessary. But if you're not exercising, you're also not following my recommendations for proper weight loss.
Earlier I stated that liver glycogen stores are gone in 12-36 hours after beginning the ketogenic diet. Muscle, however, retains its stored glycogen, even after liver glycogen is gone. This is great!
With liver glycogen gone we use fatty acids and ketone bodies as fuels and muscle retains glycogen for physical activity. One problem…
When we hammer our muscles in the gym on a daily basis, the glycogen in them also gets used up and because our dietary carbohydrates are so low the glycogen isn't replaced to proper, maximally optimal levels. This is where the carbohydrate loading comes in.
THE CARB LOAD
Very simply, we follow a ketogenic diet for 5 1/2 days per week and for the remaining 1 1/2 days we eat a typical high carbohydrate diet. During the 1 1/2 days of high carbohydrate eating our muscles will supercompensate with glycogen and while we're also causing liver glycogen to refill and insulin to be secreted like crazy, this 36 hour period is not long enough for the body to store any appreciable fat.
What did I just say? I said you can go nuts for 36 hours a week after 5 1/2 days of watching calories and eating a ketogenic diet, without any fear of getting fat because of it. And as an actual survivor and thrive on this diet I can tell you that those 36 hours are absolutely great!
Eat carbs like there's no tomorrow and don't worry about calories but don't exceed 36 hours or you'll start laying down fat like crazy.
Here's what I do when I'm on the ketogenic diet
Sunday through Friday at lunch I keep my calories at 2000 (10 times my body weight) per day. At supper on Friday I start my carb up, right after my workout (if your workout doesn't fall on Friday don't sweat it).
I then eat a grand total of approximately 2000 additional calories above my daily goal of 2000 calories for a total of 4000 calories on Friday.
On Saturday I consume approximately 5500 calories with carbohydrates making up approximately 60-70% of my dietary intake.
When I wake up Sunday I go right back to the ketogenic diet.
It takes time for the body to refill the muscle with glycogen but by Sunday night or Monday morning my muscles feel pumped and full. My best performance in the gym is between Sunday and Thursday of every week. As I go through workout after workout between Sunday and Thursday I use up muscle glycogen. By Friday my workouts are suffering, just in time to refill again come Friday night.
WHY DID I USE THE KETOGENIC DIET AND WHAT HAPPENED?
I started the ketogenic diet because I was bored with low fat foods. I was sick to death of them actually. I had been eating low fat for about a year and missed the higher fat foods that I believed were totally.
I had reduced my bodyfat to 15% from 32% but I wanted to see 9%. I didn't feel I could reduce my calories any further and stay with low fat foods so I decided to give the diet a try after speaking with a true ketogenic diet guru, Jeffrey Krabbe, who has more knowledge of the diet than anyone I know, including Atkins, Dipasquale, Duchaine or any other alleged low carb diet guru.
By simply reducing calories and eating more low fat foods I did reduce my bodyfat from 32% to 15% I then used the ketogenic diet to reduce my bodyfat from 15% to the 9% you see in the photos of me.
Was it a miracle? No.
Was I able to eat as many calories as I wanted and still reduce the bodyfat? No.
Was I able to break the monotony and eat some foods I consider delicious and missed very badly? Yes.
Did I lose weight eating high fat, low carbohydrate foods? You decide.
It works ladies and gentlemen I believe it's an alternative that can be used to break up boring cycles of low fat chicken and tuna with generous helpings of fat free this and fat free that as the mainstays.
At the time I started the ketogenic diet low fat foods were enough to make me puke.
With all of this said I will briefly state that I believe some supplements are warranted on this diet I will then conclude with my general recommendations and guidelines for anyone wanting to follow the ketogenic diet.
A basic multivitamin and mineral supplement is warranted due to the lack of breads. cereals, grains, fruits and some vegetables for 5 1/2 days per week.
I also recommend Fibersol by Twinlab because of the lack of dietary fiber that low carbohydrate foods possess.
Fibersol is a carbohydrate-free soluble fiber Even if you want to forget all the healthy benefits of a high fiber diet, at
least know that it may be very unhealthy and unpleasant to not have at least one bowel movement per day. If you
don't supplement with fiber you may not have a movement for 3-4 days. That's way too long.
During the week I used Designer Protein as a midmorning, midafternoon or bedtime snack
I never took more than two protein shakes per day. They were only a sweet snack I craved and as you can see from the dietary list I used, protein intake was not a problem. That's also a benefit for weightlifters using this die. Protein intake is naturally, very high.
I used a product like Xenadrine for a preworkout energy boost.
I supplemented each of my protein shakes with 1.3 grams of evening primrose oil, and 500 mg of fish oil. What a great source of essential fatty acids! They're polyunsaturated too.
Although not a supplement, I cannot suggest or recommend highly enough, that you consume at least 1 gallon of water every day. That's plain old water. Not pop or coffee. With a higher protein intake and because ketone bodies act as a natural diuretic, you'll urinate more. This can cause mild states of dehydration that could cause some not-so-mild performance problems in the gym if you don't replace the water lost.
Ketostix were purchased to monitor urinary Ketone levels and to determine when ketosis was established each week (must be purchased at a drug store, usually at the pharmacy counter). Ketostix measure some Ketone bodies in the urine.
Presence of ketone bodies in the urine indicates fat is being utilized as the major fuel source while following the ketogenic diet. Check it at different times of the day. You may not show ketones at all times.
All you want to see is a trace, very light purple. It's not a matter of the darker the better. Read the directions with the package.
Don't whine and complain about the restrictiveness of the diet. It's only temporary and like anything worth having, will only work with fortitude and dedication.
Eat about 8-10 times your body weight in total calories per day.
Exercise vigorously for at least 3 times per week
WHO MIGHT USE THIS DIET?
Dieting bodybuilders in precontest dieting phases. up to 12 weeks in duration.
Strength phase athletes who want to incorporate more meat and potentially more testosterone production without a weight gain for maintenance of lean mass and strength while dieting.
Type II diabetics (non-insulin dependent) with medical supervision.
Anyone who is otherwise healthy, but overweight, and not happy with the mirror may try this diet for 12 weeks but after giving the diet a 12-week run should eventually bring at least 100-200 grams of carbohydrates back into the daily diet.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Initially expect a feeling of mental unclarity for a few days. Not serious, but noticeable. This is normally only experienced during the first few days of the first week only.
Expect a feeling of less energy for the first week (during adaptation) but some may experience no less energy or an increase in energy.
Expect carbohydrate cravings like crazy for the first three weeks. You will raid the cupboards come Friday night and all day Saturday during carb up.
After three weeks, however, my cravings were very much reduced and I could have taken them or left them. I took them for my muscles' sake.
Expect great workouts after a week or two of adjustment, for the days of Sunday through Thursday Expect not so great workouts on Friday afternoon through Saturday afternoon Glycogen is depleted in the muscle by then and hasn't had time to replenish yet
Expect to urinate more frequently
Expect a weight fluctuation of between 3 and 10 pounds per week due to water loss. Every molecule of glycogen has 4 molecules of water attached to it. As you lose glycogen from the liver and muscle during the week you will see a weight loss but it's not primarily fat.
Expect a weight gain by Sunday or Monday. During your first week or two you may even be heavier on these days than when you started. This is due to glycogen supercompensation occurring within the muscle.
You will literally store up to 50% more glycogen than normal. Remember the glycogen-water issue
Expect your friends and family to whine and snivel about your new diet and tell you how you're an idiot and are going to die from it. Most have never heard the word "ketone", much less spell it
Expect any one you know, in the medical field, to shun it.
Condemn it and repeat what your friends said. They've forgotten biochemistry and think that everyone will end up like a type I diabetic. Ask them for studies, which showed a ketogenic diet raised cholesterol or was shown to be unhealthy in humans. They'll talk plenty about typical unhealthy diets where carbohydrates AND fats are high but not about diets where carbohydrates are kept at 5% of dietary intake. Don't miss this distinction.
Expect it will take no less effort then any other diet where weight loss is the goal. It's not easy. It's simply an alternative that works.
Expect that you will have to monitor calories for success, as all successful weight loss plans require.
There are over one million questions left unanswered in this article but you now have the basic tools to decide if the diet is for you or not.
In the meantime please write me if you have any questions specific to your individual needs I've done 4 cycles of the ketogenic diet at between 8 and 12 weeks each time. It's always a nice break from the SOS
TYPICAL WEIGHT LOSS RECORD FOR 8 WEEKS
(A FEMALE SHOULD EXPECT LESS OF A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MONDAY AND FRIDAY A FEMALE GENERALLY HAS LESS MUSCLE AND THEREFORE, LESS MUSCLE GLYCOGEN AND WATER TO LOSE)
Week 1 Monday 200 pounds - Friday 194 pounds
Week 2 Monday 202 pounds - Friday 193 pounds
Week 3 Monday 199 pounds - Friday 192 pounds
Week 4 Monday 197 pounds - Friday 190 pounds
Week 5 Monday 195 pounds - Friday 188 pounds
Week 6 Monday 193 pounds - Friday 186 pounds
Week 7 Monday 192 pounds - Friday 185 pounds
Week 8 Monday 191 pounds - Friday 184 pounds
58 of the Most Common Foods I ate on the Diet
Turkey Smoked Sausage
Ground Turkey Burgers
Cheese (Cheddar & Salami)
Cheese (Premium processed slices)
Pork Chops (pan fried)
Salmon (Pink. Canned)
Steak (any kind)
Other mixed vegetables (check frozen section at grocery)
Cut Green Beans
Sugar Free Jello
Protos Ostrich Meat
Half of a Worldwide Pure Protein Bar
Cooking and Essential Fatty Acids
Barlean's Organic Flax/Bor (Don't cook with Barlean's oils)
KFC Tender Roast (2 breasts with skin)
McDonalds Double Quarter (No bread)
Burger King Double Whopper (No bread)
Subway Grilled Chicken & Tuna Salad (2 scoops of tuna plus 1
chicken breast topping a lettuce salad with a few pickles, a few black olives and vinegar & oil dressing)
Any Fast Food Egg & Bacon or Sausage Breakfast (No bread)
Hot Dogs (no bread)
Blue Cheese Dressing
Thousand Island Dressing
Kraft Bacon & Tomato