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    ketogenic diet for showtime cutting

    Hello Everyone,
    Hoping that some one can give me a little feed back on ketogenic dieting for contest preparation. Is it true that muscle size will be compromised from using this diet? I'm getting ready for the Michigan in March of 2010 and I will be beginning this type of diet August 6th. Any feed back will be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks
    Bill
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    Honestly Bill - Keto did nothing for me. Absolutely zero.

    I personally think that it works best if you're very fat as you'll see results quickly but for me starting out lean... it didn't do a thing. Maybe it just doesn't suit my body, I don't know.
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    Originally Posted by WILDBILL View Post
    Hello Everyone,
    Hoping that some one can give me a little feed back on ketogenic dieting for contest preparation. Is it true that muscle size will be compromised from using this diet? I'm getting ready for the Michigan in March of 2010 and I will be beginning this type of diet August 6th. Any feed back will be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks
    Bill
    Your dieting approach depends mostly on your insulin sensitivity/resistance. That information alone is plenty to determine whether or not to do a high/moderate/low carb approach.

    By the way, there are NO benefits that a ketogenic diet has to offer that a simple low carb (think carbs at 20% of total cals or less) approach won't already give. And the entire "muscle sparing" talk surrounding keto diets are a myth.

    Best of luck.

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    Read my thread in Advanced Nutrition:

    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showth...hp?p=319994001

    My personal views: keto did nothing for me, and it actually caused significant muscle loss. Not only that, but if you want to look like you lift it's better to eat carbs, simply because keto causes a VERY flat and stringy muscle look. You end up looking like a swimmer more than a bodybuilder. Not only that, but energy levels are HORRIBLE, at least for me they were. Strength went down, muscle went down, and I was in a bad mood all the time.

    Keep in mind I was eating about 1.5 g/lb. of bodyweight in protein, and did little to mitigate strength and muscle loss.
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    The advice you guys are giving is very biased. Jay, because it didnt work for you it doesnt mean it doesnt for everyone. Perhaps you didnt do it properly to suit your body. Also depends on whether you did keto straight up or a cyclical approach.

    Personally i can tell you fora fact that all the people i have put on a cyclical ketogenic diet have seen great results. I used a traditional low carb diet to get lean for a show and i have used a cyclical diet (anabolic diet and get shredded diet) for another show. I looked better with the anabolic diet but i tailored everything to my needs. I've been on the anabolic diet for over a year now and personally i swear by its effectiveness in both muscle building and fat loss. But carbohydrates are absolutely essential at the right times.

    If you decide to do keto, it will work and get you shredded BUT MAKE SURE you incorporate heavy carb up days in your plan. I like 6days low 1 day heavy loading and when i say carb up i dont mean cheat days. To avoid looking stringy like Jay said you MUST carb up frequently.

    Also keep in mind that eventhough it worked for me and the poeple i've helped, ithere is a slight chance it might not work for you. Only way to find out is through experimentation
    Last edited by Bulgarian_mm; 07-17-2009 at 12:50 PM.
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    Originally Posted by Bulgarian_mm View Post
    The advice you guys are giving is very biased. Jay, because it didnt work for you it doesnt mean it doesnt for everyone. Perhaps you didnt do it properly to suit your body. Also depends on whether you did keto straight up or a cyclical approach.

    Personally i can tell you fora fact that all the people i have put on a cyclical ketogenic diet have seen great results. I used a traditional low carb diet to get lean for a show and i have used a cyclical diet (anabolic diet and get shredded diet) for another show. I looked better with the anabolic diet but i tailored everything to my needs. I've been on the anabolic diet for over a year now and personally i swear by its effectiveness in both muscle building and fat loss. But carbohydrates are absolutely essential at the right times.

    If you decide to do keto, it will work and get you shredded BUT MAKE SURE you incorporate heavy carb up days in your plan. I like 6days low 1 day heavy loading and when i say carb up i dont mean cheat days. To avoid looking stringy like Jay said you MUST carb up frequently.
    I carbed up frequently, friend. made no difference. No cheat days, either. Low fat, "good carbs", and lots of them.
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    Annoying Middle Easterner Jay Rawd's Avatar
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    Also, can you show me where I seemed to be biased? Notice I linked a thread which provides studies, which means I am objective. Keto works to a degree but there's no reason why a high protein, moderate carb, low fat diet can't be effective. Show me a study where a keto diet was matched against a high protein moderate carb diet and the keto diet proves to be more effective and muscle sparing?

    Also, I love how you call me biased but the entirety of your post is nothing but anecdotes in an attempt to prove your point. Irony, much?
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    Originally Posted by Jay Rawd View Post
    I carbed up frequently, friend. made no difference. No cheat days, either. Low fat, "good carbs", and lots of them.
    Well my energy levels are great. Right now i have 5-6 low carb days and 1 or 2 carb up days depending on how i look. I love 2lbs per week, look full eat about 2600-3000calories, 60%fat 35%protein. No cravings whatsoever. I do 20min cardio per day and it feels great.

    It is possible that your just not suited to that, i think that most people are though, they just need to tailor it to their bodies. But everyone is different.

    Im not saying that keto is more muscle sparing or not. Im not touching that with a ten foot pole. But keto is getting a bad rep because ppl JUST dont do it properly and end up looking like ****. I've done both types of eating. Both work, but i felt like i was starving on the carb approach
    Last edited by Bulgarian_mm; 07-17-2009 at 12:57 PM.
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    Originally Posted by Bulgarian_mm View Post
    Well my energy levels are great. Right now i have 5-6 low carb days and 1 or 2 carb up days depending on how i look. I love 2lbs per week, look full eat about 2600-3000calories, 60%fat 35%protein. No cravings whatsoever. I do 20min cardio per day and it feels great.

    It is possible that your just not suited to that, i think that most people are though, they just need to tailor it to their bodies. But everyone is different.

    Im not saying that keto is more muscle sparing or not. Im not touching that with a ten foot pole. But keto is getting a bad rep because ppl JUST dont do it properly and end up looking like ****. I've done both types of eating. Both work, but i felt like i was starving on the carb approach
    Like Tommy said, individual insulin sensitivity determines this. My body happens to be insulin sensitive to an insanely high degree unheard of to most people, I guess. I bulk on 600 grams of carbs, at least.
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    Originally Posted by Jay Rawd View Post
    My personal views: keto did nothing for me, and it actually caused significant muscle loss.
    What's up Jay. There could have been a few reasons why the muscle loss was significant. Sometimes it can be the sheer pace of weight/fat loss, sometimes it's because of the wrong starting calorie level being too low, etc. But, I would say that if you were feeling like crap (heck 600g+ of carbs in the offseason is a HUGE indicator), then this approach is not for you

    Originally Posted by Jay Rawd View Post
    Not only that, but if you want to look like you lift it's better to eat carbs, simply because keto causes a VERY flat and stringy muscle look.
    This actually depends...there are a few things you can do to avoid this, but that is a moot point if this approach is not for you!

    Originally Posted by Jay Rawd View Post
    Not only that, but energy levels are HORRIBLE, at least for me they were. Strength went down, muscle went down, and I was in a bad mood all the time.
    That right there is your indicator. For any noobs reading this, if you are on a dieting approach and your mood and energy levels are for horrible from the start or early on, then PAY ATTENTION to what your body is telling you. It's simply saying that you need a different approach. Dieting is not, and should not, be like that until you are either single digits, below setpoint for an extended period of time, or stage lean.

    Originally Posted by Jay Rawd View Post
    Keep in mind I was eating about 1.5 g/lb. of bodyweight in protein, and did little to mitigate strength and muscle loss.
    Do you know the exact macros? It could have been a few other things, but like I said, it really doesn't matter since this isn't for you!

    Originally Posted by Bulgarian_mm View Post
    The advice you guys are giving is very biased.
    I hope this wasn't directed towards me - the information I gave in my post was factual and unbiased.

    Originally Posted by Bulgarian_mm View Post
    But keto is getting a bad rep because ppl JUST dont do it properly and end up looking like ****. I've done both types of eating. Both work, but i felt like i was starving on the carb approach
    Keto gets a bad rep because there seem to be a large number of people that do keto diets that have no nutritional knowledge whatsoever and spout of BS myths to justify why they do what they do. Keto can work fine depending on a person's insulin resistance/sensitivity, but I still hold that you can deplete and carb up completely fine (and actually more effectively) by NOT going into ketosis, but rather keeping carbs below a certain percentage of calories. If you would like a mountain of proof and factual evidence to support this, speak to one of my good friends Lyle McDonald - who just so happens to be labeled the "ketogenic guru". He will even tell you ketosis is pointless if carbs are low enough to get what you want.

    Originally Posted by Jay Rawd View Post
    Like Tommy said, individual insulin sensitivity determines this. My body happens to be insulin sensitive to an insanely high degree unheard of to most people, I guess. I bulk on 600 grams of carbs, at least.
    Then yes, keto is NOT for you. Ya hear me?

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    A couple of years back, I lost close to 100# using an approach similar to what Tommy is talking about - i.e., carbs really low with maybe periods of drifting in and out of Ketosis.

    I used this same approach to help 2 guys I worked with recently acheive a similar weight loss goals.

    My conclusion is this: Both Camps have it wrong. 1) Those who say you'll loose all your muscle in ketosis and 2) those who say you need ketosis to loose fat.

    Low, measured carbs, timed correctly works wonders (this assuming the insulin sensativity aspects aforementioned). I can speak only from my own experience but taking carbs too low hinders my workouts, makes me look flat and generally puts a hair accross my ass.
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    Originally Posted by Cape1 View Post
    A couple of years back, I lost close to 100# using an approach similar to what Tommy is talking about - i.e., carbs really low with maybe periods of drifting in and out of Ketosis.

    I used this same approach to help 2 guys I worked with recently acheive a similar weight loss goals.

    My conclusion is this: Both Camps have it wrong. 1) Those who say you'll loose all your muscle in ketosis and 2) those who say you need ketosis to loose fat.

    Low, measured carbs, timed correctly works wonders (this assuming the insulin sensativity aspects aforementioned). I can speak only from my own experience but taking carbs too low hinders my workouts, makes me look flat and generally puts a hair accross my ass.
    Hold on there, I didn't really say that YOU will lose your muscle mass in keto, I said that I did.

    I know keto can work wonders for many people, but I think it's better to start with higher carbs (maybe like 150), lower fat, and find out how that goes before going into the ketogenic range. I'm a little over 300 grams of carbs right now and seeing nice quad separation coming out especially in the rectus femoris and vastus lateralis, as well as seeing some pec striations and crazy arm vascularity. I also am not losing size but looking tighter. No flat look yet. My exact macros are at 240 grams of protein, 309 grams of carbs, and 61 grams of fat each day. I haven't even done a refeed yet since my energy levels are still decent and I'm not looking flat. If I do, I'll drop protein to 195, up carbs to 495, and lower fat slightly to 54 grams.
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    Originally Posted by Jay Rawd View Post
    Hold on there, I didn't really say that YOU will lose your muscle mass in keto, I said that I did.

    I know keto can work wonders for many people, but I think it's better to start with higher carbs (maybe like 150), lower fat, and find out how that goes before going into the ketogenic range. I'm a little over 300 grams of carbs right now and seeing nice quad separation coming out especially in the rectus femoris and vastus lateralis, as well as seeing some pec striations and crazy arm vascularity. I also am not losing size but looking tighter. No flat look yet. My exact macros are at 240 grams of protein, 309 grams of carbs, and 61 grams of fat each day. I haven't even done a refeed yet since my energy levels are still decent and I'm not looking flat. If I do, I'll drop protein to 195, up carbs to 495, and lower fat slightly to 54 grams.
    sorry if this appeared to be aimed at you. I was not considering your post, necessarily, when I wrote this. I was making more of general observation about the attitudes toward Ketogenic diets.

    I think Laynes article really simplifies this by saying, and I'm paraphrasing, that Keto is good when the clock is against you. If you have the time though a more balanced diet is better.
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    Originally Posted by Sporto1633 View Post
    Keto gets a bad rep because there seem to be a large number of people that do keto diets that have no nutritional knowledge whatsoever and spout of BS myths to justify why they do what they do. Keto can work fine depending on a person's insulin resistance/sensitivity, but I still hold that you can deplete and carb up completely fine (and actually more effectively) by NOT going into ketosis, but rather keeping carbs below a certain percentage of calories. If you would like a mountain of proof and factual evidence to support this, speak to one of my good friends Lyle McDonald - who just so happens to be labeled the "ketogenic guru". He will even tell you ketosis is pointless if carbs are low enough to get what you want.
    Here is my question regarding that... if you take your carbs that low WITHOUT going in to ketosis aren't you going to feel like ****? The reason being that because you are not in ketosis your body would still be looking for carbs energy, and since they are low, but not low enough for ketosis, this would result in you feeling like pure ****. Am I wrong?
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    Originally Posted by burke View Post
    Here is my question regarding that... if you take your carbs that low WITHOUT going in to ketosis aren't you going to feel like ****? The reason being that because you are not in ketosis your body would still be looking for carbs energy, and since they are low, but not low enough for ketosis, this would result in you feeling like pure ****. Am I wrong?
    as long as the little carbs your taking are keeping your insulin stable(clean sources) as wel the rest of the macros are fine, i dont see why you would have the hungry feeling/starvation mode.
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    Originally Posted by freak31 View Post
    as long as the little carbs your taking are keeping your insulin stable(clean sources) as wel the rest of the macros are fine, i dont see why you would have the hungry feeling/starvation mode.
    Well im going on words from others. Many competitors that follow your standard non keto diet find that the closer the get to a show the lower their carbs go... the lower their carbs go the more they feel like ****/lethargic/cranky.
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    Originally Posted by burke View Post
    Well im going on words from others. Many competitors that follow your standard non keto diet find that the closer the get to a show the lower their carbs go... the lower their carbs go the more they feel like ****/lethargic/cranky.
    Keto amplifies this, believe it or not. At least in my case.

    It's not like if you go slightly above 100 grams or carbs you'd feel worse than at 30 or so.
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    Originally Posted by burke View Post
    Well im going on words from others. Many competitors that follow your standard non keto diet find that the closer the get to a show the lower their carbs go... the lower their carbs go the more they feel like ****/lethargic/cranky.
    IMO most precontest diets take you on a severe LOW right near show time, Keto or otherwise, so ask any competitor how great they feel, if they have tons of energy etc on ANY diet and my guess....it is a necessary and TEMPORARY evil before a show.

    I had great luck with Keto dieting for shows, but my body responds well to it, as i have friends who have not had as much luck.. Gotta find a diet and training plan that works for you. A little holy water and a small miracle. LOL
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  19. #19
    Registered User freak31's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by tkatmommie View Post
    IMO most precontest diets take you on a severe LOW right near show time, Keto or otherwise, so ask any competitor how great they feel, if they have tons of energy etc on ANY diet and my guess....it is a necessary and TEMPORARY evil before a show.

    I had great luck with Keto dieting for shows, but my body responds well to it, as i have friends who have not had as much luck.. Gotta find a diet and training plan that works for you. A little holy water and a small miracle. LOL
    spot on.
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    Originally Posted by Jay Rawd View Post
    Read my thread in Advanced Nutrition:

    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showth...hp?p=319994001

    My personal views: keto did nothing for me, and it actually caused significant muscle loss. Not only that, but if you want to look like you lift it's better to eat carbs, simply because keto causes a VERY flat and stringy muscle look. You end up looking like a swimmer more than a bodybuilder. Not only that, but energy levels are HORRIBLE, at least for me they were. Strength went down, muscle went down, and I was in a bad mood all the time.

    Keep in mind I was eating about 1.5 g/lb. of bodyweight in protein, and did little to mitigate strength and muscle loss.
    Nobody wants to read your crap.

    All 5'8 162 lbs at 18% bf.

    Nobody cares about your hatred for keto. If you hate it, don't f'n do it you tool.
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    Originally Posted by BBTake2 View Post
    Nobody wants to read your crap.

    All 5'8 162 lbs at 18% bf.

    Nobody cares about your hatred for keto. If you hate it, don't f'n do it you tool.
    Take it easy man, i guess hes just stating his personal opinion, its all good.We are all different.
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    Originally Posted by burke View Post
    Here is my question regarding that... if you take your carbs that low WITHOUT going in to ketosis aren't you going to feel like ****? The reason being that because you are not in ketosis your body would still be looking for carbs energy, and since they are low, but not low enough for ketosis, this would result in you feeling like pure ****. Am I wrong?
    If you feel like crap on low carbs, ketosis will be no different. You will feel crap in these 2 basic scenarios:

    1) You are stage lean - no matter what approach you use whether it's high/medium/low/keto. Fact is, if you aren't cranky and feel like crap, then you aren't lean enough, plain and simple.

    2) You are using the wrong approach because your dieting approach is conflicting with your individual insulin sensitivity/resistance. So if low carbs sucks for you early on, so would keto (until your refeed). If you feel better on keto, you feel just as fine on low carbs. This is an insulin issue that mainly causes this, not preferred fuel source.

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  23. #23
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    Originally Posted by Sporto1633 View Post
    If you feel like crap on low carbs, ketosis will be no different. You will feel crap in these 2 basic scenarios:

    1) You are stage lean - no matter what approach you use whether it's high/medium/low/keto. Fact is, if you aren't cranky and feel like crap, then you aren't lean enough, plain and simple.

    2) You are using the wrong approach because your dieting approach is conflicting with your individual insulin sensitivity/resistance. So if low carbs sucks for you early on, so would keto (until your refeed). If you feel better on keto, you feel just as fine on low carbs. This is an insulin issue that mainly causes this, not preferred fuel source.

    Sporto
    If this is the case why do so many people report feeling great while IN KETOSIS (under 40g carb) but feel like **** on a low carb diet?

    If I diet around 95-120 carbs, like I have before, I feel terrible and my progress and the gym almost back tracks. However when doing the Palumbo diet my energy was great and my strength continued to climb.

    As far as feeling like crap on stage... wouldn't that most like be due to the fact you are at extremely low bodyfat levels and are most likely eating a very low calorie diet...

    Maybe it's just me but when I diet with high carbs I tend to feel good, low carbs I feel awful, and in keto I feel good. The only reason I can see not doing keto for a contest is because filling out may be difficult.
    Last edited by burke; 07-29-2009 at 01:27 PM.
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    Originally Posted by BBTake2 View Post
    Nobody wants to read your crap.

    All 5'8 162 lbs at 18% bf.

    Nobody cares about your hatred for keto. If you hate it, don't f'n do it you tool.
    strong lol..............just give the keto a try for a month if you dont like it do a more normal diet, you have plenty of time if your show isnt untill next year, or are you planning on doing a 7 month cut or somit, if thats the case you will lose serious muscle on any diet on a 7 month cut lol.....imo you have time to experiment a bit..........oh and i think keto is good everyone is differant tho.....
    i rep back if i forget pm me and i will do it on recharge............

    getting massive again :)

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    Originally Posted by BBTake2 View Post
    Nobody wants to read your crap.

    All 5'8 162 lbs at 18% bf.

    Nobody cares about your hatred for keto. If you hate it, don't f'n do it you tool.
    U mad?
    Last edited by Jay Rawd; 08-19-2009 at 12:18 PM.
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    jay you should go kill yourself, k?
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    Thumbs down War

    You try and find out some info on a particular topic and all u get is people going to war. If you have information or answer for the question at hand, answer it and help. Giving lots of pointless info to back up your hate on the question or topic does not help. I just wasted 10 min of my life reading info that has little to do with the question possed (aside from Sporto). I love the bb website but I'm staying away from these forums cause they are all the same.
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    Your experiment is totally irrevelant

    You did it wrong... If you check this Keto calculator (www.mydreamshape.com/keto-calculator), your macros do not even respect the Ketogenic Diet ratio.
    I'm not saying keto is good or bad for contests but your study is totally worthless. Having too much proteins turns into carbs and your carbs are at 9% meaning you were never in ketosis.
    Plus your macros total 1532 calories, not 1500.

    Originally Posted by Jay Rawd View Post
    Read my thread in Advanced Nutrition:

    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showth...hp?p=319994001

    My personal views: keto did nothing for me, and it actually caused significant muscle loss. Not only that, but if you want to look like you lift it's better to eat carbs, simply because keto causes a VERY flat and stringy muscle look. You end up looking like a swimmer more than a bodybuilder. Not only that, but energy levels are HORRIBLE, at least for me they were. Strength went down, muscle went down, and I was in a bad mood all the time.

    Keep in mind I was eating about 1.5 g/lb. of bodyweight in protein, and did little to mitigate strength and muscle loss.
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  29. #29
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    Can appreciate this post is dated, but wanted to add my two pence for any future readers looking for info and coming across this, to level out the bro science.

    Is muscle size compromised?
    If you don't eat enough protein, or you eat far too much protein (whilst in ketosis) possibly. It's tricky because glycogen is imperative like fat and without a small amount of glucose you can't be in a state of ketosis (or alive), which is where gluconeogenesis comes into play. In low carb scenarios, once the body's fat adapted it'll happily use fat as energy, fat is the best source of energy, the brain is even made of mostly fat and cholesterol (sugar is like crack for the brain, not good) but with fat energy you never get slumps like with carbs/sugar nor hunger cravings. If your body detects there's more protein than there is fat, it'll try converting that protein into glucose instead, until standard levels (or fat to protein ratio) is again reached.

    If your body is using protein from food, when that's all used up and absorbed from the broken down food in the small intestine, it's reasonable to assume the body will try getting some protein from muscle mass too until it switches back to fat adaption, and of course too little protein never ends well. This is why keto can be tricky, it's recommended 0.6 - 1.0 g per lb body weight, personally I want more protein to be on the safe side. I've read research stating being kicked out of ketosis due to high protein is ok as gluconeogenesis is important, plus measuring ketone levels is never truly accurate as what you see with a meter is just what isn't used by the body. I've read you'd need very high amounts of protein to fat ratio for that to happen (450-500g) as fats would typically be 250 - 300g.

    But then alongside ketones is released beta-hydroxybutyrate which is brilliant for protein synthesis and like carbs; muscle sparing. The body seems to have it's own countermeasures for what is actually a survival mode mechanism, trying to spare your muscle. Couple that with BCAA's and the knowledge you can actually gain muscle in a calorie deficit provided there's enough protein, (just as you can gain fat in a defecit with carbs) then it's worth going for, even if you have higher protein and it becomes more the atkins diet. I've found doing this with sprints (after having eaten!) I've seen amazing results in fat loss.

    I did sprints in a deficit with carbs and just weren't seeing results, fat cells simply won't release triglycerides if at the same time converted carbs are going through the same doorway, or if muscles have carbs in them. I lost muscle though from sprinting before eating, don't do that. Also I think I'd only use ketosis for cutting, you can have great energy on ketosis, but slightly better energy on carbs. You can actually do targeted or cyclical ketosis where carbs are invited, but to summarise, as long as you have generous fat and enough protein (in not too much of a deficit), then with the resistance training reminding them, your muscles shouldn't have a need to let go of protein.

    Remember water and electrolytes (sodium, magnesium and potassium) without an abundance of those which are lost in ketosis due to flushed out water retention, you'll feel fatigued/headachey, they're quite important.
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    You attempt and discover some information on a specific subject and all u get is individuals doing battle. On the off chance that you have data or respond in due order regarding the current inquiry, answer it and help. Giving bunches of futile information to back up your abhor on the inquiry or subject does not help. I simply squandered 10 min of my life perusing information that has little to do with the inquiry possed (beside Sporto). I cherish the bb site yet I'm avoiding these discussions cause they are all the equivalent.
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