When we were kids, we were taught the basic idea of food and it was: eating food provides energy to do several things throughout the day, helps us build energy stores whenever needed, and provides what you need to build and maintain your body. But with times changing so fast, humans have formulated and adapted to different and uncountable types of diet, fasting methods, and eating habits. And to adapt with all these inventions being made, the human body requires an intake of nutrients, calories, and vitamins to maintain the chosen diet plans by different people. The body has a complex digestive system which can regulate our food intake.
Whenever there?s a discussion about diet regimens, the ketogenic diet is always talked about and with celebs and athletes like Gwyneth Paltrow, Megan Fox, and LeBron James religiously following the keto diet, it can now be stated as a proven fact that even with the keto diet, a person can perform at their very best.
Now that we know the famous people associated with the keto diet, the question arises: what exactly is the keto diet?
WBFF Pro Daniel Ventura explains what exactly a ketogenic diet is and how it helps in building muscles and keeping the body in shape:
A ketogenic diet is where 75% of calories come from fat, 20% from protein, and 5% from carbs. People often feel shocked at how just 5% of carbs can be enough, but in reality, once you get used to this ketogenic style of eating, your body performs much better, says Daniel. The reason being, every human body is like a hybrid car that runs on two main fuel sources: carbohydrates, which are converted into glycogen or fat. When your body?s running off of carbohydrates, it means your body?s effectively running off petrol, which is why your body starts burning body fat, which gives you ten times more energy, ten times more mental alertness, and as far as body fat composition is concerned, it drops very quickly.
Daniel says: ?I have to use all my willpower to walk past the bakery sections and the doughnuts, and I head towards things like cheeses. And when it comes to vegetables, that?s little bit more limited to cauliflower, asparagus, green kale and avocado as the main ingredients. Macadamia nuts are on my favourites but you could also have almonds and Brazil nuts. Eggs and bacon are a big part of my diet. I?m having egg and bacon every day, which I absolutely love.?
What are the biggest mistakes people make when it comes to nutrition?
People avoid putting things like mayonnaise, double cream, and creme fraiche in their basket, saying that they are avoiding fat. There?s a myth, which is that fat makes you fat and this was the fault of the FDA in America in the ?70s. They did one study which was carried out on cancer patients and it was completely flawed and inaccurate because all they summarized from that study was: fat made the cancer patients fat and they used that information to launch a massive marketing campaign across the globe saying fat makes you fat. All the food companies followed the revolution and they started releasing products that were a hundred percent fat-free and replaced them with carbohydrates. Call it a coincidence or a by-product of this revolution: in the ?70s an obesity epidemic started in the States, which consequently spread across the globe and people can be seen as seriously obese and overweight, and that only started in the ?70s.
What kinds of fats should be consumed?
Good fats. When we talk about good fat, it would be saturated fats. Good fats would include coconut oil because coconut oil is an MCT (medium chain triglyceride) and because of its molecular structure, the body doesn?t store it as body fat, but it goes straight into the liver and gets converted into energy. So it?s a fact that it actually gives you energy then and there. That?s one strong reason to take in good fats.
Also, include saturated fats that you would get in things like butter. It is general knowledge that a diet which is low in saturated fat is a diet that is low in testosterone. So if you don?t have saturated fat in your diet, your testosterone levels will be low and testosterone is a wonderful hormone for both men and women. Women should not at all be afraid of having a testosterone-rich diet because it keeps body fat low and also keeps lean muscle mass on the high side.
What nutritional macros should be included in daily calorie intake for building muscles?
To begin with, there should be more protein and carbohydrate and not so much of fat because when you have protein and carbohydrate together as two dominant macro sources in your daily calories that helps you build lean muscle mass, the glycogen from the converted carbohydrate will fill up the muscles and, of course, the protein will be the building blocks for those muscles as well.
When it comes to stripping back at the stage where you?ve built the muscles and you have the muscle size and muscle density, this is the right time to start cutting down on body fat. The macro ratio needs to be changed and following the principle mentioned earlier that fat makes a person thin, you need to have more fat and, consequently, as your fat intake goes up, your body fat levels drop.
How to split meals?
Daniel explains: ?I?d wake up and do my cardio fasted. Have a bulletproof coffee in the morning before I start training and then it?s nil by mouth, nothing at all, just water and no food until around one o?clock or three o?clock in the afternoon. This is known as intermittent fasting. When your body goes in too fast, it releases testosterone and human growth hormone so when you?re sleeping at night, that?s when you build muscle and burn fat. If you can prolong that fast for as long as possible, that consequently will help you release human growth hormone, which will make you burn fat and build muscle.?
While breaking fast, it?s important what macros should be utilised to break the fast with. So a high-fat meal such as scrambled eggs, bacon, and macadamia nuts can be prioritised. If added, avocado and squeezed lemon juice can completely pack up your first meal.
After a span of 3 to 4 hours, chicken thighs, peanut butter, almond butter and kale or cauliflower gets you done with the second meal.
Before bed, having 85% to 100% cocoa dark chocolate helps you wind up your day with sufficient calories.
While checking up on these meals, also count on supplements like branched chain amino acids (BCAAs ) and glutamine (or whatever your trainer has advised you to use) during the day as well. These supplements are more likely to work better if added with every main meal.
How to be consistent with your keto diet plan and lifestyle
While you?ve already learned about the number of calories, protein, fats, and other nutrients, including the foods to eat and avoid, it is crucial to change your eating habits and stick with your keto diet plan.
Here are some expert tips to help you stay consistent with your keto diet plan and overall keto lifestyle:
- Food should not be taken as a reward: You probably think it’s okay to indulge in high-calorie or high-carb foods sometimes because you’re training very hard and have been doing the keto diet for quite some time. Change the way you think about food. Don’t take it as a reward or punishment because you’re doing well or badly. If you do so, you might end up losing track of your keto diet.
- Learn from keto experts: There are many online tutorial articles and videos created by keto experts to keep you guided on maintaining a strict keto diet. You can also consult a nutritionist and fitness doctor about implementing a keto diet like a bodybuilder. Check this guide for ketogenic bodybuilders to help build your muscles wisely when on a keto diet.
- Take advantage of digital technology: Smartwatches, health and fitness apps, and telemedicine are just some of the products of advanced digital technology. You can use these devices and software to track your progress, like counting your calories and communicating with health and fitness experts.
- Make it a good habit: Embrace a keto diet fully and make it a part of your daily routine without missing a beat. Continue learning more about keto techniques, and sooner or later, you’ll learn how to adapt a keto lifestyle as if it were second nature. Make sure to also observe your daily activities. Don’t overly stress your body training all day long. There should be enough muscle recovery, as well as adequate rest and sleep.
So, this was all about ketogenic diet from a professional point of view and if you?re planning to opt for a ketogenic diet for bodybuilding, you should know that you?re good to go.