Anyone got experience with ketogenic diets?

Discussion in 'Diet and Nutrition' started by Harry Westgate, Oct 27, 2016.

  1. Harry Westgate

    Harry Westgate More than 500 posts

    Hello all,

    Just wondering if anyone has any experience with this and what your results were? I've heard keto is very effective for getting lean, but haven't tried it myself. Also, the big question, do calories count on keto (I've googled this and there seems to be a lack of consensus)?

    Any info would be much appreciated!


  2. Bro Mo

    Bro Mo Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    I and another family I know has tried it for helping with epilepsy. Regardless of the purpose, it's really hard and limiting. I didn't find it any better for fat loss than simply cutting out sugar and increasing vegetables either. My sex drive was higher at the time though.
    Harry Westgate likes this.
  3. ShawnM

    ShawnM More than 2500 posts

    I have tried them with decent, short term results. I can run a Keto diet for 2-4 weeks at a shot but much longer than that I tend to go a little nuts. I also don't feel well on them. I know there is the " Keto Flu" and I just don't feel like feeling like crap for a few days to drop an extra couple pounds.

    You may get better results, I think everyone reacts differently to the 900+ diets that exist now. I found that if I was dropping weight for a BJJ meet I could go Keto for a few weeks but not much more than that. And I would say you still need to look at calories and count them. I know that some say not to worry about but I would still count them.

    Hope this helps a little.
    Harry Westgate likes this.
  4. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Forum Administrator Senior Certified Instructor

    Keto diets are documented to help with epilepsy to the best of my knowledge.

    They are also popular for body recomposition purposes.

    In our house, we're experimenting now with a diet mentioned elsewhere on our forums, the Slow-Carb Diet by Tim Ferriss, author of The Four-Hour Work Week and the Four Hour Body. (NB: Pavel has written for Tim's blog and also been interviewed by Tim.) I'm learning to like lentils. :)

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  5. ali

    ali Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    Not done it myself but find all the science, ifs and buts endlessly interesting. Dunno why that should be as I'm not interested in even trying it, having no reason to.....still. Of all the stuff out there the most balanced and thoroughly in depth analysis I've come across is the daily lipid podcast by Chris masterjohn, PhD. You can go the full nerd or take away the main points, he has transcripts available too, so you can read rather than listen. Keto diets and the processes behind their success or failure are discussed in detail across many topics and sub-topics with the most recent understandings and, of course, the many counter arguments and the big one....the Why?
    Harry Westgate likes this.
  6. ShawnM

    ShawnM More than 2500 posts

    While I found Keto Diets to be a bit of a pain, Low Carb Diets (100-125 grams) seemed to work pretty well. I think the less than 25 grams or so a day was just to much for my system to deal with. I'll read up on Slow Carbs today and maybe see how it goes. @Steve Freides, how long have you been expirementing with this and how have you been feeling/performing?
    Harry Westgate likes this.
  7. natewhite39

    natewhite39 More than 500 posts Certified Instructor

    Some of my peers are on the Keto Diet, but they are prepping for physique contests so it is only a temporary deal. I prefer the Warrior Diet style of eating, works with my schedule and results / how I feel have been good.
    Harry Westgate likes this.
  8. kodo kb

    kodo kb Triple-Digit Post Count

    Keto has been great for me for quick (2-4 week) lean outs, but it's too restrictive for the long haul for me. I'm a fan of IF a la Eat Stop Eat.

    I would assume calories count, but I think it's just difficult to overeat when you're only eating fats, proteins, and veggies. I was always very sated on during my keto periods (other than the first 2-3 days when I have some carb cravings).
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  9. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Forum Administrator Senior Certified Instructor

    A good, if opinionated, source for information about TKD/CKD is Lyle McDonald - a Google will find him.

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  10. Bonkin

    Bonkin More than 300 posts

    I'd forgotten about Lyle McDonald. I used one the diets in one of his books successfully a few years ago.
  11. Mach Won

    Mach Won Double-Digit Post Count

    I think the biggest question is why do you want to try a keto diet? It's difficult to do properly and not necessary for weight loss. Low carb is nearly as effective for weight loss and is much easier. Also, you could look into the Modified Atkins Diet. MAD allows for higher protein intake than a ketogenic diet, while still calling for very low carb levels. Maybe give a listen to some of the podcasts Dominic D'Agostino has been on where he discusses these topics in detail.
  12. Ivan Merl

    Ivan Merl Triple-Digit Post Count

    Just finished a keto cycle. I think it is a great tool to use for a specific reason. For me it is not a lifestyle and I would go insane trying to stick with it for too long.
    ShawnM likes this.
  13. schurgerdc

    schurgerdc Double-Digit Post Count

    I've been on a keto diet almost exclusively since September, and love it. I say almost, as I've been more experimental with uping my carbs above 25-30g/d in two instances: the holidays (Thanksgiving was carb crazy) & about once every 7-10 days. The holidays...well, when Dad makes you a gluten free apple pie, you enjoy it!! As for the other, I view it as a refeed. I'm doing it largely to lose weight, and while I haven't lost a bunch since I started in September (Labor Day weekend), I have steadily been losing. Activity is largely S&S, and I use Cronometer to track my macro's.

    Couple of take aways that really helped:
    • You have to keep an eye on macros, otherwise you will eat too much fat and not lose (if that's a goal)
    • High protein is likely more necessary, as it will satiate hunger well. However, I started out high fat, which helped get me into the program pretty well
      • Optimal Ketogenic Community on Facebook has a completely different take on keto macros, and I would recommend getting involved in that group if you want to do continuous keto for longer than just a couple of weeks
      • I would suggest 1 g of protein/lb lean body mass (according to OKC above)
    • Haven't done it, but I think a ketone/glucose meter makes good sense (recommended by Ferriss)
    • Eat veggies for your carbs. You can eat a lot of them and still be down under 25 easy. More importantly, fiber = healthy poop in the morning. You'll thank me for it!!
    • If you're having trouble with going straight into the ketogenic diet, look at doing Slow Carb as mentioned above. I found the beans didn't agree with me as well, and I felt sluggish in the afternoons (I would do 4 eggs on a cup of black beans, and now I do a very large salad with an avocado & 3 slices of bacon...noticeable energy difference)
      • Tim Ferriss talks about a cheat day, which I view as a carb refeed day. Dave Aspery talked about that with his bulletproof diet as well, as we need a carb refeed every 7-10 days, 2-3 if you're female for hormone support. I find that's when I add some beans to the mix. Doubles as date night with my wife for Mexican (her favorite). But you'll get to a point when you can feel the need for increasing your carbs for about a day.
      • Weight does drop off in the next several days after a cheat day, but don't feel that it will always come off easy.
      • I would recommend keeping away from candies/sweets, as your body will start to crave them again
    • Stick with a handful of simple meals. Dinner tends to be roasted brussel sprouts, 8 oz of ground meat (grass fed) and 4 eggs sunny side up. I definitely notice the testosterone boost the next morning
    Hope that helps!!
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  14. pet'

    pet' More than 5000 posts


    Does a [too] high amount of protein prevent you to enter in ketosis ?

    I think (I should check this out) keto diet is about 90% fat, 8% proteins, 2% carbs

    Kind regards,

  15. Pavel Macek

    Pavel Macek More than 2500 posts Master Certified Instructor

    Actually right now I am experimenting with Ketogenic diet (and continuing Intermittent Fasting), 9 days today. The switch was not difficult for me, because this is how I basically eat, I just cut all the carbs (rice, potatoes... ), and eat only vegetables as carbs.

    So far so good - I can train in a fasted state with no carbs, digestion is good, brain sharp, I sleep well, regeneration is alright, and body composition - da sixpack!
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  16. pet'

    pet' More than 5000 posts


    @Pavel Macek
    For carbs, do you eat fruits (in addition to vegetables) ? For me it is difficult not to eat them

    Kind regards,

  17. ClaudeR

    ClaudeR Triple-Digit Post Count

    @Pavel Macek
    Had the same experience (also eat that way anyway, so I just cut out the starches, easy for me)
    In addition to the benefits you describe, I also found it makes you almost bonk-proof when doing endurance workouts... I could cycle for hours or run long runs or rucks without ever feeling energy loss, on just water...

    @Harry Westgate ,
    In general it's a sliding scale of ketogenic vs low carb, it's not a switch, but you rather seamlessly slide into ketosis, provided you are used and primed on a low carb diet already.
    That also makes it very sustainable, once you get attuned to proper eating you can slide in and out easily and get very efficient on using any kind of energy that is available

    so, don't see it as a strict diet, rather a sliding scale based on what's available and how you feel. Cycling food options is what I believe in anyway, as that would be a very natural thing.
    One thing though, make sure to eat enough calories, it is very easy to lose appetite on a ketogenic diet, so make sure to not try to eat less, don't see it as a diet!
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  18. Pavel Macek

    Pavel Macek More than 2500 posts Master Certified Instructor

    @pet' No, I do not. Even before I jumped on this Keto experiment, just occasionally.
    @ClaudeR Awesome!
  19. schurgerdc

    schurgerdc Double-Digit Post Count

    That was my initial thought on the matter too. However, there seem to be variations that work better for the average individual. I recently had an intern with an extensive sports/weight lifting background, and as we were looking at my initial numbers, he suggested I increase the protein as well. There is something interesting that I came across (and need to investigate further) that protein consumed needs to be done at a level of 30+g per meal, otherwise it ends up not being used for protein synthesis. Again, I would recommend people check out the OKC group on Facebook for more info, as they have a very active community there looking at this.

    Part of me wants to say that the 90/8/2 ratio may have been the initial ratio used for epileptics, but I can't say for certain.
  20. Sean M

    Sean M Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    I did Atkins for a bit when my wife was diagnosed with gestational diabetes with our first-born (joined her in solidarity with a low-carb diet per her doctor), so this is 5+ years ago now.

    The "Induction" phase of Atkins is less than 30 net carbs for about two weeks, and I believe I was in ketosis after 3-4 days of that super-low eating pattern. I didn't use urine test strips, but had the symptoms (bad breath, "keto flu", irritability due to hormonal adjustment shifting from sugar-burning to fat-burning mode). The second phase of Atkins has you adding more (healthy) net carbs (for me, still 1/3 the total carbs I normally ate), so for the total of 6 weeks I did it, I'm not sure I was still in ketosis for the second 2-3 weeks.

    I noticed I thought clearer, or rather I could tell I got foggier after getting off the diet. The brain connection may be why it is successful for epileptics.

    I did lose 20 pounds, though it crept back up after she delivered and wasn't diabetic anymore. I wasn't counting calories, but I'm sure it was lower - the combination of lower calories and massive change in macros (ratio of protein, fat, and carbs), and water retention, probably counts for 90%+ of the weight loss. I wasn't exercising at all during the diet.
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