Carb backloading is an eating plan that was designed by John Kiefer who is a Magna Cum Laude graduate with a Bachelor’s in Mathematics and a Bachelor’s in Physics in three years then became a Ph.D. candidate in physics at the University of Florida in only a year. So yes he’s intelligent but he’s also a physicist! What does this mean to you? It means he did his homework and crunched the numbers. He’s also a pretty stout looking guy. Yeah, he’s pretty jacked! The Eating plan Continue reading
Oxidative stress was one of the first things I had to get under control to start regaining my health. I was also a hardgainer for much of my life. The last couple of years and slowing metabolism due to age made it easier to put on muscle. The oxidative stress on the other hand made it take longer to recover and eventually was a strong sign of the chronic stress and inflammation my body was experiencing. So I looked puffy for more reasons than eating too much pizza!!
Why is it harder to build muscle as we age?
In the last couple of years there was a researcher by the name of Dr Robert Lustig who gave a 2 hour talk to a room of approximately 200 of his peers. The speech on Fructose was not meant or intended to be presented for the average layman. That did not stop it from becoming one of the most informative talks on dietary consumption of sugar and diet that the average layman could wrap their heads around. The title was “Sugar: The Bitter Truth”. I posted it on this website over a year ago and it had already gone viral with a couple million hits.
Dr Lustig and other researchers at the University of California have begun a new set of 7 informational videos called “The Skinny on Obesity”. I will be providing a link to the entire series here on FitnessLowDown because I believe this guy is one of the smartest minds on the topic of obesity currently. The misinformation out there is so rampant that the only way you can get through all the bullshit is to find the right sources of information that use science, not profit, to make their conclusions.
In the series he talks about the hormone Leptin. Leptin is produced by your fat cells and regulates your appetite. When you have enough fat stored your hunger level should drop and your desire to eat should be curtailed until your Leptin level decreases. For most people this no longer happens the way it is suppose to. People get overweight and continue eating and also continue to be hungry. This is the mechanism that drives our modern day epidemic of obesity. for those that are not obese it is good to learn this information because it helps to give you the tools and understanding you need to learn to control your bodyweight and lean out making others think you are a magician.
Why do dogs so varaciously sit for hours chewing on a bone? Is it because they are bored? Heck NO! It’s because that is one of the places you’ll find the most nutrition packed away in a solid container. Bones are packed with protein, calcium and a myriad of other minerals and nutrients that we may be missing from our diets. One of the biggest things that Paleo followers avoid is organ meat. Animals usually go for the liver first in a wild game kill because it is truly one of the worlds best super foods. So what is another way we can make sure we are maximizing our health and to add to that our money?
I have a friend that reversed his MS by following a Ketogenic diet and taking LDN (Low Dose Naltrexone) for a year. The fact that our bodies do not get what it needs to protect itself takes it toll over decades and that is why so many strange diseases are increasingly being seen at a rate of 600% or more than 50 years ago.
Dr Terry Wahl’s was a doctor that came down with Multiple Sclerosis. After being wheelchair bound she decided to fight back with more than medication.
Watch her informational and inspirational TED Talk.
During the first week that I had reached my limit on all the different diet propaganda and I been spoon fed for the last 20 years, I began to study biochemistry in an attempt to finally get to the truth. One of the first things I learned was how diet was controlled by insulin and leptin. There are other factors that cause our hunger levels to go through the roof that are found in our bodies and in our food.
The first appetite stimulant we’ll talk about is one that is found in our food supply, namely Continue reading
These top 5 mistakes that people make on a Ketogenic diet do not come from some comprehensive study performed in a laboratory, but from my own experience helping people correct issues or put on muscle while on a ketogenic diet. They are also mistakes I have made recently.
So it turns out that Sugar Farmers do not want Corn Farmers calling their deliciously tasty HFCS poison the same as beet and cane sugar! Time for a battle of the titans! More Info Here!
Turns out that all that sodium in our fast food isn’t much of a problem so all you salt-o-phobes can chill out, eat right and quit worrying about eating too much salt! Since this does fly in the face of everything doctors are out there saying they of course want to recommend not taking the study too seriously as they don’t feel as though they have enough info yet!
So it turns out that cutting your salt does not decrease your heart risks. So cut your carb intake and your body will regulate your salt level automatically!
The findings were posted in the Journal of the American Medical Association and available to read about on Reuters located HERE
After spending a week watching the Starz hit Spartacus, I was curious to find out if Gladiators were actually in incredibly ripped shape and what they ate if that were the case. It turns out that Gladiators were called Barley Men. They ate a primarily vegetarian diet that was in no way similiar to the normal free living inhabitants they entertained. They ate no animal protein but mostly barley and legumes for the purpose of gaining weight. A gladiator who was overweight was able to be cut and bleed more while being able to continue fighting. If a gladiator was lean and cut it would have cut into muscle and the chance of the gladiator being able to continue was greatly reduced. So in a recap, a vegetarian high grain, high legume diet was used to fatten them up!
To read into more detail the archeological article is located here
I found this interview of an Endocrinologist that treats Infertility to go right along with the science I have been reading about lately from several studies.
Seems that women that were involved in Low Carb diet studies that had problems with fertility and PCOS were suddenly coming up pregnant. Continue reading
I spent 64 straight days in Ketosis and expected to have my total blood profile improve. All the science I’ve read said it would but none of the science could tell me exactly how much of an improvement I would have since only I get to decide what I will eat on a daily basis. So here’s the results!
Total Cholesterol 290 –> 254
Triglycerides 291 –> 123
LDL-Cholesterol 192 –> 189
Cholesterol/HDLC Ratio 7.3 –> 6.4
Glucose 90 –> 84
ALT 62 –> 18
While this information is good news I did expect a more drastic improvement in my HDLC Ratio. On the second test my liver enzymes were all normal so the improvement is across the board!!! All this by eating a bunch of BACON!!!
Any health nerds out there find any science on the fastest methods to lower LDL ratio’s?
Let’s start with a brutal evaluation of being in Ketosis for over 2 months straight. I did not get enough sleep, I missed too many of my daily supplements and I only got two or less days of workouts in each week. Some weeks I did not get in a workout at all.
This last week I was not very concerned with staying in Ketosis after getting my blood test done. I cheated several days this week. Just eating ‘NORMAL’ I managed to go up 7 lbs on the scale in a week. Most fo this being water weight. It’s good I’m not trying to actually lose body fat yet!
As of tomorrow I will be back in ketosis and I will be doing a CKD (Cyclical Ketogenic Diet). I find this to be the best long term method of eating based off of everything I’ve studied. It also seems to contain the best rate of long term success. On a CKD you ‘Carb Up’ about once a week for a period of time between 12 and 36 hours. This allows the opportunity for the depleted glycogen levels in your muscles to not just replenish but to supersaturate with energy. The flexibility also seems to allow a mental time of relaxation from even having to think about what you’re eating.
When you come out fo ketosis and begin to reintroduce carbohydrates into the diet in larger amounts you will find that your body will need more water to begin to store the carbohydrates throughout the body. This causes you to put on water weight due to the “hydrate” need of carbohydrates! So when you ease up a little bit expect to quickly gain a few pounds. Don’t worry about it because almost all of the water weight will be added to your muscles!
After finding out that our beloved US Department of Agriculture had updated the food pyramid in 2010, it was time to take a look at it.
Now I’m by any means not a farmer but I do know enough people who have farmed or had cattle that will tell you. If you want to fatten up a cow you need Continue reading
One of the many fallacies that people often hear about when they first begin to hear about low carb, ketogenic or Atkins diets is that it will cause you to lose muscle. Asking these questions and getting the actual science is teh most important thing you can do in your life to not be a victim of bad science. Most of our understanding about health and diet these days come from advertisers and doctors who don’t really know enough about the subject to give anyone advice. The average doctor only has 23.9 hours of nutritional training in medical school. I spent more time setting up this website and several months more just studying the science behind Ketogenic diets.
When Ketosis is studied by most medical professionals it is studied as part of starvation. During starvation the body goes into ketosis and begins to use fat for energy while burning up muscle to create enough glucose to provide the energy the brain needs. This process changes over time but to sum it up, during starvation your muscle becomes a source of glucose. This IS muscle loss. Over time you will have muscle atrophy if you continue to not eat. THIS IS NOT A KETOGENIC DIET…this is a fast or you need to find some food cause you’re starving!!
A Ketogenic diet is NOT a diet that causes muscle loss. Let me repeat…A KETOGENIC DIET DOES NOT CAUSE MUSCLE ATROPHY!! A Ketogenic diet is a protein sparing diet.
What this means is that if you are consuming the adequate amount of protein on a ketogenic diet you do not experience muscle loss. If you are consuming enough protein in your daily diet the body will use that, instead of muscle, to create the necessary glycogen your body needs.
HOLY COW SCOTT, YOU JUST ADMITTED THAT THE BODY NEEDS CARBS! YOU BETTER START SINGING THE PRAISES OF THE VEGANS AND GIVE UP ALL RATIONAL THOUGHT AND INDIVIDUALISM!
No, I didn’t. There are plenty of documented societies that lived without carbs in their diet and were very healthy. The body can create what it needs for glycogen through the use of protein. But the most important part of the protein sparing is the decrease in glycogen needs in the body that occur over time. As the body adapts to the decrease in carbohydrate intake it begins to use ketones as its fuel source (1,2). This gradual adaptation occurs in the brain and in the body. Most ketogenic dieters that are involved in Crossfit have noted that adaptation took about six weeks for performance to return to normal during a High Intensity Interval workout. After six weeks their performance went through the roof according to them. Matt Lalonde, the crossfit affiliate owner and Harvard Biochemist did a 3 month Ketogenic diet and lost body fat while gaining 10 lbs of lean muscle mass. The article can be found HERE.
Some people love the idea of turning their fat to muscle. Problem is that this does not occur. Fat is burned as energy and the majority of muscle is made up of glutamine which is the most abundant protein in the body. Of course there are plenty of other amino acids, vitamins, minerals and essential fats that make up new muscle.
To make sure you’re not losing muscle while on a Ketogenic diet make sure you eat plenty of protein and if you are trying to build muscle make sure you increase the amount of fat you are taking in. The new cell walls will be made up of fat so bring on the BACON!
Yesterday I went to work like I would do any normal day and ended up staying there for 27 hours. Thank God this is not the norm but it does occasional happen to those of us in the IT field. As of this writing I have been in ketosis for 35 straight days with no carb up days. Up until now I have made no effort to lose weight but to just try and get to the gym and get my workouts in. I have only succeeded at that about 50% of the time. I have been so busy with work that I have been missing sleep and not doing all the things that are necessary for growing muscle mass. The most important thing I have not done well is getting enough sleep. I am severely sleep deprived. I never sleep that much because of my severe type A personality.
Now after the 27 hour at work marathon I have realized that I need to put the big stiff arm on the number of things I am handling simultaneously at work as my job is not just spilling into my personal time but now even my sleep. Piece of advice folks, If you do not manage your own life everyone else will do it for you and in the end you’ll end up exhausted and never have spent enough time on yourself and your own interests.
One major thing I did notice was that the more sleep I missed the worse my sugar cravings would get. At 4:30 in the morning the Mountain Dew in the coke machine was calling out to me. Needing the caffeine to continue working I went ahead with a Diet Mt Dew instead. I REALLY was craving sugar in a major way.
So if you are on a Ketogenic or VLCD (Very Low Carb Diet) then make sure to get plenty of sleep to keep the sugar cravings away. What the mechanism is for this I am not sure but I do know that when you get exhausted and tired the body will scream for quick simple energy of every sort that it might be able to get you to consume.
Lack of sleep can cause what resembles insulin resistance in the body, increase cortisol and cause a general fatigue throughout the entire day. But Scott, how do I know if I’m getting enough sleep? Simple, if you use an alarm clock then you are sleep deprived! Get rid of any light source in your room, cover up the windows and cover your alarm clock light. It will help you sleep better!
Getting the proper amount of rest is as important as your diet. A lack of sleep can cause an increase in cortisol which can cause you to hold onto weight around the midsection and just do horrible things to you when your cortisol levels can get too high. Trust me, I almost lost sight in one eye due to cortisol overload. Took three months for my vision to return in the affected eye and my vision in that eye has never fully healed! Get some sleep folks! It is just as important as what you eat!
And now a little science article to chew on! Click Here
I am repeatedly asked by skeptics why I’m keeping my body in ketosis for 6 months. The idea that I could not just survive but even thrive without the blessed sugar pumped glazed over high fructose sweetened carbohydrates our society so dear. Please do not misunderstand me, I LOVE EATING SUGAR, especially in the form of glazed donuts, Mountain Dew and pasta with garlic bread. If I could survive and be healthy on Mountain Dew and donuts I would. I also do not believe that ALL carbs are EVIL!!! I don’t believe any carbs are evil! I simply understand that some things are healthy in moderation but moderation is not a word we use in the gold ole U.S. of A.
I also do not believe that the healthiest and most manageable way to survive is to stay in ketosis and eat almost no carbs for the rest of your life! I’m doing this as a proof of concept. I’m doing it to prove that it is not unhealthy. If John Hopkins can keep people in a deep state of ketosis for 14 years without health problems and the Inuit indians were able to survive their entire lives without eating any carbs then why do doctors only study ketosis and the ketogenic state as part of starvation? It’s because the average doctor only has 23.9 hours of actual nutritional education. If you have studied the science of nutrition for 1 full week for 8 hours a day, you now probably know more about nutrition then a general practitioner. They are great diagnosticians but they are by no means nutrition experts unless that is their field of expertise.
So let’s talk about Insulin because it is such an important topic in today Diabetes filled world. Insulin is a hormone produced by your pituitary gland. It is one of the most anabolic if not the most anabolic hormone in the body. Insulin is used to transport glucose to your liver, muscles and fat cells. It also blocks the release of glucagon which keeps your body from using fat for energy. If you are overweight then insulin is the backstabbing friend who puts you behind the wheel of the car when your 3 sheets to the wind! Keep your insulin low if you are overweight, have metabolic syndrome or diabetes type 2 and you will be on the right path to giving the overtaxed pituitary gland a well needed break to possibly heal and recover. Don’t do this and you can enjoy jabbing a needle in your arm every time you stop for a bite to eat and the surgical removal of your feet down the road.
So now someone says “If insulin is anabolic then why don’t I want to spike my insulin levels?”. Answer: You do, if you’ve exercised and depleted the majority of your muscles glycogen throughout your entire body! That way when you eat the carbs for your cheat day it all goes into the muscles. I may be staying in ketosis for the next six months but the best maintenance plan in my book is a Cyclical Ketogenic Diet where you get a day to eat whatever you want. It takes the edge off and you can go out with friends and gorge on some pasta. Then hit the weights really heavy the next day! This causes super saturation of the muscles with glycogen. In other words, you will walk into the gym with 50% more fuel in your muscles than usual. This is a great way to prepare for a grueling Crossfit competition and to help you last till the end of whatever nightmare workout the contest has!!
Back to the bastard child insulin! to make this short and sweet (which I have already failed at miserably) if you keep your insulin low then you will burn fat for fuel and avoid adding weight. The leptin in your body will suddenly begin to work like it was suppose to and you will know when it’s time to stop eating because your body will let you know IMMEDIATELY!!! Not 15 minutes after you’re full in the chinese restaraunt, but immediately. Insulin blocks leptin. Take in too many carbs too quick without fiber and the signal never gets to the brain!
Once you have this down pat and your appetite is working correctly then it’s time to take a step further and start cutting back on your fat intake so that you can start dropping even more weight. Don’t cut too much because the hunger level will cause you to break your diet. It will make life unenjoyable and everything you see will suddenly look like a Krispy Kreme glazed donut with your name spelled in the glaze. Shave off 500 calories a day and see if that works for you. Make sure you ahve stable energy throughout the day and only weigh yourself once a week at max. Eat no more than 30g of net carbs a day for 5 1/2 days a week and then spend a day and a half eating whatever you want. Try this for one month and then see how you look, feel and perform.
When I started eating a ketogenic diet I knew that one of the primary ways to make sure I was able to stick to the diet was to have a few convenient food choices.
Every weekday I go out for lunch to step away from the office and take a mental break. I searched all the nutritional info for restaurants near my job. Here’s my list of convenient fast food items.
Wendy’s Baconators (I usually eat a Triple Baconator) with side salad and ranch dressing NO BUN!!
IHOP Colorado Omelette (Tell them to switch out the delicious buttermilk pancakes you can’t have for sausage or something!
KFC Double Down
Zaxby’s traditional buffalo wings
Zaxby’s Chicken Fingers
Zaxby’s Buffalo Fingers
Chik-Fil-A Southwest Chicken Salad
Chipotle Salad Bol with Double meat, pico, cheese, lettuce and Guacamole!
Here’s the few I rely on to get me through lunch during the week! Please add any you can think of that are almost all fat and protein!
I get asked often over and over again what a Ketogenic diet is and what I eat while I’m on the Ketogenic Diet.
Let’s start with the first question. What is a Ketogenic Diet?
A Ketogenic diet is a diet that depletes the glycogen in the liver, causing the liver to create ketones as an alternative energy source for your body.
A Ketogenic diet requires you to significantly reduce your carbohydrate intake to normally less than 30g a day. This causes your body to switch over to burning the body fat you eat and are carrying around as it’s primary fuel source. Outside of liposuction, this fat burning process is the fastest way and the only other way to lose body fat.
A ketogenic diet most of the time is NOT a high protein diet. You may eat a higher amount of protein than you usually do, but a Ketogenic diet is usually a high fat, moderate protein, low carb diet. On this diet you will be eating full fat foods like sausage, eggs, chicken, fish, Wendy’s Triple Baconators, IHOP Colorado Omelete, Chipotle burrito bols, KFC Double Downs and all the BACON you can stand!
Your calorie breakdown will come out to 60% fat, 35% protein and about 5% carbs.
My Food List includes the items that you are allowed to eat. I only eat three meals a day and the occasional snack and lately I’ve been taking in 3000+ calories (That’s just freakin insane!) For examples of things to eat you can also look at My food log.
WARNING!!! Starting a ketogenic diet without easing into it has a diuretic effect. If you think you have gas during the first two weeks DO NOT BE TRICKED!! You will find yourself on the losing end of an embarrasing situation. This is caused by your body releasing water and salt that it was hanging onto for the use of carbohydrates. When you enter into ketosis your body gets rid of what it does not need and it goes right out your ass!
To start off
1. Drink 72 oz. of water or more a day
2. Eat at least 1g of protein per lb. of lean body mass
3. Eat fat and protein until you are not hungry – this will help with the sugar withdrawals
4. Eat foods off of my food list
5. Eat real foods (unprocessed foods) as often as possible. Eating real food has more vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants.
6. Do not eat starches, sugar or any grains (Sorry, no bread, rice or potatoes!)
7. Only weigh yourself once a week for men and once a month for women (a woman’s cycle can effect weight for up to 6 weeks)
During the initial sugar withdrawal period eat until you can’t stand eating to avoid and overpower the sugar addiction.
A Stanford Medical Doctor tested 4 of the most popular diets in a head to head match over an entire year. These are the types of studies I would like to see more of.