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Types of Ketogenic Diets (SKD, TKD & CKD) and the KetoDiet Approach

|Types of Ketogenic Diets (SKD, TKD & CKD) and the KetoDiet Approach

Following my post about the 3 Main Effects of Ketosis, I've been asked to write about the different types of the ketogenic diet. The type of ketogenic diet best suited for you really depends on your goals and lifestyle. Do you want to lose fat, grow muscles or are you dealing with a disease? Let's have a closer look at the types of the ketogenic diets.

1. Standard Ketogenic Diet (SKD)

This is the most common type of the ketogenic diet. The rule is simple: You eat the minimum amount of carbs at all times. This type of the ketogenic diet is the same as the Induction phase of the Atkins diet. It requires round 20-50 grams of net carbs a day. The exact amount depends on individual needs. SKD is the best approach for the vast majority of people.

2. Targeted Ketogenic Diet (TKD) - Traditional Approach

Another type of the ketogenic diet is TKD. According to this approach, you eat carbs right before (30-60 minutes) exercise. It's advisable to choose easily digestible carbs with high Glycemic Index to avoid upset stomach. Avoid foods high in fructose and go for glucose-based foods. Fructose would replenish liver glycogen - instead of muscle glycogen - which you want to avoid on a keto diet.

This means that the carbs consumed before exercise are used effectively and are completely burned without disrupting ketosis for too long. Typically, you eat 25-50 g of net carbs (or less) 30 to 60 minutes before exercise. Post-exercise meals should be high in protein and low in fat. Fat is generally good for you, however, if you eat it after exercise, it may impair nutrient absorption and muscle recovery - avoid eating foods high in fat after exercise.

For years, extra carbs have been recommended for those who live an active life and regularly perform high-intensity exercise. However, recent studies show that this approach is outdated.

Boost Your Performance with MCTs

Recent studies show that the need for carbs before workouts may not be necessary. In fact, extra carbs before exercise may impair keto-adaptation and performance. The idea that your body may not necessarily need extra carbs to perform well comes from a great book The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance. The authors, Dr Phinney and Dr Volek, argue that athletes perform better in keto-adaptation.

As always, what works for you may not work for others. Some people simply do better with some pre-workout carbs - especially if they do high-intensity exercise that requires explosive actions. Try and see how you feel with no carbs - keep in mind it will take about a month before you get keto-adapted. Until then, take it easy with your workouts.

If you are active and still want to avoid carbs like I do, try coconut oil instead. Coconut oil is the best source of MCT (Medium Chain Triglycerides), which are easily digestible, less likely to be stored by your body and are used for immediate energy. Research also shows that MCTs are thermogenic and therefore great fat-burners.

I used to eat pre-workout carbs and switched to coconut oil snacks instead and I see no difference whether I eat carbs or not. Once you become keto-adapted, your body uses ketones and fat for fuel and doesn't need extra carbs.

3. Cyclic Ketogenic Diet (CKD)

Let's make this clear: TKD and CKD are not suitable for most people. Being active doesn't mean you will always need to do carb cycling or carb backloading. It depends on your preference and the type of exercise. According to CKD, you alternate days of ketogenic dieting with days of high-carb consumption also known as "carb-loading". Typically, carb-loading lasts for 24-48 hours. CKD usually requires about 50 grams of carbs per day during the first phase, and about 450-600 grams of carbs during the carb-loading phase. Bodybuilders and other athletes use this diet to maximise fat-loss while also building lean mass. Therefore, for the majority of people, this type is not recommended.

According to "The Ketogenic Diet" by Lyle McDonald, there is a common misconception, especially among bodybuilders, that ketosis is indicative of protein breakdown where in fact the exact opposite is true: The body adapts and loses the minimum amount of muscle tissue. When the body is fed fat and protein, it will use dietary fat along with body fat for energy with protein going towards muscle repair.

TKD and CKD are too advanced for most people and are only suitable for very active individuals. You should not be using these approaches just to have a high-carbs cheat meal every now and then. If you want to learn more about TKD, CKD and how to gain muscles on a keto diet check out the KetoGains website.

4. Restricted Ketogenic Diet for Therapeutic Uses

Based on studies, ketosis is a beneficial condition for treating cancer. When you restrict carbohydrate intake below 20-50 grams, your body runs out of glycogen stores and starts producing ketone bodies. Healthy cells can use ketones for energy, but cancer cells cannot and they literally starve to death. While glucose is the main "food" for cancer cells, a study from 2010 published in the Journal of Cancer Research shows that pancreatic tumor cells use fructose specifically to divide and proliferate.

According to Dr Seyfried's report, when the ketogenic diet is combined with calorie restriction, your body will effectively become inhospitable to cancer cells. Dr. Seyfried recommends beginning with a water-only fast for 3-5 days and then continue with a low-calorie ketogenic diet, aiming for blood sugar levels of 55-65 mg/dL and blood ketone levels of at least 4.0 mM. This means the daily carbs intake will likely have to be below 20 grams of net carbs.

Additionally, ketogenic diets have been used for treating: neurological diseases (Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, autism, depression, migraines, epilepsy), chronic fatigue syndrome, polycystic ovarian syndrome (POS) and more.

Note: Any dietary experiments with fasting and the ketogenic diet are best done under medical supervision, particularly if you have a medical condition or take any daily medications.

Bottom line

In general, the vast majority of people should follow SKD, as it is better for individuals with low-moderate physical activity level or performing low-intensity aerobic exercise (such as walking). Even if you live an active life and do sports regularly, your body should be able to use fat for fuel once you get keto-adapted. However, if for any reason keto-adaptation doesn't seem to work for you, then you need to consider following TKD (using either carbs or MCTs) to have enough readily available energy during exercise. Finally, CKD should only be considered by professional athletes and bodybuilders.

The KetoDiet approach

If I was to describe KetoDiet in a few words, I'd say weight loss, low-carb and real food.

When my partner and I created KetoDiet, we didn't focus just on the carbs content in our recipes: I don't use any processed foods, unhealthy vegetable oils, gluten or artificial sweeteners. In fact, most of my recipes are Paleo-friendly or include Paleo-friendly alternatives!

As you may already know, not all low-carb foods are healthy: Atkins products are packed with additives and cause insulin spikes, low-carb bread or pasta alternatives often use wheat gluten which I think is a health crime. The best source of information when it comes to negative effects of wheat and gluten is the Wheat Belly Blog and the book Wheat Belly by my favourite author Dr. William Davis. Aspartame is definitely not on my list of healthy sweeteners and oat fiber causes awful digestive issues (trust me, I know what I'm talking about!).

True Paleo is great (eggs, meat, greens, nuts, berries), however if your goal is to lose weight, Paleo is often not enough: Honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar or tapioca flour definitely won't move the scales down.

The best approach for us is something between Paleo and Low-carb which is also reflected in my recipes. It's up to you to decide how much Paleo you allow in your low-carb diet: What works for me, may not work for you. I do use raw dairy and have some peanut butter every now and then (Note: Since January 2014, I have completely given up peanut butter). No diet plan fits everyone and it's always up to you to find out what food is best for reaching your goals.

I hope you enjoyed reading my post. To find out more about the ketogenic diet and keto-friendly recipes, check out my apps KetoDiet and KetoDiet Basic!

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Please, note that I do not offer personalised advice. For personalised advice you can contact one of our experts.

Comments (56)

I was told by a nutritionist that being on a low-cost diet can cause crystalization in the joint which then leads to gout?!?!?  How true is this???

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Hi Rebehah, did you mean low-carb diet? I'm not aware of such side effects and I think that this information is wrong.

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If carbs are exchanged for protein then yes, that can happen.  However, fats are used for the exchange, with protein being kept within check for your body needs.  Above all, make sure you're getting your vitamins & minerals.  Veggies help, too.

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Hi,
Your blog is amazing and I especially like checking out the comments sections and seeing your engagement with your readers.
I'm a huge carb junkie and even before stumbling upon this site I'd already decided I need to kick my sugar addiction. Now, after spending (at least) 7 hours over the past two days reading pages and pages of your blog, as well as trying out a couple recipes, I'm going to get serious about this KetoDiet.
Apologies if this was asked and answered elsewhere, but will there be an app designed specifically for Blackberry?
I'm currently using a pretty standard calorie counting app on my phone and it has it's uses for sure; it's certainly better than the pen and paper food journal I was (trying) to keep before that. But I'd love an app that's designed with Keto dieting in mind. I know Blackberries aren't as popular anymore, but I'm a die-hard fan of them (I hate touch screens) and I don't own an ipad or android phone.
Also, last question, what are your thoughts on infused water? I get bored of plain water and to avoid juice have been drinking a lemon, cucumber, and ginger infused water, sweetened slightly with stevia. Is that okay? And I want to try experimenting with more fruits, but I'm guessing that would be a no-no on the KetoDiet, yes?

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Hi Tara, thank you! Well, my reply this time is late and I apologise for that. It's hard to keep up sometimes Smile
We are working on a full version (planner etc) for the iPhone and Android devices. I can't, however,  promise it will be done for Blackberry. Having said that, luckily, there are other ways to make it work universally on all platforms.
Yes, naturally infused water is great - I drink it myself and sometimes add frozen berries and herbs!

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Hi, I am reading the A&Sof the LCL by Dr. Phenney and Dr. Volek, but I think I get more insightful info from your blog.  I have joined  a few support groups found from your site.
I am 4 weeks into this woe and my blood ketones have been up to only 0.7 and mostly between 0.2-0.4.  
I work out 3x week intense spin class we often train with HIIT intervals in a 45 min class.  I work my class hard.  Then on weekend we go for 2-3 hour bike rides.  My husband has not problems with carbs, in fact since his gallbladder was removed 8 yrs ago his weight and muscle have gone down.  I on the other hand cannot loose wt,  I was on a food sensitive diet for 3 months , I gave up coffee, alcohol, grains (not all) and many other foods for 3 month. I lost 1.5 lbs  I felt great but the scale did not move.  I have since found out about this woe and have been 4 weeks into no grains, no sugar, only stevia, very few veggies and no fruits the last fruit I had was 3 weeks ago about 5 blueberries.  I still cannot loose weight?   I have used you macro calculator for and have tried 2 different set of macros for 10 days each I am on the lesser protein macros now.   I am 51 yrs old, female, still have my gallbladder, my weight is 160 lbs, my lean body wt is 108 lbs, my BMI is 25.5%, I have 17% muscle.  These were all check on a machine while I was on the food sensitive diet.  I drink 80 0z of water a day.  I drink 2 Tbs of apple cider vinegar EOD,  I take mag/ca/K3/vit D sup, and now a krill oil supp and MC95 cucurmin sup  almost every day, I miss here and there.
my highest blood ketone as of today is 0.7  Why is my body resisting going into ketosis??
Could I have an adrenal disease?   I am seeing a doctor next week for a complete blood work up.  Is there anything you can help me with.  I just the info on how to eat before and after exercise above, and I will do this for now on.  I was eating a high fat meal after  exercise, along with protein, but this upset my stomach and I had a hard time eating the rest of the day.  So I will now have MCT oil before a work out and a Protein meal after, and wait 3-4 hours before fat intake.  Does this sound correct?? my goal is to feel good, have energy to work out , have less body aches and bloating , and loose 15 to 20 lbs.   I hear so many people having success on this woe, and I just seem to be stalled -stuck, still feeling like crap.

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Hi Colleen, I'm afraid I can't give personalised advice but I can provide more tips - this post should help: ketodietapp.com/.../how-to-low-carb-15-common-weight-loss-mistakes
Not everyone has high ketone levels and it's hard to tell whether it's your macros or anything else. However, when it comes to weight loss, high ketones are not needed (please, see the post I linked to).
Yes, regarding your pre/post workout nutrition, that sounds right.

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I love all the info you have provided. Thank you so much! But, I just can't abide your grammatical error of saying, "When me and my partner created the Ketogenic Diet..." You never state yourself first. It should be, "When my partner and I created the Ketogenic Diet..." Sorry if this seems nit-picking (probably not politically correct to use that term eitherSmile but everything else that I have read so far seems to be very well written and this just stuck out like a sore thumb to me.

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Thank you Carole, I missed that one! I guess you meant KetoDiet, I can't take credit for the ketogenic diet Smile)

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It is impossible to have a CRP of 8500. Usually, a CRP of 200 is an indication of sepsis.

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You are right, Amy must have missed a decimal point.

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Hi Martina,
What a fantastic resource you've created. I can't thank you enough. I've been living at your site since starting SKD about 5 days ago. This is a very special place -- thank you!
My issue so far (and yes, I know it's very early) is lethargy. I have NO energy. I'm guessing that this is an induction phase problem. I'm sticking to under 20g net carbs per day, and my healthy fats are well over 75% daily. Moderate protein (roughly 50g).
My purpose for starting the keto-adventure was to 1) lower inflammation (I have Lyme Disease, and my C-reactive # was 8500 -- I'd like to get this number as low as possible) and 2) body fat/weight loss. I could lose about 20#, mostly body fat.
I'm used to eating raw fruits and veg daily (so I'm missing these on keto but I eat what the numbers will allow) and I've turned into a coconut junkie. Your information and recipes are helping tremendously.
If you have comments/suggestions on lethargy/energy I'm grateful.
Thanks,
Amy
PS I don't have an iPad, but if your app is released for iOS or OS X I'll totally be on it. Smile

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Thank you Amy! I know I'm posting my answer quite late but I still hope it helps. You have to up your electrolytes and give it a few more days. Here is more info: ketodietapp.com/.../Keto-flu-and-Sufficient-Intake-of-Electrolytes
You don't have to eliminate veggies. Although 20 g net carbs per day may work best for you, you could go up to 25-30 grams net and see how you feel. This way you can get in more veggies (I'd avoid fruits apart from berries).
PS: We are working on a full version for the iPhone and Android Smile

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Hi following ketogenic diet at the min just looking for any suggestions for what to eat after a heavy weight lifting session that will help pack on muscle ?

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This post may help: ketodietapp.com/.../ketogenic-nutrition-and-exercise-protein

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Hi Martina, I work on building muscle and this is excatly what i needed to read, what a great article!I usualy have protein after gym ( some running and mainly weight lifting )Is it enough to have just protein after or do i need to eat some carbs?  I want my muscle to grow not just tone.

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Hi Michaela, I've been working on some tips for exercise nutrition that I'll post on my blog soon. It depends on what kind of exercise you do. As a general rule if you are building muscles, you don't need extra carbs if you are keto-adapted. You may need carbs if you do exercise like Crossfit or other high-intensity types.

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Hi Martina, LOVE your website...it is a WEALTH of great information, thank you so much! I also read through all the comments and that is so helpful in answering many of my questions to hear other people's stories and experiences.
I have been following the keto diet for almost two months, around July 5, primarily for health (cancer) in addition to not necessarily losing weight but losing fat and gaining muscle (long time trainer, instructor). I know I am a special case in that I have really been undereating and overtraining for years; my metabolism is shot. Of course it didnt' help to have 9 surgeries in the space of 18 months either with all the anesthesia and antibiotics! (in November I will be 2 years out from my last surgery). I suspect I am carb intolerant. Even before I started the keto diet, I was pretty much paleo, eating eggs, chicken, turkey, veggies, fruits, nuts...gluten and no dairy except for half & half in my coffee. I also avoided high starch/sugar like beets, carrots, corn and potatos and of course, no bread, rice, pasta or legumes. I understand total and net carbs. The first several weeks my total carb intake average was probably 15 - 20 g. The last several weeks have been 30 - 35 total carbs. My total caloric intake is very rarely above 2000 and averages 1400-1600 daily.  I have purposefully cut back in exercising, which kills me because I just really enjoy it.  I do two HIIT training sessions a week, lift 3-5X per week and do cardio 3-5X a week, steady state vs an interval approach which is what I normally do. I am see a very little progress my body fat composition, but not much, considering.  Here are my outstanding questions I just can't seem to find answers to (I have read several other sources, other than yours and usually follow links you provide in addition to reading "the art and science of low carb...":
1. I find it extremely difficult to get enough fiber, other than supplements, is there something I am missing?
2. I find it extremely hard to get to (and stay in ketosis) in spite of the fact that my carbs are so low and yes I have checked my macros and they are in line (3-5% carbs, 17-20% protein, 75-80% fat). I do blood testing, I've tried different times of day, etc., and the highest I have ever been is 1.6, mostly around .5 or .6 and many times .3 or .4!
3. My blood sugar should be low but it probably averages in the 90's though there have been a few times I have been in the 70's. I do drink coffee and it seems like that might be a part of the problem but I can't imagine it is the sole source of the problem...any ideas of what I might be missing?
Any insight, feedback or ideas would be so appreciated!

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Hi Violet, thank you for sharing this with us and for your kind words! I've been busy working on a book so it sometimes takes time for me to go through all the amazing comments on my blog Smile
1. If you count "total carbs" and stay at only 30-35 grams, you won't be able to get a lot of fibre. I suggest you increase your total carb intake up to 40-50 grams and get all the finer from non-starchy vegetables, avocados, etc. Here is a diet plan that shows how you can get plenty of fibre without going over your carb limit (net carbs): ketodietapp.com/.../2-week-grab-and-go-keto-paleo-diet-plan and there are more: ketodietapp.com/.../tagMealPlans&title=Meal%20Plans
On the other hand, in your case (if you are still undergoing treatment), you might need to keep your carbs very low (20 g net or below). Many experts suggest that you should keep your ketones hight and your glucose low for best effects. Some also say that certain level of calorie restriction is needed (this is a bit of a great area).
2. If you need to "boost" ketone levels, coconut oil or MCT oil may help. Increasing your ketone levels won't necessarily help you lose more body fat but may be more beneficial as part of your treatment. Also, make sure you don't eat too much protein (calculator is here: http://ketodietapp.com/Blog/page/KetoDiet-Buddy)
Keep in mind that your ketone levels will; always be relatively low in the morning compared to evening - make sure you measure & compare them at the same time of the day.
3. Your BG is still within the "normal" ranges. I've sen some people suggesting that coffee might be the reason for low ketone levels but I haven't experienced the same issue and there is no proof that it does. You might want to try and avoid it for a few days to see if it makes any difference. Hope this helps!

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I have just started  chemotherapy for breast cancer in the early stages. I fasted for a total of 64 hours prior to treatment and for 5 hrs afterwards and then ate a keto meal (meat, large salad and oily dressing, total of 450 calories with 17g of carbs, most of these in fried onions!) I want to continue this diet with a total  of 20g carbs each day, but feel this is hoing to be too difficult to maintain  for the whole time of my treatment due to family  life, work, shopping as no one else in the family will do this. On the whole we have a healthy balanced diet and my question is 'What do you think of the fasting prior to treatmet, 7 days of strict keto high fat/low carb diet then the remaining 11 days between treatmet returning to my family's  normal diet? My aim with the diet is to limit the side effects of the  chemo and enhance the  effects of the drugs on my tumour whilst  they are in my body. Will swapping back and to have a negative affect on the ketosis?'

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Hi Pamela, thank you for sharing your story with us! I can imagine how difficult it is to eat differently than the rest of the family because I always struggle to stay low-carb when I visit my parents. I would love to help but I'm not an expert in this area. However, I know a website/ blog that might help: http://greymadder.net (great source of information and links to useful websites). I can only tell you what I'd do if I were you. I'd stay strictly keto with my ketone levels high and glucose levels low for the whole time together with the "regular" treatment. Glucose would only fuel the tutor so I'd just stay keto. That's what I'd do...
Some experts say you also have to limit calories but others say you don't. Also, there are different types of cancer and what works for one may not work for another. Hope this helps and good luck!

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Hi there, I have been on the keto diet for about 3 weeks and sticking to the program of very low carbs (only from low carb veggies). How long do you suggest it takes the body to get into the new rhythm? So far I'm not seeing any change on the keto stix. And when to see results I.e. weight loss/ shrinkage?? I'm exercising 4-5 times a week with a mixture of walking & weights.

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Hi Grace,it takes at least 4 weeks to get keto-adapted. Also, keep in mind that Ketostix are not accurate, especially once you get keto-adapted and they only measure one type of ketone bodies: ketodietapp.com/.../Ketosis-Measuring-Ketones

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Hello, Thank you for your very wise insight into this low carb world.
I like to exercise twice a day, I do 2hrs of intense boxing training and a light jog 5 days a week. I feel carbs would be important pre and post on the extreme exercise regime. Wouldn't you? Thank you.

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Hi Joe, I think that in your case carb re-feeds may be more beneficial than a complete carb restriction. It would be a good idea to include some healthy, paleo-friendly carbs after your workouts.

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I am so glad to have found your website Martina! I also use your app in my iPad and it is very useful to track my carbs every day. Besides, the recipes you provide give me great ideas! I do enjoy the Keto diet meals with your recipes.
I have been on keto for 1.5 months and I am feeling good so far. I am following the SKD with 30 g net carbs/day. I workout doing HIIT 5 days a week. Is it possible to gain muscle on Keto and loose fat at the same time? I understood that the best way to do so, is adding some starchy/sugar carbs after the workout. I read that the starchy carbs should be no more than 50 g net/day on top of the 30g. What would be the best macros for gaining muscle and burning fat on Ketogenic diet? Thank you for this amazing blog!! Romy

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Hi Romy, thank you so much for your kind words! Just to let you know, I can see both of your comments but I only had time to approve & reply to it now. Yes, the keto diet is great for preserving / building muscle mass and losing body fat. If you do a lot of HIIT, you may benefit from adding some healthy, paleo-friendly post-workout carbs. You won't need additional carbs after weight lifting / strength training. II'm planning to write a guide to exercise on keto soon and all these questions will be answered there Smile I haven't researched what the ideal extra carb intake but I'll include this too. I'd stay with the macros as advised here: http://ketodietapp.com/Blog/page/KetoDiet-Buddy and would just add the extra carbs on top of it.

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Hi Martina, I'm new to Keto, having only been on it for 30 days.  My starting weight was 293 and I now weigh 282.  I use MyFitnessPal for all my food entries and have set my net calories consumed at 1400 with my macros being:  Carbs - 18g(5%), Protein - 53g(15%), and Fat - 125g(80%).  My activity level is sedentary.  I have been trying to get in two walks per day - about .75 miles each or maybe a 2 mile bike ride with 1 walk.  I use the MapMyWalk and MapMyRide apps to track distance, etc.  I also use the VivoFit to track my steps.  Everything from those apps sync with Garmin Connect.  When I log my walks and rides into Garmin Connect, the MyFitnessPal syncs with Garmin Connect and changes the calories needed for the day as well as the macros.  Here's my question (if I haven't put you to sleep yet) - do I go along with the NEW calculations or do I ignore the changes and stick with the original daily goals?  I know it sounds ridiculous, but it seems like when I exercise, my weight doesn't change - on days that I don't exercise, I loose weight.  Am I doing something wrong?

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Hi Peggy, you may want to try our App - if you have an iPad (we also plan to release it for more devices soon), send me an email I'll be happy to send you a free copy of the app. We use a very precise database and the app is specifically designed for low-carb diets.
I think the best approach is not to deduct calories by adding activity but rather set average target macros (try this tool - it already counts with your activity level, no complicated math needed: http://ketodietapp.com/Blog/page/KetoDiet-Buddy) What matters when it comes to your energy intake is the average rather than your daily macros & calories burnt. Just keep an eye on your carbs and protein and eat fat to satiety.

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Hi Martina I've been doing ketogenic diet for 1 month and my target is to maintain my current weight (or to gain more)  and to get the health benefits of keto diet but the problem is I'm losing weight  , my body is very weak and I'm still starving and craving. It's kinda frustrating. Also i find difficulty to buy in groceries whenever I'm buying food I normally check the ingredients and if I see bad ingredient I don't buy it and I end up buying nothing sometimes.
I hope you could help me cause I really want to experience the benefits of ketogenic diet. 😔

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Hi Rio, I think you are not be eating enough. The main benefit of low-carb diets is that you can eat to satiety: limited carbs and limited protein (based on your weight, body fat & activity level) and FAT to satiety. You can try our keto calculator to find your ideal macros: http://ketodietapp.com/Blog/page/KetoDiet-Buddy
I think that if you stick with simple ingredients, you'll always be able to buy healthy low-carb foods. Some ready made or long-life products contain additives, BPAs etc. and it's not always easy to find what you are looking for. On the other hand, a small amount of nitrates in bacon or a small amount of sugar in 85% dark chocolate will not do any harm. Have a look at my guide here: ketodietapp.com/.../Keto-Diet-Food-List-What-to-Eat-and-Avoid

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Oh and also I've heard the leaner you get the more calories you need....because your body will have less stored energy (fat stores)......so it has to come from dietary calories (be it fat or carbs)
Does that then mean the leaner you get.....can you eat more healthy carbs as energy (so longs you don't go over your storage limit...and spill over into fat storage) or is it best to consume fats mostly still?
Thanks again Lyra x

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Yes, more muscles will burn more calories, so the leaner you get, the more calories you'll need. Yes, you can eat more fats and also protein if you get leaner. I wouldn't necessarily recommend more carbs unless you're in weight maintenance. I personally stick with 30-50 grams of net carbs to maintain my weight but that can be different for everyone.

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I was wondering I do light walking in my job as a waitress......but I'm walking or I'm on my feet for 8/9+ hours a shift. Does that still mean I should still only eat minimum carbs (20g)
or if I eat more carbs will that stop my fat burning state for longer because I'm not using it up quick enough?.... (sprinting....even though it does happen running up and down stairs on busy shifts, lifting full trays of glasses 24 plus, and lifting moving tables)
....or will I use it up but just slower?
But then won't that keep me out of a fat burning star for longer?
Or will I burn carbs and fat at the same time?
Or do your carbs have to be minimal for that to happen? Or can  you burn fat and carbs on a higher carb level?
Sorry for the million questions x

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Hi Lyra, this type of exercise doesn't require extra carbs but you don't necessarily need to stick with 20 grams (especially not total - I have more about this here: ketodietapp.com/.../Total-Carbs-or-Net-Carbs-What-Really-Counts).
If your aim is to lose weight, you can eat ~ 30 g net carbs and still see great results. Just make sure you eat enough protein and fat, especially if your job is not sedentary (check out this tool: http://ketodietapp.com/Blog/page/KetoDiet-Buddy).
You don't necessarily need to count calories - use the keto calculator to get an idea of what you should be eating on say "slow" fat loss. Our body naturally prefers glucose and if you eat too many carbs, it will slow fat loss down. However, eating up to 10-15 grams of net carbs per meal is fine.
And answer to the comment below... The leaner you get, the more calories you'll need but only if you gain more muscles. That's because muscles "burn" more calories. You'll have to get to a very low body fat % for your body to have no energy from fat stores. Again, use the keto calculator (link above) to frequently update your energy requirements (at least once a month to reflect the changes). Hope this helps!

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Hi I just discovered your site and I appreciate all the great info. I'm on a ketogenic lifestyle and have been doing this in a focused (read: non scared and dedicated) manner for the past 3 weeks. I have 5 lbs of fat to lose, and am at 25.3% bodyfat now and I'm 36 years old. A couple of things I wanted to say and ask advice on:
1. thank you for addressing the 'last pounds are hardest to lose' issue because so rarely do I find info that relates to me, in that exact situation!  
2. I think I'm undereating. I eat around 1300 calories a day and I'm moderately active (I think). I walk 30 minutes a day most day and I do resistance training at home a few times a week for 20 minutes (but nothing like heavy lifting or too difficult).
3. I 'bulletrpoof' IF; so I have the BP coffee and begin eating at 1:00pm till 8:00pm
4. Should I be carb re-feeding? I've been reading a TON about that, and I see the value in the arguments 'for it', but not sure how it could help/affect me in the state I'm in now - wanting to lose those last few pounds of fat (and yes, I know they are fat, I used to be <20% bodyfat and up to 10 lbs lighter than I am now).
I'm concerned that I am not losing those last pounds because, though I do follow this correctly, I may be undereating or I may be at a plateau. Any thoughts on my sticky situation?
Thanks so much!

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Thank you for your kind words AP! I've had the same experience with the last few pounds and I know how hard they are to lose.
Yes I agree, 1300 kcal is not enough - not in the long term. What I mean by that is that you can do the fat fast by eating 1000-1200 kcal but that's just for 3-5 days. I guess you are not eating enough micronutrients, especially magnesium, either. With exercise on top of that, I think you need more calories.
IF is fine - I do it myself without eating anything until lunch time. Be careful with BPC. Although it's often recommended because it's high in fat and keeps you fuller for longer, there are hardly any micronutrients. This is how I make mine (more nutrients in general, a proper meal): ketodietapp.com/.../Ultimate-Keto-Coffee
I don't think you need any carb re-feeds. If you only walk and do some home exercise or even resistance training (including heavy weights), you don't need extra carbs. As far as I know, only people doing CrossFit and a high intensity exercise (HIIT) may need carb re-feeds. Try some heavy weights - more muscles will help you lose more body fat Smile
Here is just to make sure you're eating enough protein: http://ketodietapp.com/Blog/page/KetoDiet-Buddy and if you can, go for the "slow" or "moderate" fat loss. Simply try to eat more calories. My guess would be ~300 kcal more on your resting days and even more when you exercise.
Hope this helps!

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Hi Martina,
I had been following SKD for about 2 months at the time I was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. Chemo and radiation had a mild affect on me, but they nailed the cancer. My Oncology Nurse Practioner thinks the KD may have been responsible for both my mild reaction and the quick demolition of a very large lump of cancer.
I am trying KD-R (KDR) since I have no problem eating this way. It has been 3 weeks, and I track my ketones with a meter once a day for now. I do this around 4pm. Today I was .8, yesterday .6, but the day before, .1! I have only lost about 2 lbs. of the 60 I want to lose.
My macros are 5/20/75 (carbs/protein/fat). I am female, 60, 202 lbs., and keeping to 1782 kcal. Any ideas on my getting better KETO adapted?

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Hi Casey, I'm sorry to hear that but also glad that everything went so well! I can't imagine what you must have been though and I'm happy this way of eating has such a great effect on you. Your ketone levels will always be high just before bed (at least 2 hours after your last meal) so you may want to try that. Other than that, it's common for ketone levels to fluctuate. Your macros look great to me - you may want to slightly decrease your fat intake and try to go for ~1600-1700 kcal. I'm not saying it will definitely help but it may do if your weight is stalling. Have a look at my tool here ("slow" fat loss is usually best): http://ketodietapp.com/Blog/page/KetoDiet-Buddy

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Hi Martina
I was wondering, after how long of the ketones strips showing that I'm in ketosis, would I be considered. 'keto+oadapted'? And second, is it possible to put on weight while you are in ketosis?

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Hi Maya, it takes about 4 weeks to get keto-adapted if you follow the diet without any cheat days. Low-carb diets are naturally sating but yes, you can put on weight even in ketosis. Other macronutrients also play role in weight loss. You can try my keto calculator to find out your "ideal" macros here: http://ketodietapp.com/Blog/page/KetoDiet-Buddy  - No need to go for "quick" weight loss. In fact, "slow" weight loss is usually the best way to go.

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Thank you for this Martina, I found it really helpful!
I lift weights and do HIIT cardio 4-5 times a week, I wonder if I should try CKD or just limit my carb meals (say 30-50g) to only post workout?

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Hi Fynn, I haven't tried all types of cycling / adding carbs but my understanding is that the best time to add carbs (if any) is post workout. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't, it depends on the intensity and duration of my workouts. If you are keto-adapted, you shouldn't need any pre-workout carbs. There are also carb-up days, but I haven't tried that. I'd personally avoid carb-up days if your goal is to lose body fat.

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My experience has been low-carb is good for endurance, but decreases maximal strength output. Weight lifting probably needs carbs post to restore muscle glycogen, since heavy weight lifting relies (to my understanding) mainly on glycolysis, and so cannot be supported by metabolism of ketones.

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Yes, I've heard that too. My experience is that I don't need to add extra carbs but I don't lift really heavy weights (apart from squats).

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I think that while excess carbs before mid-range intensity aerobic exercise (e.g., a 1 hour run or a 2 hour bike ride) would not be necessary to improve performance, that they would tend to improve performance before exercise that is mainly glycolysis-dependent (e.g., heavy weight lifting). Peter Attia's personal experiments showed that on low-carb his aerobic capacity increased while his maximal power decreased.

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Hi Eric, thank you for your insights. I think it depends on your goals. In general, if you do strength training just to tone up, you don't need extra carbs. You can grow muscles on keto while weight lifting but there is a limit. If you want to go over this limit, you may have to add carbs. Also, people who are involved in CrossFit and loads of HIIT usually do better with some carbs after their workouts (carb backloading).

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Hi Martina
I really would like to start the keto way but I have so much questions in my head..it's unbelievable. But your website does help a lot.. one question I have is regarding the 'New Approach: TKD alternative with no extra carbs'. I'm not going to the gym but I do 4-5/wk of body weight/dumbbells exercises in the morning on an empty stomach with only 1T of mct oil (burns 200-300 cal). and 3-4 times, I do hot yoga after work(burns 300-400 cal). I'm guessing that the TKD would be good for me. so with the new approach, are we still able to eat carbs after a workout ?..and if so, do you think 25 carbs after morning w/o, then 25 carb (veggies) during my day and then 25 carbs after yoga would be a good plan ? (and how much gram of fat should I eat with my post w/o meal ?)
thanks
Annie

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Hi Annie, I realised I needed to create a simple guide on keto and I have finally posted it on my blog here: ketodietapp.com/.../Practical-Guide-to-Keto-Paleo-Diet-for-Health-and-Long-Term-Weight-Loss
When it comes to post-workout carbs, it depends on what your goal is (weight loss, building muscles, weight maintenance). I would personally avoid carbs after yoga and similar types of light exercise. In fact, carbs after exercise are not needed for most people. I have more about it here (bottom of this post): ketodietapp.com/.../All-You-Need-to-Know-About-Carbs-on-Low-Carb-Ketogenic-Diet
In general, meals high in fat are not recommended to be eaten post workout, as they may impair nutrient absorption. Unless you do carb-ups (carbs after exercise), possibly a meal that is high in protein and moderate in fat is a good post-workout option. Hope this helps!

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Hi Martina,
What a great blog you have here! There's so much to take in but what I've read so far strikes a cord in my being.
My husband and I are relatively new to the Ketogenic diet and are yet to notice any changes.
You mentioned cutting dairy out of your diet. We have upped our dairy consumption (creme fraiche,  double cream, feta, mascarpone, brie, etc) - all food items we hardly ate in our pre-ketonic diet - for fat derivation. In the past I have avoided milk and dairy products because they seemed to increase nasal congestion and cataarh in my throat. Apart from coconut oil what other foods can we incorporate into our diet for fat content to replace our consumption of dairy products.
Any ideas would be much appreciated.
Judith

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Thank you Judith!
There is no need to avoid dairy, not for everybody. However, some people are intolerant to dairy and some find it easier to lose weight if they avoid it. It's not clear whether it's the calorie density and the fact that it's easily overeaten to there is another factor involved.
I personally can't et too much dairy, because I also get nasal congestion and catarrh in my throat. To up your fat intake, you can include more avocados, macadamia nuts, offal and fatty meat - don't be afraid of lard and the crispy skin on your chicken Smile I often make poached eggs with Hollandaise and eat it with steamed spinach or sauerkraut and leftover slow-cooked meat. Hollandaise is a great and tasty way to include more fats in your diet.
Hope this helps!

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I'm confused by the TKD, but I think this is what I want to do.  I've been on the SKD diet for a few weeks and when Friday comes around I'm completely exhausted and want to just sleep. I lift heavy weights 6 days a week and do cardio 4 of those days also.  Since doing the SKD I've noticed my muscles are a lot weaker than they use to be also.  I didn't adequately research the CKD and attempted that this weekend before I read this article.  It was way too complicated for me to follow anyway and I think I decided that I want to give the TKD a try to see if this helps.  My question is how many total carbs am I supposed to have on the TKD?  Is the 25-30 carbs pre-workout supposed to be in addition to your 20-50 carb daily limit? When I used the keto calculator it calculated that I should have around 25 carbs/day but don't know how this factors into the TKD.  Sorry.  It's just so darn confusing!

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Exactly, the idea is that the extra carbs are on top of your daily net carb intake you used to have on SKD. The idea is that you don't add them to your daily net carbs intake at all because you use them all during and after your workout.
Although keto-adaptation should be enough for you not to get tired and to have enough energy, no diet fits everyone and you may benefit from extra pre or post-workout carbs. I have more about the difference between pre and post-workout carbs here: ketodietapp.com/.../All-You-Need-to-Know-About-Carbs-on-Low-Carb-Ketogenic-Diet
I'm also very active and used to do TKD. Then, I switched to SKD and got fully keto-adapted without any need for carbs but that's just me. I still feel that pre-workout carbs should not be necessary if you are keto-adapted. If I was to have carbs, I would probably have them post-workout, as it helps your muscles grow (anabolic effect of insulin).

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I've also heard that keto is great for cancer! I'd definitely believe it more than what pharmaceutical companies poison people with... Thanks for this great article, I didn't know there were so many types of keto diets. I'll try TKD cause I'm quite active - I'll have my little "cheat days" before workouts Smile

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Try TKD with coconut oil (no carbs) before you try TKD with extra carbs. If you are fat-adapted, you won't probably need carbs Smile

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I am very active and weight lift daily. I have been keto since October so three months now and I use MCT or coconut oil before my workout and feel great. Do not use a carb source for energy! You will come out of ketosis and stop fat burning. Your energy level will suffer the next day. I do not recommend this if you are serious about the keto lifestyle! Hope this helps.

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