February 2, 2015
OK, here's the deal – I've said this before and I'll say it again: an extremely high-fat, low-carb ketogenic diet is not for everyone.
But since ketones are a preferred fuel for the heart and the diaphragm, and because a state of ketosis can give you extreme focus and cognitive performance during difficult mental tasks, a ketogenic diet can be extremely useful for endurance athletes like triathletes, distance swimmers, cyclists, marathoners, ultra-runners, etc.
Problem is, there aren't a ton of resources out there about how highly active people can actually get into a state of ketosis without…
A) chugging coconut oil and MCT oil all day long, which (trust me, I've tried) gets boring really, really fast; or
B) experiencing some pretty extreme nutrient deficiencies from a ketogenic diet gone wrong – nutrient deficiencies that really get magnified when you combine them with crazy high levels of physical activity.
So in this article, author, triathlete, and ketogenic expert extraordinaire Patricia Daly is going to fill you in on how to do things the right way. Patricia just finished writing an amazing book called “Practical Keto Meal Plans For Endurance Athletes: Tips, Tricks And How To's For Optimizing Performance Using A High Fat, Low Carb Meal Plan“, and she's a wealth of information on this topic.
Take it away, Patricia.
Maybe the title of this article scares you a little bit…
…after all, if there’s so much that can “go wrong” with the ketogenic and low carb lifestyle, is it worth all the effort? Or do you think you will never “get there” and achieve nutritional ketosis because there seem to so many stumbling blocks in your way, like talk about thyroid damage, lack of energy or extreme dietary restriction?
Don’t worry, it’s not as complicated as it sounds, and if you do a ketogenic diet the right way, you can avoid the potential health risks. It’s just important to have a basic understanding of nutrition and metabolism before embarking on this specific dietary approach, and a good way to do that is to see the kind of mistakes that people commonly make on a ketogenic diet, and also to get a few tasty keto recipes to get your creative wheels churning.
So in this article, you're going to get the top 10 mistakes low-carb athletes make, and 5 keto recipes for active people. Enjoy, leave your questions and comments below the post, and be sure to check out the brand new book just published by Greenfield Fitness Systems, entitled “Practical Keto Meal Plans For Endurance Athletes: Tips, Tricks And How To's For Optimizing Performance Using A High Fat, Low Carb Meal Plan.”
Mistake #1. Being Scared of Fat
The ketogenic diet is very different to the standard American or British- or any Western- diet. The main goal of a ketogenic lifestyle is to teach the body to use ketone bodies derived from fatty acids rather than glucose as the main source of energy. This is why the amount of fat you consume on a ketogenic is about 75-85+% of total daily calorie intake.
In other words, if you work out quite a bit you probably eat about 2,900 calories a day, of which about 2,300 will come from fat if you follow a ketogenic diet. Fat has 9 calories per gram, and therefore you will consume 256g of fat every day- depending on how much you train of course. To simplify this further: One tablespoon of olive oil, for instance, weighs about 14g, so all in all your daily fat intake will be about 18 tablespoons. Wow!
Although I was totally aware that I needed to focus mainly on fat when I started the ketogenic diet, I still had this mental block about it. I had been brain washed by the food industry for so long that fat is evil that it was really hard to convince myself of the opposite. And I was so used to eating carbs non-stop, doing carb loading before competitions and avoiding fat that it took me a while to get my head (and body) around this new way of eating. But it’s key to ketogenic success!
Mistake #2. Eating Too Much Protein
Another mistake beginners make is to replace most of the carbohydrates they used to eat with protein instead of fat. I see this happen all the time. The problem is that excess protein intake can lead to gluconeogenesis, which is the conversion of amino acids to glucose. This is not what we want on a ketogenic diet- on the contrary, we need to keep glucose levels low and encourage the production of ketone bodies from fatty acids.
Many people are surprised when they start weighing their food according to my meal plans and realize how little protein they actually need to eat on a ketogenic diet! But fat is protein sparing, which means that your need for protein decreases with a high fat intake.
Mistake #3: Carbs Creeping In
This seems very obvious! But it actually isn’t as simple as you think because carbohydrates can very quickly add up, especially if you’re keen to get your veggies, herbs and spices in. They’re also in products you’d never think contain carbs.
Good examples are any processed foods (we’ll talk about them later), shop bought salad dressings, milk substitutes (many coconut and almond milks have added sugar), tomato sauce, some meats like duck confit, starchy vegetables and even herbal tea, to name just a few. Eating out can be a challenge because many restaurants like to use sauces, dressings and dips that have added honey or other sources of sugar. It tastes nice but is not keto-friendly!
Having solid, reliable information is key to carbohydrate restriction, especially in the initial stages when metabolic changes happen.
Mistake #4: Giving Up Too Early
The quicker you go into nutritional ketosis, the more side effects you might suffer from initially. The metabolic changes can be dramatic because every single cell in the body needs to do the switch from glucose to fat metabolism. Insulin is impacted: Levels go down because of reduced consumption of carbohydrates, which has an effect on the kidneys. Insulin tells the kidneys to hold on to sodium. If insulin is at a consistently lower level, the body starts getting rid of excess sodium and also water.
This is why it’s so important to ensure you add sufficient sodium to your diet and keep well hydrated, especially in the first few days of starting to reduce carbohydrates. This will make sure you don’t suffer from any of the symptoms of the dreaded “keto flu”: shivers, foggy brain, headaches or nausea are some of the possible symptoms. It’s probably more appropriate to call them “carbohydrate withdrawal symptoms” because of the effects on hormonal and electrolyte balance.
Things that help to get over these initial obstacles are strong bone broth with good quality salt, lots of rest, no intense exercise and plenty of mineral-rich water, e.g. San Pellegrino. However, the best advice I can give is to take things slowly and not to give up when you’re feeling a bit off in the initial stages- provided you’ve done all the suggested blood tests to exclude any underlying health issues prior to starting a ketogenic diet.
Mistake #5. Being Scared Of New Foods And Eating The Same Meals Over and Over Again
Many people feel overwhelmed in the initial stages of implementing a low carb and ketogenic diet. And because they have very little experience with certain new foods, they keep eating the same “safe” low-carb stuff. For instance bacon and eggs for breakfast and nuts for snacks!
Of course this means that you are eating low carb but as a nutritionist guiding athletes through the diet, my first priority is always to improve their health. And this is only possible with a nutritious, varied and individualized approach. Eating the same things over again isn’t only boring, it may also set you up for having nutrient deficiencies and developing food intolerances. This happens quite often especially if you’re a little stressed, your gut function isn’t optimal or if you’re on medication.
Food intolerances can have an impact not only on your gut health by causing bloating, cramps, diarrhea, constipation or other symptoms, but also on your immune system. My best advice is to keep experimenting with new foods, even if they seem utterly strange to you, like (for instance) chicken liver, which is way easier to find and prepare than you'd think. There’s a nice recipe for every single food (and in just a moment, you're going to get 5 good ones to get your creative wheels churning).
Mistake #6. Eating Processed Foods
This is especially common for people who have read about the Atkins diet and seen the products that are sold online and in stores. Yes, they keep you within the carbohydrate limits that you choose and may make life a lot easier but they are also full of artificial flavours, colouring, polydextrose, sucralose and other artificial sweeteners that can mess with your mental and physical health.
My rule of thumb: if you wouldn’t be able to bake or cook a meal based on the ingredients list (because you don’t recognize half of them or wouldn’t know where to buy them), you should stay away from it. Hopefully, with an increasing amount of research to confirm the benefits of low carb and ketogenic diets for various health conditions, there will be plenty of incentives for companies to produce snacks based on real foods.
Mistake #7. Lack Of Planning (And Obsessing Too Much).
Both lack of planning and obsessing too much can be stumbling stones. If you don’t plan you’re much more likely to “fail” and give up on your lifestyle changes. You see, the problem is that when you realize you haven’t got all of the ingredients you need for a low carb recipe, you might not find them in your corner shop.
Some of the products that are staples on a low carb or ketogenic diet like coconut oil, olives, oily fish or ghee can only be bought in health shops or online. More and more supermarkets start to stock them but this really depends where you live. If you plan a bit ahead and know that you need certain things to follow the meal plans in my eBook, for instance, you won’t get stressed because you already have them in your cupboard. Planning also makes it easier to cook in bulk and therefore save time and money.
On the other hand, I often work with clients who start obsessing too much and plan every single bite they eat during the day. Obviously, it’s a slightly different story for somebody following a ketogenic diet for medical reasons, for instance in the case of epilepsy, where they diet has to be well calculated and no mistakes can be made without a serious consequence. But sometimes people tell me they’re so stressed out about dietary changes that they wake up in the middle of the night and can’t go back to sleep. They worry what their next meal would look like, how they could further increase ketones or what to eat on a holiday! In this case, it’s time to take a (big) step back, relax, try some recipes without weighing and counting and maybe give it another go after a few weeks with lots of support and preparation. Stressing about food can cancel out all the positive effects of good nutrition!
Mistake #8. Ignoring Your Body's Warning Signs
Athletes who obsess over dietary changes can get caught up in measuring blood glucose and ketones, weighing their food all the time, creating exact meal plans and they can get really scared of eating out where things are out of their control. In my experience, they are also likely candidates to ignore their body’s warning signs.
I used to be an “expert” in this: even though I sometimes didn’t feel like doing another high intensity training, I went ahead and did it because it was on my training plan. And there were foods I couldn’t stand because they tended to bloat me but I still ate them because I read somewhere that they’re really good for triathletes!
Please don’t forget that you know your body best and that no meal or training plan can beat your innate knowledge and intuition. Take warning signs seriously and don’t override them because you have it in your head to stick to a particular regime.
Low carb and ketogenic diets aren’t for everyone and if you feel worse than before- even after getting over the initial symptoms I talked about earlier- then it’s probably time to stop and reconsider.
Mistake #9. Social Pressure
This is a big one and can’t be underestimated! The amount of times I’m at a party and have to listen to “Oh come on, surely one piece of cake won’t hurt you, don’t be so extreme!”… and the last thing I want to do is going into a scientific monologue and talk about metabolism at a party. Even 3 years into following a ketogenic diet I still get comments from family and even close friends- although they all know how miraculous the diet has been for my health.
But ketogenic diets are still very poorly understood even by the medical profession. People don’t understand that you can’t follow the famous 80/20 rule where some treats are allowed in moderate amounts. You’re either in ketosis or you’re not. It’s pretty black or white, actually!
And, trust me, once you’ve been keto adapted for a while and you eat a piece of cake, you will feel pretty shoddy and not remotely in party mood afterwards…
Mistake #10. Poor Timing
And finally, let me talk about when to start lowering your carbs or attempting to go into ketosis. Please don’t do it a week before your most important competition of the season or during a time when you’re super busy at work.
In my experience, the best time of the year to make major changes to diet and lifestyle is when you’re “off season”. During my competitive years, I always took a good break in November from intensive training or competitions and focused on relaxation and restoration. Another good time is to start is before some preparatory competitions to build towards your most important race. That’s when you see how your body responds to higher intensity and if the diet doesn’t suit you, you still have plenty of time to make changes.
And, if you’re still not convinced that low carb food can actually taste absolutely delicious, try some of the recipes below (I’m sure this will change your mind)!
Keto Meal 1: Breakfast Buns
These buns are amazing and really good for anybody who misses bread, burger buns or something to scoop up sauces! They are delicious with some butter or ghee on each half, topped with 2 slices of Parma ham.
|1.5 cups Macadamia nuts, unsalted||196.5|
|3 Eggs, organic||150|
|1 tsp Cider Vinegar||3.8|
|1/4 cup coconut milk (Tetra Pak)||63|
|60g + 12 tbsp Butter (1 tbsp for each half)||237.6|
|1/3 cup Almond flour||33|
|1/3 cup Coconut flour||40|
|1 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda (Baking Soda)||4|
|1 tsp Rock Salt pink||5|
Makes 6 buns
- Preheat the oven to 160C/325F.
- Grind the macadamia nuts to a coarse flour in a strong food processor.
- Add eggs, vinegar, milk and butter. Process until you have a smooth paste.
- Put all the dry ingredients into a bowl and stir well. Add wet to dry and mix until you have a wet dough.
- Form 6 buns and bake for 25 minutes. Spread 1 tbsp of butter onto each half. Eat on the same day or freeze.
Keto Meal 2: Almond Coconut Pancakes
|1 tsp ground Cinnamon||2.3|
|1/2 cup desiccated Coconut||42.5|
|1 1/2 cup ground blanched Almonds||150|
|1/2 tsp Baking soda/ Bicarbonate of soda||2|
|1/4 tsp Sea Salt||2|
|1 cup Coconut milk canned||250|
|3 large Eggs organic or free range||171|
|2 tbsp (solid) Coconut oil||45|
- Sift dry ingredients and mix together.
- In a separate bowl, whisk coconut milk and eggs together.
- Add dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.
- Heat coconut oil in a pan, pour in batter and cook for 2 to 3 minutes per side.
Keto Meal 3: Rainbow Salad
|2 cups chopped Butterhead Lettuce||104|
|1 small young Carrot, grated||60|
|4 sticks Celery, sliced||240|
|8 tbsp grated Celeriac, raw||64|
|2 tbsp Shelled Hemp Seeds||18|
|4 tsp Pumpkin Seeds||16|
|12 tbsp raw Alfalfa sprouts||36|
|240g Smoked or Grilled Trout||240|
|1/2 cup Avocado oil||112|
|2 tsp Cider Vinegar||15.2|
|2 tsp Mustard Dijon smooth||16|
|Salt and Black Pepper to taste|
|80g Cheese, e.g. Gruyere||80|
- Toss the vegetables, hemp/pumpkin seeds, sprouts and trout into a bowl and mix with the butterhead leaves.
- Mix the avocado oil, apple cider vinegar, mustard and seasoning and pour over the salad. Grate some fresh Gruyère over it. This one really pops with color!
Keto Meal 4: Bacon Brussels Sprouts
|3 tbsp Coconut oil||81|
|5 Bacon rashers, diced||100|
|1 clove Garlic, crushed||3|
|500g Brussels sprouts, shredded||500|
|1 Leek, thinly sliced||130|
|Salt and Black Pepper||4|
|3/4 cup Chicken Stock, homemade||188|
- Cook the bacon in coconut oil in a large frying pan over medium heat until crisp.
- Remove the bacon from the pan and set aside. Add the shredded Brussels sprouts, leek and garlic to the pan and sauté in the remaining oil for 5 minutes.
- Add the chicken broth, salt and pepper. Cover and steam for 5-10 minutes. Mix in the bacon.
Keto Meal 5: Liver Mousse
One of my missions is to get my clients to incorporate more fat-vitamin-rich, hormone-nourishing organ meat into their diet! I know…it’s not an easy goal. This recipe is inspired by Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley.
|200g organic Chicken liver, raw||81|
|100g Butter, at room temperature||3|
|2 organic Eggs||500|
|1/2 Small Onion||130|
|1/2 tsp ground Allspice||4|
|1 tsp Rock Salt and 1/2 tsp Black Pepper||188|
- Preheat the oven to 130C/250F.
- Put all ingredients into a strong blender and pulse until you have a smooth paste.
- Fill into a muffin tin and bake for 20-25 minutes.
So there you have it. Pancakes and liver mousse. Knock yourself out.
Ketogenic diets can be complex, but if you do them the right way – and more importantly, if you pay attention to people like Patricia who have actually spent the time in the trenches combining high levels of activity with ketosis – there can be some significant endurance enhancing benefits.
Do you have questions, comments or feedback about ketogenic diets for active people? Leave your thoughts below and either Patricia or I will reply! Also, be sure to grab Patricia's brand new book “Practical Keto Meal Plans For Endurance Athletes: Tips, Tricks And How To's For Optimizing Performance Using A High Fat, Low Carb Meal Plan.“
77 thoughts on “The Top 10 Mistakes Low-Carb Athletes Make And 5 Keto Recipes For Active People.”
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I seen you in this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQ_FHnYA16o&t=146s and you talk about how you need flavanols and polyphenols. I was wondering if you could direct me to some studies on that if possible or explain the science behind it.
Hi Ben –
I have been in the keto diet for two weeks now. I play rugby, and had my first match yesterday. Generally, I am able to last at least 60 minutes before I really feel fatigue set in. However, I began to feel lightheaded within 30 minutes of a match, and had to lay down after 40 minutes and was completely drained, being unable to play the rest of the day. I am very happy with all other results of the diet so far, but need to be able to perform better on gameday. Any recipes to use on game day to prepare so that i am not about to pass out on the pitch? Thanks in advance!
Here are a few: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/article/low-carb…
I am a long term Keto girl/coach you can’t fat adapt to Keto and perform at thall same level in 2 weeks. Realistically it will take you 12 weeks to fat adapt, get your diet rhythm synced up with your activity level and being operating at full athletic stamina. You will feel fabulous when you do, but your experience isn’t surprising at all.
You don’t measure blood ketone levels and track blood glucose up front as you adapt, it will take a little more trial and error to get you feeling great. You should notice a real difference within a month and increasing energy and clarity as your body adapts to it’s new fuel.
There are Keto medical experts who post articles and videos on everything you ever needed to know about the Low Carb High Fat Lifestyle (LCHF), and who answer questions fed into their site. It’s an incredible resource.
dietdoctor.com. Hang in there, ketogenic eating is easy once you get the hang of it,
and remember that everything needs to be adjusted to your personal body needs.
Finally, KU Medical System (and others) have Keto athletic nutritionists who are super helpful and inexpensive expert guides in the process.
Enjoying the podcasts and articles. Thanks for all your work.
Could you give me a few tips on diet for tennis?
I try to follow the Metabolic Typing Diet, and am a protein type. I feel good, physically and mentally, when I eat high protein, quite high fat, and quite low carb. But I’m less sure about what to eat before, during and after exercise for my metabolic type. I play lots of tennis so need both stamina and explosiveness. Could you give me some tips on what to eat before, during and after a tennis match, and how I should change (if necessary) my diet on the day of a match and/or the days surrounding it?
Thank you very much!
I would check out some of the recommendations in this article: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/article/nutritio… If you prefer a more direct, customized approach, I'd be happy to help you via a personal one-on-one consult. Just go to https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/coaching
Thanks for the reply, Ben. I had that article bookmarked – the ‘post-workout fuelling myth’ section was very useful.
Hi, I have been eating a ketogenic diet for 5 weeks. I run 3xs weekly and do strength training 3x weekly. Depending on the length of my run (5-10 miles). My time is 30-60 seconds slower per mile than before keto and usually the run feels hard. Strength workouts have not been as difficult and haven’t suffered as much it seems. I’m doing keto for mental clarity and mood stabilization and looking for a more consistent energy level. My question is, at what point do I say maybe this lifestyle isn’t for me if I want my pre keto performance levels back? For the record I’ve had good blood ketone levels (above nutritional ketosis mark) for almost 2 weeks now, but still haven’t noticed any of the symptoms of being fat adapted so I’m not sure I’m there yet. So is it just a matter of getting there and becoming fully fat adapted or might I be just not able to thrive on keto?
I would check out some more of the resources I have on BenGreenfieldFitness.com, here's a good starting point: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/article/low-carb… I could also help you more via a personal one-on-one consult. Just go to https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/coaching and then choose a 20 or 60-minute consult, whichever you'd prefer. I can schedule ASAP after you get that. Additionally, if I'm "out of your price range" (yes, yes, I know I can be a spendy guy to access) I have a team of coaches I've personally trained who can help you here: https://getkion.com/coaching
I am new to keto diet and I am Cricketer. As a sportsman how should I start my diet.What should be my pre training and post training meal?
Hi, I'd need to know way more about your lifestyle before making diet recommendations. I'd be happy to help you via a personal one-on-one consult. Just go to https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/coaching and then choose a 20 or 60-minute consult, whichever you'd prefer. Additionally, if I'm "out of your price range" (yes, yes, I know I can be a spendy guy to access) I have a team of coaches I've personally trained who can help you here: https://getkion.com/coaching
Hey, Ben! I have been wondering if going keto is the best strategy considering I started playing salon-soccer with my college team, which demands tons of sprinting. If not, should I still get my energy from fats to sustain Dr. Mercola‘s MMT and an hour previous to my practice or games shoot some carbs? What would you do?
It’s best to do evening carb refeeds for this scenario, but I go over that and much more in this article: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/ketosis
Ketones are NOT a preferred fule to the heart. The heart uses 60%-70% FATS as a source of fuel.
Ketones are only 5% of the heart fuel.
I apologize if this has been asked already, but I wanted to know if there was a cycle for switching from Keto to something a little less restrictive? Should athletes take a break from ketosis after events? How long is keto recommended for? How would I wean myself onto and off a keto diet? So many questions! Guess I’d better buy a book or two.
Laura, I am HUGE fan of cycling– and have lots of resources- just search my site ;)
I know #10 is Poor Timing. When is it too late to start? – 4 weeks too late to start before an athletic event? I’ve ran 10 marathons with relatively low carb eating habits. I’m training for an ironman and I’d like to lean down a bit but afraid of having lack of energy to finish. It is a month away. Thoughts?
You need at least two weeks of adaptation and for athletic performance I actually recommend closer to two months. But if you throw in extra Ketones you can do it- https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/nutrition/sports…
I am a marathon runner. After my last marathon in April I researched and found Keto (I struggled at around mile 20 from depletion of glucose which caused me to have to walk and not meet my goal time). Since then, I have been on Keto for 3 months, with a couple of cheat days, which I know through me out of whack. I have had no issues with strength and HIIT training, but I am struggling in my runs. 6 miles is now challenging, where as pre-keto, it was an easy recovery run. Since I was so reliant on carbs in the past, is it just taking me longer to get fully fat adapted? Is there anything I can do to help my body adjust?
What is your motivation for a keto diet?
Is it still safe to maintain the high fats and protein if my liver enzymes are off the charts? Or do I need to go off it until my liver is healthy again?
Yes, you can, but there is plenty more you should do for your liver. Check out these resources:
https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2016/12/the-best… https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2012/01/how-to-d… https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2016/08/what-is-…
I am not a doctor and nothing I say should be taken as medical advice. If you'd like to go into detail, I'd be happy to help you via a personal one-on-one consult. Just go to https://greenfieldfitnesssystems.com/product/ben-… and then choose a 20 or 60 minute consult, whichever you'd prefer. I can schedule ASAP after you get that.
I ride to work and back. On way home I’m painfully low on energy. Dying on the bike. Used to ride with protein bars.
What do you recommend to eat on the bike or just Effie hitting the road?
Check this out: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2013/07/what-to-… and let me know if you have any questions!
Hey! I have beeen on the keto diet for 10 days now and haven’t really noticed a difference in the keto stix. It usually says negative and some days it will barely be a trace value. I run and lift every day and was wondering if my macros were off. I’m currently eating 2100 Calories with 20g net carb, 136 fat and 153 protein. Should I be eating more fat and less protein?
So tough to say without seeing your total diet/exercise, etc. At first glance, protein looks way too high though. I'd be happy to help you via a personal one-on-one consult. Just go to https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/coaching. and then choose a 20 or 60 minute consult, whichever you'd prefer. I can schedule ASAP after you get that.
I am have read and listen to the Primal Endurance book a few times, I am trying to figure out what I can carry with me and eat during long races? I run marathons and I am currently training for my first full Ironman. In the past I have relied on gels. Any suggestions you have would be greatly appreciated.
Start here: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2013/07/what-to-… and let me know if you have any questions.
How many carbs in the almond coconut pancake recipe?
It would be less than 20g of carbs. In future you can figure this out with Google Debbie!
Im in training to be a high-energy cycling instructor at one of the best studios in the country. I’m just finishing up 7 weeks of training and about to do my final audition to become an instructor. The workouts are 45 minutes, high intensity and involve weight training. I have been a dancer and athlete for over 15 years and have been teaching spinning at a smaller studio for over a year. I’ve always relied to carbohydrates for energy and am worried that high fat will be unhealthy, even without the carbs and sugar. I am just wondering if this may not be the best time to change energy source and also generally wondering about the Keto diet for spinning.
Honestly, I would start by checking out my book Beyond Training at Beyondtrainingbook.com. I'm not sure how far out you are but yes, I would wait until after, and make sure you read this: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2011/08/10-ways-…
So I’m new to keto diet. Been at it for about 6-7 weeks. First two weeks I dropped 7 lbs and inches. Since I have not dropped a lb, not an inch or an oz.
I’m not sure if my macros are correct, they were set up by an administrator of a face book page. On Keto for athletes, I have been unable to get a response since.
Any suggestions on how I can make sure my macros are correct.
Books I should read about this way of life. I really want the safest way to lose fat. While remaining, active and healthy.
I’ve been a sugar burner for a long time.
Here’s what the look like as of now
I’m 43 male
Workout 3-4 times a week, cross fix type stuff
185-200 grams protein
125-135 grams fat
35 or less carbs a day
Gallon of water a day
3500 mg sodium
I use magnesium suplmets as well.
I resently dropped my fat to 100-120 mg in hopes to get in to keto.
Reading this article, should I have dropped the protein not the fat?
Any suggestions at this point would be appreciated. I’m at the point of making a few more adjustments. If I have no success, I may abandon the process.
I feel really good otherwise.
Hey Chris – I suggest you get my book the Low Carb Athlete <a href="http:// (https://greenfieldfitnesssystems.com/product/the-low-carb-athlete/)” target=”_blank”> <a href="http://(https://greenfieldfitnesssystems.com/product/the-low-carb-athlete/)” target=”_blank”>(https://greenfieldfitnesssystems.com/product/the-low-carb-athlete/) and if you want to go into detail, feel free to book a consult at <a href="https://greenfieldfitnesssystems.com/ben” target=”_blank”>www.greenfieldfitnesssystems.com/ben and choose 20 or 60 minutes and we'll get you scheduled to go over everything there.
Excellent article, and I also loved your book.
I have been keto since Jan’16 and I am training for a marathon next year. Exciting times.
In keto now about 20 days. first marathon coming up in a few months. Just wondering what do you use to fuel during a marathon. I am not sure what I can carry with me that’s not all sugar. I don’t see a bunch of Gu style gels out there that are Keto Friendly…
Read this: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2013/07/what-to-…
And this: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2015/12/how-to-g…
And let me know if you have any questions.
Hi. I’ve been predominately grain-free, fruit-free Vegan (now I know as keto) for 2.25 years (due to toxic mold). I don’t see anywhere where you recommend hydration or how heavy to mineralize, which I do a lot with chlorophillins. About the equivalent to 10lbs of broccoli minus any calories & carbs.
I am fairly active, and had tough time digesting oils. I went through “keto-flu” past weekend, from a recent Leto break, to get back to ketosis during week. Flu Not fun. Am in moderate ketosis, now.
I have been in ketosis for over 3 months. I am about to do a 120km fondo and am wondering if I should take some carbs before and during this. I am struggling with my cycling on this when repeated high intensity efforts are required. Should I eat bananas during the ride? Thanks
You need to do everything listed here <a href="http:// :https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2015/12/how-to-get-into-ketosis/” target=”_blank”> <a href="http://:https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2015/12/how-to-get-into-ketosis/” target=”_blank”>:https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2015/12/how-to-get-into-ketosis/ and if you want to go into detail feel free to book a consult at <a href="https://greenfieldfitnesssystems.com/ben” target=”_blank”>www.greenfieldfitnesssystems.com/ben and choose 20 or 60 minutes and we'll get you scheduled.
While I like the fatloss benefits of Ketosis, I can’t play Ice Hockey at my usual level. I have read Volek’s book on sports, but I just can’t perform at my usual level while burning Ketones. I would probably do better in distance events (I have read that from Peter Attia), but man, my Ice Hockey suffers Big Time. Has anyone been abale to bridge that gap yet>>?????
I would suggest booking a consult at <a href="https://greenfieldfitnesssystems.com/ben” target=”_blank”>www.greenfieldfitnesssystems.com/ben and choosing 20 or 60 minutes and we'll get you scheduled to go into detail and sort out what's going on.
I’ve read some articles about the high performance of endurance athletes following a ketogenic dieting regime. These endurance athletes however, amazing, may be thought to fall under the “low intensity” spectrum of sport performance. Are there any studies to back the ketogenic diet on such sports that require quick, intensive bursts of energy (i.e. football, boxing, sprinting)?
I listened to your podcast on the Jimmy Moore “Ask the Low Carb Experts” show. I believe you mentioned that you would not necessarily recommend a ketogenic diet to someone doing a higher volume bodybuilding type of training routine.
However, I’m wondering, would you maybe recommend Lyle McDonald’s Targeted Ketogenic Diet (TKD) to someone involved in 5 days per week of “bodybuilding” type training?
I’m sure you know of the TKD, but just in case, my understanding of it is you stay on a standard ketogenic diet, but take in 25-50 grams of fast digesting carbohydrate 30 minutes prior to weight training to support performance.
Any advice is much appreciated
I customize diet programs based on the level of performance and activity so it's really tough to say …I would read my episode on How To Get Into Ketosis https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2015/12/how-to-g… and then if you want to go into detail book a consult at www.greenfieldfitnesssystems,com/ben and choose 20 or 60 minutes and we'll get you scheduled.
Sounds Good Ben, will do.
Coconut oil comes from the “meat” of the coconut. I have long been a fan of coconut oil as one of the most health-promoting of all plant-based fats.
I was training around 6 days a week with around 4 days training morning and night. In the mornings I’d do weights (two excersises one muscle group 8 sets 8 reps with 15 sec rests in between) and then at night submission grappling. I found the keto diet very useful and practical in maintaining muscle and cutting fat. I was very lean on this diet and never had any lows during the day I woke up feeling strong and I went to bed feeling strong. I did find that on a particular day (which for me worked out to be a Thursday) I’d wake up feeling incredibly flat, moody and just short of depressed a real horrible feeling where I couldn’t even walk a flight of stairs without being out of breath. So on one Thursday I decided to have nothing in my lunch but carbs. I stuffed my face with chips rice mash potato anything that was a carb and I washed it down with 2 milkshakes. Needless to say that I picked up my car under my arm and ran home with it. It was like a burst of life. I’m not sure if it’s healthy or what but I’m finding for me as a serious trainer a once a week carb cheat meal works wonders and I get to eat all the stuff I miss. Don’t get me wrong after the cheat you fell lousy for a bit but the energy spike for the rest of the week works out well for me. I think the important thing is consistency and to stay in this diet and keep my sanity a need a naughty meal once a week to carry on being a good boy
I just started following a ketogenic diet and I love it but I need to eat more to fuel my activities; however, even the trace amounts of carbs in high fat foods and meats keep adding up putting me over my limit. Do you have any suggestions? Also, does fiber count towards your total carb intake? Any help would be appreciated, thank you!
Check this out Manda, it might be helpful: https://greenfieldfitnesssystems.com/product/prac…
Ive been in a deep ketosis for 5 months. Im doing it as a last resort to beat a rare disease. But its having side effects of making my athletic performance better. Regarding kidney function, its never been better in my 10 years of regular testing. In fact my egfr had doubled 3 weeks in. Its a tough diet to learn to do properly, at first i lost muscle but once i added in some pure whey in the morning ive slowly gained muscle.
what sport do you practice?
Depends on the day! OCR, tennis, hunting, was doing triathalons for a while. Listen to this and you can see what I'm up to lately: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2015/11/ben-g…
Hello, I am a golfer and compete in long drive tournaments where we drive the ball as far a we can. We do this in about a span of one hour hitting six balls then wiring for others to hit then coming back and hitting another set. Basically I hit about three sets before the end of the competition. My question is considering this competition style, and being only two weeks into Keto (had the Keto flu for three days up until a day ago) with my daily macros being 3% carbs, 78% fat and 19% protein (7g carb, 84g fat, 45g protein) on 1000 calorie intake daily ( I am a female, 5’3″, 132lbs, 27% of body fat – I was 134 and 29% body fat last week) should I up my calories to 1200 and my carbs to 20% while increasing my fat as well to remain in ketosis but to be sure to be able to perform well in my competition and then go back to my macros above?
Nah, I'd do cyclic low carb. Stay keto all day, then at end of day "reload" post-workout with 75-100g of carbs…enough to restore some glycogen but not so high to kick you out of ketosis for long. That's what I'd do if I were you and an active female…
Keto is not for everyone is a cop out. I read all the books paid for blood tests. Keto stix everyday. There is no way you can maintain high intensity workouts or competition without carbs. My glucose dropped down below 50dl/mg many times. Barely make it home hallucinating on the road I consider pretty dangerous, as the blood sugar levels. Then I carbed up before and everything worked again, so what’s the point of being in a state of ketosis? Just to be different? Selling this on a broad scale is dangerous there may be a few that can perform at intensity for long term and high speed bit I think that is the exception not the rule.
You can’t just be a carb burner and try to exercise intensely with no prep eating no carbs because your body won’t keep up with three energy demands because you’re not keto adapted yet. Your systems sound like exercise induced hypoglycemia. There is a reason you’re advised to research and prepare to use a keto diet.
You are a moron with no self control
I’ve been eating low carb(about 50g net per day)/high fat for about 9 months now and my biggest problem is the lack of volume in these high fat foods. I don’t want 2 pancakes for breakfast I want 6 good sized ones, but that is a large amount of calories. I’m a 5′ 6″ 144 lb. women and I have never been a “dainty” eater, so I have really struggled with the small volume of food I get a day for about 2000 calories. Any suggestions other than large dinner salads (which I love but does get old). Thanks for the great website.
Hi Lee Ann – I wrote this article for people just like you, there's some great recipes in there for dinner options: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2013/07/easy-…
I started going keto about a month ago. I’m a half-marathoner (did 6 last year) and am training for a 25k in April. I have stopped carbs fit fuel during my runs, obviously. I run 5 miles 3 times a week and long (6-11 miles) 1 time a week. I’m a still struggling with all my runs, especially my long runs. My pace had slowed way down, my legs feel like they weigh a ton, hills totally kill me, and I’ve got ZERO push. I expected dinner of this…But how long does this last? I feel like I’ll never have a good run again!
I hate to say it but it really depends how much of a sugar burner you were to begin with and your general genetic make up as well. Some people have an easier time than others… hang in there! And maybe check out this podcast https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2014/02/combi…
I have recently switched to a ketogenic diet and my body is absolutely loving it. My problem is, I have extreme intolerances to both eggs and all things coconut (including MCT oil), as well as wheat and dairy, but that’s a bit more of a no-brainer. I’ve noticed my meals are getting a little bit monotonous and am a bit concerned about nutrient deficiencies etc in the future. Are there any good resources you can point me to for some suitable keto-alternatives/meal plans?
Have you seen this? https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2015/02/ketog… I think it is what you are looking for.
OMG that liver mousse is the best liver preparations – no! – one of the best foods of any sort, that I've ever eaten. Absolutely incredible, savory, delicious!!! Hey, Ben – alright if I put that recipe on my website (DrDeborahMD.com) with a link to this page on your site?
For sure! Go for it. Spread the word ;)
Stop murdering animals so u can b fat and unhealthy. Wake up!! High carb vegan for the win
We are meant to eat animals-it’s called the ‘food chain.’ Keep your brainwashed retoric to yourself.
I was one of those athletes who "destroyed" their body with my attempting a ketogenic diet. I had issues with my kidneys (abnormally high creatinine levels), testosterone depletion(I dropped to 210 ng/dL, out of a normal, healthy range) and I suffered poor performance in my sport and now, ultimately, I'm dealing with suicidal depression. All of this just because I was looking for an edge. I caution anyone considering ketosis for athletics, BE VERY CAREFUL! Fully understand the potential downsides and know how to do it properly!
Ben, is there anyway to come back from all of this? Is this damage permanent? I'm a 32 year old male.
Sorry to hear this has happened to you! As Ben points out, the ketogenic diet is NOT for everyone and there are also clear contraindications that we talk about in the eBook. We also emphasise that blood tests should be performed before attempting nutritional ketosis to make sure there are no underlying issues. Do you know what your blood markers were like before going keto?
If keto is done the right way (i.e. macros are calculated correctly, digestion is well supported, possibly using a few supplements if required, proper hydration plus sodium replacement etc.), this shouldn't be happening. On the contrary, the ketogenic diet has been shown to support people with kidney failure and it's also being used in restoring hormonal health.
I suggest you get advice from a functional medicine practitioner who can design a tailored programme for you to restore hormonal and kidney health. It's hard for me to tell if damage is permanent based on the info.
Hope this helps and all the best,
Usually takes a combination of a rest and recovery cycle with little training, good intake of fat soluble vitamins and organ meats, thyroid support such as thyroid extract, adaptogenic herbs, high dose vitamin C, electrolytes, etc. Very similar to the protocols I’ve outlined for adrenal fatigue in the past and in the fatigue/recovery chapter at http://www.BeyondTrainingBook.com
Hope you’re doing better eccentrick1. It seems that I’m having similar issues with my kidneys although my mood etc. is quite better on keto. It started with foamy urine and it turned out that I have way too much creatinine for my body weight. Do you know of any study showing the effect of keto diet on creatine synthesis? as creatinine is the result of creatine breakdown.
Any update or clarification is greately appreciated
Man that sucks for you. Prior to starting my keto diet i was 235lbs, testosterone was 248 and triglycerides were 1180. I didn’t eat great, but lifted weights 5 days a week. Benched 225 for 23 reps, had 48″ chest and felt horrible most days. After my Dr told me i was going to die from heart attack or stroke i decided to make a change. Turns out i have an elevated insulin response to carbs. After 7 months of keto i was down to 179lbs. Testosterone was 485, and triglycerides down to 93. I feel amazing. Feb will be 2 years and all is good. I think each body is different. Obviously didn’t fit for you. But did wonders for me.