My entire life I have claimed to lack creativity. But in all honesty, it was never a lack of ideas, so much as insecurity. Fear that people would think my ideas were stupid, or worst, that I was stupid. Often, like the psychological concept of self-sabotaging, or defeating behavior, you can’t fail if you don’t try. The same goes for writing. While I was always told in university I was a great writer, it was more the thesis that concerned me. What if people don’t like my ideas, what if I cannot support my ideas, or what if they’re just plain pedantic and dull? So, what If? And what does this have to do with this blog?
At the end of the day, I don’t know you, and you don’t know me. We will likely never meet, and if you’re reading this blog, something has at least peaked your interest. And, chances are if there is something going on in my life, or something that has spiked my curiosity, then it is also likely that somewhere out there, someone else is pondering the same thing. I told myself the reason that I don’t write as often as I would like to, is because I lacked inspiration, but in honestly, it was confidence. But if one person stumbles on this blog, and somehow learns something to inspire their own curiosity, then I have accomplished my goal.
So, with that being said. On to the real reason you are here, the information. I have often discussed my dietary habits in the past. And I recently had a conversation with a friend of mine who was coming of competing a number of shows this year, as well as about a bikini client of his. The general consensus was that all of our bodies seemed to perform better on fats. Remained leaner, felt fuller, and looked overall best. You can call it keto, paleo, Atkins.. There are a variety of diets out there that focus on low carb, and moderate to high fat diets. And while you can perhaps categorize all these diets as “fad diets”, the idea of a reduced carbs does not seem to be going away.
For more diligent readers, I have covered inflammation, and its association with wheat and grains before. Which is a central part of the paleo theory. But what if we are only concerned with aesthetics? So, muscle building, and or weight loss.
In your body, glucose (aka sugar) is used as your primary source of energy. Fats are much more difficult to break down (which is why they keep you feeling fuller longer), and are therefore stored when not needed. Much like anything in life, our bodies take the path of least resistance. Typically, on a normal, higher carbohydrate diet, the body will use glucose as the main form of energy.
In order to switch up our metabolic processes, by taking away carbs (primary source of glucose) our bodies are forces to rely on available fats and stored fats for energy. This results in the body burning ketones as the primary energy source. I.e., the Keto diet.
Most people tend to only focus only on net carbs. Net carbs differ from your general carb count, only in that it is the amount of carbs minus the fiber content and sugar alcohols. Under the idea that the fiber will negate the insulin spike. However, the general census for any of these types of diets is to limit both. For those who hate doing math and research, as a general guideline, try to stay below 20g net carbs and below 35g total carbs per day.
It may seem counter intuitive Especially to anyone looking to bbuild muscle or lose weight, to restrict your protein intake. However, too much protein can lead to lower levels of ketosis. To maximize fat burning, you ideally want to eat between 0.6g and 0.8g protein per pound lean body mass (contract to the 1-1.2 suggested in typical body building diets).
Drink water! As if I don’t have to give an extra reason already! Drinking more water seems to be the answer to everything in life. Clear skin, weight loss, reduce bloat, increase concentration… Try to drink 4L of water a day. I know it may seem daunting at first. But I personally can attest it is not that hard. I personally drink at minimum of 6L a day. I have a glass of water when I first wake up, then a shake on the way to work. From the time I sit at my desk till lunch I consume 2L, then another 2 in the afternoon. Then pre-workout, intra workout, post workout. Bam!
I know you are going to hate me for this one as well, but Stop snacking! The fewer insulin spikes during the day, the better your insulin sensitivity, and the higher the ketone levels. This also included reducing fake sugars, lie gum and diet pop (sorry), as basically anything that tastes sweet will spike your insulin, even if it is not actual sugar.
And that’s all folks! As always, as research evolves so does knowledge. It is also important to keep in mind, that what works for one body may not work for another. I personally change up my diet and methods all the time. As your training styles change, as your composition changes, and as your hormones even change, so will your body’s response. Lastly, I would like to note, that this style of dieting tends to be most effective for people who are more sedentary, or are currently higher in body fat. As your muscle and fat ratio change, so will your body’s ability to utilize carbs, and high performance athletes typically will require more carbs than your average gym goer.