Fitness Diets & Specialists
Let’s have a look at some of the more advanced diets. They originate from the fitness industry and have the purpose to maximize performance and/ or bring body-fat down very low levels.
See these diets as your special tool that you get out once there is a base. You don’t bring in the furniture when the house is just a pile of raw materials. You first need to build the house, put roof on, install windows, walls, electrical installation and so on. Then its time for the furniture.
Hope that makes sense. On to the diets:
The standard go-to if you ask any big dude in the gym. Plenty of protein, just enough fat to stay healthy and the remaining calories go into carbs to fuel the long, hard workouts. A main stable is chicken with (brown) rice and broccoli, eggs, milk and oatmeal. Really nothing special and the only hard thing is sticking to the very limited food choices.
Take the diet from above but only eat your carbs on days that you train. You now cycle carbs. Another way to “cycle” is to add a meal on training days. This way you cycle calories.
If you remove carbs from your training days and don’t make up with additional protein and fat for the calories which where provided by the carbs you basically cycle both: a macro-nutrients and calories.
The idea is to provide the body with exactly what it needs in just the right amounts at certain times. A typical goal would be weight-loss, or if you tend to over eat during a mass-phase to control calories and give the body only the extra calories needed to build muscle.
Cyclical Diets require a lot of planning and preparation. The diet itself is usually very easy to work with. And because you cycle through different meal compositions you wont get bored so easily.
This approach makes use of an adaption that occurs in the body when carbohydrates are depleted by removing them from the diet. As carbs are the bodies favorite energy source, especially the brain runs on (=loves) carbs, the body (brain included) can switch to a different type of energy with works as a substitute for carbs. From body- and dietary fat it can create ketones or ketobodies. Keto = Ketones, “genic” from the greek work genesis which means something like “creation” or in our case “to create”. Hence the name “ketogenic”. A ketone creating diet.
The body is rather lazy when it comes to burning fat for fuel when it has carbs available, but when in ketosis it’s back-burner is activated. Additionally it’s not very effecient in creating ketones from fatty acids. I hope you are still with me, I am getting to the point. Theses features, using fat (body fat) to fuel all the bodily functions and the in-efficiency in creating this alternate energy source are why this diet is so hyped right now. All theses features lead to an accelerated fat burning without the craving for sugar. At least on paper. It’s a bit like a substitute teacher, who can teach the class, but does it in a different way and it feels okay, but still is different.
Some people don’t work well in ketosis, it takes time to get into this state during which many people suffer from brain fog as the brain learns to switch from sugar to ketones.
You cannot eat plenty of protein because protein can raises insulin, which, when high enough, can kick you out of ketosis. Lastly, you have to understand that this an emergency plan of the body during starvation. Some people run very well on a ketogenic diet and are happy for the rest of their lives, other just don’t. Don’t force it if you are not doing well. Also, this diet is not a guarantee for becoming skinny. Calories still matter and I’ve seen people still get fat on a keto-diet. I don’t wan to paint a bad picture, this diet has profound effects in the treatment of epilepsy for instance and as mentioned many people really strive on it.
So, give it a try. You’ll be eating all the fatty goods you love so much! I tried it and found it to be a very pleasant experience, but after bringing carbs back into my diet I noticed that I made better gains in the gym. Again, try for yourself. I would always encourage to to try and figure out what works best for you. But please consult you doctor before making such drastic changes to your diet.
This diet gives you an eating window during which you are allowed to eat all your meals. The classic concept by Martin Berkhan
has you eating for 8h after fasting for 16h. For most people that moves the beginning to the afternoon and ends when you go to bed. Not eating for 16h has some a few effects on the body that make this diet very appealing for a lot of folks.
First it cuts back a whole meal, which saves you time and effort. The portion size of the meals eaten during the eating-window become larger but total daily calories get lower. This is a nice win-win as you eat lesser calories overall, but still get to eat full plates of goodness. Make sure to stick to healthy foods though. It’s not unheard of people eating two large pizzas within 8h and then complain why they don’t loose fat. (The face palm is the appropriate reaction here).
Similar to eating only for a certain time of the day, many people have great successes with the 5/2-diet. This diet allows you to eat normally on 5 days but fast on the remaining 2 days.
In all cases, vegetables, broth,water, coffee and tea a permitted during the fast – in essence everything that does not contain calories.