The Benefits of Staying in Ketosis When Cutting for Bodybuilders

Published: April 23, 2019

The Benefits of Staying in Ketosis When Cutting

Guys and gals, if you’re utilizing the Keto Diet to get as lean as possible and to get in the best possible shape, then you’re doing the right thing. The problem I see is that a lot of people get a little bit weary of the Keto Diet, so they phase in and out of ketosis worrying that they’re going to lose all their precious hard-earned muscle. Hey, I’m Thomas DeLauer with Keto-Mojo and today I want to break down why phasing in and out of the Ketogenic Diet is actually making it so you’re not reaching your goals and could be causing you to feel like garbage versus if you were to just stay in ketosis in the first place.

Relationship Between the Ketogenic Diet and Muscle Mass

What happens in the Ketogenic Diet is actually very muscle-sparing, but people don’t always talk about that. In general, the fitness community or people that are trying to get in really good shape in a relatively fast period of time end of going into the Ketogenic Diet thinking that they’re going to lose some fat, but then they bounce back into a carb fueled diet because they get nervous that they’re going to burn up their muscle. Now, this is a very natural response and usually what happens when someone starts a low carb diet, they drop a lot of water weight and they drop a lot of water inside the muscle as well. What ends up occurring is people that have muscle think that they’re losing a lot of muscle. When in reality, all that’s really happening is you’re losing some of that intercellular volume for a temporary amount of time. But I understand, it can totally scare you and put you off guard. In this case, we have to look at the science.

Beta hydroxybutyrate, the main ketone body that we use for fuel when we’re in ketosis is very muscle-sparing, and beta hydroxybutyrate is also what the Keto-Mojo Meter actually measures. You can directly measure how much muscle you’re ultimately saving by default by looking at how much beta hydroxybutyrate you have in your system. Beta hydroxybutyrate prevents what is called leucine oxidation, leucine is your primary amino acid that is associated with muscle anabolism. When leucine is being oxidized, you’re burning muscle, when it’s not being oxidized, you’re not burning muscle. When you’re in ketosis, beta hydroxybutyrate stops leucine oxidation, it preserves muscle.

International Society of Sports Nutrition Journal Study

There was a study that outlined this perfectly. This study was published in the journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition and it took a look at 26 resistance-trained subjects and it had them undergo a pretty interesting bout of exercise and diet changes. They were divided into two groups; one group consumed a very low carb ketogenic diet and the other group consumed a traditional moderate carbohydrate Western diet. They had them resistance train for a number of weeks in the same fashion, no changes to the resistance training between the two groups. Well, the results at the end of the study were pretty alarming. The ketogenic diet group saw an increase of muscle mass of 9.5 pounds versus the western diet seeing an increase in muscle mass of 4.9 pounds, not nearly as much as the keto group.

Then we look at overall muscle mass, this is where it got pretty interesting, too. The keto group saw a .4-centimeter increase in overall muscle mass, whereas the western diet carbohydrate group only saw a 0.19 increase in muscle mass. That’s not nearly as much, obviously, but then we look at one more thing. When we look at the overall fat loss that occurred, it gets really exciting. The fat mass decreased by 4.9 pounds in the keto group versus 3.3 pounds in the carb group. This study showed that a ketogenic diet when compared next to a carb diet ended up not only preserving or actually adding muscle mass but actually burned more fat than the carb group as well. If this doesn’t settle your nerves a little bit, I don’t know what will.

Effects on Your Body of Going In and Out of Ketosis

Additionally, I want to talk about why you might feel cruddy when you go in and out of ketosis all the time. You see, what’s happening is you’re having these mineral fluctuations. On a ketogenic diet, yes, you lose some water weight and sodium, and you have to keep that sodium and water coming in. But once you’re there, you’re stabilized. If you’re constantly coming in and out of it, your kidneys don’t know what to do. You see, when you have carbs, you have insulin and insulin tells the kidneys to hold onto sodium. When you have extra sodium, you have extra water. So, what’s happening is if you’re going in and out of ketosis, you’re spiking your insulin up and then dropping it down, so the kidneys never really have a chance to play catch up. Your minerals are just all over the place, this is what causes that rundown feeling. If you just give it a go and you stay on the ketogenic diet, you’re going to balance out and you’ll find that those traditional cutting woes that you usually get where you feel like garbage, they tend to go away and you get lean and happy. Additionally, we have to look at fat adaptation.

What is Fat Adaptation?

If you stay on a ketogenic diet for long enough, your body becomes fat adapted where your cells learn how to use fat for fuel much better. If you’re constantly bouncing in and out of keto, you’re never getting that benefit. So sure, you’ll burn some fat. Sure, you’ll lose some water weight, but you’re never truly teaching your cells to burn fat and even if you stayed on the keto diet for six months and then went out of it, you’d still see a stronger benefit than you would if you were constantly going in and out every couple of weeks. That fat adaptation is critical, and it can shape shift the way that your fitness future goes for years to come simply by exercising the ketogenic diet properly.

The way that you can tell if you’re in ketosis is by measuring your blood ketone levels. Honestly, it’s a fun gamified way to be able to know how deep a state of ketosis you’re in, how much muscle you’re preserving and ultimately how much fat you’re burning. That’s why you want to put trust in Keto-Mojo utilizing their meter to truly take the guess work out of the equation and know when you’re honestly in ketosis and utilizing the most fat for fuel than you could possibly imagine. As always, make sure you’re keeping it locked in here with Keto-Mojo. Leave the guesswork out of the equation, leave the measuring to the meter and I’ll see you in the next video.


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