Keto Cutting – How to Strategically Use The Keto Diet for Maintaining Muscle While Cutting
Many high level/pro athletes and bodybuilders constantly face the challenge of creating plans that will both increase muscle mass and reduce subcutaneous fat at the same time. This is quite a difficult endeavor, as the body does not like to multi-task when it comes to altering its appearance in an extreme way. In other words, it prefers to either burn fat at the expense of some lean tissue, or create new muscle in an atmosphere of a high calorie surplus – thus adding some fat simultaneously. However, while I said it is certainly difficult to measurably enhance muscle size while also incinerating body fat all at once, I did not say it was impossible!
After many years of experimenting with, and researching various methods of dieting and supplementation usage protocols, it has become evident to me that a meticulously planned keto-diet approach will yield the most rapid results when it comes to dropping weight and unwanted body fat. And while it is not my recommendation to stick to “keto” as a permanent dietary approach, I do feel that short-term bouts (6-10 weeks) are the way to go when in a “cutting crunch.”
What’s the Keto Advantage?
In a nutshell, the body normally utilizes circulating glucose and stored carbohydrates (glycogen) to fuel cellular function and the demands placed upon it during intense exercise. However, when deprived of carb containing foods, the body must turn to an alternative source of fuel, which comes in the form of stored body fat. The production of “ketones” is a by-product of this process,
hence the name “ketogenic diet.
While there are many health-related benefits associated with this form of dietary strategy, one of its greatest advantages lies in its ability to help one rapidly lose weight and lower body fat percentage. Here are a few ways that going “keto” can positively affect one’s appearance, creating a more well-defined physique:
- The body must primarily burn fat to fuel basic functioning and the demands of exercise.
- Very low carbohydrate diets have somewhat of a “diuretic” effect, which creates more muscle definition.
- The level of circulating growth hormone is increased, which enhances one’s ability to incinerate body fat and build muscle.
Keto-Cutting Diet Parameters
- Eat smaller, more frequent meals every 2-3 waking hours. About 5-7 meals per day works well for most.
- Consume approximately 1-1.25 gram of protein per lb. of bodyweight each day. Spread the total amount of protein evenly amongst meals.
- Consume approximately 0.75 to 1 gram of fat per lb. of bodyweight each day. Use a combination of fats from EFA’s, saturated fats and MCT oils.
- Consume a green vegetable with at least 3 meals per day.
- The highest calorie feedings will be at breakfast and the post workout meal.
- Whey isolate should be used as a protein source at the morning and post training meal.
Foods for Diet
The list below includes some of the best foods to utilize when the goal is to gain muscle, lose body fat and improve one’s health simultaneously. None of these foods are required, but only meant as viable options for such a plan. It is best to try and use some variety in your food choices as this allows for a more complete pool of amino acids, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibers to be readily available in your system, which can improve results and overall health.
- Proteins: 93%-98% ground lean beef, 93%-99% ground lean turkey, turkey breast, chicken breast, lean cuts of steak, eggs, egg whites, game meats, white fish, salmon, tuna fish, cottage cheese, whey isolate protein powders.
- Vegetables: all green types.
- Fats: walnuts, peanuts, almonds, cashews, avocado, cheddar cheese, olive oil, fish oil, flax oil, MCT oil and nut butters.
Sample Diet (Workout Day)
Below I have laid out what might be a typical (diet) day for a 200 lb. male, that is reasonably lean, and wishing to gain more muscle while continually decreasing overall body fat. While the macronutrients, and thus calories, need to be adjusted according to your own weight and current physical conditioning, this can still be used as a base to work from in formulating your own dieting/eating strategy.
**Upon Rising: 1 serving AMINOCORE
Protein: egg whites scrambled (8 oz. uncooked measure) + 3 whole eggs
Fat: cheddar cheese (44 g) + 1 tbsp. ALLMAX MCT Oil
Vitamin: **1 packet VITASTACK
Protein: chicken breast (6 oz. cooked measure)
Carb: large mixed green salad
Fat: avocado (4 oz.) + olive oil (1 tablespoon)
Meal 3 (pre-workout)
Protein: salmon (7 oz. cooked measure)
Carb: large mixed green salad
Fat: ALLMAX MCT oil (1.5 tbsp.)
**30-40 minutes before workout: 1 serving IMPACT IGNITER + 5 grams CREATINE MONOHYDRATE
**Intra-Workout: 1-2 servings AMINOCORE + 1-2 servings KETO CUTS
**Immediately post workout: 5 grams LEUCINE
Meal 4 (post-workout)
Protein: ALLMAX ISOFLEX (2 scoops)
Fat: peanut or almond butter (4 tbsp.)
**5 grams CREATINE MONOHYDRATE
Protein: sirloin steak (6 oz. cooked measure)
Carb: choice of green vegetables
Fat: walnuts (20 grams weight) + 1 tbsp. olive oil
Supplement for Success
As I mentioned, it is a difficult endeavor to attempt to build muscle and lose fat at the same time, which is why I suggest the following supplements to assist in hastening the process. Once a solid training program and nutritional regiment are in place, supplements can then be utilized to make sure the body is truly firing on all cylinders!
- ALLMAX MCT OIL: This is a special form of fat that is rapidly turned into energy that your body can effectively use to fuel workouts, without turning to more carbohydrates. MCT oil has also been show to boost metabolism and coax the body into using more fats for energy production. How to use: As mentioned above, take 1 tbsp. with meal 1 and the pre-training meal.
- ALLMAX AMINOCORE: loaded with over 8 grams of the highest quality BCAA’s per serving, AMINCORE can help build more lean muscle when on a reduced calorie/carb diet. BCAA’s have been shown to improve recovery, augment protein synthesis, reduce protein breakdown, increase energy while training and enhance the post workout testosterone:cortisol ratio. How to use: Take one serving in the morning upon awakening and 1-2 servings sipped throughout workout.
- ALLMAX IMPACT IGNITER: No pre-workout on the market will help increase your energy, drive and focus more than this product. While it can sometimes be difficult to get in an intense workout when on a strict diet, this will never be an issue after taking a serving of IMPACT IGNITER. How to use: Take one serving 30-40 minutes before workout.
- ALLMAX L-LEUCINE: Taking just 5 grams of leucine immediately after training can greatly enhance ones ability to build muscle, as this amazing amino acid is responsible for turning on the vital “m-TOR” pathway, which ignites hypertrophy. How to use: Take 5 grams immediately after workout.
- ALLMAX KETO CUTS: Contains BHB ketones, which when combined with MCT’s can greatly increase one’s energy, stamina and endurance by providing fuel for muscular action and reducing lactate (which can reduce training output when too high). How to use: Add 1-2 servings to your intra-training drink and sip throughout workout.
- VITASTACK: The most comprehensive vitamin/mineral/antioxidant blend in the industry, which will make sure all of your body’s micronutrient needs are met during intense training/dieting phases. How to use: Take one pack with meal #1.