Keeping a right reign on your macros. That’s something that people who want to lose weight do, right? Well, yes. All the successful ones anyway. However, those who are serious about building muscle are equally pedantic about how many nutrients enter their body. And while ketosis might be a buzz word for weight loss, it can also mean gaining muscle. It is possible to achieve serious muscle building results by following this way of eating. Here’s what you need to know to get yourself lean and muscled.
Keto research backs up muscle gain
You won’t just lose fat, you will gain muscle, but you must still bank the reps. That’s the message from a paper in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. They got 25 men to either follow a ketogenic diet or a traditional western diet and team that up with a weightlifting regime. Over the course of 10 weeks both groups gained equal volumes of muscle mass, increased their strength by the same amount and created equal surges in testosterone. Take home message? Sit on your butt and you’ll get nothing. Struggle and toil beneath the iron and you’ll be rewarded. Hard work pays off. This is not the first study to suggest this and several other backed up these claims. If you’re used to a high carb diet, then the first few weeks may be tough as your energy levels adapt. After that, you’ll feel more energized and ready to crush new personal bests. Just follow the right formula.
Four steps to gain muscle:
Step 1: Get the right amounts of calories.
Ketosis is all about macro nutrient ratios. This doesn’t mean you have to starve yourself. Figure out how many calories you need to maintain your weight then increase that by 10-15% to gain muscle. Adjust this as you see fit.
Step 2: Protein quality matters.
You can still follow the traditional formula of eating 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight and be in ketosis. Adjust your other macros accordingly.
Step 3: Fuel your workouts.
You should be doing this anyway by eating your carbs before and after workouts to get the energy uptick you need to crush your workout.
Step 4: Focus on fat quality.
Transfat is your enemy, but all other fats have the green lights. Even saturated fat can help you increase your testosterone which is your ringmaster for muscle growth. Easy.
Supplements can very easily make you blow out of ketosis without realizing it. Fortunately, most have options to buy in the raw form. Something like creatine is ideal for anyone following a ketogenic diet, however, you don’t want the variety that’s coupled with a ton of sugars and flavorings. Take it plain and make it easy for yourself. You can also focus and rely on high quality sources of keto friendly supplements, like that from American Metabolix, to keep you in the right spot to build muscle and burn fat. Whatever supplement you take, always read the ingredients list, and focus on additions that may not need to be there. Muscle can easily be built during ketosis, possibly the highest quality muscle, but you will need to be more vigilant about tracking your macros. Fortunately, the rewards will come fast.
Photo by Alora Griffiths on Unsplash.