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This is a more technical article, inspired by my (and my brother's) early experiments with TKDs and CKDs: "Targeted Ketogenic Diets" and "Cyclic Ketogenic Diets", respectively.

I am indebted to Lyle McDonald (of "The Ketogenic Diet" fame) and Dr Barry Sears (the many Zone Diet books).

In this article, I consider alterations to one's ordinary eating routine as a means of getting the muscle weight to fat weight ratio that you want (not “how to lose weight!") and, in particular, I compare various approaches to eating as a means to this end.

You will see that there are many similarities in my recommendations to the "Paleo Diet" and the "Warrior Diet", too; the reason is that, basically, all dietary regiments can be considered "glucogenic" (using glucose as main fuel) or "ketogenic" (using ketones and free fatty acids instead).

Most people have an attachment to a particular diet that seems religious in its fervour—and when writing and talking to people about this, I have been amazed at the passion with which people defend their dietary choices!

What few people acknowledge is that ketogenic diets are as safe as any any other approach to eating and, in fact, are recommended to epileptic children, who typically stay on these diets until their teenage years have passed. Much is made in the scientific and general literature of the alleged dangers to the kidneys of "high protein" diets—but there is nothing inherently "high protein" in a ketogenic diet. The misunderstanding comes from mistaking the proportion of one food group in a meal with its actual amount in any meal. (By this, I mean that in a typical keto meal, the proportion of protein to other elements might be 50%, but the actual amount might be the same as what you eat now.)

It is perfectly possible to have a ketogenic diet that is moderate in protein (or high, for particular purposes). Anyhow, I am very happy to enter that dialogue; here is the article:

Do you want to diet? Don't! (second up from the bottom of the list).

The last point to consider is that, on all analyses, there are 11 essential amino acids, and two essential fatty acids, but not one essential carbohydrate! Unbelievable? True!


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  • 3 years later...

I decided it was time cut 3-4kg of fat that came along with a recent 9 month bulking experiment (code for eat and drink at will including back on plentiful carbs!) and have had success with Atkins in the past to permanently lose almost 25kg, but wanted to minimise muscle loss having worked so hard to improve strength recently.

Lyle seems to be quite a colourful character... but anyways I purchased his "rapid fat loss" ebook, thinking it was a "by-numbers" version of the keto diet book you reference in the excellent article. It is however a version of the diet for crash weight loss (he also has an extreme version which involves eating well just protein).

While the recommendations fit nicely with what has worked for me in the past, but with basically a bias towards protein (Im trying to hit 150-175g a day @c.75kg lean BW), I am a bit surprised at the chapter that is recommending a caffeine+ephedrine "stack" to control appetite and keep the metabolic rate up. Even in the USA ephedrine is a prescrition drug no longer approved for dietary use...

... this kind of makes me feel that his advice veers towards the extreme (and in fairness he says as much about the rapid and extreme diets), but still...

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