Developed for use by bodybuilders, the ketogenic diet is an effective method of losing fat rapidly while preserving muscle mass. One variation of this diet is the Palumbo Keto Diet, which follows a very rigid diet plan at specific intervals. Note that any keto diet must be followed precisely to avoid health risks; these diets are intended for very active athletes only and for periods of no more than two months. However, even athletes should consult their physicians before beginning a new diet or exercise regimen.
Keto diets are temporary eating plans that consist of a high protein intake along with a moderate amount of fats and very low carbohydrate consumption. The basic premise behind these diets is to place your body into a state of ketosis, a temporary state in which the body is deprived of blood glucose and is forced to seek alternative sources of energy — in this case, body fat. It is necessary to regulate the states of ketosis, as prolonged time in this state can be harmful to the body.
The key to a successful keto diet is to continue to perform resistance training and aerobic activity at regular intervals. Resistance training is necessary to deplete muscle glycogen and induce ketosis as well as to preserve muscle mass and burn excess calories. Aerobic activity is not as crucial but can speed up the fat-loss process.
How Ketogenic Diets Work
The primary source of energy for the body is glucose, which is metabolized and transported around the brain and body to fuel daily processes. When the diet lacks sufficient carbohydrates, however, there is no source of glucose and the body is forced to seek a replacement — fats. Fats are broken down into fatty acids and ketone bodies which provide fuel via different pathways.
When regular resistance training is performed, the demands of repairing muscles require additional fuel; this forces the body to respond to these needs by stripping body fat in addition to fats consumed in your diet.
Ketogenic diets require a period of ketosis followed by a brief carbohydrate re-feed. This allows the body to normalize and refuel the brain and body with glucose, allowing for optimal cognitive function and maintenance of muscle mass.
Professional bodybuilder and fitness specialist Dave Palumbo formulated the Palumbo Keto Diet to utilize a one-day cheat meal to preserve ketosis and promote rapid fat loss.
The Palumbo Keto diet requires eating between 1 and 1.5 g of protein per pound of bodyweight (for men and women) per day, about 0.5 g of fat per pound, and very low carbohydrates — no direct sources. These macronutrients are to be split up into six meals each day for six days a week. Total calorie intake should be reduced to under the maintenance level to induce fat loss.
On the seventh day, you are allowed to eat a “cheat meal,” which can consist of carbs and generally unhealthy foods. This reintroduction of carbs allows the body to briefly exit ketosis and absorb enough glucose to keep it working efficiently. This reduces cortisol levels and spares muscle, as well as effectively resets the metabolism to allow fat loss to continue.
Types of Foods
Acceptable sources of food can come from whole meats like chicken, fish, beef, lamb and turkey, as well as whole eggs. It is important to get plenty of omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids in your diet by consuming plenty of eggs, fish or fish oil, and olive oil. Almonds and peanut butter are also a great source, but they do contain carbohydrates as well and should be avoided in excess.
Avoid all sources of sugar and starches except during the cheat meal. Fruits are also not permitted during this time. Fiber will aid in digestion and promote feelings of satiety. Fibrous vegetables like broccoli and spinach should be consumed regularly.
According to Palumbo, the cheat meal can consist of any type of food in any portion for the very last meal of the seventh day of each week.
It takes three to four days to enter ketosis initially, so do not be alarmed if it is not immediately noticeable. Ketosis can result in a period of lethargy and change in mood for a brief period while the body adjusts. Try to avoid excess stimulants, as this can raise cortisol levels and hinder fat loss. Once fat loss begins to slow, increase the frequency of cardio to continue progressing. Keep aerobic activity at a very low intensity to preserve muscle mass.