Keto Diet: Menu Design and Side Effects

The ketogenic (keto) diet has long been used in bodybuilding to burn fat and dry out the body. It is based on proteins and fats and at least carbohydrates (less than 10%). Fat burning occurs because the body begins to use fat as an energy source because there are not enough carbohydrates. To lose weight using the Keto diet, you do not need to abuse fats so that the total caloric content of the diet is not too high.

Meat with herbs for the keto diet

Why is the diet called "Keto"?

The ketogenic diet got its name from ketosis, a condition of the body in which the production of ketone bodies increases for their subsequent use as a source of energy.

Ketone bodies are formed in the liver when you restrict the intake of carbohydrates from food. Carbohydrates are broken down into glucose, which is the body's main source of energy. With a lack of glucose, the body begins to form ketone bodies from fatty acids and use them as a source of energy. Thus, by changing the ratio of nutrients (proteins, fats and carbohydrates) in the diet, you stimulate the burning of fats.

Three types of keto diet

  1. Standard Keto diet- The easiest option. No food intake (days with increased carbohydrates), BJU ratio is constant (high in protein and fat, low in carbohydrates). Suitable if you exercise well on low carbohydrates, or the exercises themselves are not very intense.
  2. Targeted (targeted) Keto diet- Repeat meals are held before and after exercise. The goal of carbohydrate loading in this case is to supply the body with enough glucose to increase the intensity of exercise, but at the same time not to stop ketosis the rest of the time. If you feel sluggish and lack energy during exercise due to lack of carbohydrates, then re-eating before and after will solve this problem. Also, a short meal may work better than a full day carbohydrate load.
  3. Cyclic Keto diet- Includes periodic carbohydrate intake, which helps replenish glycogen stores in the muscles (for a short time) after it is completely depleted. The time between such repetitions will depend on your goals and the intensity of the workout. The cyclic keto diet is an "advanced" option because. To find out how often you should eat and how many carbohydrates you should eat, you should try different options and determine for yourself which one is best for you.

Start with a standard keto diet. After the first few weeks, you can see how much your workout intensity is suffering due to low carbohydrate intake. If the intensity has dropped significantly, you can try a cyclic or targeted diet option.

Which option is better for fat burning and which is better for building muscle mass?

The main thing is to keep an eye on the number of calories. Excess muscle growth and deficiency for weight loss. If the calories are in order, then the keto diet option is not so important. Yes, the presence of carbohydrates before and after exercise helps protect against muscle breakdown. Therefore, a cyclical and purposeful diet may be a better option when building muscle. But in the long run, periodic meals will not have an impact comparable to the degree of calorie deficiency.

Meat steak for the Keto diet

Keto diet menu planning

For the standard version of the Keto diet

Calculate your daily calorie intake:

Add 500 calories to build muscle

For fat burning - subtract 500 kcal from the number obtained

Gram per 1 kg of lean muscle mass * Kcal per 1 g
Squirrels 2, 2 gr 4 kcal
Fats ** 1, 8-1, 88 c 9 kcal
Carbohydrates 0, 22 - 0, 44 c 4 kcal

* Lean muscle mass is determined by the percentage of body fat. If it is impossible to measure it accurately, you can navigate the image.

** Fats are calculated at the end. After calculating the number of calories from proteins and carbohydrates from the daily allowance, the remaining amount goes to fats.


Male weighing 80 kg, height 175 cm.

Percentage of fat in the body - 20% (dry muscle mass - 64 kg).

The goal is to burn fat.

Daily caloric intake is 2500 kcal.

For fat burning - 2500-500 = 2000 kcal per day.


  • Protein 2. 2 * 64 = 140 g (560 kcal)
  • Carbohydrates 0. 44 * 64 = 28 g (112 kcal)
  • Fat 2000-560-112 = 1328 kcal (150 g)

The easiest way is to evenly divide the calculated amount of proteins, fats and carbohydrates into 4-5 meals. But it is not necessary to do this, you can make each meal as it is more convenient for you. The most important thing is that the balance is in line with the calculations by the end of the day.

If you follow a cyclical or targeted version of the keto diet, then your total caloric intake (due to carbohydrates) on different days of the week may vary.

Target Keto diet

Before exercise, add 0. 5-1 g of carbohydrates per 1 kg of body weight. The point is to use all the carbohydrates as fuel to increase the intensity of your workout. Fats should be reduced so that the total caloric content remains unchanged (for fat burning). Carbohydrates can be divided into 2 parts and used one before exercise and the other after.

Cyclic Keto diet

After the onset of ketosis - about 2 weeks after the start of the diet (and then once a week), add 5-10 g of carbohydrates per 1 kg of dry weight per day. Such carbohydrate loading lasts from 9 to 36 hours. Start with 9, then add 2-4 hours each time and evaluate the results. Please note that the amount of protein remains high on such days, while the amount of fat should be reduced. If you are on a fat burning diet, then it is possible to increase the calories to the daily dose on carbohydrate load days.

What foods can be included in the keto diet?

You can eat absolutely any food that contains the least amount of carbohydrates. The main part of the menu will be protein products. On average, no more than 30-50 g of carbohydrates per day can be used to achieve ketosis, so the following products will be the main diet:

  • Meat, poultry, fish
  • eggs
  • Cheese, butter
  • Vegetable oils
  • nut
  • Green non-starchy vegetables - cabbage, broccoli, celery, spinach, etc. Sh.
  • Whey protein

Carbohydrates in the Keto diet

To stimulate digestion, try to include carbohydrates in your diet from large amounts of fiber-rich vegetables.

Skip the complex meal (if you do not cook it yourself) - it is impossible to say how many carbohydrates it contains. Sauces usually contain sugar and starch - also a source of carbohydrates. Always look at the labels and if you are not sure if there are carbohydrates in a particular product then it is best to replace it with a proven option.

When loading carbohydrates you can use complex carbohydrates (grains, cereals) as well as small amounts of fast carbohydrates (best fruits).

Remember that the goal of a ketogenic diet is ketosis, which can only be achieved by strictly controlling the amount of carbohydrates.

Fats in Keto diet

The amount of fat in the ketogenic diet increases significantly, including due to saturated fats. Meat, cheese, butter are sources of saturated fats, which are responsible for the production of hormones in the human body. They should make up about 20-30% of total fat. For example, for those who consume 150 grams of fat daily, 30-45 grams will be saturated fat. The remaining 70-80% are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

Exercise during the keto diet

Side effects of the Keto diet

# 1 Fatigue

You will feel weak due to a sharp reduction in the amount of carbohydrates in the first two weeks. But in the future, when ketone bodies begin to produce, even improving well-being, it is possible to increase strength. The body and brain become accustomed to using ketones as a source of energy. The feeling of hunger will pass due to the absence of sharp jumps in blood sugar, which is provoked by the use of fast carbohydrates.

# 2 Cholesterol

Too much saturated fat can raise cholesterol levels, which is detrimental to the cardiovascular system. Make sure that the bulk of the fats are "useful" - from nuts, vegetable oils, fish and so on. Sh.

# 3 Lack of vitamins and minerals

Carbohydrate restriction leads to severe deficiency of vitamins and minerals. It is therefore essential to take multivitamins. You also need to make sure that your diet is high in fiber - both green vegetables and bran / fiber supplements. Digestive problems, constipation is the result of insufficient amount of fiber in the diet.

# 4 Ketoacidosis

The onset of ketosis (increase in the concentration of ketone bodies in the blood) is the smell of acetone (from urine, body and mouth). How to get rid of it? Drink more water - this will help you get rid of excess ketones in your urine and sweat.

ᲛImportant! Ketoacidosis is fatal for people with diabetes, so people with diabetes should abandon the keto diet.

Alcohol causes dehydration, which in turn exacerbates ketoacidosis. It is better to completely abandon the use of alcohol in the diet and drink more water.


The Keto diet is not for beginners. If you are overweight and your main goal is to lose weight, try a traditional calorie restricted diet. If muscle maintenance is important, a classic diet of carbohydrate replacement may be appropriate. In fact, the cyclic version of the keto diet is almost indistinguishable from the protein-carbohydrate alternation.