In this report, we will talk about all the great things that being on a low-carb, high-fat diet can do for you, especially when trying to build and gain muscle in your body.
Along with it, reading throughout the report, we will also present to you tips and facts that can and will help you along in your journey to achieving what you want.
To start off the whole thing, let us begin with diets and what exactly they are.
Diets: Are They a Yay or a Nay?
Going on diets have always been an “in” thing done by a whole number of people of all nationalities for the past few years. It’s everyone’s go-to thing if they want to lose weight and look good on a whim.
One thing that has everyone’s attention? Fad diets. The number of fad diets there are out there are that people are following and doing is just plain crazy. Really.
From going on a cabbage soup diet that simply consists of eating cabbage soup for every meal over a period of days to the latest diet craze such as intermittent fasting, diets are here to stay. They remain as popular as ever with no signs of it slowing down.
But take note, not all diets are created equal. Different diets achieve different goals. So many individuals go through a slew and a handful of diets, trying one out then jumping to the next before they find the perfect diet that fits their lifestyle, their needs, and more importantly, the goals they are trying to achieve.
Sometimes, diets can be our friends, doing us and our body good, keeping us healthy, fit, and happy of course. Other times, diets can do more harm than good. It’s important to learn how to discern and figure out the best diet there is out there and what diet is best suited for you.
Know What Diet You Want
Before we dive head first into the diet that we specifically want to talk about, the low-carb, high-fat diet, you have to remember that knowing what you want will and should always be a priority in your life. Better yet, take it a step further. Having a goal will do you a solid good in life and will allow you to define what you want out of all of this.
Knowing what you want and then learning to understand yourself will not only help you on your journey to a healthy life but will also help in building your character and yourself along the way. Remember, it is a process. It’s a win-win situation for you when you figure out what you want and what you want to do.
The Muscle Gain Game Is Strong
Maybe you’ve heard from friends and family that diets are primarily used for losing weight, maybe you’ve read it on the internet, and sure, the notion that diets are primarily utilized for weight loss is somewhat true, it doesn’t mean it is entirely true. Take note, we used “entirely”.
Sure. Most people today are looking to just lose weight, but did you know that some individuals actually want to gain weight?
There are many out there that just simply want to add a few extra pounds onto their skinny frame that they call their body, but for many, putting weight on is geared towards achieving the goal to build muscles and increase size.
Diets do exist to help people gain weight. It’s not wholly uncommon but not unheard of, and when it comes to building and gaining muscles through diets, it’s a pretty common sight and a big thing around health buffs as well as gym buffs.
Muscle gains and muscle building is actually pretty important, especially when you start to age and grow older. The body slowly deteriorates and the muscles are no exception to this process.
One way to gain muscle and build it is to do strength training. Another way to aid your journey in building muscles is by adopting a low-carb, high-fat diet.
You might have your doubts about this certain diet and you might wonder, does a diet that has you building muscle while on a low-carb diet, a diet that doesn’t seem to have much “fuel”, really have the potential to be possible? You’re in for a surprise.
It’s a common argument among a handful of people all over the world, from athletes and sports persons, health experts, and dietitians that a low carb diet doesn’t give you or your muscles enough glycogen.
Glycogen is used to produce a forceful contraction for muscle building. It is also argued that it simultaneously robs you of precious protein-based amino acids that you and your body needs for adequate repair and recovery.
But we want to think differently and debunk this myth because that is what it is; a myth. In the body, fats are not only stored or limited to the hips and waistlines. Nope. Muscles, amazingly enough, also store fats in the form of intramuscular fat.
This intramuscular fat can be called on more immediately for energy if the body requires it.
Where is the fat stored, you might ask? Well, this fat is stored in the muscle tissue itself, formed in the shape of fat.
So yes, a low-carb, high-fat diet can actually also aid you in weight loss. Yet, despite there being a loss of weight, this diet is a sure way to add muscle.
The Mechanism of a Low-Carb, High-Fat Diet
So how does a low-carb, high-fat diet work and why does it work? Well, when consuming food that is low in carbs, there is a big chance that the insulin levels in your body will drop. This, in turn, causes your body to burn the stored fat that it has on reserve. By burning the stored body fat, you go into weight loss. Once the body gets used to it, the weight loss and majority of the fats have been burned off, your muscles begin to build.
By limiting your carbohydrate intake and stepping up on your healthy fat intake, you are allowing your muscles to tap into a natural energy store in your body all day long, 24/7, all day, every day.
But going on a low carb diet does not mean that all carbs and carbs altogether are suddenly eliminated. In reality, carbs are very important to generate high amounts of force when you are working out a tiring set in the weight room of your home or gym.
So, choosing to go with an extremely low carb diet, under around 100g of carbs in a day for people who are very active in their daily life, you would have no energy at all and suffering from fatigue and muscle soreness will become unavoidable.
So how do you deal with this? Well, it comes down to strategy and just plain old knowledge and timing. Timing is everything, they say.
To deal with it, your carb intake strategy should be aligned with your workout, both pre and post workout training. To get through the rest of the day though, you should fuel your body with high fat and moderate protein.
Also, you have to understand that critical anabolic and muscle building compounds, vitamins, steroids and hormones such as vitamin K, vitamin D, essential fatty acids, testosterone, growth hormone, and insulin-like growth factor is all present in high-fat foods.
Some examples of high-fat food include raw dairy, cold water fish, fish oils, butter, grass-fed beef and more. But we’ll get to that soon.
Many people, even weight lifters, and athletes who are trying to build and gain muscles tend to stray and shy away from the sources mentioned above. They’re afraid that eating any of it is going to get them fat.
Sure, you will get a ripped body by avoiding these food sources but the avoidance will also result in your body having a depleted hormone level as well as a very high potential for protein toxicity. Excessive ammonia strain on the liver and kidneys is also a big possibility.
The Benefits of Low Carb Dieting other than Muscle Building
By now, we can clearly see that low-carb, high-fat diets highly help in muscle building but did you know that it offers a whole other range of benefits, too?
Here are some other benefits of going on a low-carb, high-fat diet:
• It increases potential for fat utilization, which will then lead to weight loss and muscle gains.
• It decreases inflammation because of the large intake of healthy anti-inflammatory fats.
• There is a reduction of potentially inflammatory foods that have processed carbs and sugars.
• Digestive stress is decreased because of the reduction in processed foods and the increase in dietary fiber.
• There is a decreased potential for fat storage, minimizing the likelihood of a heart attack.
• It improves blood markers like HDL/LDL, glucose, and triglyceride.
• There is a possible reduction in blood pressure.
• There is a powerful implication for sufferers of type II diabetes, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s Disease, and Parkinson’s Disease.
• Our appetite decreases because of the slowing of digestion by dietary fat and the effect of protein and its appetite-suppressing effects.
Some might experience one or two of these benefits, others more or even all but it cannot be denied, the advantages and benefits are plenty when it comes to a low-carb, high-fat diet. You may enjoy one, some, or all of these benefits, but the advantages of low carb, high-fat diets are undeniable for many people.
So, What Are You Allowed to Eat?: The Do’s and Don’ts
Knowing what food you need to eat and knowing the Do’s and Don’ts when it come to the type of food you should eat while on this diet, the low-carb, high-fat diet, is important.
Here are some of the food that you will be eating on a regular basis once you start your new diet:
• Cuts of fatty meat will be your go to meat cuts are they help ensure you are getting the right amount of dietary fat
• Poultry will also be a common staple in your diet. Poultry such as chicken, turkey, and duck will be great
• Oily fish will also be included. Fish like salmon, sardines, and mackerel will be great additions.
• Whole eggs
As for vegetable, the following vegetables can be eaten somewhat more freely. These vegetables are high in fiber and low in the carbohydrate department:
• Brussels Sprouts
As for the types of food you would want to avoid completely simply because they just won’t fit into the low-carb diet and your lifestyle, along with the fact that they can just be plain harmful and bad to your health are:
• Refined vegetable oils such as canola oil and corn oil
• Hydrogenated fats and oils
• Wheat, potato, oatmeal, corn, rice, and other starchy carbs
• Fast food
• French Fries
• Ice Cream
• Fruits are, by the rule of thumb, to be avoided with the occasional exception of some low-sugar fruits. Blueberries are an example of a low-sugar fruit
• Corn syrup
• Maple syrup
In Comes the High-Fat
Don’t fear the fat, as natural fat is good for you. Adding enough fat to your meals will make you feel more satisfied after eating a meal.
To help you in your journey, here are some tips to up your fat intake.
1. Go with whole, full-fat ingredient
The time has come for you to say goodbye to all those fat-free products and low-fat products. Bye to those artificial creamers and peanut butter claiming it has reduced-fat. It’s time to raid your fridge and get rid of all the products that have the words “light” or “lite”.
Edit the grocery list you have and stock your fridge with real whole food, such as fat-rich options like eggs and avocados. Do not avoid natural fat, go for it!
Salmons and sardines hold a good amount of healthy fats so they should be something to consider.
2. Different fats, different flavors
Fats are so powerful, they can even change the flavor of the dish you are cooking. Different fats add different flavors to dishes and this should make for great variety in your diet!
Experimentation is key so play around to find out what you like the best. Healthy fats that you should have in your pantry and fridge? Butter, coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, animal fat or duck fat, lard, peanut oil, and sesame oil to name a few.
3. Low-carb recipes are your friends
The search is on for those yummy low-carb recipes and the internet offers so many choices and variety. The great thing about these recipes are that they are guaranteed delicious with plenty of fat found and built right into the ingredients that you need to make the dish!
4. Snack on high fats
Well, actually, as a rule, snacking is something to actually be avoided but sometimes, you will get a little bit hungry or too hungry and you need to snack. So if you’re going to snack, it’s best to reach for the snacks that are real-food with a lot of fat!
Choices should include nuts, hard boiled eggs, and cheese.
5. High-fat for garnish
The best way to incorporate fats into your dish, add them as toppings and garnishing to your dishes. From cheeses to avocados to cured meat, olives, seeds, and nuts, these are all considered flavorful and add great nutrients to the dish including the coveted fat we are looking for!
Shredded parmesan, grated cheddar, crumbled feta, melted gruyere, diced bacon, ground sausage, minced black olives, toasted sesame seeds, slivered almonds, chopped macadamia nuts and flaked coconuts make great choices.
Supplementations for your Low-Carb, High-Fat Diet
For those who still want to continue taking supplements while on a low-carb, high-fat diet, here are some recommended supplements that will be fine to take:
1. Prebiotics & Resistant Starch
The perfect companion to your low-carb diet, prebiotics help it supporting a healthy gut while sharpening the brain function and increases and improves the carbohydrate metabolism.
Resistant starch will ferment in the colon. There, the resistant starch will produce fatty acids like butyrate that will be beneficial to you and your body. Butyrate is known to help in improving the digestion. It also soothes out the gut lining. It can also provide you with stable energy to the brain and relieve any type of mental fatigue that is happening to you. It also helps in increasing cognitive resilience.
Both prebiotics and resistant starch can provide the same type of benefit for your gut health. The great thing about them both is that they do so in a way without risking the GI discomfort that may accompany a high volume and high intake of high-fiber vegetables.
This is known all over the world to be the second most common and second most high nutrient deficiency in the developed world. Being on a low-carb diet while regularly exercising to build and gain muscles, you suddenly become the perfect and prime target of having a magnesium deficiency as well as muscle twitching issues.
For those who are adjusting to their new diet of a low-carb diet, poor sleep quality is experienced. Along with it, you will also be experiencing an increased occurrence in nighttime leg cramping as well as an increase in feeling discomfort in your muscles while exercising and working out.
These are all caused by low magnesium in the body. Taking a magnesium, the supplement will help even out the deficiency.
3. Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)
Branched chain amino acids or BCAA’s are amino acids that are unique. Why? Because they are absorbed almost at once and work to prevent and stop the breakdown of the muscles. They do this by stimulating the growth of muscles.
So BCAAs, when it comes to reducing muscle wear and tear and damage, is really useful. Most importantly though if you’re on a low-carb diet, these BCAAs can help improve fat-burning. This improved fat burning then increases your body’s use of local fat stores for energy.
There are many BCAA products out in the market so you have to choose carefully and discern just as carefully, too. Some BCCAA come from sources that may cause you some alarm, sources such as bird feather and even human hair! Finding the perfect BCAA and researching on it thoroughly is important. Find the BCAA product that is natural and clean, preferably from a botanical source if you can get one.