How to Structure Your Diet and Workout Plan for Maximum Fat Loss

What if there was a way to get leaner and stronger without giving up your favourite treats? What if you could eat bacon, dark chocolate, and real butter - and still keep the pounds off? Believe it or not, these things are possible; all it takes is the right diet and smart training.

More and more fitness pros are switching to the ketogenic diet. This low-carb, high-fat eating plan delivers quick results and boosts overall health. Plus, it doesn't involve ready-made meals, smoothies, detox kits, and other fancy products that are nothing but a waste of money. Even though it works best when combined exercise, it can help you shed fat even if you're not a gym addict. Consistency is the key.

The keto diet used along with HIIT and HIT can transform your body and bring you closer to your fitness goals. The best part is that you won't have to spend hours cooking, counting calories, or weighing your food. Let's see how this dietary plan works and what it takes to build the body you're after!


The Ketogenic Diet at a Glance

This eating philosophy is spreading like wildfire in the fitness and bodybuilding community. However, this doesn't mean it's just for athletes. Anyone, including children and teens, can reap its benefits.

In fact, the ketogenic diet was initially designed for treating pediatric epilepsy. Back in the 1920s, researcher Rollin Woodyatt discovered that a low carb intake (10-15 grams per day) could help reduce the frequency and intensity of epileptic seizures. Approximately 95 per cent of the epileptic children involved in a study experienced major improvements after switching to this eating plan. A few months later, 60 per cent became seizure-free.

Today, this diet is best known for its fat-burning abilities. It's low in carbs, moderate in protein, and high in fats. Different versions exist, such as the cyclical ketogenic diet, the standard keto diet, and more. Choosing one over another depends on your needs and goals.


How Does the Keto Diet Work?

The ketogenic diet has a unique mechanism of action. It works by triggering ketosis, a metabolic state that forces your body to burn fat for fuel. Unlike other dietary plans, it addresses the underlying causes of weight gain, such as insulin resistance, hormonal imbalances, and high blood sugar levels. It not only promotes fat loss but also boosts overall health and well-being.

Under normal conditions, your body uses glycogen for fuel. The carbs consumed throughout the day are converted to glucose and then stored as glycogen in the liver and muscles. The excess is stored as fat. Glycogen serves as an energy source. When it levels drop, your body turns to protein or fats for energy.

The keto diet depletes your body of glycogen, forcing it to get more calories from stored fat. That's why it's important to consume protein in moderation; otherwise, your body will turn to protein for fuel. This dietary plan shifts your metabolism from burning sugar to burning fat.

Additionally, it increases satiety and suppresses hunger, so you'll end up eating less without even realising it. Low-carb, high-fat diets have been shown to reduce appetite to a greater extent than low-fat diets. This eating plan also helps reduce fluid retention and prevents insulin spikes, which further aids in weight loss.

When you cut back on sugars, your insulin levels drop. As a result, the kidneys start eliminating excess sodium, which in turn, rids your body of excess water. This causes rapid weight loss in the first 7-10 days. It's not unusual to see dieters who drop 6kgs or more in less than one week. 

Once your body enters ketosis, your liver begins to produce ketone bodies that serve as a source of fuel. In the meantime, you may experience the so-called keto flu, which may cause:

·       Muscle cramps

·       Low energy

·       Headaches

·       Digestive distress

·       Weakness

·       Sugar cravings

·       Mood swings


However, these symptoms can be linked to low levels of potassium when starting and go away within a week or so. From taking MCT oil to eating more fats, there are various ways to reach ketosis faster so you can start feeling better.


The Effects of Ketogenic Diets on Body Weight

This dietary plan has been subject to extensive research. Studies indicate that it leads to more significant weight loss than low-fat diets in the long term. Additionally, it appears to be particularly effective against visceral fat, which is a major contributing factor to insulin resistance, diabetes, heart disease, and metabolic problems.

Furthermore, ketogenic diets help improve body composition, especially when combined with exercise. Since you don’t have to limit your calorie intake, you'll preserve muscle more efficiently. With a traditional diet, muscle loss is inevitable. Ketones provide the energy needed to function at your peak.

Once your body enters ketosis, you'll have more energy and stamina, think clearer, sleep better, and feel less hungry throughout the day. Additionally, carb restriction triggers anti-inflammatory processes and improves mitochondrial function. It also keeps your blood sugar levels within normal limits, which helps prevent insulin spikes and sugar cravings. Your mood will stabilise too.

As you see, the keto diet can help you lose weight in more than one way. It suppresses appetite, curbs cravings, and increases fat burning. However, its benefits don't stop here. In the long run, this eating plan leads to improved brain function, reduced heart disease risk, and better cardiovascular health. On top of that, it balances your hormone levels and may even enhance athletic performance.


Potential Health Benefits

The ketogenic diet is a lifestyle, not a weight loss plan. Even though most people use it as a slimming tool, they soon realise its benefits for health. This dietary plan not only prevents obesity, but it may also lower your risk of diabetes by limiting the amount of insulin released after a meal. Research shows it that may improve insulin response, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels.

Despite its high-fat content, this eating pattern has positive effects on cholesterol and triglycerides. In a 2004-study, obese subjects who followed the keto diet for 24 weeks experienced significant reductions in body weight, triglycerides, bad cholesterol, and blood glucose levels. At the same time, they HDL (good) cholesterol levels increased.

Other studies suggest that low-carb, high-fat diets may help prevent cancer due to their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. Since cancer cells rely on sugar for fuel, cutting back on carbs can keep them from growing and spreading.

Ketogenic diets are particularly beneficial for mental health. The ketones produced by your liver fuel the brain and may help reverse cognitive impairment, neurological disorders, Alzheimer’s symptoms, and other psychiatric diseases. Moreover, this eating plan protects against stroke and premature death. High-carb diets have the opposite effect.


What Can You Eat?

Now that you know the benefits of ketogenic diets, you might wonder what to eat. A typical keto diet is about five per cent carbs, 15 to 20 per cent protein, and 70 to 80 per cent of fat. However, these numbers vary from one diet plan to another.

For example, the cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD), which is a favourite choice for gym goers and athletes, alternates between low-carb and high-carb days. You keep your carbs low for five or six days, load up on carbs for one or two days, and repeat. 

If you want to go out and eat over the weekend, limit your carbs Monday to Friday and then indulge in your favourite treats (within reason and depending on your goals). With this approach, you can build muscle, lose fat, and still have a social life.

Depending on the person are no set rules on the number of carbs to be consumed daily. It all comes down to how your body reacts. Some people can consume 80-100 grams of carbs per day without being without being thrown out of ketosis, due to their insulin sensitivity (These people are usually lean with proper muscle development.  Think fitness models and top-level athletes.). Others can only eat 10-20 grams of carbs a day. The best thing you can do is to start at the lower end with carbohydrates and track your results.

As a rule of thumb, eat foods with high fat content. Meat, eggs, butter, cream, fish, coconut oil, avocado, and seafood are all an excellent choice. Fruits should only be consumed occasionally. Choose those with a low glycemic index, such as berries. Grains, candy, pasta, rice, and soft drinks are off limits. An occasional glass of wine is perfectly fine.

Feel free to eat the following foods:

·       Poultry

·       Beef

·       Pork

·       Lamb

·       Organ meats

·       Game meat

·       Fatty fish

·       Shellfish

·       Eggs

·       Mayo

·       Butter

·       Ghee

·       Leafy greens

·       Cruciferous vegetables

·       Zucchini

·       Cucumbers

·       Avocado

·       Berries in small amounts

·       High-fat dairy (except for milk)

·       Nuts and seeds in moderation

·       Bone Broth

·       Unsweetened tea

·       Coffee

·       Water

·       Coconut or almond flour

·       Flax meal

·       Most types of oil (olive oil, Macadamia nut oil, coconut oil, etc.)

·       MCT oil

·       Cocoa butter

·       Coconut butter

·       Dark chocolate (at least 80 per cent cocoa)

·       Nut butter


Nuts, for instance, are high in fat, but they also contain carbs. Therefore, you should consume them in moderation. Milk and low-fat yoghurts are rich in sugar, so try to avoid them. You can prepare your food however you want - fried, roasted, boiled, grilled, or steamed. Don't be afraid to load up on fats. The more fat you eat, the faster you'll enter ketosis.

Avoid starches, bananas, citrus fruits, nightshades, and high-carb vegetables like squash, mushrooms, parsnip, and onions. Choose hard cheese as it tends to be lower in carbs. Replace grain flour with almond or coconut flour, flaxseed meal, or chia seed meal.

Experiment in the kitchen to keep your diet varied and satisfy your cravings. Try delicious keto-friendly recipes.

Remember, the keto diet is anything but boring! You can recreate most recipes using keto-friendly ingredients.


Training on a Keto Diet

The ketogenic diet works best when combined with high-intensity training and weightlifting. Since your body is low on carbs, steady state cardio won't do the trick. You'll end up feeling sluggish and craving sugar. Plus, cardio burns both muscle and fat. Muscle breakdown is a common concern while on a low-carb diet.

HIIT (high-intensity interval training) and HIT (High-Intensity Training), on the other hand, help preserve muscle and torch fat without draining your energy. Not to mention that you'll spend less time in the gym!

These workout methods can be applied to strength training to speed up your progress. Furthermore, they deplete your glycogen stores, helping you enter ketosis faster and remain in this state.

Contrary to popular belief, the keto diet doesn’t affect workout performance. Om the contrary, it increases fat burning during exercise, improves body composition, and keep your energy up. Protein synthesis, which plays a crucial role in muscle growth, does not require carbs. In a low-carb environment, your body can use fat to sustain its energy levels and build new tissues.


There are endless ways to incorporate HIIT into your routine. Let's see some examples:

·       30-second sprints

·       30-second walk

·       Repeat 8-10 times


·       30-second push-ups

·       30-second rest

·       Repeat 10 times


·       30-second mountain climbers

·       30-second rest

·       30-second push-ups

·       30-second rest

·       30-second jumping jacks

·       30-second rest

·       30-second plank jacks

·       30-second rest

·       30-second half-squats

·       30-second rest

·       And so on...


·       30-second sprints

·       30-second rest

·       30-second push-ups

·       30-second rest

·       30-second squats

·       Repeat for as many rounds as you like

With HIIT, you'll burn more calories and fat in less time. Your metabolic rate will increase too. The keto diet will further improve your results, leading to massive fat loss and better appetite control.   Check out more information on hit HERE.

As far as weight training goes, use the same rules. Work out at high intensity. Eat your daily carbs before or after exercise. If you prefer the cyclical ketogenic diet and you are a very lean athlete, load up on carbs on your toughest workout days, such as when training back or legs.

-Hamish Creighton.

"It gets easier. Every day it gets a little easier. But you got to do it every day. That's the hard part. But it does get easier."
- Wise Monkey on BoJack Horseman season 2 ending.

All memberships at Creighton Personal Training come with our FREE nutritional kickstart to help you understand how this all works for you and your lifestyle.