CKD's for the Police Academy?

"Hello James, I have some diet questions: I am 6'2" and 280 pounds. I have lost 40 lbs so far that has been from fasting. I started hitting the gym and jogging. I have been reading about Ketone diets. Is this something that you would recommend for me? I am trying to prepare for the Police Academy. Do you have any advice? I would love any feed back. Thanks, keep up all the good work."

-MV


My Answer: Although ketogenic diets are excellent diets for fat loss, they're not the greatest diets for athletic training, such as preparing for the police academy. The reason is two-fold:

1) Carbs are the primary fuel source for explosive bursts of energy. Ketones just aren't that great of a fuel source when it comes to athletics.

2) Carbs are stored in your muscles as glycogen, and glycogen retains a lot of water. This water retention helps with lubrication of your joints, which is helpful when you're doing PT/DT (physical training, defensive tactics) in the academy.

Nevertheless, a cyclical ketogenic diet can help you lose a lot of fat while retaining muscle. It depends on how far off the academy is. If you have more than a month before the academy starts, then try the CKD and lose as much fat as you can. If you're starting the academy in January 2010, then keep doing what you're doing that's working. The academy is not the time to change things up and start experimenting.

Fasting is OK. Old-time bodybuilders have been known to fast from time to time to detoxify their digestive systems from phases of heavy meat eating. But don't fast for too long, since you'll lose a lot of muscle mass. Muscle is the engine that burns fuel (fat), and you want to maintain that larger engine to burn more fuel. If you fast for too long, then your body breaks down muscle (a process known as catabolism) and you end up with a slower metabolism because your "engine" is now smaller.

A better way to detoxify your body is to do protein pulsing. This is similar to the Warrior Diet, where you fast throughout the day and eat one large meal for dinner. Instead of fasting throughout the day, however, just eat a lot of salads, fruits, nuts and seeds. Drink coffee in the morning, green tea and water throughout the day. For dinner, eat a regular meal.

In other words, follow a low carb, low calorie vegetarian diet throughout the day, then eat whatever you want (within reason of course) for dinner. This is a far better way to detoxify your body and lose weight in the long run than fasting, because it mitigates hunger to some degree and doesn't put your body in a catabolic state.
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