The ketogenic diet is a high fat, moderate protein, and very low carbohydrate diet.
Through the restriction of carbohydrates, it re-programs your metabolism to burn your fat stores for fuel rather than using the glycogen stored in your muscles.
The low-carb intake helps to keep your blood sugar levels from spiking. This allows your fat cells to begin releasing fatty acids, which your liver will then breakdown to produce what are called "ketones."
Ketosis is the physiological state that is achieved when your body breaks down ketones for energy rather than the glucose from carbohydrates.
Benefits (other than weight loss) include increased energy, improved performance, improved cognitive function, better digestion, mental clarity, and slowing down of the aging process.
Listen as Drew Manning, creator of the Keto Jumpstart Program, joins host Lisa Davis to explain how the keto diet works and why it might be the solution you've been searching for.
Buy on AmazonFit2Fat2Fit: The Unexpected Lessons from Gaining and Losing 75 lbs on Purpose
Benefits of the Keto Diet with Drew Manning
This episode of Talk Fitness is in partnership with The Vitamin Shoppe where knowledgeable health enthusiasts are standing by to help you thrive every day.
Lisa Davis (Host): So glad you are listening to Talk Fitness Today. Now my other show Talk Healthy Today, we talk everything health and wellness. We have a Foodie Friday but here on Talk Fitness Today it is all fitness, all the time. Now part of fitness though is what you are putting into your body. Nutrition is a huge part and here to talk about this and specifically, we are going to focus on the keto experience, I’ll call it; is the wonderful Drew Manning. He is a New York Times bestselling author of the book “Fit 2 Fat 2 Fit.” He is best known for his Fit2Fat2 Fit.com experiment that went viral online and he has been on my other show Talk Healthy Today and I’m such a fan. Heh Drew.
Drew Manning (Guest): Heh Lisa. How are you?
Lisa: I’m good. How are you doing?
Drew: I’m doing fantastic. Thank you so much for having me on again.
Lisa: Well, I love talking to you Drew and I’m just so impressed. Now for people who have been living under a rock, and don’t know about your Fit to Fat to Fit, tell us a little bit about that and then we are going to jump into the keto experience or the keto diet or I think I named it the keto experience or just eating keto, whatever you want to say.
Drew: Yeah, for sure. So, in a nutshell, my Fit 2 Fat 2 Fit journey which I did about six years ago was something I documented online and on my website where I was this personal trainer who intentionally got fat on purpose gaining 75 pounds in six months. I stopped exercising, ate an unrestricted diet and documented the weight gaining process so that I could better understand where my clients were coming from because there was a disconnect between them and me because I grew up my entire life in shape and I never knew any different and so I figured this would give me a better understanding which it totally did. It was so humbling. Way harder than I thought it would be. Anyways, I did get back to fit which is why it is called Fit to Fat to Fit. But I learned so many valuable lessons along the way and that is what inspired me to write a book and kind of create this brand Fit to Fat to Fit which is about having empathy for your clients, more respect and a better understanding. So, that’s my Fit to Fat to Fit journey in a nutshell.
Lisa: You know, I have to say, empathy is so important in this industry and I feel like it is lacking so what you have done is tremendous. I also, oh my gosh, my daughter and I are addicted to your Fit to Fat to Fit program airing on A & E where we and that is like a mouthful. Say that three times fast, forget about it. You know, just seeing these trainers and especially the ones that are really cocky, right and they are like oh why doesn’t this person just get off their butt and they are like holy crap I can’t get off my butt now that I have been stuffing it full of just you know and even just like mainstream food right, standard American diet. We are not talking about eating Twinkies all day.
Drew: Yeah, exactly and that is why I wanted to create the TV show was because I felt like in the fitness industry especially, the empathy was lacking and putting these trainers kind of in the shoes of their clients for a short period of time does humble them and helps them to understand it is not as easy as they think it is and you see it when they go through it of just kind of how hard it can be for the client and that way, they are more understanding, more respectful and have more empathy; especially on the mental and emotional side.
Lisa: Exactly. Alright, let’s jump into keto. Tell us what it is, for people who are totally new.
Drew: So, the keto diet is basically or ketosis is a different metabolic state that your body can enter into when you stop giving it food or glucose, right. So, most of us, we were raised on carbohydrates, especially in America. We love our carbs and so we are mostly growing off of glucose out entire life, but what happens if you stop eating today, would you die tomorrow? No, you would feel like you are going to die, but actually, your body can shift over into a state of ketosis where it is using fat as energy even though you are not giving it any food. So, your body can run a long time without giving it any food, maybe a month or two months or the world record actually is in the 1970s this 500-pound man lived off of his own fat for 382 days consecutively with no food, just water, vitamins and minerals. And so, basically, it is a different metabolic state where your body can convert fat into energy. So, that what keto is in a nutshell. Now that doesn’t mean you need to starve yourself, but you can hack that by doing a keto diet which is a high fat, moderate protein, low carb diet. So, you are eating around 70% of your calories from fat, 25% from protein and 5% from carbs. And that is where it is different than Adkins. A lot of people think, “Well, what’s the difference between this and Atkins?” Well, Atkins was more of a high protein, high-fat, low-carb diet. But the problem is, that your body can convert protein into glucose if you eat too much of it. So, in order to be in ketosis, you actually have to moderate the amount of protein you eat so it is not as much as people think and most of your calories come from fat which your body can’t convert into glucose.
Lisa: Now are you personally doing this right now? Are you on a keto type of plan? And how is it working for you?
Drew: Yeah, so I have been on it for a few years and I will tell you my first experience with it and I even went on the Dr. Oz show a couple of summers ago, talking about the keto diet and why I like it. And a lot of people think it’s a diet because it is about weight loss; but really, it is so much more than that. But my first experience with the keto diet, shifting over from eating five to six meals a day, every three hours which is what we were taught, you know kind of to keep your metabolism going; I started eating two meals a day, but the keto diet 70% fat, 25% protein and 5% carbs and the thing I noticed is that I was never as hungry constantly as I was. I could go six to seven hours between meals and feel fine but the biggest thing that I noticed, was my brain felt so much sharper. My cognitive function was improved. My mental clarity, my focus, my energy throughout the day, my digestion was so much better, my performance in the gym was actually about the same, so it wasn’t like better or worse and my body composition stayed about the same. So, I didn’t really lose weight or lose fat, although it can be used for that, I just felt like it was nutrition for my brain and that is why I became such a big fan of it because I didn’t have to be a slave to food, I didn’t have to meal prep and bring my food with me everywhere I went, eating every three hours constantly throughout the day and never taking a break. So, now sometimes I eat once a day, sometimes I eat twice a day. I eat when I’m hungry and I stop when I’m full but it is just, it is nutrition for your brain is the way I see it.
Lisa: Now that’s interesting about the nutrition for your brain in terms of, so it helps your brain which is great, I definitely need to do this. My brain needs all the help it can get. But that you didn’t lose weight, but for some people they do, so why do you think some people do and some people don’t? Does it depend on how much you are eating or how much you are working out, all that?
Drew: Yeah, so it still comes down to you know how many calories you are putting in versus how many calories you are burning. At the end of the day, my goal wasn’t to lose weight or to lose fat. So, just because you are doing keto doesn’t mean you are going to lose weight or lose fat because, my goal was to not lose weight. I kind of wanted to maintain where I was at. Now, some people, a lot of people do see benefits of going from a standard American diet to a keto diet where they will start to use their fat as an energy source because they are not as hungry as often, so most people will be at a calorie deficit because they are not feeling the need to eat as often, whereas when you eat glucose, carbs, your body will burn through that so quickly, it is a fast burning energy, whereas ketones are a slow sustained burning energy for your body and eating that much fat, kind of makes you feel satiated for a longer period of time, so you don’t feel the need to eat every three hours. So, for me, you know, I wasn’t trying to lose weight or lose fat on it to be honest with you because I wanted my performance in the gym to be just as good and I wanted to maintain my lean muscle mass and I was already pretty lean, I wasn’t trying to get like 5% body fat or anything like that. But that’s why I loved it because it was you know my brain was so much sharper.
Lisa: Now it sounds like for people who do want to lose weight and do better in the gym, would you say the keto helps, because it sounds like you are going to have more energy overall, not just for your brain?
Drew: Yes, but here’s the thing, is there’s a transitionary period of going from glucose to ketones. Like I said, your body has been adapted to eating glucose its whole life and now you are trying to say okay, no more fast burning energy from glucose, now we are going to use these things called ketones which your body has never really used a whole lot or become efficient at using and there’s a transitionary period, so people might experience what is called keto flu which scares people away from trying keto, because they kind of feel lightheaded or brain fog at first or lack of energy because their body doesn’t know how to use ketones yet. So, the way I kind of explain it is let’s say we have a fire and we throw lighter fluid or paper on the fire. What’s going to happen? It’s going to light up quick, immediately. That is glucose, the fast burning energy. Ketones are the coal or the log to the fire that are just a slow sustained burning energy source for your body and so, that’s kind of what is happening when you switch over from glucose to ketones, is your body needs to learn how to use ketones as an energy source, but once it does, after about a week or two, then you feel so much better and you feel so much more optimal. Your brain is more efficient running off ketones. Your organs, your muscles, are a lot more efficient running off ketones versus glucose, but it just takes a couple of weeks to become adapted at first, so people just need to learn to be patient, drink lots of water, eat lots of salt like I know it sounds crazy, but it will help with the keto flu symptoms and the transition will be so much easier if you do that.
Lisa: Oh, that is so good to know. And it nice that you said like a week or two, so, it is not a super long time that you have to feel crummy and it is worth it in the end if you can feel better.
Drew: Some people, sorry go ahead.
Lisa: Oh no, that’s all. I’m just saying I think it is good that you gave us a little time so we are not like is it how many months is this?
Drew: Well some people can take longer, some people it’s quicker and some people don’t experience the keto flu at all, but some people do and they think wow man, this is, I feel horrible, this isn’t working for me. Well, you just have to be patient with yourself. So, I just tell people give it like one to two weeks and then your body should start to learn how to use ketones but the longer you do it and the more consistent, you stay at it, then you start to feel more and more optimal over time because your body is learning, okay I’m using ketones now as an energy source and then it will adapt to that for sure.
Lisa: Alright, so take us through like breakfast, lunch and dinner. I know you said you usually just have one meal or two, but for people who want to start with three and maybe they are a little smaller, because they are having three meals. But you know to keep with what they are accustomed to at first, then, right, maybe cut down.
Drew: Yeah. Yeah, so, basically, the way I kind of coach people on this because I have an online program that kind of walks people through a 60-day intro to keto. And so basically, what works for most people is they wake up, they drink some water, and then I’ll have them have what is called bullet proof coffee, so we do coffee, we will add in some grass-fed butter, some coconut oil or some MCT oil, some really healthy fats for your brain, because your brain likes to use fats as an energy source, especially first thing in the morning and that will actually help you feel satiated. So, you are adding butter and coconut oil and maybe some cinnamon, some stevia and you blend that up and that is like your bullet proof coffee and that is actually your breakfast. So, when people email me and say this isn’t breakfast, where’s my pancakes and eggs and I’m like trust me, this – you will feel really full just having this for breakfast. And then I’ll have – you know most people go workout or they will go to work for the rest of the day and then you know when they get hungry around 11 or 12; which is most people, for lunch you know they will have something that is really high in fat, so what a good source of healthy fat is whole eggs, with the yolk included, even though we have been taught, okay stay away from egg yolks because of cholesterol, blah, blah, blah. That’s old science. But eat the whole egg, so maybe like 3-4 whole eggs with like a tablespoon of butter and sauté it with some spinach or kale or broccoli, whatever kind of nutrient dense vegetables you want to add in there and then you can also add in some full fat cheeses, if you like cheese and that is kind of like my go to lunch and then for dinner, you could do a couple of grass fed burgers, with bacon and avocado and you have some bacon avocado burgers without the bun of course, and then anytime you have vegetables, sauté them in some type of healthy fat, so you know grass-fed butter or ghee or coconut oil or really healthy fats, avocado oil as well and add in some avocados which are really high in fat and that is like a typical day for most people. And people feel really satiated and not having to eat constantly throughout the day and that’s a typical day on the keto diet for me and for the people that I have been coaching for a couple of years now.
Lisa: Now what about for people who don’t do dairy whether they are lactose intolerant or they have other issues or they are vegan, can they do keto as well. Can they just substitute more coconut and avocado oils?
Drew: Absolutely. Yup and I have so many vegetarians and vegans that are doing keto. You just need to learn to adjust the types of fats that you are adding in. So, yes, if you are a vegetarian or vegan, you are going to be adding in a lot more coconut products so coconut butter, coconut oil, coconut flakes, you know full fat coconut milk, those kinds of things you are going to need to add in and you know maybe some more avocados and if you are vegetarian, you do eggs and that’s fine, but if not , then you are going to have to find other sources of fattier cuts of not meat obviously, but you know some people will do fish, but yeah, if you are a vegan, it is a little bit harder, I’m not going to lie. Because you are not adding in any type of fattier cuts of meat; you have to get that from things like avocados and coconut mostly.
Lisa: Now I enjoy a huge salad everyday with like tomatoes, cucumbers, beets, because you mentioned to cook the vegetables, but is there room on this to have raw vegetables as well? And also cook some in the healthy oils?
Drew: Absolutely. So, one of my go to meals is actually I call it the keto man salad. But you can make a woman version of it too. It is- I put the man in it because it is really big. It’s huge. It is like a huge salad. So, yes, I do a bunch of raw spinach and raw kale, raw broccoli, raw cauliflower, and then I will add in some almonds or some cashews and then I will add in some olive oil, some sea salt, some cayenne pepper, some apple cider vinegar, and then I will add in my meat. So, you know whatever type of meat that you want to throw in there whether it is chicken sausages go really well with this or any type of meat that you want to add in and then I kind of just shake it up and that’s like one of my go to meals. But it is pretty big, just to get enough calories, but yeah you are adding in you know maybe a fourth of a cup to half a cup of olive oil, extra virgin olive oil with all the seasonings and those vegetables and that is kind of my – sometimes I will have that three or four times a week.
Lisa: Oh, that sounds so good. Now does super dark chocolate, low sugar content fit anywhere or do you have to take out all sugar, because every day, I have some, it is 75-85% chocolate. Now I am not talking the whole bar, I mean some days I do slip, no, I don’t eat the whole bar, but just a few squares. I know you are only supposed to have one, but I’m just – but that is the only sugar I’m getting other than from vegetables or a little bit of fruit. Oh, speaking of fruit, so chocolate and fruit, let’s talk about that.
Drew: Yeah, so let’s talk about that. So, at the end of the day, it all comes down to the amount of carbohydrates you are putting gin your body. So, I tell people count their carbs, their total carbs for the day, not net carbs but total carbs. So, I try and limit them to 30 grams or less for the entire day for the first 30 days until they become adapted. But for me, I have been doing this for so long, I can eat more carbs than your average person because I work out, I have a little bit more lean muscle mass than most people, so I can get away with like 50-60 grams of carbs per day, but at first, it is 30 grams of total carbs or less. So, if you do want your chocolate or your fruit, just make sure you make room for that in your total carbs for the day so that you are still 30 grams or less. So, you can have anything you want as long as it is 30 grams or less; but you are going to get more bang for your buck getting most of those carbs from nutrient dense non-starchy vegetables like I mentioned; broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, kale, etc. So, you can make room for those you know cheat meals every now and then but for the first 30 days, you have to stay consistent and keep it 30 grams or less.
Lisa: And what have you heard from the people who have done your program?
Drew: Oh man, so many things. So, people – well here’s the thing with the keto diet. It does work for weight loss or fat loss if you are still at a calorie deficit. But there are so many other therapeutic applications to the keto diet, which is why it is so remarkable. So, things like epilepsy and seizures and traumatic brain injury and Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s; any kind of disease of the brain; ketones provide a neuroprotective benefit for your brain. So, even people with like migraines or headaches completely gone on top of weight loss and fat loss of course, that’s the biggest thing that people notice, but there are so many other therapeutic applications to the keto diet other than weight loss or fat loss. So, people with type II diabetes, this would be ideal for them because it helps to regulate insulin and balance out hormones as well, so people with thyroid issues or testosterone issues adding in the healthy fats from these you know whether it is vegetable or animal sources will help balance out hormones as well and so, you know, it’s the huge list of benefits for the keto diet.
Lisa: That is so cool. Alright, so this is Talk Fitness Today, so I always ask the guests certain questions. So, tell us, what do you have in your gym bag when you go work out Drew?
Drew: Honestly, I’m a minimalist when it comes to my gym bag. Very simple, I have – so the one supplement that I do take, I kind of don’t take as many supplements as I used to on the keto diet, so the one supplement I do take is these things called exogenous ketones which basically are a supplemental form of ketones that you can ingest that you know, they make them taste really good nowadays. It is a newer supplement. The technology is a few years old and so, it puts your body in stimulated version of ketosis within you know 30 minutes of taking it which is remarkable. So, it is a great pre-workout instead of the hyped-up caffeine stuff that you can find just at Walmart, right. So, I have that, I have some [inaudible][00:18:15] sleeves, I have a jump rope and I think that is it. And my headphones.
Lisa: See, that’s good. Now I forgot who I asked another guy, oh my Gosh it was like I sounded like he was a cat in the hat and you know, if you ever watched that show on the Cat in the Hat knows a lot about that and he takes off the hat and there is like 35 things in his hat. Like what kind of gym bag do you have? Like a magic gym bag. Alright and what are some of your favorite types of cardio?
Drew: That’s a great question. I don’t do a whole lot of cardio or traditional cardio. If I’m doing cardio, it is going to be HIT, high intensity interval training. So, it is short, quick, bursts of high intensity followed by a recovery period and repeat that interval. So, one of the things I’m liking these days is called the Prowler pushes, so it is like these sleds with weights on them and you sprint down like a turf if you will, some gyms have them, some gyms don’t, but if they do have these Prowler sleds, they are awesome so you add weight to it and you just kind of put it in front to you and you push it as fast as you can and that will exhaust you, so I do maybe like a 20-second sprint followed by 30 or 40-second recovery, repeat that 10-15 times. I’m wiped out for the day.
Lisa: See, that’s incredible. I need to do that. My husband does that and he will come home drenched. I’m like you have been gone ten minutes.
Drew: You should try it out. It is such a great workout.
Lisa: I should. It really you know I just started swimming and so I have been kind of doing it in the pool a bit like I’ll swim kind of normal and then I’ll just all out and then I’ll swim – it’s pretty good, yeah, I mean definitely gets my heartrate up. Now what about using body weight exercises? Is that something you are a fan of? Doing the pushups, the pullups the thing on a chair with you know triceps dips I mean there are so many cool things you can do nowadays.
Drew: Yeah, because at the end of the day, you don’t really need a gym to get a good workout in and so some days when I’m busy, like I’m on the road, I travel a lot or you know I have two daughters so I’m busy with life and I just don’t have time to go to the gym. I know I can get a workout no matter what I have because we have this thing called gravity and we have these bodies with weight so that equals resistance training. You don’t need a bench press or a squat rack to get in a good workout. So, just air squats and pushups and burpees and dips and sit ups and you know if you have a pull up bar from home, pull ups. There are so many great things you can do from home that are awesome or just get out in nature and go hike up a hill and that’s a great workout.
Lisa: Oh, it sure is. Drew you are so much fun. I love having you on my shows. Tell us all the ways that we can learn more about you?
Drew: Yeah, so, if you just got to www.fit2fat2.com you can access all of my programs, my book, you know you can listen to my podcasts on there and all my social media handles are fit2fat2fit, just like my book and my website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and if you do want to try the keto, if you want to do some research, just got to www.keto.fit2fat2fit.com if you want to try it out.
Lisa: That’s awesome. Yeah, I want to do your program. It’s a 60-day program you said?
Drew: A 60-day program yup, I’ll send it to you and you should do an experiment, see how it goes and then do an episode on it.
Lisa: Oh my gosh, completely. I love that idea.
Drew: And I’ll be your coach.
Lisa: Whoo-hoo. Alright, oh my goodness, you have got a deal. Alright I want to thank everyone for listening to Talk Fitness Today. You can follow us on Twitter at Talk Fitness 2day, also on Snapchat and just keep listening for more great information on fitness and nutrition. Stay well.