Dr. Josh Axe, DNM, DC, CNS, is a doctor of natural medicine, clinical nutritionist and author with a passion to help people get well using food as medicine. He’s the author of the books “Eat Dirt: Why Leaky Gut May Be the Root Cause of Your Health Problems,” “Essential Oils: Ancient Medicine” and the upcoming “Keto Diet: Your 30-Day Plan to Lose Weight, Balance Hormones, Boost Brain Health, and Reverse Disease” (February 2019, published by Little, Brown Spark). He’s a co-founder of Ancient Nutrition, a health company where the mission is to restore health, strength and vitality by providing history’s healthiest whole food nutrients to the modern world.
Failing to allow yourself a few treats or indulgences will only set you up for failure in the future. Allow yourself some candy or a beer along the way and you’ll be more likely to stick with a program over time. Of course every ride doesn’t deserve a double scoop of ice cream or a half dozen beers as reward. Be judicious and selective on the treats. Similarly, don’t reduce your overall calories significantly if you are riding more. You may even need to eat more to actually fuel your weight loss. Measure your success by your mood. If you’re feeling grumpy and deprived, you are pushing too hard.
Dirty keto diet: “Dirty” is the apt term, as these version of keto follows the same strict percentages (75/20/5 of fat/protein/carbs) but rather than focusing on healthy versions of fat like coconut oil and wild salmon, you’re free to eat naughty but still keto friendly foods like bacon, sausage, pork rinds, diet sodas and even keto fast food. I do NOT recommend this.

Usually the body uses glucose (a form of sugar) from carbohydrates (found in foods like sugar, bread or pasta) for its energy source. Chemicals called ketones are made when the body uses fat for energy (this is called ‘ketosis’). With the ketogenic diet, the body mostly uses ketones instead of glucose for its energy source. Research has shown that a particular fatty acid, decanoic acid, may be involved in the way the diet works. 


In essence, it is a diet that causes the body to release ketones into the bloodstream. Most cells prefer to use blood sugar, which comes from carbohydrates, as the body’s main source of energy. In the absence of circulating blood sugar from food, we start breaking down stored fat into molecules called ketone bodies (the process is called ketosis). Once you reach ketosis, most cells will use ketone bodies to generate energy until we start eating carbohydrates again. The shift, from using circulating glucose to breaking down stored fat as a source of energy, usually happens over two to four days of eating fewer than 20 to 50 grams of carbohydrates per day. Keep in mind that this is a highly individualized process, and some people need a more restricted diet to start producing enough ketones.
Hi Gigi, Low carb and keto is about the balance of macronutrients eaten (fat, protein and carbs), not specifically meat or lack thereof. Most people on keto do eat meat, though some people do vegetarian keto. Fat is actually necessary for many body processes. There is no issue for the kidneys with a high fat diet, but if you eat too much protein that isn’t great for the kidneys. It’s a common misconception that keto is high protein (it isn’t). Keto is great for diabetics as it naturally helps stabilize insulin. All of this being said, please know I’m not a doctor and you should consult your doctor on any medical questions or before starting any diet. If you have more questions that aren’t medical questions, I recommend our low carb & keto support group here.
Before I go any further there are times in an athlete’s training schedule when it is OK and not OK to lose weight. After the season is over and during your base phase are great opportunities to trim the fat.  During your weight program or once you start your intensity and begin racing are not. Instead back up and try modifying your diet with the go fast and go slow foods described above. If it’s the right time of year to cut calories try some of these tricks I’ve successfully used in the past:
It’s not always about how much you eat, but the nutritional balance of carbohydrates, fats, and protein in what you’re eating. Endurance athletes need extra carbs to fuel their rides, fat to feel satiated, and protein to repair your muscles post-workout. It usually isn’t necessary to make radical adjustments to achieve this balance—small changes work best. For instance, don’t eat a whole bowl of chili with meat. Instead, fill half the bowl with brown rice, then ladle a small amount of chili on top. You can also try substituting fat-free yogurt for sour cream and fruit for sweets.
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