Is Keto Right For You?
How awesome would it be to put bacon on everything and call it a “health food”? Or have a well-marbled steak with a side of deep fried potatoes ½ cup of cheddar cheese melted on top? Maybe we don’t want to go too wild and just eat a whole stick of butter for an afternoon snack?
Surprisingly, many advocates of the ketogenic diet argue exactly that: eat nearly zero carbs and a lot of fat you too could have better health, brain function, sports performance, and even a six pack.
Does it sound too good to be true?
In this article, we’ll explore:
Don’t worry about learning every detail; getting the gist of it will likely be enough to decide if it’s right for you.
Genesis of the Ketogenic Diet
Food and the brain.
There’s mounting evidence that there is a connection between our diets and many brain disorders like epilepsy, MS, PD, Alzheimer’s and even people who’ve suffered from traumatic brain injuries.
Key note: in 1921, endocrinology researcher Rollin Woodyatt noted that the same chemical environment happened in the body during both starvation and during a diet that was very low in carbohydrates and very high in fat.
Also in 1921, Dr. Russell Wilder theorized: could a person get the health benefits of fasting without actually fasting?
Wilder experimented with the “ketogenic diet” at the Mayo Clinic on children with epilepsy.
Their results: the epilepsy seemed to improve on the diet and the kids seemed to have improved cognitive function and behaved better in general.
Pretty promising results.
These results were later proven by several medical authorities and the ketogenic diet for children suffering from epilepsy entered medical textbooks around 1940.
New demographics that may benefit from a ketogenic diet expanded to the aging, contact sports, and military populations by 2016.
Food and the body.
In the 1980s and 1990s, shortly after the peak of the sport, body builders and physique athletes became curious about the ketogenic diet.
However, this population had completely different goals. No worries here about brain health or vitality – just get a jacked and cut as possible.
And keto seemed too good to be true: you could eat bacon, fatty meats, butter, and cream and still get abs.
Surprisingly, many of these athletes were staying competitive with an extreme diet in opposition to the status quo and common knowledge at the time.
Ketones decrease oxidative stress, boost antioxidants and scavenge free radicals, helping with some types of metabolic dysfunction.
Could a ketogenic diet really help with performance, increase longevity, and have you looking great in your birthday suit?
The answer, as always, is:
To understand why, we’ll look at:
• the science of ketosis
• a real life ketogenic diet
• ideal candidates for keto (and less-than-optimal candidates)
• what it all means for you
For those of you in a hurry, here's my quick take on the matter for the general population:
When it comes to sustainable fat loss, I do not recommend the ketogenic diet. There just isn’t an advantage to using keto to burn fat. Lose weight, yes. Body fat, no.
What is a ketogenic diet?
Take a look at the differences in macronutrient ratios for a few different eating plans:
Meal Plan Protein Carb Fat
Mixed Meal 30% 40% 30%
Paleo Meal 40% 20% 40%
Low Carb Meal 40% 10% 50%
Ketogenic Meal 20% 5% 75%
It’s hard to picture “low carb, high fat” on a plate.
Take a look at how these meals differ:
What stands out in the ketogenic diet?
For the first three meals protein is essentially the same, with a little variation.
Ketogenic diets, on the other hand, have less protein. This makes muscle maintenance and muscle gain more difficult.
Extremely low in carbs.
I suggest the mixed plate for the general population, consisting of high-fiber, slow-digesting carbs like beans, fruits, whole grains, and starchy vegetables.
The Paleo plate may have a little fewer carbs but completely eliminates beans and legumes.
The low carb plate has fewer carbohydrates than the first two, but still have a small amount – hopefully coming from vegetables.
The ketogenic meal is aiming for nearly zero carbs. Around 10-15 grams of carbs a day are typically recommended.
Picture it: your whole day of carbs in just one handful of grapes. This lack of carbs can make it harder to have quality higher intensity workouts.
Very high in fat.
I suggest about 1-2 thumb-sized portions of fat-dense foods (olive oil, coconut oil, avocado, cheese, cashews, etc.) per meal. This is dependent on your activity level and your goals.
The ketogenic meal is high fat, even up to 90% of the total energy intake.
Keto is the most extreme and limited of all four of these styles of eating.
Take a look at what you can eat on a ketogenic diet:
A little bit of protein: meat, poultry, fish, seafood, eggs.
A large amount of high-fat foods: avocado, coconut milk/oil, olive oil, nut and nut butters, bacon, egg yolks, butter, cheese.
A very small amount of carbohydrate vegetables: leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, cucumber, tomatoes, celery, peppers.
Here’s what you can’t eat on a keto diet: most dairy, fruit, grains, starchy vegetables, sweet vegetables like beets and carrots, processed foods (except for pork rinds).
This is your keto menu: stay as close to no-carbohydrate as possible, choose a limited option of high-fat foods, consume very little protein.
Is it even worth all the effort?
For a certain group of people, ketosis may be helpful for them, while for other people it may not be helpful and for others it could actually be harmful. Let’s look at why that’s the case.
What is ketosis?
Ketones are a group of compounds with a specific structure which can be used as energy sources during starvation, fasting, or when carb intake is very low.
Our bodies release fatty acids from adipose tissue (our stored body fat).
These fatty acids soon enter other cells and combine with a co-enzyme to form acetyl-CoA chains and enters the mitochondria, going through the Kreb’s cycle to be broken down into acetyl-CoA units by bunch of reactions called β-oxidation.
This is where the ketones are formed and then released by the liver into the blood.
It's a time-consuming process, the body is unable to quickly give energy in this way.
Essentially, any cell that needs energy can use ketones, but our brain will be gobbling them up the quickest.
Ketosis occurs when blood ketones are higher than normal either through changes in the diet which cause super-low blood sugar levels or through supplementation without considering blood sugar levels.
Ketones bodies could be thought of as a fourth energy source (macronutrients: fats, carbohydrates, and proteins being the primary 3). On the other hand, alcohol can also be used for energy. Just because we can metabolize something doesn’t mean that we should.
During ketosis, our bodies increase acidity, causing our bodies to fight back to equilibrium, a neutral ph. Our bodies respond by causing CO2 levels to change in our blood, buffering with alkaline molecules, absorbing hydrogen ions, or excreting H2P and ammonium ions.
For the average healthy person ketosis and brief fasting is generally seen as safe.
We make ketone bodies naturally (ketogenesis). It’s super easy to do. Just starve yourself! After about 75 hours of starvation, ketogenesis is happening – fun!
This ketosis you’re in is an effect of fasting.
So, the health effects of fasting may actually be due to ketosis itself instead of it being due to a restriction of calories.
Like I mentioned before, nearly 20% of our total energy expenditure is from our brains.
Think about it.
If your brain is more active, or growing, you’ll go into ketosis more quickly.
An adult will take around 75 hours, a baby will be in ketosis after just a handful of hours without nursing.
When eating "normally", our brain gets enough energy from glucose that is easily passed through the blood-brain barrier.
After not eating for a few days, we run out of glycogen and begin searching for other sources of energy.
The process of running out of glycogen is the main reason why people see drastic weight loss initially during ketosis. It’s 3-parts H2O to 1-part glycogen.
All this water and glycogen come back into the body once "normal" eating habits resume.
Cheat the system: a ketogenic diet.
Preventing the intake of carbohydrates but providing calories and nutrients in fats plus a little protein we can get the same effects as starvation: ketosis.
It takes around the same amount of time (3 days or so) for the ketogenic diet to start to do what it does.
Measuring your ketosis.
Test for ketones in the urine with something called Ketostix, however, it’s not a reliable test as it doesn’t tell you if you’re in ketosis, but rather if you’re getting rid of excess ketones. Totally different story there.
Make the test murkier, Ketostix just measure acetoacetate and not D-β-hydroxybutyrate, so it’s missing half the puzzle pieces.
Ketone excretion can change even if we’re in ketosis still. You can, in theory, see different readings on the Ketostix while still having the same degree of ketosis occurring in the body.
Supplementing with ketones.
There are still human studies going on to determine the efficacy of supplementing with D-β-hydroxybutyrate to raise the level of ketone bodies in the blood without being in ketogenesis.
How cool would it be if we could get the health benefits of ketosis without having to starve ourselves or follow a super restrictive diet?
We still need a decade or two to determine if that’s a possibility.
The jury is still out on that.
We can agree that humans aren’t rats, right?
Take the following results with that in mind as all the tests were done on rats.
D-β-hydroxybutyrate supplementation made some rats eat less and lose weight, but other rats did not.
There’s some not-so-convincing evidence that points to supplementation activating brown fat by way of the sympathetic nervous system but there hasn’t been a follow-up study to concur with the results.
Ketone supplementation showed to decrease blood sugar levels without altering cholesterol or triglycerides.
Almost no studies on ketone supplementation have used human clinical trials.
If you hear from anyone that ketone supplementation is a miracle cure, kindly ask them to show you the clinical trial that proves it (and that you're also no interested in their essential oils or MLM scheme).
Will ketosis help you?
You’ll never know unless you try it and find out.
See if it changes what you’re interested in fixing.
Fasting and ketosis have been around long enough what know it’s not a miracle cure.
There’s no conspiracy to it.
For many populations ketosis has little or no effect.
It seems to only work for a particular type of person with specific needs and health conditions.
It may take too long to see a measurable effect and for many people, a ketogenic diet is too hard to follow consistently. People have complained about having a drink a ¼ cup of EVOO first thing in the morning just to get the macronutrient ratios right.
There are some likely benefits to going keto.
We know that fasting is often an effective short-term treatment for metabolic dysfunction such as poor glucose control/prediabetes, chronic inflammation, or hypertension.
We don’t know for sure yet whether this is because of ketosis or some other mechanism (such as programmed cell death, aka apoptosis).
However, research suggests that in some cases, such as type 2 diabetes, ketosis may be useful as a short-term treatment or a “boost” that helps return metabolic processes back to a more normal and well-regulated state.
In these specific situations, a ketogenic diet or a structured intermittent fasting program done under close medical supervision for a specific objective, may be a useful part of a multi-faceted treatment program that probably should include other therapeutic tools such as medication or other well-established health procedures.
Randomly doing keto or fasting by itself won’t cure ailments or get you healthy.
Again, keto can help in some cases but it should be done with clear and specific purposes and carefully monitored. It’s not a cure-all.
Don’t add unnecessary stressors to your body with an extreme diet like keto, especially if you’re female.
Drastically dropping your carb intake as a female can send your body reeling to the point of stopping your menstruation cycle.
Ketones decrease oxidative stress, boost antioxidants and scavenge free radicals.
Oxidation is a natural part of cellular metabolism, but too much oxidation, too fast, without the balance of antioxidants, contributes to many metabolic and other diseases.
Our cells essentially rust from the inside-out due to natural oxidation. If we can slow and regulate oxidation, it may improve our health and longevity.
Is there a fat loss advantage to going keto?
Here’s the thought process on why keto could help with fat loss:
• Insulin makes energy get stored into cells. Carbs stimulate insulin release.
• Eating fewer carbs should reduce insulin release.
Insulin isn’t the only factor and doesn’t act alone. Fat storage is largely controlled by our brains, not a single hormone.
The good news is that when people switch to a lower carbohydrate diet, they eat more protein and fat which promote the release of satiety hormones (the ones that tell us we’re full).
More protein and fat means we’re often less hungry. If we’re less hungry, we eat less. If we eat less, we lose fat. It’s the eating less part that matters, not the insulin part.
To compound the weight loss, our bodies release water and glycogen when carb intake is low.
However, being in ketosis doesn’t give you any advantage for losing body fat. Remember that weight loss is not the same as fat loss.
When it comes to sustainable fat loss, I do not recommend the ketogenic diet. There just isn’t an advantage to using keto to burn fat. Lose weight, yes. Body fat, no.
Metabolism is reduced when on a ketogenic diet after an initial spike. For long term, sustainable results we want our metabolism increasing from building lean body mass.
The keto diet does not deliver any advantage to gaining lean mass. Our bodies need insulin, growth hormone, and testosterone to create a muscle building environment.
The ketogenic diet suppresses insulin excretion due to the very low carbohydrate content.
Trying to build muscle while in ketosis is like pushing open a “pull” door.
If you’re an average, regular person you can be perfectly fit, lean, and healthy without a ketogenic diet. For competitive sports, going keto only makes physiological sense if you’re an ultra-endurance athlete.
The bottom line is that if the ketogenic diet is done under the right circumstances with the assistance of medical professionals it can work wonders. For most people it won't be appropriate.
All the best,
Whenever someone cuts you off in traffic you probably think instinctively, "what a jerk" or, more accurately, "what a #$!@ jerk".
But what if that person was running 20 minutes late to an important appointment? Maybe that one moment in their life isn't enough information to make a judgement of their character.
What I'm saying is that what looks like a people problem is often a situation problem.
We're often blind the situational forces that shape other people's behavior.
It's called the "fundamental attribution error".
The error lies in our inclination to attributes people's behavior to who they are and not to the situation they are in.
Take working out for example.
People have a really hard time getting a fitness routine started.
These people are often told or tell themselves "it's just not important enough to you" or "you don't want it enough" or "you're lazy".
They have a situation problem, not a personality flaw.
Maybe they haven't found the type of exercise they enjoy or tolerate well, or they're not comfortable at a gym, or they're exhausted after working all day and taking care of their families all night and just want to watch Netflix with their limited free time.
There's a way to work through and around their situation.
Shrink the workout and you shrink the problem.
Workouts don't have to be a long, drawn out, two hour affair.
Mine rarely last longer than 35-45 minutes. And even that long isn't required.
You can get a great workout done in 10-20 minutes.
If you're still struggling to carve 10 or 20 minutes out of your day for exercise then it's not the right time for you to add exercise into your daily routine.
And that's TOTALLY FINE, by the way.
If you want to lose fat without working out, it can be done.
It may take more time, focus, and dedication to your nutrition program... but it can be done.
All the best,
Learn how to lose fat and burn muscle with 3 FREE manuals sent directly to your inbox -- sign up for the Skillings Fitness Newsletter to get your:
To help shed some light on the fitness issues that matter to you most, please send me a question that’s been on your mind lately.
Real quick, I just wanted to give you a few helpful tips to lose fat without having a count any calories.
Eat slowly; you’ll be amazing at how effective this is for you.
Replace one meal with a huge salad topped with protein.
Drink a cup of water or seltzer before each meal.
To start things off, I support intermittent fasting (IF). Also, IF is not inherently good, bad, right, wrong, or sub-optimal. It’s just like every other weight management strategy, it could be ideal for you, your health, and your lifestyle.
IF is good for some people and not good for others. If you’re able to do IF and you enjoy it, more power to you. If it doesn’t work with your goals, eating habits, or schedule, that’s totally fine. It’s more important that you’re consistent, happy, and making progress. Meal frequency, frankly, is irrelevant if you’re checking all those boxes.
Fitness enthusiasts have been practicing IF for a while now as it allows them to eat huge meals while still maintaining the physique they want. This is the most attractive part of IF dieting. To be able to eat massive amounts of food at the end of the day allows folks to indulge their “inner fat kid” on a daily basis. For the people that are trying to improve their relationship with their food: this is your first red flag.
It’s possible that some people function very well and experience newfound health benefits as a result of IF. The opposite is true as well, as I’ve witnessed IF exacerbate disordered eating symptoms and intensify obsessive-compulsive tendencies in dieters.
I’ll address a number of drawbacks to help you decide if intermittent fasting meshes with your needs, preferences, and lifestyle. Bear in mind that this is coming just from my point of view, using the research I’ve read, the intermittent fasting that I’ve done myself, and working in the fitness world for over 15 years.
I strongly recommend that you analyze your own habits, personality traits, relationship with your food, and lifestyle to determine if intermittent fasting is right for you.
Before I jump in and get started, I’d love to generate some intelligent discussion and hear about your individual experience with IF, so please include your ideas/thoughts/recommendations in a reply, text, FB, or IG message.
Intermittent Fasting is the Bee’s Knees
For the fast few years, the fitness industry has been crushing hard on intermittent fasting, paleo, and keto. It’s very easy to interpret these weight loss methods and systems as “right” or “wrong” or “good” and “bad”. It’s far too easy to think in black and white terms, ignoring or being oblivious to the less obvious shades of gray in between these clear-cut lines.
There is a tendency to believe that IF is the “best” meal frequency. This one is easy to refute. First, meal frequency doesn’t matter all that much save for a few scenarios. Second, EVERYBODY IS DIFFERENT. What’s best for you might be unsafe for another. Intermittent fasting could be very dangerous for a type 1 diabetic, possibly life-threatening.
There are several common examples of distorted thinking surrounding intermittent fasting and the lengths people will go to follow this diet which include:
Intermittent fasting may be the answer for you. It could provide a variety of benefits and help some people achieve all their goals. However, it is not the end-all-be-all of nutrition like it’s trumped-up to being. It works well for some people and it doesn’t for others.
If you’re curious about intermittent fasting and feel it’s right for you, please try it and experiment with it. If you enjoy it, keep using it – but don’t feel obligated to force it into your lifestyle or allow it to dictate your thoughts, emotions, or day-to-day activities.
Let’s Pretend Magic is Real
Be real for a moment, having huge portions and still losing weight is awesome. Intermittent fasting provides that opportunity for people. Having a higher meal frequency doesn’t allow for this, that’s for sure. This component of having bigger meals through IF isn’t bad, wrong, or misleading, but it tends to get abused. Abused to the point that people don’t even consider how many calories they’re eating in a day. The laws of thermodynamics still apply.
Calories do count.
Eating large portions and eating late at night is not necessarily bad. It comes at a cost. To backload nearly a whole days worth of calories to the evening so you can gorge yourself into a stupor while watching Dancing With the Stars seems like doing IF for the wrong reasons.
Meal frequency doesn’t matter at all if you’re not paying attention to energy in vs. energy out.
Take this story from Jordan as a testament to that fact.
“I remember when I first began Intermittent Fasting, at 17 years old, I was under the impression that total energy intake was irrelevant. As long as I followed my eating schedule and ate foods which were ‘Warrior Diet approved,’ I could eat as much as my heart desired.
"Initially, it was exceedingly difficult to eat large amounts within my short 4-hour eating window; I would have a giant salad, a chicken breast or two, maybe a bowl of oatmeal and then call it quits.
"Unsurprisingly, I saw rapid and incredible fat loss.
"However, after several months of following this routine, I became proficient in the sport of gorging myself and was soon eating truly disturbing amounts of food. Somewhat comedically, how much I was capable of eating at any one time promptly became a daily challenge; I would seek to impress my friends and family, placing bets on how much food I could shovel down my throat, and would regularly eat myself into a food-coma simply because I could.
"Eventually, though, my fat loss came to a standstill. The more I was able to eat in that 4-hour window the less weight I lost. In fact, after several months of IFing, my weight began to steadily creep back up.
"Not only was I clueless as to why this was happening…but I was pissed! I was following the program to a “T,” strictly adhering to my feeding window, solely eating “clean” and organic foods, and even started cycling my carbohydrates and fats. The fact that I was gaining weight made no sense whatsoever.
"After several months of troubleshooting and finally looking into the research, I realized the problem was stemming from the fact that I was eating between 3-4,000 calories on a nightly basis. It didn’t matter that I was Intermittent Fasting because at a bodyweight of 125lbs I was eating well above my maintenance caloric intake.”
Never Feel Full Again
Despite eating comically large portions, many IFers report having a lot of trouble getting full.
Yes, even after eating an entire day’s worth of calories in a single sitting. Intermittent fasters also reported instances of feeling massive amounts of anxiety over needing to eat much more than their caloric needs.
They couldn’t help but continue to eat. This logically leads to an increase in the likelihood of overeating and binge eating issues. This is a very real problem that can happen to intermittent fasters.
It makes sense that, if our bodies know we only eat within a very short time frame each day, getting a sensation of fullness or satiety would limit the number of nutrients our body could get. Our bodies adapt and change hormonally to our lifestyle – eating habits included. This is one of those adaptations.
It’s likely that you won’t experience the same or similar difficulties as outlined above when practicing intermittent fasting. However, if you do, please understand that intermittent fasting is not your only option to reach your goals.
Intermittent fasting can sometimes promote the avoidance of social interactions. Rather, it can promote social anxiety resulting in chronic avoidance of social situations. It’s worth sharing that a broad spectrum of eating disorders have been linked to social phobias, so IF isn’t alone here, which speaks to disordered eating in general rather than intermittent fasting.
Think about those consequences for a moment. Do you really want to risk becoming even more socially awkward? I’m already walking on thin ice, there. Increasing anxiety to the point of causing symptoms of chronic social isolation is in no way going to promote long-term success or happiness for that matter. It’s not like you want to be prescribed Xanax and Wellbutrin just so you can be intermittently fasting.
Maintaining a healthy diet with a caloric deficit is a difficult task alone and for some people adding another rule or restriction like predetermined feeding times can be excruciatingly isolating.
How comfortable would you be if you had a social event, say a birthday party for a close friend, during a designated fasting period? You would likely get a lot of pressure from friends and family alike, be tempted by the food and drinks, or risk breaking your fast in some other way prematurely.
While there’s nothing wrong with declining an invitation to an event, it can develop into a problem if someone consistently avoids social interactions simply because it doesn’t coincide with their eating schedule.
Most importantly, you could be inadvertently teaching your children disordered eating if they don’t quite understand what you’re doing, or even a passing comment like “I can’t eat breakfast” or “I shouldn’t eat” could be damaging to their long-term relationship with food if not explained properly.
Another thing to consider is obsessing over what foods they will be breaking their fast. I’ve noticed among IFers is a tendency to daydream or fantasize about how much and what they’ll eat later in the day, spending a huge chunk of their time and emotional efforts planning for the perfect meal, neglecting work and social interactions in order to do so. Some people have even gone so far as to nap during the day to make the fasting phase go by more quickly. And if these folks who’ve planned the “perfect meal” get invited out during their eating window, they’ve to choose between what they’ve been perseverating over all day or spending time with friends and family.
Intermittent fasting has proven to be an effective and realistic lifestyle of eating. Some people have trouble practicing IF in a flexible and reasonable manner, often harming their relationships with friends, family, and with food.
Many people who practice intermittent fasting are only doing it under the false assumption that it is better than other forms of eating. For the right person, intermittent fasting is a healthy eating strategy when done correctly.
With the surge of popularity, people are attaching their identity and self-worth to their intermittent fasting eating habits. Let me be clear: the way you eat does not define you as a person. Everyone has their own story with food and they’re all just as valid as the next. If intermittent fasting is working for you and it feels sustainable, go for it. If it isn’t working for you, there are lots of different options, one will be just right for you.
Even with the best of intentions people struggle to reach their health and fitness goals. With fat loss being the number one goal for personal training clients I’m in the business of knowing what to do and how to do it. Let me be your guide to success. I am going to keep things as straight forward and simple as possible.
A great way to make sure you fail is to focus on multiple goals.
Most people stumble when it comes to focus. Setting multiple goals at once may seem like a great idea at the time, but so did investing in Enron in 1991. Having more than one goal spreads people too thin. Fully focus on one goal at a time. Burning fat is a singular goal that is optimized with nutrition and supported with strength training, stress reduction and adequate sleep.
Fat loss begins in the kitchen.
There is nothing that anyone can do in the gym that will offset or undo a poor diet. Healthy eating habits paired with a caloric deficit is paramount for fat loss optimization. There is absolutely no getting around this precept. Fat loss starts and ends with nutrition. Slowly eating vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fats only until you are satiated will lead to weight loss. Drink low or no calorie beverages. Eat without distractions. Honor your hunger and control your appetite.
Lift weights to increase the amount of calories burned at rest.
Exercise is a must in order to maximize and optimize fat loss. Start with activities that raise metabolism, burn fat and build muscle simultaneously. Most of the calories burned in a given day are determined by our resting metabolic rate (the number of calories needed for your body to perform most basic functions like cell production, blood circulation, breathing). Your resting metabolic rate is hugely dependent on how much muscle you have on your body and how hard you make your body work. Adding activities that increase or maintain muscle mass will elevate the metabolic rate. The strategy of building muscle to passively and more easily burn fat is far more effective than other types of exercise.
Make your body work hard a few times a week.
There are tiers of exercise which vary in fat burning effectiveness. Metabolic resistance training is king for fat loss as it will raise metabolism, burn fat and build muscle. Activities that burn calories and elevate metabolism like high intensity anaerobic interval training are the next level for fat loss programming, followed by high intensity aerobic interval training. Steady state high intensity aerobic training will burn calories but won’t necessary maintain muscle or elevate metabolism. The least effective form of activity for fat burning is steady state low intensity activity. Walking doesn’t result in much more fat loss but it adds up. Keep in mind that these types of activity work together fantastically in an optimized fat loss program.
Doing something is better than doing nothing.
Even with minimal time dedicated to your goals, fat can be burned and muscle maintained or gained in as little as three hours per week. Doing something is better than doing nothing. Always consult with your doctor before starting any training program and nutritional change. Work with a registered dietitian for specific nutritional plans and diagnosed medical conditions.