THE KETOGENIC DIET: The Science Behind the Fat Loss Miracle

Author: Pushkraj Shirke, Director – Project Battlefit

“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.”
-Alvin Toffler

How many of us have tried a fad diet and given up on it?
How many of us know someone who keeps swinging from diet to diet but is still never achieving real fitness and good health? It’s not our fault really. In the past 200 years, humans have been subjected to a series of fad diets and food theories for a healthier life. But the health of the human population, despite all these ‘insights’ and ‘scientific disclosures’, if actually taken into account, seem to be taking a turn for the worse.

Whether it is obesity, diabetes, cancer or the quality of life of the human body itself. And it all points to one fact which has conveniently been silenced for a long time now – the fact that our ‘science’ was wrongly guided. For commercial interests of corporations and countries and for personal egos and wants of a few rouge and powerful scientists and influencers, the health of mankind was sacrificed. And all of this would have probably gone un-noticed too, was it not for an extremely inquisitive scientific investigator named GARY TAUBES. His books like GOOD CALORIES, BAD CALORIES, WHY WE GET FAT? And THE CASE AGAINST SUGAR turned the entire dietary paradigm on it’s head and forced the scientific faculty to re look at the science of theories that had over time come to be accepted as fact – especially the concept that a calorie is a calorie no matter where it came from and that fats made us fat. Gary Taubes is responsible for bringing to light the most revolutionary diet that is known to mankind today – THE KETOGENIC DIET.

As a fitness consultant to professional athletes, actors and the athletes under training at the National Sports Academy of India, I recommend most of my clients to follow the Ketogenic diet. It is a diet that the Scientific Sports Nutrition Community today regards as a scientific fat loss miracle. The fact is that the fat loss factor of it is just an icing on the cake – if you actually consider the absolute health benefits of the diet, they are truly revolutionary and life changing for most people.
Sharper brain function, lower body fat, longer muscle retention, control of cardiac disease, reduced growth of cancerous cells, reduced gastric distress, immensely improved endurance, the list goes on. And there are infact studies that prove each and every effect – despite the diet being such a new one as compared to the perpetually marketed carb based diets.

“The fact is that the fat loss factor of it is just an icing on the cake – if you actually consider the absolute health benefits of the diet, they are truly revolutionary and life changing for most people.”

The ketogenic diet is so full of scientific intricacies that it would be a mammoth task for me to try and explain the entire diet within article – which is why I’m usually thoroughly amused when people tell me that they are on the ketogenic diet or have been on the ketogenic diet. I’m amused not out of arrogance, but out of the knowledge that I have made the very same mistakes 5 years ago – You think you are on the ketogenic diet, but you are not. And it’s a mistake that’s been made by the highest professionals as well.

When I actually ask people to describe their ‘ketogenic diet’ to me, I almost always find that their very classifications of carbs and proteins is misplaced, they don’t account for hidden carbs and their ratio of protein to fat is so off that their body is currently in a state of constant gluconeogenesis instead of ketosis. In this state, they are on a diet, they are practicing self control, but they are not even getting 25% of the benefits of the true ketogenic diet. BUT they are utterly convinced that they are on the ketogenic diet. I call it the CHEATOGENIC DIET or ‘fools ketosis’.

kaizzad capadia strong seminarThe first true expert and proponent of the ketogenic diet in India was Mr.Kaizzad Capadia – the director of the K11 Academy of Fitness Sciences. He is the man behind some of the most proficient fitness professionals, athletes and sharp physiqued top brass in the country. Being a Bodybuilder himself, he learned most of the intricacies of the diet by trial and error over practicing what he read from reliable research material over the years. His conviction in the diet came from the fact that he could see his own body and health responding to the diet in ways that were almost impossible for him all through his younger years. And what cemented his conviction was that the results were consistently replicable on the enormous array of athletes that he consulted and coached.

Gary Taubes and David Perlmutter provided the intellectual insight into the diet – but the most binding evidence of the supremacy of the diet came from TIM NOAKES, a man responsible for the top echelon of athletes in the endurance arena of sports. And what made it even more powerful that Tim himself was for the longest time a supporter of the HIGH CARB theory of sports performance and the creator of the GU gel (a carb loading gel used by endurance athletes). The results and the conviction with which Tim transformed performance by going off carbs completely with the Ketogenic diet set off a new era in sports nutrition.

The studies of Tim Noakes along with Kaizzad Capadia’s own experiments on himself and his athletes, made Kaizzad absolutely relook the entire textbook of his own academy of fitness sciences and rewrote the same to teach the ketogenic diet to sports nutritionists. He actually went to the extent of discontinuing the old textbooks of his own academy completely even at the loss of the books that were already printed.

The impact that these series of events have had on the fitness inquisitive minds of India is a mixed bag.

The awareness regarding the ketogenic diet is now at an all time high – after having being taught about the diet for 5 years. BUT the genuine knowledge of it is still low among the public and even among a lot of professionals.

With top dietary influencers like even Tim Ferris (author of the 4 hour body, 4 hour work week and Tools of Titans) now ardently exploring ketosis for improving performance, the youth is looking towards ketosis more than ever. BUT if you follow the blog of Tim Ferris, and you actually know how ketosis works, you will see that even he is still stumbling with the pebbles at the ocean of dietary ketosis – especially when he speaks about consuming exogenous ketones to induce ketosis and fails to achieve it on his video blog. Now when an exceptionally inquisitive mind like Tim Ferris can make an error as blatant as that, you cant foul the public to make a few drastic mistakes in following the ketogenic diet.

When you go looking out for research, you will also find a lot of contradicting research and opinions. A lot of these opinions and research are driven by funding and commerce from certain prevalent lobbies. The reason why the ketogenic diet is constantly suppressed by the sugar lobby is that it is not only effectively solving the obesity and diabetes problem and improving athletes, it is actually shifting the public gaze from FATS which were successfully branded as the villian by Dr. Ancel Keys, the American heart Association and the Agrarian lobby, to pointing out the true villain of the healthcare dietary system – carbohydrates and sugars.

If the ketogenic diet were immediately accepted by everyone, before the sugar marketing companies like the colas and ‘fitness flakes and biscuits’ of the world shifted their businesses to match the sales, it would mean massive losses to these corporations. Not to mention the fact that CORN is a cash crop for the USA and almost any product you pick up in the world today has corn starch, corn starch extract, corn flour or corn itself in it. Can you Imagine the repercussions if the world suddenly shifted to a ketogenic diet or even just finally saw CARBOHYDRATES, SUGARS, AND CORN as one and the same thing? It would mean a healthier world at the cost of killing the economy of the most powerful country in the world and a hell load of sugar peddling corporations with them.

In about two or three decades all dietary textbooks will be re-written, the cola companies that peddle sugar today will all go sugar-free, and people will finally turn the food pyramid upside down and lead a healthier life – But you don’t live that long to find out. Unless, you step in now, open your mind, read up on the topic, consult an expert and experience it for yourself.
For those looking for a short cut, these are the most basic guidelines I can give you to follow the Ketogenic Diet:

  1. Cut our all sugars completely.
    All grains are sugars too because they are eventually broken down to glucose. No Milk either as milk is LACTOSE sugar.
  2. Consume a 1:1 ratio in grams of PROTEIN and FAT.
    Which means calorifically, you will be consuming MORE FATS than proteins. Preferably more MCTs and Saturated fats.
  3. Count all carbs (<30 gms).
    Starch, glucose, fleshy fruits and vegetables are carbs. If you are vegetarian, you will need to take supplements to balance the micronutrient needs. As a non-vegetarian, you need not worry about the micro-nutrients as meats, eggs and green leafy vegetables have all the nutrients you need in ample amounts.
  4. Don’t cut out greens completely. For fibre and palate satiety, consume a bowl of green leafy vegetables everyday.
  5. When calculating macros, consider the true biological value of the protein.
  6. Go sugar free.
    Avoid sugar completely or use erythrytol, aspartame (not recommended for phenylketoneurics), xylitol or sucralose for sweetening. Going off sweetness completely is recommended, but not everybody can manage it.
  7. Do not try to cycle the ketogenic diet over small periods.
    Having a cheat meal every week or every alternate day will never allow your body to actually reach optimum ketogenesis and its benefits. For optimum results, stay in ketosis for a sustained period of atleast 40 days without carbs. 

For more details on using the ketogenic diet beyond this article, you can read my free resources on fitness lifestyle management by searching for the ketogenic diet and nutrition on

Nizar Dawoodani is a 54 year old, polio afflicted, competing bodybuilder who has consistently been on the ketogenic diet.

Who should not be on the Ketogenic Diet:

Having looked at all the scientific evidence available I haven’t come across valid proof of any reason for someone to NOT BE on the ketogeninc diet. But yes, vegetarians find it tough to follow the ketogenic diet unless they are extremely motivated or in my personal experience are professional athletes willing to bear the monotony of having only paneer and whey and fats for all meals.

Recommended Reading For the Ketogenic Diet

These are a few books that I highly recommended for restructuring the way you think about food and diets and especially about the Ketogenic Diet:

    (often referred to by chefs as it is a book full of ketogenic recipes)

Movies and Documentaries for Ketogenic Diet

  1. That Sugar Film
  2. The Magic Pill
  3. Cereal Killers 1 & 2 (especially 2)
  4. Fat Head
  5. Lorenzo’s Oil (feature film that delves into the story that laid the foundation of the ketogenic diet in the medical community)

-Pushkaraj S Shirke
K11 Trained Fitness Consultant
India’s Leading Fitness Photographer
Columnist for Krunch Today Fitness Magazine
Director, Project Battlefit
Creative Director – World Strongman Federation Championship 2016
Advertising Creative Director (Ex-OgilvyOne & FCB Creative Head)


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