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The Ketogenic Diet: A Complete Guide for the Dieter and Practitioner [Paperback]

Lyle McDonald
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)


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Book Description

1998 0967145600 978-0967145600 1st
'The Ketogenic Diet' is a complete resource for anyone interested in low-carbohydrate diets (such as the Atkins Diet, Protein Power, Bodyopus or the Anabolic Diet). It looks objectively at the physiology behind such diets, including potential negative effects, and gives specific recommendations on how to optimize such a diet assuming an individual has chosen to do one. Two modified ketogenic diets (which involve the insertion of carbohydrates to sustain exercise performance) are also discussed in detail, along with specific guidelines. Exercise is discussed in great detail, including background physiology, the effects of exercise on fat loss, exercise guidelines and sample workouts. A great deal of basic physiology information, dealing with both nutrition and exercise topics, is included so that readers without a technical background will be able to understand the topics discussed.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Author

I wrote this book for the reader who wants an objective, technical, unbiased look at all aspects of ketogenic/low-carbohydrate diets. Readers looking for a light read, or another diet book promising an easy, magical approach to weight loss will probably be disappointed with this book and may want to look elsewhere. I decided to write this book for a few reasons. First and foremost, there is a great deal of misinformation being presented about ketogenic diet. Both proponents and critics of such diets tend to make basic mistakes in the underlying physiology. My first goal was to set the record straight in this regards. Second, there are a number of questions which abound regarding such diets. Most of these questions revolve around exercise, or potential health problems. A book was needed to address all of these issues (and more) in an objective way. Ketogenic diets are not magical (as proponents tend to suggest), nor are they an instant health risk (as critics tend to suggest). Like all dietary approaches, ketogenic diets have pros and cons and this book addresses both.

This book is fairly technical and readers who are frightened off by such detail may find the book difficult reading. However, the majority of feedback I have received indicates that even individuals with non-science backgrounds have had little trouble with the technical sections. As well, I did my best to include enough basic physiology information to make the more technical sections easier to understand. The few very technical sections are set apart as 'Technical Notes' and are not critical to an understanding of the physiology of the diet.

From the Back Cover

The Ketogenic Diet A Complete Guide for the Dieter and Practitioner

By Lyle McDonald

The Ketogenic Diet: A Complete Guide for the Dieter and Practitioner is the first book to objectively examine the ketogenic diet. This book serves as a reference for the dieter who has questions regarding the physiology, adaptations, and effects of a ketogenic diet. The contents are fully referenced for health professionals such as dietitians, physicians, personal trainers and nutritionists. Anyone interested in the ketogenic diet will find this book a valuable resource.

Topics include:

Human fuel utilization and changes that occur during a ketogenic diet.

Adaptations during the development of ketosis, including a detailed discussion of protein sparing.

The impact of the ketogenic diet on body composition in terms of weight, water and fat loss.

An examination of the potential metabolic effects of ketosis including in the kidney and liver, brain function, and cholesterol levels.

Guidelines for optimization of a ketogenic diet for various goals such as fat loss, bodybuilding, and endurance athletes.

Basic exercise physiology concepts for aerobic exercise, interval training and weight training. The impact of exercise on fat loss is also addressed.

Two modified ketogenic diets, which integrate carbohydrates while allowing the adaptations to ketosis to occur.

Sample exercise routines for beginning, intermediate and advanced exercisers, as well as guidelines for pre-contest preparation for bodybuilders.


Product Details

  • Paperback: 323 pages
  • Publisher: Morris Publishing; 1st edition (1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0967145600
  • ISBN-13: 978-0967145600
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 8.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #238,094 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
98 of 102 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptionally thorough and complete July 16, 2000
Format:Paperback
I have been looking for a diet book like this for years. Since I've been involved in weight lifting I have tried to read as much as possible about various diet methods. When low-carb diets became popular I was skeptical, but wanted to learn more. I read through the material I could find online and just finished "The Greenwich Diet". In all cases I found myself totally unsatisfied with everything I read. Every book pitched it's particular take on the low carb diet as a miracle cure and didn't provide much information about what was really happening to your body. I decided to give "The Ketogenic Diet" a try and was stunned -- it is the most complete diet book I have come across. I finally understand how many types of diets work (not just low carb diets).
McDonald begins with a history of ketogenic diets and then goes into a detailed explanation of how various nutrients (both macro and micro) affect your body. After this explanation he presents three versions of the ketogenic diet, with two of the diets aimed at athletic individuals who are looking to maintain their exercise performance while on one of these programs. Each diet is accompanied by detail information about how to implement the diet.
As I have said, the material in this book is incredibly detailed and completed, but what really makes this book worth 5 stars is that the information is presented in a non-biased way. According to the introduction, McDonald wrote this book to clear confusion about ketogenic diets, not to champion them. Much of the material is accompanied by research references and McDonald clearly states where research is lacking or where he is offering his own opinion.
Overall, "The Ketogenic Diet" will make an excellent addition to any dieter's collection of reading. Also, if you are considering a ketogenic diet this will gives you an unbiased view of how they really work.
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55 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The book for the intelligent dieter. August 25, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This book is a breath of fresh air in the dank world of dieting. Many individuals have followed the ketogenic diet and found it to be both healthy and effective for fat loss. Nonetheless, various "experts" and others consistently tell dieters that it is neither. Those who use it have frequently had to keep their heads down in the "fat free" world ("You eat WHAT for dinner?"). To our great relief, Lyle McDonald has done the legwork and presents a factual, research-based, and balanced account of the effects of ketogenic dieting in one volume and in an eminently readable fashion. This book should appeal to readers at all levels, from academician/researcher to practitioner to dieter. Its value as a review of the literature on ketogenic dieting, as well as a practical guide for the application of the ketogenic diet to various situations, far outweighs its price. The compilation of these references in one place is well worth the price of the book, but it doesn't end there...it also provides easy to understand and follow practical applications. This is a book that all dieters, ketogenic or not, would do well to read.
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33 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It really explains what happens in your body February 21, 2000
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
People that opted for a low-carb lifestyle are actually making a life-or-death decision on their own lives. It does not help that there are a lot of misinformation around it, specially suggesting that you will have all sort of health complications because of it.
This is a very complete book on the subject. It explains the physiology around a ketogenic diet. It's well researched and full of references. It leans toward athletes but anyone could learn a lot from it.
This book does not tell you how to follow a Ketogenic diet. For that purpose I would recommend "Protein Power".
I've read literally tens of books on low-carb diets. This one is the only one that really explains what happens in your body. I highly recommend this book for anyone that want to know more on how a low-carb diet works.
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34 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Required Reading for Low Carbers! September 21, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I've been low carbing for a year now. I found Protein Power to be the very best introduction to the low carb lifestyle, though like most diet books it makes it seem a whole lot easier than it really is. I found Dr. Bernstein's Diabetes Solution to be the best introduction to how to use low carbing for people with Diabetes. But this book gave me a much deeper understanding of what really is happening in our body's while we low carb.
This is not an easy reader. Lyle writes like a scientist. But he does explain a host of physiological processes that go on when we shift our metabolisms to a fat-based rather than glucose based fuel burning mode.
If you want to move away from diet-meister hype and overblown promises to serious understanding of how our bodies work, based on a rock solid analysis of scientific research, this is the book for you!
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An informative read June 12, 2004
Format:Paperback
While I think Lyle is abrasive to the point of abuse in many of his frequent posts to the misc.fitness.weights USENET newsgroup this book is an excellent reference for anyone considering doing a cyclical ketogenic diet. You should also read [...] particularly the forums. This diet works, no question about it, and is very effective for atheletes who don't want to catabolize muscle while cutting fat. If you understand the principles outlined in the book, a non-bodybuilder can also make great progress on a modified and slighly less strict version of this diet. I know as I've done it myself by going from 23 to 15% bodyfat in four months while at the same time improving my squat and deadlift personal bests.
The goofballs who've given this book 1 stars are likely either harboring a grudge against Lyle personally for his above-mentioned behavior or are just too dense to appreciate what is in this book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Great book, not worth its price, though
I have to admit. This book was a great read on the Ketogenic Diet. However, for a self-published book, the price is astronomical. This is a blatant cash grab and Mr. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Roy Price
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, and you can read it FREE online also.
Best book on the subject by far. Searched on Google and found it FREE to read online. Almost 350 pages are available online and I'm guessing that is the entire book... Read more
Published 13 months ago by BarneyCrush
1.0 out of 5 stars Beware!
Buyer beware. The ketogenic diet may cause side effects in some people. These are sometimes serious and may include:

* Dehydration
* Constipation
*... Read more
Published on October 4, 2010 by Johnathan Davis
2.0 out of 5 stars Potentially good information, but you'll have to work for it
I'm not keen on writing bad reviews, but this book annoyed me to no end. I quit at page 185 (shown below), because I was tired of working so hard to understand the text. Read more
Published on March 11, 2010 by Joanne of Joanneunleashed website
5.0 out of 5 stars A very thorough resource
This book is a remarkably thorough resource on low-carb dieting and its variants as applicable to those working towards a high level of fitness. Read more
Published on July 5, 2007 by Linda Vargas
5.0 out of 5 stars Precise and exhaustive
McDonald is a true scientist who has produced a wonderfully thorough and well-researched book.

The "true scientist" tag is important, for at least four reasons:
(1)... Read more
Published on July 1, 2007 by Ron Purewal
5.0 out of 5 stars The Ketogenic Diet - Dieter & Practitioner
This is a very indepth book which describes in great detail the process by which the ketogenic diet occurs and how this impacts different individuals. Read more
Published on March 20, 2007 by A. Collins
2.0 out of 5 stars Temporary
"You should also read [...] particularly the forums."

The people over there generally do not like Lyle, due to the fact that he is not a product of his philosophy... Read more
Published on April 1, 2006 by Hannah
5.0 out of 5 stars The Ketogenic Diet
The best resource you can find for this type diet. Actually, I do not consider it a diet but a way of life now. It is not hard to follow. Read more
Published on March 14, 2006 by G. Dotson
2.0 out of 5 stars WASTE OF TIME
There are so many posts from people who obviously ignore the truth of fat, carbohydrate, and protein metabolism. Read more
Published on May 22, 2005 by J. Brown
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