Here is the basic formula for calculating your BMR and AMR. (Do not worry if this looks hard, an easy way follows.) Women: 655 + [4.36 x Weight (lbs.)] + [4.32 x Height (inches)] - (4.7 x Age) = your BMR Men: 66 + (6.22 x Weight (lbs.)] + [12.7 x Height (inches)] - (6.8 x Age) = your BMR Next, to determine the amount of total calories your active body needs or its AMR simply multiply your BMR by the appropriate activity factor listed below. Lightly active (normal, everyday activities)... BMR x 1.3 = Maintenance Calorie Level Moderately active (exercise 3 to 4 times a week)... BMR x 1.4 = Maintenance Calorie Level Very active (exercise more than 4 times a week)... BMR x 1.6 = Maintenance Calorie Level Extremely active (exercise 6 to 7 times a week for more than 1 hour duration)... BMR x 1.8 = Maintenance Calorie Level

Interestingly, simply by changing from a lightly active lifestyle to a very active lifestyle you can increase your caloric intake by 24% (about 500 calories). Once you've completed the above calculations you should cut your AMR by 15% and consume this number of calories in total each day while on the ketogenic diet. For a quick and easy way to calculate all that, here's a web site that will do the math for you:

The third thing to do before you begin is to purchase Ketostix from your local pharmacy. They are found behind the pharmacy counter, but you do not need a prescription to purchase them. These sticks are traditionally used by diabetics to measure the amount of ketones in their urine and are an intrigal part of a successful ketogenic diet, but more on this later. How a ketogenic diet works:

This diet starts at around 6-8 p.m. on Sunday night with a meal of carbohydrates and lasts until the following weekend (approximately 5-7 days). This Sunday night meal should be made up of simple carbs like breakfast cereal or fruit and no fats. Complex carbs like pasta, bread, or rice should be avoided as they take a long time for your body to break down and use as fuel. We want carbs that are easily available to the body in order to create an insulin spike prior to the beginning of the diet. This insulin spike will allow the body to lower blood sugar levels and enter ketosis more efficiently once you begin the high fat, low carb portion of the diet.

Following this final high carb meal and lasting until you enter ketosis, you need to eat about 75 to 80% of your daily calories from fat and 20% to 25% daily calories from protein. This very high fat intake is necessary to enter ketosis as quickly as possible so that you can begin the fat burning process. If the protein amounts are too high, then the body might not be able to make the required metabolic shift to producing ketones. More importantly, you must not eat more than 15-20 grams of carbs during this period. This means that you can eat no more than 3-4 grams of carbs per meal spread out between 5-6 meals per day. Eating 20 grams of carbs per day is fine, but eating all 20 grams of carbs at once will definitely bring you out of ketosis.

You may be asking yourself what kinds of food can be eaten on this diet that are high in fat and also contain no carbs. Unfortunately, the menu on this diet is very limited. Few foods contain near zero carbs. Fortunately, you can eat any combination of ground beef, prime rib, and sirloin steaks, which all contain high amounts of fat with zero carbs as long as you eat hem without breading or sauces. Chicken with the skin on is also a good choice. This is also your chance to eat Buffalo Wings with blue cheese and even McDonald's beef patties without the bread or condiments. You will definitely have to be careful at restaurants because you never know exactly how the food is prepared. Eggs are good while on a ketogenic diet; they have less than 1 gram of carbs per egg, but be careful with any dairy products like processed cheeses, which often contain 2-3 grams of carbs per slice. Other foods like sausage, pork, flounder, cheddar cheese, tuna, and butter have near-zero carbs and are high in fat. Green vegetables like lettuce, broccoli, and celery are great as they are made up of mostly water and contain near-zero carbs. When it comes to food choices the bottom line is that you have to read nutrition labels. If you are not sure if the food contains carbs simply don't eat it.

In terms of training it would be great if you could do aerobics and weight train with the same energy and intensity as you would with carbohydrates in your system. Unfortunately you cannot. When your body is in a state of ketosis, you will probably feel a little lethargic, especially the first week. This doesn't mean that you should stop aerobic activity or weight training-just lower the intensity. Limit aerobics to 2 days per week on an empty stomach first thing in the morning. Limit weight training to 2 or 3 days during the week on nonaerobic days. You should train big muscle groups like legs, back, and/or chest on Monday when you still might have stored glycogen in your muscles. Save the small muscle groups like arms, shoulders, and calves for Tuesday or Wednesday.

By about Wednesday your body should be in ketosis. This means that there will be detectable ketone bodies present in your urine, which you can measure with a Ketostix. Remember, the darker the shade of purple on the stick, the deeper you are in ketosis. Most people will reach only the moderate level (pink to light purple) while others will be able to get into deep ketosis more easily. Once you are in at least moderate ketosis it is o.k. to up your protein intake to 35-40% of your daily calories. Fat intake should be between 60-65% with less than 5% from carbs. For a person who is eating between 2400-2700 cal/day this would translate into no more than 30 grams of carbs per day. Again remember, it is important that the carbs be spread throughout the day to not bring you out of your ketogenic state. I also recommend that you check the Ketostixs at least twice a day once they show that you are in ketosis. This will allow you to do some damage control by eating almost all of your calories from fat if you've made a mistake and start to come out of ketosis.

On Saturday or Sunday, you will be ready to begin the fun part of the diet, the carb up! In order to achieve the best results, you need to deplete the muscles of glycogen with a full body circuit workout on Friday in order to prep them for maximum carb absorption on the weekend. This means that you have to do a few sets of exercises for all of your muscle groups in one exhaustive workout. Use lightweights and high repetitions on all exercises with as much intensity as you can muster. I recommend using compound exercise movements that involve the most muscle groups in an effort to fatigue all of your muscles in the shortest amount of time. Exercises such as squats, incline bench presses, front barbell shoulder presses, and front machine pulldowns will take care of all the big muscle groups while incorporating smaller muscle groups as well. Throw in 1-2 sets of bicep curls, tricep pushdowns, and calf raises and your total body workout is completed.

On Saturday and Sunday eat 10-15% above your (AMR) active maintenance number of calories broken down as follows: high carb (60%), low fat (15-20%), medium protein (20-25%). This will again cause an insulin spike as it did at the beginning of your diet week. The spike of insulin drives the carbohydrates into your depleted muscles, which has an anabolic effect. You will need to eat often, every 2-2 1/2 hours. Bodybuilding guru Dan Duchaine even recommends waking-up during the night to eat. Remember, that for these two days you will no longer be in the ketogenic state that uses fat as the body's primary fuel. Now is the time to cut back and eat no more than 20% of your calories from fat.

The first day of the weekend carb meals should contain foods with the highest glycemic index in order to cause the greatest possible insulin spike. The rate at which food raises blood glucose is called its glycemic index. Some foods with a high glycemic index are instant rice, baked potatoes, carrots, graham crackers, rice cakes, bagels, watermelon, and pineapple. You can eat high glycemic foods like bowls of sugary breakfast cereals with skim milk or waffles with maple syrup. Eating these foods will cause a rush of carbohydrates that will be forced directly into your muscle cells. Since added fat will slow down this insulin response and negatively effect the carb up, it would be wise to limit your intake of meats and cheeses during the first day. You can increase your protein intake by using a protein supplement like a soy or whey protein and eating foods like tuna or chicken breasts. Click here for a comprehensive glycemic index guide for various foods.

NOTE: On Sunday evening be sure to switch back to the high fat / low carb mode after your last high carb meal (from 6-8PM). These are the basics of a ketogenic diet. The most important thing you should remember is that your body needs to make the metabolic shift necessary to convert fatty acids into ketones which it will then burn for energy-without the shift the diet will not work. As a dieter, you will be able to drive your body into ketosis by following the diet procedures outlined above. Though definitely effective the diet process outlined above takes you into ketosis in anywhere from 48 to 72 hours. That means your body is using stored fatty acids as fuel for only 48 to 72 hours before you begin the weekend carb-up stage of the diet.