32.2> Is The TNT Diet a Ketogenic Diet?

This Page was originally published as a Post – but – Posts tend to get lost over time while Pages have a more permanent feel.

Having read both Volek & Phinney’s “The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living/Performance,” I was a bit perturbed about what I saw as a complete change of position by Volek.  Sometimes it takes me more than a moment to digest the information and make some reasonable sense out of it.  This apparent discord has forced me to re-examine the TNT Diet in light of the “standards” for Ketogenic Diets as defined in these two books.  My conclusion:  He is talking about two similar but different programs.  It is not that there is a conflict between the information but that they are just not the same.

Is the TNT Diet a Ketogenic Diet?  The short answer – NO.

Does that matter?  Again – the short answer – NO.

Should we be switching to a true Ketogenic Diet? The short answer – Depends.

Is the TNT Diet a Ketogenic Diet and Does it Matter? (The Long Answer)

I had to go back through the TNT Diet book.  There are virtually no references to this being a Ketogenic Diet or one that depends upon the production of Ketones.  This is a Low Carbohydrate eating plan.  Yes, Plan A is about as close as it comes to being a Ketogenic Diet.  BUT – since it is not designed to measure Ketones by peeing on a stick or taking a blood sample, there is no telling if you are in Ketosis – nor does it matter.

One of the big “IFs” is Protein.  Although the authors reference the amount of Protein which you should eat, it is done from the view-point of making sure you eat enough protein to sustain muscle growth without a thought about the impact of protein on ketone production.  The authors are trying to take “Guys and Gals” who live on pizza, pasta, bagels, french fries and chips away from Carbs and towards eating enough protein.  They are trying to re-direct the food habits of those who live on processed carbage to a more sustainable clean eating program.

And they do it well.

Why is Protein important?  These two books identify that over eating protein may result in the protein being converted to glycogen and undermine to the value of eating low carb.

If there was any question about the TNT eating plan not being a Ketogenic Diet – just look at the Plans that follow Plan A.  The later plans allow for too much carbohydrates to keep a person effectively in ketosis.

I and so many others have been really successful on the TNT eating plan.  I am not merely talking about weight loss but weight management and muscle development.  The program works.

Have I modified the TNT program for my own needs? – yes.  I have lost my weight and my focus is maintaining my weight.  I know what works for me.  That is why I am mainly on Plan A and periodically Plan B.  I will have a Carb meal every now and then – which for me may be once a week or once a month.  Remember – I am a Carb Snob – the carbs had better be worth it.

Should we be switching to a true (stricter) Ketogenic Diet?

That is a personal decision.  If you have a medical condition which requires that level of control and that level of Ketone production – the answer is yes.  It is a tough road to follow.  I am not in favor of any eating plan that requires that much thinking and control.  Unless I had a medical condition, taking daily blood samples is not going to happen.

I understand, that if you are on a true Ketogenic Diet, then you do not need to Carb Load for a Marathon.  And that is the heart of the argument.  Is the endurance athlete willing to go on not merely a Very Low Carb Diet but on a Ketogenic Diet?  Personal decision.  Just make sure when you are stating your position, you are comparing apples to apples – most of the time – that just doesn’t happen.  So many times I have heard and read arguments by endurance athletes that Low Carb Diets don’t work for them.  In truth, none have gone the distance of actually being on a Ketogenic Diet for a sustained period of time and THEN run a marathon or bike a century ride.

Having read all this information, I went back to the response from Axona which I re-printed in part in Axona Take 2. It is not that they misspoke but that they slanted their information in accordance with their own agenda.  They pooh-pooh the value of a ketogenic diet in supporting neurologic disorders such as AD.  They did not state the one important concept – clearly: MCTs will raise ketone levels in the presence of carbs – and – their product is not the only source of Ketones.


For me the conclusion is simple – I am happy where I am.  I am also happy that I read the two books by Volek & Phinney along with the one by Taubes.  Having this information is important.  It does not mean that TNT is wrong – just a different way to eat – one that is both effective and one that I enjoy.

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