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  #1   ^
Old Fri, Feb-15-19, 22:56
fhutt1 fhutt1 is offline
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Posts: 15
 
Plan: Fung, Rosedale
Stats: 236/195/157 Male 180cm
BF:
Progress: 52%
Location: Australia
Default Difference between low calorie diet and multiple entries into ketosis.

Over the past 25 years I've entered ketosis on very low carb diets like Atkins. I've entered multiple time because I keep falling off the wagon and put on a lot of weight very quickly. What I have noticed is that my muscle mass has decreased and my metabolism has dropped drastically. I am now 70 years old, so maybe some of the muscle loss can be attributed to age catching up. But the metabolism drop to about 1600 calories is not.

It is well known that on a low calorie diet (around 1200 calories) and doing only a small amount of exercise, muscle mass will be lost and in time the metabolism will fall. My guess is that when I start a ketogenic diet (very lo carb and low calories) it takes a number of days to enter ketosis. Of course after entering ketosis any calorie deficit is made up by the liver converting body fat into energy producing triglycerides and ketones. But during the few days that it takes to enter ketosis, there is no difference between this ketogenic diet and a low calorie diet. If entering ketosis numerous time (like 30-50 times), surely the body will take reactive action and use muscle and reduce metabolism to counter the diet (energy deficit) until kitosis is achieved each time.

If this is correct then it is not a good idea to to lower the calories while entering ketosis. But if there is no deficit in calories, why would the liver start converting body fat into energy producing triglycerides and ketones (if not needed)?

As you can see I am puzzled even after this long time of dieting. Where am I going wrong?
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  #2   ^
Old Fri, Feb-15-19, 23:17
GRB5111's Avatar
GRB5111 GRB5111 is offline
Posts: 3,016
 
Plan: Ketogenic (LCHFKD)
Stats: 227/186/185 Male 6' 0"
BF:
Progress: 98%
Location: Herndon, VA
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It's the type of calories, not the amount. If you're eating fat, a moderate amount of protein, and very few carbs (under 20g per day), you'll enter ketosis without having a caloric deficit. Limiting carbs enables your metabolism to switch to using fat (ketones) for energy. You don't have to lower calories to do this.
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  #3   ^
Old Fri, Feb-15-19, 23:24
fhutt1 fhutt1 is offline
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Posts: 15
 
Plan: Fung, Rosedale
Stats: 236/195/157 Male 180cm
BF:
Progress: 52%
Location: Australia
Default

Thank you Rob for your reply.
I have read this in other places. My understanding is that the liver produces the ketones as a byproduct of converting body fat to energy producing triglyceride. If there is no calorie deficit, why would the liver produce more energy producing triglyceride (since it's not required - no deficit)?
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  #4   ^
Old Sun, Feb-17-19, 06:53
LiterateGr's Avatar
LiterateGr LiterateGr is offline
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Posts: 118
 
Plan: Atkins
Stats: 240.0/185/170 Female 5 '9"
BF:36/31/?
Progress: 79%
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All of your food is either converted to a form usable by the body for energy, or excreted when you use the bathroom.

Your body is not capable of using any food in the form you eat it. It is first broken down into "manageable chunks" by various digestive processes, depending on the type of food. Then the body takes those "manageable chunks" and decides what to do with them.

Your body converts fats to ketones because that is the process for processing fats (and has nothing to do with "calorie deficit". This is the same reason it converts bread to glucose -- because that is the process.


If I eat 5x my body's caloric needs for a day, my body still needs to convert what I eat to a form usable by individual cells. So if I'm eating < 20g carbs and lots of fats, I'll still produce ketones. The fact that I ate a lot of food does not alter the fact that the individual cells in my body need energy to survive. So my liver will do its job and convert that food into a form usable by the cells.

If I ate all that in carbs, my body will quickly convert it to glucose, and try to produce enough insulin to force all of that glucose into the cells (as opposed to simply using what's actually needed) and convert the rest into stored fat (starting with storing it in my liver). Because glucose is the form where that type of food is usable by the individual cells.
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  #5   ^
Old Sun, Feb-17-19, 07:06
WereBear's Avatar
WereBear WereBear is offline
Posts: 11,732
 
Plan: Epi-Paleo/IF
Stats: 220/136/150 Female 67
BF:
Progress: 120%
Location: USA
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by fhutt1
when I start a ketogenic diet (very lo carb and low calories)


That's the problem. Forget about calories. Keep the carbs under 20, and lower fat if you aren't losing.

This isn't accounting. This is chemistry.
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  #6   ^
Old Sun, Feb-17-19, 10:15
GRB5111's Avatar
GRB5111 GRB5111 is offline
Posts: 3,016
 
Plan: Ketogenic (LCHFKD)
Stats: 227/186/185 Male 6' 0"
BF:
Progress: 98%
Location: Herndon, VA
Default

fhutt1 - You've got some clarifying responses to your post. Note that the human metabolism either derives its energy from glucose or fat. When burning glucose, fat doesn't factor into the energy currency you're using at that time. To set off fat burning, eliminate exogenous glucose sources, meaning carbs, and your metabolism will start burning fat, a very healthy and clean way to fuel your body. You can still consume calories during fat burning, but when you consume carbs (sugar) in any form, your body favors glucose for energy, as it needs to manage it first to keep you healthy. This shuts off fat burning until you eliminate the sources of glucose. It's not hard to understand that us humans can easily alternate between glucose and fat burning depending on what we're eating and the length of time between meals. There is research emerging and confirming that being in regular (not necessarily constant) fat burning mode is very healthy on many fronts. Note that considering our standard dietary habits, there are many who have been primarily fueled by glucose without going into fat burning mode. This is the result of eating many meals and snacks per day. For these people, it takes a bit of time to transition into efficient fat burning mode. Once you do transition on a regular basis, it's far easier to readily alternate between the two. Your metabolism becomes "wired" to do this.

Here's a great thread about the recent research confirming ketone and fat burning health:
https://forum.lowcarber.org/showthread.php?t=482022
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  #7   ^
Old Sun, Feb-17-19, 10:18
Meme#1's Avatar
Meme#1 Meme#1 is offline
Posts: 10,649
 
Plan: Atkins DANDR
Stats: 210/188/160 Female 5'4"
BF:
Progress: 44%
Location: Texas
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Reading the Adkins book or re-reading it will clarify why it works to count only the carbs and not try to do low fat and/or low-calorie at the same time. Adkins specifically said not to do this because it does not work.
Stay under 20g carbs, Don't Cheat and you will loose!
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  #8   ^
Old Sun, Feb-17-19, 13:12
BeachDonna BeachDonna is offline
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Posts: 370
 
Plan: no specific plan
Stats: 177/141/147 Female 65 inches
BF:
Progress: 120%
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I think the difference with low carb eating (and only eating when hungry, vs bored, thirsty, stressed, tired, etc.) is that if you’re in fat burning mode you don’t feel the switch from using the food you just ate to burning your own body fat for energy.

I went thru a couple of days of “low carb flu” which felt like “hangry on steroids” and that was it. I no longer get that hangry feeling; my body is burning fat for energy by default. If one is doing low calorie (and carbs make up most of those calories), then the switch is going to be felt frequently.

This is just my n=1 non-scientific observation combined with a bit of science I’ve absorbed. YMMV

Live we’ll.
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  #9   ^
Old Sun, Feb-17-19, 14:20
teaser's Avatar
teaser teaser is offline
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Posts: 13,581
 
Plan: mostly milkfat
Stats: 190/152.4/154 Male 67inches
BF:
Progress: 104%
Location: Ontario
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fhutt1
Thank you Rob for your reply.
I have read this in other places. My understanding is that the liver produces the ketones as a byproduct of converting body fat to energy producing triglyceride. If there is no calorie deficit, why would the liver produce more energy producing triglyceride (since it's not required - no deficit)?



There's a bit to unwrap here.

On a low carb diet or fasting, there's a net release of free fatty acids into the circulation from the fat cells, leading to an increase in blood free fatty acids, this is where much of the fuel for your body comes from. The liver does produce ketones from these free fatty acids, as a result of a lack of glucose. Most cells in the body can use these ketones, but further into the diet, they'll mostly be spared for the brain (increased adaptation to fat for energy causes the muscle cells to convert acetoacetate into betahydroxybutyrate, this effectively saves it for the brain, since it's best adapted for the conversion back to the acetoacetate that's a more direct fuel source).

The liver does repackage free fatty acids as triglyceride for export as VLDL, these can be taken up by other cells to increase fat uptake to higher levels than can be supplied by the free fatty acids in the blood, when needed.

The ketones are a product of the liver producing energy from fat. The link between ketones and triglyceride is the high levels of free fatty acid in the fasted or ketogenic state, rather than the one being the product of the other.

When it comes to muscle mass--my Dad is 73. In recent years, on his low carb diet, he has been losing lean mass, we put it largely down to age since he did get some exercise working in casual construction jobs. But he's changed a few things, and that's reversed.

He started eating all meat, and higher protein. Also he's started driving a school bus--and having a sedentary job now, decided to join a gym and get more structured exercise. I think it's probably like 90 percent exercise, 10 percent diet, because his protein intake was really never very low. I guess I'm saying, do you even lift, bruh?
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  #10   ^
Old Sun, Feb-17-19, 15:55
fhutt1 fhutt1 is offline
New Member
Posts: 15
 
Plan: Fung, Rosedale
Stats: 236/195/157 Male 180cm
BF:
Progress: 52%
Location: Australia
Default

I do follow what you are all saying. But let me add some numbers to show my dilemma.

Due to my years of dieting my metabolism has dropped to about 1600 calories a day.
Lets say I consume 20c (80cals), 50p (200cals) and 151f (1360cals). The 80 calories of carbs will be burned off as energy expended, the 200 calories of protein will be used for repair of cells. Now, what I am told is that the 1360calories of fat I have consumed will go no where (unused) and body fat and ketones will be used for the remainder of the 1360 calories needed for energy and not the consumed fat. Or, maybe some of the consumed fat, say 1000 calories will be used for energy and the remainder (360 calories) will be parked somewhere unused and the body will use body fat and ketones to make up the 360 calories.

It doesn't seem plausible that the body would do this. And if the body does indeed do this, what happens to the unused consumed fat?

I understand that this is only theoretical because once in ketosis hunger drops and is unlikely to consume so much calories anyway. But it is not theoretical between the start of the diet and entry into ketosis.
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  #11   ^
Old Sun, Feb-17-19, 16:20
teaser's Avatar
teaser teaser is offline
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Posts: 13,581
 
Plan: mostly milkfat
Stats: 190/152.4/154 Male 67inches
BF:
Progress: 104%
Location: Ontario
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Okay... first the short version, since I blather on below... what happens to the unused fat is, it's stored in your fat cells for later use.

my understanding on a standard, mixed diet is that if somebody is eating say 2000 calories a day, and in maintenance, neither losing or gaining, and say their eating 80 grams of fat a day--then they'll burn about 40 grams of that dietary fat, and 40 grams of body fat. The unaccounted for 40 grams of dietary fat goes into storage.

The same will apply to somebody on a very high fat diet. Some of the fat you eat, your body will use for energy, with heart and muscle etc. getting fat from chylomicrons, the lipoprotein recently absorbed dietary fat is transported in. Beyond heart and muscle a major "etc." is fat tissue, lots of the fat from the diet will find its way into your fat cells, this is true even when you're losing weight. There it gets mixed in with fat you already have stored, which is way more than you've eaten, and then later when you're fasting, fat is released from that general store. I haven't seen anything on how much fat goes directly to providing energy on the way in, on a ketogenic diet, versus what goes into storage, whether it's about equal like in that mixed diet example, but it's liable to be something similar, but with higher numbers since fat is a higher percentage of daily energy.

I would try eating a bit more protein and lifting weights or some other sort of resistance training.
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  #12   ^
Old Sun, Feb-17-19, 16:28
Meme#1's Avatar
Meme#1 Meme#1 is offline
Posts: 10,649
 
Plan: Atkins DANDR
Stats: 210/188/160 Female 5'4"
BF:
Progress: 44%
Location: Texas
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As long as you use your carbs for veggies and not 20g of rice or a cookie, slice of bread or noodles, this will work for you and there is no reason or purpose to count calories.
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  #13   ^
Old Sun, Feb-17-19, 19:13
fhutt1 fhutt1 is offline
New Member
Posts: 15
 
Plan: Fung, Rosedale
Stats: 236/195/157 Male 180cm
BF:
Progress: 52%
Location: Australia
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Teaser, I follow what said. This satisfies the concerns of my first post in this thread.

The reason I have been so "pushy" about understanding this is because I always read the suggestion to eat when I am hungry and eat only until full. Of course limit carbs to 20 grams.

I actually have a couple of problems with this.
1) After all these years of dieting, besides dropping my metabolism, my hormone communication is also shot. I can fast (zero cals) for 36-42 hours without getting hungry and when I eat I do not feel full. No signals. Therefore, I created a spreadsheet with all the foods I eat with the details and this way I how much is my limit. I know that if I eat over 1600 cals I start putting on weight. I have to start eating when it is time not when I get hungry because I don't.

2) The 20 grams of carbs is also a problem from 2 angles.
a) Optifast in the Intensive phase is supposed to be ketogenic. This is a 800 calorie program with about 65 grams of carbs - not 20. There are a lot of people who have used this and works. There are other examples of this type of dieting.
b) For 25 years of dieting mostly on Atkins (over and over) because I could lose weight, I have noticed that within about a week I get constipated. I have tried everything suggested without working. The only things that work are a couple of slices of bread or Movicol and Sena. Bread is not allowed, and the others are not supposed to be taken continuously. Constipation cannot be healthy either. Besides craving for sweets constipation was the main other reason for dropping out of ketosis time after time.

Setting up rules without solving the problems that go along with the consequences is not sustainable.

Maybe I should start a new thread for these other issues.
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  #14   ^
Old Sun, Feb-17-19, 20:50
GRB5111's Avatar
GRB5111 GRB5111 is offline
Posts: 3,016
 
Plan: Ketogenic (LCHFKD)
Stats: 227/186/185 Male 6' 0"
BF:
Progress: 98%
Location: Herndon, VA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fhutt1
Thank you Rob for your reply.
I have read this in other places. My understanding is that the liver produces the ketones as a byproduct of converting body fat to energy producing triglyceride. If there is no calorie deficit, why would the liver produce more energy producing triglyceride (since it's not required - no deficit)?

We can keep this fairly simple by stating that people require energy whether there is a caloric deficit or not. You are not unusual that you have no "off" switch when you have eaten enough. That will change, so to keep it really simple, count carbs and limit them. I know few people who can overeat on fat and protein. As for constipation, that may be a separate thread, and we've have many discussions about that on this forum. Make sure you're getting enough salt, magnesium, and other electrolytes on a daily basis. My final comment is that transitioning into fat burning mode does not require a reduction in calories. It should not result in constipation unless you're limiting yourself in other ways. You may have short periods in the beginning where you have these problems, hunger, constipation, flu-like symptoms, but I assure you they can be managed and will go away. This is a big change in the beginning, as it's hardly trivial to change the energy source priority for your metabolism, but it can be done and you'll flourish in the long term.
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  #15   ^
Old Mon, Feb-18-19, 02:34
fhutt1 fhutt1 is offline
New Member
Posts: 15
 
Plan: Fung, Rosedale
Stats: 236/195/157 Male 180cm
BF:
Progress: 52%
Location: Australia
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Rob, I have been on the Atkins diet numerous times. I'm sure you know that it is a ketogenic diet starting with around 20g of carbs. At times I managed it for months. Constipation persisted, raised blood pressure persisted and my glucose got out of control when not on the diet about 2 years ago. At about that time I came across Ron Rosedale and Jason Fung's websites. The Rosedale diet is similar to Atkins except that Rosedale suggests limiting protein. About 2 years ago I started also limiting proteins and within 1-2 weeks my blood pressure normalizes. I have never seen this on the Atlins diet. Last year I reached 32Kg below my maximum weight. Unfortunately, I am now only 16Kg below my maximum. I have been through this, I am not new to it.

I believe my electrolytes are ok. I do a 1 hour walk each day. When I am on the diet for about 2 weeks, with my blood pressure (diastolic) at <80 I also do exercises like the Belleon ones:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WvWfj-S8e5k
These are quite strenuous but great.

My main problems are constipation and craving sweets. These are the problems that cause me to fall off the wagon.

Last edited by fhutt1 : Mon, Feb-18-19 at 14:23.
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