Welcome back loyal readers as well as new to the popular daytime post series KETOSIS. It’s been a while since this topic has received the attention it deserves, so join me again as we uncover the mysteries of this amazing fat loss technique. Today I thought I would discuss the forbidden carbohydrate. Specifically, how many can be included in this diet, as well as some tricks I use with them that I find very effective when it comes to super charging my thyroid as it begins to slow as the diet progresses. So strap yourself in for another thrilling episode of KETOSIS!
I can only speak from personal experience when I say that when I get into deep ketosis, which takes roughly two weeks in actual reality, that I don’t need to consume carbs at all to function and feel absolutely normal. The general guideline however, is to consume around fifty grams per day to inhibit cortisol release and to provide enough carbohydrate for the brain, limiting the need for the body to break down protein.
I find that with adequate protein intake however, there is no need for any carbohydrate as your body can manufacture whatever it needs and not at the expense of your muscle. Due to the surplus of protein, whatever is catabolised will be resynthesized without muscle loss. This also means that due to the extremely low carbohydrate intake, there will be very little insulin present to ever interfere with utilizing fat for fuel. It’s my view that this is a more pure form of ketosis.
According to those that study ketosis in a more scientific environment than ever will happen here as I don’t have a lab handy, anything lower than 100 grams of carbs will facilitate ketosis. As that number of carbs drops further the greater the number of ketones that will be produced. As the goal of ketosis is to get your body running on ketones as it’s almost exclusive energy source, it makes sense to me at least that you should get that number as low as you can.
Unless of course you’re a member of the population that doesn’t function well in ketosis. It has been postulated by those with the science degrees and laboratories, that if you’re a person with tremendous insulin sensitivity, meaning in this case that you tolerate carbs exceedingly well, then you are likely a poor candidate for ketosis. Conversely if you possess average to poor insulin sensitivity then you are likely to do very well when in ketosis. We have to work with that variable when assessing our own carbohydrate requirements.
Those that complain of fatigue and mental fog are examples of people who function poorly in ketosis. I can eat nothing but red meat and eggs for days, and I do sometimes for the record, and feel great. My energy is even, and if anything I feel as if I have more. I’m a stay at home dad with two very young boys so the mental fog I experience daily has nothing to do with my diet.
It is those that don’t do well in ketosis, but want to reap the benefits of using ketones for fuel, that may want to consume between 100 to 120 grams of carbohydrate. That will allow you to be in ketosis, not deep ketosis obviously, but you will definitely be using ketones for fuel while still providing your brain with enough carbohydrate to function with its customary fuel source. I say customary because I’ve seen evidence that supports the theory that your brain and organs actually prefer ketones over glucose for their substrate of choice, and I’ve seen the opposite also. It’s still up for debate, and nothing I’ve seen proves anything one way or another.
Then there is the issue of exercise. I’m not going to include endurance athletes in this conversation because if you’re training seriously for marathons or triathlons, then engaging in a low carb lifestyle is probably not for you. Maybe it is, but I don’t feel qualified to comment. Those of us that train with weights however, it is my understanding that we use two and a half grams of glucose per work sets that are of a duration between 30 and 45 seconds. As I stated earlier, I’m ok with any carbohydrate my body needs being synthesized from protein via gluconeogenesis, because during post workout protein resynthesis, any muscle that was catabolised will be replaced relatively quickly. If you’re one who needs some carbs to feel normal, then you need to factor these needs in as well.
One last area relating to carbohydrate I would like to bring up is the slowing of the metabolism. This occurs on any diet where under maintenance calories are consumed. The body in it’s never-ending quest for homeostasis will slow its use of energy and become more efficient. It’s actually an amazing process that was useful a very long time ago to prevent starvation, but for our purposes is somewhat of an obstacle. The symptoms I notice most are feeling cold and somewhat weak. I notice these feelings much less however, on the diet I’m currently doing and is the subject of the book I’ll be releasing at some point.
Back to those feelings of a slowed metabolism, if you notice these symptoms or just that your fat loss has halted, then what I’m going to suggest works incredibly well for me. I’m assuming that you’re in deep ketosis before I’d recommend you try this trick. Try consuming a huge amount of fructose. Yes, fructose. That evil sugar. My favorite is about a pound of dried mango, all at once. If you’re in deep ketosis this won’t even knock you out of it, and all of a sudden your fat loss accelerates.
The only mechanism I can think of that causes this is your liver glycogen, dependent on fructose, fills and probably over compensates due to the deficit it’s been in. The liver is the primary organ needed to turn relatively inactive T4 into active T3. I’m theorizing here again, but I expect that your T3 conversion will over compensate as well, meaning you’ll be processing greater amounts of calories. Due to the fact that you’ve been deep in ketosis for a good period of time your cells are extremely insulin sensitive so everything not used to refill your liver glycogen will be stored as glycogen in the muscles, possibly further enhancing fat utilization due to the body’s fuel supply being refilled. Therefore it has less need to hang on to fat. If done infrequently the result will always be the same-amazing!
Every bit of that last paragraph is my own attempt to pseudo scientifically explain what I have anecdotally observed with myself. I believe it to be true, but if you know something I don’t, I would love to hear from you. It’s the sharing of ideas that benefits us all!
That my friends, was the latest in the ketosis adventure that I personally hope never ends. On a side note, I get a lot of enjoyment sharing what I know on this subject and I hope it helps you to reach your goals, because that is the biggest reason I’m doing this. Until next time then,