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Confusing Ketosis

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  • Confusing Ketosis

    Hey everyone,

    A couple of years ago I went through a period where I was VLC and only eating during an 8 hour window. It was one of the worst periods of my life for sleep. I could only sleep for 4 hours a night, after which I had to get up to eat something (always a sandwich), and couldn't go back to sleep. I was constantly exhausted. I developed acne, my gums were constantly bleeding, I was just a mess. I was also doing 90 mins of Bikram Yoga four times a week. I wasn't overweight, but I was trying to lose skinny fat - which I didn't.

    Looking back, is it possible that I was entering ketosis on a nightly basis, but then what I ate in the morning was kicking me back into glycolysis? Was limiting my eating window stressing my body? Could this stress produce cortisol and keep me in the skinny fat zone?

    I've been primal for three weeks, and also VLC (I am treating hypoglycemia) - it's all mostly for health reasons, but I do still have the skinny fat which I want to get rid of. I'm doing lifts now, but my sleep is starting to suffer again, and I have to get up when I wake and eat a lot of food. This is also a symptom of hypoglecemic insomnia, but I'm starting to wonder if it's linked to ketosis?

    Is eating at weird times of night (sometimes as early as 3am, but usually around 4.30) messing with my system, releasing cortisol etc, keeping me skinny fat, and messing with my appetite? How do I stop the cycle? Any advice would be really appreciated.

    I don't have any symptoms of ketosis, other than the broken sleep (and lots more energy, but I think that's more a symptom of cutting grains and sugars).
    "I think the basic anti-aging diet is also the best diet for prevention and treatment of diabetes, scleroderma, and the various "connective tissue diseases." This would emphasize high protein, low unsaturated fats, low iron, and high antioxidant consumption, with a moderate or low starch consumption.

    In practice, this means that a major part of the diet should be milk, cheese, eggs, shellfish, fruits and coconut oil, with vitamin E and salt as the safest supplements."

    - Ray Peat

  • #2
    IIRC you are also vegetarian/vegan (?) Could it be that you were just waking up at night because you were hungry? If you tried to do VLC without animal protein, that would leave very little in the way of foods that maintain satiety.

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    • #3
      You are probably not eating enough protein. 100g per day is a reasonable target, which equates to about 500g of meat, poultry or fish. More for eggs. More fat can also help in this regard.

      Many people think they have to meet weight targets to get healthy. Actually, almost the opposite is true. Establish a lifestyle focussed on restoring your body to health (restoring hormone balances, recovering nutrient depletion, removing toxins) will lead you to a healthy weight. Calories still count, but health should be the first priority
      Four years Primal with influences from Jaminet & Shanahan and a focus on being anti-inflammatory. Using Primal to treat CVD and prevent stents from blocking free of drugs.

      Eat creatures nose-to-tail (animal, fowl, fish, crustacea, molluscs), a large variety of vegetables (raw, cooked and fermented, including safe starches), dairy (cheese & yoghurt), occasional fruit, cocoa, turmeric & red wine

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      • #4
        Uh, have you tried eating more carbs? Have you actually been diagnosed with low blood sugar? If you are actually hypoglycemic, isn't VLC bad?
        "The problem with quoting someone on the Internet is, you never know if it's legit" - Abraham Lincoln

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        • #5
          Thanks for the good advice guys. I guess the reason I'm really asking the question(s) is because my insomnia is plaguing my life. I've had it for years, and it definitely gets worse when I am eating within a small time window. I think attributing it to hunger is oversimplifying it, because some people are able to sleep when fasting, and other people aren't.

          This isn't all about weight targets, but at the same time when I am sleep deprived I have a tendency to binge on carb-y foods (though these days it's just brazil nuts and 85% dark chocolate ) just so I can get some sleep the next night. It's keeping me on a plateau in all aspects - health and weight.

          What I'm confused about is whether people who have difficulty sleeping after a fast (even a short one) are actually entering ketosis? Or does everyone enter ketosis when fasting? If so, why can some people sleep okay, and other people can't?

          Sorry about all the muddled questions! I'm totally confused about my insomnia, and I really want to sort it out.
          "I think the basic anti-aging diet is also the best diet for prevention and treatment of diabetes, scleroderma, and the various "connective tissue diseases." This would emphasize high protein, low unsaturated fats, low iron, and high antioxidant consumption, with a moderate or low starch consumption.

          In practice, this means that a major part of the diet should be milk, cheese, eggs, shellfish, fruits and coconut oil, with vitamin E and salt as the safest supplements."

          - Ray Peat

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Fernaldo View Post
            Uh, have you tried eating more carbs? Have you actually been diagnosed with low blood sugar? If you are actually hypoglycemic, isn't VLC bad?
            I've been monitoring my blood sugar, and I'm definitely in the hypoglycemic range. I actually thought that VLC was good for sorting out blood sugar disorders, as you don't get the highs and crashes. I'm definitely gleaning a lot of benefits from it - have never had so much energy in my life. Only thing that's going wrong is the sleep (or lack thereof)!
            "I think the basic anti-aging diet is also the best diet for prevention and treatment of diabetes, scleroderma, and the various "connective tissue diseases." This would emphasize high protein, low unsaturated fats, low iron, and high antioxidant consumption, with a moderate or low starch consumption.

            In practice, this means that a major part of the diet should be milk, cheese, eggs, shellfish, fruits and coconut oil, with vitamin E and salt as the safest supplements."

            - Ray Peat

            Comment


            • #7
              If the limited eating window is causing your insomnia, my suggestion would be to eliminate the eating window.

              You can enter into ketosis without fasting. I do it without fasting.

              If you eat a lot of fat and protein and non-starchy carbs, blood sugars tend to remain stable. I don't know that fasting would be required to achieve stability.
              Primal since March 5, 2012
              SW: 221 | CW: 204 | LPW: 166 | UGW: 140 (80 lbs loss)



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              • #8
                Pretty much everything you've said leads me to believe that you are really freaking hungry. Eat.

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