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Is ketosis necessary?

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  • Is ketosis necessary?

    I want to become fat adapted but every time I try I feel miserable for weeks. Right now I am trying to get to a place where I don't crave my old favorites, but can occasionally indulge without binging. I also want to drop about 5lbs. I was eating about 25 carbs a day for 3 weeks. This helped kick the cravings but I was so tired all the time and I'm in opera rehearsal 4 hours a day- I can't feel that tired anymore. I upped my carbs to around 50g and feel a little better, though cravings are a little stronger. If I up my carbs, will I lose my fat burning ability? I'm somewhat active, weights twice a week and walking about 3 hours a week.

    5'6
    132lbs

  • #2
    Have you read the book or the free stuff on MDA?

    Here ya go:Ketosis in a Low-Carb Diet | Mark's Daily Apple

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    • #3
      Yes I have I'm just confused on a good carb range to be a fat burner and tip top function without feeling doggy. I think I'm getting confused with information from Atkins.

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      • #4
        Dont focus on Ketosis unless you want to challenge yourself, or break a plateau. I'd say up the carbs if your tired, this isn't strictly a weight loss diet, it's a health diet designed to make you an optimal human being. If you are tired all the time, something needs to change. Some days I stay really low carb, and other days I add sweet potatoes to my dinner. You just need to figure out what works for you.

        I still have plenty of weight to loose, but I'm determined to use whole nutrition to get there and not quick fixes. Ketosis might get me there quicker, but I know I'll feel better if I up the carbs. You'll still loose weight, just maybe not at the same pace. Keep it under a 100grams and you'll probably be fine.

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        • #5
          Unless you have some metabolic problem or are obese, then there's no reason for you to go on a ketogenic diet. Losing/gaining weight is still a matter of calories.

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          • #6
            I feel fantastic on either complete ketosis (LOTS of fat, keep the protein moderate to low), or with about 100 grams of carbs each day. If I go somewhere in the middle, it feels like I'm stuck in the gray area between being fully keto-adapted and not at all. I have been in ketosis for about three weeks and and have gotten more lean/muscular than I have ever been. The food gets boring, but the steady energy levels are great. I'll do it until I stop leaning out and then probably test the waters with more carbs around workout to see if I can maintain it that way.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by aeriel View Post
              Yes I have I'm just confused on a good carb range to be a fat burner and tip top function without feeling doggy. I think I'm getting confused with information from Atkins.
              The carbohydrate curve works for me.
              How many carbs should I eat each day? | Mark's Daily Apple

              I like to stay in the 50-150g range on a day to day basis with some days coming in at the <50g range. And nowadays I have no problem fasting near 24hrs and going for an hour run before breaking fast.

              With that said, I gradually moved into it, going from a high carb diet and gradually decreasing my intake and had no carb-flu during the process.

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              • #8
                No.

                In my experience, if you focus on satisfaction and calories you can't go wrong. Cutting the carbs can help reduce calories temporarily to drop weight if you need to, but it isn't a necessity.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Darz View Post
                  Unless you have some metabolic problem or are obese, then there's no reason for you to go on a ketogenic diet. Losing/gaining weight is still a matter of calories.
                  That might be true, but being keto-adapted makes it easier for a person to tolerate fewer calories. It has also been clearly shown to better allow nutrient partitioning (burn fat and build muscle at the same time). Calories do matter, but a ketogenic diet changes the amount of calories that your body demands, and also changes your body's willingness to let go of fat. I don't think you have to do it to lose weight, but if you want to finish off the last few pounds, or lose a lot of fat fast, it is hard to beat.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by The Scientist View Post
                    That might be true, but being keto-adapted makes it easier for a person to tolerate fewer calories. It has also been clearly shown to better allow nutrient partitioning (burn fat and build muscle at the same time). Calories do matter, but a ketogenic diet changes the amount of calories that your body demands, and also changes your body's willingness to let go of fat. I don't think you have to do it to lose weight, but if you want to finish off the last few pounds, or lose a lot of fat fast, it is hard to beat.
                    Interesting, is it possible to get som more information about that?
                    "All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."

                    - Schopenhauer

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by aeriel View Post
                      Yes I have I'm just confused on a good carb range to be a fat burner and tip top function without feeling doggy. I think I'm getting confused with information from Atkins.
                      Well, I would agree with your initial statement about feeling like crap. Low carbs work. But that doesn't mean it's necessarily the best or that you couldn't do well by doing it another way. Like what Darz said, it's still all about calories.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Sambo712 View Post
                        I'd say up the carbs if your tired, this isn't strictly a weight loss diet, it's a health diet designed to make you an optimal human being. If you are tired all the time, something needs to change.
                        This is one of the things I think people need to distinguish. And I agree. I'm usually not that strict. But I can honestly say, I simply feel A LOT better when I eat foods such as fish all the time vs typical SAD junk.

                        With that being said, I don't think such is the same as what is required for fat loss. To lose fat, you have to cut calories. Once the fat is gone, you go back to maintenance.

                        Originally posted by Sambo712 View Post
                        Some days I stay really low carb, and other days I add sweet potatoes to my dinner. You just need to figure out what works for you.
                        I do the same thing. I noticed if I do it that way, my carbs just end up being moderate at the most. And on my low carb days, I still feel great because I'm eating great foods such as fish and lots of green veggies or peppers.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Gorbag View Post
                          Interesting, is it possible to get som more information about that?
                          I second that. - Well, to burn fat and build muscle at the same time is a body recomposition - and although it is possible it is extremely hard to get it done properly so I wouldn't consider it, especially in the long erun, and you can also do it on a high carb diet - cause calories are what, in the end, matter- but, in my opinion, you'd be better off either losing(fat) or gaining(muscle) - with no need to go on a ketogenic diet.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Darz View Post
                            I second that. - Well, to burn fat and build muscle at the same time is a body recomposition - and although it is possible it is extremely hard to get it done properly so I wouldn't consider it, especially in the long erun, and you can also do it on a high carb diet - cause calories are what, in the end, matter- but, in my opinion, you'd be better off either losing(fat) or gaining(muscle) - with no need to go on a ketogenic diet.
                            Look at Jeff Volek's work, particularly his paper in Strength and Conditioning from 2010. I am not allowed to post the PDF, since it requires access through a university (or direct purchase). Here is the important data:

                            They compared four groups for their change in body composition over 12 weeks

                            Low fat, no exercise: -3.5kg fat, - 1.4kg muscle

                            Ketogenic, no exercise: -6.2kg fat, -3.2kg muscle

                            Low fat, Heavy lifting: -3.5kg fat, +1.8kg muscle

                            Ketogenic, Heavy lifting: -7.7kg fat, +1.0kg muscle

                            This demonstrates that nutrient partitioning is not difficult to do, and ketogenic diets clearly win if your main goal is fat loss. The questions this does not answer is if a low carb diet that is not quite low enough to trigger ketosis would be just as effective. I know that I have only been able to get very lean using a ketogenic diet, but of course that is not real data.

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                            • #15
                              I started off roughly at your body comp (120ish, 5'4) and lost 20+ pounds on primal over a year never doing low carb. I like my starchy vegetables way too much, and I've never been a big fan of fat and meat. It's entirely doable. I was at around 150g of carbs daily.
                              F 28/5'4/100 lbs

                              "I'm not a psychopath, I'm a high-functioning sociopath; do your research."

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