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    Esoteric Fish's Avatar
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    Question about high carb fat loss and ketones...

    I was wondering... let's say someone loses fat the conventional way, by cutting calories, exercising more, and eating high carb, moderate protein, low fat diet. What happened here?

    I assume that the body used the food he ate for energy, and then because he didn't eat enough calories to meet his energy needs, his body used his body fat to cover the excess energy needs. I know that "calories in, calories out" is a gross oversimplification - but if you ignore the more complicated hormonal factors, is something like this correct?

    If so, I have two questions. If one loses fat this way, even though one only eats 15% of his calories from fat, is it the case that the body is using a significantly higher amount of fat for energy? Would losing fat this way, from the body's perspective, be similar to eat a higher fat diet? (I hope that question makes sense).

    Second, if the body uses the stored bodyfat for energy, is it creating ketones? I mean, how else does the body use stored bodyfat for energy?

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    Stabby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Esoteric Fish View Post
    I was wondering... let's say someone loses fat the conventional way, by cutting calories, exercising more, and eating high carb, moderate protein, low fat diet. What happened here?

    I assume that the body used the food he ate for energy, and then because he didn't eat enough calories to meet his energy needs, his body used his body fat to cover the excess energy needs. I know that "calories in, calories out" is a gross oversimplification - but if you ignore the more complicated hormonal factors, is something like this correct?
    Yes, that is correct. There was demand for more energy than what we consumed so the difference came out of fat stores.


    Quote Originally Posted by Esoteric Fish View Post
    If so, I have two questions. If one loses fat this way, even though one only eats 15% of his calories from fat, is it the case that the body is using a significantly higher amount of fat for energy? Would losing fat this way, from the body's perspective, be similar to eat a higher fat diet? (I hope that question makes sense).
    I have heard it said like that, it makes sense to me. But no, it isn't like eating a high fat diet - all of the pathways and effects are different. In the diet the fat is transported around and changed into various lipoproteins, whereas in the event of lipolysis (breakdown of triglycerides from fat cells) it is in free fatty acid form. Releasing free fatty acids to be burned won't influence blood cholesterol or hormones, so it's different. If you only eat 15% of calories as fat you are burning a lot less fat than if you eat 60% of your calories as fat, because you're burning glucose in place of fats part of the time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Esoteric Fish View Post
    Second, if the body uses the stored bodyfat for energy, is it creating ketones? I mean, how else does the body use stored bodyfat for energy?
    Not all of the time. If carbohydrate intake is low enough it will burn ketones in the brain and sometimes in the heart but burning fat in the muscles and other organs is always in the form of free fatty acids.
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    Wow, thanks for the detailed response Stabby! Interesting stuff.

    As a side question, do you know of any simple books or articles, aimed at a layman, that outline the basics of how the body uses different forms of energy? Thanks again!

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    Not really, I have read a bunch of good books that talk about nutrition and metabolism and whatnot, and I use wikipedia and other online resources. I could use something like that too, my overall knowledge is pretty weak. Is anyone aware of something that isn't a full-blown textbook? I assume I'll read a textbook some day, just not now.
    Stabbing conventional wisdom in its face.

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    You can lose weight using any model that cuts calories over the longterm, but you'll find that using a conventional model will loose a significant amount of muscle along the way (granted you won't need as much muscle on a smaller body\frame).

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