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Thread: confused about glucose page

  1. #1
    halloweenbinge's Avatar
    halloweenbinge is offline Junior Member
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    Does the body go after fat or protein first for glucose needs after someone is low carb/ in ketosis? Does protein get used for bodily repairs first or is it possible that the body will use it for glucose first and reduce muscle mass in the process?


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    You need a minimum of ~50g/day of glucose to feed your red blood cells (~10g) and brain (~40g). So if you are eating at least 50g of carbs per day, you shouldn't need to worry about loss of lean mass.


    Protein (either dietary or from lean mass) will be used to build glucose if dietary intake of carbs is below 50g per day. Feeding your brain and blood cells is the top priority. So yes, your body will take amino acids from your muscles to make glucose if you are not taking in enough carb and protein to meet that need. For example, if you're eating zero carb, approximately 75g of protein per day will be converted to glucose.


    Therefore, if you want to avoid loss of muscle mass to glucose production, and you are currently eating less than 50g of carbs per day, you need to do one of two things: (1) double check your dietary protein intake and increase it if necessary to account for the fact that some of it will be used to produce glucose, or (2) bump your carb intake up a little.


    This posting on PaNu gives more detail, and in the comments you can find help with calculating your protein needs.


    http://www.paleonu.com/panu-weblog/2009/8/25/on-zero-carbs-can-you-make-your-glucose-from-fat.html


    I hope that helps!


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    There is a calculator available to calculate your daily need for nutrients.

    Haven't used it myself so I can't comment if it's working or not - but maybe you find that useful:

    http://www.phlaunt.com/lowcarb/DietMakeupCalc.php


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    Pikaia's Avatar
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    Interesting calculator. Thanks for the link.


    A clarifying note: it asks you how long you have been on a sub-80 grams of carb per day diet. Prior to adjusting to lower carb intake, it assumes your brain needs a lot more glucose per day, for a total of 110g glucose/day. For that reason the calculator gives you a much higher protein target for the first three weeks. After three weeks the calculator assumes your glucose requirement is only 50g per day.


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    maba's Avatar
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    Thanks for the calculator link hakman73. For my weight, height and activity level, I need only 44g of protein, but I've been eating atleast twice that amount. No wonder I've gained weight.


    I'm not sure I understand what "Sedentary with Metabolic Advantage" means.


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    The use of calculator is explained here:

    http://www.phlaunt.com/lowcarb/19058429.php


    @maba - here it comes:

    "Use the "Sedentary with Metabolic Advantage" option if you are in the first months of a very low carbohydrate diet--eating 30 to 40 grams of carbohydrates a day, even if you are exercising at any level but training for a professional sport."


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    maba's Avatar
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    Thanks once again hakman. Have added the link to my favorites, lots of useful information there. I think I know what I need to do to lose weight - up the fats, lower the protein & carbs, lift weights. I went back and looked at my fit day records. I've been eating way too much protein and not enough fat.


  8. #8
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    Interesting calculator. Thanks for the links. For me, at ~60g carbs/day the only major difference between "sedentary" and "heavy exercise" seems to be the protein intake. Fat is very similar (118g for sedentary vs. 122g fat for heavy), but protein varies quite a bit (54g protein for sedentary vs. 87g for heavy exercise)


    I guess it makes sense based on using extra protein to convert to glucose as fuel. So, all the extra calories for exercise come from the bumped up protein intake.


  9. #9
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    Well.. as I said previously I haven't used this one myself yet, but having played around with it today I might have found out the reason for slight decrease in muscle mass I've been observing lately..

    As I obviously am not fully adapted to ketosis yet I either need to up my protein intake from 150 to 200g a day if I want to maintain my 30g/day carb level or up my carbs to 60g a day

    Interesting..


  10. #10
    halloweenbinge's Avatar
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    Primal Blueprint Expert Certification


    Thank you for the links and everyone's comments. I'm still confused in one area though. Why does it say it takes three weeks to adapt to a keto diet? I thought if you restricted carbs it would take no longer than three days to enter ketosis, especially if it's lower than 30 g carbs/day.


    So, if you've been in ketosis for a while but you have a high carb day, does that mean you would have to wait three more weeks to be back in ketosis? Meaning you'd have to up your carbs, or up your protein even more than you would the carbs, to make up for the glucose?


    I'm really worried about this because I was under the impression you only need 30 g of glucose per day while low carb. But apparently it's more so I'm worried I haven't been getting enough protein to make up for the carbs I'm not eating that would be used for glucose.


    Thanks to anyone who can clear this up for me.


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