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Thread: Burning Fat for Fuel ≠ Ketosis? Difference? page

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    Burning Fat for Fuel ≠ Ketosis? Difference?

    Hi guys, I read everywhere that it's the goal to burn FAT for fuel instead of sugar.

    How does that work? I eat a lot of fat and then my body gets energy from that fat by converting it to what?

    I always thought it makes ketones out of the fat I eat but I guess there is a difference?

    For example if I eat 150g of carbs per day, get most of my calories from fat and medium protein, I am not in ketosis. But will my body run on fat instead of glucose?

    How so if i'm not in ketosis?

    Thanks for any clarifications

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nady View Post
    This doesn't tell me anything.

    I don't understand the distinction between "burning fat" and "ketosis".

    If I eat fat my body breaks it down and makes energy out of it. How? That is NOT ketosis??

    If I eat fat but very few carbs my body breaks down the fat and makes energy out of it. But now it's ketosis?
    What's the difference?


    And what does Mark mean with: "it's the goal to burn fat for fuel instead of sugar and it usually takes 3 weeks to adapt"?

    If we are NOT talking about ketosis here, what is happening? What does the body need to do in that adaption phase?

    I've heard in a biochem lecture the same thing that the body needs to get used to low-carb dieting (only there the prof said it'd take 6 months). But why? What is happening?

    Thank you

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    Its a shift in the metabolic machinery. Takes time for the body to put the "new machinery" in place. If you have gone all your life burning sugar then you have a bunch of sugar burning machinery in place. Making the shift to being at least ABLE to burn fats requires different enzymes and pathways. Your gonna have to dust off this machinery and bring it up to code before it functions well. Thats about the best analogy I can work up in short notice. Could bust out a metabolic pathways text to get to what the "machinery" and pathways involved are. And if your looking for anything more in depth than a short analogy thats what I suggest you do. Its not light reading, but if you are looking for the hard science little else to be done. There is this book, which has some insight The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living |
    Last edited by Neckhammer; 04-16-2012 at 12:27 PM.

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    As I understand it, which may of course be completely wrong , you need to burn fat to produce ketones, but you can burn fat as your primary energy source without creating enough ketones to put you into a ketotic state.

    I've recently read a book by some Dr's at Johns Hopkins who have been using a ketogenic diet for decades to treat kids with epilepsy, in it they used the analogy that if you think of fat as being the logs on a fire then ketones are the ash that's left after the fat had been burned by the body for fuel. The ketones are then used by the brain as fuel instead of glucose, which it would use in a higher carb diet.

    Their also seem to be varying degrees of ketosis, as they also recommend that to get their patients into a deep enough ketotic state to have the required affect the diet also has to be lower in protein than normally recommended for a child of that age (as a proportion of protein eaten is also converted to glucose) and very calorie controlled to ensure the child isn't eating more calories than they require to maintain weight, as this also appears to reduce the depth of their ketosis.

    I'll try and dig out the book and post the name and authors.
    If you're interested in my (very) occasional updates on how I'm working out and what I'm eating click here.

    Quote Originally Posted by tfarny View Post
    If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-blueprint-101/

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    Also, they fast the child for a couple of days before switching them to the ketotic diet to get the body into ketosis immediately.
    Essentially, ketosis mimics fasting / starvation in a way, but you obviously have the benefits of still getting required nutrition.

    I also heard Robb Wolf mention recently that it's possible to be ketotic (or maybe it was just that it should still be classed as a ketotic diet..) even when eating a higher amount of carbs (such as recommended in the zone diet) but in calorie deficit as the body still produces ketones.
    If you're interested in my (very) occasional updates on how I'm working out and what I'm eating click here.

    Quote Originally Posted by tfarny View Post
    If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-blueprint-101/

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    Could bust out a metabolic pathways text to get to what the "machinery" and pathways involved are.
    That would be preferable to you just posting bollocks about "dusty machinery". If you don't understand something, please don't make it up. This forum is misleading enough already.

    To answer the OP's question: as I understand it, by simply keeping your insulin production low your body can use stored fat as fuel. When your insulin levels are high your body will store fat instead. So ketosis is not required in order to use fat as fuel. This link explains it quite well in simple terms: Sugar, Insulin Resistance, and Fat Loss – By Jason Seib | Everyday Paleo

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    Quote Originally Posted by zilog View Post
    That would be preferable to you just posting bollocks about "dusty machinery". If you don't understand something, please don't make it up. This forum is misleading enough already.
    LOL....what you don't like my analogy. Kiss my arse.

    Hi guys, I read everywhere that it's the goal to burn FAT for fuel instead of sugar.

    How does that work? I eat a lot of fat and then my body gets energy from that fat by converting it to what?
    ATP among other things Beta oxidation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    I always thought it makes ketones out of the fat I eat but I guess there is a difference?
    Fat you eat fat you have stored. Not only does overall fat oxidation increase on a low carb diet but specifically saturated fat oxidation increased to a higher degree than the others. This all happens while inhibiting de novo lipogenesis

    For example if I eat 150g of carbs per day, get most of my calories from fat and medium protein, I am not in ketosis. But will my body run on fat instead of glucose? Depends on your glucose tolerance and insulin response. Most healthy active people will be running on fat a good portion of the time at this level. If you have metabolic syndrome you may not.

    How so if i'm not in ketosis? Ketosis does not have to be maintained 100% of the time except in cases such as those mentioned before (epilepsy, diabetes, ect.). We dip in and out of ketosis through intermittent fasting, reduced calorie, and reduced carb.


    The lag time that the body takes in building new enzymes and upgrading this fat burning pathway to accommodate more fat for fuel (in place of carbs) is what I was referring to in my analogy. Along with various physiological and hormonal shifts in insulin, leptin, glucagon ect....It is obviously not an in depth biochem review....hence "analogy". Is that a little better?

    Disclaimer: This still barely scratches the surface and I've left a ton out. This fellas site is good for some low carb science and reading on the metabolic shift too http://waroninsulin.com/
    Last edited by Neckhammer; 04-16-2012 at 01:32 PM.

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