The ketone breath is a reliable enough indicator for me and typically lasts about 10 minutes or so. It always happens exactly when expected, mid to late afternoon. I eat most of my carbs in a late evening meal.
Originally Posted by Sol y Sombra
Going into ketosis does not necessarily indicate that glycogen stores in the muscles are depleted or near depletion, but I believe one can infer that liver glycogen stores are near depletion. Glycogen levels in the muscles can be tracked through weight fluctuations (1 g glycogen is stored with ~ 4 g water), that's if weight doesn't fluctuate for other reasons (e.g. due to fluid retention elsewhere). Also by how tight your clothes feel - I can track this to a degree by how tight my jeans feel on my legs - there's quite a big fluctuation there as most of my cardio is weight-bearing. Still muscle glycogen depletion is not an easy thing to measure - in my case I get fluid retention from burning body fat and exercise, thus if I don't exercise for a few days on a calorie surplus my weight actually goes down temporarily!
If you're not really hungry after workouts that's a good sign. You won't have used up all your glycogen if it was only a modest workout. I burn an estimated 100-120 g of carbs (and about 50-60 g fat) in a workout and don't feel ravenous afterwards. The proportion of glycogen to fat burned in a workout depends on the activity. I do a mix of yoga, weights, sprints and low-level cardio and estimate about 50:50 fat:glycogen burnt by calories.
While I'm not going to dispute that this works well for some folk, it wouldn't work for me. I believe there are different metabolic types. I do well on moderate starch and being active. It seems a lot of women do best in this moderate carb range of 100 - 200 g a day, depending on their goals. I tend to need fewer carbs during the summer but I still eat within the moderate range - yet I am more active and that's when I can lose weight easily.
And one more thing: the Scandinavian LCHF movement "preaches" very low-carb (20 g/day) and they say that the body just needs a little time to adapt and then athletes and anyone who wishes to exercise can perform as good or even better on VLC, no extra carbs are needed. What do you say to that?
As I have seasonal affective disorder and body clock issues, I don't want to risk mucking up my tryptophan/serotonin/melatonin balance, and carbs are important for production of serotonin by the gut. Carbs have also helped me build a lot of muscle when timed post-workout, and help me sleep deeply and efficiently.
Thanks - that's very sweet of you. Hope this helps.
I really value your posts on the forums, so please shed some light on these issues, when you find the time.
F 5 ft 3. HW: 196 lbs. Primal SW (May 2011): 182 lbs (42% BF)... W June '12: 160 lbs (29% BF) (UK size 12, US size 8). GW: ~24% BF - have ditched the scales til I fit into a pair of UK size 10 bootcut jeans. Currently aligning towards 'The Perfect Health Diet' having swapped some fat for potatoes.