2

votes

Borderline ketosis?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created November 12, 2012 at 1:07 AM

Ahoy,

I'm currently on day 5 of strict paleo, and day 2 of feeling achey, fevery, and fuzzy-headed. I plan on adhering to 30 days strict-paleo, but I am still unsure if this is for me.

I'm a lean 155lbs. at 5'8", and have never had a problem with weight. The benefits I hope to gain from the diet are less fluctuation in blood glucose, as I tend to feel like a slave to food... getting cranky if I don't eat every 6 hours or so. Also, I think I may have a slight hyperthyroidism, so I was thinking that cutting some grain couldn't hurt.

If I'm just looking to regulate blood glucose a bit and possibly correct a thyroid problem, would I need to stay in strict high-fat/low-carb ketosis at all times? Because I'm still very active and have a fast metabolism, I was thinking I should be consuming more carbs.

What would happen if I was under 30g of carbs some days and over 150-200g carbs on other days? Would I constantly feel like I had the low-carb flu?
Has anyone experimented with this? If my body is not always in ketosis, is it dangerous to be consuming high-fat?

I know about the 80/20 rule, but it sounds like that is regarding "cheating" and eating non-paleo foods. I'm talking paleo foods, just mixing up the protein/fat/carb ratios.

Thanks!

7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on November 13, 2012
at 04:12 PM

I found that if I ate more fat, the sluggishness would go away. It took a while for it to dawn on me that I needed to eat more because I was used to dieting and I wasn't hungry- but once I lost the weight, the calories had to come from my diet.

5e5ff249c9161b8cd96d7eff6043bc3a

(4713)

on November 12, 2012
at 10:34 PM

It's not a flat out recommendation that you be in ketosis. Just that you be in ketosis if you feel like you need to be, so those can recommendations can coexist.

B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on November 12, 2012
at 08:10 PM

Everyone burns fat all the time. It's just energy, like any other energy. There is the thought that if you are "in ketosis" you become fat adapted, and more efficient at burning fat.

Bcc085c98fd7ee09af983d61bbb5f0db

(10)

on November 12, 2012
at 05:22 PM

Doesn't the paleo diet reccommend a) being in ketosis b) consuming 0.7-1.0g of protein per pound of body weight? If 70g of protein knocks you out of ketosis, how can a and b coexist?

Bcc085c98fd7ee09af983d61bbb5f0db

(10)

on November 12, 2012
at 05:20 PM

This sounds like what I was worried about.. being stuck in a limbo gray-area, where my body is not great at burning the fat that I'm eating, and it's not really getting enough carbs either.. wouldn't I just feel sluggish all day?

Bcc085c98fd7ee09af983d61bbb5f0db

(10)

on November 12, 2012
at 05:17 PM

Thanks for the response.. If I'm not in ketosis, however, what would happen to all that fat that I'm consuming? My body would need to store it and then burn it, rather than burning it directly through ketosis?

2e3477a85563d4b7159814d5f4ea57d3

(435)

on November 12, 2012
at 01:48 PM

There are many flavors of paleo...

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10480)

on November 12, 2012
at 02:24 AM

carbs per day based on you being able to burn them off efficiently, as an already lean and active male. If you were already overweight or otherwise insulin resistant, I wouldn't have said that. As it is, 150-200 may be a bit high. Might not. That much refinement will require some N=1 experimentation on your part. When it comes to glucose spikes, that's going to depend on your insulin response and what type of carbs make up those 150-200g per day. If they're Paleo foods, or even a little white rice, I wouldn't be concerned.

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10480)

on November 12, 2012
at 02:18 AM

If you're not in ketosis, it could be argued that you're not losing fat as efficiently as possible. And while that could be argued, I can't say I'm convinced one way or the other, but in either case you don't have to be in ketosis to burn fat. From what I understand about ketosis, it is on or off, but that doesn't mean your fat-burning potential is on or off. If ketosis is what you're after, you should go very low carb (50g is about the limit for most people) and stay there for whatever period of time you like and not go back and forth every few days. I formulated my answer of 150-200g (cont)

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10480)

on November 12, 2012
at 02:16 AM

If you're not in ketosis, it could be argued that you're not losing fat as efficiently as possible. And while that could be argued, I can't say I'm convinced one way or the other, but in either case you don't have to be in ketosis to burn fat. From what I understand about ketosis, it is on or off, but that doesn't mean your fat-burning potential is on or off. If ketosis is what you're after, you should go very low carb (50g is the limit for most people) and stay there for whatever period of time you like and not go back and forth. (cont)

Bcc085c98fd7ee09af983d61bbb5f0db

(10)

on November 12, 2012
at 01:58 AM

Thanks Luckie, I agree I need some answers on the thyroid. I plan on getting a blood test after the 30-day period to see the effect on my body. I still don't understand, however, if I'm not in ketosis.. my body isn't burning fat efficiently, and if I'm not used to carb loads, wouldn't my glucose spike? This sounds like a recipe to gain a lot of weight (via fat not being burned) on a sugar roller-coaster ride. That's why I ask, is there varying levels of ketosis, or is it an on-off switch. You make it sound like once I achieve it once, my body can snap into it whenever it needs to.

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5 Answers

3
61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10480)

on November 12, 2012
at 01:28 AM

If I'm just looking to regulate blood glucose a bit and possibly correct a thyroid problem, would I need to stay in strict high-fat/low-carb ketosis at all times?

Regulate blood glucose? No, you don't have to be in ketosis for that.

Possibly correct a thyroid problem? I think you need to determine whether or not you actually have a thyroid problem in the first place. I hate to make it sound all mystical or something, but thyroids and hormones in general are tricky things and can have far-reaching effects. If you are concerned, don't muddle about with it. Get tested and go from there. You don't have to go with CW to treat, but CW is pretty good about testing hormones.

What would happen if I was under 30g of carbs some days and over 150-200g carbs on other days? Would I constantly feel like I had the low-carb flu? Has anyone experimented with this?

That's a good bit of carbs, but if you're an active male who is already lean, 150-200 some days shouldn't be a problem. Nor should the cycling. I cycle myself (not that dramatically, maybe 50-70g low days, 110-120 high days) and I haven't had a problem. In fact, carb cycling seems pretty low-key compared to some of the ideas that float about. If you are concerned about low-carb flu, wean yourself completely first. Do a Whole30 or something of under 50g a day and once you have done that, I don't think the cycling would bring it back if you were ever to experience it at all. I've never personally had that problem.

If my body is not always in ketosis, is it dangerous to be consuming high-fat?

No. This is CW. It may have stuck in your mind because if you eat high fat AND high carb, it's not going to end well. But you don't have to be ketosis-level low carb by any means. SAD eaters eating lots of Twinkies and canola oil are not an equivalent to Paleo eaters eating sweet potatoes and lard.

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10480)

on November 12, 2012
at 02:18 AM

If you're not in ketosis, it could be argued that you're not losing fat as efficiently as possible. And while that could be argued, I can't say I'm convinced one way or the other, but in either case you don't have to be in ketosis to burn fat. From what I understand about ketosis, it is on or off, but that doesn't mean your fat-burning potential is on or off. If ketosis is what you're after, you should go very low carb (50g is about the limit for most people) and stay there for whatever period of time you like and not go back and forth every few days. I formulated my answer of 150-200g (cont)

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10480)

on November 12, 2012
at 02:24 AM

carbs per day based on you being able to burn them off efficiently, as an already lean and active male. If you were already overweight or otherwise insulin resistant, I wouldn't have said that. As it is, 150-200 may be a bit high. Might not. That much refinement will require some N=1 experimentation on your part. When it comes to glucose spikes, that's going to depend on your insulin response and what type of carbs make up those 150-200g per day. If they're Paleo foods, or even a little white rice, I wouldn't be concerned.

Bcc085c98fd7ee09af983d61bbb5f0db

(10)

on November 12, 2012
at 01:58 AM

Thanks Luckie, I agree I need some answers on the thyroid. I plan on getting a blood test after the 30-day period to see the effect on my body. I still don't understand, however, if I'm not in ketosis.. my body isn't burning fat efficiently, and if I'm not used to carb loads, wouldn't my glucose spike? This sounds like a recipe to gain a lot of weight (via fat not being burned) on a sugar roller-coaster ride. That's why I ask, is there varying levels of ketosis, or is it an on-off switch. You make it sound like once I achieve it once, my body can snap into it whenever it needs to.

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10480)

on November 12, 2012
at 02:16 AM

If you're not in ketosis, it could be argued that you're not losing fat as efficiently as possible. And while that could be argued, I can't say I'm convinced one way or the other, but in either case you don't have to be in ketosis to burn fat. From what I understand about ketosis, it is on or off, but that doesn't mean your fat-burning potential is on or off. If ketosis is what you're after, you should go very low carb (50g is the limit for most people) and stay there for whatever period of time you like and not go back and forth. (cont)

0
7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on November 12, 2012
at 03:31 PM

The primary issue will be getting enough calories on the lower carb days, and successfully switching over from glucose to fat burning on those higher carb days. It takes a little while for ketone production to rise high enough in order to feel right. Meanwhile, dropping carbs tends to lower appetite, so what can happen is a period of time where you just aren't getting enough of any fuel.
It seems post-workout/heavy manual labor would be the best time for the high carb meals because the body is set up to clear it from the blood stream faster. So you get back to better ketone levels faster.

7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on November 13, 2012
at 04:12 PM

I found that if I ate more fat, the sluggishness would go away. It took a while for it to dawn on me that I needed to eat more because I was used to dieting and I wasn't hungry- but once I lost the weight, the calories had to come from my diet.

Bcc085c98fd7ee09af983d61bbb5f0db

(10)

on November 12, 2012
at 05:20 PM

This sounds like what I was worried about.. being stuck in a limbo gray-area, where my body is not great at burning the fat that I'm eating, and it's not really getting enough carbs either.. wouldn't I just feel sluggish all day?

0
774b42ab908452733bcaeb184fbd721a

on November 12, 2012
at 11:36 AM

Hiiii How can you talk about ketosis on the paleo-diet, as you are allowed fruits? For me this is the biggest and BEST difference from protein-diets like Atkins, South Beach etc.. The allowed fruits gives you some carbs, so that you actually can exersize and don??t feel like fainting all the time!

2e3477a85563d4b7159814d5f4ea57d3

(435)

on November 12, 2012
at 01:48 PM

There are many flavors of paleo...

0
B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on November 12, 2012
at 11:09 AM

"What would happen if I was under 30g of carbs some days and over 150-200g carbs on other days? Would I constantly feel like I had the low-carb flu? Has anyone experimented with this? If my body is not always in ketosis, is it dangerous to be consuming high-fat?"

Nothing would happen - you wouldn't be in ketosis because you'd be partially refilling your glycogen stores on the days that you ate carbs, and partially depleting them on the <30g days.

Ketosis is just a measure of how depleted of glycogen your liver is (although you can juice it with MCT oil or BCAAs).

It's never dangerous to eat high-fat, independent of if you are in ketosis or not. You probably don't want to eat high-fat and high-carb consistently, just because that represents a large calorie intake, which unless you are an athlete, would lead to the accumulation of fat in the long term.

If you want to try "very low carb", you'll just have to get through the "carb flu" thing. It doesn't last long, and you feel awesome at the other end.

Bcc085c98fd7ee09af983d61bbb5f0db

(10)

on November 12, 2012
at 05:17 PM

Thanks for the response.. If I'm not in ketosis, however, what would happen to all that fat that I'm consuming? My body would need to store it and then burn it, rather than burning it directly through ketosis?

B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on November 12, 2012
at 08:10 PM

Everyone burns fat all the time. It's just energy, like any other energy. There is the thought that if you are "in ketosis" you become fat adapted, and more efficient at burning fat.

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on November 12, 2012
at 05:23 AM

Alternating 30g and 200gm would work fine. It would be better for most people than 200gm everyday. You'd run down your glycogen a bit on the 30gm per day and fill it back up on the 200gm.

Ketosis is basically a binary state. Even going 30gm of carb per day is no guarantee of ketosis. For instance, 30gm of fructose and you are probably out. For me, 30gm of surose in a single sitting and I'm out. More than 70gm of protein in a single meal and I'm out. It is actually pretty finicky.

80/20 is fine but I'd recommend strongly against gluten being part of the 20. Your body can handle a sugary treat once a week even on a 50-70gm of carb a day diet. Gluten? If you are sensitive it can take months to recover.

Bcc085c98fd7ee09af983d61bbb5f0db

(10)

on November 12, 2012
at 05:22 PM

Doesn't the paleo diet reccommend a) being in ketosis b) consuming 0.7-1.0g of protein per pound of body weight? If 70g of protein knocks you out of ketosis, how can a and b coexist?

5e5ff249c9161b8cd96d7eff6043bc3a

(4713)

on November 12, 2012
at 10:34 PM

It's not a flat out recommendation that you be in ketosis. Just that you be in ketosis if you feel like you need to be, so those can recommendations can coexist.

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