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Can you be in Ketosis due to a caloric deficit?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 25, 2012 at 1:04 PM

I got to some thinking, as yesterday was the beginning of my carb cycle, and I was wondering...Can you be in ketosis if you are in a caloric deficit?

By deficit I don't mean you ate 1900 calories when you aim for 2000. What I'm thinking is that if maintenance calories are about 2300, and one were to consume 1500 calories everyday, regardless of carbohydrate intake, would the body eventually have to switch to ketosis, or some similar function, in order to maintain itself. Or would this essentially just put the body into "starvation mode" and make fat/weight loss harder?

I know it seems like a simple "calories in - calories out = weight gain/loss" question but I'm wondering if its MORE than just that. Generally when I think "ketosis" I find myself thinking of excess fat burn, and when I think "weight loss" I think of the breakdown of both excess fat and muscle. What I'm trying to figure out is a balance of macros (a little less fat, a little less protein, a little more carb than I am currently eating) while in a deficit that would allow for a ketosis like effect on the body.

273729a18d2f18903815d2644a4d64de

(1683)

on February 26, 2012
at 12:18 AM

@PaleoGran thanks for the help! I havent really seen those symptoms but Ill test with ketostix and get a result. Ill stalk the crossfit forums a bit

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

(4134)

on February 25, 2012
at 04:55 PM

Korion, thanks. :)

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on February 25, 2012
at 02:13 PM

If you see your mistake early enough, you can copy your comment, remove it, and re-post it after correcting the mistake.

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

(4134)

on February 25, 2012
at 01:50 PM

I do wish one could edit comments here. That ought to be "uses more of the ketones, so..."

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

(4134)

on February 25, 2012
at 01:43 PM

urine, or perspiration? Also, it can take longer than three weeks to adapt to eating low carbs. There isn't a magic number of carbs for when ketosis occurs. Men seem, often, to be able to eat more carbs and stay in ketosis. Perhaps some ladies at the Crossfit forums could help more. :)

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

(4134)

on February 25, 2012
at 01:41 PM

Hi, Michelle. With the kind of exercise you do, I would imagine that you burn up the carbs you eat, and use a goodly amount of muscle glycogen. We are all so different in how our carbs are used or not. Ketosticks only measure ketones in the urine, and after adjusting to a LC diet, the body uses more of the ketonse, so that they aren't spilling into the urine. Do you get the symptoms of ketosis? A couple of examples: feeling calm, having clear thinking, feeling alert and alive, having a clean feeling after eating, no sluggishness or lethargy. Perhaps unpleasant smelling breath or

273729a18d2f18903815d2644a4d64de

(1683)

on February 25, 2012
at 01:35 PM

@PaleoGran I came to this question because I've been in ketosis for about 3 weeks now, but my energy/endurance while Crossfitting is lacking. Now that I've been able to go into/out of ketosis I was hoping to up my carbs to 100 g. MAX a day, cut back a little on fat(usually around 140 g. daily) and keep my protein pretty constant (I normally get like 80-100 g. a day). However, I keep reading ketosis can only be achieved under 50 g. a day...I normally fast about 16 hours when I'm done eating (does not mean I have an 8 hour eating window however). Do you have any thoughts?

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1 Answers

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D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

on February 25, 2012
at 01:28 PM

Michelle, if one limits calories, and the carbs are low enough, yes, one can be in ketosis. I can't imagine that 1500 calories made up of carbs would mean ketosis, unless one runs marathons or races dog sleds, etc. ;)

Starvation mode comes from not getting enough nutrients, especially not getting enough meat and meat fat.

1500 calories is not a low level of caloric intake, according to the USDA surveys of years gone by.

What makes up those calorie is crucial. Meat, meat fat, and veggies must by the mainstay in order to get nutrients. I make sure I get at least 50 grams of protein from meat, each day. I eat between 50-75g/PROd. An easy standard is that one ounce of cooked meat is 6-7 grams of PRO. A large egg is 6g of PRO. Beef fat and butter for nutrients and cell regeneration, and feeling well. A few plants for micronutrients and variety.

If it interests you, have a look at the Food Surveys at the USDA site:

.usda.gov/Services/docs.htm?docid=16180

The standard amount of calories for women, for decades was 1500. Women who did hard, physical work on farms ate more.

For older women, that amount is often markedly fewer calories. At 20-30g/CHO/d, 1500 calories barely keeps me maintaining. I maintain more easily at 1400-1450 calories per day. To lose weight, my daily average must be under 1200. I don't plan the calorie cycling, it just naturally occurs. Some times I eat more, some days less.

Age, genetic makeup, diet and health history, blood sugar regulation, insulin response, lifestyle, stress responses, food plan, supplements, etc. all figure in dramatically.

If it appeals to you, there is much help and support for ladies doing carb and calorie cycling, limiting, and all sorts of plans, at Low Carb Friends, and Active Low-Carber Forums. Low Carb Friends is especially friendly, and almost completely free of young men making pronouncements about what other people ought to do.

Hope this helps!

All the best to you. :)

273729a18d2f18903815d2644a4d64de

(1683)

on February 26, 2012
at 12:18 AM

@PaleoGran thanks for the help! I havent really seen those symptoms but Ill test with ketostix and get a result. Ill stalk the crossfit forums a bit

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on February 25, 2012
at 02:13 PM

If you see your mistake early enough, you can copy your comment, remove it, and re-post it after correcting the mistake.

273729a18d2f18903815d2644a4d64de

(1683)

on February 25, 2012
at 01:35 PM

@PaleoGran I came to this question because I've been in ketosis for about 3 weeks now, but my energy/endurance while Crossfitting is lacking. Now that I've been able to go into/out of ketosis I was hoping to up my carbs to 100 g. MAX a day, cut back a little on fat(usually around 140 g. daily) and keep my protein pretty constant (I normally get like 80-100 g. a day). However, I keep reading ketosis can only be achieved under 50 g. a day...I normally fast about 16 hours when I'm done eating (does not mean I have an 8 hour eating window however). Do you have any thoughts?

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

(4134)

on February 25, 2012
at 04:55 PM

Korion, thanks. :)

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

(4134)

on February 25, 2012
at 01:50 PM

I do wish one could edit comments here. That ought to be "uses more of the ketones, so..."

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

(4134)

on February 25, 2012
at 01:43 PM

urine, or perspiration? Also, it can take longer than three weeks to adapt to eating low carbs. There isn't a magic number of carbs for when ketosis occurs. Men seem, often, to be able to eat more carbs and stay in ketosis. Perhaps some ladies at the Crossfit forums could help more. :)

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

(4134)

on February 25, 2012
at 01:41 PM

Hi, Michelle. With the kind of exercise you do, I would imagine that you burn up the carbs you eat, and use a goodly amount of muscle glycogen. We are all so different in how our carbs are used or not. Ketosticks only measure ketones in the urine, and after adjusting to a LC diet, the body uses more of the ketonse, so that they aren't spilling into the urine. Do you get the symptoms of ketosis? A couple of examples: feeling calm, having clear thinking, feeling alert and alive, having a clean feeling after eating, no sluggishness or lethargy. Perhaps unpleasant smelling breath or

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