1

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Does CKD really induce significant ketosis?

Answered on July 05, 2017
Created February 10, 2013 at 7:27 PM

I've been trying to educate myself on ketosis both for fat loss and for increased flexibility (decreased appetite, clarity of thought, ability to fast more easily etc.) but the more information I get the more confused I become.

Recently, I've been interested in TKD and CKD. There seems to be less information on TKD so I'm focusing on CKD for now. I understand the basic idea of eating VLC 5-6 days a week and then doing a calculated refeed once a week. The science behind this makes sense to me. That said I'm still curious if this is really a ketogenic diet? Everything I read seems to indicate that adjusting to ketosis takes well over a week if not two. And according to Mark Sisson if you're trying to become a "ketogenic athlete" this requires a couple MONTHS of adaptation to really see all the benefits. So how does CKD even work? I mean can you really even say you're in ketosis for those 5-6 days? And if so it can't be a very deep ketosis so is the fat loss just a result of an inevitable caloric deficit?

Also, according to Lyle McDonald you should eat 150 grams of protein for the first week or two to spare your muscles as you adjust to producing/utilizing ketones. But it's also suggested from other sources to consume lower amounts of protein when trying to stay in ketosis. So where would CKD fit in with protein consumption?

D05f3050dc3d973b8b81a876202fa99a

(1533)

on February 13, 2013
at 05:04 AM

I've only gone down maybe 8 pounds. And that's including the initial water weight. I don't know what gives... Last time I didn't pay attention to fat intake at all. I know you're probably as much a student as I am, but the feedback is helpful regardless.

D05f3050dc3d973b8b81a876202fa99a

(1533)

on February 13, 2013
at 05:03 AM

I thought he was trying to make the argument that you could establish optimal ketosis within 24 hours which seems absurd if you know anything at all about the subject. You're right though, very interesting. I asked about the calories because I've been generous with fat this time around (butter coffee, MCT oil, generous amounts of olive oil on anything) and my weight keeps bouncing between 184 and 188. To give you an idea, last time I did a VLC diet I lost 2-3 pounds a week and got down to 160 (from 185) in less than three months. I've been VLC for about a month and-

D05f3050dc3d973b8b81a876202fa99a

(1533)

on February 13, 2013
at 05:00 AM

I think I found the answer. I wish I could link it, but I lost it after reading it. When questioned on a forum about working out on CKD McDonald specifies that you HAVE to do a glycogen depleting workout the day of the refeed. If you don't, those carbs won't be routed to restoring glycogen (which I guess prevents adversely effecting ketosis?) and will result in a loss of ketosis. It sounds like you ARE in full blown ketosis but you're temporarily able to consume carbohydrates while returning to normal production the next day by some fasted cardio.

Ed0cb30f40daff568778b776b2a5a81d

(943)

on February 11, 2013
at 08:59 AM

Just as a follow up to the calorie thinking. Yes, I lost weight that way but on the other hand I've not been able to gain any weight while being on a ketogenic diet despite having a high caloric intake.

Ed0cb30f40daff568778b776b2a5a81d

(943)

on February 11, 2013
at 08:15 AM

No problem at all with the comments. It's a very interesting subject but please remain skeptic of my comments as you need to find out what works for you.

Ed0cb30f40daff568778b776b2a5a81d

(943)

on February 11, 2013
at 08:12 AM

First of all I have never tried the CKD so my answers should be taken FWIW. I would be extremely strict on planning the carb refeed both in terms of the pure math but even more on the source of the carbs. I also think the natural calorie restriction which happens on a ketogenic diet is understated. I would say that 2/3 of my weight loss was because of that and 1/3 due to increased oxidation of fat. I can't really comment on the protein intake on the CKD. I would think that you would be closer to 100g all the time after the first two weeks. Doesn't McDonald comment on this?

B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on February 10, 2013
at 10:22 PM

Good work. For me at least non-starvation ketosis us a very fragile state, which I think demonstrates that it is not a natural operating point for our metabolism. (Which isn't to say that it doesn't have some great benefits, in certain cases).

D05f3050dc3d973b8b81a876202fa99a

(1533)

on February 10, 2013
at 09:49 PM

Oh and also (sorry for all the comments) what I meant with regard to protein was this: Since you're technically always in the "first week" with CKD do you eat closer to <100 or right around 150? You never really reach two or three full blown weeks of ketosis so where are you supposed to keep your protein intake on a CKD? 150 constantly? Can you safely drop down to 50?

D05f3050dc3d973b8b81a876202fa99a

(1533)

on February 10, 2013
at 09:46 PM

Oh and when I say hard that's eating below 25 grams of carbs consistently and trying to lower protein. Much less throwing a refeed in there.

D05f3050dc3d973b8b81a876202fa99a

(1533)

on February 10, 2013
at 09:45 PM

I'm going to try just that since I got an actual meter. Given how hard it's been to stay about 1.0m though I doubt 6 days is going to demonstrate anything drastic.

D05f3050dc3d973b8b81a876202fa99a

(1533)

on February 10, 2013
at 09:44 PM

And would you also agree that the anecdotally reported weight loss or improved body composition is probably more a result of calorie deficit as oppose to improved fat oxidation from a state of ketosis? I mean a lot of people seem to say CKD is the way to go so it can't be total nonsense. But I agree with you all the way - I've really only experienced SKD.

D05f3050dc3d973b8b81a876202fa99a

(1533)

on February 10, 2013
at 09:43 PM

I'm assuming that by executing it correctly you mean that you don't eat an excessive surplus of calories on VLC days and also don't gorge yourself on an endles supply of sugary crap on your carb refeed. Would that be accurate? So, I'm assuming it's probably smart to do a little math and follow some type of guideline.

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4 Answers

3
Ed0cb30f40daff568778b776b2a5a81d

(943)

on February 10, 2013
at 07:58 PM

I can only subscribe to that it takes months to become truly keto adapted. You'll notice more and more benefits along the way (I'm not saying that ketosis is superior to other diets, just stating what I've experienced). The CKD works exactly like McDonald says. I don't really believe in it and think there are more benefits to staying strictly in ketosis. That said, i won't rule out that it works for some if you really execute it correctly.

Protein will induce gluconeogenesis. But as McDonald highlights you only need the 150g in first two weeks after that he says that you can go as low as 50g. As I've understood the CKD you don't change the protein consumption on the refeed day significantly from the other days. Again, I would say this is highly individual and something you should test for yourself. Compared to the SKD, it's probably even more important to measure (serum) ketones and gains in terms of muscle and strength as there are so many variables to tweak.

I follow a the SKD and after 1-1.5 months where I would say I have followed (or close to) a 'well formulated ketogenic diet' my max output sprinting is 10% below my peak. I still think there is room for improvement as I tweak the diet even more. To me being in ketosis is highly individual - you simple need to find out what works for you.

Something I really struggle to find out is how much protein I can/should eat given the gluconeogenic effect and how closely it correlates to carb intake. I'm currently close 1.5g/kg but thinking that I might need to increase it due to activity level in various activities.

Good luck!

D05f3050dc3d973b8b81a876202fa99a

(1533)

on February 13, 2013
at 05:04 AM

I've only gone down maybe 8 pounds. And that's including the initial water weight. I don't know what gives... Last time I didn't pay attention to fat intake at all. I know you're probably as much a student as I am, but the feedback is helpful regardless.

D05f3050dc3d973b8b81a876202fa99a

(1533)

on February 10, 2013
at 09:43 PM

I'm assuming that by executing it correctly you mean that you don't eat an excessive surplus of calories on VLC days and also don't gorge yourself on an endles supply of sugary crap on your carb refeed. Would that be accurate? So, I'm assuming it's probably smart to do a little math and follow some type of guideline.

D05f3050dc3d973b8b81a876202fa99a

(1533)

on February 13, 2013
at 05:00 AM

I think I found the answer. I wish I could link it, but I lost it after reading it. When questioned on a forum about working out on CKD McDonald specifies that you HAVE to do a glycogen depleting workout the day of the refeed. If you don't, those carbs won't be routed to restoring glycogen (which I guess prevents adversely effecting ketosis?) and will result in a loss of ketosis. It sounds like you ARE in full blown ketosis but you're temporarily able to consume carbohydrates while returning to normal production the next day by some fasted cardio.

D05f3050dc3d973b8b81a876202fa99a

(1533)

on February 13, 2013
at 05:03 AM

I thought he was trying to make the argument that you could establish optimal ketosis within 24 hours which seems absurd if you know anything at all about the subject. You're right though, very interesting. I asked about the calories because I've been generous with fat this time around (butter coffee, MCT oil, generous amounts of olive oil on anything) and my weight keeps bouncing between 184 and 188. To give you an idea, last time I did a VLC diet I lost 2-3 pounds a week and got down to 160 (from 185) in less than three months. I've been VLC for about a month and-

Ed0cb30f40daff568778b776b2a5a81d

(943)

on February 11, 2013
at 08:59 AM

Just as a follow up to the calorie thinking. Yes, I lost weight that way but on the other hand I've not been able to gain any weight while being on a ketogenic diet despite having a high caloric intake.

Ed0cb30f40daff568778b776b2a5a81d

(943)

on February 11, 2013
at 08:15 AM

No problem at all with the comments. It's a very interesting subject but please remain skeptic of my comments as you need to find out what works for you.

D05f3050dc3d973b8b81a876202fa99a

(1533)

on February 10, 2013
at 09:44 PM

And would you also agree that the anecdotally reported weight loss or improved body composition is probably more a result of calorie deficit as oppose to improved fat oxidation from a state of ketosis? I mean a lot of people seem to say CKD is the way to go so it can't be total nonsense. But I agree with you all the way - I've really only experienced SKD.

Ed0cb30f40daff568778b776b2a5a81d

(943)

on February 11, 2013
at 08:12 AM

First of all I have never tried the CKD so my answers should be taken FWIW. I would be extremely strict on planning the carb refeed both in terms of the pure math but even more on the source of the carbs. I also think the natural calorie restriction which happens on a ketogenic diet is understated. I would say that 2/3 of my weight loss was because of that and 1/3 due to increased oxidation of fat. I can't really comment on the protein intake on the CKD. I would think that you would be closer to 100g all the time after the first two weeks. Doesn't McDonald comment on this?

D05f3050dc3d973b8b81a876202fa99a

(1533)

on February 10, 2013
at 09:49 PM

Oh and also (sorry for all the comments) what I meant with regard to protein was this: Since you're technically always in the "first week" with CKD do you eat closer to <100 or right around 150? You never really reach two or three full blown weeks of ketosis so where are you supposed to keep your protein intake on a CKD? 150 constantly? Can you safely drop down to 50?

1
B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on February 10, 2013
at 09:03 PM

I've always doubted it. McDonald wrote the book before anyone had easy access to Blood Ketone meters. From my personal experience, it takes a lot of discipline to get decent blood ketone levels by VLCing, it seems unlikely that anyone could drop in and out of deep ketosis on a weekly basis.

I'd love for someone to prove me wrong with some decent blood ketone results.

D05f3050dc3d973b8b81a876202fa99a

(1533)

on February 10, 2013
at 09:45 PM

I'm going to try just that since I got an actual meter. Given how hard it's been to stay about 1.0m though I doubt 6 days is going to demonstrate anything drastic.

D05f3050dc3d973b8b81a876202fa99a

(1533)

on February 10, 2013
at 09:46 PM

Oh and when I say hard that's eating below 25 grams of carbs consistently and trying to lower protein. Much less throwing a refeed in there.

B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on February 10, 2013
at 10:22 PM

Good work. For me at least non-starvation ketosis us a very fragile state, which I think demonstrates that it is not a natural operating point for our metabolism. (Which isn't to say that it doesn't have some great benefits, in certain cases).

0
3c0e5cf4531dd59af5289a98b3b7bd69

on July 05, 2017
at 09:17 AM

I am always low (0.5mmol or less) first thing in the morning. I think this has to do with cortisol levels on rising which is a natural response. Having caffeine will increase this response unless it has added fat like a bulletproof coffee. Quite often I will put off my first coffee for a couple of hours.

0
1392f4069996b97aaf2e67dd04840503

on March 01, 2013
at 02:43 PM

Just a quick reply: I've started doing a "proper" ketogenic diet about a year ago, and switched to a CKD[24hr refeed period, about 550-600grams of carbs] (+IF) a few months ago, and I do get back in "deep ketosis" during the the week quickly, as indicated by ketostix as well as by blood ketone test strips (don't have any right now since they're quite expensive, so I can't give you exact numbers). If I get some strips again I'll test how fast the reentering happens, not sure if it's one day only or a bit more.

Interestingly I get out of ketosis during the IF time in the morning, especially after my first (plain) coffee. Still don't know what causes this, would be surprised if it would actually be the coffee. Shortly after the first meal of the day I'm back in again.

/edit

That should've been a reply to borofergie. I have to admit I don't get how you can reply directly to a posting.

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