2

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What is VLC vs LC vs ketogenic?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created September 16, 2012 at 5:43 PM

What are the differences? I see these terms used a lot, but I do not think they are interchangeable.

Wouldn't VLC or LC be relative to the person? LIke, let us say that I am 6'2" and 220lbs of solid muscle and workout with weights daily doing bodybuilding volume workouts. I could eat like 300 grams of carbs from starch and metabolically it would be low carb, because I'm not burning glucose for energy as I am storing it in my muscles for workouts. Other times I am burning fat fuel fuel.

Are ketogenic diets all the same? Can your brain be burning ketoens but your body be burning fat, so you're not pissing purple in keto stix vernacular? Make sense?

What are the cut offs? Am I right to assume they are relative to the person depending on their body composition and workout routine?

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

Plus if you read the text it assumes that people do moderate exercise. Probably pretty accurate given that.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 16, 2012
at 07:46 PM

good point ,

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on September 16, 2012
at 07:43 PM

as to the graph/infographic....its good for its purpose. General visualization. Just like you admonished me for being too literal/specific with Matt I think you should take the same genarlistic view of that carb curve.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 16, 2012
at 06:43 PM

...it is a ridiculous graphic.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 16, 2012
at 06:42 PM

...and actually, if you look at it, the curve is mostly linear or only slightly exponential through most of the ranges, up until about 200 grams. After which it nonsensically turns concave down, which means there are diminishing returns. So at for instance 300 grams you gain x amount of weight, but at 400 grams you only gain x/y weight (where y is > 1)

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 16, 2012
at 06:33 PM

But actually in general I think the ranges he gives are pretty spot on. I mean, if you're eaten over 300 grams of carbs a day, you're sacrificing a lot of other stuff, and if you are fortunate enough to consume the other nutrients, you're in a major calorie surplus. Most everyone will benefit from sub 150g. I was just pointing out that it's not so black and white as 150 good 151 bad.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 16, 2012
at 06:31 PM

I just got it online though, and it looks like above 150 leads to "insidious weight gain" and at 300 you've reached eddie money's "danger zone"

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 16, 2012
at 06:27 PM

Oh, my bad, CD. I went digging for my copy of PB, but I think I threw that out with the rest of the trash ;)

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on September 16, 2012
at 06:22 PM

I guess I'm a little loose on LC thing....suppose many call 100-150 moderate carb. Yes carb congruence is quite right. Definitely dependent on you frequency of glycolytic activities.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on September 16, 2012
at 06:19 PM

that ridiculous graphic is an exponential curve not a discrete box diagram. So being 1g above a threshold would have little impact.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 16, 2012
at 06:12 PM

And yes, I would say a glycogen depleting, high volume bodybuilding style workouts burns about 70 grams of glycogen if you are a 200lb male with a Greg Plitt type physique. I do high volume workouts alternated with lower volume ones in cycles, and I find that I can consume 40 grams of carbs for many days in a row without without getting burned out. Those 40 grams have to be all glucose though, and no fructose. If it were fruit I would be eating, I'd have to eat 80 grams of carbs or more from most fruits, which just equals more superfluous calories.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 16, 2012
at 06:09 PM

is 150g considered low carb around here? I've seen that referred to as high carb. I also thought 151grams caused insidious obesity, if I recall that ridiculous graphic correctly. Carb congruent should be the new term- meaning carbs in congruence with your activity and body composition.

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5 Answers

3
3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on September 16, 2012
at 06:02 PM

Very loosly:

VLC = Ketosis = under 50g of carb/day (for most people)

LC = Under 150g/carb a day by most definitions but maybe under 100g/day for many.

You do assume correct in that your activity level can largely dictate whether your diet is "low carb" or not for you. However I seriously doubt that most people burn as much carbohydrate as they think during a workout session. If you are working out with any real intensity then your sessions should be quite a bit under an hour....at that rate you would be hard pressed to burn through more than a 50-100g of glycogen.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on September 16, 2012
at 06:19 PM

that ridiculous graphic is an exponential curve not a discrete box diagram. So being 1g above a threshold would have little impact.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

Plus if you read the text it assumes that people do moderate exercise. Probably pretty accurate given that.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 16, 2012
at 07:46 PM

good point ,

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 16, 2012
at 06:09 PM

is 150g considered low carb around here? I've seen that referred to as high carb. I also thought 151grams caused insidious obesity, if I recall that ridiculous graphic correctly. Carb congruent should be the new term- meaning carbs in congruence with your activity and body composition.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on September 16, 2012
at 07:43 PM

as to the graph/infographic....its good for its purpose. General visualization. Just like you admonished me for being too literal/specific with Matt I think you should take the same genarlistic view of that carb curve.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on September 16, 2012
at 06:22 PM

I guess I'm a little loose on LC thing....suppose many call 100-150 moderate carb. Yes carb congruence is quite right. Definitely dependent on you frequency of glycolytic activities.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 16, 2012
at 06:12 PM

And yes, I would say a glycogen depleting, high volume bodybuilding style workouts burns about 70 grams of glycogen if you are a 200lb male with a Greg Plitt type physique. I do high volume workouts alternated with lower volume ones in cycles, and I find that I can consume 40 grams of carbs for many days in a row without without getting burned out. Those 40 grams have to be all glucose though, and no fructose. If it were fruit I would be eating, I'd have to eat 80 grams of carbs or more from most fruits, which just equals more superfluous calories.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 16, 2012
at 06:33 PM

But actually in general I think the ranges he gives are pretty spot on. I mean, if you're eaten over 300 grams of carbs a day, you're sacrificing a lot of other stuff, and if you are fortunate enough to consume the other nutrients, you're in a major calorie surplus. Most everyone will benefit from sub 150g. I was just pointing out that it's not so black and white as 150 good 151 bad.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 16, 2012
at 06:43 PM

...it is a ridiculous graphic.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 16, 2012
at 06:31 PM

I just got it online though, and it looks like above 150 leads to "insidious weight gain" and at 300 you've reached eddie money's "danger zone"

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 16, 2012
at 06:27 PM

Oh, my bad, CD. I went digging for my copy of PB, but I think I threw that out with the rest of the trash ;)

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 16, 2012
at 06:42 PM

...and actually, if you look at it, the curve is mostly linear or only slightly exponential through most of the ranges, up until about 200 grams. After which it nonsensically turns concave down, which means there are diminishing returns. So at for instance 300 grams you gain x amount of weight, but at 400 grams you only gain x/y weight (where y is > 1)

3
3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on September 16, 2012
at 05:59 PM

http://paleohacks.com/questions/30408/definitions-quantities-zc-vlc-low-carb-moderate-carb#axzz26ejpvOKY

I don't think that VLC vs LC varies by person because they are about magnitude, not metabolic effects.

Ketogenic is a ratio thing. In the typical ketogenic diet, 80% of your calories come from fat. For epilepsy they have a specific ratio: http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/kr.jpg

Ketosis however is a highly personal thing which occurs when you body starts to generate ketones for energy.

2
1eeaff4097f33330456dc8c17904e1d8

on September 16, 2012
at 07:18 PM

LC at 150 carbs is sort of . . . iffy. That's the level Sisson puts out in his chart for basic maintenance of body weight and to prevent adding fat back to your body, but the reality requires a bit of testing on an individual basis. If you run 5 miles every day and hit the gym, your body will have quite a different reaction to 150 carbs than it would if you just sat at your desk all day.

That said, part of the analysis obviously does depend on your size and total caloric intake for the day (i.e., a percentage). I'm 6' tall, weigh 235 lbs., eat on the the order of 4,000 calories per day, and am fairly active, so 150 carbs is a fairly insignificant portion of my caloric intake, yet I still find that I do better on relatively lower carbs, and really feel better if I eat mostly meat and eggs with the occasional Cobb salad and veggie thrown in. Something on the order of 20 carbs a day makes me feel happy, and keeps my body happy, and generally keeps me in ketosis, which my brain appreciates.

Once in a while I'll pull a Lyle McDonald and have a "carb up" day to reset leptin, but even with all the science regarding LC, insulin, and improvement of biomarkers, we still have to realize that our individual experiences may differ greatly from everyone's else's. We are a one-subject experiment.

2
05de181d71c1df6304a03566fe821d4b

on September 16, 2012
at 06:13 PM

Hmm... From my understand people go into ketosis like in the morning after breaking an initial fast from sleeping, but your body isn't really efficient at using these ketones efficiently. I don't think the ratios really work out that way being 6'2" and 220 lbs of solid muscle or 5'7" 140 lbs of muscle. You are assuming that ALL carbohydrate intakes are either spent for fuel or store/restores as muscle glycogen. You see you may be able to "burn up all the carbs" but you can't burn the "insulin" you produced to rebalanced your blood sugar. Plus are you sure all the "glucose" was spent during your workout or to restore muscle glycogen? How about how much of that were turned into triglycerides?

Initially when you go into ketosis your body is very inefficient using ketone bodies to shuttle around energy, so it just makes a tone of ketones, and then you piss them out sweat them out and even comes out of your breath, so yeah the ketostix become purple if you were to stay in ketosis for say 3-6 weeks your body becomes "keto-adapted" where then you are efficiently using ketones as energy and there is no more waste, so next time piss on a ketostix you are not turning purple, but still in ketosis.

I have gone down the bodybuilding path, and I understand the mentality, it seems to all stem from the food pyramid of death, heck back in the 50's or so they used to advertise sugar as a good thing for instant energy. Glucose is an anaerobic fuel and only your red blood cells really need it. I don't understand why your body would prefer a cheap fuel source like glucose over a stable long lasting fuel source that doesn't cause sugar spikes (and the side effects from sugar spikes, i.e. sugar crash/moods/headache) Glucose is glycating, it can bond with a lipid or protein and make it malfunction in the body. Then there are Advance Glycation End Products (AGEs) I think our bodies wouldn't mind if you never had a carb again. We can produce what we "need" through gluconeogenesis. Ketones are said to be preferred energy for the brain and other organs, the heart prefers stearic acid. Leptin the master hormone, master of even insulin, which lets you know if your hungry or not is a fat sensor, not a glucose sensor. Insulin primary purpose is not to "lower sugar" but it has taken that role. I believe that hormone was actually a hormone that came into play during famines where it would control the utilization and storage of fat (or something like that?)

Well I am sure people will disagree with me but if you asked me "Would you rather be a sugar burner or a fat burner?" my response would be "Do you really have to ask?" Fat burner! lol One benefit being ketogenic is I am not a "Slave" to food having to eat every couple hours, I can eat twice a day a nice fatty nutrition dense meal and not lose any "lean tissue" There are no studies that say that eating every two hours over eating twice a day burn more or less calories. Though I think where they got that idea was because the thermogenic effect of food. So lets say you fasted one day, your metabolism appears to be lower but your BMR stays the same, had say you have eaten that day the thermogenic effect of food "increases" your metabolism, but your BMR is still the same, you just burned a few extra calories in digestion of the food. whoopie....

Personally I rather be either in ketosis or not at all, because I think when you are in limbo of right before ketosis but not quite I always felt like crap, because there isn't quite enough carbohydrates, not enough ketones for energy

but it all boils down to you, what works for you? Maybe we will never know but cavemen seem to manage to live of fat/protein, unless Julia Child was there baking cakes in the caves. :)

Check out this book: The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance

I hope that was somewhat coherent lol

1
Efd28623add25421afa2884b466163c4

(163)

on September 07, 2013
at 12:44 AM

VLC and LC are relative terms.

You would have to test your blood BOHB levels to determine your level of ketosis accurately.

It's generally recommended to keep your carb intake under 50g a day to remain in ketosis.

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