I've asked all about Ketosis before, and I've decided to make another attempt at it now that my body is able to run off of a LC diet. "Hunger" is normally a mental/social thing now :P I'm headed into my third day of 30g. of carbs or less, high fat, moderate protein. Based on what I've read on other Paleo-Hack threads, the answers previously given in my old questions, and other sites I should start to notice changes...the faint acetone smell in my nostrils or urine, energy, a metallic taste....SOMETHING! However, I feel nothing. So my questions are:
I started to get a small headache last night. Could this be my brain "searching" for carbs? Its very faint. I can easily distract myself from it, but this is really the only change.
Everyone has stated they taste a metallic flavor in their mouth. I taste a little sweetness...but thats about it? I dont smell/taste acetone. Anyone experience sweetness instead?!
I drink a lot of water, even when eating normally, however the last 24 hours, despite my large amount of water intake my urine is still very yellow (based on the whole "if youre hydrated your pee is clearer" theory)...could this be related to my body gradually releasing ketones?
Should I avoid dairy or starches? If I have a hard work out would having a small sweet potato (appx. 25 g carbs) and 1/4 cup milk (appx. 3 g carbs) with a serving of meat be counter productive? This would only be PWO and would make up my carbs for the day.
Do I need to restrict calories while in ketosis? I'm still completely unclear on this whole..."ketosis for weight loss" thing. If I eat 3000 calories (more than my maintenance) while in ketosis, I would still think I would gain weight?
Any other information, tips, tricks, or help is appreciated! Were doing a 30 Day Weight Loss and Nutrition Challenge for a cash prize at my Crossfit Box and broke college girl needs some cash ;] :P
asked byHoover (1683)
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on January 31, 2012
at 02:38 PM
I've never gotten the metallic taste, nor the "ketone breath" others talk about, and I'm waaaay under 30g of carbs/day. But I also never went through the "low-carb flu" or keto-adaptation either; I just sailed effortlessly into ketosis, apparently.
Regarding your pee being yellow instead of clear, I wouldn't even pay attention to that unless it starts turning brown or red, lol. It's good you're drinking water; make sure you're getting some salt, too; at least initially. It'll help with keeping some minerals in you even if you pee all day long.
If you're restricting carbs, it shouldn't be necessary to restrict calories to achieve ketosis. Probably the best way to know if you're in ketosis is to get the ketostix. If you can't find them at a drugstore near you, you can order them online from Amazon, and maybe a few other places. They might stop turning color after several months or years, but when you're first going into ketosis, they're a fairly reliable indicator, since you should be spilling ketones in your urine.
The stix will also tell you if your PWO sweet potato or milk has knocked you out of ketosis. Personally, if I were trying to get into and stay in ketosis, I wouldn't mess around with extra carbs in the beginning, whether PWO or not, especially if you're having any kind of keto-adaptation issues. It'll just send you right back to the beginning of the adaptation process, and you'll go through the issues all over again.
More about going keto here: http://paleohacks.com/questions/56190/yoyo-ketosis-and-bad-feelings/56192#56192
on February 01, 2012
at 08:17 AM
BJ, in re. Liver converting glycogen to glucose (blood sugar). You need to take a step prior to that. Ordinarily, when the body has an excess of blood sugar, it uses the hormone insulin to store it in your muscles and liver as glycogen. Once those storage spots are full, it'll store as fat.
When blood sugar is low, the body uses the hormone glucagon to tell the liver to take the stored glycogen and convert back to glucose to boost blood sugar.
The glycogen in the muscles doesn't come out, it's solely used when your muscles need anaerobic energy (ie. when you're lifting heavy weights). So it's a one way street for muscles.
When the liver runs out of glycogen, the body falls back on a couple other methods of generating resources to power the body (via the liver and to a lesser extent the kidneys). Gluconeogenesis and Ketosis. Side note, a keto-adapted body doesn't need much glucose to operate (pretty much just chunks for the brain. Roughly 100 grams of glucose/day. Non-keto-adapted bodies need more).
Gluconeogenesis converts protein (well protein products like amino acids and lactate) to glucose at roughly a 58% efficiency.
Ketosis takes fatty acids and converts to ketone bodies.
Ok now, after this background, we know our starting point (body with full stores of glycogen) and our end point (ketosis). What we need to do is deplete the body's stores of glycogen. There's multiple ways of achieving this, some people use combinations depending on how fast they want to go in.
1) High fat, moderate protein, low to no carb diet.
3) Heavy weightlifting exercises at the start to deplete glycogen. You'll have a hard time continuing heavy lifting on strict keto diets compared to high carb diets. Thus cyclic ketogenic diets.
5) Supplements like R-ALA
6) Coconut Oil/MCT Oil
Hope that helps.
on January 31, 2012
at 05:18 PM
My recollection from the first time going specifically into ketosis: 1) I got a bad migraine for several days. Related or not, I don't know. I didn't get it subsequent times going into ketosis.
2) I tasted sweetness in the beginning when measuring "low" on ketostix, and noticed metallic later on from time to time (measuring "high" on ketostix).
3) I did notice skunky breath smell when I was measuring "high". Not so much on low/moderate.
4) Water, I was peeing like a racehorse when I was shedding the water weight in the beginning. It slowed down after that, but I still end up peeing more (because it's not being stored in the body as much without the carbs). I didn't notice color being related to ketones. Are you taking a multivitamin or B vitamins (I believe that can affect the yellow color). Also, you may need more salt in your diet since you're peeing more out.
5) For me, going into ketosis, I've noticed it's faster going low calorie and 0 starches/carbs. Then adding in MCT oil.
Side note, liver converts its glycogen to glucose to provides glucose to the body. You need to deplete your liver glycogen stores to get into ketosis (and stay low to stay in Ketosis). Starches/fruits/etc. help rebuild those stores. It's a balancing act when you're working out, because you need the glycogen when you're lifting heavy weights. Which means you may have issues with your crossfit exercising while trying to get into and stay in ketosis.
on January 31, 2012
at 03:34 PM
I wanted to reiterate my comment on Rose's post. Post Workout carbs will probably slow Keto adaptation. You want your muscles to learn to burn fat.
Once you have been in ketosis for quite some time, I've read that your body starts to prefer this state, and some folks can have a carb binge and be back in ketosis the next day. Note that these are normal weight folks who have been low-carbing for many, many years.
I know I'm in ketosis because I sleep less and my thinking seems faster and clearer.
on January 31, 2012
at 03:15 PM
I've never had the stinky ketosis breath either (or "stanketosis" as I like to call it), but over time I've been able to tell, or just sort of understand that within a few days of VLC, it's happening.... I'm urinating more often, I'm almost never hungry, no cravings for sugars or starches, my sex drive is turned up a bit (hey now, hey!) and my body requires less sleep. That's a frustrating part for me, for sure, but it's telling. I agree with Joshua, a 24-hour fast or some IF action will speed up ketosis, for sure. It has absolutely helped me with hunger and cravings.
I never felt the need for something starchy pre- or post-workout. A fattier meal was always satisfying enough. For me, if I felt like I wanted something dairy, I went with a little bit a cheese... no sugars, no filler crap.
As for a lot of calories, even if I go a little crazy and stay super low-carb, my body needs extra time to burn off the extra calories, regardless of where they come from (and especially if they're from over 3000cals of mostly fat). IF you're in ketosis, I think it might even be a challenge to get up that high... I sometimes find myself completely full and not surpassing 1500 a day.
I'm a young guy myself and lost all of my weight being broke as a joke, so if you need some help, I'm here fo sho!
on January 31, 2012
at 02:32 PM
Even when doing a full fast, ketone production continues to increase for weeks. The signs may not be too visible straight away.
My guess for the headache is that your body would like to sleep more. Often we mask this with stimulants and sugar can be quite effective to medicate the symptoms, but clearly the cure would be better sleep.
I can't say I've noticed any distinctive taste in the mouth, I wouldn't worry about this. Similarly if you're urinating regularly and drinking a lot of water then you're not dehydrated. The colour is just your body cleaning up the bloodstream.
Concentrating your 30g of carbs in a PWO meal is probably the best thing to do. It may not be absolutely fastest for fat loss but I prefer it for maintaining healthy lean mass and function.
Don't restrict calories, but don't go on crazy binges either. If you're seriously overweight then the idea is your body will correct itself. If you're already pretty lean then it may take a bit more effort or some IF to drop the last few pounds. Either way, you should be able to learn to trust your hunger and cut out the unnecessary eating so many of us do. If you try and count calories, you'll almost certainly get it wrong one way or another. If you stick mainly to whole foods then you will find it very hard to overeat, though it can take time to adjust to what is an appropriate portion or even whether or not a meal is necessary. But if you try to avoid eating all the time then you may find it counter-productive as you get weak and distracted by hunger. Your best shot at health (and weight loss) is to cooperate with your body to let it run as best it can.
on January 31, 2012
at 04:10 PM
I will only address the carbs around workouts. I find that I need carbs prior to heavy lifting or anaerobic workouts only. I lift about 3 days a week. It is more important for me to have a carb source the night before my lifting than immediately following it, because anaerobic work requires glycogen or glucose for best results in me. About 30-40 grams of carbs (which is approximately 10% carbs) on the days before lifting fuels my lifting and allows better strength gains than I get on lower carb levels, but does not knock me out of ketosis, at least not for long. Of course, my activities include more than lifting weights, which might have some bearing on my ability to remain in ketosis most days. I have had favorable outcomes on body fat reduction and overall weight loss under such a plan. I eat about 5% carbs (20 or less grams) on non lifting days, fwiw.
ETA: I should add that I do not eat potatoes of any sort ever. I use carrots, beets, other veg and perhaps some yogurt and fruit for carb sources.
on January 31, 2012
at 02:48 PM
My wife definitely notices a more acidic BO from me, as well as stronger breath when I am full blown zero carb for over a week. I no longer notice but I've been fairly low carb (under 15% of total daily calories) for about 4 months now.
Eating starches pre and post workout once-per-week has not affected my ketone production, but I might "barely" break the 100-carb limit on those days with a half-cup of mashed white potatoes before the workout, with some coconut water after.
A trick to get you into ketosis quickly is via a 24-hour fast, followed by a break of that fast by eating a zero-carb meal (keep the sodium low or you might have some stomach/lower GI upset).
on August 04, 2012
at 01:28 PM
I can't offer any words if wisdom on keto, but I can offer my thoughts on the metallic taste.
Are you eating raw pine nuts? Often a metallic taste lasting for days is indicative of a mild pine nut allergy. If you're not eating pine nuts then disregard.
on July 15, 2012
at 11:51 PM
1) NO, this is just a headache
2) I never had it, but was definitely in ketosis (as measured by ketostix)
3) No, color of urine is an indication of hydration, but not 100%. The color of your urine is mostly due to the dilution of urochrome -- so lighter color more diluted. However lots of other things effect the color.
4) Staying under 50g is important, but if you get them all at once, or in big chunks as you indicated, that could be a problem when trying to use ketostix -- i.e. your body will be in ketosis, but your urine test might not show it.
5) Ketosis is not for weight loss, so calorie reduction is not necessay. Ketosis is to train your body to burn fat as it's energy source. Ketosis is about losing body fat, not necessarily weight.
on July 15, 2012
at 09:04 PM
I'm quite lean to start off with, 2500 cal a day is my maintenance on non-training days, but recently I've decided to trim off the last couple of pounds of fat (4 or 5%). Cut down calories to 1.4-1.5k on non-training days, and have cut out eating lard/butter/coconut oil, focusing more on real food. The last bits are just DROPPING off. I can literally feel new muscle fibers coming out every couple of hours. My guess is that cutting out fat calories from pure fat, is forcing my body to burn stored fat. I still eat fatty cuts of meat, but focusing more on real food.
on June 07, 2012
at 06:08 PM
ALL I want to know is how much of what can I eat.It does me no good for you tell me I can eat 1/2 a cup of this veggie and 1/2 a cup of this other veggie.1 cup of yet another veggie,ect then you tell me eat all the lean meat I desire.followed by dount count the carbs in eggs.before long I have an omlett the size of texas with all the things that are good for me..I suspect that all of you are right about all the things you have said here...but keep in mind some us [me] got fat from over eating.I am yet to hear any of you address this as the true cause of why people [like me] get fat.I need help,,because I followed all the low carb rules as I understand them.yet i just eat a 14 lbs omlett.
on January 31, 2012
at 02:41 PM
when i am in ketosis i don't notice a taste or change in scent, but i think i may be less sensitive to this than most. when i first tried VLC i bought ketostix and never registered ketones, even after weeks, so the only reliable sign i have is urine colour. its yellow, just a different yellow.
on June 03, 2012
at 03:25 AM
Going into ketosis is easy. Eat ALL protein drink ONlY water. No veggies, carbs, sugars, erc. Nothing but protein!!! 48 hrs later you will be in ketosis. By day 5 you will be letting off very high levels (burning crazy weight) Don't do this for longer than 4-6 weeks and take a multi vitamin every single day to make up for what you aren't taking in. Alll of this info is from my weightloss clinic.