4

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The Technobable of Ketosis.

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created October 09, 2012 at 11:05 AM

I've been doing really well on a paleo-ish diet for the last 3 months, and I think I'm ready to go full throttle. I've got about 5-10 more lbs to lose to reach my ideal weight and I'd like to take ketosis for a spin. (preferably after replace that fat weight with muscle) But the trouble is, I don't get the explanation. I get that I should be eating 60% fat, 40% protein with a dash of carbs from leafy greens. Limit milk, fruit and tubers. But All the sites suggest a food journal.

This may be a series of dumb questions for some of you, but how do I even count carbs, know how much fat is in a piece of meat or how much protein for that matter? Am I going to need a scale to figure out the weight of my food so I can use some fancy equation to figure out the ratio of my food?

I've been trying to figure it out, but the explanations I've come across literally put me to sleep with my laptop on my stomach. Apparently I'm supposed to be worrying about macros or something. There's a lot of terminology I am not familiar with. If I just up my fatty meat / buttery egg intake and cut my over all veggie intake should I be in the clear? Or has anyone got a good way to measure carbs / fat / protein easily? The carb counting apps seem to assume you know the carb content before you enter it. Which for me defeats the purpose.

Thanks for your help !

6d64cd6dc98d6ab763bd03678a317964

(2177)

on October 10, 2012
at 12:15 PM

@Borofergie He said he was trying to lose weight. I assumed a low calorie intake. During the first month of ketosis you're not fully adapted and require more protein to prevent wasting. You are correct though, if he is eating 2500 calories or more this info should be adjusted. If, however, he is eating 1500 or less....then it's fine. This is why I suggested ketostix...

B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on October 09, 2012
at 08:43 PM

@BoneBrothFast "protein > glucose is extremely inefficient and doesn't happen in significant quantities", which is of course wrong. Google "Gluconeogenesis", if you eat more protein than you need for structural and repair needs, 58% of the excess is converted to glucose, the rest to ketones (on average it depends on

B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on October 09, 2012
at 04:06 PM

So that's Volek, Phinney, Attia, MacDonald, RobS and me all saying that you need to restrict protein. It's like a veritable "who's who" of nutritional ketosis. Don't even make me get the ketogenic ratio out.

B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on October 09, 2012
at 04:03 PM

@BoneBrothFast or how about Lyle MacDonald "Summery: dieters should consume zero Carbs on 150g protein diet since protein will provide 87g glucose by process called gluconeogenesis and other glucose will come from fat burning or you should lower protein intake and increase glucose intake from food. "

B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on October 09, 2012
at 03:59 PM

@BoneBrothFast or Peter Attia: "Both insulin and glucose (probably by causing the secretion of insulin) suppress ketones. This is why, for example, consuming more than about 50 gm of carbohydrates per day and/or more than about 120-150 gm of protein per day makes it difficult to be in nutritional ketosis – too much insulin secretion." http://eatingacademy.com/nutrition/the-interplay-of-exercise-and-ketosis-part-i

4b5be253ac1981c690689cab7e4bf06d

(3043)

on October 09, 2012
at 03:58 PM

N=1. Try cutting carbs and eating mostly meat. If that doesn't work, then you can start tracking more closely.

B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on October 09, 2012
at 03:57 PM

@BoneBrothFast Uhhhh - Steve Phinney, Jeff Volek, personal experience with 18 months @ <25g and a blood ketone meter, this guy who probably knows more about ketosis than anyone else: http://paleohacks.com/questions/22451/how-do-i-get-my-ketostixs-to-purple#axzz1y5SqiFug But then don't let the facts get in the way of downvoting me. Sheesh.

4b5be253ac1981c690689cab7e4bf06d

(3043)

on October 09, 2012
at 03:57 PM

+1 for the "ketogenic diet is not the same as ketosis.". Ketogenic diets rely on the macronutrient ratio, and LOTS of fat. I use MyFitnessPal, and it is pretty simple to use.

0a9ad4e577fe24a6b8aafa1dd7a50c79

(5150)

on October 09, 2012
at 03:53 PM

Honestly Borofergie, I don't know where you're getting the claim that protein kicks you out of ketosis. I'm sure it's possible, but you'd have to be eating about 200g+ of protein a day. And at that high protein intake, eventually you'll achieve a positive nitrogen balance.

0a9ad4e577fe24a6b8aafa1dd7a50c79

(5150)

on October 09, 2012
at 03:51 PM

Downvote, because protein -> glucose is extremely inefficient and doesn't happen in significant quantities. All those Atkins people are almost without exception on a high-protein diet and it works for them. Not sure what you're talking about, my diet is about 50%fat, 40%protein and 10% carbs and I have no issues hitting ketosis.

B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on October 09, 2012
at 12:49 PM

MCT: Medium Chain Triglycerides Seriously, if you can't work out the macronutrient (%F:%P:%C) ratios of your foods, I'm not sure that ketosis is going to work for you. It's a pretty much all or nothing approach. Eat too many carbs or too much protein, and you'll throw yourself out of it.

02de5bc376540481b0bac8d47c650830

(40)

on October 09, 2012
at 12:48 PM

This is great, thank you. As far as ketostix, they are completely beyond my grasp. I live in Japan. I've looked everywhere for them but Asia doesn't not do rice so the idea of low carb is just confusing to them. When I quit the school lunch (I'm a teacher) I told them why (It's just noodles, white bread and rice with a bit of meat and carrots and makes me feel horrible) they told me I'd make myself sick giving up rice, (Which I never ate back in the states anyway and I was 20 lbs lighter). I am downloading one of these apps right now. I'm super psyched. Thank you.

B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on October 09, 2012
at 12:46 PM

Also, ketosis is laregly governed by your brain's requirement for glucose, which is fairly constant independent of sex, age, genetics and metabolic derangement, so there isn't that much variability...

B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on October 09, 2012
at 12:44 PM

Where did you get 10:45:45 from? Eating 45% of your calories from protein would blast you out of ketosis.

02de5bc376540481b0bac8d47c650830

(40)

on October 09, 2012
at 12:35 PM

Thanks, but this post just proves my technobabble point. MCTs, Macronutrient ratios, figuring out how many grams of whatever in a whatever food. It's meaningless to me. Maybe I need some pre-written plan. Eat x and q today. Eat c and x tomorrow. This sounds like I need a food scale though. As for exercise, I'm pretty active. I ride my bike everyday uphill going home for 40 min, and I go to karate 2-3 times a week at an hour and a half a class. It's pretty intensive. Thanks for your response.

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6 Answers

4
6d64cd6dc98d6ab763bd03678a317964

(2177)

on October 09, 2012
at 12:13 PM

LOG AND TEST. You don't know anything if you're not testing yourself for ketosis and logging what you eat. It isn't hard or boring. You need to log your food for a few days using one of the many online tools or mobile apps. All you need to know is the name of the food you're putting in your mouth, the rest is automated.

Use one of the following:

http://cronometer.com/

http://www.myfitnesspal.com/

http://nutritiondata.self.com/

http://www.fitday.com/

Each of these even has a mobile app.

As far as ratios go: CARBS, PROTEIN, FAT

The Zone Diet: 40-30-30 Atkins Diet: 5-25-75 Ketogenic Diet: 10-45-45 S.A.D: 50-25-25 PALEO: 20-15-65

Use ketostix to determine if you're in ketosis or not. The combination of these two tools should give you a fairly close idea although there are a lot of individual variables. (sex, age, activity, previous metabolic derangement, genetics, epi-genetics, etc etc)

B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on October 09, 2012
at 12:46 PM

Also, ketosis is laregly governed by your brain's requirement for glucose, which is fairly constant independent of sex, age, genetics and metabolic derangement, so there isn't that much variability...

6d64cd6dc98d6ab763bd03678a317964

(2177)

on October 10, 2012
at 12:15 PM

@Borofergie He said he was trying to lose weight. I assumed a low calorie intake. During the first month of ketosis you're not fully adapted and require more protein to prevent wasting. You are correct though, if he is eating 2500 calories or more this info should be adjusted. If, however, he is eating 1500 or less....then it's fine. This is why I suggested ketostix...

B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on October 09, 2012
at 12:44 PM

Where did you get 10:45:45 from? Eating 45% of your calories from protein would blast you out of ketosis.

02de5bc376540481b0bac8d47c650830

(40)

on October 09, 2012
at 12:48 PM

This is great, thank you. As far as ketostix, they are completely beyond my grasp. I live in Japan. I've looked everywhere for them but Asia doesn't not do rice so the idea of low carb is just confusing to them. When I quit the school lunch (I'm a teacher) I told them why (It's just noodles, white bread and rice with a bit of meat and carrots and makes me feel horrible) they told me I'd make myself sick giving up rice, (Which I never ate back in the states anyway and I was 20 lbs lighter). I am downloading one of these apps right now. I'm super psyched. Thank you.

3
B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on October 09, 2012
at 11:57 AM

You won't get anywhere near ketosis at 60F:40P:0C unless you are going to severely restrict your calories. Most of that protein is going to get turned into glucose, which will knock you out of ketosis. If you want to eat some vegetables, getting close to zero carbs is also kinda difficult.

I'd recommend <30g carbohydrate, and l< 0.8g protein per lb of lean body weight. On a normal calorie intake allowance that works out somewhere near 15% protein.

80F:15P:5C would be much better guess.

You can change these ratios a bit if you do lots of exercise, starve yourself, or juice on MCTs.

You need to weigh your food and take your best guess at the macronutrient ratios. I'm a diabetic, so I am aware of every single gram of carbohydrate that goes into my mouth. You get used to it after a while.

You can easily keep your Carb intake at less than 5%, by only eating foods that have 5g per 100g carbohydrate.

0a9ad4e577fe24a6b8aafa1dd7a50c79

(5150)

on October 09, 2012
at 03:53 PM

Honestly Borofergie, I don't know where you're getting the claim that protein kicks you out of ketosis. I'm sure it's possible, but you'd have to be eating about 200g+ of protein a day. And at that high protein intake, eventually you'll achieve a positive nitrogen balance.

B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on October 09, 2012
at 08:43 PM

@BoneBrothFast "protein > glucose is extremely inefficient and doesn't happen in significant quantities", which is of course wrong. Google "Gluconeogenesis", if you eat more protein than you need for structural and repair needs, 58% of the excess is converted to glucose, the rest to ketones (on average it depends on

0a9ad4e577fe24a6b8aafa1dd7a50c79

(5150)

on October 09, 2012
at 03:51 PM

Downvote, because protein -> glucose is extremely inefficient and doesn't happen in significant quantities. All those Atkins people are almost without exception on a high-protein diet and it works for them. Not sure what you're talking about, my diet is about 50%fat, 40%protein and 10% carbs and I have no issues hitting ketosis.

B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on October 09, 2012
at 03:57 PM

@BoneBrothFast Uhhhh - Steve Phinney, Jeff Volek, personal experience with 18 months @ <25g and a blood ketone meter, this guy who probably knows more about ketosis than anyone else: http://paleohacks.com/questions/22451/how-do-i-get-my-ketostixs-to-purple#axzz1y5SqiFug But then don't let the facts get in the way of downvoting me. Sheesh.

B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on October 09, 2012
at 04:06 PM

So that's Volek, Phinney, Attia, MacDonald, RobS and me all saying that you need to restrict protein. It's like a veritable "who's who" of nutritional ketosis. Don't even make me get the ketogenic ratio out.

B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on October 09, 2012
at 04:03 PM

@BoneBrothFast or how about Lyle MacDonald "Summery: dieters should consume zero Carbs on 150g protein diet since protein will provide 87g glucose by process called gluconeogenesis and other glucose will come from fat burning or you should lower protein intake and increase glucose intake from food. "

02de5bc376540481b0bac8d47c650830

(40)

on October 09, 2012
at 12:35 PM

Thanks, but this post just proves my technobabble point. MCTs, Macronutrient ratios, figuring out how many grams of whatever in a whatever food. It's meaningless to me. Maybe I need some pre-written plan. Eat x and q today. Eat c and x tomorrow. This sounds like I need a food scale though. As for exercise, I'm pretty active. I ride my bike everyday uphill going home for 40 min, and I go to karate 2-3 times a week at an hour and a half a class. It's pretty intensive. Thanks for your response.

B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on October 09, 2012
at 12:49 PM

MCT: Medium Chain Triglycerides Seriously, if you can't work out the macronutrient (%F:%P:%C) ratios of your foods, I'm not sure that ketosis is going to work for you. It's a pretty much all or nothing approach. Eat too many carbs or too much protein, and you'll throw yourself out of it.

B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on October 09, 2012
at 03:59 PM

@BoneBrothFast or Peter Attia: "Both insulin and glucose (probably by causing the secretion of insulin) suppress ketones. This is why, for example, consuming more than about 50 gm of carbohydrates per day and/or more than about 120-150 gm of protein per day makes it difficult to be in nutritional ketosis – too much insulin secretion." http://eatingacademy.com/nutrition/the-interplay-of-exercise-and-ketosis-part-i

1
7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on October 09, 2012
at 02:35 PM

A "ketogenic" diet is not the same as just desiring to be in ketosis. They have the same outcome but some people get into ketosis without a ketogenic diet. In fact, it may be that ketones are always present when fat is being burned. Your threshold of how little carbs you need to be in ketosis will be unique to you and will also change over time.

If you are just trying to get into ketosis and you want it to be easy...I would just

  1. Eat fat and protein for three days...and then
  2. Test your urine with Ketostix.
    They are not full proof but they worked well enough for me. Also...I used to cut mine into 3 parts with scissors because they're pricey. Your aim needs to be on target with these tiny strips though! :) You can get them at any drugstore by the diabetic products.

If you are not showing pink or purple then just adjust down the meat and up the fat a bit--or give it another day.

If you really want to count carbs then just get a pocket carb counter or google carb counts of anything online. You'll find a site you like and then you can just stick with that carb count site. Livestrong has a pretty good one and CalorieKing.

All in all, slow walking in a fasted state in the morning could boot that last bit of poundage without a ketogenic diet at all.

4b5be253ac1981c690689cab7e4bf06d

(3043)

on October 09, 2012
at 03:57 PM

+1 for the "ketogenic diet is not the same as ketosis.". Ketogenic diets rely on the macronutrient ratio, and LOTS of fat. I use MyFitnessPal, and it is pretty simple to use.

0
F9638b939a6f85d67f60065677193cad

(4266)

on October 09, 2012
at 05:17 PM

If you only have 5-10lbs of weight to lose, it's not likely that ketosis is going to get you there. But if you really want to give it a shot, the way to do it without doing the insanity of measuring and counting is to get a list of the lowest carb vegetables (do a google search). Those are the vegetables you are allowed to have. Then eat fatty meats. These include:

  • Steak or lamb with thick rinds of fat and lots of marbling
  • Fatty pork like butt roast, bacon, salt pork, chops with thick rinds of fat
  • Fatty birds like duck

When you cook, use fats and oils liberally. Put butter on your vegetables and oil on your salads. Garnish meals with olives, tapenade, pesto, sour cream, creme fraiche. You don't have to totally go out of your way on the fats, nor should you "gorge" on fats or meats. In fact, doing so will probably give you too many calories to lose weight. Just make your foods tasty and eat enough to feel satisfied.

If you do this, you will probably fall into the right macros automatically without having to count anything.

You might experience a period of adjustment so make sure to use plenty of salt, even lite salt, so that you get enough sodium and potassium. On a very low carbohydrate diet you need about double the salt. You may need to make bone broth or take magnesium supplements, too.

0
D1728f99db66ff91d695a6df5cd38b02

(1368)

on October 09, 2012
at 03:45 PM

When you use an app such as fitday.com or cronometer.com all you have to do is write in what food you ate. Then the app already knows how many carbs there are. (You don't have to calculate anything)

Do you have to know the weight of the food you eat? Yes- or be able to approximate it. You can use guidelines like your palm is 3oz of meat and you put that into the app and it tells you how many carbs/fat/protein. It is easy.

TIP: if you cook your own recipes buy a small food scale and weigh the ingredients. You can use a recipe app such as sparkrecipes to calculate the macros and then log a serving each day to keep track.

To get into ketosis you must eat a low ammount of carbs. Look up the carb content of foods and then don't eat the ones with lots of carbs. Leafy greens have low carbs. You may be in ketosis already if the only carb food you are eating is leafy greens. When you eat less carbs your body will start to get energy from your stored fat - this is the simple explanation of ketosis.

Foods that have higher carb content are potatoes, rice, wheat, beans, fruit. Anything sugary or grainy.

Do not cut your vegetable intake unless you work out that you are eating so many that the carbs are way over 50grams per day. Anything less than that an you should be fine.

You can test if you are in ketosis by buying some urine strips at the pharmacy.

Good luck.

0
7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on October 09, 2012
at 03:15 PM

I suspect the easiest thing you can do is go here: Jenny Ruhl's Nutrient Calculator This will give you protein and fat targets much more in line with reality. You shouldn't put your carbs above 20g a day, at least not at first. You want to optimize for ketone production. Often the weight will come off, but energy levels will go all wonky because there isn't enough of either fuel to make the brain happy.

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