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Old 09-14-2012, 08:09 AM   #1
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WOE: Nutritional Ketosis--Maintenance!
Start Date: August 6, 2001
September Nutritional Ketosis Thread!

Welcome to the first monthly thread for the Nutritional Ketosis (LC/HF/MP) Group!

The original thread can be found here.

We are following the Phinney/Volek books, The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living and The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance, with tweaks that we’ve learned along the way.

The main points for getting into NK are:
  • Find your correct protein gram range (stay at lower end of range at least until in ketosis)
  • Find your correct carb gram range (under 50 grams, many find under 20 or 30)
  • Add fat to satiety and to your goals (65%-85% of total calories)
You are putting your body into a state (nutritional ketosis) where it can easily access body fat for fuel. Part of your daily fat % will be made up from body fat so you do not have to have a certain high percentage of fat from your diet. Phinney/Volek say that fat will fall in the 65% - 85% range.

This is also not a low-fat or low-calorie diet. In his interview Dr. Phinney advised that you should never go below 1200 calories/day.

The Phinney/Volek Performance book advises that if you are eating fat to satiety and not losing weight you should lower your dietary fat. Just getting into NK will not make you lose weight, you must be in an energy deficit. If you give your body all the energy it needs through your intake it will not access your body fat stores.

Many of us are using a blood ketone meter to track our ketosis and adjust our macronutrients based on the readings. This is not necessary, but we’ve found it extremely helpful and it is recommended!

I have put together a cheat sheet from posts on the old list. This is not inclusive and is really just a starting point. You can find it in my signature line or here.

Note on protein requirement formulas:

The Dr. Jan Kwasniewski (Optimal Diet) formula for figuring out goal weight and protein is helpful if you don’t know where to start. We do not follow his formula for carbs and fat although you may also find them helpful as a starting point.

The Phinney/Volek calculation for protein is a range that goes up pretty high. Most people have to start out at the low end (or even slightly lower) to get into NK using this formula.

Mike has put together a FAQ for this WOE, you can find it here.

Here is the recipe thread that svenskamae started:
High fat, low to moderate protein recipes?

Happy losing everyone!!
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Old 09-14-2012, 08:17 AM   #2
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I've been lurking on the original thread for a few weeks. I guess I'll come out of the shadows and officially join you all.
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Old 09-14-2012, 08:18 AM   #3
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Old 09-14-2012, 08:20 AM   #4
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Old 09-14-2012, 08:22 AM   #5
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I wonder what the thinking is about the timing around consuming protein (i.e. first thing in the morning/last thing at night....)and if there is any information on whether it should be spaced out (i.e. 20g at each of 3 meals)?

Just a little interesting tid bit - my on line health store near to where I live has recently sold out of the ketone strips. I wonder who is buying them all?????

Last edited by clackley; 09-14-2012 at 08:24 AM..
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Old 09-14-2012, 08:24 AM   #6
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Old 09-14-2012, 08:27 AM   #7
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Ok I have found some fat bomb recipes but all contain nut butters. Any recipes with no nuts? I want to try fat bomb for lunch to lower my protein
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Old 09-14-2012, 08:28 AM   #8
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Buffy, the other thread is locked now so I'll chime in here on your question about fat and skin health.

I don't know about fat in general but coconut oil in particular does nourish your skin. Through consumption or direct application as a lotion. I have seen some posts about homemade skin lotion based on CO.

My personal experience has been that refined (LouAnn) does not seem to help when eaten but the organic does.
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Old 09-14-2012, 08:41 AM   #9
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got it!!!!

Lacy, just leave out the nuts....it tastes still great!!!!
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Old 09-14-2012, 08:53 AM   #10
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Thanks for all the help guys! I think i am on my way togetting the hang of this! Still dont have my blood meter but indomuse the urine strips everyday even though they are not as reliable, it makes me feel better to see them darkening I have noticed that they are lighter in the morning and darker by the evening. Mean anything?
My biggest problem by far is finding time to eat! My schedule can be super hectic and the measuring everything takes time to get use to, but LC was like that in the beginning also, just something new!
The scale did say I was down 5 pounds this morning, it said last week I was down 7 but it came right back the next day so we shall see what the scale holds for me tomorrow!
Again, thanks EVERYONE for helping me figure out where to start. I'm sure I will need tweaking and have many more questions. It's supposed to be a rainy weekend here so I'm hoping the kids will be content laying around and watching movies etc. indoors and I can catch up on some reading!!!
Btw, love the new thread, that other one was getting insane lol
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Old 09-14-2012, 08:56 AM   #11
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Oh, one more thing, I added two tsp of Co to my coffee this morning. Not bad at all. It was a little greasy but I'm already kind of used to that because I like A LOT of hwc in my coffee.

Final note, do you guys count plenda, stevia etc as one carb each? I am finding that about 6 of my 20 carbs a day is from adding the Splenda to my beloved coffee!
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Old 09-14-2012, 09:05 AM   #12
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Am here as well.
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Old 09-14-2012, 09:13 AM   #13
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Subbing. Just got my first tub of CO this morning - am enjoying it made into cocoa bark.

eta: mom 2 4 - are you using granulated splenda or the tablets? The granulated is 1g carb per tsp because they add a carby declumping agent to stop it sticking together. Tablets are more like 0.10g per tablet. I use hermestas liquid sweetener which is 0 carb.

Last edited by Moonlights; 09-14-2012 at 09:18 AM..
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Old 09-14-2012, 09:14 AM   #14
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Glad to see this new thread.ill be here with y'all the whole way..I love it.
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Old 09-14-2012, 09:15 AM   #15
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I am lurking, too, but HAD to post about the skin question. (I started Aug 27 after watching Forks Over Knives in disbelief since I've been low carbing on and off for over 10 years, researched a lot of debunking blogs on FOK then found Weston A. Price and finally found the original thread on NK after I started. 5.4 pounds lighter as of today...10 more to go. Whew!)

Anyway, the last few days I have been literally commenting out loud repeatedly to my partner, "My skin feels SO supple.." Who says that??? To which she laughed like crazy and now makes fun of me. So, yes, I think it does help.
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Old 09-14-2012, 09:17 AM   #16
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Thanks for starting the new thread, Kristn! I went through more recipe cards and found some other high fat recipes, and I'll post more of them on the "high fat, moderate protein" sticky thread in the recipe area, this evening.

Something that I've noticed while limiting my protein (aiming for around 50 grams) and upping my fat intake is that my experience of hunger is a little different. When I do get hungry between (highfat) meals or in the evening, I can usually take care of the hunger by eating a small amount of high fat food and a couple of glasses of water. For example, I might eat 1 oz of triple cream cheese or 1 Tablespoon of macadamia butter or 1 Tablespoon of coconut butter, drink the water or a few almonds, and then I'm fine. It doesn't seem like a lot of food, but so long as I'm following this highfat/lowcarb/moderateprotein plan, just a little bit of fat will satisfy me. (I am eating around 1200 calories/day, so my 2 meals aren't so small.)

Has anyone else noticed a change in their hunger and how it responds to different amounts or types of food intake?
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Old 09-14-2012, 09:18 AM   #17
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Recipe Thread!

Yikes! I forgot the link to the recipe thread! I can't edit my first post, so hopefully everyone can find this!

Here is the recipe thread that svenskamae started: Recipes for NK
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Old 09-14-2012, 09:18 AM   #18
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Hiya Everyone!

I just wanted to say I'm still reading just finding the time to post is going to be a problem since we're starting our prep to move for my husbands new job. I'll do the best I can though. Thanks for all the work getting us a new thread and recipe sticky!
Hope everyone is happy and losing well.

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Old 09-14-2012, 09:20 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by mom2zeke View Post
Yikes! I forgot the link to the recipe thread! I can't edit my first post, so hopefully everyone can find this!

Here is the recipe thread that svenskamae started: Recipes for NK
PM Dottie and see if she'll edit it for you Kristn.
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Old 09-14-2012, 09:23 AM   #20
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What experience have you all had losing on this plan? What percent find it faster than strict low carb without the protein restriction? I'm curious.

I find it hard to understand why protein needs to be restricted so much while carbs are still relatively high. I understand gluconeogenesis, but it seems that the blood glucose contribution from eating 50 grams of carbs a day would be so great that the protein wouldn't be that large a factor. I would think if people weren't solidly in ketosis at 50 grams of carbs and "normal" protein for them, whatever that is, their first tack would be to cut carbs. Are people finding they prefer a higher carb intake even if it means lower protein, or do some people actually find that to get into ketosis they need to lower the protein and the carbs don't even matter so much? This is very confusing given what I think I know about the process.

I have always seen it as a sort of elimination process, lowering the carbs till the proper level of ketoadaption is reached, and only worrying about the protein if and when that isn't enough. The Atkins Fat Fast approach, in other words. But it seems like you all see it as a sort of balance, that the protein contribution to blood glucose will be happening almost equally at 50 grams of carbs or 20, and that it's up to the person whether they tweak the carbs or protein to get the whole shebang under the critical level. Does that make sense?

I am a total believer in the need for many to restrict protein, don't get me wrong. But it seems like maybe people are applying the steps in the wrong order. Since some of our bodies do gluconeogenesis much more efficiently than others, do you think some people really will end up protein deficient this way, if they do the protein restriction when really what they need is just the traditional approach of cutting carbs? Since protein is essential and carbs aren't, it seems the prudent approach would be to lower carbs at least to 20 grams. Do some people find it essential rather than optional to limit protein more and carbs less to get into dietary ketosis? or once they are in it, do they just choose to add back carbs rather than protein? was that decision based on experimentation with both, or just a preference?

Another thought--when people get their protein intake so low, I wonder if it would be helpful to concentrate on protein sources particularly high in the essential amino acids-- phenylalanine, valine, threonine, tryptophan, isoleucine, methionine, leucine, lysine, and histidine. These used to be considered very important back in the 70s when vegetarian protein combining was all the rage, but since then the assumption seems to be we all get so much protein anyway it's not a big issue.

It's interesting to note that the amino acids that make up the proteins we eat fall into two groups, the ones that can be converted into glucose through gluconeogenesis and the ones thatcan be converted into ketone bodies through ketogenesis, plus the ones that do both. A few of the essential ones are in that first group, and some swing both ways.

Do the guys who are really into this with blogs and all get into which foods provide the type we would prefer, the ketogenic amino acids, more than the gluconeogenic ones? I really only got to thinking about this now and it's not something I've researched or thought through. I do know I still have an old book that breaks foods down by their essential amino acids, but if what we are shooting for is not only just enough of each of the essential ones, but also as little as possible of the non-essential gluconeogenic amino acids, that would be a whole different list!

of course I bet that most animal-derived proteins have pretty similar amino acid profiles. it was the beans and grains and seeds that were "incomplete" proteins. and those proteins come packaged with a lot of carbs, so they are less interesting to us. so maybe it's not a worthwhile path.

but we do have wheat protein isolate available, and that might have an interesting pattern. of course I find I gain weight when I eat it, so it's not much use to me!

how thought provoking.
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Last edited by ravenrose; 09-14-2012 at 09:29 AM..
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Old 09-14-2012, 09:35 AM   #21
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Old 09-14-2012, 09:37 AM   #22
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Old 09-14-2012, 09:38 AM   #23
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ssssttttt, marking my spot!

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Old 09-14-2012, 09:39 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by sjl330 View Post
I've been lurking on the original thread for a few weeks. I guess I'll come out of the shadows and officially join you all.
Hi Sandy, good to see you come out of lurkdom!
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Old 09-14-2012, 09:40 AM   #25
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Buffy, the other thread is locked now so I'll chime in here on your question about fat and skin health.

I don't know about fat in general but coconut oil in particular does nourish your skin. Through consumption or direct application as a lotion. I have seen some posts about homemade skin lotion based on CO.

My personal experience has been that refined (LouAnn) does not seem to help when eaten but the organic does.
Organic is what I am using.
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Old 09-14-2012, 09:41 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by route66 View Post
I am lurking, too, but HAD to post about the skin question. (I started Aug 27 after watching Forks Over Knives in disbelief since I've been low carbing on and off for over 10 years, researched a lot of debunking blogs on FOK then found Weston A. Price and finally found the original thread on NK after I started. 5.4 pounds lighter as of today...10 more to go. Whew!)

Anyway, the last few days I have been literally commenting out loud repeatedly to my partner, "My skin feels SO supple.." Who says that??? To which she laughed like crazy and now makes fun of me. So, yes, I think it does help.
So glad to hear this!
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Old 09-14-2012, 09:56 AM   #27
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Yeah--Dottie fixed it. The recipe link is now on the first page of this thread!

ravenrose--I was stuck for 9.5 years trying all sorts of different plans and now I'm at my goal weight down 25 pounds using this plan. I think a lot of us here have similar stories, they stopped losing with regular LC plans.

I don't know the answer to your carbs vs. protein question. 50 carbs or below is what Phinney/Volek describe as the number you need to be below to get into ketosis. They do say it's variable by person and goals. Most people here are probably well below that. I know that I try to stay below 30 in maintenance but may experiment with going higher.

Since we use the meter to gauge ketosis, it has become pretty clear that too much protein can inhibit this process. Most of us are so low-carb that it hasn't been totally clear what the carb threshold is.

My thinking is that when you're long term LC with no limits on protein your body becomes expert at gluconeogenesis. If you want to force your body into using another pathway for energy (ketosis) you need to really restrict both protein and carbs to do so. Once your body is in ketosis for a while that may become its preferred pathway and you can up protein and carbs a little bit and still stay in ketosis. But you can adapt either way and if you start eating too many carbs and too much protein your body will switch right back. That's why the meter has been so helpful for me in maintenance.

Why we want to be in ketosis is both for appetite supression and easy access to our body fat stores for energy and weight loss. I do a very intense exercise class twice a week and I'm never hungry afterwards. I'm pretty sure that I'm accessing my fat stores for energy in the class. That's really what the Performance book is all about.

The Performance book is geared towards athletes so we are making some assumptions on how it works for weight loss. They have a few clues in the book, and the interviews with Stephen Phinney are enlightening, but when their weight-loss book comes out we may be surprised.
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Old 09-14-2012, 10:02 AM   #28
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What experience have you all had losing on this plan? What percent find it faster than strict low carb without the protein restriction? I'm curious.

I find it hard to understand why protein needs to be restricted so much while carbs are still relatively high. I understand gluconeogenesis, but it seems that the blood glucose contribution from eating 50 grams of carbs a day would be so great that the protein wouldn't be that large a factor. I would think if people weren't solidly in ketosis at 50 grams of carbs and "normal" protein for them, whatever that is, their first tack would be to cut carbs. Are people finding they prefer a higher carb intake even if it means lower protein, or do some people actually find that to get into ketosis they need to lower the protein and the carbs don't even matter so much? This is very confusing given what I think I know about the process.

I have always seen it as a sort of elimination process, lowering the carbs till the proper level of ketoadaption is reached, and only worrying about the protein if and when that isn't enough. The Atkins Fat Fast approach, in other words. But it seems like you all see it as a sort of balance, that the protein contribution to blood glucose will be happening almost equally at 50 grams of carbs or 20, and that it's up to the person whether they tweak the carbs or protein to get the whole shebang under the critical level. Does that make sense?

I am a total believer in the need for many to restrict protein, don't get me wrong. But it seems like maybe people are applying the steps in the wrong order. Since some of our bodies do gluconeogenesis much more efficiently than others, do you think some people really will end up protein deficient this way, if they do the protein restriction when really what they need is just the traditional approach of cutting carbs? Since protein is essential and carbs aren't, it seems the prudent approach would be to lower carbs at least to 20 grams. Do some people find it essential rather than optional to limit protein more and carbs less to get into dietary ketosis? or once they are in it, do they just choose to add back carbs rather than protein? was that decision based on experimentation with both, or just a preference?
how thought provoking.
Interesting questions, Ravenrose. I can only speak for myself and maybe a few other people who I know from other challenges, but my sense is that a number of people trying the nutritional ketosis approach HAVE tried pretty much everything else, including cutting carbs to minimum levels, upping calories, cutting calories, intermittent fasting, etc., etc. and have been stalled for months or years doing lowcarb. I find cutting carbs way easier than cutting protein, in terms of planning meals, feeling full, being able to eat in restaurants, etc., so I am using the NK approach only after having exhausted the "lower your carbs" path you recommend.

Since beginning a lowcarb woe 8 months ago, I've never let my net carbs go as high as 50/day; generally my net carb intake is in the low 20s, and I still wasn't losing or was losing at a glacial rate until I strictly limited protein to the lower end of the recommended amount (to around 50 grams/day). Making fat comprise 70-85 percent of my diet (while limiting calories pretty strictly) seems to finally be speeding up my weight loss again. I don't use a scale, so I can't report numbers, but I am finding measurable progress each week in terms of fitting into smaller clothes--something that wasn't happening for the previous 3 months, despite keeping net carbs in the 20s and calories under 1300/day.

I can't speak to the biochemistry of the process, but it may be that some of us need to re-train our bodies to burn fat by making fat our main source of calories and limiting protein strictly. And based on others' experience, sometimes it takes weeks or months of that high fat/limited protein/lowcarb approach before the pounds start to drop; improved blood sugar control may happen first.
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Old 09-14-2012, 10:08 AM   #29
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I haven't read any of these books. However, from what I have read so far in the threads sounds exactly what I am doing. A high fat/moderate protein/low carbs plan. My energy levels have increased and I no longer feel the gnawing hunger from coming home from the gym.
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Old 09-14-2012, 10:17 AM   #30
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I wonder what the thinking is about the timing around consuming protein (i.e. first thing in the morning/last thing at night....)and if there is any information on whether it should be spaced out (i.e. 20g at each of 3 meals)?
I saw a post about that in some other thread somewhere.

They were adamant about spreading your macros out during the day.

After thinking about it for a bit, and at great risk to my anonymous internet poster credibility, I find that I do not agree that it is absolutely mandatory, or even very important, to do that.

It strikes me as a hold over from the indoctrination of the 'well balanced meal' thinking that has resulted in epic obesity.

What if you aren't someone that has time or enjoys a meal for breakfast? What about not being hungry after a high fat breakfast and you only want a fat snack for lunch to hold you over till you get home to make healthy food?

Lots of people are in that situation by choice or circumstance and they are stunningly successful at weight loss and maintenance.

And, I think, it is an added layer of complexity that fosters failure for newbies.

One thing that someone said that I strongly disagreed with was that loading your protein at mostly one point in the day, breakfast, lunch, dinner whatever, was bad because lean body mass would suffer. *That* is what made me think that that whole thing wasn't very well thought out. It doesn't really matter how you eat, your body is constantly depleting and replenishing your lean body mass. If you are getting enough protein every day, even it if is only at one time all day long, your body is going to replenish LBM from it as needed. And that is the extreme of protein at only one point in the day. Most people eat some form of protein at least twice a day even if it isn't the right ratio.

On the other hand, there is zero downside to doing it so if you can then there is no reason not to do it.

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