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Old 01-07-2013, 06:27 AM   #1
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Please help explain this...

I am new to understanding how ketosis works. I have been in ketosis for approximately 3 weeks now and I am fairly active. On Saturday I went out XC skiing for about an hour, which is a sport that takes a lot of energy, but I was only out for an hour. It is fairly high in cardio demands.

Anyways, I felt a little down in energy, and although I could do it in a ketogenic state, it certainly wasn't as good as when my body was functioning on high carb. Then after I went home, I felt completely drained and this lasted nearly two days. I didn't not feel sick, just utterly exhausted and could barely get out of bed Sunday Morning. I think what I might have experienced was something close to what "bonking" feels like. But if I am in ketosis, why would this happen? If my body knows how to use fat for energy and I have a lot of body fat, not to mention the fact that I am feeding my body tons of fat per day, why do I feel this way? What is going on?

If anyone has an idea please explain it to me. I have ordered the performance book but it hasn't arrived yet. It said it may take another 4 weeks for me to get it.
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Old 01-07-2013, 08:43 AM   #2
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Just checking... How do you know you are in ketosis? Are you using blood strips?

I have the same feeling as you when I get hypoglycemic after a long workout. But when I'm in ketosis, as verified with the blood strips, my bonking goes away no matter how vigorous the workout.
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Old 01-07-2013, 11:26 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjjcaveman View Post
Just checking... How do you know you are in ketosis? Are you using blood strips?

I have the same feeling as you when I get hypoglycemic after a long workout. But when I'm in ketosis, as verified with the blood strips, my bonking goes away no matter how vigorous the workout.
Oh, maybe I am not then. I have just been relying on my numbers and the fact that I have a sweet taste in my mouth all the time. I've been keeping my carbs under 50g and my protein between 70 and 85 grams a day. I guess I have to go get the blood strips. If I use those, how would I know I am in ketosis?
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Old 01-07-2013, 11:35 AM   #4
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50 grams of carbs would be high for me. I need to stay at about 20 grams to be in ketosis (as measured by urine sticks, which I know aren't so accurate, but also by weight loss).

I cross country ski 4 or 5 days a week. Some days it does wipe me out--and for me, that's usually about lack of sodium, so I drink homemade chicken broth before hand. A tablespoon of coconut oil before a ski is also helpful.
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:27 PM   #5
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How long have you been low-carb? For me, it took several months to get my workout performance back after switching to low-carb. During the transition, sometimes even a walk would tire me out and weight-lifting was impossible. But if you've been low-carb for a while, that's probably not the issue.
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:36 PM   #6
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I agree with Yvonnem2000.

The adaption period to ketosis is not simply an anecdote, it really does happen. I wasn't sure whether I believed everyone's stories until I experienced it first hand.

I've been eating this way since mid-October (finally was able to determine when I actually started!). I had a few 1-hour runs in the beginning that just felt awful, like I was going up against a brick wall. Not anymore. And hopefully it will keep getting better - we'll see.

Maybe it is in one of the books --- for me, endurance sport seems to help the process along. Of course, I'm no endurance athlete.... I'm content with 1 hour of vigorous activity.
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Old 01-09-2013, 05:02 AM   #7
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I haven't been doing it very long. I was really struggling with my insulin levels and then I tried LC and then decided to go right to NK. It was ok in LC but nowhere near as good as it is in NK. Before I lost 40lbs doing a HC diet with a lot of exercise. But with my genetic history that probably wasn't a good idea, even though it worked. I am actually trying to cut down my exercise drastically, no more than 1 hour a day, and I would like to cut that down even further, but right now my body is used to a lot of exercise, so I have to reduce that gradually.

For me NK means a better quality of life. I just don't have a lot of energy to work out, but maybe I just have to wait it out until my body makes the adjustment. I've been functioning on a HC diet for years, my body is probably just very confused right now.
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Old 01-09-2013, 05:54 AM   #8
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I was thinking of trying to eat one tablespoon of coconut oil before my next run to see if it helps ..... maybe you should try it? A coffee or a green tea before working out would probably also improve your endurance a bit.

And maybe on other days you could try a brisk, 1 hour walk?

Also, do you have energy for a quick "eruption" type of workout? You could try the tabata sprints (4 minutes).

I do believe that cortisol goes hand-in-hand with long bouts of cardio. So, I just jog for fun now and do short bursts of weight training. It is slowly helping me gain some muscle. My body wasn't changing for the better at all with long cardio - instead, it just made me gain.

I'm really surprised that you lost all your weight by working out! It seemed to have the opposite effect for me. Why did you write that it "wasn't good for your genetic history"?
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Old 01-09-2013, 09:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Punkin View Post
I am new to understanding how ketosis works. I have been in ketosis for approximately 3 weeks now and I am fairly active. On Saturday I went out XC skiing for about an hour, which is a sport that takes a lot of energy, but I was only out for an hour. It is fairly high in cardio demands.

Anyways, I felt a little down in energy, and although I could do it in a ketogenic state, it certainly wasn't as good as when my body was functioning on high carb. Then after I went home, I felt completely drained and this lasted nearly two days. I didn't not feel sick, just utterly exhausted and could barely get out of bed Sunday Morning. I think what I might have experienced was something close to what "bonking" feels like. But if I am in ketosis, why would this happen? If my body knows how to use fat for energy and I have a lot of body fat, not to mention the fact that I am feeding my body tons of fat per day, why do I feel this way? What is going on?

If anyone has an idea please explain it to me. I have ordered the performance book but it hasn't arrived yet. It said it may take another 4 weeks for me to get it.
I was in ketosis and losing weight for several weeks until my workouts (running) got easier. I felt the same way- IF I got thru the workout, then the recovery knocked me down for 1-2 days...like you said, not sick but just incredibly wiped out. But also, my running suffered as well (speed, strength etc)

My therory? Essentially IMHO, there is an initial adaptation (you feel cruddy, then feel great) for day to day life which everyone goes thru when going into ketosis, but it seems like many people take a while longer to fully adapt to use primarily fat for fuel during workouts/cardio exercise. Honestly, it took me about 10 weeks before I felt like my 'old' self running- and then I could go forever.
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Old 01-10-2013, 05:01 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unna View Post
I was thinking of trying to eat one tablespoon of coconut oil before my next run to see if it helps ..... maybe you should try it? A coffee or a green tea before working out would probably also improve your endurance a bit.

And maybe on other days you could try a brisk, 1 hour walk?

Also, do you have energy for a quick "eruption" type of workout? You could try the tabata sprints (4 minutes).

I do believe that cortisol goes hand-in-hand with long bouts of cardio. So, I just jog for fun now and do short bursts of weight training. It is slowly helping me gain some muscle. My body wasn't changing for the better at all with long cardio - instead, it just made me gain.

I'm really surprised that you lost all your weight by working out! It seemed to have the opposite effect for me. Why did you write that it "wasn't good for your genetic history"?
Thankyou, I will try some of these suggestions. My history is basically that I struggled with weight gain all my life. In my teens I did a lot of yoyo dieting and that carried me through almost 2 decades until I took up endurance sports in my 30s. Endurance athletes typically rely on a HC diet because of the added advantage of energy bursts you get from carbs. But these is more if you plan on racing, not just doing the sport for fun. I did some racing as an excuse to "train" but really, I was using endurance sports as a weight management tool.

But because type II diabetes runs in my family, and although the exercise helps manage the weight and causes relief from insulin spikes, it can also contribute to the problem. Because when your blood sugar levels drop, what do you do? Eat more. Then in my case I have to deal with another huge insulin spike which causes more hunger. This is literally what was going on, I would go out for a 1 hour run, which for someone my size burns about 350 cal. Then I would come back and eat 2 peanut butter and jam sandwiches (700cal) Then about 1-2 hrs later I would have another meal because I was starving again. The meal would either be dinner which was roughly 800 - 1000cal or another snack, maybe around 300-400cal, mostly carbs. This is why I have a problem with weight. My body would burn 350cal jogging, but because I was eating in response to the insulin spikes and not actual hunger, exercise just aggravates the problem. I know other endurance athletes who don't have this problem and I think in my case, it is because of the genetic history i have with diabetes. My body just doesn't seem to work well with respect to the insulin mechanism. Using when people take up endurance sports they lose weight, not me, I gain!

So the changes I have made is mostly to go on keto, which will level out the insulin response, and reduce the amount of exercise. Basically I am just doing light physical activity and some weight training. What I am not sure about is if I will able to eventually bump up the carbs a bit. Maybe in the future I could try it and see if I can manage more of a LC diet. I'll try to stay in ketosis for a couple of months and see if I can function just eating a reasonable amount of calories with a HF diet. Right now it is like heaven to not feel like I want to eat everything in the refrigerator all the time!

I should also mention that the reason I lost weight on a HC diet, doing a lot of exercise was because I used extreme willpower and forced myself to stay in a calorie deficit for several months. I also did it during the right seasons. Summer and spring. I knew exactly how many calories I was burning vs. how many I was consuming. However it was not easy and it was a serious struggle the whole time. Not one that I wish or care to repeat!

Last edited by Punkin; 01-10-2013 at 05:21 AM..
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Old 01-23-2013, 11:28 AM   #11
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hello Punkin , maybe check your electrolytes. I felt like that for several months until I started taking salt , potassium and magnesium. I even had palpitations.
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Old 01-24-2013, 06:06 AM   #12
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This subject is discussed at length in the Phinney/Volek book "The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living". I have not read the performance book, but I would be certain that it is the main subject given the title. The living book is quite readable and chock full of great information. I highly recommend it!
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