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Old 02-17-2013, 05:00 AM   #1
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Going in and out of ketosis...confusion

I was just wondering if someone could explain something to me which has been mentioned on several threads. What does it mean when someone says they are knocked out of ketosis after eating something. I am assuming that when you eat a meal of food there is a rise in insulin because your body is receiving food, and the insulin's job is encourage uptake of those nutrients by body cells. So would it not make sense that ketosis would stop temporarily after a meal?
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Old 02-17-2013, 11:39 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Punkin View Post
What does it mean when someone says they are knocked out of ketosis after eating something. I am assuming that when you eat a meal of food there is a rise in insulin because your body is receiving food, and the insulin's job is encourage uptake of those nutrients by body cells. So would it not make sense that ketosis would stop temporarily after a meal?
From what I know, ketosis doesn't stop at meals - it's an ongoing process in which your body has adapted to using fat for fuel. It will always use carbs first, so if you eat something sugary, your body will burn through the sugar, and then go back to fat-burning – as long as you don't keep eating high carb. If you do keep eating the carbs long-term, your body will store whatever fat you're eating and use the carbs for fuel instead, and ketosis will be over.

The comments about something knocking a person out of ketosis are a result of individual testing. For example, fruit is out for me - every time I eat it, my ketones go down. An occasional treat is okay, but if I have berries every day, my blood ketones will go to zero and my weight loss grinds to a halt, even if I'm doing everything else right. Not every body has that response, which is why it's important for each of us to test our blood ketones and get an idea of what works.
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Old 02-17-2013, 12:34 PM   #3
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Thanks MerryKate. I'm a bit confused though because if you only ate 1/4 cup of berries each day, that might be 16cal. You still need more than 16 cal a day, wouldn't your body just get the rest of its calories from fat. Including your fat stores, why would your blood ketones go to 0.
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Old 02-19-2013, 02:19 PM   #4
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Thanks MerryKate. I'm a bit confused though because if you only ate 1/4 cup of berries each day, that might be 16cal. You still need more than 16 cal a day, wouldn't your body just get the rest of its calories from fat. Including your fat stores, why would your blood ketones go to 0.
If you were eating only 16 cal a day, you would stay in ketosis, at least until you fat stores were depleted.

I am unclear as to why our bodies have these two modes. But I get the sense that maybe paleo humans would have tended to spend a fair amount of time in ketosis. Hammering your body with so much carbohydrate intake, permanently would not have been possible until modern times.

So maybe people who eat the Standard American Diet are just in this bizarre metabolic state. They just never go into ketosis for years on end -- for their entire lives. Might explain by the adjustment to a state of ketosis can be so difficult initially and so easy to "fall out of". Your body has been trained for years or decades to expect that 400 g of carbs/day that the USDA recommends. So even after months in ketosis it is ready to switch modes in an instant back to the one it knows and loves.

Of course this is just speculation on my part...

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Old 02-20-2013, 05:05 AM   #5
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So, even a "hint" of carbs for some people might trigger an insulin reponse, where they body completely stops burning fat waiting for more carbs. Even if there isn't really enough for insulin to do its job? The reason I am asking because it seems like I get an insulin spike after every meal, even if it only contains 4 carbs.
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Old 02-20-2013, 08:57 AM   #6
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Punkin, I would suggest you get a glucose meter and test your blood GLUCOSE, (not the expensive ketones) if you think you are getting insulin spikes. I would love to know my insulin levels, but that is lab test. You might be surprised at the glucose readings.
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Old 02-20-2013, 09:23 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Punkin View Post
So, even a "hint" of carbs for some people might trigger an insulin reponse, where they body completely stops burning fat waiting for more carbs. Even if there isn't really enough for insulin to do its job? The reason I am asking because it seems like I get an insulin spike after every meal, even if it only contains 4 carbs.
I am wondering how you know you are getting an insulin spike?
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Old 02-23-2013, 05:11 AM   #8
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Well, I get ravishingly hungry after I eat a meal. And the amount of calories consumed makes no difference, although smaller meals 200 - 300cal seem to be better. I also notice that higher carb meals generate more feelings of hungry after eating. Where as the higher protein meals I tend to feel the feelings of intense hunger 2-3 hrs later. Also hypoglycemia is an issue with me to. I feel best when fasting. For example in the morning before eating breakfast.
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Old 02-23-2013, 07:13 AM   #9
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Symptoms are always useful to gauge what is going on inside but they are not infallible. You don't know that is insulin spiking and if you are eating a well formulated, low carb, moderate protein, high fat diet, you are not likely to have insulin spikes at all. Hypoglycemia should also be moderated by the same diet plan.

I do understand that there is a kind of 'hunger' after eating what should be a satiating meal but for myself, find that if I wait about 10 mins. or so, the feeling of needing to eat more passes. I would not attribute that to an insulin 'spike'.
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Old 02-23-2013, 12:21 PM   #10
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I feel best when I am fasting, which I attribute to being in ketosis. But it seems like everytime I eat a meal I feel bad afterwards, either hungry or ill, with no energy. And extremely irritable. It makes me not want to eat at all. But I think I am pretty sensitive to carbs and probably have a severely damaged metabolism which might just take more time that it does for other people to repair.
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Old 02-24-2013, 03:50 PM   #11
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hi punkin

i have constantly been in ketosis for a couple of weeks then ate a bowl of berries for two successive nights, this morning after the berry feast my urine strip was pink, no sign of ketosis, i know its down to the berries because the rest of my macros had not changed. Tonight my urine strip was dark purple again my normal NK woe.

just thought i would share that
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Old 02-25-2013, 04:56 AM   #12
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Most of my meals are pretty low in carbs. Definitely less than 10g, but I try to do less than 5g. I feel great in the morning, but as soon as I eat something happens. I rarely feel good after eating a meal. And it will sometimes last until the next meal.
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Old 02-25-2013, 05:07 AM   #13
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Punkin, I would suggest you get a glucose meter and test your blood GLUCOSE, (not the expensive ketones) if you think you are getting insulin spikes. I would love to know my insulin levels, but that is lab test. You might be surprised at the glucose readings.
I agree...mine was $16.00 at the local "Wal-Mart" and the strips are only $9.00 for 50strips.

It has been an eyeopening experience to see what foods do to my glucose level!!!
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Old 02-25-2013, 06:55 AM   #14
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I spent some time on your blog, it looks like you started it just a couple of weeks before me. Have you tried this strategy: reducing your protein and carbs, and upping your fats to reach your maintenance calorie intake, to improve your ketone levels?
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Old 02-25-2013, 05:47 PM   #15
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I spent some time on your blog, it looks like you started it just a couple of weeks before me. Have you tried this strategy: reducing your protein and carbs, and upping your fats to reach your maintenance calorie intake, to improve your ketone levels?
That's what I've been trying to work on lately...

Dr. Georgia Ede is doing the same experiment and she's getting ketones in the 3-4.0 mmol range while eating around 50 gm of proteins..

since I weight more than her and have more muscle mass, and am pretty active I'm hesitant to get it that low... so I'm trying it out for a few days at around 80-90 grms of protein.

i screwed up a bit yesterday and ate 100 gm... my ketones this AM were 0.7

today as of this moment, my protein count is at 74 gm... so I'll see what happens tomorrow morning! will keep you updated.
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Old 02-25-2013, 06:37 PM   #16
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The reason I ask is because I think athletes have a tougher time with the transition to becoming "fat adapted." My sister started at the same time as myself and she is basically 5lbs away from goal and will be going on maintenance. She is eating way more carbs than I and is doing fine still losing. I on the other hand have really been struggling. I think athletes who have traditionally functioned on a high carb diet, have done a good job of training their body to use glucose as fuel. I found that when I decreased my carbs and protein to almost nothing and bumped up the fat and until basically I was eating all fat at my maintenance intake, I noticed that it seemed easier. I experienced less hypoglycemia and less hunger. I am not testing my ketones, more so doing it by feel. And it is almost like when my body is forced to use fat, then it does. But any traces of any other fuel and forget it, it starts asking for more glucose-based fuel sources.

Yes let me know how it goes, I am curious what you find.
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