Welcome to the science section of the website. Here we’ve provided a little information to answer some of the more complex questions.
If you are just starting your journey, you may be less interested in the why, and more interested in the how, but if you’re like me, you’ll have to understand the why before you commit.
Thank you and enjoy your dip into human physiology.
When we eat protein, insulin levels rise to utilize the amino acids. Glucagon will also rise to stimulate glycogen release from the liver, and stabilize blood sugar (so it does not fall too low from the action of insulin). The liver responds to thetug of war between glucagon and insulin, and produces enough glycogen to keep blood sugar stable. Those without sufficient endogenous insulin will see the glucagon driving up blood sugars.
Gluconeogenesis, or GNG for short, is the process used to create glucose from other molecules, allowing the body to create and store needed energy for the brain. The rate of GNG is relatively fixed and is NOT affected by supply. GNG happens all the time, we do not have superpowers that alter the rate of GNG by inputs, such as eating "too much" protein. Only diabetics may have to watch out for this.
The aim is to get this process to draw on excess fats for conversion to glucose. The liver can turn fats into ketones to be used as fuel for the brain, and this is called ketogenesis, the basis for the term ‘keto’. This is where inputs count. The body has a systematic order in which it draws from fuel sources. To get it to draw on excess fat sources, you need to follow the Nutrivore philosophy.
Protein will not pull you out of keto unless you eat "a lot" in a single sitting. Over 150g or 1.5lbs of chicken.
From ALL the macros, the one that contributes the least to adipose tissue gain is protein.
There is plenty of research backed information out there, and I’ve included a few sources here for those who want to know more about the process.
Overconsumption of protein is a risk that needs awareness, although evidence to date shows little need for concern. Having said that, nutritional excess is relative. What may be a harmful level of intake for one person may not be harmful for another.
The kidneys are the major organ to get rid of nitrogenous waste products that accumulate in the blood as a result of protein metabolism, such as urea, creatinine, uric acid, and ammonia.
Overall, the available evidence to date does not support a link between a high protein diet and the development of kidney disease in healthy adults. This conclusion is shared by the World Health Organization in their official report on protein.
"Despite a widely held belief that high-protein diets (especially diets high in animal protein) result in bone resorption and increased urinary calcium, higher protein diets are actually associated with greater bone mass and fewer fractures when calcium intake is adequate. "
Exogenous ketones are ketones introduced through supplements, rather than those created by the body (endogenous ketones).
There are a number of considerations that need to be taken into account before making this decision.
* Exogenous ketones provide a great non-stim pre-workout
* They are extremely expensive
* They will blunt lipolysis, which is the process that breaks down fats to release fatty acids
* They will increase circulating insulin
* They will blunt hunger until they leave the system in 4-6 hours, then hunger will ramp up rapidly.
*Just drinking ketone salts or medium chain triglyceride oil without a proper ketogenic diet is only beneficial if ketone therapy is necessary, or to avoid oxygen toxicity.
Excess energy is still excess energy and the body has to do something with it. The reality is that in the presence of exogenous ketones and MCT oil, endogenous energy needs will be diminished and this can actually hinder fat loss.
For further information on this topic:
MCTs are absorbed and transported to the liver for direct metabolization into ketones via the portal vein. This is why they bolster ketones with or without the benefit of a Ketogenic diet.
Coconut oil is not MCT oil. Coconut oil is only 60% MCT, The reality is only about 15% of a serving of coconut oil will be truly used by the body in the standard way MCTs are used.
The benefits of MCTs are beyond therapeutic and performance, I do think it's a valuable part of the Keto diet for fat loss, because it does help activate lipolysis, It also helps with mental cognition and energy.
Too much MCT is counterproductive. 1-2 tbsps of MCT is all that is needed. Excess energy is still excess energy and the body has to do something with it. The reality is that, as with exogenous ketones, in the presence of MCT oil, endogenous energy needs will be diminished and this canhinder fat loss.
It’s best to match carbohydrate intake to training sessions, not to eat a daily quota of carbs. First job is to work on your fat adaptation journey. Dial down your workout intensity and keep carbs low for at least 8-12 weeks. Then if your priority is metabolic flexibility and increasing your intensity, quality carbohydrate replacement should be explored.
Treat carbs as if they are a supplement rather than a food. In a particularly high intensity training block, or in the case of twice daily training, supplemental carbs can help support glycolytic training and glycogen replenishment. If training load and frequency is lower, or the training isn’t particularly anaerobic, it is easier for the body to keep its glycogen status via endogenous glucose production, so carbs would be less necessary.
Remember, when increasing carbs, fats should be decreased. Estimate the amount of glycogen a training session requires, and then eat that amount of carb. As a guide, this tends to be close to 50g for the 5-6 hour a week runner, 60-80g for the 6-10 hour a week runner, and 80-100g+ beyond that. Of course its relative to your intensity. A sprinter working 3 hours a week may need supplemental carbs.
Most carb adapted athletes that train properly can run up to 20 miles with no additional fuel.
No matter where the carbohydrates are being stored, liver or the muscles; the total storage capacity of the body for carbohydrate is limited. Once the levels in the liver are filled with glycogen, excess carbohydrates have to be converted into fat and stored. Even though carbohydrates are fat-free, excess carbohydrates ends up as excess fat.
When our intake is too high in carbohydrates, we are sending a hormonal message, through insulin, to store it as fat. This message also calls on the body to hold any stored fat. When this happens, you can’t use your own stored body fat for energy.
High insulin levels also suppress two important hormones: growth hormone and glucagon. Growth hormone is used for muscle development and building new muscle mass. Glucagon promotes the burning of fat and sugar. Eating a high carbohydrate meal also stimulates hunger. As blood sugar increases, insulin rises with an immediate drop in blood sugar. This results in hunger, often only a couple of hours after the meal. Cravings, usually for sweets, are frequently part of this cycle, leading you to snack on more carbohydrates. Not eating makes you feel ravenous shaky, moody and ready to “crash.” This cycle causes you to hold on to that extra stored fat, and leads to a decrease in energy.
Eating fat does not produce ketones.
Eating fat produces chylomicrons that move from the small intestine into the bloodstream. Ketones are produced from the free fatty acids (FFA) that are released from your fat storage when blood glucose levels fall causing insulin levels to decline. This causes another hormone, glucagon, to cause the FFA to be released. The liver takes a few of the FFA and turns them into ketones for use by the brain. The FFA in the bloodstream are used by the cells for energy.
Ketosis is achieved by starving the body of carbohydrates for a long enough period so that liver glycogen (stored glucose) is depleted to low levels and the liver is forced to seek alternative fuel sources as not enough carbohydrates are coming in to fulfill the energy demand by your body’s tissues.
So the liver relies on a built in mechanism called ketosis and starts to create ketones. Ketone bodies are Acetoacetate (which you pick up in your urine using keto strips), Acetone (whichyou smell on your breath) and beta-hydroxybuterate, or BHB (acetoacetate and beta-hydroxybuterate is converted to energy for use by body tissues). Ketones are derived from fat metabolism.
To get into a state of ketosis you need to restrict carbohydrates, not increase fat intake.
So as you can see it is imperative to understand that eating tons of fat is counter intuitive on this diet if you have high amounts of body fat to lose. The more fat you eat the more fat you put into circulation so even if you are burning fat the fat you consume might be more than the fat being burned, leaving you with no fat loss.
Think of a bowl with ahole at the bottom. If you are pouring in water faster than the water can drain from the hole in the bottom, the bowl will still fill.
Ketosis has ZERO to do with fat loss. Ketosis is the side effect of the ketogenic diet, not the goal.
Ketosis is a state at which your body produces ketones in the liver, shifting the body's metabolism away from glucose and towards fat utilization. If you do not feed the body carbs (glucose) it has to burn something else as fuel. It is not that ketones are the preferred fuel source, it is (for the most part and for this discussion) the ONLY option the body has when eating keto (when carbs are restricted).
Ketosis is the process that the liver performs when the body switches to using free fatty acids for energy. Ketosis creates ketones to keep the brain going as you begin to run out of blood glucose. (That's very important). The better your body is at using free fatty acids from fat stored in the cells, the better fat adapted you are. You are never fully fat adapted. You are simply adapted to a degree. Ketosis is a process in the body, whereas fat adaptability is the ability of the body to use body fat for energy. Being a fat adapted athlete is the ability of the body to generate large quantities of free fatty acids (FFA) for energy during long exercise or events. Just eating keto only develops your adaptation to a limited degree. Long steady duration exercise takes it to a much higher level.
Ketones are only generated when glucose levels are low. When glycogen levels are low (in the liver) fat oxidation picks up.
2-carbon segments from fatty acids go into the TCA cycle. But as glycogen decreases further the TCA cycle gets log jammed because of a shortage of Oxaloacetate. The body still requires energy. Two molecules of Acetoacetate (those 2-carbon segments from fatty acids) (in the liver) are combined to make ketones. These are released from the liver into the bloodstream.…
BHB must be converted to acetoacetate so it can go directly into the citric acid cycle, which occurs in the cells’ mitochondria. This is true for the brain, heart, and kidneys. There is no visible entry pathway into muscle cells. If it was already in the muscle cell there would be no problem. But there is no gateway. That is why ketones are not available for skeletal muscles.
Ketones are simply a backup energy system for the brain which is activated when blood glucose gets low. Any extra goes to the heart and other organs that can use ketones for energy. Red blood cells, and certain parts of the liver and kidneys that can only use glucose, will tap glycogen stores from the liver. The liver can only produce about 800 or so calories of ketones per 24 hour period so aftersupplying the brain with about 350 cal/day, there's not much left over.
In other words, ketones are not such a big deal in the overall picture. The presence of ketones simply means that the body is not exposing itself to the adverse effects of high quantities of glucose with all of those ramifications. It's the FFA plus the ketones that are fueling the body with FFAs providing the bulk of the energy and the source for ketone production.
This idea comes from a professor in the 50s who stated that, “after fat cells had been emptied of stored triglyceride, they would temporarily refill with water.” (Glycerol attracts water, which might be part of the mechanism). “So, there would be no immediate change in size, body weight or appearance. Then, after some time frame, the water would get dropped, the fat cells would shrink.”
There is no evidence to support the theory. It is a plausible mechanism having to do with glycerol levels in the fat cell (glycerol is hydrophilic); if fatty acids were being lost at a greater proportion than glycerol, this might explain how water is attracted into the fat cell. However, glycerol and fatty acid are usually released in about the proportion you'd expect (3:1 FFA:glycerol).
A couple of years back, a paper came out showing an increase in the water content of visceral fat with dieting, but the conclusions were erroneous. You will see the evidence yourself. If fat cells work to retain their size by taking up water, how can you lose inches and not weight if the fat cells are staying the same size?? It's completely illogical.
If I lose one inch on my waist while maintaining my exact body weight, something near my waist has to be shrinking, and the mass that used to be there must be somewhere else on my body. Logically, I'm thinning at the waist because there is less of both water and fat in my midsection, not because fat is replaced by equal volumes of water as it is used. If fat cells filled with water, I would not lose inches without also losing weight.
There are several studies regarding the variations in percentage of water in fat cells in both thin and fat people, including some interesting findings pre and post-weight loss - which goes to show that this could definitely be an area of further research. But a higher percentage of water after weight loss doesn't prove the water uptake whoosh hypothesis. If fat droplet shrinks and water stays the same, the percentage ofwater will obviously increase. The cytoplasm can remain the same, and the size of the droplet will be the variable that accounts for such a wide range in composition ratios.
The concept that whooshes come from water being released from tissues where it has been stored is plausible. It’s just not likely that the fat cells are the place for water to gather to any appreciable degree.
Sidenote: The effect is also based on observation during the infamous minnesota starvation experiment, decades ago. I don't think it has been seriously studied or replicated since.
The major fuels for muscle are glucose, fatty acids, and ketone bodies. Muscle differs from the brain in having a large store of glycogen (1200 kcal, or 5000 kJ). In fact, about three-fourths of all the glycogen in the body is stored in muscle.
Skeletal muscle stores 300-350 grams of glycogen (glucose). The glucose reserves in the skeletal muscle are reserved for the muscles only. The brain does not have access to these reserves. These glucose reserves lack the specific enzyme needed to allow glucose re-entry into the bloodstream. This enzyme is Glucose 6-phosphatase.
The liver is the only storage depot of glucose for the brain. If you eat low-carb, this will lower insulin. This will engage lipolysis, the breakdown of stored body fat. The liver will make ketones to help fuel the brain. The brain is now fuelled by a combination of glucose and ketones. This eliminates erratic eating behaviors. Hunger goes away. Your body has access to a very large energy source; your stored body fat.
Being in ketosis does not guarantee weight loss, it's just the amount of ketones in your bloodstream.
Higher levels of ketosis are irrelevant to fat loss. Many people gain weight/fat in ketosis.
Calories/energy balance tips the scales, not ketosis.
Eating more fat does NOT equal a better keto diet.
The fat in your body is stored energy. If you do not eat enough fat to supply your body with the energy it needs, then it taps into the fat reserves to make up the difference. Most of us realize we do want a decent amount of fat to be in our diet for various reasons, but keto is not a "high" fat diet, it is a LOW carb diet.
Many low-carbers think that being in ketosis is a magical way to lose body fat. People lose weight eating a much higher carb intake. Keto is not the only way to lose weight. In fact the earlier keto studies done on epileptic children were high fat for 2 reasons; to get higher levels of circulating ketones to stop/reduce seizures and to prevent the children from losing weight. They realized high fat is a recipe for not losing fat since the children were not on a diet to lose weight but to control seizures.
If you eat more than your body burns, then you will still not lose fat.
Ketosis does not mean that you will continually burn fat. It just means that your body is primed to use fat as the preferred fuel it chooses to burn.
When you go into deep prolonged ketosis you downregulate your pyruvate dehydrogenase pathway, and this will impede your ability to use carbs as effectively as you can. On the reintroduction of carbs, it may take froma week to a month to upregulate the pathway.
The current practice of intermittent fasting has outpaced the published human data supporting its use, particularly in weight control and promoting nutritional ketosis.
There is the strong potential that lean tissue losses can become significant when full fasting days are more frequent than once or twice per week (and this caution may apply to resting metabolic rate as well). To find out more:
Nitrogen losses start around 16 hours and peaking at 72
The largest losses to nitrogen and therefore amino acids in the first three days is essentially a purge of the stores in the small intestine, liver, and blood stream before down regulation of amino acid breakdown occurs. Amino acid breakdown slows after this point but the losses have already occurred and will continue.
By routinely doing short term fasts you deplete the amino acid pool, and if you do not refeed and replenish them properly, you will be at risk of losing skeletal muscle.
A good read if your protein is fish based:
Nutritional ketosis + salt restriction = adrenal stress
Eat too little and your adrenals make a hormone called aldosterone that causes your kidneys to conserve sodium, but in doing so they are physiologically obligated to simultaneously waste potassium. Wasting too much potassium is not good because your muscles, heart, and nerves need to contain the right amount of potassium to work properly.
The reduced amount of sodium available in the circulation that triggers the adrenal gland to increase production of aldosterone also increases adrenal production of the stress hormone cortisol and the fight-or-flight hormone adrenaline. Increased cortisol and adrenaline levels are stress hormones that are potent impediments of healthy sleep.
You are using both fat and glucose/glycogen all of the time. When you are in ketosis, you are using predominantly fat as the energy source. When you are not in ketosis, you are using glucose. However, the body does require glucose for certain organs all of the time. If you are not in full nutritional ketosis (blood ketones of +0.5mmol/litre) your needs will be higher, as glucose will be required for brain function (about 400 cal/day). It is not an either/or situation. It is about determining which system, ketosis or glycolysis, will be providing the predominant amount of energy to the body at any one time.
Simple caloric restriction (not IF) increases autophagic processes:
It's the caloric restriction that activates autophagy not the fasting.
You can do intermittent fasting 16+ hours a day but overeating calories during your eating window and not really ramp up autophagy much above baseline.
Also fasting is not required to activate autophagy.
Exercise also activates autophagy even in a fed state.
In this study subjects got continuous glucose infusions while doing exercise and had great autophagy signaling that those doing a 36 hour fast.
Exercise intensity more important than dietary supply for activating autophagy: https://www.fasebj.org/doi/full/10.1096/fj.14-267187
Fasting has some benefit. It’s clearly a strong driver of autophagy (cellular regeneration), but then so are any cellular stressors such as resistance training or even consumption of protein. Autophagy is a wildly complicated concept which is neither turned on by fasting nor off by eating.
The shortest amount of time to get towards autophagy seems to be unknown, although it is triggered by low levels of insulin. Being on Keto will help someone get into autophagy faster. Some say 16 hours. Some say 3 days. Some say 6 hours. Depends on the person. The reason they usually say 3 days is due to the traditional length of time to start getting into ketosis. Your liver glycogen needs to be depleted (never fully depleted; just low levels) first.
Autophagy happens in a nutrient and insulin depleted state. Anything other than salt and water can get in the way. But not all is known just yet. So be safe, remove all foods, stick to salt.
Degradation processes are important for optimal functioning of eukaryotic cells. The two major protein degradation pathways in eukaryotes are the ubiquitin–proteasome pathway and autophagy. This contribution focuses on autophagy. This process is important for survival of cells during nitrogen starvation conditions, but it also has a housekeeping function of removing exhausted, redundant or unwanted cellular components.
Whether autophagy occurs by macro- or micro autophagy and whether or not the process is selective, highly depends on the organism, the inducer of autophagy and environmental conditions. Also, within the same organism macro- and micro autophagy may occur. Illustrative of this is the nitrogen starvation induced autophagic degradation of mitochondria in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. When cells are pre-grown on lactate, mitochondria are selectively degraded by micro autophagy, whereas when glucose is used as carbon source the organelles are predominantly degraded in a non-selective way, together with other cellular components by macro autophagy.
People forget that the body builds 250-300 gms of protein a day. This is in addition to any protein that is consumed in our diet. The problem is that the protein the body makes cannot be used for everything. The essential amino acids (those the body cannot make) MUST come from the diet. When you fast, you do not take in any of the essential amino acids. Without these amino acids in the diet, all the body can do is break down the older worn out cells. It cannot rebuild them as it lacks the essential amino acids necessary for cell building. Fasting simply takes the old worn out cells and turns them into a form that the body can use as a fuel. This is essentially autophagy.
There is a persistent belief that fasting is able to reduce the amount of loose skin an individual may have after weight loss, because it promotes autophagy and the breakdown of “useless” skin proteins to supply the amino acids the body requires daily for proper functioning.
This belief has also led to the idea that muscle loss with fasting doesn’t occur, because amino acids that would otherwise come from skeletal muscle, are taken from loose skin.
The latter notion – that we don’t lose muscle while fasting – is easy enough to dismiss by looking at the starvation studies of Oliver Owen from Lankenau Hospital in Pennsylvania. He reported that total muscle protein loss was about 730 grams during a 23-day fast. Since muscle tissue is only about 20% protein by weight, overall muscle loss was about 3.65 kg (160 grams per day) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9665093
The loose skin argument has been a grey area However, a study published by Biolo et al in 1994 might provide some answers.
Using dogs and amino acid isotopes, the researchers evaluated the level of protein synthesis and breakdown in the fasted state in both skeletal muscle and skin tissue. They observed that the rate of skin protein synthesis and breakdown were equivalent, indicating no net loss during fasting. So, it does appear that some amino acids come from skin, but ultimately skin protein content stays the same.
Comparatively, skeletal muscle protein synthesis was about 30% lower than protein breakdown, indicating a net loss. This complements the work of Oliver Owen and demonstrates that fasting does not spare muscle tissue as some erroneously believe. Moreover, the breakdown of skeletal muscle protein accounted for 85% of the amino acids released during fasting, with skin being the remainder. So, fasting does not somehow make skin the primary source of protein to be degraded.
The authors believe this data is applicable to humans because skin tissue accounts for 10-12% of the body weight in both dogs and humans, and it has the same histological structure.
For an informative look at the pros and cons of a carnivorous diet, go to this site:
● Some people seem to benefit from a zero carb/carnivore diet, particularly if they have pre-existing gut permeability or bacterial overgrowth issues.
● Cutting out nutrient-poor processed inflammatory foods is a common denominator in many successful diets.
● It is harder to get some nutrients without plants, however, some of these nutrients may not be such a big deal if you are not eating a lot of carbohydrates.
● While there are plenty of anecdotes, there is not yet a lot of large-scale quantitative research into the long-term impacts of a carnivore diet.
● It’s always a good idea to maximize the micronutrients in your diet irrespective of your overarching dietary template.
While taking in good quality complete protein (w/essential amino acids), it is certainly within the functioning of a well-nourished body to use these amino acids to repair/replace connective tissue. There are a lot of vitamins that contribute to repair, and good hydration is essential as well . The presence of additional supplies of specific amino acids would guarantee a more than adequate supply when needed. There is, however, some indication that the same presence can help slow the breaking down of muscle, post workout. Since connective tissue has very little blood supply, repair takes much longer. As we age, these long-living connective tissues can, in fact, become stiff, making motion more difficult. That is one of the reasons movement is so important for older folks. Collagen has been found to help older connective tissue health, and there are some who think that collagen helps leaky gut syndrome as well. Bone broth is most likely the single most acceptable source of collagen that there is.
For those who chose to take collagen supplements, please remember that collagen does NOT count toward your daily protein requirement.
Collagen, while potentially beneficial, is an incomplete protein. Incomplete proteins lack one or more of the essential amino acids. They’re called essential amino acids for a reason!
The same amino acids that make up collagen are also available in skin and bones. You can save a lot of money by cooking whole chickens, eating the skin and making your own broth.
Healthy testosterone levels give a large number of benefits. To boost levels, try the following:
1. Stop eating soy.
2. Eat WHOLE food
3. Make sure you eat eggs, salmon, beef, and lots of GREENS: spinach, for example
4. Make sure your electrolytes are on point, really: sodium affects blood pressure, as well as magnesium and potassium.
5. Your macros and calories. If protein is subpar on grams and quality, if you have been in a deficit for long, and this is paired with stress, sex drive will likely be affected.
The following supplements may also help:
Supplementing magnesium (Mg) can help normalize testosterone levels, but only when low levels are linked to a magnesium deficiency. If your body has enough magnesium, taking more will not benefit you.
The standard dose is 200 mg of elemental magnesium once a day, though up to 350 mg can be used.
Vitamin D deficiency is common, especially in people whose exposure to
sunlight (without clothes or sunscreen) is limited. Moreover, the darker your
skin, the longer you need to expose yourself to sunlight to synthesize enough vitamin D.
Take 2,000–3,000 IU (50–75 mcg) of vitamin D3 with a meal containing fat.
Zinc (Zn) is an important mineral for general health and is often marketed as
a testosterone booster.
As with magnesium, however, zinc supplementation can only help when low testosterone levels are linked to a zinc deficiency.
Sedentary people who do not sweat much and who eat sufficient meat might not need to supplement zinc at all, and should otherwise limit themselves to 10–20 mg/day (15–25 mg/day for vegetarians and vegans). Athletes and other people who sweat a lot (which results in zinc loss) can take 25–30 mg/day.
DHEA circulates throughout the
body and can be called on to make other hormones, notably testosterone and
estrogens. Supplemental DHEA can support normal testosterone levels; this
effect is especially reliable in case of age-related low testosterone.
healthy hormone levels will see no benefit from supplemental DHEA.
Take 25–50 mg of DHEA once a day with a meal.
Your liver and muscle are a buffer for glucose fluctuations. Your adipose tissue is a buffer for fatty acid flux. There is a constant trafficking in and out of fatty acids from your stored body fat. When you eat a meal the excess energy from food needs a place to go. Fat that you eat gets broken down into smaller units in your intestines. These smaller units of fat are then packaged with the lipo-protein chylomicron. These blood triglycerides are then sent into storage directly inside your fat cells (adipose tissue). This stored triglyceride is metered out from your fat cells in the fasted state. Once your fat cells have become too full, they can no longer expand and capture the excess fatty acids from the meal fast enough. You start to have spill-over of fatty acids. You also have circulating triglycerides that get diverted for storage into your internal organs. This creates what is known as lipotoxicity. Ectopic fat stored in the liver and pancreas. This lipid (fat) overflow in the pancreas kills beta-cells. The lipid overflow in the liver causes fatty liver. The liver also becomes severely insulin resistant, which can lead to Type 2 diabetes.
Some people want to go hard and fast at times. This is perfectly fine if you remember the following:
HIIT/Speedwork/Hard tempo running is for the cardiovascular system. It works the heart and the lungs, improving you VO2max and the body’s ability to transport and exchange the oxygen to the cells that are needed for energy.
Long Steady Duration/MAF training is for the metabolic system that trains the body to switch from primarily a glycolysis (glucose burning) energy system into a primary lipolysis or fat burning metabolism.
Remember that LSD/MAF and HIIT/speedwork actually work two physiologically different systems within the body and the two systems (cardiovascular and metabolic) should not be confused. There is specific training for each.
That said, however, it is important to remember that the body cannot use fat for energy outside of the aerobic energy system; meaning that when you exercise at a higher intensity such as HIIT/speedwork/etc., where sufficient supplies of oxygen are not available, you will only be able to use glucose or lactic acid for the fuel in the cells. That is why higher intensity workouts do not contribute to fat adaptation.
So do your HIIT workouts if you want but keep in mind that these are primarily glucose burning workouts and do not contribute to the process of optimizing fat oxidation or as we call it, fat adaptation.
The simple truth is that fat burning using stored fat is best when performed at about 65% of your VO2max level. The body will always have a need for some glucose, but as the effort of the activity goes up, the percentage of energy drawn from fat stores goes down, and the percentage of energy from glucose goes up. If you push your muscles hard, they will need more and more glucose. Fat is not the fuel for high efforts. If you are not taking in any glucose from carbs when working out hard, you will be using glucose from the glycogen’s stores in the body. These stores of glycogen are finite and will run out.
Long steady duration exercise at about 55-70% of your maximum calculated heart rate (220-age) will normally put you in or near your maximum (optimum) fat burning effort. This will be the zone that will work the body’s ability to utilize fat for fuel most effectively, and be easy enough so that it can be done for an extended period of time.
Just remember that high-intensity training is not the best way to train the body for using fat as a fuel. Go really hard and you'll need more carbs!
This is a study done in overweight women to see how accurate they were at tracking intake. They were taught how to keep a food log, and they knew it would be checked for accuracy. They were still wildly inaccurate. One woman thought she was eating 1100 calories when she was eating 3300!
In the UK there was a TV documentary ‘Secret Eaters’ in which overweight individuals were filmed by private investigators, who identified large discrepancies in their reported vs. actual calorie intakes. When the video is played back to the participants, they are shocked at their overconsumption of food, which they were (often) completely unaware of. It is important to note that such individuals are not actively being dishonest. The misreporting is a product of the quirks of human behavior. Specifically, researchers note: “It is entirely possible that patients truly believe they are sticking with their diet, despite not losing any more weight and sometimes even regaining weight.”
There are large discrepancies in the reporting of energy intake and expenditure in overweight individuals self-perceived as ‘diet resistant’. In a classic study, (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1454084) they found individuals underreported food intake by 47 ± 16% (1053 kcal/d) and overestimated energy expenditure from physical activity by 51 ± 75% (251 kcal/d). In this paper, the authors concluded:
“The failure of some obese subjects to lose weight while eating a diet they report as low in calories is due to an energy intake substantially higher than reported and an overestimation of physical activity, not to an abnormality in thermogenesis”. Safe to say then, if you are gaining weight, you are eating too much. It’s the calories not the hormones.
"There is no clear requirement for dietary carbohydrates for human adults. Current carbohydrate recommendations are based on 1) preventing ketosis, and 2) providing glucose beyond minimal needs. However, it is clear that ketosis is not harmful, except in the high levels seen in type 1 diabetes. Also, the need to provide glucose above minimal needs is exactly what has never been demonstrated. Indeed, the National Research Council has not established Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for carbohydrates, probably because the human body can adapt to a carbohydrate-free diet and manufacture the glucose it needs."
"Interestingly, carbohydrates are not an essential part of the human diet. We need glucose to fuel the brain, but we can generate enough, in small amounts, from protein and fat in the diet."
“In healthy individuals without T1D, tight control mechanisms exist so that glucose uptake into peripheral tissues is precisely matched by the rate of hepatic glucose production to maintain euglycemia. During a bout of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise (50–80% . VO2max) in individuals without T1D, several counter-regulatory mechanisms are activated in a stepwise and hierarchical fashion to maintain euglycemia. First, endogenous insulin secretion from the β-cells is suppressed to below fasting levels via sympathetic innervation of the islets of Langerhans. The reduced insulin concentration enables the secretion of glucagon from the pancreatic α-cells into the portal vein, which stimulates hepatic glucose output to match the rate of glucose uptake into the skeletal muscles. The decrease in insulin also sensitizes the liver to glucagon, which causes a rapid rise in cyclic AMP to stimulate glycogenolysis and gluconeogenesis. As the exercise bout progresses, other counter-regulatory hormones are released, including catecholamines, growth hormone, aldosterone and cortisol, which stimulate hepatic glucose production and adipose tissue lipolysis, as well as inhibiting skeletal muscle glucose uptake, in order to protect against hypoglycemia. As exercise intensity increases above 60% of . VO2max, lipid oxidation decreases, particularly in untrained individuals, and there is increased reliance on carbohydrates for energy provision”
“ Lyme thrives on sugar, so keto is the best diet for it. I suffered from undiagnosed Lyme disease for 17 years. It's hell, but the first thing the Dr told me was to avoid sugar.”
“Keto does help. Check out Tim Ferris he went through it and beat it. I highly suggest checking him out”
“I've had Lyme since 2005 and Keto (not high fat) has been the only effective way of eating as far as diets go. I was Paleo for years and it worked great but keto worked better, so now I am Paleo/keto which allows whole non inflammatory foods. Also do not ever let your electrolytes lapse since Lyme will deplete nutrients. I will also strongly advice to have your vitamin D levels checked often as more than likely you will need to supplement”
“Had a great time chatting about Keto, Lyme Disease and our new book Keto. on this podcast.
“I had Lyme and 2 co-infections for several years before proper diagnosis. I might add I worked for a Lyme specialist at the time. How poetic.
Avoiding sugar did wonders for symptoms and still helps in my post-disease state, which I have permanent damage from, most annoyingly MCAS/Mast cell disorder.
Listen to your body. Avoid aerobic exercise if it aggravates symptoms. If you are Herxing, rest.”
Caution with D
“Prolongation of QT complex is common, more so if on Biaxin”
“If you have not been checked for Babesia and Bartonella, I suggest it get done. I had to take Mepron (a liquid, atovaquone, for Babesia) and the regular antibiotics, and Rifampin for Bartonella, which is for Meningitis. But much higher doses.”
There are great Lyme protocols out there as well. Tons of information. Good luck. Just don't get too acidic or run down. Add in berries if you need to.”
“Erlichia and Anaplasmosis are common as well, depending on geographical location. My husband had an acute case of anaplasmosis in October of 2016. I thought he had the flu, then after no upper respiratory symptoms developed, I thought he had sepsis. Took him to emergency room. He was hospitalized for 4 days. Full recovery.”
1. The body will first clear alcohol/alcohol sugars because there's no storage system. The body has limited storage capacity for it. It sees it as a toxin that needs to be cleared.
2. Similarly, the body will clear ketones from the system because there is minimal storage capacity in our blood.
3. The body will go to clear protein that hasn’t been used for muscle repair and neurotransmitters for brain function. (Most people who source protein from whole food sources are not at risk of overeating protein).
4. Then glucose, which we can store (liver, muscles, bloodstream).
5. Lastly, only once we have burned through all these other substrates, will we burn our fat (dietary or stored on our body).
If you are curious about the role of electrolytes, and want to find out more, here are some links for you.
Alcohol is caloric. Your body has no mechanism to store the energy in alcohol, so you will metabolize the calories in alcohol before any other energy sources. That means that while your body is metabolizing alcohol, it is NOT metabolizing fat. Consuming alcohol will not knock you out of keto, but it will delay the results
Unsweetened Vodka, rum, gin, tequila, whiskey, scotch, brandy, cognac (80 proof):
0g carbs, 64 calories per ounce.
A shot/jigger is 1.5 oz, or 96 calories.
Mixers: water, club soda, or diet soda to keep the 0g carbs.
Tonic contains sugar and carbs
Many liquors contain sugars so be aware.
Reds (5 oz. serving):
● Merlot: 120 calories, 3.7 carbs
● Pinot Noir: 121 calories, 3.4 carbs
● Cabernet: 120 calories, 3.8 carbs
Whites (5 oz. serving):
● Chardonnay: 118 calories, 3.7 carbs
● Pinot Gris/Grigio: 122 calories, 3.2 carbs
● Riesling: 118 calories, 5.5 carbs
● Champagne/Sparkling whites: 96 calories, 1.5 carbs
● Dessert wines, ports, and sherries are sweetened and should be avoided.
Per 12 oz
● Bud Select 55: 55 calories, 1.9 carbs
● MGD 64: 64 calories, 2.4 carbs
● Rolling Rock Green Light: 92 calories, 2.4 carbs
● Michelob Ultra: 95 calories, 2.6 carbs
● Bud Select: 99 calories, 3.1 carbs
● Miller Lite: 96 calories, 3.2 carbs
● Natural Light (for the keto frat guys): 95 calories, 3.2 carbs
● Michelob Ultra Amber: 114 calories, 3.7 carbs
● Coors Light: 102 calories, 5 carbs
● Amstel Light: 95 calories, 5 carbs
● Bud Light: 110 calories, 6.6 carbs
Miller Lite, Bud Select, and Mich Ultra are probably the winners in terms of carbs:taste ratio.
● Booze counts toward your daily calorie and carb counts!
● Alcohol delays fat-burning!
● Ketosis lowers your alcohol tolerance, so take it easy!
● Beware of the drunk munchies!
● Alcohol dehydrates you! Order a couple waters, and drink a glass before bed.
WARNING: Be safe and use a designated driver or car service. Never drive after any drinking as it impares function. Remember, alcohol will affect you due to weight loss and hydrational differences. I've found myself to get impaired 3 times as fast when ketogenic. USE CAUTION
Not supplementing electrolytes and then being upset because you’re tired, dizzy, cant 💩, or tanking workouts. (There’s rarely enough in the diet for this process.)
- Not dialing down your intensity for 8-12 weeks as your body acclimates, then blaming the process. This is often used to justify adding extra carbs early.
- Not working to better your fat adaptation. This means lots of zone 2 intensity, and arguably fasted workouts.
- Forcing yourself to intermittently fast before you’re ready. Full fasting because it’s easier than eating. Fasting or caloric restriction after cheating.
- Not plugging in some sample meals to My Fitness Pal, then feeling like it’s too hard to eat protein.
- Overeating fat and blaming your progress on lack of carb ups, special metabolism, autoimmune issue, and “scary protein turning to sugar”
- Cheat every weekend with alcohol and then say “Keto” is too strict because the scale doesn’t move.
- Feeling justified to overeat because you work out.
- Choosing hot dogs, bullet proof coffee and protein bars over spinach, steak and salmon.
- Listening to guys like me on the internet instead of learning from the best minds on the planet. Learn the science.
How much protein?
Personal Fat Threshold
Sugar: The Bitter Truth - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM
The Aetiology of Obesity - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YpllomiDMX0
Adam ruins everything - https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=9rWjb7t8cfo
Watch this series I pulled together. Its Prof Tim Noakes in court in South Africa defending this way of life. And he gives a master class on why low carb is healthy and its history. It really picks up after the 6th or 7th one.
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