How many carbs should I eat while on weight loss? The number of carbs most people can tolerate to reach ketosis and achieve rapid weight loss without suffering from cravings or fatigue is about 50 to 100. Remember, some people don't get into ketosis even when far below 50. Ketosis is a very rapidly changing condition that depends on many variables (e.g., the time of day, water retention, hormonal changes, exercise, and medicine). You may be in ketosis at 6 a.m and out by 7. Ketosis is just a measure. If you're losing weight, feel well, and have adopted healthy habits, don't be too concerned whether or not you're in ketosis.
Is ketosis harmful to the liver? There is a risk of liver damage only with extreme and continued ketosis. In weight loss, it is a theoretical risk rather than a real one--there has not been a report of a single patient who's had to stop weight loss as a consequence of liver disease. Even some individuals who had liver disease ("active" liver disease is a contraindication to weight loss) have been treated.
Don't I need more carbs if I'm exercising? What is carbo loading? Runners and long-duration, high intensity exercisers use glycogen, a form of stored glucose, for energy. Muscle glycogen content before a marathon exercise session can influence the length of time a person can maintain his or her exercise. These glycogen stores can be manipulated by decreasing exercise and increasing carbohydrate intake during the week before the marathon. Glycogen stores only last for 60 to 90 minutes. That leaves untrained runners in deep trouble early on in the marathon.
Trained muscles develop the ability to store 20 to 25 percent more glycogen than untrained muscles, according to research by Dr. David Gostill at Ball State University. Well-trained runners can store enough glycogen to last 15 to 20 miles. Carbohydrate loading only benefits activities involving high-intensity exercise lasting longer than 60 to 80 minutes. Marathon running falls into this category. Other appropriate carbo loading activities include long distance swimming, cross country skiing, 30K runs, soccer, long distance canoe racing, and triathlons.
In contrast, football games, 10K and 5K races, downhill ski races, walking and hiking, or weight lifting do not require carbo loading. Costil (1) demonstrated that the rate of glycogen production in the body was greatest when carbohydrate intake was 525 grams per day or more. Blom (2) showed that glycogen resynthesis was maximal when subjects consumed 25 grams of glucose per hour. Keizer (3) showed no further increase in the rate of glycogen synthesis measured by Blom at an intake of 70 grams of carbohydrates per hour. Based on these studies it appears that 25 grams of carbohydrates per hour (600 grams per day) is sufficient for a maximal rate of glycogen production and high intensity, long duration exercise efficiency. 1. Costill D, Sherman W, Gind C, Maresh C, Witten M, Miller J. The role of dietary carbohydrate in muscle glycogen resynthesis after strenuous exercise. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1981 34:1831-1836. 2. Blom P, Hostmark A, Baage O, Kardel K, Machlum S. Effect of different post-exercise sugar diets on the rate of muscle glycogen synthesis. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 1987 19:491-496. 3. Keizer H, Kuipers H, Van Kranenburg G, Geurten P. Influence of liquid and solid meals on muscle glycogen resynthesis, plasma fuel hormone response and maximal physical working capacity. International Journal of Sports Medicine 1987 8: 99-104.
When I'm on a protein day once a week during maintenance, should I be in ketosis? You are not striving to achieve ketosis on your the weekly Protein Days during maintenance. Doing a weekly Protein Day is recommended because it can help you remain focused and aware of having a specific eating plan. Because it is often a day of consuming fewer calories, many people like to do their Protein Day on Monday because it can help "make up" for extra calories that may have been consumed during the week-end. They feel it also helps them get back on track mentally. Many people find that doing a Protein Day helps them prevent a week-end binge from becoming a week-long food fest! Protein servings on your weekly Protein Day should not be an "unlimited" quantity. Plan to have a protein serving for breakfast, morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, dinner and evening snack. Have more servings as necessary to feel comfortable and control hunger. Most people need more than six servings on a protein day, especially if they are active. Many people choose to a "partial Protein Day" by having proteins for breakfast, morning snack, lunch and afternoon snack and then eating a lean, sensible dinner that evening. You may find that works well for you also.
Why do some protein supplement products refer to "usable" carbohydrates? What is the difference between a "usable" carbohydrate and the "total" carbohydrate count listed on the package? Some food products contain ingredients that are classified as carbohydrates but cannot be fully absorbed and "used" by the body. Some of these carbohydrates are from non-soluble fiber sources and some are from other sources such as polydextrose, which is a polymer of dextrose and is used as a bulking agent. Even though these ingredients aren't fully metabolized by the body, labeling laws require that they be included in the "total" carbohydrate number listed on a product's nutritional label. The "total" carbohydrate number includes all types of carbohydrate contained in the product. Unfortunately, it's not possible to accurately determine the amount of "usable" carbohydrate in a product by reading the ingredient list.
Be aware that some protein product manufacturers claim that glycerin (glycerine) is not metabolized by the body as a carbohydrate and don't include it in their carbohydrate count. Glycerin (glycerine), however, is fully available to the body as a carbohydrate. In fact, studies show that glycerin increases blood sugar levels, which it would not do if it were not metabolized as a carbohydrate.
What is ketosis? Is it dangerous to be in ketosis? Ketosis is among the most maligned and misunderstood concepts in nutrition because it is often confused with ketoacidosis, which is a life-threatening condition. Ketosis is the accumulation of ketone bodies in the body, which is the end result of fat metabolism.
When carbohydrate intake, as well as calorie intake, is sufficiently limited for a long enough period of time, the body is forced to use the fat stores for energy. When fat is burned (metabolized) it produces ketone bodies, which are then used instead of carbohydrates for energy. Excess ketones are excreted through the urine and their presence can be measured by testing the urine with a ketone stick. Ketosis is a natural adjustment to the body's reduced intake of carbohydrates as the body shifts its primary source of energy from carbohydrates to stored fat.
Ketosis is not an abnormality nor does it present any medical danger to the patient. Ketosis only presents a danger to the patient if the patient is an insulin-requiring diabetic, i.e. a Type 1 diabetic. Everyone is in SOME degree of ketosis all day. The most sensitive tests of ketosis ("NMR" and "blood ketone level") show that we all have ketones under any condition. For instance, anyone off the street (not dieting or exercising, having just eaten) may have a ketosis reading of 0.003 to 0.01; most of us are up to about 50 after not eating overnight; after completing a marathon, runners have readings of over 100; in the first week of a diet (whether or not it's "ketogenic"), the readings are around 200-300. It would be difficult to make a credible argument against ketosis, which has been used so successfully with both healthy people seeking improved fitness and nutritionally fragile children with epilepsy, diabetes, and cancer.
What is Ketosis? Simply stated Ketosis is a measurement of fats burning. Burned fat is broken down into Ketones, which the body uses for energy. When you burn a larger amount of fat than is needed for energy, the left over Ketones are excreted through the urine. Ketones can be measured by checking your urine with a Ketone stick. A pink to purple color indicates that you are in Ketosis. In addition to losing fat more rapidly, most people report feeling less hungry and more energetic while in Ketosis. Because the body burns fat stores, after it burns available carbohydrates, the Lean for Life weight loss plan is designed to help you achieve Ketosis by limiting your daily total carbohydrate intake as well as limiting total calories. Most adults achieve Ketosis when their daily carbohydrate intake is somewhere in the range of 50-100 grams. Dietary Ketosis itself is not dangerous to a normal, healthy person.
In a state of Ketosis I understand that the Ketones are a measurement of "fat burning" and that the natural course of action is for the body to first burn Carbohydrates and then Protein. My question is when does the "fat" portion of your diet get burned up, before or after the Protein and Carbohydrate? When we haven't been on a diet we will have a storage of 1, 2 or 3 days of glycogen in our livers. This is a source of carbohydrates to burn very rapidly. Once we don't have enough calories in our body we start using that glycogen or carbohydrates that are just stored in our livers for this extreme situation, it will start burning that down. Once that's gone or depleted after about 2 or 3 days then our bodies will use anything it can to form sugars from our body for it's fuel. It will then start taking it from our protein mass and our fat mass. At that time it will take more from our fat mass that our protein mass if we are having adequate amounts of protein in our diet. So fat gets burned after you spend two or three days of depleting the carbohydrates that are stored in the liver just for the purpose of not eating enough food.
Does the diet completely avoid carbs? Can't I eat pasta or baked potatoes during the 6 week weight loss period? This diet doesn't completely avoid carbs. You're probably going to have 50 to 100 grams of carbs because every time you have food there are some carbohydrates in them. Pasta and baked potatoes have a higher glycemic index, which means they increase your blood sugar more rapidly, so we try to avoid them during weight loss. In maintenance, you can add them back in.