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Fat Metabolism Without Ketosis

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Ketogenic Diets And Physical Performance

Abstract Impaired physical performance is a common but not obligate result of a low carbohydrate diet. Lessons from traditional Inuit culture indicate that time for adaptation, optimized sodium and potassium nutriture, and constraint of protein to 15–25 % of daily energy expenditure allow unimpaired endurance performance despite nutritional ketosis. Introduction In the opinion of most physicians and nutrition scientists, carbohydrate must constitute a major component of one's daily energy intake if optimum physical performance is to be maintained [1]. This consensus view is based upon a long list of published studies performed over the last century that links muscle glycogen stores to high intensity exercise. It has also been reinforced by the clinical experience of many physicians, whose patients following low carbohydrate formula or food diets frequently complain of lightheadedness, weakness, and ease of fatigue. During the time that this consensus view of the necessity of carbohydrate for vigorous exercise was forming, the last pure hunting cultures among the peoples of North America finally lost out in competition with expanding European cultural influences. Between 1850 and Continue reading >>

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Popular Questions

  1. bookstorecowboy

    I have read a lot of posts and web sites about ketosis and about "weight loss," and I've read some books, as well. Based on what I've read, it seems that it would be impossible to "burn fat" (in the sense of burning body fat) without entering ketosis. If I have this right, the body burns energy supplies in these stages:
    1) alcohol (e.g. most of what is in beer)
    2) blood sugars (e.g. table sugar, most of the stuff grains break down into, fruit sugars, etc.)
    3) glycogen (stored in muscles)
    4) fat (fats that are eaten come first, followed by body fat)
    5) protein (comes last, after depletion of all other easily available stores of energy)
    It would seem logical, if this is right, that as long as your body has stores of alcohol, blood sugars, and glycogen, no body fat will be burned.
    So, to go on, if I have this right, then regardless of the kind of diet you are on, the only way to lose "weight" (in the sense of losing fat, which is the only kind of weight loss 99% of us are interested in) is to enter ketosis.
    Finally, if this is right, then any diet that promises "weight loss" (be it Ornish, the Paleo Diet, Atkins, or whatever) is promising that you will enter ketosis. If not, you will not actually "lose weight" in any sense you could desire. And it follows from this that any diet that works to any degree has no business warning people off ketosis, since it is going to occur.
    It also follows from this, in general although perhaps not in every situation, that the fewer carbs you eat, the more body fat you will burn (as long as you are in a calorie deficit).
    Is this right or wrong? Or right in some ways, but wrong in others?
    Thank you, list members...
    By the way, I bring this up in part because I have read quite a few critiques of Atkins, Paleo, and all "low carb diets," and every single one of them seems to screech about the supposed dangers of ketosis. I remember reading this back in the 1980s: "the one thing you don't want to do is enter ketosis, because then your body will be in starvation mode and will start hoarding ever single calorie," blah, blah, blah.

  2. ciep

    I don't know that I can provide a clear and/or complete answer to that question -- so I'll leave it to others. I would like to point out though that your body usually burns a mixture of fuels. So when both glucose and circulating fats are available (as they usually are) your body doesn't use the glucose exclusively (only moving on to the fats when no further glucose is available). Instead, it uses both simultaneously.
    I hope that helps. Basically, I guess I'm trying to say that you are always "burning fat". The key to weightloss is getting your body into a state where you're burning more of it than you're storing (on average). Reducing carbohydrates tends to help many people achieve this (and certainly an excess of carbs can make it difficult or even impossible), but I don't think ketosis necessarily required (depending on one's metabolism). In the past, I've successfully "cut up" with carbs in the 350g/day range.

  3. PokeyBug

    My ex-husband certainly lost fat without being in ketosis. He lost about 30 pounds on a low fat diet and exercise just before we met. He was miserable and hungry the entire time, but he thought CW was the only way to go. I somehow doubt he was in ketosis eating pasta every other night.

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