FAQ - Ketosis
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does anyone know about ketosis?

i used those keto-stick things a few months ago when I first started a low carb diet and I got really good results. Well I'm trying the diet again and for some reason I can't get anything to show on the ketosticks... does it take a while for ketosis to build in your body or am I just eating wrong?

First, a simple explanation of the process: the carbohydrates you eat are converted to glucose, which is the body's primary source of energy. Whenever your intake of carbohydrates is limited to a certain range, for a long enough period of time, you reach a point where your body draws on its alternate energy system, fat stores, for fuel. This means the body burns fat and turns it into a source of fuel called ketones. (Ketones are produced whenever body fat is burned.)

When you burn a larger amount of fat than is immediately needed for energy, the excess ketones are discarded in the urine. Being in ketosis means your body has burned a large amount of fat in response to the fact that it didn't have sufficient glucose available for energy needs.

Dietary ketosis is among the most misunderstood concepts in nutrition because it is often confused with ketoacidosis, which is a life-threatening condition most often associated with uncontrolled insulin-deficient Type 1 diabetes. In the Type 1 diabetic, the absence of insulin leads to a toxic build-up of blood glucose and an extreme break-down of fat and muscle tissue. This condition doesn't occur in individuals who have even a small amount of insulin, whether from natural production or artificially administered.

Dietary ketosis, however, 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. The presence of insulin keeps ketone production in check so that a mild, beneficial ketosis is achieved. Blood glucose levels are stabilized within a normal range and there is no break-down of healthy muscle tissue.

The most sensitive tests of ketosis ("NMR" and "blood ketone level") show that everyone is in some degree of ketosis every day, particularly after not eating overnight and after exercising. Ketosis is the body's survival system. It is not an abnormality nor does it present any medical danger, except to a Type I insulin-dependent diabetic. The body functions naturally and effectively while in a state of dietary ketosis.

The Lean for Life Program is mildly ketotic and then, for only a very brief portion of the program. Some of the benefits many people experience while in a state of dietary ketosis for intentional weight loss may include rapid weight loss, decreased hunger and cravings, improved mood, increased energy and, as long as protein intake is adequate, protection of lean mass.

On a different note: Recently, a great deal of attention has been paid to the benefits of ketosis to medical conditions other than obesity. For example, The Boston Globe ran a story on January 15, 1996 describing how ketosis has become an important therapy for childhood epilepsy. "No one is sure why it works, but the high fat/low protein/low carbohydrate diet seems to push the body into a starvation-like state called ketosis," says Dr. Gregory Holmes, director of the epilepsy program at Children's Hospital in Boston. "Patients are first ‘starved' for several days to deplete the body's stored sugar, then put on the diet, which contains almost no carbohydrates. Soon, because the body has no glucose for fuel, cells begin burning fat from the diet instead, which slows the frantic firing of brain cells." "Burning fats in the absence of glucose leads to the production of fatty molecules called ketone bodies. Most children stay on the diet for two years, he says. When it works right, seizures rarely return, even after normal diet is resumed. So far, there is no evidence that the diet raises the risk of atherosclerosis, heart disease or stroke."

Linda Nebeling and Edith Lerner wrote of how ketogenic diets are also of proven benefit in certain childhood cancers in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association in June, 1995. "Certain tumors, particularly those that are poorly differentiated and slow growing and have a limited blood supply, are known to use glucose as the primary source of fuel. Shifting the prime substrate for energy metabolism in the host from glucose to ketone bodies by means of a ketogenic diet, thereby decreasing the availability of glucose to the tumor, could potentially inhibit tumor growth." "Urinary ketone levels can be monitored by the patient at home to track the level of ketosis and, thus, dietary compliance." "The diet is not flexible. Every gram of carbohydrate has to be counted because carbohydrate intake above 10% of total energy intake will knock the child out of ketosis. Among the patients I worked with in this study, their cancer was considered to be in remission, but their prognosis was not good. Because the ketogenic diet offered these children and their families a treatment option that was less invasive than their previous treatments, they found it appealing."  (+ info)

I know you are only meant to be in Ketosis for 14 days, but can i enter out of and that start again?

I am in a 14 day ketosis state. I want to remain in this for longer but know that it can have a bad effect on my liver etc. Would it still be harmless to enter out of ketosis for 2 days and the re enter for another 14 days?

I would suggest getting out of ketosis for at least 5 days if you're doing 14 days in ketosis. Don't eat TONS of sugar, just stick to small helpings of fruits for the 5 days, and then go back to no sugar whatsoever. But don't overdo it; if you're going to enter ketosis more than twice, after the second time give your liver a break for at least 14 days.  (+ info)

Being in ketosis, do you burn just fat or fat and muscle during a cardio session of running?

In ketosis the presence of carbs are null so your body is using fat as the primary fuel (energy) source. If high protein intake is taken, would running burn fat or fat+muscle?

Try the Lil Jack workout http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TKCGe2Ezris it really helps  (+ info)

How many grams of sugar will kick you out of ketosis?

How many grams of sugar will kick you out of ketosis? I had 5 grams of sugar that came from a vitamin powder, am i still in ketosis?

yes. but be careful as it adds up. Everyone is different. I like to stay under 50 grams per day, others can handle upwards to 100 grams.

I'm talkin carbs, not sugars alone. One in the same when talking about ketosis, however.  (+ info)

How long would it take for my body to reach ketosis?

I am currently 5 days into my diet and I still haven't felt any sign of fatigue or anything. I usually eat below 20g of carbs a day (sometimes 0), but I haven't been exercising. Is this normal. If so, then when will I reach ketosis?

About a week. Carbs aren't your only source of energy, so maybe that is why you have no fatigue. Your body does need some carbs though, please think of your health above your weight.  (+ info)

What are the effects that ketosis has on the adult body?

A few yrs ago i began losing a substantial amount of weight, my drs did a battery of tests from diabetis to thyroid- they came up with ketosis saying that is what caused the weight loss and explains my neverending thirst and bouts with dehydration. I have researched and I still dont understand ketosis. Anyone else have this experience?

"Ketosis, which is one of the body's processes for the metabolism of body fat, should not be confused with ketoacidosis (severe ketosis which causes the blood to become acidic), a medical condition induced by diabetes, that is usually accompanied by dehydration, hyperglycemia, and insulin deficiency. Since insulin is required to utilize glucose, lack of insulin causes an energy crisis and the body goes to extremes to produce more glucose and also provide ketones for energy. Glucose accumulates to the point that the kidney must use water to spill it into the urine, losing that water and causing dehydration in the process. The dehydration exacerbates the acidosis in a vicious cycle. Alcoholic ketoacidosis is also an energy crisis but of different origin. Because alcohol causes dehydration and blocks the first step of gluconeogenesis, the body is unable to synthesize enough glucose to meet its needs, thus the energy crisis begins.

The breath of people in a ketagenic state commonly contains acetone, detectable as a sweet smell that may be mistaken for ethyl alcohol.

Deliberately induced ketosis through a low-carbohydrate diet has been used to treat medical conditions. The ketogenic diet is an approach to treating epilepsy, and the Atkins Nutritional Approach is marketed for treating obesity."  (+ info)

How do I get my body in ketosis?

I know I am supposed to only eat 20 net carbs a day. But I eat allot of protein and I read somewhere that I have to limit my protein too in order to get into ketosis. Do you know how many grams of protein I am supossed to consume to get into ketosis?

you need to determine how much lean body mass you have and consume 1 gram of protein per lb of LBM. the rest of the calories will be derived from fats.

first you need to find an online calculator that can determine your body fat %. then once you have that number follow the example below:

150 lbs - 20% = 120

roughly 120 lbs of fat free mass. each meal would be close to 24 grams of protein if 5 meals are consumed

* check local drugstores to see if you can purchase some Ketostix to measure the levels of ketones  (+ info)

How many carbs or days does it take to get knocked out of Ketosis?

I was in ketosis very well. Losing weight super fast. I kidna cheated, how long does it take to get knocked out of ketosis!

It varies person to person. I ate 80g of carbohydrates one night and didn't get knocked out. It'll probably depend on your activity level too. You could try exercising your butt off. Your body uses glycogen during exercise and carbs are used to replenish that.  (+ info)

How long does it take to get out of ketosis?

I'm having to do a physical next week...I am in ketosis, and I'm worried about them finding ketones in my urine. Is there any way to get OUT of ketosis before next week without there being any traces left in my blood/urine? If they do find ketones...Will they automatically assume I'm starving myself?

If you're in ketosis, you're either eating a high fat/protein and low carb diet, or you ARE starving yourself.

If it's the former, you should have no problems explaining to whomever that you are doing this for certain reasons etc. etc.

If you are starving yourself you need to stop.


There are healthy ways to lose weight, and that's not one of them.  (+ info)

How could an individual have high blood sugar levels and also be in a state of ketosis?

How could an individual have high blood sugar levels and also be in a state of ketosis? How/why could this occur?

High blood sugar is a result of not getting enough insulin. The longer you go without enough insulin, the higher your blood sugar gets, until you go into ketoacidosis.

Is this what you mean or are you referring to a low carb diet ketosis?

If you are diabetic, you could end up having both ketones in your urine and high blood sugar at the same time. When you don't have enough insulin, or your body can use it properly, you end up burning fat instead of sugar. The sugar builds up in your bloodstream, and so do the ketones, so you produce ketones in your urine sample at the same time as you have high blood sugar.

Get tested for diabetes if you haven't already done so. Ask for an HbA1c test and an Glucose Tolerance Test.

Good luck!  (+ info)

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