F571bcba0e6196c3e53f599924eecab6
5

Ketosis: do I need it to burn the fat I eat?

by (525)
Updated about 23 hours ago
Created April 20, 2011 at 6:07 PM

Hello there,

I'm new to Paleo - I started a sort of 30 day challenge (which I do hope to maintain past the 30 days).

I've read the must-read books and blogs and I've almost become obsessed with it, talking about it to all my friends. The much I read, however, the more question I have on a more technical level.

Ketosis is one of the aspects. I've read Mark Sisson's post on how many carbs we should eat (I'm not strictly counting, though) and apparently I still have some carbs from fruits and veggies. But from what I've understand, ketosis only kicks in when carbs are really low.

So, my simple question would be: if I'm still having some carbs from veggies and fruit, can they be enough for me not to got into ketosis? And if I don't, how will my body use the extra fat I've been eating? Won't that be stored, making me fatter?

Or can the body still use the fat I eat as energy without going into ketosis?

Sorry if this is such a newbie question - I did searched around everywhere but couldn't find a specific answer.

Thanks a lot!

59ee717de524f921efb7f2984157339f
871 · December 12, 2011 at 2:13 PM

Rhubarb, I have a question - If I know right now my body is NOT in a hormonal state for fat burning ( I went through stress and have high cortisol for right now) how can I make sure that I don't worsen the problem? and how can i eat to minimize fat storage?

64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661
15226 · December 11, 2011 at 7:25 AM

"but those cells are constantly releasing fat to lipoproteins to be transported around the body." Is fat released specifically for lipoproteins? I thought they get it from the liver or FFAs?

59ee717de524f921efb7f2984157339f
871 · December 11, 2011 at 12:49 AM

"If you lift weights, you increase the size and number of mitochondria in your muscles and consume more fat as a result." Travis...sorry...could you clarify this for me? INcreased muscle mito = more fat consumed in which way? Thanks!

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7
11986 · August 09, 2011 at 1:54 PM

Also, there are two kinds of ketones, and the stix only measure one kind. If the muscles are converting acetoacetone (ketone a) to beta-hydroxybutyrate (ketone b), the stix won't pick it up: http://paleohacks.com/questions/55612/yet-another-ketosis-question/55635#55635

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7
11986 · August 09, 2011 at 1:38 PM

And why would the nurse be worried? That sounds odd. You're losing weight; do you feel okay?

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7
11986 · August 09, 2011 at 1:38 PM

Dr. Bernstein's diet is low calorie in addition to being low-carb? I'm surprised. How are you checking for ketosis? The ketostix are not reliable; a blood test is better: http://paleohacks.com/questions/55612/yet-another-ketosis-question/55635#55635

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208
13983 · August 09, 2011 at 12:49 PM

Are you looking to lose weight? How do you feel when you eat a carb-heavy meal?

Medium avatar
39841 · April 21, 2011 at 6:23 PM

Dinis: The body burns fat constantly, mostly in your skeletal and cardiac muscle. If you increase overall activity and decrease overall fat intake, you have a net loss of fat in your adipocytes. If you lift weights, you increase the size and number of mitochondria in your muscles and consume more fat as a result. But yeah, the brain, red blood cells, kidneys etc. are constantly using carbs and the muscles are constantly using fat. Only when you eat, say, 300g of carbs on a sedentary day do your muscles start to burn carbs.

Medium avatar
39841 · April 21, 2011 at 6:19 PM

I don't keep track of the ratios, because I don't want carbs to increase and decrease as my caloric intake shifts; I want absolute numbers that match glycogen depletion. 130g or so of carbs on any day and I want 300+ on lifting days. When I want to reduce fat, I eat pounds of lean-ish meat, and when I don't I increase the fat. It's sacrilege here, but I trim fat, remove chicken skin etc. It works. I don't bother with calorie counting though.

F571bcba0e6196c3e53f599924eecab6
525 · April 21, 2011 at 9:55 AM

According to FitDay (only using it to have an idea of my ratios) I've been averaging on 90-100g of carbs. Not that much actually, was expecting a bit more since I'm still eating fruit several times a die.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117
25467 · April 21, 2011 at 3:49 AM

My personal view is ASP is higher in the obese because there is co morbid leptin resistance so this is a way for the body to make new fat cells to clear plasma TG when the Liver and brain can not direct traffic because of deficient leptin signaling.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117
25467 · April 21, 2011 at 3:48 AM

because sustained chronic ketosis can still be over ridden by high sustained cortisol levels. That is how most develop adrenal fatigue. Cortisol drive activation of the complement system and ASP requires C3 to be available. ASP really just makes the body make more TG from adipocytes or preadipocytes when there is a ton of TG around. Generally this is going to be in a high insulin state. Very low insulin states then require a high cortisol state.......and it is thankfully rare. Moreover the highest levels of ASP are seen in type two DM and not adrenally suppressed paleo athletes.

5de2fffda92c0bf2be7ede10cad55546
1781 · April 21, 2011 at 3:36 AM

@Dr. K, where do you see Acylation Stimulating Protein's involvement then. It seems it is possible to store fat in the absence of carbs/insulin. Makes sense from an evolutionary view. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?Db=pubmed&DbFrom=pubmed&Cmd=Link&LinkName=pubmed_pubmed&LinkReadableName=Related%20Articles&IdsFromResult=18398012&ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DiscoveryPanel.Pubmed_Discovery_RA

Cf5c9ba3c06cf300ae23c52778dfd317
545 · April 21, 2011 at 12:18 AM

Yeah, that's precisely why ketostix aren't always a reliable ketosis indicator. Also, I imagine being in any sort of hypo-caloric state would compound the lack of ketones being excreted in urine.

Cf5c9ba3c06cf300ae23c52778dfd317
545 · April 21, 2011 at 12:15 AM

Really good way of conceptualizing the glycogen/carb intake scenario. What are your current macro-nutrient ratios like Travis?

F571bcba0e6196c3e53f599924eecab6
525 · April 20, 2011 at 11:16 PM

Thanks for the reply, Travis! "You can safely eat about 130g of carbs on a sedentary day" — still not clear on this. What about the fat I eat on a sedentary day? Does the body burn it when it runs out of carbs? Sorry for insisting on this, it really is one of my main issues with eating paleo (that and worrying about cholesterol levels, even though I still haven't done blood work).

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5
18412 · April 20, 2011 at 8:10 PM

I agree with Todd.

50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10
5838 · April 20, 2011 at 7:13 PM

As always, great answer.

Total Views
10.3K

Recent Activity
39a1a0bc7855c084ac59df60fdf9c0dd

Last Activity
66D AGO

Followers
1

Get Free Paleo Recipes Instantly

7 Answers

best answer

Medium avatar
15
39841 · April 20, 2011 at 6:44 PM

The fat you eat is largely dumped into fat cells for storage, but those cells are constantly releasing fat to lipoproteins to be transported around the body. If you match your starch intake to the amount of glycogen you consume, you don't really interfere with this process. If you sit around and eat massive amounts of carbs, it's not that the carbs are turned into fat necessarily, it's that your muscles stop burning fat and start burning carbs because the excess that has oversaturated your glycogen stores needs to be dealt with. The average American only ever depletes their liver glycogen while they sleep and then eats huge amounts of carbs with every meal so they never really get a chance to burn off fat. They then eat a fair amount of low quality fat on top of that that starts to pack into their fat cells. There are a lot of other factors at play, but those are the essential circumstances present for obesity.

You can safely eat about 130g of carbs on a sedentary day, and several hundred on a day that has a lot of high intensity exercise. Choose good sources such as potato, sweet potato and white rice.

I feel better and lose more fat when I eat a fair amount of quality starch and don't eat huge amounts of fat.

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5
18412 · April 20, 2011 at 8:10 PM

I agree with Todd.

Cf5c9ba3c06cf300ae23c52778dfd317
545 · April 21, 2011 at 12:15 AM

Really good way of conceptualizing the glycogen/carb intake scenario. What are your current macro-nutrient ratios like Travis?

Medium avatar
39841 · April 21, 2011 at 6:23 PM

Dinis: The body burns fat constantly, mostly in your skeletal and cardiac muscle. If you increase overall activity and decrease overall fat intake, you have a net loss of fat in your adipocytes. If you lift weights, you increase the size and number of mitochondria in your muscles and consume more fat as a result. But yeah, the brain, red blood cells, kidneys etc. are constantly using carbs and the muscles are constantly using fat. Only when you eat, say, 300g of carbs on a sedentary day do your muscles start to burn carbs.

50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10
5838 · April 20, 2011 at 7:13 PM

As always, great answer.

Medium avatar
39841 · April 21, 2011 at 6:19 PM

I don't keep track of the ratios, because I don't want carbs to increase and decrease as my caloric intake shifts; I want absolute numbers that match glycogen depletion. 130g or so of carbs on any day and I want 300+ on lifting days. When I want to reduce fat, I eat pounds of lean-ish meat, and when I don't I increase the fat. It's sacrilege here, but I trim fat, remove chicken skin etc. It works. I don't bother with calorie counting though.

F571bcba0e6196c3e53f599924eecab6
525 · April 21, 2011 at 9:55 AM

According to FitDay (only using it to have an idea of my ratios) I've been averaging on 90-100g of carbs. Not that much actually, was expecting a bit more since I'm still eating fruit several times a die.

F571bcba0e6196c3e53f599924eecab6
525 · April 20, 2011 at 11:16 PM

Thanks for the reply, Travis! "You can safely eat about 130g of carbs on a sedentary day" — still not clear on this. What about the fat I eat on a sedentary day? Does the body burn it when it runs out of carbs? Sorry for insisting on this, it really is one of my main issues with eating paleo (that and worrying about cholesterol levels, even though I still haven't done blood work).

59ee717de524f921efb7f2984157339f
871 · December 11, 2011 at 12:49 AM

"If you lift weights, you increase the size and number of mitochondria in your muscles and consume more fat as a result." Travis...sorry...could you clarify this for me? INcreased muscle mito = more fat consumed in which way? Thanks!

64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661
15226 · December 11, 2011 at 7:25 AM

"but those cells are constantly releasing fat to lipoproteins to be transported around the body." Is fat released specifically for lipoproteins? I thought they get it from the liver or FFAs?

B3e7d1ab5aeb329fe24cca1de1a0b09c
3
5242 · April 21, 2011 at 2:06 AM

The answer to your question is, no. You do not need to be ketosis to burn fat. To use fat for fuel your body needs to be in a hormonal state to do so. On a really simple level this means insulin levels down, and leptin levels up. One way to achieve this is to eat a lowish carb diet (to be in ketosis you will need to eat a very low carb diet).

From personal experience, I have have never lost weight like I have while being in ketosis, it just melts off me. Furthermore, I find, when I don't need to lose any weight (I'm currently about 8%BF) I just feel great being in ketosis, my energy levels are super level, my mind is clear and fast. Best way I can describe it is my Zen. I eat two big meals a day, and I'm done. I find that I'm generally really productive when in ketosis.

That said I'm not in ketosis all the time, I might have a week in a week out.. not really planned it just depends on what I feel like eating really. I need to be reasonably strict on my carb intake to stay in ketosis, and if I can't be bothered I don't let it faze me.

So whether or not you're trying to lose weight or are just curious I think experimenting with ketosis is well worth it.

59ee717de524f921efb7f2984157339f
871 · December 12, 2011 at 2:13 PM

Rhubarb, I have a question - If I know right now my body is NOT in a hormonal state for fat burning ( I went through stress and have high cortisol for right now) how can I make sure that I don't worsen the problem? and how can i eat to minimize fat storage?

39a1a0bc7855c084ac59df60fdf9c0dd
2
1502 · April 20, 2011 at 7:15 PM

I've used Ketostix and often find myself either not in ketosis or barely in ketosis, and yet am losing weight. One explanation I've read is that, if you're exercising, your body might be burning the ketones before the excess ones dump over into your urine.

So, my opinion is to not pay attention to the little stix; just go by whether your body is being reshaped and your waistline is shrinking.

Cf5c9ba3c06cf300ae23c52778dfd317
545 · April 21, 2011 at 12:18 AM

Yeah, that's precisely why ketostix aren't always a reliable ketosis indicator. Also, I imagine being in any sort of hypo-caloric state would compound the lack of ketones being excreted in urine.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7
11986 · August 09, 2011 at 1:54 PM

Also, there are two kinds of ketones, and the stix only measure one kind. If the muscles are converting acetoacetone (ketone a) to beta-hydroxybutyrate (ketone b), the stix won't pick it up: http://paleohacks.com/questions/55612/yet-another-ketosis-question/55635#55635

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117
1
25467 · April 20, 2011 at 7:03 PM

ketosis is really beneficial for several reasons but the main one is that ketosis by products negatively feedback in our livers and turn off gluconeogenesis. This inturn turns off glucose use and makes us use fat for energy. If your overweight this is why you need a paleo VLC diet. Once your fit you can really use either pathway depending upon what works best for your liver and thyroid and leptin levels. There are no axiomatic rules on it....but biologically the reason ketosis works is its effect on the liver and turning off all gluconeogenesis. Once it is turned off you put insulin levels in jail and you can not make fat. Infact you force every tissue to burn it. That is why your body sizes change so much with a paleo diet vs any other. So many people always mention why the scale does not move with my body comp......this is why. With a tincture more time your body comp will also dramatically improve as your hormonal status also self corrects.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117
25467 · April 21, 2011 at 3:48 AM

because sustained chronic ketosis can still be over ridden by high sustained cortisol levels. That is how most develop adrenal fatigue. Cortisol drive activation of the complement system and ASP requires C3 to be available. ASP really just makes the body make more TG from adipocytes or preadipocytes when there is a ton of TG around. Generally this is going to be in a high insulin state. Very low insulin states then require a high cortisol state.......and it is thankfully rare. Moreover the highest levels of ASP are seen in type two DM and not adrenally suppressed paleo athletes.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117
25467 · April 21, 2011 at 3:49 AM

My personal view is ASP is higher in the obese because there is co morbid leptin resistance so this is a way for the body to make new fat cells to clear plasma TG when the Liver and brain can not direct traffic because of deficient leptin signaling.

5de2fffda92c0bf2be7ede10cad55546
1781 · April 21, 2011 at 3:36 AM

@Dr. K, where do you see Acylation Stimulating Protein's involvement then. It seems it is possible to store fat in the absence of carbs/insulin. Makes sense from an evolutionary view. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?Db=pubmed&DbFrom=pubmed&Cmd=Link&LinkName=pubmed_pubmed&LinkReadableName=Related%20Articles&IdsFromResult=18398012&ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DiscoveryPanel.Pubmed_Discovery_RA

Bdcb4ecc75f7b6867b785a7eadf25ece
0
38 · December 18, 2013 at 11:22 AM

Forgot to mention if you have started training or training harder than normal the ketones will be burnt for fuel and not show in urine tests this is optimal :)

Bdcb4ecc75f7b6867b785a7eadf25ece
0
38 · December 18, 2013 at 11:20 AM

check this

Note: You can be in ketosis without showing urinary ketones, but they can be found in your bloodstream. This could happen if your urine is too diluted due to high water intake and shows a marginal number of ketones. As long as you keep your net carbs low, your body will enter ketosis. You may even not be showing any ketones at all. This happens when your body gets fully keto-adapted and uses fat for fuel. It’s not a bad thing and it doesn’t mean you will stop losing weigh

Fbda6fa8cbd4c092f9c205c44178c546
0
0 · August 09, 2011 at 12:07 PM

I'm and a very low calorie diet , Dr. Bernstein diet , for 3 weeks now I have lost 11 pounds so far , but not burning Ketosis , the nurse at the clinic is very worried , should I be too???? thanks

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7
11986 · August 09, 2011 at 1:38 PM

Dr. Bernstein's diet is low calorie in addition to being low-carb? I'm surprised. How are you checking for ketosis? The ketostix are not reliable; a blood test is better: http://paleohacks.com/questions/55612/yet-another-ketosis-question/55635#55635

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7
11986 · August 09, 2011 at 1:38 PM

And why would the nurse be worried? That sounds odd. You're losing weight; do you feel okay?

Answer Question

Login to Your PaleoHacks Account

Get Free Paleo Recipes