Okay, again, I am in week two of paleo eating, and working to achieve ketosis as my body has always been very reluctant to shed bodyfat (and it needs to). According to the Ketostix, I am in the "light" range and am eating fewer than 50g of carb the last two days. I feel foggy and lethargic, and my workout was really really hard. So, how long does one generally stay in ketosis? A few days? A week? Six months? Can I, during the week, have some days where my carbs are below 50 g. and other days when they are int eh 50-100 range, and if so, will my body dip in and out of ketosis? Will I still get the benefit of ketosis as far as fat burning? I guess now that Im here, I want some guidance on managing it. Oh, and is there anything to be done about keto-breath? Thanks again for all your help.
Ketobreath - Altoids (just a few at 2g carbs each over time, don't eat a tin a day).
Also, drink more water/pee more. Ketobreath is excess acetone that's created as part of the process of burning fat and creating ketones. The body gets rid of it via the lungs (preferentially) and urine. The more you pee out, the less goes in the breath... So not perfect, but helps reduce somewhat. Once you are closer to your weight goal, eat a bit more carbs and it goes away.
Next, is it your first time in "real" Ketosis? General consensus is it takes longer to get into Ketosis and recover from induction flu (fogginess/headaches/etc) the first time, and it's faster after that.
In re. how long to stay in ketosis, general stuff I see is to stay in till you meet your goals, then tweak diet accordingly. Just because you are down to your weight goal doesn't mean you can go back to pigging out on high carb stuff without re-gaining it.
Re. carb amounts, your body can swing in and out of ketosis depending on carbs. To be technical, it's always burning fat, but you are swinging into deeper or shallower states depending on your carb level. When you take carbs in, the body uses that preferentially for energy (over fat) and stores the extra as fat (easily replacing what is burned).
It's hard to tell how it will affect your body though. It's recommended to have less than 100 grams of carbs (the fewer the better). However, if you just got done with an intensive workout, you have more leeway to work with since the carbs are going to replace muscle glycogen first.
In terms of workouts, you'll probably continue to find them harder to do, depending on the exercise. When in ketosis, your body's not getting a large supply of carbs to replace the muscle glycogen you use. It'll create some from protein, but depending on the exercise intensity, it goes fast. A lot of athletes use something called a CKD (Cyclical Ketogenic Diet) where they carb load on weekends, and stay in Ketosis during the week. Depending on how much weight you have to lose, you may want to delay playing around with this (since it slows down your weight loss).
Other notes: Make sure and drink lots of water. Take potassium and magnesium supplements (the water will dilute them in your body). If your ketostix go deep purple (and you aren't diabetic), drink more water. It usually means you're dehydrated vs pumping out a lot of ketones. Make sure and get some limited exercise in each day to help things along. After about three to four weeks, the body is fully adjusted to use fat/ketones, and you probably won't see much on the ketostix.
Add sodium!! I am currently reading "The Art and Science of Low Carb Performance" and adding sodium is one of the main things for athletes.
Being in ketosis makes your lives flush out sodium and water much faster. Combine this with the fact that your "good foods" are probably very low in sodium and boom...you get tired, light headed, etc as your body needs sodium to function. The book suggests to drink water with a bouillon cube before an intense workout to be able to perform at a high level.
Best bet? Read the book. It's awesome.
As already stated you need to read some books on the subject to avoid the common pitfalls. I started out without doing that and that only leads to a bad experience. In addition to "The Art and Science of Low Carb Performance" you should also read "The Art and Science of Low Carb Living". Besides those you can consider "New Atkins For a New You" which is more focused on implementing a long lasting way of living on few carbs.
Regarding supplements, I've realised how important it is to add sodium (for some as much as 5g/day). I would also recommend magnesium and potassium in the initial period at least (if not continuously).
It differs from individual to individual how many carbs you can tolerate before you get out of ketosis. I would think that 100g on just a single could be enough for you to get out of ketosis if you already have a tendency to insulin resistance (just my two cents). Optimally, you should stay in ketosis for a long period. Some prefer to stay in ketosis for the rest of their life and some follow Mark Sisson's carb curve. It's all up to you and how you want to live. Eating coconut/MCT oil will usually help to keep you in ketosis.
After experimenting with ketosis I can only say that it is definitely and art and a science and you need to be very aware of that.
For keto breath, I grew two mint plants. You can do it either indoor in the cold country or in the ground in the southern areas. I used to chew and swallow a couple of the mint leaves daily. It really helped to get the mint flavor into the gut. Eventually the bad breath goes away when you are fully keto adapted. It does take at least 4-5 months.
I was talking to a really hot girl yesterday... with keto breath! Oh dear you just have to laugh. The funnniest thing about that is if your talking to someone and can smell keto breath off them its like getting tasered in the forehead.
I think you are too focused on your carbs. Ive been doing paleo for six months. Eating somewhere from 20-50 grams a day. Usually on the lower end. I'm on my last week of P90X and I've noticed then when I feel lethargic it's not the low carb intake but low fat intake. I Eat a chunk of red meat or pork. Remember fat is more than double calorie dense than carbs. (9 to 4).
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