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December 11 2013


Interview with RunKeto.com

n=1 protein experiment | Ketosis So, if you’ve been following along with my n=1 protein experiment, you’ll see that I’ve been increasing my protein intake over past several days to see if I can maintain ketosis while consuming more protein and to gauge how much my digestion has healed in the past few weeks. Can I tolerate more protein? If so, how much more? I started Friday December 6th. Yesterday (Monday, December 9th),  I had about 80 grams of protein (broken up into 4 small meals), 135 grams of fat (76%) and 9 grams carbs. This morning I woke up to this ketone reading 1.0mM. BOO What does this mean? Well that is great question. Pay close attention because there is a lot of misinformation and blanket statements floating around. First, while I’m not registering very high ketones on my meter it doesn’t mean I’m not keto adapted. I’ve been in ketosis for about six months now so I’m very keto adapted (fat adapted).  The length of time it takes to become fat adapted is the length of time it requires to become unadapted. I have an army of mitochondria that aren’t going to disappear after one meal and that will continue to change the longer I stay on the diet in function, quality and quantity. The more mitochondria I have, the more energy! Woot Woot. That being said how much “excess” glucose from protein do I need to become unadapted? I can already feel the impact of having lower ketones (HUGE CLUE). I have a six month reference point of being in deep ketosis and what that feels like mentally and spiritually, as well as, my energy and physical performance and endurance. I have something to compare a lower ketotic state vs. higher ketotic state beyond weight loss. So, how much “excess” protein does it take to kill ketosis? While protein won’t cause blood glucose levels to spike (hyperglycemia) it will “kick” you out of ketosis primarily because maintaining a ketotic state depends on a high rate of fatty acid oxidation in the liver. When you do eat protein above “your” minimum requirements (above what can be used for protein synthesis) then amino acid oxidation will occur in the liver and that will occur in preference to fatty acid oxidation. Then you are not going to be getting ketones from that route and also excess dietary protein can be stored as glycogen (gluconeogenesis) in the liver. SOOOO (and that is a big SO) if your liver is filled up with glycogen it’s also going to have a low need to be oxidizing fatty acids. – Bill Lagakos Ph.D., Interview with RunKeto.com My body has become very efficient at synthesizing protein and as a result I hit my “excess” protein threshold at a very low number (right around 50 grams) so anything above 50 grams is turned into glucose and then my body kicks me out of ketosis (remember I’m still keto or fat adapted) because my liver is now oxidizing amino acids  in preference to fatty acids. BHOB (Beta-hydroxy butyrate)  doesn’t register on the meter and as a result my ketones drop as evidenced on my ketone meter. In some circles people believe that once you are keto or fat adapted your BHOB (Beta-hydroxy butyrate -one of two ketones produced from the fatty acids by the liver. The preferred ketone to support the brain’s energy needs) values (aka ketones) registering on your ketone meter doesn’t matter because your running on free fatty acids. However, the brain doesn’t run well on fatty acids, it needs ketones when you are fat adapted. YOU DO NEED A KETONE METER TO GUAGE KETOSIS. But, as Bill Lagakos Ph.D. says, there is a big inter individual variability in level of ketosis like time of day, duration on diet, last meal etc etc… However, once you are keto adapted you should measure positive on your ketone meter (above 1.0 mM but 1.5mM to 3.0mM is preferable). Some people are going to feel at 1.5mM the way I feel at 4.0mM. They will experience increased clarity, performance, energy, confidence, happiness at lower levels of BHOB where for me I need to be at 3.0+mM to really feel superhuman (it’s addicting). Dr. Nannette Yount and Jimmy Moore have an excellent discussion on what happens to some people mentally when operating in a deep ketotic state. Listen here (coincidentally she recommends females eat around 50 grams protein a day). Dr. David Jockers shares with me how he helps heal people of cancer when their ketones are elevated beyond 3.0mM. We also discuss ketosis and healing the gut here. Athletes Should Gauge Their Performance Bill Lagakos Ph.D., says performance is different. If you are an athlete (weekend warrior or elite athlete) you know you are successfully adapted by gauging your performance. How do you feel? If you are not keto adapted you will not have the same exercise tolerance (boy is this true). Your energy should be abundant (and you can tell when it isn’t). I can feel a distinct difference mentally and in my exercise performance when my ketones are low and the meter just verifies what I’m feeling. It is like day and night for me. When my ratios were 85 to 95% fat and under 50 grams protein I was rockin’ my work outs like a teenage boy loaded with testosterone. It was crazy. I had such a surplus of energy and once you are in that state you don’t ever want to leave it because it feels so amazing. Remember it was just a short time ago that I was on the other extreme exhausted and sleeping upward of 12 hours a day and in and out of moods like the weather on a typical day in Chicago. I was terribly exhausted. To find this diet has been the equivalent to wining the lottery. Further, like Rain Man, when you lose that state, you look in every direction to find out why and how to get back there as quickly as possible because you don’t want to go back to that other place. For me it is more than just having an edge in the gym, it is an edge in life! There are several factors to consider I’ve been in ketosis for six months now and most of that time my ketone meter registered in 3.0+ range while my protein was 50 to 60 grams. It’s only been a few weeks in October and three weeks in November that I reduced my protein to under 50g and increased my fat to 90%. As I have indicated in several previous posts, I just felt better due to my digestion and my energy was amazing. Maybe this is what my body needed at that time to deeper heal my gut? I don’t know. But, one thing is for sure, is that I’m able to eat more protein with less detrimental effects (read here). This is good news and with this little protein experiment I can see what “excess” protein is for me based on my ketone meter and how I feel. One thing I gathered from Bill’s interview was the #1 factor of level of ketosis and ability to get in and out of ketosis depends on how long you’ve been in ketosis. Someone who has been on the diet for months or years shold be able to enter into a state of deep ketosis easily. If that person were to accidnetly eat a high protein meal and get temporarily knocked out of ketosis (doesn’t measure ketones on meter but still keto adapted) but will be able to recover quickly and get back into a deeper state of ketosis which is a direct reflection of the amount of time they’ve been on the diet or keto adapted which potentially reflects their mitochondrial function, quality and quantity. This is good news because even though I was only registering 1.0mM today, I can recover quickly like I’ve done in the past. Obviously 80 grams of protein is too much for me but by reducing my protein down to about 50 grams today I will be registering higher ketones in no time. Sunday December 8th I had 63 grams of protein and registered at 1.5mM. December 7th I had 60 grams of protein and registered at 1.4mM. I’m seeing the pattern and getting a great idea of what my protein threshold is. Also, I now know that if I do decide to have more protein than normal one day and my ketones register low, I have the confidence now that I can recover quickly. All this made me think of all the callers who called in to Jimmy Moore’s interview with Dr. Steve Phinney, one of the author’s of The Art & Science Of Low Carbohydrate Performance, asking why they couldn’t get into ketosis or register ketones on their meter even though they were eating in his recommended protein range. So, it begs the question: Does Too Much Protein Make One Gain Weight? Go Back To The Beginning When I started The Ketogenic Diet back in June, I wasn’t tracking my food (not until August), my blood or my ketones. I just lowered my carbs and had started going to the gym and doing weights (light weights mostly using my own body weight). Within one month I leaned out and didn’t really know until someone said to do a day 1 picture and that day’s picture. I was astounded. Around that time I got my ketone meter and was at 5.9mM. It was simple. That being said, I hadn’t made the connection between protein and my level of well-being until somewhere in September. Conclusion For me 1.0mM isn’t enough. I just don’t function well. My head hurts, my energy suffers and my body just doesn’t perform well. I only know this because I have a reference point to compare it to. I’ve learned a lot in the past two months about digestion, the ketogenic diet, protein and my individual threshold. The Ketogenic Diet is going to be different for every individual and you can’t compare yourself to others. You really need to get a meter as well as gauge your own personal energy and performance on a daily basis. And in some aspect Jimmy Moore was correct when suggesting that too much protein can be like eating a piece of chocolate cake on a Ketogenic Diet because the excess glucose does have the ability to kick you out of ketosis but not because of spiked blood sugar and insulin but rather a build of glucose in the liver and the liver no longer needs to oxidize fatty acids (see this post).   What is your protein threshold? http://defyingagewithfood.com/n1-protein-experiment-how-much-excess-protein-does-it-take-to-kill-ketosis/

February 10 2012


Podcast #13: How To Take Care of Your Brain with Coconut Oil & Ketones | The Bulletproof Executive

Dr. Mary T. Newport shares the miraculous story of curing her husbands Alzheimer's disease with coconut oil and ketones. http://www.bulletproofexec.com/podcast-13-how-to-take-care-of-your-brain-with-coconut-oil-ketones/
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