Metabolic Flexibility - Get Real

(mole person) #61

Thank you! I feel like it must be my birthday! :hugs:

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #62

Not by using ‘metabolic flexibility’ as an excuse to consume carbohydrates. You’re simply reinforcing my OP assertion.

You might get into a more interesting, and possibly more convincing, discussion about why we have the capability to metabolize exogenous carbohydrates at all, or have cells and organs that require glucose. My opinion is that these are metabolic relics of our herbivore primate ancestry.

Having strong opinions about stuff is not religion. My opinions can, do and have changed based on persuasive evidence.


In a post-truth post-postmodern and often crazy digital culture, getting real is not for the faint of heart, and it usually involves informed choice based in solid lineages of study & practice.

For those who’ve become 100% fat-adapted and well established on the LCHF/keto path, and who’ve turned around IR and/or morbid obesity, there is much value in aiming for a more socially-engaged or emotionally intelligent low carb understanding, ie Keto Without The Crazy, as Amy Berger MS describes it.

In other words, actually reading and integrating what the foundational clinicians of LCHF/keto have already proven out as viable phases/stages for health creation success for hundreds of thousands of patients.

IF one has read the key texts of this dietary healing realm (Yudkin, Atkins, the Drs. Eades - who advocate for the keto cusp rather than deep ketosis - Phinney/Volek/Westman, Robert Lustig, along with Taubes, Fung - and also gotten familiar with Banting) one should understand that for most of them their protocols involve - for the 100% fat-adapted - increasing carb tolerance carefully ON A CASE BY CASE BASIS (up to as much as 100-150g net carbs as per the Eades and others, particularly for endurance athletes) - as a matter of both health maintenance and cultural sanity for the vast majority of patients. While LCHF/Keto is about self-experimentation, it’s not about cobbling together personal dogmas to shun and ignore the successful foundations upon which this way of eating is built in the modern world as well as the fact of very diverse, indigenous/aboriginal peoples whose traditions are generally dismissed as not-evidence, and which Weston Price did a lot of noble work to bring attention to. Peoples who understood that Land is Life - and the natural world gives us many kinds of nourishment.

Personally, my take on Keto Without The Crazy is that it is scientific-but-not-culturally-supremacist, spiritual-but-not-religious-zealotry (or just plain ole non-sectarian or interfaith). My experience is that it is the cultivation of long term antifragility in an uncertain world that is the most precious gift of it, beyond short term robustness in a falsely certain world.

For those who are 100% fat adapted and who mindfully follow the solid protocols laid out by Atkins/Eades/Phinney/Volek/Westman and others it is a path of increasing functionality, flexibility, and new strength not just metabolically but also digestively and culturally. It supports liberation both from physical illness and so much more as we go along into the second and third year of LCHF/keto and move into Pre-Maintenance and Maintenance stages as outlined by the aforementioned cornerstone clinical foundations - especially dramatic for those who do other mitochondrial enhancement practices like HIT strength training or other biohacking!

Because it also offers greater freedom for diverse food experiences along with freedom from mental states which may be crazy in the otherwise-healthy human. As one great mystic advised, it’s about living in the world yet not of it . Amy Berger points to how otherwise metabolically well folks may be getting stuck in dogma. I think sometimes it can be some shunning of the joys of this brief life and/or during travels or holidays, and may manifest as:

Fear of Fruit
Chagrin of Chocolate
Dread of Dal
Lingering Anxiety of Lemons
Paranoia of Purple Potatoes
Regret of Rice
Sorrow of Spices
Terror of Tamales
Worry of Worchestershire Sauce or Wine with food (both allowed in moderation for the non-addicts if you look at the menus of the Drs. Eades, Phinney et al)

In addition, there is interesting and compelling info in the integrative medicine/functional medicine world on the longer term anti-cancer benefits of anti-oxidants/polyphenols/lectins,along with the hormonal benefits of incorporating a robust amount of less acid-producing foods (particularly for females as per the clinical work of Anna Cabeca MD).

:avocado::herb::fish::sheep::steakcake::bacon::eggplant::fried_egg::green_salad: :tomato: :lemon: :avocado:

So, that’s about as much as I care to say about it - as the aforementioned foundational LCHF/Keto explorers and clinicians have well articulated this realm, its phases and/or fasting & non-fasting opportunities. There’s nothing controversial about metabolic flex, microbiome magnificence, and real foods foodieness for those who are medically able to cultivate such, unless one isn’t bothering to know what actual LCHF/keto is in terms of clinical and sustainable reality for the vast majority of folks. (There is also a thing called dopamine which some people derive from dogma or identity-driven pseudo discourse - and I’m aware there’s no getting in between a person and their dopamine unless they themselves are keen on neuroplasticity, cognitive flex, high EQ approaches, etc.)


I want to give you so many more than just one heart for this, Mary. :heart::heart::heart::heart::heart:


Awww… glad my flow worked for you @buxomlass. Thanks for the love!

(Justin Jordan) #66

Well, it’s like this:

The vast majority of healthy people, including those who have lived very long lives without chronic disease, have done so consuming more than keto levels of carbs, which I’ll define here as twenty net grams or less.

Verrrry few indigenous and historical cultures have actually eaten keto levels of carbs. We are evolved to be able to digest utilize some forms of carbohydrate.

What that all means is that while we don’t need, as a species, necessarily NEED to eat carbs, it does speak to the fact that carbs are not inherently evil or UNhealthy to us as a species. That’s true even if you believe plants are toxins - hormesis is a thing.

So as that relates to metabolic flexibility, aside from being able to eat carbs for hedonistic reasons, I think metabolic flexibility is good as a marker. If you can eat a bunch of carbs, your blood sugar doesn’t spike, and you’re able to get back to ketosis easily and don’t need to readapt, I think it’s a pretty good marker that your metabolism is working something close to optimally, or at LEAST healthily.

Which is something akin to the ability to say, maintain a high percentage of your heart rate while exercising for an hour or two. Should you do that every day? Probably not. Does it mean you won’t get some kind of health problem? Probably not.

But the ability to do it is probably a pretty good indicator your body is working well, ESPECIALLY in conjunction with other stuff. Can you work hard aerobically for an hour? Can you pick up your bodyweight without injury (really, this one should be higher)? Can you move your joints through a full range of motion?

Well, you’re probably okay in a lot of other ways. Metabolic flexibility is like that.

Hard keto places and people tend to have a built in bias for believing that burning one form of fuel all the time is bad, and burning the other is good. I suspect the ability to only effective do one or the other well is indicative of damage.

Now, then, assuming you buy all that, is introducing carbs helpful for building metabolic flexibility? I dunno. I suspect the answer is likely yes, but I am (currently, anyway, ask me again in a year) also pretty sure the level and kind of carb matters. I’d use the exercise metaphor here. We have metabolic pathways I suspect need to be used to work optimally, and I think we’re probably healthier and more resilient if we can. Now that’s the general, generic human…

And having said all THAT - I’m not sure everyone CAN get to a level where they can ingest carbs and have all their stuff work well. I’m not convinced I can, and hence a LOT of the time my diet ends up being carnivore by default.

(indeed, between alternate daily fasting and just my regular diet, I’m probably not consuming any non animal products 5 or 6 days out of seven, and my carbs are usually less than ten grams. This gets my blood sugar to true normal. Is that forever? Dunno. Hope not, but only one way to find out)

(Justin Jordan) #67

Of course, I’ve also literally only ever known my ketone level when I was in the hospital. Well, after I left and could look at my records. So, you know…

(Empress of the Unexpected) #68

100s of hearts. You are the voice of reason. I agree that people who are diabetic or fighting cancer may need to really scale back the carbs. But I am 61 and totally healthy. That is why I eat bread or potatoes every so often. But I was raised on 3 meals a day and no snacks. So I was raised old school with healthy eating habits. No need for extremism unless health issues or weight problems. I do thank keto for helping me shed the 20 pounds. And what is even better, they seem to be permanently off. But I still believe our bodies can usually easily use carbs. Not a throw back relic.

(Empress of the Unexpected) #69

Define work well.

(Justin Jordan) #70

What I mentioned earlier in that long post generally, but very specifically:

If you can ingest say 100 grams of carbs, your blood sugar doesn’t rise above 140 and is back to normal within a couple hours, your fasting blood sugar is not affected (beyond normal fluctuations), and you can get into ketosis again within, say, twelve hours of not eating.

(Empress of the Unexpected) #71

Sorry, I missed that. No matter what I eat the highest I went was 120 something and that scared me. I always get into ketosis the next day. Thanks for the clarification. If I saw 130 I would panic

(Justin Jordan) #72

I think that’s excellent.

I suspect 120 is probably a better number for the peak. I’d need to look up the Kraft Assay Tables, but there’s one of the patterns there that I think is probably pretty indicative of healthy metabolism. It doesn’t speak to ketosis, but generally, if you eat carbs, your blood sugar stays low and the next day you’re in ketosis again, my non doctor self would say you’re doing really well.

(Empress of the Unexpected) #73

Seriously thank you. Out of blood strips but about to do some more hard core testing. But that involves testing multiple times a day. But I love numbers so will do it. Starting with garlic bread? :rofl:


I see train wrecks with grain and legume experimentations. Especially with wheat due to the gluten exorphins.

Slippery slippery slippery slope with carbohydrates. 🤸

(Shane) #75

I had a look and I think it was total nonsense. The site is there to sell supplements, not look after your health. And I have a problem with web sites that are trying to sell stuff to solve problems that might not exist.
I had trouble with dry eyes for years and now I don’t. If for some reason my body needed carbs, it would make them, I don’t have to eat them. Not so much with essential proteins and fats. That’s the way our bodies work.

(Prancing Pony) #76


(Bob M) #77

On Saturday, January 20 of 2018, I took an OGTT with insulin (2 hour Kraft test, with 75gm glucose. Take a look at my peak:

Now, they were supposed to take a test at the one hour mark, and I wanted to take a reading using my CGM at the same time. Unfortunately, I did not take a reading, so the software did not put a mark there (as it does when I take a reading). So, I’m not sure where my peak ended up, but ended up well over 140. 180? 190? 200? (Multiply 18 to get US units, so 7.5 = 135.) But according to my Kraft test, I had normal blood sugar and insulin response.

Now, I did not carb up before this, so maybe that skewed the results.

Also, notice how relatively flat my blood sugar was on 18+19 of January. That’s what low carb eating does for you.

I personally don’t think we as a race NEED to eat carbs, but if we had access to carbs (the kind that wouldn’t kill us/make us sick), we did eat them.

(Ken) #78

Interesting topic. A few points. Metabolic effects can literally take years to develop. They are also very dependent on Lifestyle, as degree of activity. Someone following VLCHF may not experience them for quite.some time, and if not leading an active lifestyle the metabolic symptoms may be very mild and not be obvious. It may only be something like a long term Stall. If people are happy with that so be it. Others who are not have the option to perform n=1 experiments in order to reach their body composition goals. To deny what many have found to be a solution is dogmatic, and certainly may deny people the ability to reach their goals if practiced.

This type of thought is certainly common, and appears to be a normal phase keto people go through, I myself did as well. It took me literally years to begin objective experimentation with carbs in order to achieve my goals.

In reality, it can take many years for things to become obvious. It can even take longer for people to admit them.

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #79

At risk of sounding like a scratched record I think it’s necessary to remind everyone that most human evolution occurred under very different climatic conditions than we are lucky enough to be living in now. I wake up every morning and say a hearty ‘Thank you’ for the Holocene! During most of that time, carbohydrates could not possibly have constituted anything more than a very small portion of what our ancestors ate to survive. There were simply too little nutrients to make it worthwhile to expend time and energy searching for it.

(Bob M) #80

It’s also possible that your goals aren’t the same as other people’s goals. For instance, if your goal is to gain a lot of muscle mass, maybe some carbs are useful? Not everyone’s goal is that, though. My goal is to work out without getting reinjured.