Metabolic Flexibility - Get Real

(Joey) #101

You know … now that you mention it…

I haven’t experienced any of these typical ailments in the past 6+ months since I cut out the carbs either.

Despite sitting through several over-crowded, sneezing, wheezing airplane flights back in the coach section, and being out in the world during the change in seasons from summer to winter, none of my usual stuffed nose/colds have arrived (yet?)

Of course, now I’ve totally jinxed myself by writing this. :no_mouth:

… apparently those pesky viruses lurking in the wings really enjoy the carbs as much as you do? :man_shrugging:

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #102

At my response above here I said the following:

No one has commented on this and I suspect everyone just thought I was being facetious. And I was being facetious. However, I was also being a little sneaky.

If people talked about ‘metabolic flexibility’ in its generic sense of being able to derive nourishment from the widest potential sources, then ethanol would be part of the conversation. Ethanol delivers almost twice as much energy per unit as carbs: in the ratio of 7:4.

Yet aside from my couple comments mentioning bourbon, all I’ve read so far is carbs, carbs, carbs. Thus, at this point in the conversation, per my original OP I remain unconvinced. People use the term ‘metabolic flexibility’ to justify eating carbs.

(Bunny) #103

Interesting, let’s say a person can tolerate 300 grams of carbohydrates or more without carbing up (500 grams or more). I would say they are cured?

That is why I’m skeptical about constantly keeping the body purposely in ketosis by restricting carbohydrate without increasing carbohydrates to test the water.

They do increase carbohydrate intake along with the dietary fat.

But Virta Health does claim that “long-term nutritional ketosis” must be “medically supervised” (to make adjustments?) which is probably proprietary information to their business.

And what is also interesting is the diabetic simply exchanging there bottle of injectable insulin for the sake of eating a lower carbohydrate diet? Or is there absolute proof of higher carbohydrate tolerance with time?

Or is there conclusive proof with the insulin/glucose clamp studies if it is in-fact the “gold standard?”

BTW: Thank you for the article; “Early evidence of cooked starchy plant food is sparse, yet the consumption of starchy roots is likely to have been a key innovation in the human diet.”

(PJ) #104

I just didn’t find it relevant. I thought you were being a bit emotional hence the example. :laughing:

Alcohol does not give me an endless (albeit small) supply of nutrients that I’d like, from quercetin to vitamins and minerals and more, the way that carbs in foods do – onions, garlic, mushrooms, raspberries, etc.

Alcohol does not dramatically, and I mean “orders of magnitude” level dramatically, improve my experience of the food that I eat, and the diversity of foods-that-I-love that I can eat, the way that having more tomatoes or curry or rarely, the superthin corn tortillas, might.

My body uses glucose all the time, my body MAKES glucose from my fat, so my temporarily slightly (not extremely) raising my glucose via endogenous sources like “more onions than usual in this dish” does not strike as health-wrecking the way enough alcohol to be


And lastly, I would have no reason to WANT to make myself flexible enough to drink enough bourbon for the above. I would like to be to eat a holiday meal with my family. I don’t have any desire to drink myself sick with alcohol.

I’m confused why I’d need to explain that because I didn’t really consider your analogy to be all that ideal. Your then deciding that it was so great, that lack of response must mean you’re right and everybody’s just making excuses (those lazy keto cretins!) actually makes it kind of funny though. :smiley:

(Bunny) #105

A tip that works for me, I drink more water when I drink alcohol and I avoid that! e.g. I always have a glass of water between drinks or shots. No hang over or anything of the sort, like magic!

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #106

Carbohydrates are just sugar molecules, ie fuel. Your metabolism breaks down those molecules into glucose for use as energy. There are no other nutrients in the carbohydrate molecules. The various foods that contain carbohydrate molecules also contain nutrients dissolved in water trapped in the interstitial matrix between carbohydrate molecules. You do not have to eat carbohydrates to get those other nutrients. And the proof of that is there is no carboydrate deficiency disease and no carbohydrate RDA (as pointed out by @PaulL in another related topic).

So it’s a choice you make to consume carbohydrates in order to get whatever other nutrients happen to be associated with any particular food. That’s exactly why I used bourbon, which contains zero nutrients other than ethanol. If we’re really talking about ‘metabolic flexibility’, then any rationale used to justify eating carbs (ie glucose energy) applies equally to drinking ethanol (ie ethanol energy). One could add vitamins and minerals to bourbon if one were so inclined.

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #107

I’ll keep that in mind the next time I decide to drink a bottle of bourbon. :thinking:

(Susan) #108


When I was younger (in university and way pre-Keto) we used to drink a glass of milk before going out to coat our stomachs. I don’t know if there is any science behind this at all?? @atomicspacebunny (figuring you might know) but yes I used to do this with my friends, then we would drink water before sleeping, and it did seem to really help with hangovers.

(Bunny) #109

When I go out drink to drink…lol I drink a shot of extra virgin olive oil, that guy the owns the bar or nightclub that’s what they all do…lol


Congrats! Your results are identical to mine, the wifes and pretty much everybody else I’ve read about in other places. Seems the biggies are having your carbs (a little) higher most of the time and regular introduction of some carbs here and there.

(Doug) #111

That makes sense - not just slamming the body from one extreme to the other. I wonder what the mechanism is for the cells taking a while to get back to taking up glucose as fast - less receptors or receptor function somehow partially disabled…? I imagine it’s pretty far down on the list of studies-to-be-done… :neutral_face:

(PJ) #112

Hello again :slight_smile:

Yes, and you probably do not have to eat any food except ground beef from now until the day you die. You don’t need to add garlic or black pepper, you hedonist! You can get anything you need from something else! :laughing:

Yes, isn’t it glorious that we live in a place and time where having a choice about “how” we would like to get our vital and useful nutrients is a thing??

That’s exactly why I used bourbon, which contains zero nutrients other than ethanol.

On its own, bourbon cannot be fairly compared to broccoli and garlic Michael, though I appreciate your enthusiasm here. :laughing:
Their inherent qualities being so obviously different means they are not comparable outside your “but since all carbohydrates are ‘unnecessary’ (I disagree with that in my case) bourbon’s no diff than veggies!” There’s more to them than carbohydrates.

You say, “Yes, but you could get nutrients elsewhere!” Yes, yes I could. But I could not get their experience elsewhere. The experience of stir-fried garlic and broccoli is nothing at all like “bourbon with supplement pills.” And for most people still breathing, experience is a vital part of life.

What you are mostly arguing here, without realizing it I think, is that you do not choose to eat any carbs ‘except’ those you personally like, but if other people choose differently, it’s because they’re making lazy excuses to be hedonists. At least, that’s how it comes across to me. :smiley: Peace.

Hence, it is not inherently the same at all, if you have to substantially change it to make it equal for comparison.

Sure you could inject it with supplements, though few of those would be equal to a nutrient found in its native context (due to all the infinite micro-micronutrients many of which we don’t even know/track yet).

Alcohol has killed (literally) multiple people in my family. Nobody ends up shooting someone or killing someone driving on the highway over broccoli. It is entirely possible bias makes me less willing to accept that particular analogy. :slight_smile:

(Justin Jordan) #113

It’s not a particularly great analogy because in general your ability to respond to alcohol is pretty fixed. And of course, you’re strawmaning pretty intensely by going to ‘falling down drunk’.

But IF you got falling down drunk from one shot AND you could develop the ability not to, you’d probably be better off with the ability to.

I’d also note you very thesis ITSELF shows there’s something different about carbs. If you believed that carbs were just energy, and no effect on the body beyond their energy content, you would not care if people ate them.

You do, so you believe that the form of energy matters. What you extrapolate from this is that all the effects are negative. The basis being that since we can survive without them, then having them most only be negative. That isn’t an actual logic throughline. It’s as much seeking justification for your position in ‘science’ as you argue that metabolic flexibility is for people who talk about it.

Why consume more than the minimal protein and fats necessary for survival?

(Windmill Tilter) #114

If you thought the made-up word “metabolic flexibility” was bad, you greatly underestimate both our depravity and our desperation.

I’m going to coin another term even more diabolical. Carb Shaming.

With two simple words, this term flips the script and reframes the rational condemnation of carbohydrates into the power dynamics between oppressor (keto purists) and oppressed (carb apologists).

That’s some Saul Alinsky shit right there. Pretty much checkmate… :yum:


A certain amount of script flipping is good, also good is applied emotional intelligence towards discourse. This forum was designed with this mind, and the platform itself does a great job at it in foundational ways - however the subtle ideological polemics which are entertaining to some don’t do much for actual discourse when n=1s become prescriptive or proscriptive.

I think aiming for “Keto Without The Crazy” in both discourse and personal practice is a noble endeavor, and I hope Amy Berger writes a book about it.


I’ve not succombed to colds or flus since I went low-carb (strict keto for about 6 months, Protein Power/Atkins type progression since then) - so that’s 2.5 years. I’ve fought a few off though, turned them around within hours via protocols.

A strong natural immunity is a powerful and BLESSED thing - and for me, using remedies in the earliest onset of symptoms is the key (fasting, hydrotherapy, ACV, Ginger, Oscillococinum, Olbas oil, cayenne and a range of other spices or medicinal teas or herbal soups depending on what’s on hand or desired, etc). Another protocol is that if you feel off in any way, be very strict and def avoid any simple or processed carbs - and even food in general - until the bug threat has just left or if not, until your body has aligned its fever powers. The saying goes “starve a cold, feed a fever” for good reason.

(Jenna Ericson) #117

This is a bit off topic as far as eating carbs to increase metabolic flexibility, but I was wondering if doing metabolic conditioning workouts could be helpful in improving the body’s response to eating carbohydrates. My understanding is that the goal of metabolic conditioning workouts is to make your body more efficient at any of the three energy systems: phosphagen system (the body makes ATP using Creatine phosphate stored in muslces), glycolytic system (glucose metabolism), or your oxidative system (fat metabolism). I was under the impression that HIIT uses mostly your glycolytic system. I’m wondering if getting better at using carbs for exercise would make you generally better at using carbs for energy, whether they are from your diet or not.


Well, HIT (not HIIT) strength training a la Slow Burn or Super Slow or Body By Science (short sessions only once or twice a week) is fabulous for mitochondrial biogenesis and effective muscle building (as well as freeing up one’s schedule due to minimal time spent). It does make you better at using carbs in general, but not in prep for a workout per se. In fact - training in the fasted state potentiates the metabolic workout, even though it tires you faster etc.

(Justin Jordan) #119

For sure.

There’s been studies on interval training that show it helps insulin sensitivity, and the research has included diabetics. But pretty much all exercise will help, and hard exercise seems to help most.

Ted Naiman has mentioned that if they get bodyfat low enough and add some muscle mass he’s had type 2 diabetics improve to where they can pass a glucose tolerance test.

(Justin Jordan) #120

Which, actually, I’m adding some HIIT in fairly soon to try and track the effect of it. I’ve done it before, but wasn’t really tracking blood sugar and didn’t have my diet dialed in as much as I’d have liked when I did.