Metabolic Flexibility - Get Real

(Bunny) #121

A hypothesis? (could be meaningless in reality but it makes me think?)

I’m noticing it’s not so much the HIIT as it is the re-building of muscle that’s not embedded with fat, the more lean muscle I build the more carbohydrates I can eat as long as I increase the other two calories along with it.

I have friend who was in really good shape never exercised in her life and weighed like 98 pounds but she could not eat enough, she could eat and eat and eat and would lose weight instead of gaining no matter how much she ate, had a problem gaining weight, then three years later she was really fat, obesity pretty much described her situation.

What happened?

Here muscles became fatty from the refined carbohydrates or was it from not eating an equal amount of calories; so she quit depleting glycogen storage while sleeping or at rest and going into ketosis naturally? Some will assume oh it’s just female hormones or this or that?

Calorie balance may effect the way the body reacts to storing or oxidizing fat or glucose.

When you eat calories equally in amount the body may have to go into ketosis by default when sleeping, when you increase the carbohydrate above fat and protein then you don’t go into ketosis naturally when sleeping by depleting muscle glycogen.

Per gram fat is 9 units of energy

Per gram protein is 4 units of energy

Per gram carbohydrates are 4 units of energy

Two grams of carbohydrates and protein would be equal (rounding off but does that 1 unit matter?) to 9 unit grams of fat.

It’s not about how your pancreas or liver use calories it is how your muscles use it?

This is were Rod Serling comes in and says “Welcome to the outskirts of the Twilight Zone“ …lol


(Jenna Ericson) #122

I have a different guess as to what might cause fat storage in muscles. We know from hyperlipid, etc. that polyunsaturated fats often get stored because they fail to make the cell they enter insulin resistant, meaning glucose will also be let into the cell and the polyunsaturated fat is likely to get stored. What if that is what is happening in muscles? Polyunsaturated fats could be getting stored in muscle causing an abnormal accumulation of fat.

It sounds like you think it is the specific ratios of macros you eat that determine whether you store fat in your muscles or not. That might be true, but I believe that optimal macros will differ from person to person. Some people are good at metabolizing carbohydrates. I am not. My inefficiency at using carbs could be caused by something environmental, but I suspect it is largely genetic. While some people might do better with a ratio of 50% fat, 25% protein and 25% carbs, someone else might do better with a 75%/20%/5% ratio.


2 wrongs don’t make a right.

Thanks though for the reminder that I shouldn’t underestimate the majority of humans who aren’t producing what’s missing. I may end up with a bullet in the back of my head eventually.

I’m not carb shaming. I asked a question in a form of a riddle. You still haven’t answered the question I put forth. :wink:

(PJ) #124

I do not think he was responding to you personally, fwiw.
I didn’t notice your riddle so maybe he missed it too.

This thread by its nature of beginning with a rant :smiley: was destined to bring some debate, but it’s ok, we can all do that without it reflecting any hard feelings. It’s the discussions where people do not agree that often bring out the more interesting or more obscure points.

I have not heard enough of that for my brain to recall what it means. How does that differ from glycogen use?

@amwassil Michael, to be fair, I suspect there is always some degree of people “using X for an excuse to do Y” – in any topic, including lowcarb dieting. You are not wrong that this exists, of course.

That doesn’t mean that all people have the same motivation though. If someone is keto for a long time and then realizes they feel a lot better eating merely lowcarb not keto, or eating a small bolus of carbs every week or so, then it’s a legit N=1 experience of I feel better when I do X.

They might later try to make it make sense, in their head, by figuring maybe it’s because it seems to result in more ‘metabolic flexibility’ - meaning they can eat LC or HC and their body just handles what’s needed, rather than sometimes going off LC and having their body feel like crap from the change.

But that’s coming up with a reason after the fact, to explain feeling better, not using the reason initially to be an excuse for just eating more carbs than they ‘should’ (whatever ‘should’ is!).

I had a friend who reacted badly to eating grains. He would bleed, had gut pain, and so on. But he really loved grains and it was a horrible addiction and result for him that he kept giving in and eating it. Eventually, he learned to just consider them utterly bad. Totally polarized it, demonized them. But that kind of thinking allowed him to finally resist them, when otherwise he couldn’t. He really was just not able to deal with the shades of grey element that most people do on the subject.

To the degree that “vehemently feeling” something allows a person to keep it in whatever category their brain needs for them to sufficiently avoid it, that works too. We do whatever we must.

(Bunny) #125

You brought up some very interesting points, I want to explore more. I have read a lot about polyunsaturated fatty acids and the reason polyunsaturated fats supposedly do these bad things is because there is not enough glucose to metabolize it, so constantly making the metabolism oxidize fatty acids and not oxidize glucose is why fat only burners do not fair well with the polyunsaturated fats. It is glucose dependent processes that regulate fatty acids, not ketones, not sure if polyunsaturated fatty acids get stored in the muscle specifically, as much as they would into a pre-existing fat cell already in the muscle tissue itself.

Too make a long long story short there is a difference between oxidizing carbohydrates or glucose and storing it as lipid droplet in a adipose cell.

That also brings this question into focus, is it possible to oxidize carbohydrates/glucose and fatty acids into ketones evenly? And that is an astounding YES if your metabolically fit and flexible.

(bulkbiker) #126

In their raw state they are toxic so why are you surprised that your body wants to get rid of them ASAP?

Why do we think they are “meant” to be eaten in the first place.

Sounds like your body is now exceedingly smart and dumps the crap as soon as it realises what its owner has put in it…?

(Bunny) #127

If you boil and rinse them several times they become very digestible. Pinto beans also when you remove the oligosaccharides from boiling and rinsing several times you get little or no intestinal gas or flatulence.

(bulkbiker) #128

So what?

Does that make them in any way desirable things to eat?

(Greg) #129

I think metabolic flexibility means you can bend over and touch your metatarsals.

But I stand to be corrected too …

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #130

I can’t do that. :woozy_face:


Front or back bend? :wink:

(Jenna Ericson) #132

Regarding the phosphagen system, I wasn’t aware of this method of energy use until I looked a little into metabolic conditioning, so I don’t really know much about it. My understanding is that in activities where you need a lot of power for about 10 seconds or less your body will rapidly mobilizable your reserves of high-energy phosphates in skeletal muscle and the brain to recycle ATP (got that from Wikipedia). I think creative phosphate is originally made from the amino acids arginine and glycine, but my understanding is that it is a whole different system than glycogen use.

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #133

Pertinent, I think:

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #134

Is this an example of metabolic inflexibility? Or symbiotic entanglement?

(squirrel-kissing paper tamer) #135

Symbiotic entanglement exacerbated by metabolic inflexibility? Thanks for sharing, very interesting article.


I’m really enjoying your posts @fabia. I find they challenge my thinking and current dietary beliefs.

The insulin resistance that persists and results in increased and persistent elevated insulin levels (hyperinsulinemia) is a gateway metabolic state that leads to metabolic disease.

The glucose intolerance called physiological insulin resistance (misnomer?) in a fat adapted metabolism that accesses ketones and the primary energy source in a low insulin context does not result in hyperinsulinemia and chronic metabolic disease. If an insulin response is initiated in this specific contextual state, then any very transitory hyperglycemia is resolved.

I understand what is being said; that the glucose intolerance, that being the reduced ability to readily produce an insulin spike (which is currently regarded as healthy, and for some reason more healthy than a steady state insulin plot) can be manipulated by implication into the suggestion of metabolic inflexibility. Rather than being considered a buffered metabolic state that does not respond with large variations in insulin production and steep and sudden blood glucose changes.

And, possibly, fair enough, that inability to spike insulin in a modern contemporary society fuelled mainly on processed carbohydrates may be out of synchronicity with the times. It does hint at a lost seasonality of fat adapted metabolism balanced by a season of higher insulin accessibility when carbohydrates are more readily obtained from the environment. But I’d argue that the manufactured modern food environment is out of synchronicity with human metabolism, rather than the human metabolism is flawed in its inability to constantly respond to the modern food environment in the case of glucose intolerance for fat adapted metabolisms.

In terms of a higher level interpretation, better metabolic health over an accumulated time period may favour the fat adapted state with a recognition of transitory hyperglycemia under a carbohydrate challenge, as compared to a persistent higher insulin state.

The video below is book marked to start at the relevant point and has Dr. Professor Ben Bikman explain the nuance.

(Utility Muffin Research Kitchen) #137

As said in another thread, my working theory is that evolution designed us to eat a specific mix of nutrients, and looking at hunter-and-gatherer populations there were about 15-20 percent carbs in there (that always come with fiber btw). And any significant change in diet bears the risk of long-term negative consequences (go ask the dinosaurs if you don’t believe me).

Your claim that ketogenic diet is the best way to eat reminds me a bit of Ancel Keys claim that high-carb is the best. After all, what harm could come from it? It has to be good, because all the good effects of BHB and such? But there may be effects that show up after decades. We do have a population wide experiment that shows that harm does come from a high carb diet, but it takes a long time. It’s much faster nowadays because children are born to insulin resistant mothers, but if the child is metabolically healthy then it will take many decades for most people to develop metabolic syndrome. And frankly we have no data what happens if millions of people go keto fo decades. We might be all right, but it’s still a deviation from what evolution designed us for and it may be that we’ll not be all right, or that some of us will be all right. After all, I’ve talked with people who couldn’t adapt to keto even after many months of trying. If some people can’t tolerate it, then chances are that some people tolerate both but will be better of with some carbs.

If we ate too much carbs for decades then we have to go ketogenic because our body is out of whack, sure.

But for people not in metabolic syndrome, if you really claim that a ketogenic diet is more healthy than a diet with some starchy or sugary vegetables (no processed carbs, mind you) then the burden of proof is on your side. If evolution designed us to eat 20% carbs, then both 5% carbs and 50% carbs are extremes that may have detrimental effects.

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #138

What carbs do you think our hunter gatherer ancestors were eating during the Pleistocene? Other than a lot of cellulose. As for sub-5% carbs long term, I’ll keep you advised.

(bulkbiker) #139

So to me it sounds like this fabled “metabolic flexibility” is giving us an excuse to go back to eating what made us fat and ill in the first place.

Bit like saying you can’t have put T2 into remission if you cant eat a houseful of carbs… and equally ridiculous.

Food is fuel not entertainment?

(Utility Muffin Research Kitchen) #140

What exactly in If evolution designed us to eat 20% carbs, then both 5% carbs and 50% carbs are extremes that may have detrimental effects. is an excuse to go back to 50% carbs, plus toxic additives like emulsifiers?