Newb in New Mexico

(Mike Florey) #1

I started a zero-carb trial five days ago. My blood glucose has dropped significantly and I dropped a couple pounds. The test strip says I’ve gone from ‘trace’ to ‘mild’ ketosis.
Some doctors have advised trying keto for thirty days. Can I trust those Youtube vids?
Thanks in advance for your feedback.

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #2

Depending on which ones, you might be able to.

First, welcome to the Ketogenic Forums.

We actually suggest giving a ketogenic diet at least a three-month trial. There is a process called keto-adaptation or fat-adaptation that takes six to eight weeks for most people. After a long time on a high-carbohydrate diet, the mitochondria in our cells get damaged from having to deal with too much glucose, and certain pathways that deal with fatty-acid metabolism get shut down from lack of use. So it takes some time to reactivate those pathways and heal our mitochondria. (A cell can generally metabolise glucose anywhere, but metabolising fat has to happen inside a mitochondrion.)

You may not want to go strictly zero-carb just yet, since it requires further adaptation. It can be hard on people coming directly from the standard American diet. A ketogenic diet allows some carbohydrate, the exact amount depending on how insulin-resistant the person is. Someone who is highly insulin-sensitive will be able to eat more carbohydrate, someone who is highly insulin-resistant will have to eat much less in order to get into ketosis. We recommend a 20 g/day carb limit, because that works for pretty much everyone. Once you are fat-adapted, you can try increasing your carb limit and see what happens.

In general, if you are watching YouTube videos of people who cite the scientific literature in their talks, then they are probably reliable. One of the early researchers into the ketogenic diet is Stephen D. Phinney, M.D., Ph.D. Dr. Phinney and his research partner, Jeff S. Volek, R.D., Ph.D., are the ones who coined the term “nutritional ketosis.” You will see a number of their talks on the Low Carb Down Under channel on YouTube. If you hang around in the keto world for any length of time, other names will present themselves.

If you want to delve into the scientific literature, be careful when evaluating studies. A lot of researchers consider “low-carb” to mean something that most of us would consider neither low-carb nor ketogenic. Also, the ethical and practical difficulties of experimenting on people mean that a lot of research is done on animal models, and the results of that research may or may not apply to human beings. There are also biases and commercial interests that distort some of the research. (At one point, the sugar industry in the U.S. was paying prominent scientists to play up the risks of eating fat and play down the risks of eating sugar. Those memos were published a couple of years ago and make for interesting reading.)

You might want to browse around in the Newcomers’ forum on this site for information on what a ketogenic diet is and how to do it. And make use of the search function on this site; it actually works pretty well. There are certain confidential parts of the site that are blocked to newbies, but they will open up quickly as you hang around.

Also, check out the Two Keto Dudes podcasts, because they have a lot of useful information. The Dudes founded this site because they both reversed their Type II diabetes, and they wanted to help others to do so, as well. The ketogenic diet is useful not only for losing fat, but also helps to restore metabolic health.

(Mike Florey) #3

Thanks for the prompt reply. You’ve given me a lot to chew on. I’ll do as you suggest and poke around the site.

(Joey) #4

@niner_six_echo Welcome! @PaulL has given you the grand welcome so you’re off to a great start.

Low carb eating is so incredibly simple … once you get your head wrapped around all the “bad” science that we’ve been taught for generations.

Lots of good sources of peer-reviewed, field-tested, results-proven facts around here. Soak them up and you’ll be armed (to the teeth). Enjoy!


(Mike Florey) #5

Thanks Joey. I’ve done a little research and I find it incredible that we have been malnourished most of our younger years.

(Joey) #6

I always marvel at how much abuse a body can tolerate before giving up. :roll_eyes:

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #7

It’s sad, but true. Several scientists warned Senator George McGovern that there were no data to support the low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet he and his staff wanted to recommend. He, however, felt pressure to recommend something, and as one of his staffers said, “What harm could it do?” Well, we’ve found out. :scream:

(Mike Florey) #8

Darn right. I’ve managed to survive the ‘food pyramid’ that was so much voodoo science.

(Mike Florey) #9

It was everything short of genocide.

(David Cooke) #10

Still is, conspiracy theorists might add “and intentionally so”.

(Eve) #11

What would the expected symptoms be for the period after ketosis has been achieved but whilst fat adaptation is occurring?

(Eve) #12

What would the expected symptoms be for the period after ketosis has been achieved but whilst fat adaptation is occurring?
I think my metabolism still isn’t totally happy yet!


They’ll fix all that social security spending one way or the other!

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #14

We enter ketosis quite soon after carbohydrate intake drops, whereas fat-adaptation takes some time. Apart from reduced athletic performance, which will gradually improve as you readapt to fatty acid metabolism, the main symptom you might notice would be your clothes getting looser. If you don’t keep your salt intake up, you might notice a bit of dizziness and lightheadedness, constipation, or headaches. If you are taking blood pressure or diabetes medications, you might need to have your doses reduced. You might also notice a sense of energy and mental alertness.

It all varies considerably from person to person. You will know you have reached the point of full adaptation to fatty-acid metabolism, because your endurance will have returned to, or exceeded, pre-keto levels.

(Eve) #15

Thankyou. Presumably the electrolytes should be kept up the whole time?

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #16

The kidneys excrete sodium more readily when insulin is not high enough to interfere, so a little extra attention to getting enough salt is warranted.

Potassium, calcium, and magnesium generally take care of themselves if sodium intake is sufficient, though some people do find that they need to supplement one or another of them.

A lot of long-term zero-carb/carnivore eaters report that after some time of eating that way, they stopped wanting to add salt to their food, but this is not true for everyone on a carnivore diet. As far as eating keto, not carnivore, is concerned, I’ve been eating keto for six years now and find that if I’m not careful to get enough salt I get constipated and my migraines start to return. As in many things, there is a lot of individual variation here. You have to figure out what works best for your body.

(Eve) #17

Thankyou, that makes sense.
I posted - in the wrong place probably - whether being in the UK it is possible to become a patreon and thus supporting your forum. I only wonder because of $£ transfers etc

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #18

That I don’t know. But if Patreon will take a PayPal payment, for example, PayPal might be able to tell you the conversion rate and what their fee for converting is.

I know that Visa and Mastercard don’t charge an explicit fee for converting; they do it by offering a less advantageous rate than your average bank or high-street bureau de change. (But it’s a lot more convenient, of course.)

(Eve) #19

Ok, thanks.
If l only drop carbs and don’t worry so much about the fat and protein percentages, is that “lazy keto” and if so, will l get the full keto benefit from the diet? I haven’t been counting macros, just keeping carbs very low but probably haven’t been eating enough fat. The keto sticks do show ketones though

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #20

That works well for most people. The key is the low carb intake, because it helps lower serum insulin and has been known to reverse Type II diabetes.

I would certainly assert that, yes. Just don’t give in to the standard advice to “eat less, move more.” Intentionally restricting calories can backfire. Eating a well-formulated ketogenic to satiety, however, is most likely to result in hormonal changes that reduce appetite to a level that allows the body to metabolise both the fat we eat and the excess fat we have stored. But skimping on the calories on purpose risks convincing the body there’s a famine going on, and it needs to hold on to its fat store.