TL,DR: What fat metabolism happens when you’re eating 75 g/day carbs?
Maybe I’ve read this before but just forgot, but I’m wondering what metabolism is going on when one is eating “too much” carb to be in the canonical keto range, but not enough to meet much of your needs?
I’m 6’ tall, weight 157# for the past 23 years (except briefly went up 6# 1.5 years ago, and went down again when I barely reduced carb intake, as in: from 4 servings of pasta to 3 per meal) so BMI just over 20. I started lazy keto/low carb in late June last year. My weight dipped about 3 pounds in the first few weeks then came back to 157 and is steady.
My job is only semi-sedentary: I work in a biological research lab, so I’m up on my feet at the bench and up and down the hall quite a bit. I mostly avoid the elevators so I’m trotting up 10 to 15 floors of stairs in an average day. Other than that, I exercise sporadically, of late. In the last two weeks, I did one strenuous 3 hour river kayaking trip, one 5 mile walk around the city with some hills while wearing a 35# backpack and heavy hiking boots, one unweighted 2 or 3 mile walk, one 45’ lake kayak paddle (fairly high aerobic pace), one 3 hour river kayak trip that was mostly hiking in and portaging over boulders instead of kayaking, and one 6 hour/20 mile sea kayak trip (low-medium aerobic pace). That was a bit better than average two weeks vs the last year overall, but clearly, my metabolic needs are a little above “sedentary.”
So, I’m not in the strict keto range (which I understand as < 100 Kcal/day in dietary carbs), but I’m not losing weight. I eat a lot of nuts, a tiny amount of fruit, an occasional beer (like, one or two per week), an average of one serving of low carb bread or tortilla per day (we avoided these for the first few months), and, as you’d expect, a lot of meat, fish, cheese, butter and heavy cream.
I rarely add it up carefully, but I think I’m probably averaging 250-300 Kcals of carbs per day. Basically the Atkins Maintenance range? That’s clearly not enough to support my metabolic needs, but I’m not losing weight and the mirror says I’m not burning muscle (as does my ability to drive my kayaks around about as well as ever). So, what the heck am I burning if I’m not quite “ketogenic?”