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Offline lex_rooker

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Fat ratio experiment
« on: June 14, 2008, 01:50:24 am »
A few months ago I was prompted to set up an experiment to see what would happen if I changed the ratio of fat to protein in my diet.  For the past several years my diet has been meat and fat only with a ratio (by % of calories) of 68% fat to 32% protein. My weight has been stable at about 160 lbs for almost 2 years.

I set a base line of Blood Glucose and urine Ketones and came up with the following results:
BG was about 95 just before my single afternoon meal
BG rose to about 120 over a 2-3 hour period after the meal
BG dropped to 106 and stayed there for about 18 hours
BG dropped to 95 about 2 hours before meal time

Ketones always measured between zero and Trace.

As of June 1st I changed the fat ratio of my food to 80% fat and 20% protein by adding addition suet to my meat mix.  I have a commercial fat analyzer used by meat markets to test the fat content of their ground beef so I'm able to measure the fat content of my mix fairly precisely.  After 2 weeks on this new diet I have the following results:

BG is now 80 just before my single afternoon meal
BG rises to about 96 over a 2-3 hour period after the meal
BG drops to about 87 by bed time
BG is usually about 80 upon arising in the morning
BG jumps to about 90 about an hour after arising
BG slowly drops to 80 and stays there for an hour or so before I eat.

Ketones have jumped sharply to Moderate (middle color band) and on occasion to Large (next to last color bad)
I also dropped 2 lbs in weight even though total calories have remained the same.

This morning for the first time my morning BG dropped to 75 and then rose to 80 about an hour after arising so it is clear that things are in dynamic flux.  It will be interesting to see what happens over time.

Also, you'll notice that my BG jumps several points in the morning even though I haven't eaten anything and won't eat again for another 9 or 10 hours.  The theory for this is that either the liver is dumping glucose to meet the needs of new muscle activity as I begin to move around for the day, or that the adrenals are signaling the body to break down body fat for the same purpose.  I expect that it is the breakdown of body fat as this would cause the ketones to rise (which they have) and release of glucose from the liver would not cause this rise in ketones.

I put this first post in the General Discussion area so people would see it.  I'll be making future posts on this subject to the Journal area. http://www.rawpaleoforum.com/journals/lex's-journal/
« Last Edit: June 15, 2008, 08:03:46 pm by Craig »

Satya

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Re: Fat ratio experiment
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2008, 09:19:06 am »
Hey Lex,

I will check out the journal entries, but I just wanted to thank you for performing these experiments on yourself.  Now I think that the blood glucose numbers tell the big story, and I am very curious how they might pan out over time.  Speaking of which: How long do you plan to do this increased fat intake?  Indefinitely?  Also, you have dropped 2 lbs. of weight.  Is this good for you?  I don't think you are overweight at all.  Will you need to bump up total calories to maintain ideal weight?  If so, will that mean more fat only (which will, of course, skew your percentages towards more fat)?

Bless you again for being such a pioneer in this regard.  Here I am only just finally doing the raw diet day in and day out for a week.  The fine tuning will be much later in time for me.  So this kind of information - especially since it is long term and you only tweak one factor at a time - is just priceless for people like me who are new on the trail.  I think our administrator should give you a special moniker of "Trail Blazer."  To me, sir, that is exactly what you are!

Offline lex_rooker

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Re: Fat ratio experiment
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2008, 10:17:12 am »
Satya,
What prompted this experiment in the first place was Gary Taubes lecture on obesity which can be found here:
http://webcast.berkeley.edu/event_details.php?webcastid=21216

During this lecture Taubes talks about what makes us fat.  He pointed out that scientists have known for some time that fat can't be stored unless alpha-glycerol-phosphate is available to create the trigliceride that can be stored in fat cells.  Alpha-glycerol-phosphate is created when carbohydrates are metabolized in the presence of insulin.  Insulin is primarily driven by eating carbs.  Pretty much it's

Eating Carbs creates insulin - insulin metabolizes glucose - alpha-G-phospahte is created - liver uses a-g-p to create triglicerides - triglicerides are then moved into fat cells.  Bottom line no a-g-p no fat can be stored, at least that's the theory.

Taubes also stated that 58% of protein can be converted to glucose, but didn't say how or when this would happen.  If this is true, then too much protein in the diet could cause a rise in insulin thereby creating a-g-p and causing fat storage.

My experience was that when I started eating this way I started with a higher fat content in my meat.  Initially my weight dropped to about 150 lbs but then I got lazy and stopped adding the fat to my mix.  Over several months my weight increased to 160 and then stabilized at that level.

I decided to test Taubes theory.  If he is correct, since I don't eat any carbs my only source for glucose is from protein.  If I reduce the protein and raise the fat to bring the calories back up, then less glucose would be produced and I should again lose weight even though calories stay the same.  Less protein means less glucose created, hence less a-g-p all leading to less fat.

Still early yet but this seems to be working just as Taubes expected.  My average blood glucose had been reduce by about 20 points since I made the change 2 weeks ago.  I've lost 2 lbs in 14 days.  Ketones went from less than Trace to Moderate which shows that body fat is being consumed.  I have no idea how far this will go but intend to stick with it for several months at least and maybe forever.

There is a minimum amount of protein that the body will always need and I can't go below that amount or my health will suffer.  This amount is between .8g and 1.4g of protein per KG of lean body weight.  for me this is about 85g protein per day.  This will produce about 50g of glucose and my final stable weight should be based on this amount. 

Hope this is clear.  If not feel free to ask more questions.  I want everyone to learn what they can from this.  I've also put a post in my Journal.  You might want to read that to help make what I'm saying clear.  It is a repeat of this post with a lot of supporting detail added.

Lex
« Last Edit: June 14, 2008, 10:28:36 am by lex_rooker »

Offline Raw Kyle

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Re: Fat ratio experiment
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2008, 07:41:00 am »
lex what do you think about trying to publish this stuff in a journal? I just graduated with a biology degree and wanted to do stuff like this and publish it. Maybe we could get a group of people to monitor their intake and bg/ketone levels as closely as you are for a trial series and publish that? Your data gathering rigor is at least as good as the stuff I was watching professors do in college.

Offline lex_rooker

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Re: Fat ratio experiment
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2008, 09:56:36 am »
Hi Kyle,
Sounds interesting.  What is hard to believe, is that with what I've learned so far, I can predict within 1 or 2 points exactly what my Blood Glucose level will be after I eat a meal, and when the peak will hit based on how many grams of protein I ate at the meal.  As an example, with a meal of fat and meat (no carbs) that contains 90g protein, BG will rise 15 points + or - 1 point 2 1/2 to 3 hours after the meal.

If a few carbs are consumed (say 10-20g) then there is an initial small spike of BG within 1/2 an hour or so followed by the rise from the glucose manufactured from protein 2 1/2 to 3 hours later.   If the BG rises rises above 110 or so then it quickly drops to a lower level.  If BG never rises above 110, then the drop off is very gradual over many hours. 

It appears that insulin is triggered only if BG rises above some level like 110 and then it quickly converts the excess glucose to triglicerides and the excess is stored as fat.  If BG never hits the trigger level then the body muscles and organs use it directly and the drop-off rate tends to follow activity level.  The base dropp-off rate from my observation is about 2 - 3 points per hour, but much more rapid if I do exercise.

A lot of food for thought.

Lex

xylothrill

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Re: Fat ratio experiment
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2008, 10:20:07 am »
This is very interesting. Someone (I think it was Barry Groves) said something about the time of my blood tests having to do with the rise in my second BG level, which was sooner after I got up. I beilieve the first was around 1:00PM and the second around 11:00 AM.

What I wonder also is what happens when you only eat lean meats? Why do people waste away instead of gaining weight? Perhaps the body can only use the glucose from protein for what it needs and not the excess in the absence of carbs or fats? It's mind boggling!

Protein does stimulate insulin and glucogon while carbs only stimulate insulin production. So, maybe that has something to do with it. Fat primarily stimulates gucagon and not insulin. Take away fat and carbs and you're left with protein, which although stimulates insulin to take care of the glucose, also stimulates gucagon, which keeps it from being stored as fat. Thus making protein by itself non-caloric. Sound plausible?

Craig

Offline lex_rooker

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Re: Fat ratio experiment
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2008, 01:09:03 pm »
Craig,
My understanding is that the issue with protein being toxic in large amounts is the nitrogen.  Carbohydrates and fats are made up of the exact same molecules, carbon, oxygen, hydrogen just in different combinations.  Protein has the additional elemnet of nitrogen and that seems to be what causes the problem.  Other than that, I'm clueless on this subject.

There is another interesting thing that happens when you don't eat enough - or possibly often enough - and that is that when BG or Fatty Acids get to low the adrenals will signal the body to start breaking down body fat for fuel.  This is why you may take your BG reading in the morning directly upon arising, then take a shower and move around a bit and then measure your BG again it it will be 10 points higher - yet you haven't eaten anything.  Where did the BG come from?  When BG drops below 80 or so the adrenals kick in and start metabolizing body fat which creates ketones and BG.  So it was the breakdown of your own fat that caused the rise in Blood Glucose.

I've also found that I'm not Keto Adapted even though I haven't eaten any carbs for several years now.  My protein intake was so high that enough glucose was created to meet most of the body's needs so it never converted to running on ketones.  As you know when I started this diet several years ago my ketone level went up and stay in the low to moderate level for almost a year until my weigh stablized.  The the ketones dropped to levels below trace but just above zero.  My BG also stabilized at a fairly high average level of 106.  With low ketones all this BG was coming from the extra protein I was eating that was turning into glucose - my body never had to adapt to use the ketones as glucose was always sufficient for its needs.

When I lowered the protein level close to my calculated minimum this also reduce the available glucose that could be made.  My BG average dropped 20 points to 85, and my ketones jumped to Moderate and Large.  Now there is no longer enough glucose to support all the body functions so the body is having to break down fat and once again turn it into ketones to provide fuel.  The fact that BG is still varying in a large range between 75 and 105 (105 is now the peak rather than 120) demonstrates that the body is still attempting to run on glucose.

I understand that when I'm truly keto adapted, my BG should just about be flat-line stable and there will be few or no ketones in the urine as they are now being consumed by the body as its primary fuel source.  The key to knowing what is going on in your body is to understand the BG/Ketone ratio,  BG High/Ketones Low - BG Low/Ketones High - BG High/Ketones High - BG Low/Ketones Low, and what each means. 

I'm learning amazing stuff.

Lex

Offline Raw Kyle

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Re: Fat ratio experiment
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2008, 01:57:46 pm »
Are there any secondary positive effects of ketone adaptation vs. fueling the body with carbs or protein-derived carbs that you guys know of?

xylothrill

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Re: Fat ratio experiment
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2008, 07:48:43 pm »
Are there any secondary positive effects of ketone adaptation vs. fueling the body with carbs or protein-derived carbs that you guys know of?
For me, oh YES! I've eaten quite a larger percentage of my calories from fat than Lex. I used to count all the lean weight as protein until Lex brought up most of that lean weight was water. So, I was no doubt getting 80% + calories from fat. Your energy does not rise and fall. It's constant. When I do cardio, I feel I could go on forever. And it's an even, calm energy. On a high carb diet, especially on raw vegan, I'd get so full of nervous energy, I'd be bouncing off the walls. Then it'd get all used up and I'd crash.
I'm also mentally calmer and can think clearly as my brian has steady access to fuel at all times rather than only after having eaten a high-carb meal.

It's not fun keto-adapting but it's well worth it. I remember driving to my brother's house while adapting and seeing dark spots. I almost felt like I was going to pass out and almost pulled off the road but I knew that it was only low blood sugar and probably wasn't going to really pass out. It was still scary and I think the burst of adrenaline helped.

If you've ever fasted or otherwise been ketogenic before, my experience is that subsequent keto-adaptations only last about a day. The first time lasting about two-weeks. You'll read in places that you have to start all over again each time but this simply isn't true.

xylothrill

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Re: Fat ratio experiment
« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2008, 08:02:27 pm »
Lex,

So, do you think that glycogen depletion of the muscles on a ketogenic diet is false? Personally, If there is a difference, I think that high-carbers have more glycogen stores than we do but only because the body is trying to usher the toxic substance out of the blood.
They also use it up much faster than we do. We only call upon it for anaerobic exercise so it's the fat-adapted people who who truly have this stored glycogen in "reserve."

Craig

Offline wodgina

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Re: Fat ratio experiment
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2008, 10:01:42 pm »

Craig, my experience of quicker subsequent keto adaptions reflects your experience also.

I was also counting the water in my meat as grams of protein never really thought about it until Lex brought is up (must be all those ketones on the brain!) so it seems that the average protein in grams accounts for approx 20% of the weight of the meat.

Also people talk about calm energy and the ability to thing clearer once keto adapted. The ketones act upon the brain to produce the calming amino acid GABA while excitatory amino acid glutamate stays the same (except for young children it goes down) hence the possible reason why a ketogenic diet works with epileptics. Of course with a carb based diet the GABA/glutamate production is the other way around.

Andrew



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Albert Camus

Offline lex_rooker

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Re: Fat ratio experiment
« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2008, 11:41:27 pm »
So, do you think that glycogen depletion of the muscles on a ketogenic diet is false?

Craig,
There seems to be a lot of theories on this.  The one I like best says that you are not keto adapted until both the muscles and brain have converted to using Fatty Acids or Ketones as their primary fuel rather than glucose.  Just because you consistently see small traces of ketones in your urine doesn't mean that your muscles and brain have converted over to using ketones rather than glucose as their primary fuel.

The key seems to be whether or not your body is manufacturing enough glucose to keep glucose as its primary fuel.  If so, then you are not fully keto adapted.  The theory also states that to keto adapt you must not consume more protein than the minimum required by the body (around 1 to 1.2 grams protein per kilogram of "lean" body weight per day) as any excess will still convert to glucose at the rate of 0.58g glucose per 1g protein consumed providing more than enough glucose to keep the body running on glucose rather than ketones.

Based on this theory I'm not keto adapted even though I have only consumed animal products for 3 years now.  The problem was that my protein intake was almost double what was necessary (150g/day) which provided almost 90g glucose per day which was way to much to allow my body to keto adapt. Also, fat must be kept at 80% to 85% of total calories consumed or you will not keto adapt.  This was easily seen by the fact that my blood glucose would rise 25 points after my daily meal and the daily average was 106.  After dropping protein to the 1.2g/KG my blood glucose only rises 15 points after my daily meal and the daily average has dropped to about 88.  At the same time, ketones which were usually Trace or less, skyrocketed to Large (next to last color band).

I have no clue if any of this is actually correct, but it is the best I've come across so far.  Right now I figure I'm in No Man's Land and it will take weeks or months for everything to stabize again.   

Lex

Offline lex_rooker

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Re: Fat ratio experiment
« Reply #12 on: June 16, 2008, 12:15:20 am »
I just posted an update in my Journal

Lex

xylothrill

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Re: Fat ratio experiment
« Reply #13 on: June 16, 2008, 07:09:15 am »
Craig, my experience of quicker subsequent keto adaptions reflects your experience also.

I was also counting the water in my meat as grams of protein never really thought about it until Lex brought is up (must be all those ketones on the brain!) so it seems that the average protein in grams accounts for approx 20% of the weight of the meat.

Also people talk about calm energy and the ability to thing clearer once keto adapted. The ketones act upon the brain to produce the calming amino acid GABA while excitatory amino acid glutamate stays the same (except for young children it goes down) hence the possible reason why a ketogenic diet works with epileptics. Of course with a carb based diet the GABA/glutamate production is the other way around.

Andrew




Andrew,

That's good to know! I used to be on Paxil and Xanax for anxiety disorder and insomnia. They made me want to eat and sleep all day. I get very tolerant of drugs very quickly and they stop working. It was hell getting off of them but thankfully, my withdrawal wasn't as long as some. Xanax is supposed to enhance GABA and I'm sure it does but that doesn't treat the root cause of low GABA. Do you have any references about this? 

Craig

Satya

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Re: Fat ratio experiment
« Reply #14 on: June 16, 2008, 07:21:12 am »
Xanax is supposed to enhance GABA and I'm sure it does but that doesn't treat the root cause of low GABA. Do you have any references about this? 

As a former registered pharmacy tech, I can tell you that the withdrawal symptoms from Xanax include death.  I bet it was a tough drug to get off of.

xylothrill

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Re: Fat ratio experiment
« Reply #15 on: June 16, 2008, 07:34:36 am »
Craig,
There seems to be a lot of theories on this.  The one I like best says that you are not keto adapted until both the muscles and brain have converted to using Fatty Acids or Ketones as their primary fuel rather than glucose.  Just because you consistently see small traces of ketones in your urine doesn't mean that your muscles and brain have converted over to using ketones rather than glucose as their primary fuel.

The key seems to be whether or not your body is manufacturing enough glucose to keep glucose as its primary fuel.  If so, then you are not fully keto adapted.  The theory also states that to keto adapt you must not consume more protein than the minimum required by the body (around 1 to 1.2 grams protein per kilogram of "lean" body weight per day) as any excess will still convert to glucose at the rate of 0.58g glucose per 1g protein consumed providing more than enough glucose to keep the body running on glucose rather than ketones.

Based on this theory I'm not keto adapted even though I have only consumed animal products for 3 years now.  The problem was that my protein intake was almost double what was necessary (150g/day) which provided almost 90g glucose per day which was way to much to allow my body to keto adapt. Also, fat must be kept at 80% to 85% of total calories consumed or you will not keto adapt.  This was easily seen by the fact that my blood glucose would rise 25 points after my daily meal and the daily average was 106.  After dropping protein to the 1.2g/KG my blood glucose only rises 15 points after my daily meal and the daily average has dropped to about 88.  At the same time, ketones which were usually Trace or less, skyrocketed to Large (next to last color band).

I have no clue if any of this is actually correct, but it is the best I've come across so far.  Right now I figure I'm in No Man's Land and it will take weeks or months for everything to stabize again.   

Lex

Lex,

Are you experiencing the feeling or symptoms of keto-adaptation now? I'm pretty sure I'm keto-adapted. When I go without eating for a day, I have no ill effects, lack of energy or otherwise but I eat a lot more fat than you were. That first two-week period of adapting tells me that I surely was not getting the glucose my body was used to running on before. I can also go long periods without doing any cardio and come back to it just as if I'd never stopped. That wasn't the case before.

This is just my opinion but I think the brain is the first to adapt and then the rest of the body. Eventually, you become so fat-adapted that you're burning FFA themselves.

I've read conflicting things about the brain requiring ketones. One is that the muscles start using FFA so as not to compete with the brain for ketones. I've also read that most of the brain can use FFA as well. If the latter be the case, why is there a need for ketones at all?

I'm off to read your journal! Thanks for making yourself a guinea pig for us all to learn from!

Craig


xylothrill

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Re: Fat ratio experiment
« Reply #16 on: June 16, 2008, 07:41:57 am »
As a former registered pharmacy tech, I can tell you that the withdrawal symptoms from Xanax include death.  I bet it was a tough drug to get off of.

Have you ever had electroshock therapy? I haven't but you get these brain zaps, especially when you're so drained and about to fall asleep. I imagine that's what electroshock would feel like. It sucked! Thank God I didn't die! You have to titrate yourself off so as not to put yourself into complete shock.

Offline lex_rooker

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Re: Fat ratio experiment
« Reply #17 on: June 16, 2008, 10:49:44 am »
I can't say that I've felt much other than the increased heart rate which I'm told is temporary.  I can say that the swings in Blood Glucose as my body adapts have narrowed and the overall average BG has lowered a good bit also.  It will be intersting to see where this goes.  I won't be making any further changes until I'm pretty well adapted to this change.  I want to try to fully understand and document what's happening and if I make another change before I'm stable all the work will be wasted.

lex

Offline lex_rooker

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Re: Fat ratio experiment
« Reply #18 on: June 16, 2008, 10:57:53 am »
By the way, I just noticed that there's a title under my avatar that says I'm an "Egg Thief".  What's that all about?   I've been called many things over the years but Egg Thief has never been one of them.   What did I do to earn this rather unflattering nom de plume?

Lex

xylothrill

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Re: Fat ratio experiment
« Reply #19 on: June 16, 2008, 12:02:42 pm »
Lex,

This will explain your being an "egg thief" http://www.rawpaleoforum.com/infonews-items/forum-changes/

We've also designated you the forum Trailblazer for your selfless efforts in experimenting on yourself for the knowledge of all.

Craig

Offline lex_rooker

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Re: Fat ratio experiment
« Reply #20 on: June 16, 2008, 12:51:24 pm »
Well at least there's a way out of the Egg Thief moniker - it's clear I definitely need to post more.

I'm honored to be the official Trailblazer for the group.  Do I get a Coonskin cap ala Davy Crockett ?

Offline lex_rooker

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Re: Fat ratio experiment
« Reply #21 on: June 16, 2008, 12:58:25 pm »
Craig,
Something just came to mind that you might be interested in.  One of the things I've been warned about becoming fully keto adapted is that weight loss will slow to a crawl or stop all together.  No one seems to know why.  It just happens.  Since you've gone the very high fat route and believe you are fully keto adapted, have you seen any evidence of this?

Lex

Offline wodgina

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Re: Fat ratio experiment
« Reply #22 on: June 16, 2008, 07:36:25 pm »
Quote
Andrew,

That's good to know! I used to be on Paxil and Xanax for anxiety disorder and insomnia. They made me want to eat and sleep all day. I get very tolerant of drugs very quickly and they stop working. It was hell getting off of them but thankfully, my withdrawal wasn't as long as some. Xanax is supposed to enhance GABA and I'm sure it does but that doesn't treat the root cause of low GABA. Do you have any references about this? 

Craig
Hi Craig,

Theres quite a few published studies on the effect a ketogenic diet has on neurotransmitters on the brain.

This very interesting internet blog is where I initially found the information

http://blog.plantpoisonsandrottenstuff.info/2008/05/13/what-ketosis-does-to-the-brain/

http://blog.plantpoisonsandrottenstuff.info/category/food-chemical-intolerance-syndrome/neurotransmitters/

Also I don't think fatty acids can fuel the brain because they are too big to cross the blood brain barrier.

Check this wiki article outhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Famine_response

Very interesting, especially the part about the brain using 30 grams of glucose a day once in ketosis as opposed to 120 grams.

Also the part about fasting and the brain using 30% ketones on the 3rd day and 70% on the fourth day. I wonder if  eating meat and fat would delay this increase in ketone use for brain fuel over the days.

I'm currently on day 7 of the Raw Animal Food diet. here's my experience

Day 1 headache..heart palpitations felt ill but OK two hour sleep in the evening.
Day 2 felt good strong, candida die off.
Day 3 off food..ate a load of scallops, oysters..fishmonger lied scallops were not fresh!
Day 4 hating meat/fat still eating a heap, still want fruit
Day 5 hating meat/fat, still eating a heap, tastes like water, fat is not doing it for me.
Day 6 really finding the meat and fat not tasty l..all I want is sugar/dates/bananas. I have to distract myself.
Day 7 wake up starving, palpitations, not a nice starving but a never ending desperate anxious rabbit hunger, I've still got the feeling after already eaten 1kg of meat 300 grams of suet.

It will be really interesting to see how things go over the next 7 days. Looking forward to it.

Andrew
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Albert Camus

Offline lex_rooker

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Re: Fat ratio experiment
« Reply #23 on: June 17, 2008, 12:08:33 am »
Andrew,
I found that the initial transition to a meat/fat diet took about 3 months before I was really looking forward to eating again.  It took another 6 months for my body weight, ketones, blood glucose, and other parameters that i was measuring to fully stabalize.  By stablize, I mean that even though readings might vary throughout the day.  As long as I consistently ate my daily meal at the same time then I'd get similar readings of the various paramaters based on the time of day they were taken.  You can see this in the Blood Glucose chart I posted to my Journal.

Hope this helps,

Lex

xylothrill

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Re: Fat ratio experiment
« Reply #24 on: June 17, 2008, 02:18:02 pm »
Craig,
Something just came to mind that you might be interested in.  One of the things I've been warned about becoming fully keto adapted is that weight loss will slow to a crawl or stop all together.  No one seems to know why.  It just happens.  Since you've gone the very high fat route and believe you are fully keto adapted, have you seen any evidence of this?

Lex

Lex,

I have been holding steady at about 210 lbs from 235. I had thought that it was just a stall and that I'd begin to lose again. The weight loss has been slow but still, my belly fat is going down and my pants are getting looser while my upper body, especially my back, is getting bigger. It seems to be a redistribution of weight and body composition.

Craig

 

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