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Keto Question

Hey everybody. I have a question about a diet that I’m currently on which I was hoping would put me into ketosis. Basically, I’m taking in about 2100 calories per day, 265 grams protein and 120 grams fat spread out evenly across six meals (it’s modeled somewhat after the first six weeks of CT’s diet from the “Beast Evolves” article). I do get some residual carbs such as those in Low Carb Grow, avocados, nuts, leafy greens, etc (although a large portion of my fat intake comes from fish and flaxseed oil pills).

So, anyway, I’ve been on it for about nine days. Earlier today I ran out of protein unexpectedly and decided to substitute with just the nuts and half an avocado since I was too busy at work to go get something. The problem is that I then found myself horribly lethargic and woozy-feeling, not unlike how I felt the first two or three days on the diet. I had eaten an equivalent number of calories as I normally would per meal.

I’m worried about the possibility that my body’s been converting protein into glucose this whole time and not burning fat for energy, basically the worst-case scenario diet where I’m primarily burning protein and amino acids for energy (hence muscle) rather than fatty acids. Would that explain why not eating protein at one meal would have that kind of effect?

Thanks in advance for your help.

Ketosis diets are overrated in my opinion. They have there place with ppl who are very obese. During these exteme low carb diets I wouldnt restict k/cals at all simply eat when you are hungry. After getting down lower I think a diet that has more clean carb sources and such is a much better option. Not high carb by any means, just more balanced. I feel you can make better progress in the gym and still lose fat.

I would say it is quite possible you are converting protien. You have to get glucose from somewhere in order to fuel certain bodily functions. .

Hope this helps, wish I could elaborate more but I am about to fall a sleep, so I will end here.


I’ve done the keto thing in the past. It’s good for quick weight loss but it comes back once you begin eating carbs again.

You might want to consider the T-Dawg 2.0 and modify it to fit you.

I found that I have to intake 100-125 g of carbs on non training days and 175-200 on training days. By the end of the day I’m usually feeling lousy and weak. I’ve been losing about 2 lbs a week. However, I’m more interested in the long haul right now rather than the quick fix.

If you want to feel a little bit better while still being on the keto you may want to only include carbs after your workout. Maybe 75-100g would be enough for you to stay in ketosis while giving your body enough energy to repair itself. Just some ideas for you to consider.


I agree with Phil. Good carb sources along with adequate protein seem to work better for me. It’s all about caloric intake versus caloric exenditure, assuming adequate protein intake.

Keto and low carb diets are seductive because of the initial water loss. Beware of them. The carb rebound effect can be horrible for fat gain.

Just look at all the fat people on Atkins or South Beach that lose 10 lbs of water. They never shut up about it. However, they never lose any more and gain it back when they start eating carbs.

Like I stated befor they actually do work, extreme low carb diets that is.

But I would suggest only for the serverly obese. I for instance used a diet of no more than 20g of carbs a day, fiber included. No other restriction at all. I was able to drop 85 lbs in a matter of three months with no strength loss.

I was then stuck there @ 215lbs for about 2 yrs. It wsnt untill I got a healthy realtionship with a more balanced diet I was able to lean out more and make real progress in the gym.

just my little sob story.


Thanks for the advice, fellas. I hope I didn’t make a mistake by taking on this keto diet. I saw what CT was able to accomplish and figured it might make sense to model my diet after his own, since I feel that I’ve struggled with a very similar problem to his: an inability to get lean, ever.

My plan was to do keto for two to four weeks depending on how well I feel it’s working, then slowly reintroduce carbs over the course of four weeks, adding one protein+carb meal per week. I was going to start with a post-workout p+c meal for the first week, then add a p+c meal during weight training for week two (or a low II meal three hours after training on cardio days), then another healthy carb meal per week for the next two weeks. Then kind of just stick with that until I’m where I want to be bodyfat-wise. At that point it should amount to a John Berardi style diet with high II carbs during and post-workout, low II carbs for two meals afterwards, then nothing but protein+fat meals for the rest of the day (two or three).

Sound like a plan? I want to be careful about how I reintroduce the carbs though, in order to avoid excess fat gain. Any ideas on how I might go about this, or does my plan sound okay? Vain68, do you think you can chime in on this one?

I first want to ask if you understand physiologically what ketosis is and what it is doing to the body? Why exactly would you want to be in ketosis? Ketones are toxins (that run through the blood while in ketosis). Toxins = bad. I think that a ketogenic diet can be beneficial to someone who has A LOT to lose, but definitely not for someone who trains regularly.

A diet balanced with CHO’s, protein, and fat is essential so that the body can properly utilize substrates. CHO’s are readily available for energy expenditure as glucose, but when the body has to turn other substrates into glucose: #1.it is a very hydrolyzed process, causing dehydration, #2. you may feel lethargic because the body is having to convert, #3. the brain cannot operate on ketones. Gluconeogenesis is not something you want to happen on a regular basis.

Stored fat is not the energy source of choice when glucose is not readily available. Lowering carbs but integrating “good” carbs into the diet, especially because you do not sit on your ass all day, would be beneficial for you in more than a few ways. So to sum it all up, Ketosis: Don’t believe the hype :slight_smile: There is so much that I could/want to say, but I am trying to keep it simple.

p.s. Why would you want WANT to smell like maple syrup? :slight_smile:

Well, I’m definitely not an exercise physiologist, but my understanding was that in the absence of dietary carbs and with enough fat intake, the body will begin burning fatty acids for energy which would theoretically result in an increase in body fat oxidation, ketones being a by-product of that oxidation. Like I said, I could be wrong.

As for ketones being toxic chemicals, I was under the impression that excess ketones were easily excreted by the body in healthy people.

Ketones are excreted by the body, but in the mean time, the brain is having to operate off of ketones, rather than glucose.

You are right about fat utilization, but the body will not be jumping for stored fat to use as energy, rather converting ingested substrates into glucose (gluconeogenesis).

My point is that if you are training and are not morbidly obese, there is really no benefit of a ketogenic diet. Short term is okay if you want to try it, I just do not see the point of cutting out “good carbs” when your body needs them for energy expenditure. I of course, know nothing about you or your training/diet, so it is hard to say what would work best for you. Carbohydrates are important.

I hope I do not sound like I am completely disagreeing with what you are doing. Different things work for different people. Physiologically, I just do not see the benefit of operating off of ketones when you are exercising. It is like telling your body to work 40x’s harder than it already is to gather substrates for expenditure, when really all you have to do is ingest CHO’s.

I also had the understanding that the point of getting into ketosis was to force the body to become more adept at utilizing fat. Everyone is different, but when I tried my first keto diet I found that I had to get the carbs down to no more than 10-12 grams/day to get into ketosis. You may be getting too many carbs from the nuts and avocados if you are eating alot of them to get into ketosis in the first place.

I happened to have great success on that first keto diet, dropping a lot of fat, however, I had high body fat to begin with and was relatively sedentary. After a few months training I stopped losing. Even the Atkins diet says that carbs must be incorporated when physical activity increases.

Recently I started training again after an extended pause and thought I would jump start with fat fast. I was hoping to see similiar results to my previous keto diet but have not had the same results in terms of fat loss. It did help me get calories down and clean up my diet fast but I have modified it and added carbs per JMB, surge post workout and a bit with post workout solid meal, usually oatmeal and meat. I am still well under 100 grams per day but I feel stronger in the gym and have started dropping fat again.

Also, this is just my opinion but I think that variety often gets neglected on really low carb diets. It is really easy to get into a rut and depend too heavily on protein powders and the same few vegetables. I think that variety is extra important when low carbing, I try to get my daily protein intake from at least 4 different sources a day. Also, you can incorporate a lot more greens and fibrous veggies w/out affecting ketosis due to fiber intake offsetting carb content which is negligible to begin with.

I see where you’re coming from, nikki. What’s weird is that I haven’t noticed a problem as far as mental capacities are concerned except for the first three days of the diet (and I’m a computer programmer, so inhibited brain functioning would definitely be an obstacle).

This diet was born out of desperation, really, and in response to Christian Thibaudeau’s “Beast Evolves” article, where he goes keto for the first six weeks before reintroducing carbs to his diet.

Basically, I began my typical cutting diet in February where I eat protein, good carbs, and healthy fats for my first five meals and a protein+fat meal before going to sleep six days per week, then generally go off my diet on Sunday. This usually works okay for me. This time, however, after about eight weeks I was sent to Utah for my job, and after three weeks of eating what I would consider a mainenance diet, I gained all the fat back, plus some.

I decided that my body needed to be taught how to burn fat for energy again, and this is what I came up with. Kind of like a keto kick-start followed by fairly low carbs after that.

For the record, I typically hit the weights on M, W, F, and do some HIIT cardio T, Th, Sa.

that should have read “fiber content offsetting carb content” not fiber intake. sorry.

It really sounds like you know what you are doing and you have done your research. :slight_smile: You have to find what works for you and not some diet formulated by hype and “trends”.

Ketosis can be a very scary place for someone who is physically active. Keep in mind when substrates are digested by the body, it helps to understand the process a little better and why it is helpful for people that exercise to ingest CHO’s: (most) CHO’s start to be digested in the mouth, via salivary amylase, protein and fat do not start to be digest until the stomach and small intestine, to where until this occurs, nothing can happen as far as utilizing these substrates. See my point? CHO’s are almost immediately available for energy expenditure, where it takes more time for the others to even be considered. The lack of CHO’s can really start taking a toll.

This is fun! I like discussing this and getting ideas!

Just an obseration, you will also notice that in his article, CT mentioned had he had his time back he probably would not have used such an extreme diet in the begining phase of his transformation.

I beleive he would have done something the the Don’t Diet or T-Dawg instead.

Also, check out the newest transformation that he is undertaking called “The Mutation Series”

Thanks for your input, Sabrina. Man, I really hope that I’m not taking in too many carbs. I calculate that I take in between 20g and 30g carbs per day, excluding fiber. I guess I should have tried for less, but even the most conservative estimates tend to put the maximum at 20g.

As far as protein varieties, I get mind from Low-Carb Grow, chicken, steak, eggs and fish. So I think I’m covered in that respect.

Hmm. Yeah, CT did say this:

“You do need some carbs to grow and progress. While I did lose a lot of fat on a ketogenic (no carbs) diet, it probably slowed down my progress and greatly diminished the amount of muscle I could have gained.”

I guess I’m really pushing for fat loss on this one, so I’m willing to sacrifice a little hard-earned muscle in the beginning if it means losing the fat more rapidly. I had projected that I’d be presentable by late May on my original diet, and now it looks like I might not be lean at all this Summer because of my three weeks of weakness on the dieting front.

Let this be a lesson to you the next time you’re eyeing the Bavarian Cream rack at Dunkin Donuts. It isn’t worth it!

I prefer a TKD/CKD approach when it comes to low carb. A pure low carb diet without refeeds is not condusive to weight lifting at all.

Just my .02

The CKD is a good strategy. Glyogen uptake is phenomenal the days your allowed to have carbs.

The diet gives you the best of both worlds. It’s just very difficult to go back to low carbs for 5-6 days after carb loading for 1-2 days.

Are there any good resources on how to properly design a CKD? I’m not totally clear on the differences between CKDs and TKDs, to tell you the truth. I’ve done some searches on the forums here, but haven’t found anything that I would consider concrete. Is there a premiere source for CKDs and TKDs? I don’t think I’ve seen any articles in T-Mag that directly explain them.

Great to read such an informative thread, including divergent viewpoints from intelligent people willing to discuss rather than flame!

I’ve done Fat Fast, did a summer of CKD, and am currently trying a mostly keto diet with PWO carbs as well as a couple of carb refeeds on the weekends.

Nikki sounds like she knows her stuff, but I should point out that the need for CHO varies in part based on the type of training you’re doing. Muscle glycogen is the main source of fuel for most traditional bb/powerlifting workouts, and you’ve have to go a long way to deplete that source before requiring your body to dip into other resources (see Lyle McDonald the keto guru’s recent work in this regard…he gets his trainees into ketosis via two very long, full-body, high-rep workouts, which everyone report to be brutal!! Your typical workouts shouldn’t leave you that spent, especially if you’re replenishing the muscle glycogen with PWO carbs. IF, however, you’re doing long distance cycling, collegiate wrestling, etc., you can disregard the above and take in your CHOs.

Secondly, I disagree on the lethargy issues. I and others have found that the low-carb stupid phase usually lasts until you kick into ketosis. I’ve found my brain (small though it may be) does well on ketones…it’s the transition stage that’s brutal. But your body will generally get better at getting into ketosis the more you do it.

Also, no one’s brought up the real beauty of ketosis…the sense of satiation. Research doesn’t show that the state of ketosis strips bodyfat any faster (although Nikki’s point regarding the relative inefficiency of ketosis tells me that the processing cost to the body may account for some additional calories burned), but it does indicate that dieters handle lo-cal better on ketosis relative to other macronutrient schemes.

I don’t like ketogenic diets long-term because they force the dieter to give up too many healthy (re phytochemicals, antioxidants, etc.) foods, but I’m going to go against the grain here and recommend you stay the course for a bit. My only additional recommendation might be to consider changing your P/F ratios. You may need more fat to stay out of gluconucleo-blah-blah-blah, and ketosis is generally protein-sparing anyway.