Author Topic: ketosis is so slow! how long do cravings last?  (Read 4627 times)

Offline whatsinaname

  • Private
  • *
  • Posts: 5
  • Karma: 0
    • View Profile
ketosis is so slow! how long do cravings last?
« on: May 27, 2017, 12:49:37 PM »
I haven't had over 25 grams of carbs in 5 days and I'm now just barely producing ketones. Prior to these 5 days I had several days of highly restricted carbs in relation to my normal diet(about 50 grams a day). I know ketone strips are not the most reliable but I've been testing a few times a day for the last several days and I'm gradually getting darker and darker readings- I'm just now testing at a level ever so slightly above "small" and into "moderate" ketone production.

I also take frequent bike rides. Several of these over the last week have been 1.5 hours long, with intermittent periods of coasting and fairly intense riding. I feel absolutely horrible. I have trouble sleeping, extremely fatigued, eyes dry and burning, etc.
Are some people not biologically wired to a ketogenic diet? I actually feel like my cravings are getting worse and worse as the days go on- dying for some cookies, ice cream, and pizza.
This is miserable. The thought of any more meat, spinach, kale, asparagus, eggs, almonds, walnuts, olive oil, coconut oil, or shredded coconut disgusts me.

I guess my main question is- can I add some stevia to my foods? I know this doesn't really have sugar, but I've heard conflicting things regarding whether or not it will take one out of ketosis. I don't think I can go much longer like this. The whole thing is confusing to me because when I'd been only a few days with lowered carbs and then a couple of days with basically no carbs I was feeling pretty good. Now my cravings are worse than ever. Yesterday I only had 20 grams of net carbs. Shouldn't it be getting easier as the days go on?
« Last Edit: May 27, 2017, 05:39:41 PM by whatsinaname »

Offline F0G

  • Private
  • *
  • Posts: 5
  • Karma: 1
    • View Profile
Re: ketosis is so slow! how long do cravings last?
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2017, 03:56:33 PM »
You have posted a lot of information so I'm gonna try and break it down for you from my limited knowledge. I have been trying and failing for a year to perfect my diet. I've just realised that there really is no one size fits all approach and to really tailor the knowledge I have to my own approach and play and tinker things that are within my capacity. I've realised I have to be honest with myself and not look at things through a straw otherwise I'm just setting myself up for failure. With that being said, let me get straight into it for you....

With limited glucose, 80% of the tissues in the body is capable of running on ketones. 20% of the bodies tissues HAVE to use glucose. For example mucous production cannot happen without glucose so this is why the body is capable of converting protein to glucose through gluconegenesis. Carbohydrates are not essential nutrients as our bodies absolute must need protein and fats for protein synthesis and the formation of new cells, gene expression, skin, hair and nail cells, and so on...
If there is not enough protein in the diet for gluconegenesis to occur, the body will have to take protein from somewhere so it will metabolise that from your muscle cells. So it will eat your muscle to make that glucose unless of course you are eating adequate protein. Which in a low carb diet means you are eating more than you need for these basic functions.
Metabolically, fatty acids can fuel the body through low intensity activity and at rest of course. As you adapt to a low carb diet, which can take 2-12 weeks depending on how taxed your thyroid, drenals and mitochondria is, you will be able to fuel moderate-high intensity activity with fat. As your tissues become more and more sensitive to insulin and you become "fat adapted" you will feel more energised from the fat in your diet. But extremely intense activity and endurance activity always relies on the glycolitic pathways.
Ketone tests are not a reliable way of testing how fat adapted you are. Generally, blood glucose monitors are better and the best thing is obviously how you look, perform and feel.
Do not be afraid to supplement your diet with carbohydrates if you have earned them. The needs of somebody performing a lot of intense work and endurance work is totally different to the strength athlete to the office worker. Even if that person doing the endurance work is diabetic. Doing intense exercise will temporarily improve insulin sensitivity greatly especially in the post workout period. I recommend you to supplement with some low glycemic high antioxidant berries to partially replenish glycogen stores. The insulin response from these will be exactly zero even in diabetics as it will go straight to your glycogen stores which are fully depleted. If the workout is low to moderate or strength oriented, by all means have no carbs post workout if leanness is your goal.

A lot of the protein you will be eating after this kind of work will be converted to glucose. Try to give your hormones a chance to balance out now by taking some rest days whilst continuing with the low carb approach. You will feel better and become more adapted, it's just going to take you a little bit longer to recover now. The reason you are craving carbs is simply because insulin is the antagonist to cortisol and your body wants to top off your glycogen stores. This will happen naturally by itself now providing you don't cause any more stress to your body. Next time I would encourage you to have some protein and a little bit of carbs right after very high intensity work. Stick to berries as they are high in antioxidants and low in glycemic load. If the work is moderate or low intensity, do not have any carbs. Veggies contain carbs too, make sure you have an unlimited amount of green leafy Veggies as they will also contribute to glycogen replenishment.

With this type of diet, you are eating to sustain the body, not for taste but as your taste buds adapt you will begin to like the meat and Veggies.

DO NOT use stevia as this will cause more issues than it solves.

75% of people cannot tolerate carbs according to Charles poliquin. As you become leaner you will be able to tolerate carbs better. If you are trying to get lean, have 50g-100g of low glycemic carbs right after your workouts if the workout was endurance based or very high intensity. Carb tolerance will allow you to ingest 150g-250g of carbs a day. This is usually people who are very shredded.

To summarise:
1. Fat can fuel low intensity and moderate intensity work, as you become more fat adapted it can fuel moderate-high intensity work
2. Very intense work is always glycogen dependant
3. If you are under 10% bodyfat, it's advisable to eat fruit and starchy vegetables after every workout
4. If you are over 10% bodyfat, it's advisable to eat low glycemic paleo friendly carbs after especially intense training. If it's low or moderate intensity, no carbs until you are lean
5. It takes time to adapt. Push through it will get better

Hope this helps


Offline whatsinaname

  • Private
  • *
  • Posts: 5
  • Karma: 0
    • View Profile
Re: ketosis is so slow! how long do cravings last?
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2017, 05:20:38 PM »
hey thanks F0G. lots of good information there.

Offline whatsinaname

  • Private
  • *
  • Posts: 5
  • Karma: 0
    • View Profile
Re: ketosis is so slow! how long do cravings last?
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2017, 03:25:30 PM »
So should I assume ketostix are a horrible indicator of ketosis?

I did some more reading about what fog mentioned- that active people should have a bit of carbs, and found out that there seem to be some people who do better on lower carb diets, but not no carb diets (no carb meaning basically only getting carbs from vegetable sources, so around 25 grams a day). They generally recommend eating a small amount of carbs before bed once a week or so.

This was probably a bit much, but I had a cup of white rice and 3/4 of a large granny smith apple before bed. I slept so much better. Slept better than I have all week- wasn't constantly waking up or tossing and turning. The thing is I tested my urine for ketones and it actually appear a bit darker. I am right at the color for 15 (small amount of ketones), which is the darkest I've been all week.
The only thing I can think is that I am usually extremely hydrated, and having done this one immediately after waking- and thus being a bit dehydrated- the more concentrated urine contained more ketones? I'm confused, but I think I'm going  to try upping my carbs a bit for a while and see if I can stay in ketosis. Thinking like half a sweet potato or 3/4 cup of beets or something a few times a week before bed (in conjunction with the 25ish grams I already eat)
« Last Edit: May 28, 2017, 03:29:36 PM by whatsinaname »

Offline F0G

  • Private
  • *
  • Posts: 5
  • Karma: 1
    • View Profile
Re: ketosis is so slow! how long do cravings last?
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2017, 05:57:46 PM »
So should I assume ketostix are a horrible indicator of ketosis?

I did some more reading about what fog mentioned- that active people should have a bit of carbs, and found out that there seem to be some people who do better on lower carb diets, but not no carb diets (no carb meaning basically only getting carbs from vegetable sources, so around 25 grams a day). They generally recommend eating a small amount of carbs before bed once a week or so.

This was probably a bit much, but I had a cup of white rice and 3/4 of a large granny smith apple before bed. I slept so much better. Slept better than I have all week- wasn't constantly waking up or tossing and turning. The thing is I tested my urine for ketones and it actually appear a bit darker. I am right at the color for 15 (small amount of ketones), which is the darkest I've been all week.
The only thing I can think is that I am usually extremely hydrated, and having done this one immediately after waking- and thus being a bit dehydrated- the more concentrated urine contained more ketones? I'm confused, but I think I'm going  to try upping my carbs a bit for a while and see if I can stay in ketosis. Thinking like half a sweet potato or 3/4 cup of beets or something a few times a week before bed (in conjunction with the 25ish grams I already eat)

Forget about ketostix and forget about Keto aswell. If you're eating high fat, moderate protein, low carb. You can automatically assume that your body will be producing some sort of ketone bodies for energy. Even if your ketostix showed high ketones  (they're unreliable anyway) your rational thinking mind will switch to some other marker to philosophy on and doubt. Don't try to measure things, weigh yourself, look in the mirror etc too much as people look for immediate results after only starting a diet for a few weeks and then quit. The best way to check for results and to listen to your body intuitively is to see how you look, perform and feel OVER TIME. It takes at least 21 days to notice changes. Look at skin quality, sleep quality, hair quality, fat particularly in the supra-iliac site.

The white rice is a very high glycemic carb compared to other sources. It is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream and it will definitely knock you out of ketosis. Don't be hard on yourself about that, it doesn't matter that much because ketosis is not about being in that state for a certain period of time. It is about adapting to running on ketones when there are low carbs. It's about metabolic flexibility so you are making gains even though you did knock yourself out of ketosis. If your goal is fat loss, never ever have white rice. If you are maintaining, or adding mass or just eating for general health reasons then you can have white rice once a week immediately after workouts or strenuous activity. For your carbs, if you are lean and active you HAVE to eat carbs as the tissues will be sensitive to insulin and they are very beneficial for many reasons. Charles Poliquin recommends you to be 10% bodyfat before you can start eating carbs. Not many can tolerate carbs very well, if you are not ripped, you can't handle carbs. For most of us a cyclical carb intake is optimal. Everyone who eats this way cycles their carbs in different ways. Some people eat their carbs every day. Some people only have some carbs after workouts in the form of fruits and then top up once or twice a week on sweet potatoes and rice. Always after workouts though when you are most sensitive to insulin. You have to earn your carbs. If you are above 10% bodyfat, stay away completely from starch and rice and all carbs that are not fruit and veggies. And only have a small amount of fruit with some protein immediately after a workout. Low glycemic berries will give you the most bang for your buck as they are high in antioxidants and low in fructose. If the workout is not very intense or very endurance based you may not even need any carbs. If you are lean, then you should be eating starch. Some people do very well by eating a bit of starch every day, some stick to just fruits and match their carb intake to their activity level. You have to very careful with your carbs.

I'll tell you how I have been doing this for the last year.
I do capoeira and gymnastics.
I train gymnastics for 30 mins every day and capoeira for 1 hour 30 mins every day. Some day I do 3 hours of capoeira. I am above 10% bodyfat right now so I'm only sticking to berries as my post workout carbs until I'm under 10% bodyfat. I have some berries after my gymnastics workout and a protein shake. This tops me up a little bit for my next session. After my next session if it's usual intensity I'll have another protein shake and the berries. Then I go straight back to protein and fats again for my next meals. But if it was a very intense session I'll have a small sweet potato later with my next meal. Never ever top yourself off fully. If you are very lean, you can top yourself off fully with safe carbs as you will be able to tolerate them well.

This is not the same for everyone but this is what I would recommend. This is what works best FOR ME. Total carb intake for the day at various bodyfat levels. This includes veggies.

Under 10 percent bodyfat: 150g-350g carbs
10-12 percent bodyfat: 120g-250g carbs
13-15 percent bodyfat: 90g-190g carbs
16-18 percent bodyfat: 60g-160g carbs
19-21 percent bodyfat: 30g-130g carbs

Obviously the higher ranges would be for very gruelling workouts or lots of endurance activity (for example a marathon lol) or for building mass etc

You just have to see what works for you. I definitely don't recommend carbs for breakfast though or for any other time apart for straight after workouts and the 6 hours after your workout when your tissues are sensitive to insulin.

hope this helps


Offline samjones89

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 1
  • Karma: 0
    • View Profile
Re: ketosis is so slow! how long do cravings last?
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2017, 12:00:10 AM »
I haven't had over 25 grams of carbs in 5 days and I'm now just barely producing ketones. Prior to these 5 days I had several days of highly restricted carbs in relation to my normal diet(about 50 grams a day). I know ketone strips are not the most reliable but I've been testing a few times a day for the last several days and I'm gradually getting darker and darker readings- I'm just now testing at a level ever so slightly above "small" and into "moderate" ketone production.

I also take frequent bike rides. Several of these over the last week have been 1.5 hours long, with intermittent periods of coasting and fairly intense riding. I feel absolutely horrible. I have trouble sleeping, extremely fatigued, eyes dry and burning, etc.
Are some people not biologically wired to a ketogenic diet? I actually feel like my cravings are getting worse and worse as the days go on- dying for some cookies, ice cream, and pizza.
This is miserable. The thought of any more meat, spinach, kale, asparagus, eggs, almonds, walnuts, olive oil, coconut oil, or shredded coconut disgusts me.

I guess my main question is- can I add some stevia to my foods? I know this doesn't really have sugar, but I've heard conflicting things regarding whether or not it will take one out of ketosis. I don't think I can go much longer like this. The whole thing is confusing to me because when I'd been only a few days with lowered carbs and then a couple of days with basically no carbs I was feeling pretty good. Now my cravings are worse than ever. Yesterday I only had 20 grams of net carbs. Shouldn't it be getting easier as the days go on?
I feel your pain bro :( Keto diet can be a mess. A few years ago I was on keto and it was a disaster. I was cranky all the time, nervous, anxious,my hands were shaking... Also, I had zero energy for my daily activities. The problem was that I wasn't eating enough. I felt sick to my stomach every time I had to eat. I mean cooked chicken and grilled fish every day... And I am not a fish fan. However, I started counting my nutrients with MyFitnessPal and keto calculator and I realized that I was not eating enough. needless to say I didn't lose a single pound in 4 weeks. After the whole keto fiasco I switched to carb cycling. Much more efficient in my opinion. I never looked better in my entire life. So, the bottom line is, be very careful with keto diet, count your nutrients and if you can't handle craving switch to carb cycling.

Offline RibberMaJo

  • Private
  • *
  • Posts: 17
  • Karma: 0
    • View Profile
Re: ketosis is so slow! how long do cravings last?
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2017, 02:17:35 AM »
Man, this was a very informative thread. I will keep these Ketosis information in mind. Thanks, guys!


_____________________________________________________
Paleo Diet Novice and Photographer at Petstreetmall, we're your pet supplies experts.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2017, 08:40:52 PM by RibberMaJo »

Offline Warren Dew

  • Global Moderator
  • General
  • ****
  • Posts: 5762
  • Karma: 370
    • View Profile
Re: ketosis is so slow! how long do cravings last?
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2017, 12:30:25 PM »
I missed this thread the first time around.  I've been in ketosis for the better part of the last 9 years, so I may have a different perspective.

First, regarding ketostix:  I've found that the Bayer ketostix are quite accurate and useful; granted I've only used the older style on paper strips, and not the newer style on plastic strips.  The quality control on the diet oriented keto strips seems to be weaker; I once left a strip in the cabinet out of the container overnight, and it showed a trace level in the morning even though it had never touched anything but air.  As far as I know, the diet oriented strips come only on plastic backing; I still think they're fine for small and above level measurements, though I'd be skeptical of trace level measurements.

When going into ketosis, one will go through a period of about a week of "low carb flu"; there's a whole thread on that which I believe is pinned.  This is the period when your body first tries to stay on a carb metabolism by turning protein into glucose with gluconeogenesis.  That's pretty clearly what the original poster was going through.  If you give in to the carb cravings and knock yourself out of ketosis, then try again, the whole thing will start over again, so going in and out of ketosis is probably the worst thing to do.  If you stay solidly in ketosis, the carb cravings go away after a week or so - but see below on anaerobic exercise.

Ketosis is best for aerobic endurance sports - for example, distance running - because as long as you don't go into the anaerobic range, you can just burn fats.  High effort, anaerobic activities, like weightlifting or sprinting, get extra energy from glycolysis, which uses blood glucose and in turn glycogen stores.  Glycogen stores tend to be low in ketosis, so ketosis may limit anaerobic activity.  If you're careful, you can do anaerobic exercise in ketosis, but you'll need a carefully limited amount of fruit after workouts.  Resorting to nonpaleo carbs like rice or other starches, or too much fruit, will still knock you out of ketosis.

Of course you don't need to be in ketosis to use the paleo diet.  Personally I feel best when I'm in ketosis, but nonketogenic paleo is pretty close, and still way better than nonpaleo diets.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2017, 12:32:14 PM by Warren Dew »