Author Topic: Women, ketosis, and weight loss  (Read 7080 times)

Offline Warren Dew

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Women, ketosis, and weight loss
« on: November 02, 2014, 09:37:55 AM »
I've previously observed that while men can easily lose excess weight on paleo, women have a lot more difficulty.  More recently, I've noticed that of the two or three cases of successful substantial weight loss in women - by which I mean 30 lb or more - all seemed to be operating in ketosis.  So, I theorized that the reliable way to use paleo for weight loss for women was to use ketostix and stay in ketosis.

My wife, who had previously not been in ketosis and had been having trouble losing her most recent pregnancy weight, recently changed jobs, saw her weight increase due to the temptation of a candy bowl that was kept near her new cube, and got serious about losing weight.  This gave me an opportunity to confirm my theory.

I suggested she start using the ketostix at least daily to ensure she got into ketosis, and she did.  Within the first week, she lost the expected six or seven pounds of water weight.  Since then, she has been losing a pound or two per month, though of course it is as always somewhat obscured by changes due to the monthly cycle - during one part of the cycle she loses a pound a week, and during the rest of it she stays flat.

It looks like ketosis, measured through ketostix, may be the way to go for women who really want to lose substantial amounts of weight.

Offline cavewoman123

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Re: Women, ketosis, and weight loss
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2016, 01:33:38 AM »

It looks like ketosis, measured through ketostix, may be the way to go for women who really want to lose substantial amounts of weight.

I realize it's an old post...  :-[ Warren Dew, belated congrats on your newest family addition!
I have a ketosis-related question. From Atkins and Dukan i have great experience with it, but mine included not more than 5g of carbs a day (basically eating just meat, eggs and very limited greenies) and a lot of exercize. Is ketosis possible on Paleo, if eating fruit? (Obviously not bananas, but, like, some apples...?) I am new to Paleo and to the site, sorry if it's a stupid question  :-[


Offline Hawkan

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Re: Women, ketosis, and weight loss
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2016, 09:36:24 AM »

It depends on how much fruit you take. You can be on paleo and only take small amounts of fruit and veggies if you wish, then it is a type of Atkins diet. When reading the Atkins book, his recommendations are strikingly close to Paleo.

Offline cavewoman123

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Re: Women, ketosis, and weight loss
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2016, 12:44:52 PM »

It depends on how much fruit you take. You can be on paleo and only take small amounts of fruit and veggies if you wish, then it is a type of Atkins diet. When reading the Atkins book, his recommendations are strikingly close to Paleo.

Thank you for replying, Hawkan! I am only learning about Paleo diet, but what i read so far is indeed similar to Atkins (and thus makes perfect sense to me.)
I am used to not eating fruits at all, so an apple a day and maybe half of another fruit is enough for me. I am only Day 3 on Paleo (feeling awesome!), today i didn't have any. Basically, i love the option that i can snack on it when i am away from home, and lately (for various reasons) i spend most of the time at home :)
Thanks for replying once again  :)

Offline Warren Dew

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Re: Women, ketosis, and weight loss
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2016, 08:40:00 PM »
I've found that I can stay in ketosis eating small amounts of fruit - like one apple per day, but not two, or a pound of strawberries per day.  This is more than I used to be able to eat and stay in ketosis.

I do suspect that exercise also has something to do with things.  Anaerobic exercise in particular may burn blood sugar quickly, and thus increase the tolerance for carbohydrates while remaining in ketosis.


Offline cavewoman123

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Re: Women, ketosis, and weight loss
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2016, 04:48:37 AM »
I've found that I can stay in ketosis eating small amounts of fruit - like one apple per day, but not two, or a pound of strawberries per day.  This is more than I used to be able to eat and stay in ketosis.

I do suspect that exercise also has something to do with things.  Anaerobic exercise in particular may burn blood sugar quickly, and thus increase the tolerance for carbohydrates while remaining in ketosis.

Thank you for replying, Warren Dew! First couple of weeks i ate fruit, then kicked it out all together. I started working out again (taking it slowly after the hearth attack 3 months ago  ::) ) and while i eat way more veggies than Atkins recommend, i am in fact in ketosis (i use keto strips) and have lost 4kg so far  :)

Offline cowlean

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Re: Women, ketosis, and weight loss
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2016, 08:33:42 AM »
Cavewoman, congrats on the weight loss especially considering your condition!

You can hear a lot of recommendations around the net for g of carbs to knock you out of ketosis. It seems like 50-100g is the most common recommendation, which of course you can individually evidence using ketostix.

It also appears that you can stay in ketosis by consuming your carbs with fat?

I'd be interested to know, is it good to be constantly in ketosis? i.e. for long periods at a time. Or is an intraday ketosis period more sustainable?

Offline Warren Dew

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Re: Women, ketosis, and weight loss
« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2016, 08:48:05 PM »
You can't stay in ketosis by consuming your carbs with fat unless you keep carbs low.

I've found that the amount of carbohydrate I can eat and stay in ketosis varies with the amount of anaerobic exercise I get.

It's not clear whether you can get into ketosis every day for just part of the day.  Certainly the first time you go into ketosis after taking up paleo, you have to spend several days in gluconeogenesis to transition in.  Gluconeogenesis has its problems - see the thread on "low carb flu" - so one wouldn't want to do that too often.  Some people think it's easier to get into ketosis if you do it more frequently, but I haven't seen strong evidence of that.

Staying in ketosis for months or even a year or two on end has worked well for me.

Offline cowlean

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Re: Women, ketosis, and weight loss
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2016, 07:08:47 AM »
How many g/ day does anaerobic activity affect whether you're in ketosis or not? (Looking for a bestimate here)

Linking this back to the OP, does it or do you think it differs for men and women? Is it just a sized based question?

Offline Warren Dew

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Re: Women, ketosis, and weight loss
« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2016, 08:45:48 AM »
For me, I'd say I can generally stay in ketosis on 50g/day carbohydrate, but I need a few minutes of anaerobic exercise to go to 100g/day.

I do think it differs for women.  Men seem to consume some of their blood glucose using anaerobic means even when they are operating below the aerobic limit.  Women's bodies seem more efficient, using anaerobic metabolism only when necessary, so it's more difficult for them to stay in ketosis.

With respect to weight loss, it may be that women have to not only be in ketosis, but also limit fat, to lose weight, as some data show fat to be somewhat insulinogenic for women, where it's not for men.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2016, 06:43:32 PM by Warren Dew »

Offline cowlean

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Re: Women, ketosis, and weight loss
« Reply #10 on: June 30, 2016, 01:23:37 AM »
For me, I'd say I can generally stay in ketosis on 50g/day carbohydrate, but I need a few minutes of anaerobic exercise to go to 100g/day.

Only a few minutes? That's interesting. So you could do one set of bench (for example) and expect a sizeable increase in carbs required to knock you out of ketosis?

I do think it differs for women.  Men seem to consumer some of their blood glucose using anaerobic means even when they are operating below the aerobic limit.  Women's bodies seem more efficient, using anaerobic metabolism only when necessary, so it's more difficult for them to stay in ketosis.

Bit confused here. Are you saying that:
- men use more of their blood sugar lifting weights than women, when their heart rates are the same?
- what is anaerobic metabolism?


With respect to weight loss, it may be that women have to not only be in ketosis, but also limit fat, to lose weight, as some data show fat to be somewhat insulinogenic for women, where it's not for men.

Insulinogenic?

Offline cavewoman123

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Re: Women, ketosis, and weight loss
« Reply #11 on: June 30, 2016, 02:30:08 PM »
Cavewoman, congrats on the weight loss especially considering your condition!

You can hear a lot of recommendations around the net for g of carbs to knock you out of ketosis. It seems like 50-100g is the most common recommendation, which of course you can individually evidence using ketostix.

It also appears that you can stay in ketosis by consuming your carbs with fat?

I'd be interested to know, is it good to be constantly in ketosis? i.e. for long periods at a time. Or is an intraday ketosis period more sustainable?

Thank you Cowlean!
I was in ketosis longest for 6 months (1st time when i had kept strict Atkins, long time ago) , bloodwork and all other results were great. (I had to pass full medical check up for work, and it was all good.)  :)

Offline cowlean

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Re: Women, ketosis, and weight loss
« Reply #12 on: July 01, 2016, 03:07:16 AM »
6 months - what exercise were you doing at the same time?

Offline Warren Dew

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Re: Women, ketosis, and weight loss
« Reply #13 on: July 06, 2016, 06:59:56 PM »
For me, I'd say I can generally stay in ketosis on 50g/day carbohydrate, but I need a few minutes of anaerobic exercise to go to 100g/day.
Only a few minutes? That's interesting. So you could do one set of bench (for example) and expect a sizeable increase in carbs required to knock you out of ketosis?
If weightlifting, squats would probably be better than bench presses, since squats use much more muscle mass.  And, it might take more than one set to occupy, say, ten minutes, since I wouldn't count rest time.  But yes, a noticeable increase.

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I do think it differs for women.  Men seem to consumer some of their blood glucose using anaerobic means even when they are operating below the aerobic limit.  Women's bodies seem more efficient, using anaerobic metabolism only when necessary, so it's more difficult for them to stay in ketosis.
Bit confused here. Are you saying that:
- men use more of their blood sugar lifting weights than women, when their heart rates are the same?
- what is anaerobic metabolism?
I'm saying men seem to use more of their blood sugar in aerobic exercise, when operating below the aerobic limit, because of a certain amount of glycolysis at these levels.  For women to burn off a substantial amount of blood sugar, they seem to need to operate above aerobic levels, with anaerobic exercise.

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With respect to weight loss, it may be that women have to not only be in ketosis, but also limit fat, to lose weight, as some data show fat to be somewhat insulinogenic for women, where it's not for men.
Insulinogenic?
In both men and women, carbohydrates are insulinogenic - they cause insulin secretion.  Insulin, in turn, drives nutrients into tissue - including fat tissue, where it is stored as fat.

Protein is also somewhat insulinogenic.  However, in men, fat is entirely noninsulinogenic; provided they limit carbohydrate and protein intake, men can eat arbitrarily large amounts of fat and not gain body fat.  In women, it's not so clear; women may need to limit fats as well as carbohydrates and protein to avoid weight gain.

Offline cowlean

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Re: Women, ketosis, and weight loss
« Reply #14 on: July 09, 2016, 03:38:13 AM »
Excellent post thank you :)

I understood that coffee causes insulin spikes? Is this true? How does this interact with cortisol spikes?

What are the theories for this difference between men and women for fat's insulinogenic property?