Ketosis And Muscle Wasting

edited February 2015 in General Discussion

Hey guys, so I've been experimenting a lot with nutritional ketosis while dealing with sibo and candida and while it definitely helps with the brain fog, bloating, and fatigue I've come to experience some negatives such as muscle wasting, stressed adrenals, dehydration etc. I've tried cyclical ketosis and it didn't really work for me. I felt like it took me three days to transition back into ketosis after a refeed during which time I didn't feel too great, then I was out the of the fog for a few days while in keto and then back into the fog when I did a refeed and all my ibs symptoms would come back. It seemed like I was putting unnecessary strain on my body by shifting back and forth but this might just be because I'm dealing with so many digestive/autoimmune issues already...I don't know. Anyway I really like the feeling of being in ketosis and for a while I was convinced that this was the ideal state to be in. However, now I'm starting to wonder if it might be dangerous to be in ketosis, even cyclical ketosis over a long period of time. 


From what I've read and understand ketosis is the state in which you burn fat for fuel. The process is triggered when your body runs out of glycogen stores. I've experienced some muscle wasting when being in prolonged states of ketosis and I'm at my ideal body weight with hardly any muscle to lose so this worries me. It seems like ketosis is the body's second line of defense once glycogen stores run out and we aren't really meant to be in ketosis all the time. By forcing the body into ketosis we a purposely removing that first protective layer so the body has to burn fat and once fat is gone it starts to burn muscle. Does the body really discriminate as to where that muscle is coming from? If I don't get enough fat while I'm in ketosis will my body take muscle from my heart of other major organs? When people experience muscle wasting what does that look like on the inside? According to webmd "As the body loses muscle mass, it loses heart muscle at a preferential rate."


Could you possibly be damaging/weakening your heart muscle or other major organs by trying to maintain nutritional ketosis part of the time or all of the time? Do you think ketosis is safe? Is it a state we should even be trying to achieve at all apart from what happens naturally when we go to sleep or fast?


  • fixerforhirefixerforhire Mr. Not Sure.

    I think the ability and practice of using fat and energy stored directly from carbohydrate intake is important and vital.

    The body should be able to switch between the two, without having to work or traverse into it over a great deal of time.

    The particulars of what goes on is beyond my ability to really understand.

    maintaining a ketogenic diet in the manner you describe might not be a good idea in the long run. 


    check out


    "muscling your metabolism"

    see: Resting metabolic rate & Resting Quotient

    " The first, RMR,  is a short term measure of a person fasted at rest and that measurement (typically about 15 minutes) is projected over the next 24 hour period as an estimate  of total energy should be used if no additional activity occurs.  It’s in a sense a minimum, or floor measurement and your total expenditure will likely be higher over the day. RQ (respiratory quotient) is a breath by breath analysis during the period measured of the % Fat and % Carbohydrate being utilized.  It tells us how much of each fuel is being used. Like RMR, RQ is EXTREMELY sensitive to activity and is constantly changing to accomodate the body’s fuel needs."


    now how cool would it be to strap yourself into one of those!?


    measureable ketosis via ketostix is a heavy hammer to swing. it yields great/fast benefits for some.

    but the concept of you are either burning fat or carbs and the time period in between is an arduous process of draining your glycogen and keeping it drained by abstaining from carbohydrates.

    that technique is a sledgehammer. It definitely minimizes variables that may be out of your control, some metabolic process in your body that is mitigating or decreasing your ability to burn fat in some what parity with dietary carb intake.


    I'm not as tech as a lot of people on these boards, my general grasp of it might be wrong.

    and... I don't know why everything is heavy hammers and sledge hammers with me lately.

  • dazdaz today is a good day ✭✭✭
    edited February 2015
    i mostly agree with what you say Chedd,

    this bit is wrong tho (or badly written); " the body has to burn fat and once fat is gone it starts to burn muscle."

    Once you get below a certain body fat level, you will be dead. Corpses of people who died of starvation still have body fat.

    Once glycogen stores are depleted, the body still needs glucose (even when 'in ketosis'). If glucose is not available from diet or glycogen stores, then it will be made via Gluconeogenesis (GNG). To achieve this protein is required, more specifically glucogenic amino acids*.

    ...So if these amino acids are not available from diet when required, they will be catabolised from protein sources in the body.

    *pyruvate, lactate & glycerol can also be used as 'sources' for GNG, but this 'sort of' require some of the glucogenic amino acids as well.

    to eliminate a whole macronutrient is rather extreme imo (which ever macro it is). i see keto diets as therapeutic diets for certain ailments/conditions.

    i don't know of any peoples who naturally live off a keto diet. even the traditional Inuit diet, which you may think could be a keto diet, is not (#1 #2).

    fake it till you make it

  • fixerforhirefixerforhire Mr. Not Sure.

    i don't know of any peoples who naturally live off a keto diet. even the traditional Inuit diet, which you may think could be a keto diet, is not (#1 #2).

    the glycogen in meat! holy cow. mind is blown.

  • DManDMan Master of Arts ✭✭✭


    1. You do not necessarily loose muscle if you eat enough protein and plenty of fat!


    2. your adrenals get exhausted if you eat too few calories. EAT LOTS OF FAT and they also need enough amino acids and electrolytes!


    2. Your body can produce glycogen on it's own through the liver. Called Gluconeogenesis or something like that...


    Do not work out too hard... Look at Stephanie Keto Persons videos on youtube for more details.....


    It seems to work.

    May you be well, may you be happy, may you be healthy, may you be loved.

    How much to eat:
    advanced | How to train: bulletproof training | HRV: HRV FOR TRAINING HRV BASICS What Affects HRV | Brain  & Memory dual n back training advanced training



  • RekaReka ✭✭✭
    edited February 2015

    I'd argue that adrenals need carbs as well, not just calories. Maybe men can tolerate a (cyclical) ketogenic diet better, some people here seem to thrive on it, but as a female I'm glad I stopped it because the initial short term bliss wasn't worth the exhaustion and fat gain that followed a few months later.

    It doesn't get easier... It's you who gets better.


    Is your social worker in that horse?


    Success has a price, not a secret.

  • DManDMan Master of Arts ✭✭✭
    edited February 2015

    Stephanie Keto Person and is a woman and full time keto.


    Nora whatsherename is full time keto and was on the bulletproof podcast and had an argument with Dave about that topic.



    Terry Wahls is full time keto.


    My doctor sent me to a website that also described carbs as bad.


    Jack Kruse also says carbs might make you feel better on the surface but it does not solve the underlying problem...


    I for example have something like adrenal fatigue and I totally know what you are saying Reka. But I think there are a bunch of people who do well on full time keto and I think you are for example someone who does heavy lifting and stuff like that. I feel like crap the next day after training (EDIT: without refeed) but I do intense training on these days.... And there are plenty of tips that they talk about on how to fix your adrenals in order to keto adapt! For example Stephanie Person has 5 gramms of glucose every 2 hours. does no cardio ond only medium intensity training... and of course you need to fix your mind...... The more I read the more I seem to think that there are ways to stay on keto forever without ending up in adrenal fatigue. If that's perfectly healthy or normal I don't know but in order to treat disease I think it might be worth a try.


    EDIT: And for getting into ketosis quickly. try Brain Octane Oil. It works within minutes...

    May you be well, may you be happy, may you be healthy, may you be loved.

    How much to eat:
    advanced | How to train: bulletproof training | HRV: HRV FOR TRAINING HRV BASICS What Affects HRV | Brain  & Memory dual n back training advanced training



  • I was very low carb for a while and felt great but started loosing my overall energy levels. I added carbs back in up to 150g per day and I feel A LOT better. Carbs are not going to kill you, its the REFINED and PROCESSED things that you should stay away from. White rice, potatoes, is not dangerous and I still feel 100 percent bulletproof and feel better then I did when I was low carb. I actually dropped my fat intake down a bit and evenly balance my calorie consumption between fat carbs and protein seems to work the best.

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