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Old 03-02-2011, 12:32 AM   #1
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Default Low Carbs and Low Energy

I was asked why low carbs have a tendency to make folks have low energy.

Simple answer...they aren't eating enough fat. Most likely, they are severely undereating fat.

Here's an article that can explain it better:

Why Low-Carb Diets Must Be High-Fat

Quote:
The case for getting energy from fat and ketones

When most people think of eating a low-carb diet, they tend to think of it as being a protein-based one. This is false. All traditional carnivorous diets, whether eaten by animals or humans, are more fat than protein with a ratio of about eighty percent of calories from fat and twenty percent of calories from protein. Similarly, the main fuel produced by a modern low-carb diet should also be fatty acids derived from dietary fat and body fat. We find in practice that free fatty acids are higher in the bloodstream on a low-carb diet compared with a conventional diet.[vii] [viii]

But fats also produce an important secondary fuel: 'ketone bodies'. Ketones were first discovered in the urine of diabetic patients in the mid-19th century; for almost fifty years thereafter, they were thought to be abnormal and undesirable by-products of incomplete fat oxidation. In the early 20th century, however, they were recognised as normal circulating metabolites produced by liver and readily utilised by body tissues. Ketones are an important substitute for glucose. During prolonged periods of starvation, fatty acids are made from the breakdown of stored triglycerides in body fat.[ix] On a low-carb diet, the fatty acids are derived from dietary fat, or body fat if the diet does not supply enough. Free fatty acids are converted to ketones by the liver. They then provide energy to all cells with mitochondria. Within a cell, ketones are used to generate ATP. And where glucose needs the intervention of bacteria, ketones can be used directly. Reduction of carbohydrate intake stimulates the synthesis of ketones from body fat.[x] This is one reason why reducing carbs is important. Another is that reducing carbohydrate and protein intake also leads to a lower insulin level in the blood. This, in turn, reduces the risks associated with insulin resistance and the Metabolic Syndrome.

Ketone formation and a shift to using more fatty acids also reduces the body's overall need for glucose. Even during high-energy demand from exercise, a low-carb diet has what are called 'glucoprotective' effects. What this all means is that ketosis arising from a low-carb diet is capable of accommodating a wide range of metabolic demands to sustain body functions and health while not using, and thus sparing, protein from lean muscle tissue. Ketones are also the preferred energy source for highly active tissues such as heart and muscle.[xi]

All this means that more glucose is available to the brain and other essential glucose-dependent tissues.
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Old 03-02-2011, 04:24 AM   #2
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Its nutrition 101, Calories are units/measurements of energy sources in foods for to fuel the body. The big 3 Proteins, Carbohydrates, & Fats is where the body gets fuel.

Protein as fuel is bad since it would be Catabolic since Protein is used to keep muscles functioning, so you only have 2 sources of fuel for energy left. If you reduce one, you must balance out the other, its simple science.
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Old 03-02-2011, 05:05 AM   #3
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I had this very same issue in the past with low Carb diets (High Protein, Low Carb and Low Fat), crashing hard. Then here in the last few weeks I began consuming one portion of healthy fat with each meal (up to six a day) and I now feel great. I no longer have the uncontrollable cravings and I have more than enough energy to get through my day and have a vigorous training session as well.

-High Protein, Moderate Fat and Loowww Carbohydrates.
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Old 03-02-2011, 07:01 AM   #4
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I've been doing really low carbs for 3 weeks now (30g) and I've never felt better. My energy is actually better than when I eat carbs. I make sure to get plenty of fats in though as well.
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Old 03-02-2011, 08:04 AM   #5
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Many people fear fat to the point where when they go low carb they are hesitant to eat more fats than they did while eating with their normal diet. A 2500 calories, low carb diet would look something like:

175 g protein
25 g carbs
189 g fat

That's nearly 70% fat.

You could certainly eat a little more protein, but that still wouldn't drop fats under 60%.
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Old 03-02-2011, 08:07 AM   #6
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Fat is the new Carb!

I explained it to my Fit For the King folks kinda like this. You are wanting to start a bon fire. Your choices for fire in the firepit are Oak logs (Carbs), Pine Logs (Fats) and Coal (Protein). The oak is the natural first choice, it burn clean, burns long and lights fairly easily. The pine is not your first choice but will work if there is no oak. It burns fast, smokes a lot and needs to be replaced more. The coal will burn, but takes more energy to start and to keep burning. It produces great heat, but is harder to keep going. We would prefer to use the oak, but will use the pine if we have to, it just takes more work. Our body prefers to use carbs for energy but will use fat if carbs are not available. Fats are not as efficient, but they can and do get the job done. If neither are available, the body will use proteins, taking them from the hopper, thus reducing the reserve.

A stupid illustration, but it helped my folks understand a little more clearly how the body uses the macros.
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Old 03-02-2011, 08:09 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BendtheBar View Post
Many people fear fat to the point where when they go low carb they are hesitant to eat more fats than they did while eating with their normal diet. A 2500 calories, low carb diet would look something like:

175 g protein
25 g carbs
189 g fat

That's nearly 70% fat.

You could certainly eat a little more protein, but that still wouldn't drop fats under 60%.
Here is a shocker to most folks. I started this journey to bring my cholesterol down. I did so in 12 weeks eating super low carb and high fat/protein.
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Old 03-02-2011, 08:25 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bamazav View Post
Here is a shocker to most folks. I started this journey to bring my cholesterol down. I did so in 12 weeks eating super low carb and high fat/protein.
Not a shocker to me.

Have you seen the documentary Fat Head, or read the book Good Calories, Bad Calories?

The guy in the documentary ended up eating things like fried cheese, veggies in heavy cream, etc., and low carbs and his numbers jumped down.

The movie also mentions how carbs inflame the arteries and cause all sorts of health problems that are normally associated with fats.
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Old 03-02-2011, 08:37 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BendtheBar View Post
Not a shocker to me.

Have you seen the documentary Fat Head, or read the book Good Calories, Bad Calories?

The guy in the documentary ended up eating things like fried cheese, veggies in heavy cream, etc., and low carbs and his numbers jumped down.

The movie also mentions how carbs inflame the arteries and cause all sorts of health problems that are normally associated with fats.
Hadn't seen the documentary or read the book, though I want to. I will have to find the article, but there are some published medical reports showing that it is actually carbs that contribute the most to cholesterol build up not fats.
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Old 03-02-2011, 08:38 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bamazav View Post
Hadn't seen the documentary or read the book, though I want to. I will have to find the article, but there are some published medical reports showing that it is actually carbs that contribute the most to cholesterol build up not fats.
The book and documentary talk about the studies quite a bit, and the LACK of studies backing this nonsense that "fat gives you heart disease and high cholesterol" and all that.
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