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Old 03-16-2004, 11:31 AM   #6
Just one bite at a time
stef's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Gloucestershire, in the sticks!
Posts: 755

S/C/G: 224/192/146

Height: 5'5"


Hi Sarah. Yep that Atkins certainly gets around. Ketosis is different from carb depletion.

It occurs after a number of days and means your body has burned a large amount of fat in response to the fact that it didn't have sufficient glucose available for energy needs. Under everyday conditions, the carbohydrates you eat are converted to glucose, which is the body's primary source of energy. Whenever your intake of carbohydrates is limited to a certain range, for a long enough period of time, you'll reach a point where your body draws on its alternate energy system, fat stores, for fuel.

Being carb depleted after a night's sleep means that your body does not have enough stored glycogen to support the work you are trying to do BUT is not deprived enough to switch to using fat STORES for fuel. So your body burns the next best/easiest thing - lean tissue, muscle, just the opposite of what you actually want to do!

Obviously there is a lot more physiology and nasty science to all of this, and even the two statements above are open to contradiction (I would willingly contradict them both in another thread and still be correct) but the fact remains that your body needs carbs to burn fat. Only in extremis can your body switch to a non carb based fat burning mode. This is probably one of the 3 basic flaws in the low carb weight loss explanation!

And even if you don't go for the scientific explanation a lot of people do feel drained and lifeless or dizzy and sick if they exercise on an empty stomach. Some people who feel no side effects say they feel better and more lively when they try to eat first. Others honestly seem to work better without!
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