FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Contents

1. What is a Low Carb Diet?
2. What is Ketosis?
3. What is Hyperinsulism?
4. What is Hypoglycaemia?
5. What is Syndrome X - Insulin Resistance?
6. What is the Glycaemic Index?
7. What is the fat-fast?
8. The weight loss has stopped what am I doing wrong?
9. Artificial Sweeteners
10.What is ECA Stack?
11.Supplements
12.Will my Cholesterol Levels Rise?
13.Do I Need To Count Calories?
14.Do I Have To Exercise?


 

What is a Low Carb Diet?

A low carb diet is the opposite to a low fat diet. To achieve a feeling off well-being and, in most cases, weight loss, it is necessary to rethink your way of eating. A low carb diet requires you to limit your intake of sugars and carbohydrates. The body needs energy to function, it will take whatever is available and convert it to glycogen if you don't eat sugars and carbs the body will metabolise the fats for its energy source. Restricted foods include sugar, bread, cereals, pasta and potatoes. You can eat all meats, fish, dairy, most vegetables and some fruits.

 

What is Ketosis?

Ketosis is a condition in which the body will turn to fat for fuel and is producing ketones as a by-product. This change in metabolism occurs when the body no longer has incoming carbs to produce glycogen and after the liver has been depleted of stored glycogen. When either stored body fat or incoming dietary fat is used as fuel it breaks down into ketones. Ketones can be used as fuel for your body or discarded via your breath or urination. It is the rise in ketone production that means you are in ketosis. Take note that although you are in ketosis this does not mean that you are only burning body fat. The released ketones may be from either body fat or dietary fat.

Ketostix Sticks.
Ketostix measure the presence of ketones in the urine. It is important to remember that the sticks only tell you the level of ketones you are excreting through your urine. Readings can vary widely due to many factors: how many ketones are used for energy needs, how well hydrated you are, how much dietary fat is being burned, and the sensitivity of the ketostix themselves. Many people have noticed that just after consuming a large amount of carbs, they still register a high level of ketones. This many be due to the body's "dumping" of all the present ketones to use the incoming carbs as fuel. Ketostix sticks can be purchased a your local Chemist, but they are often behind the counter and therefore you have to ask for them.

Side effects of ketosis
1) Bad breath - which is due to ketones being released through your breath, drinking more water will lessen this effect. Some people also report that they get a metal taste in their mouth.
2) Strong urine odour - due to the presence of ketones.
3) Light headedness, this does not occur in everyone and many who do feel this are helped by making sure they are getting enough to eat, enough water and taking potassium supplements.

How long will it take me to reach ketosis?
It is dependent upon a few factors. Since you start the production ketones after the liver has been depleted of stored glycogen, the amount of stored glycogen is the primary factor. How much glycogen your liver has stored depends on your very recent calorie intake and activity. If you have already been on a low calorie plan you may have a small amount stored. Depleting the amount of glycogen you do have is dependent upon how fast your body uses up that storage. Therefore you can hasten the depletion of you glycogen storage by being more active.


 

What is Hyperinsulism?

When you eat carbohydrates your body produces insulin which carries the sugar out of your blood stream into your cells. A person who has a hyper response produces too much insulin and has this action to the extreme. They will be left with too little sugar in the blood stream and too much stored in cells (i.e. fat). This leaves you with two problems: weight gain and hypoglycaemia. The reasons that the popular high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet doesn't work for some people is because of this response. Every time you eat carbohydrates your body produces more insulin.

 

What is Hypoglycaemia?

Hypoglycaemia is a condition when you have too little sugar in your blood to fuel your body. The results can range from mildly annoying to very scary, in extreme conditions it could cause death.

Possible Symptoms:
Confusion, inability to concentrate, irritability, sleepiness, anxiety, palpitations, shaking, claustrophobia, intense hunger, rapid heartbeat, dizziness, coldness, sweating, loss of co-ordination.

It's important to note the "intense hunger". Quite often people will find themselves very hungry 1-3 hours after eating a high-carbohydrate meal, like pasta or bread.. This is the normal reaction to eating a concentrated source of carbohydrates without much protein or fat.
Much of what people blame on their lack of will-power is simply their bodies physical reaction to the types of foods they eat. When you eat a diet high in carbohydrates your body prompts you to continue eating that way. Often dieticians and doctors prescribe frequent high-carb meals. For a Hyperinsulinism person this is terrible since the continual insulin releases just make the cycle worse and causes weight-gain. Eventually it may lead to very serious medical conditions.


 

What is Syndrome X - Insulin Resistance?

Syndrome X is a common metabolic problem. The hallmark of Syndrome X is metabolic resistance to the hormone insulin. It is associated with Type 2 Diabetes, Obesity, High Blood Pressure, Lipid Disorders and many other conditions such as Hypoglycaemia and Polycystic Ovaries. The term was first coined by a group of researchers at Stanford University to describe a cluster of symptoms, including high blood pressure, high triglycerides, decreased HDL and obesity, which tend to appear together in some individuals and increase their risk for diabetes and heart disease.
The term also has been linked with another term, insulin resistance. Insulin is the hormone responsible for getting energy, in the form of glucose into our cells. A person who is insulin-resistant has cells that respond sluggishly to the action of insulin. Following a meal, this person will have elevated glucose circulating in the blood, signalling yet more insulin to be released from the pancreas until the glucose is taken up by the cells. Experts suggest that 10 to 25 percent of the adult population may be resistant to insulin to some degree.
This condition has been treated with very positive results on low-carbohydrate diets.

 

 

What is the Glycaemic Index?

The glycaemic index (GI) is a way of ranking individual foods according to the effect they have on blood glucose levels. Carbohydrate foods with a low GI cause a slow, steady rise in blood glucose levels. High GI foods cause blood glucose levels to rise quickly. The GI is related to how quickly the food is digested
The speed at which mixed foods are digested depends on the amount of fat and protein present, as well as the amount of fibre. If a low GI food is eaten at the same time as a high GI food, the overall effect on blood glucose level will be a combination of the individual effects. In real terms, this means that, for example, the sharp rise in blood glucose caused by eating sweets can be blunted by eating them at the end of a meal.
Cooking foods can raise the GI because it makes them easier to digest. Processing and refining of starchy foods also tends to make them more digestible and raises the GI. Therefore processed foods and highly refined starches tend to raise the blood glucose level quickly and to a greater extent. High-fibre and natural wholefoods (wholegrain or whole-wheat varieties) take longer to digest and therefore have a lower GI ranking. These foods raise the blood glucose level slowly and are the preferred choice for people with diabetes.

 

What is the fat-fast?

You may hear people talking about the fat-fast, it is a difficult and dramatic thing to do. Think twice before doing this, it takes a big toll on your energy levels. It is designed for the hard core metabolically resistant people. It is not supposed to help you lose fat fast, but rather to push your metabolism to go into ketosis (the fat burning mode). It is a 1000-calorie a day, 90% fat diet. You divide the food into small portions, and have them at different times of the day.

Who should do fat fast?
People who are metabolically resistant, meaning people who can't lose weight on the Atkins Induction diet, or a low-fat diet of under 900 calories, and those who don't even get into a ketosis/lipolysis metabolism under any circumstances.

When should I do Fat Fast?
If you are losing weight you shouldn't feel the need to do the fat fast, however if you have just finished the Atkins Induction period and have lost little or no weight, it is a good idea to try Fat Fast for two days right after the Induction diet. It is not recommended to continue for over a week because it has not been tested for long term use. It should be interspersed with the Induction diet or some other strict level of the Atkins diet. The strategy should be to lose on the Fat Fast and to use the regular Atkins diet to maintain that loss.


The weight loss has stopped what am I doing wrong?

Everyone experiences a slowing down or stopping of weight loss at some point in their diet. Listed below are a few things that may help you understand why and what you can do to get moving again.

Water.
Water is essential to weight loss for those who eat low-carb. The minimum consumed in a day should be

Weight-----------------Litres
140lbs-----------------2.5
160lbs-----------------3.0
180lbs-----------------3.0
200lbs-----------------3.5
220lbs-----------------3.5
240lbs-----------------4.0
260lbs-----------------4.5
280lbs-----------------4.5
300lbs-----------------5.0
320lbs-----------------5.5
340lbs-----------------5.5
360lbs-----------------6.0
380lbs-----------------6.5
400lbs-----------------6.5

High levels of ketones in the blood stream can lead to a reduction in ketone production, therefore being well hydrated could aid in keeping the levels low and ketone production ongoing. Consuming enough water can have many other positive side effects: aids your kidneys with the processing of protein, reduces the retention of water, helps with preventing constipation, and reduces the levels of ketones released by your breath, which in-turn will reduce breath odour.

Citric acid.
Citric acid, a common ingredient in diet drinks, can stall weight loss for some lowcarbers. If you are sensitive to this ingredient it can slow you down.

Caffeine.
Many lowcarbers drink caffeine and still lose weight. You may want to wean yourself off caffeine to see if it helps. In Atkins' book, The New Diet Revolution, it says that you aren't allowed caffeine because it triggers an insulin response, but that information has since been found to be incorrect. The insulin response that Atkins saw in his patients was more likely due to citric acid. Do keep in mind that one cup of coffee can have roughly .6g of carbs, so make sure to add those into your daily carb allowance.

Dairy
Dairy can be a problem for some people. If you experience slow or stalled weight loss try reducing or eliminating dairy, especially cheese. Some have found better results by cutting all dairy. Although cheese is allowed on lowcarb plans it does seem to effect weight loss if consumed in high quantities.

Nitrites
Nitrites - found in processed meats like hot dogs and bacon can cause problems for some, you may want to monitor their effect.

Alcohol
This is an area that seems to vary a great deal between individuals. While it is true that many alcohol products contain few carbs, alcohol itself is a fuel source. The body will choose to burn alcohol before any other source of fuel. However, many people have reported that they are able to consume moderate amounts of alcohol while on low-carb without having any problems. As most people are already aware, alcohol has a depressant effect which lowers inhibitions, including those that could stop you from overeating and making poor food choices.

Menstrual Cycle
Many women find that their progress is affected by their menstrual cycle. After a few months, you will have an idea of how your cycle affects weight loss, and you will be able to take it into account when measuring your losses. People have noted the following interactions between low carb eating and the menstrual cycle in women include: heightened carb cravings in the second half of the cycle, ketosis levels dropping or disappearing altogether, differences in the amount and severity of cramps, changes in the heaviness and timing of the cycle. Additionally it has been noted that a low-carb diet is very helpful to women with PCOS.

Protein
Although getting adequate protein is of vital importance on a low-carb plan, taking in too much protein can also be a problem. You will need enough dietary protein to avoid any muscle loss and to produce some necessary glucose. Protein is converted to glucose at a rate of roughly 58%. Therefore, too much protein can produce too much glucose. If you are having problems with staying in ketosis (or getting into ketosis), you may need to track your intake of protein and then make adjustments. It is highly recommended that you don't restrict your intake of protein in the initial adaptation stage of starting a low-carb plan.

Glycerine
One of the recurring issues of stalls and labelling discrepancies regards many of the low-carb protein bars currently on the market. While the true carb count of the bars is low, most of these bars contain glycerine. Although glycerine is not a carb, it can be metabolised like a carb by some individuals. Additionally, it can cause muscle cells to hold water, hence its use by some athletes.

Prescribed Medicines
There are a number of medicines that can interfere with weight loss, the worst offenders are the psychotropic drugs; phenothiazines, tranquillisers, anti-depressants, etc. The next are hormones such as oestrogen, prednisolone and other steroids. Many anti-arthritic drugs especially NSAIDS, diuretics and to a lesser degree other cardiovascular medications. You cannot stop these medications! Atkins suggests that you can gradually replace the drug with diet and suitable supplements. Do not stop medications without consulting your Doctor!!!

Hormonal Balance
A significant percentage of people, who have difficulty losing weight, have an under-active thyroid. The typical symptoms are; mental and physical slowness, lethargy, memory loss, heavy periods, a hoarse voice, increased weight and intolerance of the cold. The eyes may become swollen, the skin dry, and the hair ‘lifeless’. Constipation is also common. You can ask your doctor for a thyroid function test if you think you may have this condition.

For more information: http://www.bupa.co.uk/health_information/html/organ/thyroid.html

 


Artificial Sweeteners

The USA low carb sites mention the use of Stevia, this product is not available in the UK. You may be able to buy it on line at some of the low carb sites, but be warned if the site is USA based you might have your goods confiscated by Customs & Excise. Here in the UK the popular sweeteners are Splenda (sucralose), Hermesetas (saccharine) and Canderel (Aspartame).Some people have found that they have adverse reactions and/or allergies to Aspartame which can cause problems such as: headaches and dizziness.

To read more about the different available sweeteners check out the following sites:

http://www.holisticmed.com/aspartame/

http://www.foodstandards.gov.uk/multimedia/webpage/stevia

http://www.dorway.com/badnews.html

http://www.holisticmed.com/splenda/


What is ECA Stack?

ECA Stack is a combination of ephedrine, caffeine, and aspirin given in a specific ratio to increase fat loss. The ECA Stack may cause side effects and should never be taken by someone with high blood pressure.

Dosages: 200 mg Caffeine, 20-25 mg Ephedrine hydrochloride (not pseudoephedrine), 81 mg Aspirin (or substitute 1/2 adult aspirin). Taken once or twice a day to start (3-5 days), 3 times a day thereafter, the Stack seems to be most effective when taken 30 minutes before working out or 30-45 minutes before meals. You may opt not to increase frequency to three times a day if two doses or less give desired results. Under no circumstances should one increase dosing to more than 3 times a day. Some folks elect to Stack for 5 days and cycle off two days while others Stack for 2 days and cycle off one day.
The addition of B vitamins may help with any feelings of short- temperedness that occur as a result of Stacking. Vitamin C can also be used to help with the bruising that can occur while dieting and Stacking.

WARNING: PLEASE CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR. Not everyone should Stack with ECA. Read and heed the labels on the bottles of the above medications. If you experience excessive nervousness or anxiety while Stacking discontinue use immediately.

More information:

http://www.clinnix.co.uk/news/archive/081100/story2.htm

http://www.theministryoffitness.com/mof/library/faq/faq2.htm

 


Supplements

Multiple Vitamins.
You need a good Multivitamin with Minerals. There are plenty to choose from in chemists, herbal shops and on-line.

Potassium.
If you don't have enough potassium you can experience any or all of the following: headaches, muscle cramps and feeling groggy, especially in the early stages of the diet when the strong diuretic effect is more likely to flush potassium from your system. You can increase your intake with Lo-Salt which has 2/3 potassium & 1/3 sodium.

WARNING: Some medications, most notably many blood pressure medicines, and medical conditions should NOT be combined with increased potassium intake. Please consult your Doctor before adding any potassium to your diet.

Sodium.
Many people have noted they need to increase their sodium intake due to sodium loss during exercise or since many are no longer eating processed foods. A simple trick if you're feeling light headed and believe you're sodium deficient: Take a glass of cold water, add 1/2 teaspoon Lo-Salt and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice

Vitamin B, C, E, Zinc and Calcium Magnesium.
You usually get these in a good multi-vit and mineral tablet. Most tablets add these as extra, e.g.. Bio Selenium has added Zinc, Vitamins A, E, C, and B6.

Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs)
Many who follow low-carb plans find that taking in extra Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) can helpful on many fronts. It will bring up your daily calorie intake and some believe it can be helpful in lowering cholesterol. You can get EFA's from many different sources: ground flaxseeds, encapsulated oils, and the different oils in their pure form. You can chose whatever form suits your taste.

Selenium.
Activates Thyroid hormones

L-Glutamine
(500-1000 mg) before meals. For sugar cravings. This supplement interferes with ketosis in some individuals.

Lecithin granules, Pantethine.
For help in reducing cholesterol.


 

Will my Cholesterol Levels Rise?

The best way to reduce your concern about your levels and low-carb eating is to get your levels checked before you start and periodically thereafter. Many people have noted that in the first three months their levels elevated, but dropped after that time period. Cholesterol is made by the liver, it is necessary in building and maintaining cells, every cell in your body needs it. Cholesterol becomes a problem only when it forms into globs in the blood too large to pass through the arterial walls. That's when it cakes onto the artery walls and causes arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). The mechanism the body normally uses to keep the cholesterol broken up into small particles is to keep the bloodstream supplied with an adequate quantity of the emulsifying agent lecithin. The body manufactures lecithin in the liver, provided that the liver is healthy and all the needed ingredients are present. Some of those ingredients come from essential fatty acids. Rather ironically, egg yolks are one of the better sources of the nutrients needed to keep your liver making plenty of lecithin, including a substantial amount of lecithin itself. Since the low-carb diet encourages you to eat both vegetable oils (and other fats) and eggs, it tends to keep you well supplied with the right nutrients, and to help you keep your cholesterol level low.

 

 

Do I Need To Count Calories?

Too many calories:
Atkins (The New Diet Revolution) and Eades (Protein Power) concede that calories count. Atkins says that "you should eat adequately, not in excess."

Too few calories:
One should be careful not to eat too few calories. A large calorie deficit will cause what some call "starvation mode". In this mode the body's metabolism has been lowered thereby your actual calorie needs are lowered and you will not see progress even though you are in taking less calories.
The generally recommended calculation is 10 - 12 calories x current weight. Depending on your activity level this range could need adjustments. If you've tried this formula for a period of time (many weeks) and have not seen any progress, you might want to try slowly adjusting your calories either up or down over a period of weeks. But be very careful. Cutting your calories too far can result in losing Lean Body Mass (LBM) and slowing down your metabolism.

 

 
Do I Have To Exercise?

Many people have reported weight loss on low-carb without adding any form of exercise to their plan. Many of the authors of low-carb plans suggest adding exercise to their eating plans to get better results. Additionally, there are benefits to regular exercise that are not directly related to its effect on the scale's reading. Exercise can be helpful in many ways. It can help deplete your liver's glycogen storage and hasten ketosis, likewise it can help you get back into ketosis after taking in excessive carbs. It can help you keep lean body mass (LBM) and some have reported an increase in LBM while following low-carb and strength training. It can help strengthen your bones. It can help increase your bodies metabolism (mostly by increasing your LBM). It can help your cardiovascular system. It can help burn off your body fat. And last but not least, it can be helpful in reducing stress and improving your overall mood.
Due to low-carb being somewhat dehydrating, be sure to take in enough fluids. Start slowly or moderately doing whatever exercise suits you. As with all suggestions given within this FAQ, if would be both safe and wise to consult your doctor before starting any exercise plan.

 

 


Disclaimer: The information contained in this posting is in no way guaranteed. The material on this website is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Do not use the information as a substitute for medical care or treatment by a Doctor. This web site is not intended to provide or confirm a diagnosis nor is any claim made as to therapeutic efficacy. Any products mentioned on this site are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Anyone taking medication is advised to consult their doctor, especially regarding possible interactions of their medicines with supplements, vitamins or anything else mentioned on this site.

 

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