How to keep yourself out of ketosis.

1 10 2008

I wanted to talk about the mistakes I made when trying to get back into Ketosis so maybe someone who is searching for an answer can get help and so I NEVER forget the mistakes I made.

The first mistake? Nuts. I was eating several ounces of nuts per day.

The second mistake? Not enough fat, too much protein. Without a very high ratio of fat to protein/carbs, the body will go into and stay in gluconeogenesis (the conversion of protein into glucose, i.e. sugar for use in metabolic processes). I’m trying to build muscle, not have my body use it as fuel!

The third mistake? Taking glucogenic amino acids as supplements while trying to get back into ketosis. Yep, those 2 grams of L-Glutamine, 4 grams of Beta-Alanine, and 1.5 grams of L-Arginine were probably contributing factors to my inability to get into ketosis. For a info on glucogenic amino acids, see this wikipedia article.

In humans, the glucogenic amino acids are:

Amino acids which can be either glucogenic or ketogenic:

So if certain aminos are glucogenic, then some can also be ketogenic (as you may have inferred from the second list above). Here is a wikipedia entry on ketogenic amino acids.

In humans, the ketogenic amino acids are leucine and lysine,

Not a very long list, eh? This tells me also that things like whey protein (especially with added L-Glutamine) may keep you out of ketosis if you use a lot of it and you aren’t getting enough fat in your diet. You have to eat fat to burn fat.

So let’s follow this logic a bit. A lot of body builders take BCAAs (Branched Chain Amino Acid supplements). The three types of aminos that are considered BCAAs are leucine, isoleucine, and valine. So this supplement may also keep you out of ketosis, or at least hinder the transition.

Now, if you are a firm believer that you have to gobble down tons of protein to stay catabolic AND you are trying to get into ketosis, you probably want to only supplement with leucine until after you are in ketosis.

Something to think about.




8 responses

2 10 2008

I’m having a nose bleed thinking about all of that…

Glad you figured it out ;o)

2 10 2008

Now do you understand why I had all the fat in my diet?


13 10 2008
Down two more pounds. « Fatboy Muscleman

[…] Power) about a friend of his who was too skinny. His solution? Taking L-Leucine (remember from a recent post of mine, that this is one of the aminos that is ketogenic, so won’t help to drop you out of ketosis […]

16 01 2009

Thanks for that

Now I know why I wasn’t getting lean lol

16 01 2009

How would you suggest using leucine to get in to ketosis?

Do I need to take it on an empty stomach first thing in the morning?

16 01 2009

I don’t think so. I’ve read about people taking it in split doses with food or in protein shakes.

31 05 2009

I disagree – Only taking L-leucine will cause an imbalance in other amino acids, particualir L-isoleucine, and L-valine.


“Glutamine is also a powerful cell volumizer (Haussinger et al. 1993). An increase in cell volume, also called cell swelling, stimulates many anabolic pathways (synthesis of protein and glycogen) and inhibits catabolic pathways (protein degradation) (Haussinger, 1996). Glutamine is a “nitrogen shuttle” between organs, a fuel for cells of the immune system and intestines, and a precursor for nucleotide synthesis (Holecek, 2002).

Ingestion of supplemental free-form glutamine or glutamine peptides is oxidized by the intestinal tract or taken up by the liver and kidney, all of which is beneficial but supplementing with BCAA can cause new synthesis of glutamine inside skeletal muscle (Houston, 2001).

The body’s need for alanine and glutamine is increased during exercise is met by BCAA from muscle protein breakdown (Holecek, 2002). Increased muscle protein breakdown equates to muscle loss, which no athlete wants. By supplementing with BCAA, one can deliver the needed building blocks for both alanine and glutamine and spare muscle tissue.

31 05 2009

I didn’t mean to suggest to be taking just supplemental L-Leuecine in the absence of other aminos in the diet.

I should have been more clear, my opinion is to use a moderate protein/high fat diet with supplemental L-Leucine for weight loss and to encourage the body to hold onto muscle. What I do personally is to eat a low-carb diet (which has plenty of protein) with supplemental L-Leucine, no more than 10 grams per day.

I also realize that Pete’s comment suggests using L-Leucine to get into ketosis. To get into Ketosis, one must either fast or get a majority of the calories in the diet from fat (and of course limiting carbs). I’ve read that MCTs (from coconut oil, etc.) can also help speed the entry into ketosis.

Of course, there are those who believe that ketosis is an unneccesary state for weight loss.

Thanks for your comment Mac. When I get into a stage where I’m trying to add more muscle, I will go back to using Whey in combination with additional L-Leucine. Whey already has plenty of BCAA in it, but I may consider using BCAA powder when I run out of L-Leucine.

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