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Dr. Chip
Dr. Chip, Board Certified Physician
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 31166
Experience:  20 yrs. in practice, includinge surgery, general medicine, addiction medicine and pain.
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I am following a very low calorie diet - around 800 cals per

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I am following a very low calorie diet - around 800 cals per day - and I understand it is important to maintain a state of ketosis. I am confused because some sources quote a particular level of carbohydrate consumption as being key - usually 20 - 60g per day - whereas other sources make no mention of carbohydrate consumption at all and simply rely on you keeping to the VLCD. Please can you explain this and advise the best approach.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 3 years ago.
Hi--are you following a specific diet?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Yes, but not a well known one. Basically it is 5 meals/snacks, high protein, low carb, each meal/snack is around 140 cals and then I have some allowable vegetables on top.
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 3 years ago.
OK Tony. Truth be told here the main ingredient in any weight loss diet is cutting back the calories and while going into a state of ketosis mobilizes the fat from fat cells so it can be burned, without the cut in calories that alone does very little to help lose weight. I don't think less than 60 gm of carbohydrates a day is at all healthy so I'd advise you not go below that. That said, so long as you make a major attempt to cut out carbohydrates in your diet, that really should be all you need to do.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
That is interesting because I believe that Atkins (which I am not following!) recommends keeping to an average of 20g, although that is "net carbs" which may mean something different.
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 3 years ago.
I consider the Atkins diet unhealthy Tony. Way too much of a cut in carbohydrates. A simpler low carb low total calorie diet is just as effective and more healthy.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I agree. One nagging fear I had was that if I don't maintain ketosis and so burn fat, then my body will 'choose' protein I.e. Muscle as an energy source instead of the fat. Is that possible/likely?
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 3 years ago.
Not if you exercise and up the protein in your diet Tony but with a low carb diet like the one I advise you follow, you'll still have an adequate level of ketosis
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
OK, thanks, XXXXX XXXXX makes a lot of sense.
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 3 years ago.
My pleasure but be sure to let me know how it goes and remember to rate my service to you Tony
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