What Should My Ketone Level Be To Be In Ketosis?

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Tracking Blood Ketones: Behind The Scenes Data On The Ketogenic Diet

Tracking Blood Ketones: Behind the Scenes Data on the Ketogenic Diet I’ve tried a lot of diets. I first went vegetarian, then slow carb, then gluten-free, then Paleo. I even did a 28-day Chipotle diet, which is exactly as awesome as it sounds. Eventually I found the Ketogenic diet. For me, like for many people in our communities, this all started with a health concern. I was born with a heart condition. It never impacted my life, but it was there, lingering. When I was a junior in college, a few classmates and I were out enjoying late night pizza. Out of nowhere, one classmate suddenly jolted upright and fell off his stool. He died. I found out the next morning it was from a lingering heart condition, not too unlike my own. I started to think about my health a lot more after that. I read about nutrition and started exploring the confusing world of diets. As I learned more and as I became more involved in Quantified Self, I found myself wanting to quantify these diets. That’s what drew me to Keto. It’s the most measurable diet. Quick Summary of the Ketogenic Diet Keto is a high-fat, very-low-carb diet, usually with 70% of calories coming from fat. The idea is to switch your bo Continue reading >>

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Popular Questions

  1. Emacfarland

    I'm confused about what defines being in nutritional ketosis based on blood levels. The Diet Doctor website says 1.5 is considered ketosis while I've heard on Keto Talk from Doc Nally that fit and active people can be in ketosis at levels of .3 or .4 and that higher levels don't necessarily mean better. So I'm not sure what the heck I'm aiming for! If I get readings below 1.5 am I doing something wrong? I am fit and active and Doc Nally has said this can make blood ketone level readings lower because an active persons body is using the ketones more efficiently. Should I be aiming for higher levels?

  2. BillJay

    It seems that the longer someone is keto-adapted, the more their body produces just the right amount of ketones and what we measure in the blood is only what's not actually being used, therefore it seems not only possible, but likely that people are in ketosis even with lower betahydroxybutyrate (BHB) levels - the ketone in the blood that these meters measure.
    This is somewhat frustrating for me since I'd like for there to be an objective measurement of being in ketosis, but that seems to be elusive.
    Therefore, a better indication is your level of carbs since it is HIGHLY unlikely that anything over 50 carbs is in ketosis and more likely that keeping carbs under 20 grams is a safe bet. Another indication is keeping protein at moderate levels which is 1.0 to 1.5 grams per kilogram of lean body weight.
    Once the macro-nutrients are in the proper range, I think that signs of keto-adapation are more poignant and below is a post from Mark Sisson on Dr. Mercola's site that explains many of the signs of being keto-adapted.

    What Does It Mean to Be Fat Adapted?

  3. richard

    Dr Phinney invented the term so he gets to define it.
    In his book "The art and science of low carbohydrate living" he gives the range from 0.5 to 3.0 mmol/l
    But recently he mentioned that some of Dr Volek's very athletic subjects were clearly in ketosis at 0.2 mmol/l.
    My personal range is from 0.2 to 0.8 mmol/l, and I have been in ketosis for almost 3 years. Prof Tim Noakes is also normally in the same range 0.2-0.8.
    I suspect when we first start we aren't good at using them so we make too many and use too little so we end up with a lot left in our blood. After we become better adapted we end up in whatever physiological range our bodys feel best ensures our survival. And people who are trained and good fat burners may be able to get away with less because they can make it easily.
    When I fast for 3 days and then do 3 hours of exercise my ketones can go as high as 3.5. But I know people who regularly get up to 7.
    It's worth pointing out that Dr Nally has mentioned in his most recent podcast that he eats exogenous ketones 3 times a day. And he sells them.

    Personally I wouldn't be worried. I think you are doing fine.

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