Eating Low Carb But Not In Ketosis

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Why Keto And Not Low Carb – Pitfalls Of Low-carb Nutrition

Intro Update 2017: This post has been deprecated (not in line with my current thoughts. Read more on the ‘about’ page) While reading Jimmy Moore and Dr. Westman’s Keto Clarity, I started pondering on this. Most of us know that reducing carbohydrate intake (especially simple sugars) is very beneficial to one’s health, but if you are following a low-carb diet and you are not in ketosis, there may be some issues. If you consume, say, 100-150g of carbs a day, much of it will be used by the brain [1], while the remainder will be insufficient to supply for the energy demands of the rest of the cells throughout your body. In this situation, you’re not producing ketones (because of the higher carbohydrate intake) to supply for the energy demands of the brain and most of the cells. No wonder the fatigue and light-headedness you’d experience. Low-Carb vs. Keto When you eat low-carbohydrate but you do not go low enough to become ketotic, you’re still a sugar burner (and a very inefficient one) and you’re likely to fall of the wagon because you do not experience the benefits of ketosis. When you’re doing low-carb and you are not ketotic, some of your body’s cells will use f Continue reading >>

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  1. trjonas

    Hi all,
    I've been eating a ketogenic diet since March when I first read Keto Clarity by Jimmy Moore. (Prior to that time I had been eating a low-carb diet for more than a year, but not the ultra low-carb levels as in the ketogenic diet. I'm a healthy, fit 43-year-old female who is lean, but have always carried extra weight around my middle, even when I was literally at an American size 0 - which can stick out pretty badly on a lean body type - and when I started the ketogenic diet I was 5-7 pounds above my ideal body weight.)
    I followed all Jimmy's and others' recommendations, including even buying and taking Cinsulin and MCT oil, intermittent fasting, buying the blood testing meter, testing my blood first thing in the morning while fasting, etc. I already sleep well and thankfully have a fairly low-stress job so no problems there.
    Yet I could not seem to get into ketosis or lose weight for anything. My blood glucose level was also consistently higher than it was before I started the ketogenic diet. I kept dropping my carb and protein levels, dropping it more, dropping it still more, etc. Now I'm down to 18.5 carbs (total carbs, not net carbs), my protein is at the recommended amount - 1 gram per pound of lean body weight - and I have been eating what to me seems like a TON of fat. Today I was at 6% carbs, 30% protein, and 64% fat. My daily calories are way above what it recommended by various health websites (including keto websites) for my weight.
    Finally after all this trying, I'm at 0.5 ketones/blood level, but I cannot seem to get above that. ONE week I managed to get an 0.8 reading but then it fell right back down to 0.5 even though I did nothing different in terms of diet or exercise, and there it has stayed. It is extremely frustrating. I don't know how I can bring my carbs any lower. I already had to even cut out greens like spinach to get to the level I'm at now, so I'm eating no fruit and no vegetables and I know that's not a healthy long-term option.
    I take prebiotics and probiotics. I eat organic, whole foods. I eat 100% pastured butter, 100% pastured eggs, full-fat cheese, etc. I just ordered a 100% pastured meat share from a local farm so I can eat that too, as it's nearly impossible to find 100% pastured meat in grocery stores where I live. I have not been drinking alcohol (or milk) at all. I had to travel for business for three days and did everything I could to eat keto - and managed to do it even with airport food as the only option at times - including literally eating only little balls of butter for breakfast when that was literally the only item on the breakfast buffet table that wasn't full of carbs. THAT was not fun.
    The two things I will say is that for eating so many more calories than I am apparently supposed to, at least I have not GAINED any weight. (Which is pretty amazing.) And there have been times where I've been able to skip a meal without feeling hungry, though this is definitely the exception rather than the rule.

    Still, this 0.5 ketone level (and the higher blood glucose too - what in the world is with THAT while I'm eating 6% carbs) is extremely frustrating. I mean, what else does a girl have to do to get into actual levels of nutritional ketosis instead of skimming along the very bottom of the minimum? And when will I be able to eat spinach and arugula again??

  2. jmbundy

    Is there a reason you are eating so high above your calorie level?
    Most here don't track calories too much, but everyone is different, if your metabolism is messed up pretty bad or you have some hunger signaling issues this could cause a lot of problems.
    I personally would do 1 or both of the following:
    Quit stressing, quit testing and relax, stress causes all kinds of bad juju that can certainly cause these issues.
    If you are overeating because you feel hungry, I would try an extended fast, let your body get used to how being hungry feels.

    Above all KCKO

  3. trjonas

    Thank you for your recommendations! Much appreciated. I certainly don't want bad juju so I will try to stop stressing! (To answer your question, I'm eating above my calorie level because it's the only way to get my fat levels high enough to try to enter ketosis - my carb and protein levels are as low as I can get them.)

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