Why Am I Getting Low Ketone Readings On A Ketogenic Diet?
75 Comments Even having finished and printed The Keto Reset, the quest for deeper understanding continues. I keep researching, thinking, revisiting, and discussing the science and practice of ketosis. My writing partner, Brad Kearns, and I maintain a running dialogue on all things keto. The latest conversation revolved around two very common questions or “problems” that keep coming up in the ketogenic community. Why do some people on a keto diet blow high numbers of ketones while others eating the same way blow low numbers? and this one… Is ketosis glycogen-sparing or glycogen-inhibiting? I won’t offer definitive answers fit to etch into stone. I will offer my exploration of the research, some educated speculation, and actionable advice you can ruminate on. And by all means get back to me with your take on the questions and my explorations, please. Dialogue is essential to understanding. Why do some people on ketogenic diets produce low ketone readings when they test? One theory is that some keto-adapted people are so adapted to producing and burning ketones that they don’t leave any extra to spill into the urine and breath. They make only as many as they can use and their cells gobble up almost every ketone they produce. Under this argument, low ketone numbers on a ketogenic diet are a reliable sign of full ketone adaptation. This sounds plausible, but I haven’t seen any empirical evidence that it’s the case. Another theory is that the keto-adapted have built so much fat-burning metabolic machinery in their muscles that they can burn free fatty acids directly and don’t require much additional fuel from ketones. They make enough ketones to fuel the brain, since our brain can’t run on fatty acids directly, but your muscles no longer require as many. Man Continue reading >>
Why You Need To Stop Worrying About The Color Of Your Ketostix
Yeah, I know you like to use them, but there are so many misconceptions about what they are telling you, that I need to intervene and make sure you get it. But before I go there, let me urge you to just buy The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living, and read pages 164-165. Phinney and Volek have the best description of this that has probably ever been written, and you should really just read it from them. If I could copy these pages verbatim and paste it here, I would. Seriously, it’s only a few bucks and it’s quite literally the book you want to own if you’re interested in low carb ketogenic diets. OK, while you wait for your book to arrive, let’s dig in… What ketostix measure First off, we need to understand what ketostix actually measure, and more importantly, what they don’t. Generally speaking, ketostix measure excess ketones in your urine. They are considered excess, because they are removed from your serum and shunted to your urine by your kidneys. Their caloric content is thereby wasted. Of the three types of ketones (acetate, acetoacetate, and beta-hydroxybutyrate) produced by your body, ketostix only measure acetoacetate. This is extremely important to understand, because it turns out that your body produces different quantities of these different types of ketones depending on how long you’ve been in ketosis. If you’ve been in ketosis for a while, you’re going to see a reduction in the “intensity” of what you register on your ketostix for two reasons: A change in the relative volume of the ketones produced/present in your body A reduction in the volume of ketones in your urine as your kidneys reduce the amount they secrete Both of these are covered below. Changes in the types of ketones you produce When you first start your ketogenic Continue reading >>
7 Tips To Get Into Ketosis
Ketosis is a normal metabolic process that provides several health benefits. During ketosis, your body converts fat into compounds known as ketones and begins using them as its main source of energy. Studies have found that diets that promote ketosis are highly beneficial for weight loss, due in part to their appetite-suppressing effects (1, 2). Emerging research suggests that ketosis may also be helpful for type 2 diabetes and neurological disorders, among other conditions (3, 4). That being said, achieving a state of ketosis can take some work and planning. It's not just as simple as cutting carbs. Here are 7 effective tips to get into ketosis. Eating a very low-carb diet is by far the most important factor in achieving ketosis. Normally, your cells use glucose, or sugar, as their main source of fuel. However, most of your cells can also use other fuel sources. This includes fatty acids, as well as ketones, which are also known as ketone bodies. Your body stores glucose in your liver and muscles in the form of glycogen. When carb intake is very low, glycogen stores are reduced and levels of the hormone insulin decline. This allows fatty acids to be released from fat stores in your body. Your liver converts some of these fatty acids into the ketone bodies acetone, acetoacetate and beta-hydroxybutyrate. These ketones can be used as fuel by portions of the brain (5, 6). The level of carb restriction needed to induce ketosis is somewhat individualized. Some people need to limit net carbs (total carbs minus fiber) to 20 grams per day, while others can achieve ketosis while eating twice this amount or more. For this reason, the Atkins diet specifies that carbs be restricted to 20 or fewer grams per day for two weeks to guarantee that ketosis is achieved. After this point, s Continue reading >>
Two Weeks Of Keto Eating — What You Need To Know.
Two weeks of Keto eating — what you need to know. Almost two weeks ago I wrote this — the start of my journey into a strict and monitored 90 day (minimum) ketogenic diet. I also promised regular and public updates. I’ve been semi-true to that goal — I’ve been doing regular updates over on twitter and I’ve even made my measurements spreadsheet public. What I haven’t done is blog; because blogging is hard and I really haven’t felt like doing it for a few weeks. Weight And Fat As it stands right now after 12 days, Ive dropped 3.3 Kg & 0.3% of fat — although at this stage since i’m using a connected scale to measure you have to assume a 2% margin of error — lets talk again in 2 additional weeks. Let’s be clear — I’m aware not all of that weight is real, some of it will be ‘water weight’ — the body using its carb stores and dumping water as that process happens. If you look at my spreadsheet, that clearly explains the initial rapid 2KG drop; but the next 1.3 seems genuine. What’s also interesting is that my initial measurements have improved; at the 1-week mark this could be down to bloating, so I can’t wait to compare to this coming Mondays when we should see a more realistic change. I wanted to get the weight and measurements out of the way first — because that’s actually the least interesting part for me. If you read my initial article you’ll understand that for me, this is more about a long term lifestyle change than short term weight/fat loss — although they are of-course related. Sleep — Quality and Duration My spreadsheet suggests my quality of sleep remains unchanged, both the duration and quality. The way I ‘feel’ doesn’t agree, so for the remainder of the 90-day period I’m going to focus a LOT more on the leng Continue reading >>
7 Signs You Might Be In Ketosis When Doing The Ketogenic Diet
One of the main goals of starting the ketogenic diet is to get your body into a metabolic state known as ketosis. Note: If you don’t know what the ketogenic is all about then check out the Ketogenic Diet: Beginner’s Guide to Keto and Weight Loss. This is when your body starts to produce a lot of ketones to supply energy for your body. Why is this good? Because it means your body has converted from a sugar-burner to a fat-burner. If your body is burning fat for energy then something amazing starts to happen. The fat on your body starts to disappear. But how do you know when you’re in ketosis? Besides using test strips or an instrument there are some signs that your body will give. 7 Signs You Might Be in Ketosis These don’t 100% guarantee that your body is in ketosis but if it is in ketosis then these signs will appear. 1. Weight Loss One of the obvious signs of ketosis is weight loss but this can also be pretty deceptive because many people don’t experience the kind of weight loss that they expect. This can happen for a variety of reasons but when you get close to entering ketosis or do enter ketosis you’ll find that you lose a healthy amount of weight quickly. For example, when you switch to low carbs you usually experience significant weight loss in the first week. In fact, my wife lost 12 lbs in the first 28 days of Keto and I lost 13. This isn’t your body burning fat but finally being able to release the water that was being held by the fat cells. If your fat cells don’t release this water then they can’t flow through the bloodstream to be used as fuel so losing water weight is a good thing. After the initial rapid drop in water weight, you should continue to lose body fat consistently if you are able to stick with the low-carb aspects of the diet Continue reading >>
How I Fixed The Biggest Ketosis Mistakes
The ketogenic diet isn’t always as easy as it seems. I tried for a long time, but not until I dove deep into the research and found out how to fix all of the common mistakes was I able to enjoy the full state of ketosis. This article is to help you avoid those same mistakes. Why Try the Ketogenic Diet First, why would you want to even try ketosis? I truly enjoy trying diets and eating methodologies to research what I like and what works for me. I’ve experimented with low-carb diets, high-carb diets, and everything in between, but I’ve never cut them out to the point to achieve ketosis. What’s most exciting about the ketogenic diet to me is that, yes, it’s amazing for weight loss, but it’s not just a “diet.” Ketosis is literally a state of metabolism. You are either in or you’re out. I wanted to see and feel for myself the benefits everyone is talking about from going full Keto. My Keto Coach has a great line that goes like this: I was sold and needed to try this and commit. If you are new to researching ketosis, a quick review of the popular benefits: Mental Clarity  Fat Loss  Feeling Full  Better Sleep  Better Mood  Better Skin  The list goes on and on, including disease and inflammation reduction, better cholesterol, etc. For my purposes I didn’t care about weight loss or fat loss, I just cared about doing the diet the best I could, and to do that, I needed to prepare accordingly. Preparation Stage – Learning the Keto Basics Here is what I did to educate myself and prepare for six weeks of the Ketogenic Diet. I picked a start date and spent $30 at In-N-Out burger on a massive send-off to carbohydrates. A whole other post could be dedicated to the mistakes I made at In-N-Out. After this epic meal, it was officially time Continue reading >>
In Ketosis But Not Losing Weight? These Foods May Be Stalling Your Progress
Stop Stalling Volume Two: Malignant Mouthfuls Welcome back to the Stop Stalling series! Today, we’re going to take a look at some specific foods that may be causing your stall. These foods may be keeping you from getting ahead. The bad news is that a lot of them may be staples for you. Many of them seem keto-friendly: they’re low in net carbs and should be “safe.” In fact, they are “safe” for plenty of people. However, for some people, certain foods can cause stalls. If you’re in ketosis but not losing weight and have implemented everything advised in Volume 1: Operator Error, here’s a list of the most likely suspects. Dairy: Dairy is a tricky one. First of all, it’s very energy-dense (i.e. it has a lot of calories). That means that it can be really easy to overdo. Alas, keto isn’t magical, and calories still count. Secondly, it’s often a carbohydrate bomb. A glass of milk has about ten grams. It can have more or less depending on the fat content. It can be tough to tell with yogurt: while the actual carb count is probably lower than what is listed on the label (fermentation consumes some of the carbohydrates), you can’t always tell just how many there are. This is even ignoring the fact that many yogurts contain additives, including starch-based thickeners. Finally, dairy is especially prone to “rounding down”: even though many labels say that a serving of cheese contains zero carbohydrates, chances are that a serving contains as many as 0.7 grams. It seems like very little, but if you eat two servings (easy to do!), it’s going to add up over time. Many people rely on dairy, and when they drop it, they start losing again. Seeds and nuts: Seeds and nuts are horrible bastards. I love nuts, especially almonds. Especially the smoked ones or th Continue reading >>
Still Not Getting Into Ketosis
I wrote a post 2 weeks ago headed "I Cant Get Into Ketosis" and here I am 2 weeks later still not in Ketosis. I am still on Induction level - which I can cope with - but some weight loss and ketones would be nice!! I gave up using the Ketostix to measure for Ketons because I read they can be inaccurate. So I brought a blood glucose and ketone machine and now do a blood test every morning hoping to see ketones - but hardly anything is showing. This week I have spent 3 days on 0.01 and 2 days on 0.02. I am using a Carb Recorder app and list everything I eat to be sure I am staying in the 20 carb limit. I am exercising twice a week - I know thats not enough and will up it as from this weekend. I'm so focused on loosing weight before christmas that I will now commit to exercise 6 out of 7 days - starts tomorrow morning with a trek up the goat track of Castle Hill. The only thing I can think of is that I have an Atkins Day Break bar every evening around 8.30pm - this is still in my 20 carb allowance. Any thoughts on if this could be what is stuffing me up. I started at 96K about 10 weeks ago. I have lost 4 kilo in the past 10 weeks, but thats less than 500gms a week and the last 3 weeks have slowed to about 100 gms a week. There are 6 weeks to christmas and I'm desperate to loss another 10k by then and get down to 82k. Any suggestions to get properly into Ketosis would be greatfully received Great work still with the weight loss and the determination to get to Ketosis but it is not everything. Especially as you are still losing weight I think the exercise will kick in to make a difference! One of the only variables left is to count calories to see if yes your carbs are down but some how your calories are too high and aim to keep them at 1200 calories for a few days to see i Continue reading >>
9 Reasons Why You Aren’t In A State Of Ketosis
If you’re having trouble getting into ketosis, it is useful to understand the factors that actually impact blood ketone levels. When I first started on the ketogenic diet, I made sure to educate myself fully on how I can efficiently get into a fat-adapted state (ketosis). Just like everything else, there’s going to be some hurdles you’ll face when adopting a keto lifestyle. Watch out for these 8 ketogenic pitfalls you could be potentially be falling for. 1. Carbohydrates Pretty much all steps involved in producing ketones are inhibited by insulin, this means that ketone levels are extremely sensitive to carb intake. There isn’t an exact amount of carbohydrates that works for everyone to get into ketosis. But, there is a general guideline that works for most people. It has been estimated that around 50 grams per day or lower of carbohydrates will elevate your blood ketone levels. You should be eating less than 30 grams in order to get into ketosis. From personal experience, I found that if i’m more active on any given day, I can get away with eating more carbohydrates and still have decent blood ketone levels. I actually have been able to get away with upwards of 100 grams of carbs and still be in ketosis. I believe this is because when you are active, you are burning extra glycogen storages that come from carbohydrates. 2. Protein. Just like carbohydrates, increasing your intake of protein to fat in your diet will limit your ketone production. The reason behind this is because over half of amino acids in proteins are converted into glucose in the body, thus, producing an anti-keto effect. This is not as big of a deal for athletes / people who are very active because the body is utilizing the protein and amino acids to the point where it is not hindering your k Continue reading >>
Not Losing Weight On A Low-carb Ketogenic Diet? Don’t Give Up And Read Further
The ketogenic diet is not only known to be one of the most effective weight loss tools, but has proven to have many health benefits. Ketosis is a state at which your body produces ketones in the liver, shifting the body's metabolism away from glucose and towards fat utilization. Unless you can check your blood ketones, using Ketostix is an easy way to detect urinary ketones. It's not the most accurate method, but may be good enough to find out whether you are in ketosis. In some cases, weight loss may be difficult even on a low-carb ketogenic diet and there may be a few possible reasons for weight stalling, which I have listed in this post. If you want to know more about the ketogenic diet and how it can help you lose weight, have a look at my Practical Guide to Keto Diet which is freely available on my website also as PDF. 3 free diet plans to help you kickstart your diet, lose weight and get healthy Recipes, giveaways and exclusive deals delivered directly to your inbox A chance to win the KetoDiet app every week Top Reasons You Are Not Losing Weight on a Keto Diet 1. Carbs are Too High Your carbohydrate intake may be too high. Try to decrease your daily carbs limit. Also try to include coconut oil in your diet. Coconut oil consists of MCTs (Medium chain triglycerides), which are easily digestible, less likely to be stored by your body and are used for immediate energy. MCTs are converted in the liver into ketones, which helps you enter ketosis. If you want to know more about carbs, check out this post. For more about ketones, have a look at this post. 2. Protein is Too High or Too Low Your protein intake may be too high/ low. Protein is the most sating macronutrient and you should include high-quality animal protein in your diet. If you don't eat enough protein, you Continue reading >>
Not In Ketosis After A Week?
I've been on a keto diet for a week, and the ketostix are still not showing any signs. Is there anything I can do or change anything in my diet to enter ketosis faster? albacore tuna (1 can): 175 calories, 30/0/5 mayonnaise (1 tbsp.): 100 calories, 0/0/11 pecans (0.5 oz.): 100 calories, 1.5/2 (1.5 fiber)/10 salmon oil (2 capsules): 20 calories, 0/0/2 total: 455 calories, 31.5/2 (1.5 fiber)/35 pecans (2 oz.): 400 calories, 6/8 (6 fiber)/40 salmon oil (2 capsules): 20 calories, 0/0/2 orange roughy (4 oz.): 140 calories, 17/0/8 coconut oil (1 tbsp.): 120 calories, 0/0/14 broc**** (1 cup): 30 calories, 2/4 (2 fiber)/0 cheddar cheese (1 slice): 80 calories, 5/0/7 chicken thigh, bone removed (2.75 oz.): 190 calories, 20/0/12 milled flax seed (1 tbsp.): 30 calories, 1.5/2 (2 fiber)/2.5 broc**** (2 cups): 60 calories, 4/8 (4 fiber)/0 cheddar cheese (1 slice): 80 calories, 5/0/7 total: 480 calories, 30.5/10 (6 fiber)/35.5 cheddar cheese (1 slice): 80 calories, 5/0/7 pecans (0.5 oz.): 100 calories, 1.5/2 (1.5 fiber)/10 salmon oil (2 capsules): 20 calories, 0/0/2 total: 410 calories, 24.5/2.5 (1.5 fiber)/32.5 Continue reading >>
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3 Months Strict Zero Carb - Can't Induce Ketosis. What To Do?
Hello All, I???ve been trying to get into ketosis for 3 months, and I can???t seem to do it. I???m someone can give me some insight on what???s happening and how to induce ketosis in stubborn adaptors like myself. I???m a 43 year-old male, 5???7, 94 kg. I???ve been on a strict zero-carb diet for 3 months. Almost immediately on going zc I found that joint and muscle aches and pains that I???d had for years disappeared. I???ve also suffered from depression, and my depression is in remission. Which is amazing. However, after a full three months of being super careful zero carb, I am still not in ketosis, and I???m utterly exhausted most of the time. For the first month, I ate a wide variety of foods but kept my carb intake to as close to zero as possible. I was not in ketosis after a month, so I transitioned to an all-beef diet for 6 weeks. Over time I found that I was gradually feeling worse and worse ??? I simply had no energy, and each day was a long struggle just to do basic things. About three weeks ago I started reintroducing other food ??? cheese and eggs, at first, and then butter. This helped somewhat with brain clarity, but the low energy continued. A week ago at the suggestion of some of the great folks on the ???zeroing in on health??? forum, I stopped drinking caffeine and increased my intake of eggs. When I started zc, I was drinking up to a gallon of coffee and tea per day. Cutting caffeine also seemed to help with brain clarity. I also had a major realization, which was that I was not at an 80/20 fat/protein ratio. I started tracking on fitday, and I found that I had probably been way out with regard to the ideal ratio. So I made adjustments and I???m now on my 8th day of eating a 80/20 fat/protein ratio. My diet is butter, eggs, ground beef, beef roast and Continue reading >>
Low Carb Diet Results: 'how Much Weight I Lost After 2 Weeks On A Low-carb Diet' | Women's Health
I've tried my fair share of weird weight-loss strategies, none of which I wind up maintaining long-term because of the crazy restrictions. But in the summer of 2015, my parents started their own journey on the low-carb diet, and after seeing each of them successfully shed some pounds, I decided to give the diet a try for myself and see what kind of low-carb diet results I'd get. Diets that minimize carbs go by many names. Chances are you've heard people refer to the Atkins, South Beach, or Keto (short for "ketogenic") diets. For the purposes of this experiment, I followed the rules laid out by Susan Kleiner , Ph.D, R.D, author of Power Eating , in this article . Since I work out moderately at least three times a week, I planned to consume 100 grams of carbohydrates per day on the planand that was the only rule. Considering cheese is naturally low in carbs (and was the hardest thing to give up during my bouts of Paleo and Whole30), I figured I'd finally met my perfect weight-loss match. So, armed with no further restrictions than capping my carb count, I kicked off two full weeks on the diet. Here's what I learned and what my low-carb diet results looked like. 1. You might want to start a food journal I've heard people preach about the wonders of food journals and how helpful they can be, but I always found the idea of writing down every last bite of food I consumed to be overkill. After all, I'm pretty aware of what I'm putting in my body, thankyouverymuch. But during my first day of counting carbs, I realized how helpful it really was to keep track of what I was eating. I kept my daily journal on a Google doc and updated it throughout my day. Not only did it help me keep a daily tally of how many carbs I'd eaten, but it was also a great reference for looking up the nu Continue reading >>
Why Am I Not In Ketosis Yet?
[Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you buy something after using one of those links, I might receive a small financial compensation, at no cost to you.] If you're having trouble getting into ketosis, one of the following 12 stumbling blocks might be standing in your way. Ketosis occurs when your glucose supply runs out, but sometimes the body can fight back pretty hard. In addition, all of those little cheats, low-carb products, daily stress, and even your current weight all affect your body's ability to burn fat for fuel. Are you ready to discover what's standing in your way? If so, this post will show you. I definitely know how you feel. Some people have lots of difficulties getting into ketosis, but don't let that fact overwhelm you and convince you to turn back. Just because you don't seem to be making any progress and other people are losing a ton of weight on Induction, that doesn't mean that a low-carb diet is the wrong choice for you. There's still hope even if nothing you've tried so far has worked, and even if you can't seem to get into ketosis no matter what you do. If your clothes are still tight, the scale isn't budging, and your Ketostix are either still tan or barely pink, all is not lost. Okay? There's always a reason why you're craving those chocolate chip cookies the kids are eating. There's a reason why you're having a hard time at work and still feel exhausted all the time. You just gotta find the barrier to ketosis and banish it from your life. Yes, I know that's more difficult than it sounds, so if you're like most people, you're probably wondering: What am I doing wrong? Why am I not in ketosis yet? Here's the fact: Ketosis occurs when the body has exhausted all potential sources of glucose. For most people, that happens in on Continue reading >>
Why You’re Not In Ketosis
As the COO of Diet Doctor and low-carb enthusiast for years, you would have thought I’d nailed ketosis years ago. I haven’t, and here’s why. Am I still in ketosis? To get into ketosis, the most important thing is to eat maximum 20 grams of digestible carbs per day. When I went low carb in 2012, I followed that advice to the letter – replacing all high-carb foods like potatoes, bread, rice, pasta, legumes, fruit, juice, soda, and candy, with eggs, dairy, meat, vegetables, fats and berries – counting every carb I consumed. I felt great – effortless weight loss, no stomach issues, tons of energy and inspiration. But over time, something changed – I no longer felt as great as I used to. Until recently, I had no idea why. The journey to find out started with a simple question: Am I still in ketosis? The moment of truth At a Diet Doctor dinner a while ago, our CTO, Johan, gently challenged me. “Bjarte, you’re eating quite a lot of protein. Have you measured your ketones lately?”. “No”, I said, feeling slightly defensive, “I’ve never measured my ketones. Should I?”. It was wake-up time. Johan and I grabbed two blood-ketone meters from a dusty drawer, pricked a finger each, and touched the ketone strips. His results came out first – 3.0 mmol/L – optimal ketosis. He looked happy. It was my turn. The ketone meter made a weird beeping sound and the screen started blinking – 0.0 mmol/L – no ketosis whatsoever. What?! I’d been eating strict low carb for years, how could I not be in ketosis? I felt slightly embarrassed, but mainly relieved. Was this the reason I no longer felt great? Experiment 1: Eating less than 60 grams of protein a day Several of my colleagues agreed with Johan – I was eating too much protein. To test that hypothesis, I s Continue reading >>