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Old 03-19-2012, 02:13 PM   #1
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Ketosis - How Long Did It Take You?

LC WOE noob on day #5 of Induction here! I bought the Ketostix 3 days ago and have been testing daily as "Trace".

I have few questions re: Ketosis -

Should I be testing at the same time of day?
Should I test only 1 time/day or more?
What level should I be aiming for/sustaining?

I know everyone's body is different therefore the results will differ from my own, but I'd like to know how long it took you to go into Ketosis?

Thanks in advance for the help & info!
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Old 03-19-2012, 02:17 PM   #2
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I can reliably be in ketosis by the third morning. I test morning because when I'm eating a high carb diet, I'm never in ketosis, even with first morning urine. You could test before bed to see if your day's eating has pushed you out.
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Old 03-19-2012, 02:25 PM   #3
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Thanks dansamy!
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Old 03-19-2012, 02:35 PM   #4
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I'm the same as Dansamy, but I admit that I check somewhat obsessively. Every morning, for sure, but sometimes I'll get worried in the middle of the day or in the evening and I check again!

The basic concept is that the level of colour isn't as important as actually seeing colour. Only once in my entire life have I tested at the highest level of purple, but this time around I have been solidly in the second highest level...higher than before.

If you're worried you aren't doing it right, there are lots of people here who are very helpful about going over your typical menu to look for anything off plan.
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Old 03-19-2012, 02:44 PM   #5
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Thank you very much Milaandra! Very helpful info!

I'm right there with you I'm testing multiple times a day, but I don't want it to become my new preoccupation so I think I'll take your advice and post my menu and get some feedback to try to alleviate that uneasy feeling that I'm not doing it right.
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Old 03-19-2012, 07:39 PM   #6
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By the end of the first day I was turning the sticks medium pink. From what I understand, testing first thing in the morning doesn't really give you an accurate reading, because everyone goes into ketosis while they're sleeping.
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Old 03-19-2012, 08:41 PM   #7
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I can have the stick dark pink at night before bed and then wake up and its not pink at all., Its weird. It really depends on so many factors what that little stick says. If you eat late at night (I don't) then this could effect your reading as well., The way I look at it and test is a different points of the day. So one day I check when I get home from work, the next day I will check before bed, the next day I check when I first get up..if they are all pink in some way i know I am "In the Zone" and then I don't need to test every day but only every other. Its takes about 2 or 3 days to get me there.
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Old 03-20-2012, 11:59 AM   #8
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From what I understand, testing first thing in the morning doesn't really give you an accurate reading, because everyone goes into ketosis while they're sleeping.
I don't think that's right. I know when I did it before and I wasn't careful, I sure as heck didn't show ketosis the next morning!
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Old 03-20-2012, 01:20 PM   #9
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I've read to test in the morning since urine is concentrated, so that's usually when I do it. I only test once a day, more than that seems like a waste. If I know I'm in ketosis that morning, I don't feel like I'd need to again, say after lunch, if I know I only had 2 carbs at breakfast and a few at lunch. I would just assume that wouldn't throw me out. If I had a carb heavy lunch, I'd still probably just wait until the next morning, as it most likely wouldn't register any sooner, anyway.

It took me about 3 days to get into the 80/Large range. I tested my husband too just to see if they were accurate and he did not register at all. I've also read that the levels don't matter. Like, being in ketosis is like being pregnant, you either are or aren't. I don't know if I believe that though, since the sticks are measuring the amount of ketones in your urine. There is a reason there are varying amounts, ya know? But really, I'm clueless about that.
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Old 03-20-2012, 03:22 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Milaandra View Post
I don't think that's right. I know when I did it before and I wasn't careful, I sure as heck didn't show ketosis the next morning!

AGREED, i have been dark pink before bed, and not even tracing when I woke up and didnt eat anything I wasn't supposed too
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Old 03-20-2012, 10:14 PM   #11
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Like, being in ketosis is like being pregnant, you either are or aren't. I don't know if I believe that though, since the sticks are measuring the amount of ketones in your urine. There is a reason there are varying amounts, ya know? But really, I'm clueless about that.

Yeah, the reason is that you may be burning more fat. Not necessarily dietary fat. You could eat a bucket of lard and THEN you would get the dark purple, but that doesn't necessarily mean that you are burning body fat or even losing pounds.

I can be in ketosis while eating up to 60g/day but I will not lose weight. I can lose weight easily on 30g/day but still have the sticks show light pink.

I don't really use them except on vacation where I have no access to a scale and have to eat restaurant meals all the time. They make me crazy and take attention away from the real indicators of success.
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Old 03-21-2012, 01:30 AM   #12
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You could eat a bucket of lard and THEN you would get the dark purple, but that doesn't necessarily mean that you are burning body fat or even losing pounds.
I don't think that's accurate either. I found this in an article by Dr. Beth Gruber.

Ketone production results from the breakdown of body fats. The excretion of the excess ketones in the urine is important because the presence of large amounts of ketone bodies in the blood threatens to upset the acid-alkaline balance of the blood, and thereby, the balance in the tissues.

She makes it very clear that ketones are from the breakdown of body fats, she doesn't say that they are produced from the ingestion of fat.

I also find it a good explanation of why we need to make sure we get enough fluids...an acidic state is the breeding ground for disease, including the big C which cannot exist in an alkaline state. The good news is, taking in fewer toxins in the form of white sugar and processed foods, and increasing our vegetable count help to alkalize the body anyway, so as long as we flush away the ketones we should be better off than before. It's also an excellent argument for not trying to lose too much weight too fast...after all, it's large amounts of the ketone bodies that are a potential hazard.

As I understand the process, we need x amount of calories per day to maintain body functions. The sources I found suggest 10x or 12x our body weight. In my case, at a current weight of 192, that is 1920-2304 calories every day. When I'm down to my goal weight of 125, that will be 1250-1500, which is right in line with the regular medical advice. (It's just that they never tell you to eat sufficient calories to maintain your fat body, do they?)

It is the composition of those calories that determines if we are losing or gaining. Through the wonder of body chemistry, if our diet is low in carbohydrates and high in fat, the body starts burning fat to create ketones which fuel the body. If the diet is low in carbs and fat, it seems the body doesn't do that as efficiently, and may burn protein as well, including the body's own protein...i.e. your muscles. If there aren't enough calories, the body will slow down the metabolism to help you stay alive (starvation mode) and when you start consuming enough calories again, for the first while it will store as many as possible to prepare for the next fast.

By the way, according to another doctor's article, it's high protein that's dangerous for kidney function, which makes those new low fat, low carb, high protein diets seem a bit dangerous to me.

So...it seems that if you have ketones in your urine, you are burning body fat. Period.

Since they are excess ketones, you may be burning body fat even if it doesn't show ketones (or actually acetone) on the testing strips.

If you're consuming enough calories, the composition is correct and you're showing any level of excess ketone production on the strips, you are burning fat. The amount of weight you lose determines your level of metabolic resistance. But again, there are so many factors involved when measuring weight loss, it's best to think of this as something that will happen periodically, check measurements and clothing fit, etc. before determining your metabolic rate. Atkins himself said that a stall was 4 weeks with no movement on the scale.

I don't know why we can't count on the colour of the strips to tell us how we are doing. Maybe because there are other ways to excrete excess ketones, such as our breath. Maybe mouth-breathers show lighter colour on the sticks? I wonder if anyone has checked that?
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Old 03-21-2012, 07:55 AM   #13
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My problem is consuming enough calories. I rarely eat all of the 2000-2400/day that I should. (According to various source to calculate BMR, RDI, etc.)
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Old 03-21-2012, 10:32 AM   #14
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My problem is consuming enough calories. I rarely eat all of the 2000-2400/day that I should. (According to various source to calculate BMR, RDI, etc.)
More fat? I'm not a big eater myself, and the things that I used to be able to gorge on were the worst types of carbs, so I know how you feel. My calories vary alot, but sometimes I get that high, and those are the days my fat levels are higher. Taking some of the cheese allotment in cream cheese, extra butter on everything, taking advantage of the whipping cream allotment are all things that will boost the fat and calories, and will be easy to reduce again once our caloric needs reduce.

Just a guess...paying attention to calories while doing Atkins is new to me.
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Old 03-21-2012, 12:30 PM   #15
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I just eat when I'm hungry. Even though that nearly always leaves me under-caloried for the day.
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Old 03-25-2012, 07:31 AM   #16
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I've also read that the levels don't matter. Like, being in ketosis is like being pregnant, you either are or aren't. I don't know if I believe that though, since the sticks are measuring the amount of ketones in your urine. There is a reason there are varying amounts, ya know? But really, I'm clueless about that.
Ketosis is not a "you either are or aren't" kind of thing. This is from DANDR:


"The strips will change from pink to purple, depending upon how many ketones are present. The more ketones you excrete, and therefore the greater the degree of ketosis you are in, the darker the color."
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Old 03-25-2012, 08:07 AM   #17
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Ketosis is not a "you either are or aren't" kind of thing. This is from DANDR:


"The strips will change from pink to purple, depending upon how many ketones are present. The more ketones you excrete, and therefore the greater the degree of ketosis you are in, the darker the color."
Nothing there to suggest that dietary fat can give you a false reading, is there?

I'm still trying to find the definitive answer on that one. I can infer it from what the experts write, no one says dietary fat produces excess ketones, yet no one seems to come right out and say that it doesn't.
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Old 03-25-2012, 08:25 AM   #18
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I found an article that went into more detail about calories and Atkins. The basic premise seems to be that we need to stay above our basal metabolic rate to avoid starvation mode, but below our active metabolic rate. (there are online calculators everywhere)

The person who wrote the article said that most people on Atkins end up in the sweet spot naturally. A few eat too much and consume above their active metabolic rate. But many who find they aren't losing are actually consuming too few calories.

For me, my basal metabolic rate is around 1550 calories a day. The active metabolic rate calculators are more complicated because they want you to put in how many minutes you spend doing certain activities (including sitting around and reading). When I put in 16 hours of not doing much, plus a bit of walking at the higher levels, I end up with a huge amount of calories, so it strikes me that something is wrong somewhere.
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Old 03-25-2012, 03:36 PM   #19
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Ketosis is not a "you either are or aren't" kind of thing. This is from DANDR:


"The strips will change from pink to purple, depending upon how many ketones are present. The more ketones you excrete, and therefore the greater the degree of ketosis you are in, the darker the color."

Also in DANDR, Atkins states that "if you're not in ketosis, you're in glucosis." Ketosis good, glucosis bad. Ketosis means burning fat for energy and that's what we want to do. That's where you get your metabolic advantage. Any stick colour from baby pink to eggplant still means burning fat for energy, which is the entire point.

And, the pregnancy analogy still stands IMO. You can be 3 weeks pregnant and not showing yet. You can also be 9 months pregnant -- arguably a different "degree" of pregnant where it's really obvious. You're pregnant either way.

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Old 03-25-2012, 03:40 PM   #20
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I don't think that's accurate either. I found this in an article by Dr. Beth Gruber.

Ketone production results from the breakdown of body fats. The excretion of the excess ketones in the urine is important because the presence of large amounts of ketone bodies in the blood threatens to upset the acid-alkaline balance of the blood, and thereby, the balance in the tissues.

She makes it very clear that ketones are from the breakdown of body fats, she doesn't say that they are produced from the ingestion of fat.

Someone should do an experiment with a stick of butter, a tub of mayonnaise, and some ketostix, and then we can have our own scientific study.
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Old 03-27-2012, 09:20 AM   #21
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Someone should do an experiment with a stick of butter, a tub of mayonnaise, and some ketostix, and then we can have our own scientific study.
I use the stix several times a day. I'm almost always in the light pink zone. One of my favorite after work snacks is pork rinds dipped in a homemade dip. The dip consists of half mayo, half sour cream, and some seasoning salt. Whenever I eat more than half a bag of pork rinds (along a LARGE serving of dip) I test dark purple for the rest of the night. I always figured it was something in the combination that was upsetting the stix, but now I'm curious if it's excess fat??
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Old 03-27-2012, 01:51 PM   #22
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I started Atkins on 3/22, and I was in ketosis by 3/25. Now I'm in FULL BLOWN ketosis and I can barely eat, but I do. Down 5.8 pounds as well. Gotta love Atkins!
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Old 03-28-2012, 01:17 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Milaandra View Post
I found an article that went into more detail about calories and Atkins. The basic premise seems to be that we need to stay above our basal metabolic rate to avoid starvation mode, but below our active metabolic rate. (there are online calculators everywhere)

The person who wrote the article said that most people on Atkins end up in the sweet spot naturally. A few eat too much and consume above their active metabolic rate. But many who find they aren't losing are actually consuming too few calories.

For me, my basal metabolic rate is around 1550 calories a day. The active metabolic rate calculators are more complicated because they want you to put in how many minutes you spend doing certain activities (including sitting around and reading). When I put in 16 hours of not doing much, plus a bit of walking at the higher levels, I end up with a huge amount of calories, so it strikes me that something is wrong somewhere.
My BMR is supposedly around 1825. I can't force myself to eat that much when I'm on LC. According to *********, my daily average is ~1500, which happens to be close to my active metabolic rate.
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Old 04-08-2012, 09:36 PM   #24
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I was in the "moderate" zone this evening. Yesterday I was in the dark dark purple.

My boyfriend is in the light pink and feels really awful about it, even though he texts me everything he eats so I can "check" him (since I did this before with a LOT of success).

He's eating what he's supposed to be eating. I told him not to worry about the sticks and keep on truckin'. As long as it shows something
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