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Old 07-29-2012, 11:19 AM   #1
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Ketosis? Think again... Part 2

I wrote about my disappointment trying my blood ketone monitor for the first time here> Ketosis? Think again... (If you are not familiar with blood ketone testing, please read that thread and don't confuse it with the urine strips.)

11 days later, I tested a second time.

During the intervening 11 days I was eating 15 grams of carbs a day or less, counted very strictly. I don't pretend things like spices don't have carbs, for example. I cut out the Calorie Countdown milk in my coffee which means no coffee. I limited my vegetables mostly to some sliced mushrooms in my crustless quiche and little bits of things like cucumbers more as garnish than a full serving.

I tested first thing in the morning today, fasting. And my reading was .3, up from .2 the first time. Progress I guess. *sigh*

Supposedly dietary ketosis begins a little at .5 and should ideally test between 1.3 and 2.8. Sooooooo I am disappointed again.

I still have not tried a fat fast. I am not really sure how much good that would do, since I would have a very hard time sticking to that low carb eating long term and there is no point in getting into ketosis just to slide out of it again almost immediately. I really can't stomach much meat, and eating eggs, cheese, etc., is going to get me too high carb to sustain ketosis it looks like. I will try the fat fast at some point just to see if I EVER get into ketosis though!
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Old 07-29-2012, 04:25 PM   #2
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ravenrose--how much protein are you eating? We have a challenge thread for nutritional ketosis and one of the things that seems to help get into "the zone" is controlling both carbs and protein.

The thread is here: http://www.lowcarbfriends.com/bbs/lo...ge-anyone.html
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Old 07-29-2012, 08:35 PM   #3
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I am afraid I am going to find the same thing. I am still waiting until I have a few weeks of vlc under my belt before I use those expensive strips.
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Old 07-30-2012, 05:54 AM   #4
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sorry to hear of your disappointing results but I wonder if morning is the best time to test? I question this because of the night time inactivity and therefore need for ketone production. I have read that exercise actually increases production so conversely, morning might be a poor sample???????
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Old 07-30-2012, 07:02 AM   #5
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True, maybe try testing later in the evening....I don't know if it's the same but when I use the pee sticks I notice they are always darker later in the day, and sometimes they barely do anything first thing in the morning. It's been a while since I used them but I eventually quit even bothering with them in the morning when I was still using them.
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Old 07-30-2012, 11:06 AM   #6
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Ravenrose, it seems like people who are getting their ketones in range with the meters are also limiting protein as pointed out above and that necessitates increasing fat to about 85%. Where's your fat intake right now?
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Old 07-30-2012, 11:17 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janknitz View Post
Ravenrose, it seems like people who are getting their ketones in range with the meters are also limiting protein as pointed out above and that necessitates increasing fat to about 85%. Where's your fat intake right now?
Actually we've found that the fat% doesn't have to be 85% to induce ketosis. It seems like 65-85% fat does the trick if you hold your protein and carbs constant. YMMV.
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Old 07-30-2012, 11:35 AM   #8
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The factors that Phinney and Volek specify as affecting one's showing up as being in ketosis (via the blood meter) are:
1) limiting carbs
2) limiting protein
3) time of day of testing (lowest results are early in the morning)
4) exercise
5) Type of fat eaten--with ketosis encouraged by fats that the body doesn't store, such as coconut oil

You are clearly being extremely vigilent in terms of tracking and limiting carbs, so maybe you can try tweaking one or more of these other factors. Also, I second Kristn's point that the Phinney and Volek book estimates that ketosis is likely to happen with 65-85 percent of intake being fat, and note that they say that one can reduce fat intake to reduce calories if one is in ketosis and hoping to lose rather than maintain weight.

Your experience sounds extremely frustrating, so I hope that tweaking one of these factors will help you.
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Old 07-30-2012, 01:38 PM   #9
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I find that I have lost when my fat intake was closer to 65-70%.
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Old 07-30-2012, 02:05 PM   #10
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You would want to check first thing in the morning to catch the low. If you are in Nutr ketosis while in a fasting state, you should hold that during the rest of the day. No other variables should come into play during the night.

The reason for testing blood is to see if you are at a level to indicate a full keto-adapted state.
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Old 07-30-2012, 03:45 PM   #11
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my protein is never more than 75 grams, which is very low for my height and weight (6' 1/2" and LARGE)

are people lowering it more than that?
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Old 07-30-2012, 04:25 PM   #12
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Jimmy lowered his to 12 percent. Your body's minimum shouldn't be lower than 50 grams, I don't believe. But, you are tall...You could try 60 and see what happens..
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Old 07-30-2012, 04:56 PM   #13
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I think 75 is OK for your height. I have a few muscles and would like to maintain them. Lowering protein to a point where you have to use them( to maintain) is counter productive. I feel like I would like to keep what I've got. I think lowering protein below a certain point is counter-productive.

If just carrying around your body weight is what you need, that is fine, but if you need your muscles to do your job, I think you should keep them.
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Old 07-30-2012, 05:25 PM   #14
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ravenrose--hmmm, 75 grams of protein seems reasonable.

This must be so frustrating. Looking at svenskamae's list, what about types of fat and exercise?
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Old 08-08-2012, 01:35 PM   #15
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RR: I got one of those meters and I was at .3 this morning..I'm not going to test everyday, but will try upping the fats/watching protein and see what happens in a couple of days.
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Old 08-08-2012, 04:14 PM   #16
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I tested today too..... only 0.7 and the urine sticks said deep ketosis.
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Old 08-08-2012, 05:33 PM   #17
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I tested today too..... only 0.7 and the urine sticks said deep ketosis.
Well, 0.7 is above the 0.5 that is supposedly the cut-off point of "being in ketosis." Phinney and Volek specify the "ideal" range in terms of a graph, and it looked to me like the ideal range was relatively flat at 1.2 to 3.0, with NO additional benefit going above 3.0 and not really substantially different results between, say, 1.5 and 3.0. So you may get better results, drj, if you keep doing what you are doing than if your results were below 0.5. Fingers crossed in your behalf, anyway.
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Old 08-08-2012, 05:51 PM   #18
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Dr..Are you losing? If you are, then maybe everyone has their own ketone level that works for them...
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Old 08-09-2012, 08:48 AM   #19
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Dr..Are you losing? If you are, then maybe everyone has their own ketone level that works for them...
I lost for about a year and a half and have been stalled for about a year and a half. If I were losing it wouldn't be an issue!

I say stalled, but of course I regained some. I have been starving myself the last two months and am almost down to my lowest point.

For anyone who has lost a bunch of weight, you know the truth to the modern science that tells us how many tricks our bodies have to stop weight loss and get us to regain. There are MANY hormones and systems that are affected by weight loss to try to keep it from continuing.
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Old 08-09-2012, 11:32 AM   #20
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Right, Raven...The more we lose, the less we can eat..(my experience). Yup, on the hormones..I take BioI and thyroid meds..
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Old 08-09-2012, 11:55 AM   #21
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I'm looking forward to the end of the 90 days of Jimmy Moore's experiment, etc., but have a question for you folks who have knowledge in this area. I know that as the last decade has passed, we've got more and more discussion about *ketosis, ketogenic diet plans, how to tell if you're in ketosis with keto sticks, etc. etc.* and I believe a whole lot of that info out on the internet is actually.. not really correct. Or not really complete. So you google and hear the same oft misinformation repeated over and over, and it turns into all the other advice that really isn't quite accurate, like 'You have to drink 8 glasses of water every day.' sort of thing.

So Ravenrose was eating quite low carb, you said you believed yourself to be in a state of ketosis, and yet the testing of blood ketones showed that you were actually not in ketosis at all. Many have believed they were in ketosis simply because their urine was able to get some color change on a ketostick, and yet others, non-lowcarbers sometimes, builders, etc. report that they - everyone - sheds some ketones in their urine often/sometimes, but are not *IN* ketosis at all. But during the course of their daily fuel needs for their bodies, they burn both fat and carb body fuels, and sometimes shed ketones.

So, about how strongly can somebody trust they are in ketosis if they eat low carb, and how much do people who are eating nowhere nearly low carb still shed some detectible ketones in their urine?

Thanks for any information any can provide. As these years pass, the new findings and new understanding being revealed is so interesting!
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Old 08-09-2012, 07:22 PM   #22
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Hi, Pat. You might want to follow the Nutritional Ketosis challenge thread. I've read the one book that keeps being referred to, Phinney and Volek's "The Art of Low Carb Performance," and I think this clarifies some of these issues. In broad terms, they claim that significantly limiting carbs, taking in moderate protein, and making fat comprise 65-85% of calories is likely to put one into a fully-keto adapted state (at least after an adjustment period of a few weeks), where one is largely drawing on fat (from food intake and one's stored body fat) to fuel the brain and physical activity. The best way to measure how much this is actually happening is to use a blood meter with expensive testing strips; results from 0.5 to 3.0 suggest that one is in ketosis, with results of 1.5ish-3.0 being ideal.

However, the book is geared toward high performance athletes, urging them to rely on ketones rather than carb loading for fuel. There are only a few passages relating directly to weight loss; supposedly the authors are working on another book that is more relevant for weight loss. Thus, they don't address how one could possibly be eating VLC and limiting protein and still not be in ketosis; I don't know if they even know the answer to that.

I think that a lot of what is written is absolute terms, such as "eat like this and you will be in ketosis" unfortunately doesn't hold for everyone. The same is true for statements like "limit carb and calories severely and you will lose weight"; not everyone does. Most people will be lucky enough to have these statements hold for them, but there are still unanswered questions (and pathways/causalities that aren't fully understood in the low carb community) for people who aren't lucky enough to have these statements be true for them.
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Old 08-09-2012, 07:39 PM   #23
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Thank you. I had looked for your challenge thread and apparently miss it previously. I just looked again and marked it, so I won't loose it again. I'll read a lot over there over the next days. Very interesting subject.
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Old 08-10-2012, 10:02 AM   #24
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I guess I have been operating in the dark regarding ketosis. When I did the induction phase of Atkin's I really cut down on the carbs...and ate a lot of protein, but not going out of my way to go after high-fat items...that said, perhaps even the fat in "lean" meats is enough for ketosis if that is required. I thought, with the exception of the induction phase that the Atkin's and South Beach were basically the same in most respects. So my question is do most forum members believe prolonged ketosis is ok?
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Old 08-10-2012, 10:09 AM   #25
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yes, on atkins during induction you go down to the low (20) carbs but then you are supposed to gradually add back in healthy carbs until you find your personal carb limit. the amount you can eat and still be in ketosis. that is the 2nd phase of atkins and called OWL (ongoing weight loss). you then add more in as you get close or at goal to get out of ketosis and maintain your weight. when I was on Atkins years ago I followed it exactly that way and was able to get my carbs up to around 35 and still be in ketosis so that became my limit at that time.

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Old 08-10-2012, 10:12 AM   #26
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You don't have to add extra fat into a low carb diet to produce ketosis. The basic formula is drastically reduce carbs to well below 50g and much further for some individuals.

That leaves 2 other macronutrients which are protein and fat. It is my understanding that too much protein will convert to glucose and be counter to ketosis. So the result is moderate protein and therefore higher fat (as that is all that is left).

There are a ton of folks who do well on high protein/lower fat/ low carb woes. Those that don't may be in the latter group who have to restrict protein as well.

As for your question about long term ketosis, I can only speak for myself but I am of the opinion that it is a natural state and therefore place no restriction on the amount of time I spend in it. I feel great and have been in ketosis for close to 3 yrs. now. That may be considered 'prolonged'.
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