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Old 07-26-2013, 07:52 AM   #1
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ketostix reading - false positive?

I've heard several people mention that they don't rely on ketostix because they can give a false negative; showing no color when the person actually is in ketosis.

Is it possible for the opposite to happen, where it's showing as pink when the person really is not in ketosis? I ask because my stix have continuously pink for many days, but I'm not seeing any weight loss. Is it possible for the body to be in ketosis, but not actually losing any fat?
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Old 07-26-2013, 07:59 AM   #2
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It's rare to hear of a false positive, more likely that you're in ketosis. Yes, it's possible to be in ketosis, but not lose any weight. That happens when you're eating too many calories.

But it's more likely that you're losing fat but retaining water, and the scale will show a loss eventually. Have you read this thread: Article: Why the Scale Lies ? The scale isn't always the best indicator of progress, because so many variables influence scale weight, and weight loss isn't a linear process.

I suggest you measure yourself at several key points as well, as you may lose inches as the scale stays the same.

Now, if you would like to share what you're eating we can also try to help you figure out if you're eating too many calories for your body's needs.
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Old 07-26-2013, 08:09 AM   #3
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Thanks Ntombi, that's good information. I'm pretty sure you're right, that it's too many calories. I haven't been measuring, but my clothes are not feeling any looser. My eating has been all over the place for the last week --always within legal carb limits, always still with pink stix...but probably still causing weight loss to slow to a crawl nevertheless.

I usually eat like so:

B: 3 eggs with bacon or ham
S: Coffee with hnh
L: chicken salad with greens
S: devilled eggs, pepperoni, cheese or cucumbers with some type of legal dip
D: hamburgers or steak

But I have been eating way more than that this past week for various reasons.
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Old 07-26-2013, 08:10 AM   #4
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ketostix are pretty finicky. they can be too dark if you don't drink enough water, too light if you drink a lot of water. some people never produce enough of the urine ketones to register on the stick, while their blood ketones read high enough to suggest ketosis.

plus, ketones in your urine are what you're "getting rid of" so they aren't the right kind of ketones to hope you're making. the most common ketone that is useful to you is beta-hydroxybutyrate and that can only be measured via blood.

the blood meter isn't so expensive, but the strips definitely are. so ideally you would not worry about measuring & just keep your macros in line. weight or inches should be coming off, and you should feel fine or better than fine, if you're on the right track...but if you do need a numeric reassurance, i'd go for the meter.
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Old 07-26-2013, 08:15 AM   #5
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I often show dark purple ( even while drinking plenty of water) and still don't appear to be losing until that water whoosh that Ntombi mentioned occurs. I'll hold steady for a bit and then have a day where I release the water and then see the loss the next day.
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Old 07-26-2013, 08:16 AM   #6
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about the woosh: Why the scales can lie.
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Old 07-26-2013, 08:25 AM   #7
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Thank you thank you for the good information! I do like the reassurance of having something to check on throughout the day. it's become a habit now, and it gives me something to focus on somehow. I really hadn't considered getting a blood meter before...will check into it.

would be nice if it is water - I hope so!
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Old 07-26-2013, 08:46 AM   #8
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You aren't getting a false positive - more like partial information.

The ketostix show purple when you are burning fat.

What we don't know is if you are burning body fat or dietary fat.

If you're taking in enough dietary fat, you don't need to burn any body fat. It's just as easy for the body to burn the fatty acids you just ate.

I hate ketone strips!!!
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Old 07-28-2013, 04:26 PM   #9
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Urine ketones are unreliable. The gold standard is blood ketones, and you can test those with a free meter from Nova medical. It tests for blood glucose and blood ketones. Go to their website, or search on "Nova Max Plus." I think they are probably still offering it. The downside is that ketone strips are very pricey - about $2 or so apiece from the places I've been able to find.

A secondary issue is that even when I was eating extremely low carb, my readings were never higher than 0.3 to 0.5. This wasn't in the initial stages, so it's possible that (from what I've read) once you've ketoadapted, your readings will fall back into the "normal" range. I hope that's the case. Meanwhile, I still check occasionally, and it never hurts to know your glucose readings, even if you're not diabetic (which I'm not).

At least check out the offer.
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