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Old 04-07-2013, 01:40 PM   #1
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Questions about BG and ketone testing

I have the precision xtra meter and have been using the BG test strips and I understand how and when to test. I just order a few boxes of the ketone strips but really have no idea of where to begin testing. I have no reference for ketone testing, in fact my local pharmacies don't even carry them and I had to get them online. Can someone just provide me some guidance for how to use them and what information they give you. I don't know if this seems like a dumb question
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Old 04-07-2013, 03:30 PM   #2
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I thought this was thoroughly covered in the Performance book?
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Old 04-07-2013, 03:36 PM   #3
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I was hoping some people could give me guidance based on their experience. Should I be posting this in the main lobby? I am not trying to necessarily following the guidelines in the performance book.
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Old 04-07-2013, 03:43 PM   #4
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Nope, this is the only forum to really get that kind of feedback I think.

But I am confused because I was led to believe that blood ketone testing was central to NK per the Performance book and it is strange to hear that how to do it isn't thoroughly covered by that book.
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Old 04-07-2013, 06:12 PM   #5
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I don't know if it is just Phinney and Volek who have cornered the market on the ketone testing. I thought other LC advocates were also ketone testing. Someone on the main lobby posted a youtube video of someone who was giving a lecture and discussed ketone testing as a central theme. It wasn't Phinney or Volek, it was someone else. It was awhile ago, when I was a new member and I can't remember who it was. I'll look through the performance book again and see what I can come up with.
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Old 04-07-2013, 06:40 PM   #6
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The defination of NK is blood ketones between 0.5-3.0. This is the level where your cells are easily able to use fat for fuel.

Test first thing in the morning when your blood ketones are the lowest. It is then assumed that the rest of the day will be higher than the morning readings.
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Old 04-07-2013, 07:29 PM   #7
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I don't know if it is just Phinney and Volek who have cornered the market on the ketone testing. I thought other LC advocates were also ketone testing. Someone on the main lobby posted a youtube video of someone who was giving a lecture and discussed ketone testing as a central theme. It wasn't Phinney or Volek, it was someone else. It was awhile ago, when I was a new member and I can't remember who it was. I'll look through the performance book again and see what I can come up with.
Oh? I'd be very interested in seeing that presentation. I searched youtube for 'blood ketone testing' but couldn't find any likely suspects that weren't very short in duration.

Do you remember any details at all about the video? Or the thread it was posted to?
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Old 04-07-2013, 07:35 PM   #8
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I found this one but she doesn't discus testing. It is very interesting though. Dr. Mary Newport speaking about ketone bodies, CO and Alzheimer's.

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Old 04-08-2013, 05:37 AM   #9
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I will check back and see if I can find the post. It was one of the first lectures I watched about it. Maybe he was just someone following Phinney and Volek's protocol. But he seemed to know what he was talking about. He gave some research facts to back up his points.

I re-read the performance book and it just talks about getting your ketones in a specific range for NK, that's all. It doesn't give you guidelines or a profile for ketone testing.
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Old 04-08-2013, 06:37 AM   #10
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I re-read the performance book and it just talks about getting your ketones in a specific range for NK, that's all. It doesn't give you guidelines or a profile for ketone testing.
What exactly are you looking for? What do you mean by guidelines and profile? When to start? How often?
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Old 04-08-2013, 08:22 AM   #11
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I understand how to test my BG. In the morning, 2 hrs after meals, before and after exercise as well as times when I am feeling hungry. I am trying to match how I am feeling with respect to my exercise and diet patterns with what is happening with my blood sugar. My goals were/are mostly to try to stabilize my blood sugar levels and to see if my body is tolerating glucose/carbs properly

With the ketones, I want to determine, if my body can use fat as fuel, when my BG drops. Before I started low carb all sorts of strange things were happening. Like for example, after a 800 - 1000 cal meal I would feel hungry 1/2 hr later. I was also getting up in the middle of the night and eating several slices of bread, even though I had just had a large dinner at 8pm I figured that it was probably fluctuating insulin/blood glucose levels that were causing the false hunger. I basically was locked in a cycle where I was bingeing and then purging. Except in my case the purging was in the form of over-exercising. So my main goal is to try to eat and exercise like a "normal" person.
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Old 04-09-2013, 06:38 AM   #12
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I don't think ketones levels are as reactive as b.g.. If you are following a low carb eating plan and keeping your carbs low enough to be in ketosis first thing in the morning...you can assume that ketones will go up through the day so the morning reading is all you need to do.
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Old 04-09-2013, 03:19 PM   #13
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Oh, ok thanks.
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Old 04-09-2013, 04:26 PM   #14
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Just curious, how much are your glucose readings fluctuating after your meals? If there is a HUGE variation, I would be interested in knowing if ketones are in fact staying high.
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Old 04-10-2013, 05:17 AM   #15
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My BG aren't fluctuating that much with my meals. But I am eating around 30g/day which could be why. I believe before when I was eating around 150g/day that my blood sugar levels were fluctuating wildly which was causing all the problems. Right now I am using the meter to roughly get a sense of how exercise affects my blood sugar and it seems as though it really affects it a lot. For example on the weekend I had normal blood sugar and then after 1 hr of what I thought was a low intensity exercise session, my blood sugar dropped into the severe to moderate range for hypoglycemia. It had no effect on me because I am probably producing enough ketones, but that information explains a few things. I just ordered some ketone strips so I think once I start testing ketones, I will get an even clearer picture of what is going on. I reread some of the chapters in phinney and volek's books, but again the topics on ketone testing are a bit vague. I think the key is to make sure I am in the optimal range and not too low, which probably happens if you aren't eating enough fat, or burning enough from your fat stores. I think people closer to goal weight are going to struggle more with ketone production, unless they have a decent amount of fat in their diet.
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Old 04-10-2013, 07:08 AM   #16
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I don't think it really matters if you are closer to goal or not.

The "doors" for fat utilization are either easily opened for energy use or they are not. Blood ketone levels will give you evidence of this, if you are not supplying ALL the fat by eating too much fat. The idea of NK is to have the body fat available for mobilization when the body needs it. Your cells need to be adapted to ketone usage and the fat cells need to be able to give it up on demand. Unless you have low single digit body fat %, there are 1000's of calories available for ketone production.

I have dropped dietary fat intake and let my body fat supply calories now that my blood ketones are within the NK range. It doesn't make any sense to continue to supply dietary fat when what I really want is to have body fat available for energy. If you are at goal and don't want to lose any weight at all, you should be able to get by without a dietary cut back and/or eat a bit more protein and carbs.
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Old 04-10-2013, 11:00 AM   #17
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My main reason for doing NK is to try to stabilize my blood sugar/insulin levels. For me I think it matters a lot. I am around goal, but won't know for sure until next week when I get my DEXA scan done. I also have no idea what my body fat percentage is but its pretty low, seeing as though I am at goal. Once I can start ketone testing I will have a better sense of what is going on. If I am going to continue in NK beyond goal, I will have to make sure I am supplying my body with enough dietary fat. I suspect some of my issues might have been just from my body not producing enough ketones at the right times of the day.

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Old 04-29-2013, 10:32 AM   #18
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The "Performance Book" is good but it's very general in terms of the "process". I asked Jimmy on his blog and he said that he recommends a test once a day in the am upon rising. And if you want to another reading at night. This can get a little cost prohibitive though. The AM reading will be when your ketones are the lowest and should, if following the HF/LC regimen, build from there. A nighttime reading will indicate if you are getting enough fat in to get into NK. I am still using the pee sticks for now - haven't advanced to the blood testing but planning to soon.
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Old 04-29-2013, 06:05 PM   #19
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. A nighttime reading will indicate if you are getting enough fat in to get into NK. I am still using the pee sticks for now - haven't advanced to the blood testing but planning to soon.
How does the nighttime reading tell you if you are getting enough fat? Can you explain in more detail, thanks.
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Old 05-01-2013, 08:34 PM   #20
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I don't think it really matters if you are closer to goal or not.

The "doors" for fat utilization are either easily opened for energy use or they are not. Blood ketone levels will give you evidence of this, if you are not supplying ALL the fat by eating too much fat. The idea of NK is to have the body fat available for mobilization when the body needs it. Your cells need to be adapted to ketone usage and the fat cells need to be able to give it up on demand. Unless you have low single digit body fat %, there are 1000's of calories available for ketone production.

I have dropped dietary fat intake and let my body fat supply calories now that my blood ketones are within the NK range. It doesn't make any sense to continue to supply dietary fat when what I really want is to have body fat available for energy. If you are at goal and don't want to lose any weight at all, you should be able to get by without a dietary cut back and/or eat a bit more protein and carbs.
Really? I didn't know this... I thought you were suppose to keep your fat around 80% or so, but it makes sense. Although I'm still losing perhaps I should lower my fat intake. What percent fat do you eat?
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Old 05-01-2013, 09:36 PM   #21
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If you are losing, I wouldn't change things too much.

I have lowered fat grams until the blood ketones were in the 0.5-1.0 instead of the 2.0-3.0 that I was seeing in the mornings. I am averaging around 70% most days.
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Old 05-01-2013, 10:06 PM   #22
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The last few days my ketones have been 1.8, 1.5, 1.9, 2.2. I'm down to my last 15 - 20 pounds, but this belly will just not go down! I guess I'm a little confused... you want your ketones right around 1 or below... but over 0.3 though, right?
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Old 05-02-2013, 06:39 AM   #23
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That is what seems to work for me.

I had to drop the fat grams(calories) to lose, which dropped my ketones. I don't know if it is related or not, that is just what the testing has shown me.

You have done great so far and I'm not sure if you should change too much.

WHERE you lose weight is so individual, I don't think I can say that what I am doing will work for you.
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Old 05-02-2013, 07:33 AM   #24
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Thanks so much... I may give it a try, lower my fat grams just a bit and see what happens. I've lost 37# since Oct and have dropped several sizes, but I have the body type where it's harder for me to lose on the belly. I know I have, but there's still plenty there. I am feeling so much better and that's what counts!
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Old 05-02-2013, 09:57 AM   #25
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You go girl! You are doing great!
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Old 05-02-2013, 11:57 AM   #26
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You go girl! You are doing great!
Thank you!
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