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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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September 13, 2017

Why Am I Getting Low Ketone Readings on a Ketogenic Diet?

By Mark Sisson
67 Comments

Inline_Ketone_Levels_09.13.17Even 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. Many people who have been in long term ketosis can get by quite nicely on 20-30 net grams of carbs a day and might only show .4 or .7 millimolar ketones on a blood test, but they have plenty of energy from burning free fatty acids and maintain muscle mass on relatively fewer calories than when they were dependent on carbs.

Keto pioneers Stephen Phinney and Jeff Volek found that keto dieters blew higher readings early on in the diet when they were still burning ketones in the muscle. As they grew adapted to free fatty acids as a source of fuel and produced ketones primarily for the brain, ketone levels dropped. It was totally normal. If anything, they were more fat/keto-adapted at lower ketone readings.

Consider the energy requirements of the brain. Whether it’s running on glucose (most of the population) or mostly on ketones, the brain is a steady state organ that never spikes energy demand. It’s a slow-burn 24/7 at nearly the same output whether you are sleeping, exercising hard, or concentrating hard. While the brain has a substantial caloric requirement (at roughly 2% of our body weight, it uses 20% of our resting metabolic rate), you don’t need a ton of glucose or ketones at any one time to power your brain gracefully all day long. That’s why people can “get away” with lower ketone production and still reap the benefits we expect from eating this way.

There’s almost certainly a genetic component to ketone production, too. Take the Inuit, who were rarely in ketosis despite traditionally eating a very low-carb diet. It takes several days of deep fasting for them to produce measurable ketones. Yet, they are adept at burning free fatty acids, almost as if they “skip” keto-adaptation and proceed directly to burning fat. Other variants that affect ketone production have yet to be discovered, but they’re out there.

What about people on long term ketogenic diets who still get astronomical readings? What’s going on?

A major factor not often mentioned in whether someone on a keto diet blows high or low ketones is overall calorie intake. How much food are you eating?

Ketones are generated when the amount of dietary fat available to be burned exceeds the supply of oxaloacetate (provided by protein or carbohydrates). It’s not that the body thinks, “This woman needs some ketones, stat.” It’s more like, “I’ve got too much acetyl-COA from all this fat, and I can’t find any oxaloacetate. Guess it’s ketones!”  If you’re the type to use keto to justify chugging olive oil, you’ll generate lots of ketones simply because your fat intake is outpacing the supply of oxaloacetate. Keto athletes eating tons of calories will probably produce more ketones simply because they’re eating so much fat.

If you’ve attained the much-desired “caloric efficiency” I espouse and eating fewer calories overall, you’ll generate fewer ketones but still be “keto.”

Another factor is the use of exogenous ketones. Dean Ornish could take keto esters and blow big numbers.

Above all else, focus on the symptoms.

Can you go without a meal and maintain steady, even energy and concentration?

Are you losing body fat or happy with your body composition?

Are you thinking more clearly?

Has the keto flu come and gone?

Are aerobic activities easier than ever?

If any of those are happening to you, there’s no need to fret over some numbers on a device. The numbers can’t negate your real world experience.

How does ketosis affect glycogen? Does it spare it? Impair our ability to utilize it?

A 1983 study by Steven Phinney gives us a few hints.  He put people on a typical high-carb diet for 4 days, ran a 65% VO2 max endurance test, then switched them over to a ketogenic diet with 20 grams of carbs and about 80-85% of calories from fat for 3 weeks and ran the test again. There was no difference in time to exhaustion after either dietary arm, but glycogen storage and usage changed a ton. During the high-carb arm, the group began the workout with 150 grams of glycogen and ended it with 50 grams. While eating ketogenic, the group began the workout with 75 grams and also ended it with 50 grams.

In a modern setting, the high-carb guy could just squeeze some glucose goo in his mouth, replenish the lost glycogen, and be ready for the next race. But in a setting where glucose goo isn’t available, the keto guy has the advantage. He’s still got 50 grams of glycogen left in the tank—enough for two more races—while the high-carb guy’s 50 grams of carbs will only last him half a race. And the low-carb guy doesn’t have to eat. That’s pretty cool.

It is the modern world. You can grab some glucose goo and win the race. But there’s something special about utilizing the metabolic machinery developed over hundreds of thousands of grueling, blood-and-sweat soaked years.

Sparing glycogen is one thing. Does keto inhibit our ability to utilize the muscle glycogen we’ve spared?

Free fatty acids sure don’t, according to this study. Healthy young males spent a couple hours depleting their muscle glycogen through exercise, after which they were split into two groups. One group got a high-fat breakfast, giving them elevated free fatty acids. One group got a low-fat breakfast, giving them low free fatty acids. They measured glycogen before and after exercise in both groups, as well as markers of the pathway responsible for burning glycogen. Normally, free fatty acids impair glycogen burning. Not this time. Exercise was sufficient to overcome the inhibitory effects of FFA on glycogen-burning.

Semantics enters the fray here. One man’s spared glycogen is another’s inhibited glycogen. We spare glycogen by using less of it—by inhibiting its metabolism. That doesn’t mean the ketogenic athlete can’t burn glycogen when required. It means there’s less to go around, and that’s probably okay because, once again, the ketogenic athlete can do more with fat and ketones and doesn’t need as much glycogen.

Confusing, isn’t it? That’s biology for you.

Still, we know a fair bit. The sparing/inhibiting effect keto has on glycogen metabolism doesn’t impair endurance performance and probably even bolsters it. Long-term elite keto athletes can burn up to 2.3 times more fat at peak oxidation and 59% more fat overall than non-keto athletes, and they do it at higher intensities.

We know fat-adapted athletes beat sugar-burning athletes at high-intensity intervals due to their increased ability to burn fat and retain glycogen. These aren’t 100 m sprints—they’re 4-minute intervals on an incline treadmill—but they’re still glycogen-intensive.

We know low volume, high intensity strength training doesn’t suffer on keto.

What we don’t know is how the delicate balance between glycogen sparing and inhibiting affects high volume, high intensity glycolytic work. I suspect you’re going to lose some performance at the upper echelons of intensity. I also suspect you can regain most, if not all of it by incorporating well-placed carb refeeds.

Anyway, folks, that’s what’s been on my mind these past few days. I wanted to get it out there on the blog so you folks can mull it over and kick it around, and hopefully come back with some good feedback and insight of your own.

Thanks for reading, everybody!

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67 Comments on "Why Am I Getting Low Ketone Readings on a Ketogenic Diet?"

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Time Traveler
Time Traveler
10 days 23 hours ago

One shouldn’t get hung up on ketone numbers alone. Being fat adapted, is far more important…

MLM
MLM
10 days 23 hours ago
I read all the keto blog articles with interest, it’s something I’ll probably try one day, but I’m struggling to follow the bit about free fatty acids. This is how my (amateur, no doubt) understanding goes: eat a lot of sugar, burn sugar (glucose). This is where most people are at. Eat rather less sugar and burn fat – but you still need some, even if via gluconeogenesis, for ‘normal’ fat burning (via krebs cycle?) This is the general fat adaptation that primal aims for, right?? Eat so little sugar (and protein) that you can’t even burn fat, then you… Read more »
Steve Withers
Steve Withers
10 days 1 hour ago

To burn fats, you produce a lot of acetyl CoA, that then feeds in to the Kreb’s cycle. If you have a lot of fat, this step may become limiting. The acetyl CoA will not hang around, but will get processed to ketones to be used elsewhere in the body. Mark says this when he suggests that people who are fat adapted, but glug down the olive oil may blow higher ketones – they have to shunt the acetyl CoA out.

Gameg1rl
10 days 22 hours ago

My ketone levels are about in the middle to high range. While perfectly fine with me for now, my doctor seems concerned and wants to retest my levels. (This is from my routine physical.) Any suggestions on explaining Ketosis to a doctor who doesn’t think it is a good thing for anyone?

Shary
Shary
10 days 22 hours ago

Your doctor might have reason to be concerned, depending on your various test results and other specifics. He undoubtedly knows more about ketosis than you do, so why not take advantage of what you’re paying him for? Ask him to explain why he doesn’t think it’s a good idea for you.

Linda McDonald
10 days 19 hours ago

Never assume a doctor knows anything!! Most of them are quite ignorant on anything beyond what they’re taught in medical school, and that doesn’t include a healthy diet.

HealthyHombre
HealthyHombre
10 days 18 hours ago

” He undoubtedly knows more about ketosis than you do”

I hope that was sarcasm Shary. 🙂

Shary
Shary
10 days 14 hours ago

Actually any MD should have at least a working knowledge regarding the keto diet. It isn’t rocket science and it’s been around for at least a hundred years. If he doesn’t know about it, then what else doesn’t he know about? In other words, it could be time to find another doctor.

Douglas Saum
Douglas Saum
10 days 21 hours ago

Find a new doctor?

NaturalGirl
NaturalGirl
10 days 21 hours ago

I agree. Find a doctor who is open to your input and is willing to work with you. Picking a doctor is like choosing a perfume, very personal.

Matt B
Matt B
10 days 20 hours ago

Maybe time for a new doctor i.e. one educated in ancestral health?

Shary
Shary
10 days 14 hours ago

Educated in ancestral health? Good luck with that, Matt. I tend to share Linda’s opinion of doctors in general, but most of them should be familiar with a diet used for medical purposes. Whether they think it’s a good idea as a long-term way of life, or for someone not medically in need, is a different story entirely.

Brad Kearns
9 days 18 hours ago

Why would a doctor “undoubtedly knows more about ketosis than you do”? It’s more likely a random doctor knows less than a keto-enthusiast who reads MarksDailyApple. “Your waitress undoubtedly knows more about ketosis than you do” sounds silly but it’s no different than saying that about a physician, since physicians do not necessarily have any training about diet and in fact may have a bias against ketosis since they know very likely know about ketoacidosis but not the keto dietary movement.

Flo
Flo
10 days 22 hours ago

I’ve had the same experience, low blood ketones, but high readings with the ketonix which indicates I was burning ketones. As soon as I had a day with lots of exercise the blood ketones went up. It turns out that the blood ketones are merely the reserves that the body builds up because it thinks it will need it. If you’re keto adapted, you have optimal levels which you burn hence the low levels in blood ketones.

Alfred
Alfred
10 days 22 hours ago

About testing ketones, mct’s produce bHba which does not show up in a test strip.

Joshua
10 days 20 hours ago

You can test beta-hydroxybutyrate with a strip and ketone meter, did you mean a urine strip?

Linus was right
Linus was right
10 days 22 hours ago

The reference to the Inuit is confusing – you already know why they skip ketosis as you alluded to in the boldface preface…because of their genetic mutation.Another problem is that in a 1928 study the Inuit were stated to consume on average 54g of carbs daily in the form of glycogen stored in the meat they eat (http://www.jbc.org/content/80/2/461.full.pdf)

Shary
Shary
10 days 21 hours ago
One big reason why some people test low is because they are eating too many carbs to maintain ketosis. This might be due in part to nutritional misunderstandings (“Oh, does that contain carbohydrates? I thought it was a fat.”) and possibly just eating too much. Most foods contain at least a few carbs, and they can add up quickly. You can’t cheat and expect to be in ketosis. Persons wanting to try ketosis for medical reasons might do well to obtain an individualized eating plan set up by a nutritional MD or a knowledgeable dietitian versus just winging it. For… Read more »
Elizabeth Resnick
10 days 21 hours ago
Love this stuff, but it all boils down to listening to your body. I really try not to get hung up on numbers anywhere, and focus instead on how I feel and what I can do. I make myself crazy if I track something too closely. I have never tested for ketones, and if I ever do it will be out of curiosity. But I will be the first to admit that eating this way (and I consider myself “borderline” keto) makes me feel amazing. Tons of energy and focus. Comparing old pictures to current ones, I can see that… Read more »
Flgrl
Flgrl
10 days 21 hours ago

I never adapted after 2 months. My body fat was at 16% at the start. I saw muscle loss, weight gain and when I finally threw in the towel, the Dexa scan had me at 21.3%! I gained weight even though I was sticking to the macros and keeping my caloric intake at around 1500 cals per day

mims
10 days 11 hours ago
same thing happened to me…..rarely made it into ketosis, eating only 40 g of carbs, 10% protein and the rest fat. 1600-1800 caloris a day for a month. Felt like crap, no energy, always hungry, my fasting blood sugars went from normal to almost diabetic (125-135 mg/dl). and I gained two pounds. I think people exist along a spectrum of ability to become fat adapted. And i am on the end of spectrum that does not do well with all that fat. Clearly there are undiscovered mutations in many of the hundreds of genes involved in fat metabolism…not the dramatic… Read more »
Time Traveler
Time Traveler
10 days 8 hours ago

In some people, high fat diet will lead to physiological insulin resistance; it’s different then insulin resistance in a person who is diabetic. But still, one shouldn’t reach the levels you’ve mentioned. Try changing your ratios, by upping your carbs and protein and dropping your fat intake percentage. Cron-O-meter has a number of ratio options as well as manual override and it’s free, unless you want to generate detailed reports etc.

Clay
Clay
6 days 21 hours ago

I think keeping then protein high, which will naturally inhibit ketosis a bit is far more important than being in pure ketosis. I eat way to much protein to really be in full blown ketosis but I do show trace keytones in my system when I test with the pee strips. I think Mark is correct – ketosis is not really the goal, it’s being fat adapted that’s important. For some, that means they will never show ketones in a test.

Beata
Beata
10 days 21 hours ago

65 days of Zero Carb diet (meat and water only) and 10 lbs. weight gain! Trying to fast ends in total failure as only after 5 hours without food I feel intense inner cold and moodiness.
I eat about 2400 cal per day, 70%fat 30% proteins. No breath or urine ketones and only very minimal blood ketones (0.4). Not sure why there is such huge weight gain? Am I or am I not in ketosis?

Female, 52 y.o. 127 lbs at present.

Kristen
Kristen
10 days 20 hours ago

i’m no expert, but my guess would be that you need a few carbs from green, leafy veggies and healthy fats from sources other than just meat.

Beata
Beata
5 days 19 hours ago

Hi Kristen,
Thank you for your feedback. After plenty of research I learnt that vegetables are not necessary to supply the body’s nutritional needs.

Victor
10 days 19 hours ago

At 127 lbs, 2400 cal/day is way too much… unless you are burning lots of cals like running more than 2 hours a day. Calories still matters in keto. Probably need to be closer to 1400 cal/day.

Beata
Beata
5 days 19 hours ago

Thank you, Victor. For a while I started to believe that the “calories in – calories out” theory was old fashionned and false. Now I am not so sure. My weight gain stops when I eat less, but then I also experience hunger.

Amanda
Amanda
10 days 17 hours ago
Your the same age and weight as I am. Even with Keto, calories do still matter if your trying to loose body fat. I suspect your calories are too high. I eat approx. 1500 – 1800 calories for weight maintenance, and I’m about 160cm tall with good muscle tone. I would try to cut your calories back to see how you go. Also, a lot can depend on where your at with menopause, so you may still need up to 20g total carbs per day to maintain healthy hormone levels. The main thing is to realise that if what your… Read more »
Beata
Beata
5 days 19 hours ago

Thank you Amanda, I am not yet ready to throw in the towel but some adjustments are in order and already working. I adjusted my macros and slightly cut down the calories and the gain stopped. I find that I have many wonderful benefits, so consider this experiment succesful and ongoing. 🙂

Ben
Ben
10 days 14 hours ago

Read Fat For Fuel by Mercola (also the recent Plant Paradox) book. You should try getting protein under 10% of calories. Protein can be converted into sugar. To verify, you can check blood ketone and blood glucose levels.

Tee Dee
Tee Dee
8 days 20 hours ago
Be careful about all this concern lately about protein ‘turning into glucose’. It’s a little more nuanced than it is when someone consumes carbs/sugars which turn into glucose. I cut way down on my protein intake because of some alarmists saying protein turns into glucose and gained weight, felt bad cravings again for carbs and generally didn’t feel I was doing as well. There are a few people addressing this low protein trend and telling people to stop being afraid of protein like we are with carbs. I upped my intake and am losing weight again very steadily and carb… Read more »
Beata
Beata
5 days 19 hours ago

Thank you Tee Dee. I am glad that you figured out what works for you. I don’t have a chance to eat too little proteins as I practice the Zero Carb diet (meat and water only). I have been working on adjusting the macros and eating a little less, and stopped gaining weight.

Tee Dee
Tee Dee
5 days 18 hours ago

I eat less than 5g carbs a day, so I’m very close to total carnivore. When I cut back on protein, I had no choice but to increase fat intake for satiety, which is fine in general. I just didn’t like taking in less than 50g protein per day, so I upped it to about 30-40 g per meal…

Tee Dee
Tee Dee
8 days 20 hours ago

Here’s a great blog post about protein/gluconeogenesis that I highly recommend:http://www.tuitnutrition.com/2017/07/gluconeogenesis.html

Beata
Beata
5 days 19 hours ago

Thank you, Ben. The information about gluconeogenesis varies and many reserchers disagree on this topic. But it is something I keep my eye on.

Shary
Shary
10 days 13 hours ago

.Beata, what on earth are you trying to accomplish? You aren’t doing your health any favors by following such an extreme diet. Get yourself back into a more normal eating pattern that includes a variety of fruit and vegetables, eggs, nuts, etc, Forget about fasting, at least for the time being. Your body is in a state of stress and is probably trying to conserve nutrients. Ketosis doesn’t work well for everyone. Neither does fasting.

Jay
Jay
10 days 3 hours ago

A couple thoughts. You may have started this experiment underweight or malnourished, or you may have increased lean mass. You didnt share your height or activities in past 65 days, but this does happen. 127lbs is not a lot of weight to be carrying for your average sized woman.

Beata
Beata
5 days 19 hours ago

Thank you, Jay. It is possible that my starting weight of 117 lbs. at 5.4 is not the whole lot. I came to Zero Carb diet from years of calories restriction so yes, it is possible that this had an effect.
I also had to stop my daily 30 min brisk walks and yoga due to a broken toe, so this may have some sort of effect.

Jay
Jay
5 days 17 hours ago

Sorry to hear about the toe. As an aside my wife is your height and looks great in the 130 something lb range! You may find this interesting as well. http://myzerocarblife.jamesdhogan.com/wp/2015/03/when-lowering-carbs-causes-weight-gain/

Jeb
Jeb
9 days 3 hours ago
I played a bit with an Atkins style diet a couple decades back. Meat and water., but no exercise All bloating and gas went away, felt great, Gained 3 pounds in 2 weeks, opposite of my goal. Given what’s been learned since then, I think healthy fats were critically missing and my protein intake was too high. (In only 2 weeks I probably wasn’t fat adapted either) Curious if you were using organic/pasture raised meat? Wondering if non-organic non-pasture raised meat can provide fat that contains chemicals that can cause insulin resistance, maybe as a defense mechanism? Anyone know if… Read more »
Beata
Beata
5 days 19 hours ago

Jeb, only organic grass fed meat, mostly beef, with some occasional fish. But I think you are right about a different profile of fatty acids in grain fed animals.

Anne
Anne
10 days 21 hours ago
I do a lot of exercise and I’ve been doing the Gaps diet for a few years, eating fats and lower carb count and mostly green veggies. I don’t eat starches or grains. i do have perhaps 1 fruit a day occasionally (not everyday). I exercise quite a bit. My concern (although I feel fine) is whether I can burn out my adrenals if I exercise without much carbs at all for a long time. I swim three times per week but they are long sessions, I do yoga as often as I can (aim for daily), I do weight… Read more »
Joshua
10 days 20 hours ago

You might also want to read Art & Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance (http://amzn.to/2h3CmkI). There are great strategies for athletic performance while ketogenic. I have Crohn’s and exercise a lot, mostly keto, this helped me problem solve some of the longer term issues that came up.

Joshua
10 days 20 hours ago

You may want to read The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance, which gives excellent strategies for athletic performance with keto. I have Crohn’s and mostly keto, and this book has been vital in figuring out how to make auto-immune + keto + athletic performance work

Anne
Anne
10 days 20 hours ago
Thank you Josh for your response. I’ll definitely check that out. I’m also doing this because of auto immune tendencies and issues my family members have with auto immune. But I’m also intolerant to many foods and wanted to heal my digestion. I don’t seem to do well with complex carbs anyway so eating more along the Keto diet works better for me but I also dont do too well with eating too many nuts as it affects my digestion so it’s been a balancing act trying to find the foods I can eat to fuel myself. Thanks again
Joshua
10 days 19 hours ago

I also can’t really do nuts, soy or dairy, forcing me to get creative. Without getting too detailed…3 things that have changed my life, aside from ketones. 1- Organix comprehensive profile (shows what isn’t working and suggests how to fix) 2- MAP amino supplementation (effective amino use is often an issue with autoimmune causing all kinds of havoc) 3- Aquamin (red algae rich in minerals that I have used in combo with the MAP to restore and build muscle tissue + heal from surgery to spectacular effect under supervision of Stanford Medical). Good luck!

Anne
Anne
10 days 17 hours ago

Thanks Joshua. I’ll check all those things out. Just did the 23 and me test and awaiting results. Wanted to see if I have certain genes that might indicate what’s not working but the Organix profile might be much more effective in outlining what I need to do. Thanks so much for taking the time

Anne
Anne
10 days 17 hours ago

Thanks Joshua,

I did the 23 and me test recently and still awaiting results. I was hoping to find some clues in the genes but the Organix profile seems perhaps the better way to go. Thanks for all that. I’ll look at all of that. All the best to you

Joshua
10 days 11 hours ago

I really can’t recommend the Organix more. I think everyone should be getting them annually over 35. Game Changer

Anne
Anne
9 days 18 hours ago

Thanks you Joshua. I’ve contacted them. Not sure how to go about it from Canada or later in the year Australia so I’ll see if it’s possible.

Josh Bradley
9 days 15 hours ago
Tee Dee
Tee Dee
8 days 20 hours ago

This may also give a fuller understanding of adrenal issues:https://chriskresser.com/myth-of-adrenal-fatigue/

Ian Rambo
Ian Rambo
10 days 19 hours ago

5 years Fat Adapted here, AM ketones .4mmol/l and PM .7mmol/l.Even after a carb tefeed (when i did them) i return to these levels next day. Exercise does elevate them as does fasting but ive never blood tested more than 1.2. I’m always between 10 and 14% body fat and still maintain these nlood ketone ranges even with 130-150g carbs per day (carb tolerance). I think once long term fat adapted, ketones production becomes efficient, muscles utilize FFA or can switch or consecutively burn both Carbs and FFA on demand. I don’t chase Ketones , i chase results.

Ion Freeman
Ion Freeman
10 days 18 hours ago
So… I did the six weeks of Keto to build the “metabolic machinery” . I’ve numbered the symptoms below. Just being fat adapted, just eating primally lets you fast intermittently, so (1) is a gimmie. And intermittent fasting — which I was doing before keto, continued through keto and continue now — loses you body fat. (3) seems to track largely with how well I sleep and i had no experience with (4). Or (5), really. I don’t know if I blew keto altogether or my brain was already living on ketones. Is there a useful distinction between being fat… Read more »
HealthyHombre
HealthyHombre
10 days 17 hours ago
I eat lots of veggies, get an ample amount of protein via fish and fowl, drink bone broth daily, use olive oil and coconut oil, eat a variety of different nuts, 90% of the small amount of fruit I eat are berries, I avoid simple carbohydrates, and take of host of carefully researched supplements (and eat a couple of Mark’s collagen bars each week). All my meals fall within an 8 hour time period. That’s going to have to do for now, although I admire Mark’s deep dive into biochemistry. I’m focused on epigenetics, autophagy and hormesis these days, and… Read more »
Forest Simmons
Forest Simmons
10 days 17 hours ago
I just read the physical performance chapter in Wilson and Lowery’s “Ketogenic Bible.” They have done some interesting studies. One 11 week study on well trained weight lifters is reported on by Lowery in the current blog of ketogenic.com. In the eleventh week Carbs were drastically re-introduced into the Keto group’s diet. I’m surprised that they didn’t mention your contributions in their “Bible.” I guess that they were just going for peer reviewed, controlled studies. But I think that intelligent insight and interpretation (based on self experiment of N=1 and observations of smany clients, as well as on peer reviewed… Read more »
Aaron H
Aaron H
10 days 11 hours ago
Male 35 6’3″ near 185lbs 44 chest 35 waist AFTER I Lost 60 lbs in the last 7 months being hflc/keto. I definitely have all indications of being keto adapted and an ideal body composition. It happened so fast I couldn’t keep up with it. I went from 38s to 30s. An off the rack 44 to a 38. I eat a keto diet VERY high in dairy and vegetables. Moderate protein. I may go through a gallon of heavy whipping cream a week but I focus on nutrient density. I have more digestive issues with kale or broccoli than… Read more »
Bob
Bob
10 days 10 hours ago

Thanks for sharing. I have always done well on a low-carb ketosis diet but have never stayed at it long enough. Mark’s book and stories like this will help power me through.

BobM
BobM
10 days 4 hours ago
This is an appropriate topic for me. For me, I’ve lost over 50 pounds, over the course of about 4 years low carb, about 2 just low carb, then adding in intermittent fasting. I also had shoulder surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff (think no lifting weight >10 pounds for about 6 months, one month in a sling), tried eating resistant starch to see what that was about (about 4 months, no benefit I could see), etc. I got a DEXA scan done, and still could lose another 50+ pounds, though I’d be OK with 20 to 30. I… Read more »
Shary
Shary
9 days 23 hours ago

I’m not sure why you’re so focused on ketosis. It isn’t a be-all and end-all. It’s just a tool that isn’t always effective. It sounds like your diet has become unbalanced and much too extreme. The human body doesn’t do well on extremes. You might consider moving in the other direction, toward more plant foods and backing off the protein a bit. Normalizing your diet and thereby increasing nutrients may help jumpstart your body’s ability to lose that extra 20 or 30 pounds.

Clay
Clay
6 days 21 hours ago

I concur. Though Bob provided a very detailed analysis of his tightly controlled diet and ketosis goals, nothing was mentioned about health and happiness. That’s the goal behind good living isn’t it.- to feel great. Numbers are just that, numbers. Numbers aren’t health or disease.

Andy Taylor
Andy Taylor
9 days 21 hours ago

1) What is the best way to monitor ketone levels? 2) Can it be done with a regular blog glucose monitor??

Cris McBride
9 days 17 hours ago
One of the issues that I wonder about, and did not notice was addressed in this discussion, is the blood sugar levels in people with low and with higher levels of blood ketones, Also, it seems to me that ketone levels not measured from blood, are very unpredictable. My wife and I have Type II diabetes that has gone away now that we have lost weight and maintain a very low carb diet, even when minimally in a ketotic state. We have found with my wife’s blood tests, being more ketotic than I, that when her blood glucose is 90+,… Read more »
John Anderson
6 days 19 hours ago

For my “sprints”; I run upstairs (100 steps) then rest walking down, then do it again several times. This gets me to my max HR (sometimes above). So am i strictly burning glycogen during these intervals?

Barbie
Barbie
5 days 21 hours ago
I’m 5+ weeks into my keto experiment, and delighted with the results so far. More on the details below, but my question/concern is that my fasting blood glucose numbers (I’m diabetic) have actually increased slightly (averaging about 118), although after eating they have slightly reduced (generally under 130). This comes as a surprise since my original goal with keto was lowering my BG, but what I got (and welcome!) was delightful and easy body fat burning, such that I look and feel delightfully slimmer all over in a bathing suit and I’m down 6 pounds, well into my goal range,… Read more »
Corey
Corey
5 days 10 hours ago
I’ve been eating Keto coming up one year as of October 4th. I have definitely had an improvement in performance especially in endurance and my musculature seems to have grown also. I maintained crossfit during this time, but have switched to more functional strength training now. I’d still like to lose another few percentage points in body fat, but its happening slowly. Ample sleep seems important in this regard. I also don’t have so much mental fatigue. Im pretty even except when i need to rest as per normal physiology. I test my ketones with breath and blood, but not… Read more »
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