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Where am I going wrong?

Discussion in 'Ketogenic diet forum' started by Flora123, Dec 9, 2018.

  1. Flora123

    Flora123 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    So been on a VLCHF for ages now. Been testing for ketones and been in ketosis for several weeks. I’m eating the same diet (literally!) but suddenly out of ketosis. Any recommendations and any links or books you guys can recommend. Thanks.
    PS. I don’t want to lose weight but maintain it
     
  2. bulkbiker

    bulkbiker Type 2 · Oracle

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    How are you testing for ketones?
     
  3. Jim Lahey

    Jim Lahey I reversed my Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Too much protein?

    Others may disagree and claim you can eat unlimited protein, but it’s a common theme and I’ve experienced it myself. Many people will plateau even if they were initially fine.

    Also if you’re testing with urine strips they can be misleading after an intitial period in ketosis.
     
    #3 Jim Lahey, Dec 10, 2018 at 5:53 AM
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2018
  4. Flora123

    Flora123 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Strips
     
  5. Flora123

    Flora123 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Guilty of lots of protein recently. I will lower it. Testing with strips but only very low levels of ketones were registering. Thanks
     
  6. Jim Lahey

    Jim Lahey I reversed my Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Urine strips or blood strips? Only blood strips will give you reasonably reliable tests over time. I’ve read that after a while, the ketones stop spilling into the urine. I use a blood meter so can’t corroborate this theory.

    The protein thing is something it seems that not everyone experiences, but many do. Protein is primarily for building and repairing the body, but if you consume more than is needed to do this job, then the excess amino acids are converted to glucose, which in many people is enough to raise insulin such that it stops ketosis. I guess it would depend on how much protein your own body needs for its mass and activity level, and your level of insulin resistance.

    Experimentation is key, as it will differ from person to person.
     
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    #6 Jim Lahey, Dec 10, 2018 at 7:21 AM
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2018
  7. AtkinsMo

    AtkinsMo Prediabetes · Well-Known Member

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    There are two different types of ketones, can’t remember their actual names, but the ketone strips only show one of them. The other one is the preferred fuel of the brain. Our body is so clever, when we do LCHF over a sustained period, the body changes the ketones it produces to the one preferred by the brain. The only way to measure these ketones is by blood testing or breath testing, the urine sticks don’t work. This is all very clearly explained in ‘The Art and Science of Low Carb Living’ by Phinney and Volek. Unfortunately, I don’t have it with me or I could tell you the technical terms.

    So be assured, you will still be in ketosis if you are doing strict LCHF, if you want to measure you will have to buy the right sort of meter. Mine is a freestyle optimum and you can buy strips for ketones as well as blood glucose, but the ketone strips are more expensive.
     
  8. Jim Lahey

    Jim Lahey I reversed my Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I believe the ketone body we’re all interested in is beta hydroxybutyrate.
     
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  9. AtkinsMo

    AtkinsMo Prediabetes · Well-Known Member

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    Haha, thanks Jim!
     
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  10. Brunneria

    Brunneria Other · Guru

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    Edited to add this first para:
    Sorry, just re-read my post and decided it was a long winded way of beating around the bush.
    Basically it all boils down to this:
    Does your daily total energy (calorie) intake of carbs+protein add up to more than your daily energy expenditure? If not, then you are in ketosis, whether your pee strips show it or not. :D Not that that will tell you whether your ketosis is due to dietary or body fat useage.
    Now, back to the long winded version... ;)

    I agree with what the others have said about urinary ketones dropping after a while.
    There is a lot of gumph online about measuring nutritional ketosis, and whole flocks of ketoers seem to think that the higher your ketones, the better. But the reality is, that once your body has 'learned' to quickly and easily switch to keto as a fuel source, it then gets more and more efficient at it. Experts such as Phinney and Voleck suggest that 'chasing high ketone numbers' is a waste of time.

    Ketones are used as fuel. So the better your body gets at using that fuel, then the better is gets at, well... using them. Which means there are fewer ketones floating about to be measured.

    So pee test strip ketones often drop off dramatically after a while.
    You could switch to blood testing or breath testing, but that means buying extra equipment, and the blood test strips that I tried were around £10 for 10 strips. Which is a waste of money when they read ketones, or no ketones (because I ate carbs the day before). Seems pointless relying on a strip when my I remember eating that potato, and can predict the reading, doesn't it?

    When you get right down to it, I don't believe there is much need for people to spend money testing for ketones when in nutritional ketosis. I mean, lets face it, if someone is eating exceedingly low carb, and getting their dietary energy from mainly fat and protein, and they are feeling well, then it doesn't matter if they are in keto 24/7 or skimming in and out of it like a stone skipping the surface of a pond.

    They feel well, and their blood glucose is under control (hopefully they test bg now and then).
    If they don't feel well, then that is a whole different ball game, and worth investigating, but I doubt it will be nutritional ketones causing the problem.

    It is a large and complex subject, but frankly, if you aren't eating enough carbs for their energy to fuel your daily activities, then you are in ketosis. Simples. The one caveat on that is if you are eating silly-high amounts of protein. But appetite and common sense usually stops people from that, and the body is very good at limiting excess protein, by just making it unappetising to eat more than is appropriate.
     
    • Winner Winner x 1
    #10 Brunneria, Dec 10, 2018 at 9:49 AM
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2018
  11. bulkbiker

    bulkbiker Type 2 · Oracle

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    Pee strips or blood?
     
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  12. Flora123

    Flora123 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Jim. I use urine strips but I may look into blood strips when they are finished.
     
  13. Flora123

    Flora123 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Thank you. I will need to do some research. I quite like my blood glucose meter at the moment but may look into a dual one.
     
  14. Flora123

    Flora123 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Thank you so much. That is very helpful.
     
  15. Jim Lahey

    Jim Lahey I reversed my Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I respectfully disagree with the calorie model. Glucagon and insulin are the key drivers of energy distribution and storage. Regardless of calories in/out, if you have elevated insulin concentrations then ketosis is temporarily blocked in favour of glycolysis. I understand the calorie principle but unfortunately it’s not that simple. Perhaps one could use it as a rule of thumb in a metabolically flexible individual, but diabetics are generally not metabolically flexible. You could run two marathons and I could still prevent you from oxidising fatty acids just by giving you an insulin injection.
     
  16. Brunneria

    Brunneria Other · Guru

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    @Jim Lahey

    Flora knows that her recent way of eating has produced ketones, and has kept to that way of eating.
    Therefore, her body is clearly metabolically flexible enough to be in ketosis on this way of eating.

    As far as I can see all the responses above (including mine) were addressing Flora specifically, not an unidentified marathon runner taking insulin.

    That comment isn't meant to be snippy, it is just that I am not sure introducing extreme examples is all that helpful to Flora.
     
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  17. Jim Lahey

    Jim Lahey I reversed my Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Fair comment. I was just suggesting that in my view, calories in/out has very little bearing on anything when it comes to metabolism. I don’t like reading about it because I think it’s misleading and not at all helpful. It’s very easy to slip out of ketosis if insulin levels rise, and this can happen irrespective of calories.

    But I’m sure we can disagree amicably :)
     
  18. Brunneria

    Brunneria Other · Guru

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    Oh, i loathe the CICO thinking too. :D
    But it sometimes makes a very useful common frame of reference. :)
     
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