Help! Cannot get into Ketosis

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Joined: Jan 11
Posts: 11

Posted: 21 Jan 2013, 03:17
Hi, after more than 5 days, my ketosis is still low. I measure it every morning with Ketostix.
I shifted from a 60% prot / 30% fat to 40% prot /55% fat.
My sugar intake is low (below 30gm/day) and I don't eat more than 1400kcal/day.
Do you have any advices to boost the Ketosis?
What is your ketogenic ratio?

Joined: Dec 12
Posts: 28

Posted: 21 Jan 2013, 07:24
Hi there! I experienced the same thing when I first started my low carb diet and to be honest, I threw my Ketostix in the bin! I'm unsure as to how reliable they actually are but on mine, I was always on the second square along, two away from the neutral square and I was having less than 8% carbs (from vegetables only) at that point. Although it wasn't dark, I had all of the side effects that supposedly come with ketosis ie. headache, dizziness, feeling of hunger disappearing etc and I was dropping weight pretty quickly. The lack of carbs actually induced my TOTM (again, some argue this is a side effect of ketosis - something to do with oestrogen being released into the bloodstream) and my ketostix went really dark. But again, I have heard that TOTM can affect the result. Once TOTM was over I was on the neutral square (ie. no ketosis) and stayed neutral ever since but the weight continued to drop and I was still eating the same amount of carbs..didn't work for me!

But I have also heard that the level of ketones in your system is normally higher at the end of the day, not at the beginning and that the darkness of the square that the strip corresponds to doesn't actually matter. I was told that you can either be in or out of ketosis, there aren't certain levels of it so as long as you are not neutral, you should just be 'in ketosis'. If you drink lots of water you urine will be more diluted and thus result in a lighter shade on the ketostix and likewise, a darker shade could mean that you are dehydrated - ketones more concentrated because the urine isn't as diluted. But I'm no expert, as I mentioned, I gave up on the ketosis idea because I couldn't seem to get it right - or maybe my Ketostix were just faulty Rolling Eyes I'm intrigued to see what others come up with! There are lots of people on here who will be able to advise you Smile
Sweat like a pig, look like a fox

August 13th 2012: 202lbs (starting weight)
Christmas Day 2012: 169lbs
New Year's day 2013: Starting the Dukan Diet at 169.8lbs
1 Feb 2013: 160.4lbs
1 August 2013: 146lbs

Joined: Mar 12
Posts: 55

Posted: 21 Jan 2013, 08:27
Hey there. I have found that your numbers should look more like 70% fat 20% protein and 10% carbs. I was told this last year and it helped tremendously. I hope this helps! Smile

Joined: Jan 11
Posts: 11

Posted: 21 Jan 2013, 09:33
thank you for your anwser. @tlegerski: I am gradually shifting because my proteins intake was high. @SergeantS: to be honest with you, this morning, I was on the verge of throwing the ketostix though the window Wink
I'll try to remain patient with those and I'll do the testings in the evening.

Joined: Sep 12
Posts: 7

Posted: 21 Jan 2013, 14:28
It's not a question of ratio but of total numbers. You can't get into ketosis if your daily intake of carbs is higher than 50g or if your protein intake is more than 1.5g per lbs of lean body mass weight.

Two other things: Firstly, the urine sticks don't work very well for monitoring ketosis because they measure concentration of acetone in urine and ketosis is defined by a beta-hydroxybutyrate concentration between 0.5-5 mmol/dl in the blood (you want to be in the 1.5-3 range). Right now you are trying to estimate how many apples you have by counting your oranges.

Secondly, I recommend reading Phinney & Volek books "The art and science of low carbohydrate living" and "The art & science of low carbohydrate performance". Both should be able to answer any present or future questions about nutritional ketosis.

Joined: Nov 12
Posts: 41

Posted: 21 Jan 2013, 16:32
PerpetualDieter wrote:
Hi, after more than 5 days, my ketosis is still low. I measure it every morning with Ketostix.
I shifted from a 60% prot / 30% fat to 40% prot /55% fat.
My sugar intake is low (below 30gm/day) and I don't eat more than 1400kcal/day.
Do you have any advices to boost the Ketosis?
What is your ketogenic ratio?

All that matters is whether you are in ketosis so don't make it a contest to get the darkest stix. Everyone's body is different, plus if you drink alot of water, that will affect the dillution. Plus, some cheaper stixs don't measure well (I bought first time). Also, test yourself at different times, to see if it varies.
Goal 1 - Run half marathon in early June (run not walk)
Goal 2 - Drop 100 lbs total before my birthday in late June

Joined: Sep 11
Posts: 1

Posted: 21 Jan 2013, 19:36
Best time to test for ketosis is in the evening ...after you eat.

Joined: Jan 11
Posts: 11

Posted: 23 Jan 2013, 02:45
thank you so much for your answers.
@catskinner, I will read "The Art and science..."

I guess it is really difficult to see if someone is on ketosis then

Joined: Jun 12
Posts: 3

Posted: 23 Jan 2013, 03:55
Ive been follow LC for months and i dont even never know when i was in ketosix or not. lol
Let me retry with you Wink

Joined: Jan 13
Posts: 12

Posted: 23 Jan 2013, 08:34
Just a quick note. If you are doing the Atkins diet (low carb) ready his book New Atkins for a New You. Throw the sticks out. They don't use those any longer. As previously said above, they aren't a good monitering system for ketosis due to the fact that the color can change if you are dehydrated, have an infection, etc. As long as the first two weeks of induction your net carbs are 20 gms. You are in Ketosis. Good luck!
SW: 251
CW: 206.4
GW: 170

Joined: Dec 12
Posts: 102

Posted: 23 Jan 2013, 11:53
Personally when I'm low carbing, I do use ketostix, and they work for me. Partly because I don't follow a specific low carb diet, and I feel like it's helpful for me to make sure (in addition to counting carbs) that I'm getting my carbs low enough to maintain ketosis (reassurance I guess). And partly because, for me, I feel like it discourages me from screwing up in the sense that I know how long it takes me to get back to the same level. Rough timing for my body is something along the lines of 2-3 days to get into trace, 3-4 days low, 4-5 moderate. I know if I eat even one high carb meal, it's back to square one and another 5 days to get back to a moderate level. Though to respond to your original question last time I used ketostix to test going into ketosis, I still had a low reading on day 5. I was slightly curious about your post mentioning that you kept your sugar under 30gm, rather than carbs?

I don't worry about ratios, etc. I do find that my ketone level is lower at night than in the morning when testing.

But overall, I'm still a fan of do what works for you, ketostix or not Smile

Joined: Jan 13
Posts: 5

Posted: 23 Jan 2013, 13:43
I'd like to point out that also, if your body is working correctly, you shouldn't be getting really high ketone numbers anyway. I used them to start with, to make sure that I was not getting High High ketone numbers - very bad ketoacidosis (sure not spelled right). Once I knew that I could eat low carb and not go toxic, I stopped with the pee strips.

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