BHB levels

(Y) #1

Hello all,
I’m new to this forum.

I’ve been low-carb/ketogenic for over 4 years now.
At first while learning I used a strict diet to keep me in ketosis, with glucose and BHB measurements.
I also started using OMAD in the first few months.

Since then I relaxed it, and am almost always very low carb, but without tracking.
I vary a lot at times, but mostly eat between one to two meals a day, and maintain a window of 16 to 20 hours (IF).

Its been a long time since iv’e tracked my ketones, but lately I decided to do some measuring (I wanted a complete a picture as I could get since I bought and used my first CGM).

My findings were… surprising.
I do remember that when I was keto at the beginning and very strict, my ketones levels were never very high, and would drop considerably or completely after eating (strictly keto) or exercising. But they went as high as 1 to 2 mmol/L.

This time I found a very similar pattern, but the values were much lower. I was at 0.5 after a full day of fasting, amd most of the time below that.

To really see whats going on I decided to go on a longer fast to see what happens.
And this really surprised me.
After 62 hours of fasting… I went all the way up to… 0.6 :joy:

Do any of you have any insights?

I was guessing that my low levels may be due to my body adjusting to ketosis after years of low carb and therefore may require lower levels… but honestly… I expected a long fast to bring about much higher levels of BHB…


(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #2

If you’ve been eating keto for 4 years and consistently in ketosis - hopefully ‘relaxed’ didn’t morph into ‘no more’ - don’t bother measuring ketones. Many/most of us in long term ketosis have experienced the same or even greater reduction in measurable ketone levels over time. It just seems to happen that ketones ‘in transit’ - which are the ones you can measure - don’t spend much time in transit. Hopefully someday we will have a continuous ketone monitor, but until then…

In my opinion, the most important thing is to keep carbs lo/no. My experience is that the longer you eat keto the easier it gets to keep carbs sub-20, sub-15, sub-10… grams per day or less. As long as you accomplish that you will remain in ketosis, whether you have measurable ketones or not.

I’ve been in ketosis for 5+ years and measure every gram of everything I eat every day. I maintain a spreadsheet for every meal of every day I’ve been eating keto. If this seems too rigorous, then at least track every gram of carbs. Do not estimate/guestimate carbs. Fat and protein don’t really matter much, but carbs - and the resultant rise in insulin - can get you out of ketosis so fast you won’t even notice it.

(Joey) #3

@DjinnG Howdie - nice to have you here. Congratulations on your years of improved health.

Yeah, you pretty much nailed it in your explanation above.

My BHB levels were mid- to high-single digits for weeks on end when I first began restricting carbs. Then my body stopped “squandering” all those ketones and produced amounts consistent with my need to burn. And that’s when they settled into the 0.5 to 1.0 range - where they remained until I got bored of sticking myself with a pin and stopped measuring. :wink:


The goal is to use the ketones, sounds like your body is doing that now. I have been keto for almost 5 yrs. and my highs are lower than when I first started. Many others have reported the same thing in threads.

Congrats on getting healthier.