Cannot get fat adapted :(((

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #62

@csrss You have an opportunity here to do an experiment that might provide helpful info to the rest of us and be of paticular interest to some of us who are currently exploring why many long-term ketoers experience decreased measurable ketones. I’d do this myself except I’m not a blood donor and could not force myself to do it consistently and repeatedly even in the interest of science. But from the numbers you quote I presume you’re already using a blood ketone meter, so adding another non-invasive test would be easy peasy.

What I’m proposing is that along with your blood levels, you also test either your urine and/or breath levels as well. It would be very interesting to compare how much β-hydroxybutyrate (the blood test) you’ve got in your blood to how much acetone (breath test) and/or acatoacetate (urine test) you’re discarding. Comparing this numbers might help us determine total ketone production and how much relatively gets discarded before being used. Borrowing Richard’s analogy - determine whether your ketone hose has holes in it.



Just did urine test - it shows between high and highest value, and on my current strip it is between 80 and 160 mg/dl.
In case of breath - I do not own a meter but I can tell that acetone / fruty like breath I am having all the time.

So, does that mean my body just discards ketones or something?

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #64

Thanks. That’s suggestive but please keep track of it for 2-3 weeks. The more times you measure per day the better the overall data set. Note any relevant correlations - like does increase/decrease in acetoacetate in urine follow/precede corresponding changes in β-hydroxybutyrate concentration. If so by how much time.

When you first begin keto it’s quite common for your body to dump large quantities of ketones. Maybe even most of it - simply because it takes a while for your cells and organs to recognize ketones as fuel and adapt themselves to use it efficiently. In addition, since so much just gets dumped, your liver synthesizes a lot more than you actually need. It’s quite variable, but generally things get better in sych over the course of a few months such that liver production and cellular utilization better match each other. Ketone production is also dependent on several dietary factors which I won’t get into here.

What will be of interest is to repeat this 6-12 months later and compare the data.


Thanks! That is a good point, I havent measured how much is discarded, so it seems after checking numbers that probably all of it. Hmmm, that is not good that after such a long time they are still dumped. But yeah it appears I just have to stick with it like for a next 2 months. I’ll do the checking, maybe not everyday cuz, yeah, the blood work suck a bit - probably I can just stick for now with measuring ketones in a urine, because if they all get dumped I have a perfect understanding why I do feel that way.
EDIT: One thing I have noticed lately, that in fact my bad feeling is not related to glucose level.


I second the cortisol. I can’t use the computer for too long because staring into these screens increases my cortisol and kicks me out of ketosis. Flicker free and low blue light monitor helps but it still kicks me out if I stare at it for too long. Looking away periodically helps.

Maybe try turning down/off the blue light in the monitor RGB settings and see if it makes a difference.

I also never eat before 1-2pm because of the cortisol wave.

Walking, deep breathing and being in nature lowers cortisol. Are you able to sit by a river or the ocean with a flicker free screen laptop?


Hi - a) stop beating up on yourself. You’re just starting something new. Reset your expectations, don’t expect “quick” results and please do your research. b) I suggest going to “” and read his stuff, especially on electrolyte management. I also recommend “” as a resource - there’s lots of web info out there, but I’ve found those two most helpful. Besides all the good advice these comments are giving you on macronutrients, the body will lose water and electrolytes like CRAZY when going into keto. “Keto Flu” is no fun and plussing up on electrolytes and fluid is key to avoiding it and to avoid the roller coaster of cramps, tiredness, and malaise that comes with becoming adapted to low carb living. “Fat Adaptation” takes time - don’t dwell on it happening. If you are going low carb / keto for reasons other than medical, just make sure you’re eating wisely. It sounds like you’ve achieved your body weight goal (and maybe body fat goal as well) and what you want is now to enjoy living with your “new” body. There’s no magic to it, just discipline and awareness of what’s in the foods and drinks you consume. All the coolio apps and tracking and other time consuming crap is a distraction. If you want to stay in keto, the target is around 20 net carbs/day. And that ain’t a lot!! But I’ve found that it’s way easier than it seems. DO NOT believe much of anything in the supermarket that has the word “Keto” on the label. Read the label and do the math on the carbs. For most of us, being “Fat Adapted” just means that getting back into a state of keto is easier than the initial time(s) the body adjusted itself to burning fats for energy rather than sugars. Going out of keto is no big deal (unless you have a medical reason for being in keto) - just get back to eating on the keto macronutrient ratio (hi fat (( GOOD FATS)), moderate protein, low carb within the keto target) and the body will adjust. Drink plenty of water and get those electrolytes up, WAY up.


Yes, that is a good advise as well. I’ve watched tons of vids on YT and what I’ve mostly heard that it just takes time, from 5 to 7 weeks for old glucose based mitochondria to die off and new fat adapted ones to emerge - or something like that.
The sodium is a tough part for me in the whole game. I have stopped adding salt years ago, so now when I am adding it - it just makes me sick. But again, if I add salt, then water retention is way better, its like up to 4 times better if salt is not added and then I am feeling a lot better.
So far, I have noticed that even if I have net carbs of 50 grams (!!!) - I am still in ketosis (I mean - blood ketone levels do not drop) so it seams that it is pretty easy for me to be in ketosis, but I’ve been there even doing low carb OMAD + fasting for 100 days.
From latest observations, it seems that I am fat adapted, because I can stay without food for 2 days easily, I do not think about food, there is some small morning hunger but it goes right away when I send a “NO” signal to a body. Like, “NO, you get no food today” - and hunger disappears. All those changes, that people talking about - they are present. I get easily pumped by MCT intake, the energy boost is just right away, in seconds after.
The only thing is probably the issue with sodium levels and because of it - constant dehydration and because of it - brain fog, fatigue, and all those keto flu symptoms. And another fact - I am not eating sodium rich foods. My current sodium intake from food is probably something like 0.2-0.3g. Plus now I am adding sea salt but as as mentioned it makes me sick so trying to find a balance for now with it. However, yes, it does make a difference and a pretty big one. Worth to mention, my sodium intake while on low carb OMAD + fasting was about 0.7g daily, and 0g daily on fasting days - so that could be a reason I felt like crap.
So, if someone is adding salt to food on a regular basis - it seems more natural to him/her to do it on a keto. For me it is completely unnatural to add salt and this is kind of a new skill to acquire.
Yeah well, this is how it is :slight_smile:


On the salt thing - remember it is a combo of hydration plus sodium, potassium, zinc, magnesium - It’s not JUST sodium. So, If you’re not too worried about sucralose, try an electrolyte recovery powder mix from one of the big box stores and see if that’ll help, rather than just piling on salt. Or look at the various keto-focused recovery mixes using other alternative sweeteners listed by They’re a bit more expensive than WalMart, but to me - I’d rather not deal with sucralose. Also, I live in the south. It’s hot and muggy and I sweat up a storm exercising or working outside - which doubles up my hydration and electrolyte needs. Early on when I was adapting to Keto, I was doing the whole “more salt” thing, too. But I was getting night cramps in my legs. Been running and working out for more than 50 years and Never had them before in my life! Started taking magnesium+potassium supplements and adding more salt to my foods (I like that pink himalayan stuff, among other cool specialty salts I’ve been trying for fun in cooking), but was still getting bad night cramps in my legs - OMG they are a PAIN - I finally started taking a zinc supplement also and they abated. Whew. After burning excess poundage and shifting to a different body energy model, one would think that naturally things were gonna be different than ever before, right? …Shoulda woulda coulda even after all the reading on this stuff… but hey it’s a journey.


I do the rest of supplements.
For now I am lost and confused and trying everything I can - I’m giving this next month to go and hope to not lose my job because in this state I am simply unable to perform. If things will not get better, that would mean, that I have this stuff that @richard wrote about and thats it - I will have to go back to carbs and have a hard time my whole life watching if weight goes up, fasting while being unable to utilize fats for energy etc, on carbs it is a hell for me, more I eat the more I want to eat, there is no stopping signal, I can eat all day long, gain 20 lbs in a week as visceral fat, immediate health issues, etc.
Some people are just broken.

My current stats (5th week of keto):
blood ketones: 3.3 mmol/L
urine ketones: 4-8 mmol/L
glucose: 72 mg/dL
Mostly feeling like crap, sleepy, weak, thirsty, dry eyes, sometimes blurred vision. I’ve read that some healthy individuals can go straight into ketoacidosis - maybe this is where I am heading, no idea. Blood ketones rising every day.
Seems like body is still trying to get ketones out, cuz they are bad. Only sugar is good yeah. Sugar is the best for me it seems LOL. I should take a pound of sugar and eat at once and then it will be happy, oh yeah it will.
And BTW, and I am not even counting carbs already - probably had like 20-30 net today - still in ketosis, but so what.

Here is another document, describing multiple disorders with ketolysis:

In defects of ketolysis, the clinical picture is dominated by severe ketoacidosis. This is often accompanied by decreased consciousness and dehydration.

This is exactly where I am heading.

(Bacon is better) #71

Everyone’s carbohydrate tolerance is different. How much you can eat and still remain in ketosis depends on your insulin response, since it is a high insulin level that inhibits ketogenesis in the liver. My understanding is that the Dudes chose 20 g/day as their recommendation because it is low enough to guarantee that practically everybody (except those with the highest insulin-resistance) can get into ketosis. Your case is a bit different, but we usually recommend that people stick to that level until they are fat-adapted, at which point they can increase their carb intake (if they still want to).

Myself, I find that I can eat a bit more carbohydrate and remain in ketosis, but my arthritis and other symptoms return. Since I really enjoy waking up without that creaky, achey feeling, it is a good incentive to keep my carb intake low.


My granny has this condition as well, I have even recommended keto to her because of hearing that it helps, but as she states she is unable to process fats at all, like, AT ALL, even small amounts. Lives only on carbs whole her life. But for her having 1/64 of 12" pizza is just enough, just like that - thats what you call natural carbohydrate management :smiley: I am still hungry after 14" LOL.

Yeah, out of latest personal experience 20 grams of carbs on keto are very natural actually. After 4 months on this diet I can even observe some sort of discomfort of eating more.

(Michael) #73

Your blood ketones are high already for sure. I would not worry about ketoacidosis until your ketones go above 8 at least (officially it is 10 as possible start). Of course, if they get that high and you still feel like crap, it is clearly not working for you. I actually think your ketones will level and start falling, but of course, who am I to say? Just to note though, I spent a week slowly lowering my carbs from 200+ down to 50, and then went <20g (net) for my keto diet. I felt exhausted for at least a week or two, and my nose ran after eating horribly, and even now runs slightly. It took me a while is all I am saying, and even in deep ketosis right now, I have never felt like I have had greater mental clarity. But, everything else is looking better, so not considering stopping keto yet (well, I am probably not keto, I eat too much protein to be official keto, I am more carnivore with dairy and some fruits and vegetables. Or at least I was, going to go Lion Diet and elimination tests for a couple of weeks just to test food tolerances and then decide if I go full carnivore or back to keto or some hybrid.


Alright guys, I am done with keto. Just had about 50g of carbs and instantly I can feel energy, instantly I can feel my legs again, I can walk again easily without fatigue, I can think again.
It seems that I have some sort of fat metabolism disorder, for generations in my family we never eat fat, only carbs, starting from grand grand parents so maybe there is something, maybe this is an evolutionary change in my code but after 4 and a half weeks of strict keto, more then 3 months of low carb OMAD, where my carb intake was just around keto diet so I can say that 4 months of very low carb diet, prolonged fasting - I was still feeling like crap to this moment. Today I felt like I am going to pass out, could not even walk, barely could work, think, etc, so I am done. I am unable to utilize energy from fats. At least I can burn fat, so the only option for me is to just have those days of fat burning and thats all.

EDIT: Just had a pack of Raffaello, ate all of it - O-M-G, I haven’t felt such energy for months. Just like this, in minutes I feel alive again.


So after having 150g of Raffaello, my stats are:
Blood ketones: 2.4 mmol
Urine ketones: 0.5-1.5 mmol
Glucose: 92
I am still in ketosis LOL After having pure sugar I am still in ketosis, maybe I am constantly in ketosis because I have always had brain sharp as a razor and was energetic as crazy.
But that would mean, that being on a low carb I was in ketosis all the time, because having a plate of pasta is nothing in terms of sugar compared to having a pack of candies.
Damn, this is interesting. That would mean, that I can eat both carbs, fats, and be in ketosis. Maybe I am dual fuel by design LOL xD Need to do measurement tomorrow.

(Jane) #76

How long after you ate the sugar did you test your ketones? They don’t just magically disappear the instant you eat sugar - it takes a while for them to drop from your bloodstream for most people. You body will use the glucose and ignore the ketones but eventually your liver will stop producing ketones when you have plenty of glucose as fuel.


Yeah, that is correct - I am already out of ketosis. And I feel really better, all my struggles ended. Will do measurements tomorrow as well just out of curiosity, because not planning to eat soon I think after all those carbs I had today (around 70g net carbs).

So if anybody is interested, how it is for a brain, in my case - as I have mentioned I am in tech industry and thank god that was a moderately easy month for me - for a whole month I could not finish my major task. I just could not find a solution. After having those carbs today, after a while my glucose spiked to 110 and I found a solution in 5 minutes. Brain on ketones vs brain on glucose. Despite my inability to utilize ketones, I had 3 episodes during my keto period, where it clicked for 10h each time.
It is different. Of course I am only speaking for myself, but when I was in this state of, let’s call it proper ketosis, it is different for a brain - it is sort of a seriously survival mode. You are focused, have lots of strength, but it is aimed towards action, towards hunting, towards fighting, yes and you feel like your body gets stronger as an organism - and this is probably how any sort of healing effects are achieved through ketosis. But when a strategic / abstract planning is required - I was not able to utilize this state for this. So for instance to come up with an algorithm / solution for an abstract problem. And this is when glucose as a fuel works best. Of course, I didn’t have much time to test “proper ketosis” state, but did as much as I could.

In my personal somehow limited opinion, I can say that glucose is superior fuel for a brain in our current age, where everything is digitalized / abstracted. Ketones were probably best option where we had to fight for a food instead of making orders through the apps of our smartphones. Of course, if some one is able to utilize ketosis for healing effects - that is great as well. Considering the power I felt - it can beat everything. Yeah, and for a military purposes it is way better then glucose, however I would say that a combination of glucose and ketones oriented soldiers would work magic in a field. I have to admit I am missing it already :slight_smile:

(Jane) #78

I’m sorry keto didn’t work for you but you can’t say you didn’t give it a through trial.

My brain works better on ketones and I have a technical job in a specialized computer field where I have to find solutions when I am not attending online meetings. It obviously doesn’t work that way for you.

And I wouldn’t classify 70g as “all those carbs”. That is still very low, ya know. My 87-yo Dad got his T2D and blood sugar under control after his doctor asked him to keep his carbs under 100g per day. He probably is not in ketosis at that level but made great improvements in his A1C. And some days he eats much fewer carbs so probably cycles in and out of ketosis without even realizing it.

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #79

@csrss I think you just went through the ‘Carb Withdrawal from Hell’ experience. Your liver generated ketones and you seem to have dumped most of them in urine. None-the-less the presence of elevated ketones indicates you have normal fat metabolism. So the problem shifts to fat utilization/adaptation.

Maybe you are correct in thinking that years of what I would describe as ‘high sugar consumption’ essentially wrecked the metabolic flexibility of your various muscle and organ mitochondria. Such a scenario would explain pretty much all your experiences. Including the occasional times when your brain suddenly recognized ketones as fuel and used it. Even though the rest of your body did not.


I understand you’re going through a lot of very unpleasant experiences right now. And I will readily admit that when I started keto I did not. Exactly the opposite. I never experienced a single negative with keto and haven’t looked back since starting. I’m not a sadist and I don’t wish you any undo suffering. And I understand your hesitancy continuing keto. However, presuming your current problems are due to metabolic inflexibility (and I think this is a reasonable conclusion) if you revert to carbs/sugar you will not fix it. You will in fact just make it worse.

So maybe just back off a little, increase carbs only enough to alleviate your symptoms. Then reduce carbs more slowly over the course of several months. Maybe the slower transition will enable your mitochondria to adapt whereas the quick transition did not. Just a suggestion.


Yep, I did.

Thanks for sharing your experience! This give hope that and I really would like to be wrong about mine :slight_smile:

For me - thats a lot. I haven’t had that many carbs per day for … hmmm… for about half of the year, so yeah, for me thats a lot. I meant of course net carbs - in total I had probably about 100 or maybe more.

Exactly. I am very confused about that because once I had those episodes - that would mean, that ketones where finally metabolized / used by a brain, and by muscles as well - because the energy level was consistent through the whole body and very high. And then I am out feeling bad again and that makes me consider inability for ketolysis. So yeah, who knows

So, checked my blood now again and appears I am back into ketosis:
Serum levels: 1.4 mmol
Urine levels: 1.5 mmol
Haven’t checked glucose but thats probably irrelevant.
At this point feeling pretty normal. Still no issues with hunger - however it is a bit more noticeable and not that responsive to “go away” command. No considerable weight gain while consuming about 4000 kcal. Normally I do 2-2.5k.

This is something I am very very very considered about. Definitely I wanted to fix this situation. Yeah, well, it appears I am still keto for now plus I know with how many carbs I can cheat now, so yeah, will try to apply slow gradual approach and as well try not to lose my job hahah :smile:

(Jane) #81

Still nowhere NEAR the SAD diet. My husband regularly eats 100 g of carbs and has not gained weight or had his joint pain coming back. But he was a lot stricter the first year - but not as strict as me LOL. He was only overweight by about 10 lbs and is a man burning more fuel with his muscles so he can get away with it.

Everyone has their own “limit” of where they can be in ketosis most of the time. Yours may be higher and why you feel so crappy at lower levels of carbs.

I wouldn’t blame you for giving up after all you have been through but you could try eating more carbs (not sugar) in the form of real vegetables such as potatoes and find your own level without feeling so bad but not continuing to damage your system with fructose.