HELP! Can you be in ketosis with a negative breathalyzer test?

(Jillian) #1

So my husband and i have been eating keto for the past 5 days. I started registering on the urine strips and my cheapo breathalyzer. My husband, who has been eating essentially the same as me… if not lower than 20 net carbs… Is still blowing negative and no color change in the strips. His job is more active than mine and he is probably at a larger deficit than mine… but five days in and still no change. It’s obviously frustrating to him to see me (who we figured was more carb sensitive) is seeing testing results. We aren’t really interested in blood testing (he’s not a fan of needle pokes) and its expensive.

Why is he still negative on both? I can't imagine his glycogen stores are greater than mine.... but i am not super versed in that category.  Only what I've read and studied.  My understanding is that after about 3 days.. he should have run out of his stores and start having some spilling of excess ketones like i am having. Any help would be appreciated as I'm very much excited he's on this path with me and i don't want him to feel like it's not worth it.  I know i can take measurements,  weight checks,  how he's feeling etc... but i don't understand why I'm flying keto.. but he's still appearing grounded test wise

(Fasting Educator) #2

And there you have it there’s your answer. No color change on the strips and you said he’s active. Let me tell you something about those strips. They frustrate the hell out of me. You can be in ketosis and show no color on those damn strips.
Here. Let me get you an article to explain. But basically if he’s using up all the ketones he’s making he’s not going to show color on the strips.
One more thing. It normally takes 6 weeks to become fat adapted. You might not be making any ketones yet or making many. Be patient keep calm and keto on stay under 20 grams of carbohydrate and it will happen.
Here’s that article about the urine strips please read it

(Dan Dan) #3

If you would give us an example of your daily meals, eating window, and your body composition it would be easier to help :grin:

“May the Force (fat adaption) be with you”

IF/EF Keto WOE is Self-Discovery :wink:

Good luck and much success in your journey in IF/EF Keto WOE :grin:

(Bud Zimmerman) #4

Those tests show excess ketones in that your body is getting rid of. If you’re active, you will have less excess show they won’t show up in tests. You are still in ketosis. Since he is so active, a truer indicator may be how does he feel and is he losing weight?

(Consensus is Politics) #5

He might still but a sugar burner. He may be using up his glucose reserves still. That’s the water weight you hear about . It’s basically sugar water. It’s stored all over your body I believe. And it’s the first weight to go as your body scrambles for what you are denying it. In my opinion, this is where the real Keto flu comes in. You eventually hit the wall. All that sugar water gets used up and you get a sudden loss of energy. There’s no more fuel. But unlike an aircraft that runs out of aviation fuel, your body has an alternate source on tap. You’ve been giving it all this time, but it hasn’t been using it. NOW it has no choice. My first time with Keto it took about three weeks to hit the wall. And for one week I felt like crap. I nearly gave up on it. But I knew ahead of time, and trusted the guy that told me all about it (Steve Gibson, SecurityNow! Podcast).

Then suddenly it was like I flipped a switch and the new fuel kicked in. Instantaneously I felt great. I could practically hear the click when it kicked in. It was more than obvious it was euphoric!

I liken the experience to driving on the wrong side of the road. When an American moves to England (which I did in the USAF) he has to get used to driving on the wrong side of the road. Same is true for those from the UK or AUS coming to the USA. You are suddenly, actively, trying to do something that goes against instinct. And it’s tough. You turn corners and find yourself in the wrong lane. Everyday is the same challenge. It doesn’t get any better. Until it does. One day when you are driving there is the CLICK! In your brain. You made the mental switch. It actually felt good too I might add. I wonder if it included an endorphin release :sunglasses:. Coming back to the States 4 1/2 years later I went through the same thing. With the same results.

Mr Verbose is back🤠

(Jillian) #6

I’m totally in keto myself. The cheap breathalyzer amd urine strips confirm my success test wise. I know I’ve come around the bend because i can weigh myself at work, i take measurements, I’ve got the breath and am needing less sleep. I can easily feel when I’ve kicked in. Its the negative breathalyzer in him that dumbfounds me. I thought you could still register on breath acetone even when you’re done spilling in your urine as you convert more bhb. I’ll take his measurements (he’s a big guy, big build 6’2" about 240). He’s not a fan of weighing himself (and i understand the logic because he’s not aiming for muscle loss and i think the scale number bothers him more because it can be deceiving). I can only think that for some reason he’s still purging stored glycogen. I just thought that it would still be a presence in his breath if he’s in keto regardless of 5 days in and still negative urine tests.

(Jillian) #7

Is this true for the breathalyzer as well?

(Jillian) #8

My husband is 6’2" approx 240, large build. Moderately active job (12,000 steps a day and lifts some heavy things here and there). He’s been having a cup of coffee with a blend from rapidfire called keto coffee (grass feed butter, mct, Himalayan salt and an organic instant coffee) at about 7am, eats what I’ve prepared for his lunch (generally mostly broccoli, cauliflower, with ground 85%hamburger with fat NOT strained with seasoning, tomato sauce with sliced green Chile’s(not many carbs) and a little cheese at 11am then eats with me at home at 7pm which is usually something like an avocado, salmon with olive oil and a green veggie with a little butter and then snack on some nuts. Then the eating window closes. I’ve been preparing the meals and tracking them to make sure the macros are good and calories not too high and I’ve sailed into keto. I’m a female 5’7", 150, medium build and less active then him. I might actually be consuming more fat than him, maybe that’s why I’m getting the spill over? I also do a coffee that’s similar to bullet coffee, but don’t eat until after 1pm or so (My fasting window can be longer than his because of my meal time flexibility at work). I eat the same lunch and same dinner and Some nuts… but also eat another snack of maybe cottage cheese after dinner. So… I’m surprised he hasn’t seen a test result (mainly the breathalyzer). I feel like he’s eating stricter than me overall… and i figured he’d be in keto this many days in… given i am. We’re looking for NK and understand individually that will vary And can take up to a few months. I just thought his entry into ketosis would be similar after 4 days, with at least the breathalyzer… understanding how the urine strips work… and well… don’t work.

(Dan Dan) #9

His daily Calories should be at minimum 2500 kcals :muscle:

You are starving him :open_mouth:

Keto is about being ‘Fat Adapted’ using ‘Fat as fuel’ rather than ‘Carbs’ ergo the ‘Low Carb High Fat’. Calories only matter if its the wrong kind.

Examples of wrong calories:

  1. Restricting Calories (‘Low Calorie’) - Keto is not ‘Calorie Restricted’. Eat until you are ‘Satiated’

  2. Restricting Fat - Keto uses ‘Fat as Fuel’. ‘High Dietary Fat’ is necessary to become ‘Fat Adapted’.

  3. High Carbs - Keto is ‘Low Net Carb’. 'High Dietary Carbs will delay or prevent ‘Fat adaptation’.

  4. Lean Protein - Keto is ‘Moderate Protein’. Lean meat is high in Protein and low in fat. ‘Fatty Meat is Moderate in Protein and Moderate to High in Fat’ and preferable.

Keep it Simple :smile:

“May the Force (fat adaption) be with you”

IF/EF Keto WOE is Self-Discovery :wink:

Good luck and much success in your journey in IF/EF Keto WOE :grin:

(Bud Zimmerman) #10

I don’t have the breathalyzer but I use the strips and a blood meter. At times, the strips show high but my blood tests out as low as 0.2. Other times, my blood tests out high but get no reaction from the strips. Bottom line, I stopped trusting these to give me more than just a general idea of what’s going on. I rely on the scale, measurements and how I feel. Since the initial water dump, I’ve been losing 3 to 3.5 pounds a week and about .75 inch off my stomach. As long as this keeps happening, I think I’m good.

(Jillian) #11

My husband reports that he’s not feeling hungry and actually had a bit of a hard time eating the full lunch meal i prepare (his portion is 1.5 larger than mine to account for his higher need of calories). if he still feels hungry later, he’ll eat some nuts with dinner but nothing crazy. Anywho… He’s going to do the work, and enter in all his meals, with my help​:thinking::wink: to maybe account for the missing link (maybe the snacks of hard boiled eggs=maybe too much protein in one dose?)

I’m still dumbfounded on the breathalyzer part… unless he’s just truly not in keto because of higher protein than me. He’s been a gym guy in his past and the thought of losing ANY muscle is reason enough to not do the diet. I don’t blame that thought. I’ve researched my tail off on how much protein should be consumed and even how much per given meal to avoid gluconeogenisis. Hmmm… maybe his snack of eggs (while im preparing dinner)that i don’t have is the missing link. But when I enter in all his food, his protein is still only about 70-90 grams and still a calorie deficit overall. Maybe he’s not getting enough fat although the macros look pretty good. Time to restructure next week’s meal plan. Bacon and avocados here we come lol!

(Ken) #12

Geez guys, you’ve only been doing this for a few days. You’re going through the major adaptive period right now, you bodies are going through some pretty significant adjustments. Everything you’re doing now is fine, just give it a couple of weeks for things to get more into balance. Don’t become a “Keto Hypochondriac” always thinking something is wrong.

Also, IMO, a 60/35/5% macro works much better for people who are muscular and athletic.

(Lonnie Hedley) #13

It’s been 5 days. They should be at their goal weights by now and DEEP into ketosis.

(Meeping up the Science!) #14

It is possible, especially if it’s a cheap breathalyzer. The most accurate is a blood test. The more expensive breath analyzers are also more accurate in general from my own experience.

Your body also utilizes different amounts of energy at different times. Our bodies are dynamic organisms and have different needs. I’d test at the same time every day for a more accurate base line after the same circumstances. I.e., don’t test at 4am one day and 3pm the next and expect similar results to determine base line.

(Ken) #15

No, they should be entering lipolysis at this time. It may or may not result in excess ketones being created. At this time the presence of measurable ketones is not really significant, as there’s no easy way to determine their individual degree of adverse lipogenic adaptations. It’ll all shake out over the first two weeks.

(Dan Dan) #16

You are very confusing :open_mouth:

Why would he lose muscle? Keto is muscle sparing/building :muscle:

To help us better understand Please give us an example of meals and snacks how many what time.



3 eggs
4 slices of bacon
2 sausage links
1 cup coffee w/HWC

9 am

2 oz mixed nuts
1 cup coffee w/HWC


4 oz ground beef
2 oz chedder cheese
8 oz mixed veggies
1 cup coffee w/HWC

3 pm

2 oz mixed nuts
1 cup coffee w/HWC

7 pm

1 lb Steak cooked in Butter
8 oz veggies w/butter
1 cup coffee w/HWC

9 pm

2 oz mixed nuts
1 cup coffee w/HWC

Totals (if you know not necessary)

20g Carbs
120g Protein
155g Fat

1955 kcals

This format is easier to understand :smile:

(Lonnie Hedley) #17

Oh sorry. I thought it was obvious that was a joke. People are looking for a quick fix and so when it doesn’t happen with the snap of a finger they start wondering why.

To the OP, stop chasing numbers. Worry about how you feel.

Keep calm and keto on!

(Jillian) #18

Yeah sorry for drone on about what were eating. It’s not just simple list because I’m adding in variety of color and macros with each meal. I just wrote yesterday’s food to give an example. I slapped that together while enjoying my bulletoroof style coffee.
We took his measurements today. He’s not swayed away after only 6 days, lol, it’s just one of those things where seeing a measurable (ish) product that encourages you that you’re on the right path. And i was scratching my head at why its been easy for me to see the measurement/product and not him. That’s all. I was fishing for maybe an understanding about the breathalyzer. When sober and non keto it reads 0, when he drank it registered. So… When i started seeing breath results after the 3rd day, i was obviously, as a good sport and supportive wife, hoping he’d follow suit. He’s done a loose keto with me(not measuring/testing, tracking macros or logging food) and he did pretty well. But this go round were doing all the things to avoid keto flu, meal prepping, tracking more and testing. We’re not doing this for just wt. Loss… we haven’t even set goal weights. Were doing it for the multitude of health/mental benefits and longevity. There us no dillusion of a quick fix… just a head scratch over why my n=1 test wise appeared more successful.

It’s okay though… like someone said… it’ll pan out after a few weeks. But honestly… who doesn’t want to be in NK sooner than later? Especially if its just a minor tweak.
So for now… he’ll enjoy the sunny weather, smoke some tri tip, while i get the slower cooker going for some bone broth and cook some bacon. Did i mention in fairly excited about my visit to the local meat market? Meal prepping is like a mini nutritional science project for this foodie.
Keto on…i know we will.

(Candy Lind) #19

I LOVE😍LOVE😍LOVE this analogy!!!

(Consensus is Politics) #20

Thank you. But it’s really only helpful to understand that feeling if you actually experienced the brain flip :cowboy_hat_face: