How many hour or how long are you in ketosis during the day?

(Liz Santiago) #1

HI all! I have not being able to find any answer to this questions and I am curious. I know many people suggest not to check your ketone but I still want to know how my body works in this diet. I have noticed that when I have measured my ketones in blood I only see them for 1 hour a day and usually between 3-5pm depending on the time I eat. I have checked ketones each hour since 5 am to 7 pm and never once I have seen any traces aside from the times I just said. So, are people on ketosis at different time through out the day or is it only after you eat? How does it work?

(May the blessing of bacon be always with you) #2

If your insulin is low, you are in ketosis, because the body needs energy, and low insulin means that glucose is low, and hence the body needs to be using fat for energy instead. So the liver is encouraged to make ketones, as well as the small amount of glucose certain cells in the body actually require.

Your measurement of β-hydroxybutyrate in your blood is only telling you how much your liver has made that your brain, heart, and certain other organs have not yet consumed. The body tries to match production to consumption fairly closely, which is why people who’ve been on a keto diet for some time usually show low ketones. Another factor is that ketones might be lower and glucose higher if we are not eating enough fat.

People eating a carnivore, zero-carb, plant-free diet often show very low serum β-hydroxybutyrate. If they weren’t making ketones, they’d keel over from lack of food to the brain. The brain will metabolise glucose in the absence of ketones, but ketones are much less damaging, and they don’t require the presence of insulin in order to be absorbed by brain cells, so they are the brain’s preferred fuel.

On the low-carb, nearly plant-free diet on which we evolved, the normal process is that eating causes somewhat of a rise in insulin, so that the body will store fat from the food we are eating. Then, at some point, the fat cells signal that there is enough energy on board to last for a while, and we stop being hungry, stop eating, and our insulin starts to drop. As insulin drops, the fat cells start releasing fatty acids to supply energy to the cells that need it (when insulin is high fats are trapped in the fat cells until insulin drops again). At some point, we are low enough on stored energy that we start to become hungry, we go looking for food, and the whole cycle starts over again.

A high-carb diet disrupts this cycle by keeping insulin elevated, which forces the body’s cells into glucose metabolism, tells the liver to stop making ketones, and forces fat cells to store excess glucose as fat, and keep it stored, which is one of the reasons people tend to be perpetually hungry on a high-carb diet. Because so long as insulin is high, none of that stored energy is available to the rest of the body.

(Liz Santiago) #3

Thank you but what I want to know is if people are in constant state of ketosis because like I said I only see ketones once in the day.


It’s a spectrum, it’s up and down and even in/out at times. There’s no constant way to measure it. Even if you stopped ketosis you’d still have circulating ketones for quite some time, very possibly until you were back in so you’d never see the interruption.

You’d typically see more ketones when not eating, but a lot goes into it. How much you eat, how much activity you do etc.

(Allie) #5

I haven’t tested for ages but when I was testing multiple times a day, ketones were always present.

(May the blessing of bacon be always with you) #6

My point was that you probably are, even if you are not measuring β-hydroxybutyrate in your blood.

As one forum member used to like to joke, you know you are in ketosis if (a) you are strictly limiting carbohydrate, and (b) you are still breathing in and out.

(Liz Santiago) #7


(Bill) #8

So far as I know I’m in ketosis on my meat based diet 24/7… every time I test for ketones (which I admit is fairly rare due to the cost) I register something usually between 0.3 mmol/l and 0.6 only when fasting do I get higher numbers.


I measure with abreathalyzer, I have done periods of testing through out the day. I was always in nutritional ketosis, as per Dr. Phinny’s scale. I do know I can fall out when I indulge, but haven’t done that in years now.

I think the best idea is to relax and enjoy the ride. I got sick of tracking everything, and I got even better results then. Probably because my cortisol settled down so much.

(Liz Santiago) #10

Well for my is difficult because when I started almost 2 yrs this next January I lost 60 pounds in 6 months then 20 more during the second year, but now I am stuck since the summer in the same 212 pounds. I can’t seem to lose no lower than 210 and then get the 2 other pounds again no matter what I do. I am trying to see what I am doing wrong.

(Megan) #11

Hi Liz, that’s really frustrating. Sorry if you’ve already posted this somewhere but can you post what you are eating. Are you counting carb, protein and fat grams? If so, what are they on a typical day. Sounds like you need to tweak something to get weight loss going again.

Also, are you measuring yourself with a tape measure every month or so? Some peoples’ bodies change even when the scale doesn’t (recomposition).

(May the blessing of bacon be always with you) #12

You may be doing nothing wrong. Dr. Phinney says that he and Prof. Volek generally see a fat loss equivalent to about 20% of starting weight. Then the body seems to reach a settling point and to want to stay there for a while. He says that fat loss often starts up again, quite some time later.

(Michael) #13

I eat very large carnivore meals. My ketones are generally around 0.3 when I have not eaten for a while. When I am eating or shortly after eating, my ketones can drop to near zero in my bloodwork. While I am digesting a lot of fat many hours after eating, my ketones can be higher, say over 1.0. Once the fat is mostly digested and I am running off body fat only, the ketones are back to around 0.3. If I am fasting, the ketones eventually rise back above 1 and even higher as the glycogen in my liver and muscles disappears and more ketones are needed for energy.

(Liz Santiago) #14

Well to be honest I count carbs more or less because I make all my food so I have no idea how many carbs there are in my meals. My typical day is 5 am a coffee with almond milk, 3 eggs with ham or sausage, or other days a sandwich with sola bread ham and cheese with mayo. no lunch and 3p usually is dinner that I make for the whole week like pre made.

(Liz Santiago) #15

Well that would be spot on because that is what I lost the first 6 months then 20 more during a year

(Megan) #16

I just realized I responded in the wrong thread. Apologies.