Interesting phenomenon - is this a thing?


Ok, this is so weird but I think I have a theory what happened here…

I’ve been in ketosis for over 4 months, zero cheats. I’ve been tossed out only a few times from restaurant mishaps, but life goes on. Getting great results from keto al this time.

Then last week I was fighting a fever and sore throat going around the school where I work. My BG was up in the 90s regularly for that week, which is high for me. I know illness can elevate it, so no worries.

But I gained weight. Weirdest thing because I’m eating the same amount or less, all high fat, low carb (<20), moderate protein. It has stayed with me for almost a week now, and I can see and feel it (although no one else would - about 6 pounds).
The ONLY thing I can imagine is that eating keto when your blood sugars are high(er) is a recipe for fat storage. Does that seem possible?
I’m over the illness (which I never really fully got because keto makes me a bad ass, thankyouverymuch) and my numbers are back to the 70s so I suspect this weight will fall back off of me. It will be interesting to see but anyone know if my theory could be correct?

(Mitali) #2

It could be the case bc high BG, insulin and Fat = fat storage, but even in sickness, your BGs were in the 90s
(lucky you) so I am not sure if that was the case with you. (?)


Whenever I’m ill–even just a slight cold–my body retains water, and the scale goes up. So it’s possible your ‘gain’ is simply water retention that will go away as you recover.

(Diane) #4

When you’re losing weight, other things can get released when the fat cells empty out, especially hormones. This can mean you have extra circulating estrogen (especially if you’re a woman), which can mean PMS like symptoms such as excessive hunger, moodiness and … water retention.

Just another possibility


Thanks, ladies. So helpful - I love this forum

Im not losing weight, Diane, so it couldn’t be that. I didn’t come to keto for weight loss but have seemingly redistributed body fat in a nice way.
I did have the symptoms you described when I was adapting, though.

And 90s are high for me now, thanks to keto. i was teetering veeerryyy close to a pre-diabetic A1C prior to coming to this way of eating, so it’s been phenomenal for me. But 90s are now high so it was definitely up for me.
And this is not water weight, although I’ve had puh-lenty! of that, too, in my lifetime. It’s fat and it literally kinda showed up outta nowhere over the couple of weeks I was ill.
NOw that I feel better, BG is coming down but the leaning back out will take more time, I know that and i"m not even worried about it. It was just odd as heck for me.

(karen) #6

Were you taking any special meds for your illness? I have no idea what effect they might have, but it’s another avenue to explore.

(Rob) #7

Losing weight isn’t the only arbiter of this since body recomposition or just ‘compensated’ lipolysis may mean that you are emptying fat cells but maybe refilling them with water. Eventually you will lose that water, maybe in a whoosh but until then you may not lose weight. You may still be releasing toxins or hormones for the effect @DiMo suggested. Just a thought.

(Bunny) #8

70’s? Do you test before and after you eat or just when not eating? 80’s to 90’s sound normal! I usually start eating when it hit’s 70, don’t like to maintain that for too-long a time (messing with real DANGER?). I eat very small amounts of fat and meats (low to no sugar) and lots and lots of raw veggies i.e. green leafy plants, phytonutrient rich forage etc! And frequent fermented veggies and meats even better!

Optimal ketone and blood sugar levels for ketosis:

A low carb helps reduce blood sugars and insulin levels.

•Blood glucose control and improved metabolic health will help to reduce your risk of many of the diseases of modern civilisation such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

•We become insulin resistant when our body fat can’t store more energy. Once our adipose tissue becomes insulin resistant, excess energy is stored in the liver, pancreas, heart, brain, eyes and other organs that are more insulin sensitive. Once our body fat can’t hold the excess, we see increased levels of energy in our blood in the form of glucose, ketones and triglycerides.

Endogenous ketosis occurs when we eat less food than we need. Our insulin and blood sugar levels decrease and ketones rise to supply the energy we need.

Exogenous ketosis occurs when we eat lots fat and/or take exogenous ketones. Blood ketones rise, but our insulin levels will also increase because we have an excess of energy coming from our diet.

•While a low carb or ketogenic diet helps to stabilise blood sugars, most of the good things associated with ketosis occur due to endogenous ketosis, that is, when we drive lower levels of energy in our system.

•If your goal is blood sugar control, longevity or weight loss then endogenous ketosis with lower blood sugars and lower ketones is likely a better place to be than higher blood ketones. …More

Feeling "high" with high readings?

That’s my a.m. fasted level - about 75 to 78 which is really good, I know. This from a person who was told her A1C was 5.9 and to do something. Ha. I did something :slight_smile: Last check it was at 5.4. My post-prandial levels are about 85, at the high end. 90s don’t really show up, ever, unless I’m sick or after a hard workout very briefly or if I got carbed accidently in a restaurant.

I actually feel best in the low 70s but I don’t often hang out there. I feel best when my ketones are high, but they rarely are.
90s = <.10 ketones
80 - 89 = 1.2-1.4 and
70s = 1.5 - 1.8 ketones

This is almost always how they correlate for me, so I don’t even have to test ketones anymore. I wonder to this day how folks get 3’s and 4’s and 5’s in their ketone readings.

(Bunny) #10

Will monitoring my blood sugars help me enter ketosis?

The most straightforward approach is just to measure your blood sugar levels when you feel hungry and not eat until they drop below your target level. You could still use this method even once you have improved your insulin sensitivity to losing weight by targeting even lower blood glucose levels before eating.

The chart below shows the sum of blood glucose and blood ketone levels for people on a low carb or ketogenic diet. While a low carb diet helps to stabilise blood sugar and removes hyperpalatable foods when benefits a many people in terms of weight loss and energy levels, some of the major benefits are reserved for the periods when we are in a low energy stage (e.g. reduced insulin levels, autophagy, mitochondrial biogenesis, increase in NAD+ and increase in SIRT1). It is in these periods of low energy that our body goes into cleansing and repair mode so it can survive through the famine to be able to reproduce in the next time of plenty.

Zooming in on the left hand side of the chart, we can see that it’s the periods when we drive the energy in our blood down through delaying eating or restricting energy intake that we get the major benefits often associated with a low carb or ketogenic diet.

You will likely have some blood ketones in your bloodstream when your blood glucose levels are low, but they may not be at the levels that many consider to be ‘optimal ketosis’. As shown in the chart below, if your blood glucose levels are at 4.5mmol/L or 80 mg/dL then you you might expect blood ketone levels to be somewhere between 0.3 and 0.7mmol/L. If your blood sugars are at 4.9mmol/L or 88 mg/dL your ketones might be somewhere between 0.4 and 1.1 mmol/L.

While measuring ketones can be interesting, they tend to be a much noisier measurement. As the glucose in your blood reduced your body will be forced to turn to your body fat stores, so you will increase your fat burning. Part of the reason that you may not see high levels of ketones in your blood though is that they are being used efficiently for fuel and not backing up in your bloodstream. So if you have limited funds for test strips and don’t want to be pricking yourself too often then I would focus on blood glucose levels. …More

See also… Increase Your Brown Fat (BAT) to Maintain a Healthy Body Weight i.e. Cold Thermalgenesis Adaption CTA & LEPTIN RESET

Feeling "high" with high readings?
(Jason Jodway) #11

Since you were sick to some extent the natural conclusion is that raised insulin + inflammatory signalling simply caused increased water retention which is the principal way weight moves sizably in short periods.