Kicked out of keto

(Kris ) #1

It’s been over a month since I had any carbs and decided to have a cheat meal. To my surprise when I used the test strips I had not been kicked out of ketosis.
Is this typical?

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #2

If you ate enough carbohydrate to raise your insulin level above the threshold to inhibit ketogenesis, it is still possible that you had ketone bodies working their way out of your system, even though your liver had stopped making any. And if insulin is above the threshold, then tissues are instructed to metabolise glucose instead of fatty acids or ketones, so the ketones have nowhere to go except to be excreted.

A lot depends on the timing and on your degree of insulin-resistance. More insulin-resistance means that the pancreas has to secrete more insulin to achieve the same effect, and therefore the greater the likelihood of exceeding the threshold. Someone who is insulin-sensitive might be able to eat a greater amount of carbohydrate and still keep insulin below the threshold.

In any case, as you go along with your ketogenic diet (assuming you do), you are likely to find that you stop excreting so many ketones, and your urine strips will therefore stop being useful anyway.

(Kris ) #3

Thanks Paul. Lots of good info to unpack there.


IDK how reliable are the strips (not so much according to people, I never could get any strips but who needs those anyway? :smiley: not me) but some people can eat moderately much carbs and stay in ketosis (activity helps), we don’t all have some low limit. You didn’t write about your cheat meat, maybe it just didn’t have enough carbs in your case?

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #5

The urine strips were designed to give Type I diabetics some warning that their insulin was off and they were slipping into ketoacidosis. For that, they don’t have to be precise.

For people on a ketogenic diet, the urine strips are a cheap and easy way to verify that our insulin is low enough for us to be producing ketones. This is especially helpful early on, when the liver is producing a lot of ketones, and some get wasted in the urine. As the skeletal muscles re-adapt to fatty-acid metabolism, the liver starts to match ketone production more efficiently to demand.


Yes you were, you just still had circulating ketones which the test picked up on. They don’t just disappear because you ate carbs, you just stop making them until the carbs burn off, and the carb are burned preferentially so it can take a while depending on levels.

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter. If you’re eating right 90% of the time, then enjoy your cheat when you want, ketone levels don’t matter.