Losing weight/No ketones registering

(Stephanie C) #1

I started keto 6, almost 7 days ago. I’ve lost four pounds. However I’m super frustrated because I’m not in ketosis. The strips are showing trace amounts of ketones but that’s it. I’ve been entering every ounce of food I eat into my carb manager app and have been under 20 grams of net carbs every day. Am I missing something? It’s driving me nuts!!


The strips are not fantastically reliable - hydration levels, exercise & any number of things can impact ketone readings.

You’ve lost 4 pounds & my advice would be to carry on as you are minus the ketone level panic :slightly_smiling_face:

As they say, chase results not ketones!


…and ‘Keep Calm and Keto on’

(Jane) #4

You are just starting out. What were your expectations for the first week?


Be patient, stick with it, and you’ll start to see results soon enough. Don’t worry about ketones or much else than ensuring you eat well, you keep carbs under 20g, you stay calm, and eat to satiety.

(Katie the Quiche Scoffing Stick Ninja ) #6

It takes between one and ten days to get into ketosis if you stick to your ketogenic diet. The time depends on prior nutrition, the body’s metabolism and other factors such as supplements and fasting.

And just so you are aware, you will have an initial drop in water weight and then that you will stall will until you reach fat adaption. That can take 6-8 weeks. The Keto diet is for mending metabolic issues, weight loss is a side effect.

Make sure you stick to <20g a day consistently with no cheating otherwise you are just harming and prolonging your chances of losing weight.

PS. The sticks are useless, throw them out, stop chasing numbers.

(Chris - Mince meat, not words.) #7

Seems like there’s a conspiracy to sell as many useless pee sticks as possible. No matter how many times it’s repeated that they’re worthless, it just keeps coming up.

OP don’t worry about ketones. Let the results speak for themselves.


Hi, what you’ve said sounds right, so don’t worry.

You can’t give too much credence to those “pee stix” they only measure acetoacetate but sooner or later the most dominant keytone will be beta-hydroxyrate which they don’t measure at all! … (the electronic ones do).

Definitely watch the 20g net carb rule - it’s the key which unlocks everything - watchout for hidden carbs and excess proteins.

(says mix it up! Let chaos reign!) #9


(Bob Johnson) #10

Not worthless so much as not intended for our use of them. If you are a type 1 diabetic, they are critical.

It’s probably cheaper to buy a cheap breathalyzer. The cheapest ones are made so cheap they can’t tell the difference between booze breath or ketones. Better yet, if you really want accuracy, get a blood tester. Meters that do both glucose and ketones are available, but the test strips for them are about $1 each. I got my meter through the VA hospital. I get my BG test strips free. But if I want the ketone testers they cost $99 for a pack of 100. I’ll just pee on the sticks and wonder about it.

Don’t worry about very low or non existent readings on urine tests. If you have ketones in your urine it means you are over producing them, and the ones you see are 100% waste.

(Chris - Mince meat, not words.) #11

Of course context matters. Since the OP didn’t mention she was type 1 the audience must not assume.

(Ilana Rose) #12

Although many people eventually stop seeing ketones in their urine this isn’t true for everyone. At a year and a half in I still get high readings and I like using them because I can test dietary tweaks. However, even in my case and even from day one I have to test only under specific conditions.

First of all the dawn phenomenon messes them up. I only get good readings in the afternoon and evening. Second, any meal messes them up for a few hours. Thirdly, exercise messes them up for several hours. I only measure just before dinner or just before bedtime to avoid these false readings. Finally, it’s a measure of ketone CONCENTRATION so if your urine is very dilute (very hydrated) your measurements WILL be reduced. So you should consider that if you are drinking a ton of fluids.

I hope this helps. Good luck.

(Jeff) #13

I am new to the Keto and have been on for 6 days. I have been very strict on it. Chicken breasts, spinach, broccoli, pork loins, water, etc… I walk 20,000 steps a day as I am a store director at a grocery store. My ketone readings are somewhere between negative and trace. I do drink the no carb, no calorie drink Bang. Sometimes 2 a day. I was told at GNC that they were fine as they don’t spike blood sugar. Just a little frustrated about the ketostix results. Physically, I feel great and have plenty of energy. Just curious if this was normal? Any help or insight would be great.

(Regina) #14

Chicken breasts aren’t very fatty, unless you eat the skin or add butter or some other fat. I would eat fatty red meat instead. Also, 6 days is way too early to worry about ketones. I would lose the Bang, just in case. So have patience, eat more fat, keep carbs under 20, and don’t worry about anything else at this point. Good luck and let us know how it goes!

(John) #15

I guess different people’s body chemistry works differently.

I bought the urine strips about a week in, and was turning them purple right away. Now in week 13, I don’t test often, maybe twice a week just out of curiosity, but I still turn them dark purple.

I keep expecting them to get lighter as I become fat-adapted but so far, no change.

(Ilana Rose) #16

After a year and a half mine still turn purple.

(mags) #17

Chicken thighs with skin are sooooo much better

(BuckRimfire) #18

[quote]Not worthless so much as not intended for our use of them. If you are a type 1 diabetic, they are critical.

It’s probably cheaper to buy a cheap breathalyzer. The cheapest ones are made so cheap they can’t tell the difference between booze breath or ketones.[/quote]
I have rarely seen a solid ketone score on pee sticks. I’ve been on the diet with minimal cheating since the end of June this year. My wife (who was moderately overweight and has lost 25 pounds) usually got a detectable reading on pee stick, so either my already-low body fat is an issue (I started at 10 or 11% body fat and have kept my weight constant) or maybe I’m eating too much protein and barely in ketosis for that reason?
The only time I got a really strong score on pee sticks was the day (about 7 weeks in) that I had a solid breakfast (eggs, sausage, tea with coconut oil and cream, maybe a few brussel sprouts) then went for a 20 mile slash five hour sea kayak paddle while consuming nothing but a thermos of tea with lots of coconut oil and cream (I’ve forgotten my best estimate, but it was something like 300 or so calories of fat in that tea). That’s not a racing pace, but it’s faster and farther than most recreational sea kayakers would manage, and while I wasn’t eager to do a couple of extra miles just to kill time, I didn’t bonk (which was the question I wanted to test; I was happy with that result and felt that it showed I was pretty well fat-adapted). That afternoon I scored at least 4 milliMolar ketones on the pee strip for once. This was a bit of an extreme stunt just to accomplish that!
I’ve since bought a cheap KetoIQ breath tester, which is an alcohol tester that’s relabeled. I guess it works. I usually get a low but positive reading on it, but sometimes I get a zero even though I haven’t been deliberately cheating. My wife almost always gets a positive reading and almost always higher than mine. So, it kinda agrees with our pee stick results.
I don’t know if I believe their conversion of BAC to ketones calculation, since it gives a result that’s high enough that I should be showing positive on the pee sticks, too. I consider it semi-quantitative at best, but I got it free with Amazon points and it’s reassuring to see that I’m blowing something detectable more often than not. I’ve asked for a Ketonix from my wife for Xmas, but I don’t really care if she gets one for me. If she does, I should do some measurements with both and see if they agree.


Just a suggestion. Try using total carbs

(Jeff) #20

I’m at day 7 now and am showing up pink on the stix, which is better than trace. Still have not gone over 20 carbs and have been mixing in a little more fat in my diet. (Bacon)