Low Ketones


#1

and higher than expected glucose.
I am not sure if this seems too high? The last meal I had was at 7pm it is now almost 2pm. The only thing I have done today is clean and go on a 1.5 mile walk at a very slow pace with my boyfriend. I had a little bit of apple cider vinegar this morning and water.

I sat down and tested my glucose and ketones:
Glucose: 90
Ketones: 1.0

My glucose while I was doing an extended fast dipped down to 60, but when I am not doing an extended fast and only doing intermittent fasting, it seems to hover around 85-92. Is this high?

Also while doing my extended fast my ketones were at 2.2 and when intermittent fasting its typically .5-1.0

I have been very careful to not go over my carbs, I am only having 16g of net carbs or less a day. I am eating about 1250-1400 calories a day depending on how much i exercise.
70-75% fat / 20-25% protein / 5% or less of carbs

I am 5’4" 165 pounds and female. Not really sure why my ketones seem so low and glucose seems high. I know anything under 100 is considered normal but for having not had food for about 18 hours I was expecting them a bit higher I guess. Maybe part of why I’ve lost 0 pounds in the month I’ve been on the diet lol


(Give me bacon, or give me death.) #2

Your ketones are fine. Both readings are fine, in fact. If you had a continuous monitor, you would see that both values are constantly fluctuating. Your fasting ketone readings are always going to be higher than your eating ones; that’s part of the fasting process.

BTW, I am assuming that the ketone reading you give is your serum β-hydroxybutyrate level, since you also give a glucose reading.

Dr. Stephen Phinney says that he and Prof. Jeff Volek somewhat arbitrarily picked 0.5 as the beginning of what they started calling “nutritional ketosis” because that was the level at which they generally started seeing the benefits of the ketotic state in their patients and research subjects. Dr. Phinney says (in a lecture recorded by Low Carb Down Under on their YouTube channel) that 1.0 is probably better than 0.5, but there is no observable additional benefit for levels above 1.0.

Remember that the measurement of circulating β-hydroxybutyrate is what has been produced but that hasn’t been used yet. My understanding is that it is not always an accurate measurement of the amount of ketone bodies the liver is producing, or how much your organs are consuming. I don’t know of any way to measure those values.

Your fat loss is going to vary over time, no matter what you do; it is not a linear process. As long as the downward trend over the months continues, you are fine. Just bear in mind that the process is slower, the closer you come to your body’s preferred weight. Furthermore, Dr. Phinney has found that it is possible for people to add lean tissue at the same time as losing fat, and this is going to affect your scale readings. Which is why we also recommend paying attention to the fit of your clothing. Also, as a woman, your hormonal cycle is going to have an influence on your fat loss, as well.


(Bob M) #3

You know, this depends. After 6.5 years on low carb, my morning blood sugar is around 100. My evening blood sugar is, however, much lower. Similarly, my morning ketones are lower and my evening ketones are higher.

From reading your post, you are fasting for 18 hours but have only been on keto one month? Do you need to fast like that? For reference, I didn’t start fasting at all until I’d been keto about 1.5 years. Now, that was back in the stone ages, pre-Dr. Fung, though Dr. Fung did get me into fasting. At that time, I was eating 4+ meals per day + snacks (isn’t that healthy?).

I have nothing wrong with fasting (haven’t eaten breakfast – unless I’m on vacation or really, really hungry – for years), but it can take a body some time to transition. Think about eating “normally”, say 3 meals or so for a while. To go from high carb to low carb and throw a short eating window in there, it might be too much.


#4

I normally only fast for like 10-14 hours but I washed the dishes after cleaning the house and when i was going to eat i realized everything was in the dish washer so i went for a walk lol.

I have done keto off and on but not as seriously. I had pretty good results before with minimal effort and not even counting calories. This time around I’ve not been so lucky.

My weights fluxed the whole month and i think i’m down maybe 2 or 3 pounds but i’ll take any progress i can right now xD


#5

I’ve been using Keto-Mojo to measure the last week now. Before that I was using the ketone urine strips to check periodically to make sure I was in ketosis. I am exercising and building muscle so it has been difficult to measure success since my measurements have not really changed either.

Regardless, I am eating better, exercising regularly, and feel good. I just hate looking at my fat frumpy stomach and thighs and feeling gross. I have gotten to the point I feel shame when i eat anything that could be considered a luxury food instead of necessity. Like eating a Quest Bar when I’m dying for something sweet! (periods are the worst)


#6

Your ketone levels don’t matter and your glucose isn’t high. Eat right, keep doing what you’re doing and you’ll be good!


(Bob M) #7

Because of this and when I’d fast I’d lose 5+ pounds in a day, I stopped using the scale a long time ago. And even things like waist size can be wrong at times, if I’m gaining muscle mass.

I went from single digit pushups to 30 pushups, to having to start pseudo-one arm pushups. During that process, the scale isn’t great and even measurements aren’t convincing. DEXA scans would help, but they are too expensive.


#8

Thanks for the support guys :slight_smile:

At the end of the day even if I didn’t lose any weight… I stopped gaining it. My boyfriend and I are living better lifestyles, I feel better, look better, and I am more active.

The weight will go in time… or it won’t and I will just have to accept my thunder thighs xD


(Bob M) #9

Even if you just feel better, that’s a gift.

I went through multiple times starting Atkins before I finally did it for good. I remember getting several weeks into it…and not being hungry. Every time. I was always hungry before. Alas, I thought I “needed” carbs for exercise, so I would have carbs around then…which ultimately led to more carbs.

That was over 7 years ago, though. Don’t look back (other than maybe to learn), only forward. That’s my motto. Or something. :wink:


(grace) #10

You all are so motivating to me! Thank you as I have been on ketogenic lifestyle since 10/2019 with the desire to lose 10 pounds (5’1”, 136 pounds) and discovered the therapeutic elements of it—arthritis nearly gone! I lost 7 pounds. I overeat too much before I am satiated; and gained and have stay around 130-133. Open to advice!


#11

I reduced my calories slightly the last few days as was suggested on reddit to me about a week ago. The last few days the weights been starting to come off. I think I was over eating. I’m trying to eat between 1-7pm and fast the rest of the time and that’s made not eating too much easier.


(Give me bacon, or give me death.) #12

Restricting calories is tricky, because it can be a signal to the body that hard times are upon us and it needs to conserve resources to get us through (fasting, interestingly, provokes a different response). The body then adjusts its metabolic rate to compensate for the reduced energy intake. On the other hand, when we eat abundantly, the body has no need to conserve and can increase metabolism to meet intake, even wasting energy in various ways.

In general, it’s less important to worry about how many calories you are consuming than it is to worry about what kinds of food you are giving your body. Eat right, and your body will respond and grow healthier. The problem is that nutritional advice for the past forty or fifty years has been skewed by ideology, not by what is actually best for the human body.


(Joey) #13

You’ve gotten excellent advice above, especially from @PaulL, as usual.

This comment of yours is what tells me you’re likely doing GREAT …

My only concern is whether you’re eating enough to stay on a healthy course. If not, your body may begin to turn down your metabolic furnace - and that would be neither productive nor healthy in the long run.

As @PaulL notes, it’s less important to count calories than it is to continue to keep an eye on the kinds of food you’re eating. Eat well and exercise wisely and your body’s amazing systems will do the rest.

Be patient and focus on the improvements you’ve noted in how you’re feeling. Enjoy the ride! :vulcan_salute:

[p.s. - After a year of consistent low-carb eating, exercising in new HIIT ways, and feeling absolutely amazing at 60+ yrs old: my morning glucose often clocks in at 90-100 while my BHB keto serum levels (Mojo) meander between 0.3-1.0 shortly after waking up. But since I haven’t eaten trash carbs in a year (only meat, eggs, dairy, selected nuts and lots of green veggies), I KNOW I’m in ketosis - otherwise I’d be dead by now. :wink:]


(Give me bacon, or give me death.) #14

Lol, @SomeGuy! I’ve appropriated as my own, a jokey way of putting it, that I first read on these forums. Feel free to use it, too. And many thanks to the member who first posted it!

How to tell you’re in ketosis—

  1. You’re eating less than 20 g/day of carbohydrate.

  2. You’re still breathing in and out.


(Ian) #15

Hi Yaz, I think you are doing great.

Your ketones and glucose levels are certainly indicative that you are in nutritional ketosis. Like others, my BG is higher in the morning with lowers ketones than toward the end of the day. Having used a continuous blood glucose meter it is very obvious that this is the morning or dawn effect, when cortisol increases (prompting the body to release glucose from it’s glycogen stores) to get the body revved up for the days activities.

Even though you may not be losing the weight as quickly as you wish, I am sure that you are metabolically more healthy and feel better.

Regarding your weight, please remember you can still increase body weight on a ketogenic diet if you over-consume calories, particularly fat. Generally it is more difficult than a SAD diet, because the higher protein and fat is more satiating, but it is still possible. Also men and women respond differently. When Mary and I first started on less than 20 g of carb, I immediately lost weight and was down to a stable minus 30 lbs within 3 months. However, Mary’s weight loss was a lot more gradual and it took almost 6 months before she was substantial losses. I also recall that even though she was frustrated with the slow weight loss, within a couple of weeks she recalled feeling much better, with more energy and significantly greater mental clarity.

Good luck and keep at it!