On Ketones below 0.5 after totally adapted

(Kirk Wolak) #1

Okay, I’ve been lamenting “not being in Ketosis” despite being a carnivore.
But I’ve seen a Sea Change among a few people.

The old belief was that Ketones of 0.5 are required to say you are in ketosis.
Dr. Bikman, and Dr. Boz (recently) mentioned that at some point, this 0.5 is a bit arbitrary.
And for some people (like me who are not very active physically), having ANY ketones (a reading other than LO) is likely a sign that you are actually in ketosis.

The core concept is that after you adapt, your body simply will NOT waste a ton of ketones if you don’t need them. I think this is why WALKING helps my ketone numbers so much…

Without walking, I am typically 0.3 … And I KNOW it’s not the carbs! Also, when I eat meat, I can get a decent glucose rise. That is NOT Gluconeogenesis… It’s actually your liver releasing energy. Whoa… This changes things…

After years of this lifestyle, I am starting to lean in this direction.
Again, this is for someone FULLY keto adapted, and not eat CRAP foods or “KETO” treats, etc.

Even Stephen Phinney said they are looking at this situation at Virta Health!

I am curious what others think???

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

It was Volek and Phinney who defined nutritional ketosis as serum β-hydroxybutyrate of 0.5 or greater. And they have both admitted that this definition is somewhat arbitrary. However, a lot of the keto-adapted athletes they studied had ketones around 1.0 or 2.0, so my conclusion is that as long as I am keeping carbs low and still breathing in and out, I am in ketosis.

(Kirk Wolak) #3

OMG… I just realized Dead People are likely in ketosis:

  1. Their Carbs are Below 5g
  2. They continue to lose weight easily (LOL)
  3. They are NEVER hungry!

But my core point was to not beat myself up over a 0.3 reading when I know I am being sedentary! Because my body does not need more energy than that… INTERESTING!

(Bill) #4

I agree 100%

I always thought that the 0.5 was nonsense and that if you are producing ketones then you must be in ketosis or you wouldn’t be producing them at all!

(Marco ) #5

Just my experience being strict keto a year check g serum levels daily. After 5 or so months fasted am values were normally around .5-.6 and they rise mid day premeal to around 1, again on average.

.5 seems like what my floor was at long term… Never dipped below.

(Kirk Wolak) #6

Yeah, I was there for the first 2 years. It’s like year 4 for me and this new pattern showed up…
But I do have some excess inflammation, and a deep infection as well…


Ketones means you’re in Ketosis, number is irrelevant. I lost over 100lbs averaging the 0.3 range and that was inside of a year. Don’t forget “Nutritional” ketosis is make believe, it’s not real. It’s just some crap Phinney/Volek invented to have a phrase coined with a name attached.


Hmmm, that fits even though with common sense applied it doesn’t, but if you don’t think about it, it does. I think you should apply to run NIH! You’re qualified! :rofl::rofl::rofl:

(Doug) #9

Kirk, this makes sense to me. I also don’t think the exact ‘number’ would matter, because, hey - if you’re burning fat for energy then you’re making ketones, right?

(Kirk Wolak) #10

Yeah, but this is well beyond the OLD Advice that 0.5 Ketones was required to tell if you were in Ketosis. I BELIEVE This is accurate in the beginning, because your body over-produces ketones.

But, for example, my CGM is a ROLLERCOASTER. Not as much when I am awake/working. It’s really steady. Mid 90s Sometimes 105…

As I stop using my brain, my CGM drops to 80s
When I sleep it falls into 40s and 50s (I’ve had to disable the alarm)
It is a rare day when my CGM does not have RED on it. Usually when I am sleeping.

Dr. Boz explains this is how it should be. No carbs to fuel things, and your body switches easily enough to ketones. (A CKM [Continuous Ketone Monitor would be nice]).

I would say, if the world was not running to a precipice for the last 20+ years… That we would see these and a Continuous Insulin monitor. Already they can measure IRON with light through the skin. They will have this for Glucose (if they don’t already).

It could even become “Star Trek” like. Wave a device, and collect all the various readings.

Until then… We are the front lines in this. And I am hopeful that some of these comments are read by historians… “Imagine a person not knowing every biomarker and having a daily graph of it? How did the function? How did they know what to eat? How hard to exercise?”

(Doug) #11

True. It’s a big switch, overall - even the language itself reflects the context of high-carb diets, i.e. “ketosis” would be pathological or abnormal levels of ketones. :smirk:

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

That’s why they coined the term “nutritional ketosis” and gave it a definition, to take some of the sting out of the word.

Along these lines, my pet peeve is the word “diabetes,” which is ancient Egyptian for “syphoning” sugar out of the body and into the urine. The real problem with Type I is lack of insulin (which, of course, the ancients had no way of knowing), whereas the problem with Type II is hyperinsulinaemia, which (if Joseph Kraft was right) begins to manifest itself many years before the glucose starts to get out of control. The terminology keeps us from seeing the real problems accurately. If we saw the problems more clearly, we might not be in the fix we’re currently in.


Hasn’t Ben Bikman, or was it @richard Richard Morris, pointed out an upper thresh hold of intrinsic ketone production from stored body fat?

If one does not increase their dietary fat as an energy source as they progress toward health, then ketone production is limited by physiology.

So, to access higher blood ketones for therapeutic effect, or mental clarity benefits, dietary fat adjustments upward are required.

It’s not just a matter of lowering carbs.

(Bob M) #14

I just listened to a podcast with Ben Bikman where he said your body would release insulin to get your ketones lower, once you get past 4 mmol/l or so. I started 1/1/14, and here’s some of my spreadsheet. You can see that my ketones go down over this time:

I just restarted taking blood ketones, and my last tests are: 0.1 (morning), 0.1 (morning), 0.1 (evening), 0.2 (morning). After almost 9 years, my body has perfected ketone use.

At one point, people postulated that there was an ideal range of ketones to be in, but they were likely using data from people who were new to ketosis. That range might actually work for most people. But once you’re in ketosis for a while, it likely does not.

I restarted testing because I usually do a TKD (targeted keto diet), where I’ll eat some carbs after body weight training. I wanted to see the effect of that. With ketones as low as I’m getting, I’m not sure what I’ll see.

(Kirk Wolak) #15

And THIS is what I was looking for and the entire reason for the post!

Thank You!

Here I was “Beating myself up” when my body is doing what it needs to do.
That said, I am dealing with another health issue, and I am sure that is not helping…

After years. And I am usually a Zero Carb person.
I am going to go test my A1C and some other numbers next month…

(May the blessing of bacon be always with you) #16

There is a limit of how many calories can be drawn from body fat per day, which Richard has calculated. I’m not sure that anyone has calculated the ketone yield from that.


Possibly ketogenisis is a demand driven process like gluconeogenisis.

(Christian Hirose Romeo Graham/廣瀬 グラハム クリスティン 路美男) #18

That’s very likely.