Staying in ketosis

(Luke) #1

Hi everyone. I have a cheat every now and then , as you may have read in previous posts. It’s mainly when there is a celebration of some sort happening. But sometimes I’ll just want something and just have it , I just don’t do it all the time. I don’t make it a cheat day or even a meal it could be something small and that would be it. I did it today with left over Easter eggs while hanging out with my niece. I thought I would check my blood ketones about 5 hours later to see what it did and was quite happily still in good ketosis. 1.5mml which is apparently pretty good. Was just wondering if anyone else does this.

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #2

I’ve been watching videos by Eric Westman lately, and he says that, in his patients, an occasional deviation from the diet is not a problem.

But the difference between storing fat and burning fat is like flipping a switch, and it depends on whether blood insulin is above or below a certain value. So you want to keep the switch flipped to the fat-burning side as much as possible.

(Cathy) #3

I have experienced this but overnight, ketones drop me out of ketosis. I think it takes a while for the body to respond. Kind of like how getting into ketosis takes a day or more, going out takes some time too.

(Joey) #4

Much of whether this matters has to do with how pressing your broader goals are and the state of your current health (e.g., level of insulin resistance, etc.).

If you’re in general good health and aren’t far off from your longer term health objectives, you can “get away” with a lot more dietary meandering than if you were facing dire health challenges and have a long way to reach your targeted outcomes.


I’ve never felt healthier in my life since cutting out the carbs almost 4 years ago - and am currently blessed with no observable health challenges (noteworthy given my retired geezer status).

But to answer your question directly: I haven’t had a “cheat” meal since “going” keto and have not looked back. I feel too good to mess with things and like the idea of being in control of myself. But that’s just me. Such stubborn rock-headedness is more often a curse than a blessing :wink:

(Luke) #6

Hi Paul. This is very interesting , as thinking of being in ketosis as being in fat burning mode. I think It would be true to say , not all the time as any food spikes your insulin levels , keto friendly or not.

(Luke) #7

Hi there. Yes it was about 5 hrs after when I checked , but I will check in morning out of curiosity, although I’m normally well in ketosis in the mornings as I don’t eat after 5pm.

(Luke) #8

Hi Joey. Yes I’m at goal weight and want to maybe lose more fat but add muscle now so I may not get any lighter. It is probably fair to say I can get away with it , but I don’t do it often , which is key.

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #9

“Spike” is a loaded word. Insulin is supposed to rise and fall throughout the day, so that we can store energy from the food we eat, then release it over the time between meals. The glucose from carbohydrates causes the greatest insulin response, and the response is magnified when we are insulin resistant. A high-carb diet elevates insulin significantly and keeps it elevated, and that causes a lot of problems in most people.

The insulin response to protein eaten on a high-carb diet can be significant, but on a low-carb diet, the insulin is matched by a corresponding increase in glucagon (also secreted by the pancreas), so that our body remains in fat-burning mode. Fat has almost no effect on insulin, except for the bare minimum required for us not to starve to death. This is why a well-formulated ketogenic diet replaces the carbohydrate we are no longer eating with fat. Another advantage is that we need far less fat to get the same number of calories, so we end up eating less overall.

(Luke) #10

Your insights and knowledge always amaze me Paul. And are much appreciated. I have learnt a lot about the keto woe and lots to come. Very interring.


I don’t see the logic except when someone easily eats according to calories, (almost) no matter the food. My SO is kind of like that but not on low-carb. Fat doesn’t satiate him immediately so he simply overeats when trying to eat fat instead of carbs. Feels awful and gains fat.
It’s not so simple for me. Lack of carbs is good but fat is way too easy to add galore while it does little to my satiation (after some point. I do need it in small amounts but I tend to eat it in big ones, despite my efforts since ages). I love fat more than carbs anyway… So I overeat unless I focus on eating as little fat as I can and other conditions met too.

It seems to me that satiation and satisfaction is key. No matter how much energy fat gives us if we just stay hungry even after eating a ton of it. It’s the same with the super low calorie-dense items. Never understood why anyone could think it’s good for a fat-loss diet… Maybe for volume eaters whose body can’t count calories… My diet food is quite fatty and calorie dense as that satiates me way better, even per calorie.
But satiation and satisfaction is very individual. It’s the topic where I learned we can’t say ANYTHING for sure, I mean, that works for everyone. (Fatty) protein is fine in general but not always.

(Cathy) #12

When I first got into ketosis, I found that I wasn’t hungry … not at all. Eventually my appetite returned but in a way that was much more ‘controlled’. I was no longer craving anything. Having a high fat diet did that.

It is difficult to tease out what is the inducing factor to overeat. For me, I need to remember that I don’t overeat the simple foods like eggs, meat with only plain seasoning or even cheeses, etc. It will always be something that has been ‘doctored’. I can easily overeat a high fat, low carb dessert or a stir fry with tons of veggies. Even though both of those involved a fair amount of fat. It is the other ingredients that are the trouble.

If I want to exercise my keto benefits, I can reduce my diet to just the basics and I won’t over eat. That’s fat, and protein and as few carbs as possible and no sweeteners despite that they have few carbs.


I still crave food but it’s usually meat after low-meat times… I don’t even get it, I barely ever ate meat in my first 4 decades! :smiley: But my woe changed a lot since.

Some of us easily overeat them all. Good your overeating skills are less bad than mine and there are even people worse than me, scary…
I don’t think seasoning is able to make my fried or roasted pork any better, that’s why I only use a tiny salt every time… It’s irresistible enough that way, actually too much sometimes but if I don’t neglect my meat intake (for some reason, it regularly happens), it may be okay…
But indeed, proper food helps to some extent (and it helps enough for many I am sure). Especially when we don’t use every available groups… I can’t overeat (in one sitting) if I only use 1-2 items but I tend to use a dozen for every substantial meal. At least. On carnivore. I need to try harder to avoid that.

My experiences are the same. The dessert is tempting for us who love desserts and the carbs from the vegs make me hungrier but the main reason in my case is too low protein. If I don’t have a lot of protein in my meal, I stay hungry (or get hungry very quickly again but that’s rare). It’s worst when I combine carbs with fat (like fried vegs) but I don’t do that.
I rarely overeat my desserts though, maybe because they are so very rich and high-protein…? (And because I am smart and never make a big dessert…) But I definitely can eat a lot of calories from them after I got really satiated. Dessert stomach, I have that. But avoiding all kind of sweetener helps somewhat :wink:

(Luke) #14

Hi Cathy. I was still in ketosis in the morning. 1.7 mml blood ketones. I did it yesterday also. I ate a piece of bread , and still in ketosis this morning. 1.8mml which I read is pretty good fat burn levels. Not sure what’s going on.

(Cathy) #15

You must have a higher tolerance to carbs. I don’t measure blood ketones anymore but know I have gone out by the increase in weight on my scale next day. I pop back in within 24 hours according to my scale. When I was measuring blood ketones, I would get a low reading in the morning after but still technically in ketosis. But not anything like 1.7 mml.

Just a note, 1 slice of bread is around 12g carbs and seemingly fits your carb ‘tolerance’ (or critical carb level to stay in ketosis). I don’t believe I would stay in ketosis if I were to add a slice of bread and continue with the rest of my normal carb consumption. In fact, I know that to be true but we are all pretty different. You appear to have a larger margin for ketosis.

(Luke) #16

Hi again Cathy. You will have to excuse my ignorance when I wrote that about the bread. I only added my carbs up for the day as an after thought and I was still below 50g so it’s not surprising I stayed in. For some reason I had it in my head that if I ate bread I would instantly throw myself out of ketosis. I think you are right though I think I can eat at the top end of my carbs (50g) and stay in, and I think it’s because I work out and run.

(Kirk Wolak) #17

I wear a CGM for a variety of reasons. One is to track non-food impacts on my glucose levels.
But because of my intense tracking, I can tell you.

1 Cheat Meal can cost me 3-5 DAYS of “effective” ketosis. It can trigger my cravings.
Lead to migraines, and cause me to lose what willpower I had (ie, triggering food addiction).

I will “stray”, as I have posted before. But it is NEVER enough to drive my glucose above 150 (which I view as WAY too high already). It’s funny how stress can trigger me. Also, feeling really sick…

YOU will have to find what works for you. Once I saw the effect was as long as it was, it was clear that once a month was TOO OFTEN. Because it will easily cost me 10-20% of the month. That’s a high price for a meal.

So, I try to stick to a Cheat ITEM. And I try for once a quarter (or less).
But I will be 100% honest with you. If it happens, it’s not the end of the world, because this is now 100% my WOE! I will not give up my core approach.

Currently, my biggest cheats are HOT DOGS (processed food is not on my plan),
Hard Salami (terrible oils used), or Cheese (Dairy is not on my plan).

Recently I had some Chicken Salad that had some Craisins in it. Realize those things taste 100 times sweeter now than they used to. Unfortunately, I realized, this tastes TOO GOOD. It’s too easy to over eat, and the sweetness triggers that itch.

But YMMV… Everyone has to find their WOE, and make it part of their identity. Once you do that, you are in a better place already, because when I fail… I fail down to keto, and bounce back up quickly!

(Michael) #18

Glucagon increases sugar production via GNG. How could an increase in glucagon maintain fat burning in and of itself. I guess you meant the ratio is low enough to maintain ketogenesis in the presence of gluconeogenesis? Separately, do you think it is impossible to raise insulin above your magic cutoff if your glucagon also raises?

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #19

The reason is that insulin and glucagon regulate each other, and the key to whether the body is in fat storage or fat burning mode is really not the insulin level by itself, but the ratio of insulin to glucagon. Remember, in a low-carb diet, the liver needs to be making glucose to feed those cells that cannot do without it. Ketogenesis and gluconeogenesis are both stimulated by glucagon and inhibited by insulin. So in a low carb dietary milieu, glucagon is stimulating those processes, while insulin is keeping them from getting out of control. The result is a healthy balance


What. All the fat in salami comes from meat and fat tissue here (as far as I know but it makes no sense to use something else, it’s like sausage… but I never buy any so I never look at the ingredients), they may use bad ingredients but the fat comes from the animal… So it’s not like that everywhere…? Oh my. :scream:

Sweet meat is abhorrent to me, thankfully it’s not a thing here. (They do put some sugar into various processed meats but very tiny. 0.5% or less is common. not like I am happy with that but still, could be worse).

(Kirk Wolak) #21

You have to read the labels. I never thought salami would have them. But the ones I checked, did. You realize they add them to everything… Like some of the Hot Dogs I’ve seen with 5g of carbs. It’s like they don’t even care.