Sudden Ketone Drop, Nothing Changed

(Sam) #1

I have been steadily doing keto for the past 3 months here is how i have approached it.

  • Never eat more than 30 net carbs per day (usually under 20).
  • Don’t eat any fruit besides avocado and olives (low fructose)
    -I am doing IF doing 18-22 Hr fasts everyday (keeping my feeding window between 3pm and 9pm)

-I used a CGM for 30 days, trying out a variety of foods making sure to remove foods that give me an insulin spike. (funnily enough, powdered peanut butter , although only 2 carbs really spiked my blood sugar. I found a sugar free one that made a big difference).

-I have not had any cheat meals or any days over 30 net carbs, in the past 90 days.

-I generally have a ketone levels that range between 0.7-1.2 throughout the day and my blood sugar is usually 90-105. (using ketosens meter for ketones and accucheck for blood sugar).

-I do light resistance training 3 days a week
-I run 5k, 5 days week, 40/50mi bike ride once a week, and some other cardio activity on the other day.

Long story short, i have not made any major adjustments to the above plan and the past 3 days in the morning i have had ketone readings of 0.4, 0.3, 0.3. Later in the day (1hr post workout) the ketone readings go up to around 0.8/0.9 but I have never had such low ketone readings in the morning (i usually get those low reading about 2 hrs after waking up, before workouts). I would think 90 days is too fast for my body to be “completed adapted” where there would be less ketones in my bloodstream. Is that the case here? What other reasons could be causing such LOW ketone readings. (if it was 0.5, 0.6 i would not really be phased by it, but 0.3 is really low).

Thanks for any advice you may have.

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #2

Keep carbs sub-20 grams per day, the lower the better. Don’t chase ketone numbers. You’ll be fine.

(Sam) #3

is 90 days too soon for your body to be ‘adjusted’ and hence the major ketone drop?

Yes, i know i should be ok because nothing in my routine has changed, and i don’t feel any different, but was just wondering if there could be something else i could change. I could bring the carbs a little lower, but then it’s going to get the point of cutting out vegetables.


Why do you even care about your ketone levels? Do you think they matter? You’re doing IF and running 5k everyday and riding 40/50mi! You’re clearly burning them up, you realize that’s your energy source and you’re using plenty of energy, don’t expect them to be that high with what you’re doing.

Are you reversing diabetes? Please define what you’re calling a “spike”. Almost no way 2g spiked you, have you fallen victim to that thing where a rise equals a “spike”? Your ketone levels aren’t an indicator of fat loss speed, and at your activity levels you could probably eat a descent amount more than 30g of carbs and still be fine and in ketosis most of the time. What’s your end goal here, fat loss?

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #5

Ketosis and ‘fat adaptation’ are two different things - although related. You enter the metabolic state of ketosis by keeping carb intake low. This in turn keeps blood glucose and insulin low (but still within the ‘normal’ range) and enables ketone synthesis from fatty acid metabolism. Fat adaptation is a process of retraining and/or healing the mitochondria of various cells to start utilizing ketones and fatty acids for fuel. When you’ve used glucose as the primary fuel for years or decades, the mitochondria lose the ability to process fat and eventually start to suffer damage (from ‘reduced oxygen species’ aka ROS resulting from glucose metabolism), which only gets worse the longer glucose remains the primary fuel. So it takes time to fix this. Ketones fluctuate but as long as you keep carbs sufficiently low to remain in ketosis, the fluctuation is not an issue. As noted by @lfod14 if you’re using ketones then you won’t find it floating around in your blood doing not much of anything.

(Bacon by any other name would taste just as great.) #6

We generally tell people that it takes six to eight weeks to become fat-adapted. Some people take longer, a very few take less time. At three months in, you are likely to be fat-adapted.

I don’t know of any studies about this, but the anecdotal evidence from these forums is that some time after fat adaptation, ketone measurements tend to drop. Our speculation is that this is the result of two factors: (a) the liver begins matching production more closely to need, once the muscles are fully fat-adapted and stop using ketones; and (b) the kidneys get better at catching ketones and recycling them back into the blood stream, thus reducing the need for production by the liver.

(Bacon by any other name would taste just as great.) #7

Don’t forget that most commercial peanut butter is loaded with sugar, quite apart from the carb load found naturally in the peanuts.

(Bacon by any other name would taste just as great.) #8

I’d just like to add to this that the muscle cells, once fully fat-adapted, refuse glucose and ketones in favour of fatty acids, leaving them available for other organs that can profit from them. (Red blood corpuscles live on glucose alone; the brain and heart do very well on ketones.)

(Sam) #9

when i used the cgm, my resting blood sugar was between 95-105 on most days. When i would eat meals, it would never rise above 110-115. When i had a few items (such as the pbfit regular powdered peanut butter) it would “spike” to 150 and then come back down to ~100 after a few hrs. As soon as i switched to the sugar free version my blood sugar stayed below 115 after eating.

Before keto, my resting blood sugar was between 80-90. I am not fighting diabetes.

(Sam) #10

yes. i never use peanut butter. Only the powdered peanut butter like pb2 or pbfit (but now i only get the sugar free ones).

(Sam) #11

it went from ~105 - 150 in a matter of 20 minutes. Not sure if that’s considered a spike or not, but it was one of the few foods that did this to me. Everything else in my diet had less than a 20 point blood sugar response.

I also checked it with my accucheck meter and the results were almost the same.

They used palm sugar in the powder, not sure if that would change anything… but after removing it from my diet… very low spikes.

(Allie) #12

Stop stressing and go with it is the best advice. You may not have changed anything you’re aware of, but your body has changed and is now producing the ketones it needs as fuel rather than making excess to waste.


That’s fine, but most even with sugar don’t have much, plus, I’m (assuming) that most of us are buying the stuff with peanuts only. The little carb content shouldn’t be spiking anybody unless you’re eating half the jar. I’m willing to bet like most times the definition of “spike” is very liberal here.

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #14

Here’s what @ambush276 calls a ‘spike’.

(Bob M) #15

Very interesting. I have this stuff, though I rarely use it. I wish I had my CGM to test it.

I did test some “zero fat” yogurt, PB fit regular powdered peanut butter, some cacao powder, and some liquid Stevia…and I was starving afterwards. I always thought it was the yogurt, but maybe it was the PB fit?

I was testing the zero fat yogurt to see if I could actually do a high P:E diet for weeks as a test. But that yogurt meal made me so hungry, I got discouraged. (I eat a lot of meals that are high P:E, but have never gone weeks with it.)

I’ll have to go home and see which PF fit I bought…

(Sam) #16

yea… i was honestly surprised because it is only 2g of sugar for 2 tbsp. But they sell a sugar free one sweetened with erythritol. Tastes almost identical.

(Sam) #17

tested again this morning and still at 0.3. I guess i will just go with the flow here and assume my body has adapted to the lower ketone levels. I am sure i could fat fast or have a bunch of mct oil to increase those numbers… but that’s not really the point here. I guess after ~90 days the body can adapt to producing less ketones as i am now ‘fat adapted’ and am producing the more optimal amount of ketones than i was before.

(Bob M) #18

I wouldn’t get too excited about “low” ketones. I consistently get 0.1 or 0.2 in the morning…but I’ve also been doing this for 7+ years.

I do believe it’s possible to increase ketones, such as by eating fat. I’ve only been taking breath ketones, and it reliably tells me when I’ve eaten more fat the day before. But I don’t know what to do with that information.

You can test at night too, to see what happens. Mine usually go up over the day.

For me, the best way to increase ketones reliably is to fast multiple days. (Same for LDL and total cholesterol, which go up.) But there are only so many times I can do that…

(Sam) #19

mine go up throughout the day as well. for the past week, around 2pm, i’m sitting between 0.6-0.9. But i am also doing IF until 3-6pm. 7+ years is impressive, for sure. When you fast for multiple days, won’t your ketone levels drop once you have finished your fast ? How long do they stay elevated post the fast?