What the heck is happening?

(William DeFelice) #1

Need advice on this.
Diagnosed T2 10 years ago
Started low carb about 5 years ago.
Dropped 50 lbs (BMI at 23 now), A1C down to 5.5, no more reflux, slightly high BP.
No meds at all. Cycle thousands of miles a year.
Been maintaining this for about three years
OMAD without a problem.
Typical evening meals will be either: a meat and cheese night which consists of a deli meat (salami, turkey, mortadella, prosciutto, etc or combination of them; or a salad night which would be a romaine heart, a protein (beef or chicken or ham typically), olives, some pepitas, usually a roasted (in olive or avocado oil) vegetable like Brussels sprouts or asparagus, and a cheese of some kind. Once a week it’ll be an omelet and typically a night with a fish
Couple of hard to break habits:
I started chewing SF gum in the beginning of OMAD to control cravings and would chew to excess. I mean a lot of gum (40 or fifty sometimes more pieces a day (he said embarassedly)), so I know I was getting carbs there. As a snack after dinner I would eat pistachios.
The only thing I have in the morning (and drink (1) 20oz carafe throughout the day) is coffee with C8 MCT oil powder and collagen. Been feeling great and knew I had to work on a the habits to get even better and I felt this was sustainable for me without compromising my lifestyle.
I have been testing my BG four times a day at 6am, 2pm, 7pm and before bed for a couple years. I’ll wake up between 100 and 110 then at 2 it’ll go up (seriously, I have no food and the only calories are from the MCT and collagen) to between 120 and 140 typically. Then at 7 it’ll be in the low 90s or 80s and rise to about 100 before bed. So my dawn effect is delayed or the MCT and collagen is having more of an affect than I thought.
Well I wanted to see how far into ketosis I was so I got a keto-mojo meter four days ago. I wanted a baseline so the first day I kept everything the same (gum and pistachios and MCT and collagen) and in the morning my ketones were 0.5, at 2 they were 0.3, at 7 they were 0.2, and bedtime 0.3. Surprised me a bit that I wasn’t in ketosis but not overly surprised. So the next day I stopped the MCT and collagen and only had coffee. Again morning 0.5, at 2 0.2, at 7 0.1, and at bed 0.2. Now I was baffled because I have no idea how my ketones are going down without any calories at all. Now today, still no MCT or collagen and the same results at morning and 2 pm, ketones went down.
Is this just a matter of time, where my liver has to catch up to the new way of eating or is there something else going on that I just am not seeing.
I seriously do not cheat, I am very committed to keeping my T2 at bay, I’m proud I was able to lose the lbs and sustain this lifestyle for this long, I love it. I’m 60 and ride century rides fasted so I’m in pretty good shape. It’s hard for me to believe that some gum (I know, it’s a lot of gum) and nuts are keeping me out of ketosis. I’m also impatient to see results given I got quick results with the LCHF change so I’m asking for the collective wisdom to see what’s next. Thank you for your insights.


Maybe cut out the gym & pistachios for a month? If the issue resolves itself, then you know the gum and/or pistachios caused it (I don’t think it’s pistachios unless you are eating a lot of it daily).

(KM) #3

According to Dr. Berg, a stick of sugar free gum has 1-2 carbs. So you could theoretically be getting 100 carb grams from your gum!

(William DeFelice) #4

Thank you, that is the path I’m on now. Most likely a timing thing, then? Stopping for one day may not have a big affect even though those carbs are no longer present is what I hear you saying.

(William DeFelice) #5

Didn’t want to admit that to myself. Well, I quit the pasta and rice and even quit smoking many years ago, I guess gum was my next addiction! Thanks for the reality smack!

(KM) #6

Sorry! Hopefully you will find that without reinforcing sweetness in your mouth, your little sweet tooth disappears. :slight_smile:


Yeah. 1 day may not be sufficient. “Sugar free” stuff can be tricky. Some of them still have ingredients that raise blood glucose. Some still have some carbs so if you are eating a large quantity, that could explain it.

(William DeFelice) #8

Ok, taking the scientific method into account, make a hypothesis, change one thing at a time, and test the hypothesis. Eliminate the gum, wait a month, see what happens! If nothing, eliminate something else, and so on!

I’ll let you know what happens as I agree, I think the gum is the most likely culprit (I think I already knew that too) so that will be the first test!

(Alec) #9

Sorry, I don’t see a problem. Sounds to me that you are doing just fine. The goal of the keto diet is not to be in ketosis. It is to burn fat. That’s it. Drop the ketone measuring and keep carbs very low.

(Bob M) #10

Your body is just getting used to ketones. If you’re like me, you MIGHT get 0.5 mmol/l sometimes, but you’re really only get above that by fasting multiple days.

Consider this for me. You can see I started with high ketones, but I end up with low ketones.

(Robin) #11

So… if you hadn’t decided to measure ketones, you would have continued to feel great, kept eating a well-established fairly decent keto diet, and kept your weight down, and exercised, all without meds?

I only see one true problem. You tested and got unexpected results.
Of course you can always fine tune your diet, but it sounds to me like you are in a pretty good groove.

(Bob M) #12

I should note that the “ketosis” lower limit of 0.5 mmol/l was set by professors studying people relatively new on the diet. Once you’ve been on a long time, it’s really hard to get into those ranges.

I listened to a podcast where the people went to Africa to visit tribes. They gave them ketone tests, and they were in the very low range, 0.1-0.2 mmol/l, where I am now. But they lived all of their lives primarily in ketosis.

I just think after a while, you’ll end up with lower ketones. Could you increase your ketones? Maybe if you ate super high fat for a while. That’s a test I’ve been wanting to try. And I did try it a bit, and I can say that eating really high animal did have benefits (felt like I had more energy), but also detriments (had a hard time digesting that much fat). Unfortunately, I didn’t take my ketones. $1/measurement is hard to swallow sometimes.

(William DeFelice) #13

Wow! Thank you Bob and Robin for your insights. I guess I need to do a bit more research into how your body deals with very low carbs once your fat adapted. I think I am still going to do the recommendation of stopping the gum for a month (actually about six weeks). Because I look at sweet as an addiction (thank you Dr. Cywes) I will take the opportunity of Lent to give me that extra motivation to cut out the gum. I’ll start testing ketones again after Easter and see where they are. If they have gone up I’ll know the carb load from the gum is the culprit. If they stay where they are, I’ll probably have kicked the sweet habit and know my body sustains on a low level of ketones. More to come!
Thank you all for your insights, I’ll be sure to update this thread on how it’s going and the results!

Bob, I’m a chart guy too! Love it!

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #14

First, I am going to assume that “SF gum” means “sugar-free gum,” not “science-fiction gum.” Though I could, of course, be wrong. And science-fiction gum would make for a very interesting topic.

If I am reading you correctly, however, that could be a problem, right there. Artificial sweeteners have unpredictable effects on the human body. They are not allowed to be used if they raise serum glucose, but the authorities don’t care about serum insulin, and many people react to one or another of the artificial sweeteners with an insulin spike. That insulin rise will, of course, affect the rate of fat loss.

Dr. Stephen Phinney, a major researcher into the ketogenic diet, has advice for people who feel stuck. The first thing to try, he says, is to cut carbohydrate intake. If that doesn’t help, then try increasing fat intake. Under no circumstances, he says, should someone eat more carbohydrate.

Of course, measuring things brings its own troubles. One great comment I read on these forums, and which I love to repeat, is that the test for being in ketosis is easy: Is your carbohydrate intake under 20 g/day? Are you still breathing in and out? If you can answer yes to both these questions, then you are in ketosis.

(William DeFelice) #15

Yes, SF does mean sugar free! Although, being a hard core science fiction fan, if you know where to get Arrakis gum, sugar be damned! Pump it full of spice and I’ll ride a sand worm better than Paul (Muad’dib)!

(Denise) #16

This was my first thought, the artificial sugars are in other worlds, chemicals :frowning: I don’t do gum at all for the main reason, which is I know it has fake sugar in it. I have T2 and that’s how I came to this forum because I would not take the Metformin they wanted to prescribe for me. I did a google search for natural alternatives for T2, and found Keto, then this forum.

How we fuel our body is crucial, some settle for less than an active lifestyle but I won’t, sounds you’re the same type :wink: Keep up the great activity, and don’t eat or chew poison :wink:


I agree with Robin. Be content.

(Robin) #18

I knew I liked you, @Mr_Red_Fox!

Nice to see you pop in again!


Hi Robin thank you good to be back and good to see your still here.

(John Bradshaw) #20

@wdefelice As I understand the biochemistry, burning fat will produce ketones. So if you don’t have a lot of fat to burn, except via what you eat, then you will be in Maintenance Mode as far as Ketone production is concerned. That is, you will have relatively low ketone levels compared to someone who is burning xs fat.