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checking for ketones

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 10, 2011 at 3:28 PM

Do you check for ketones? I eat VLC paleo...under 50 grams carbs. I feel great, but I have been at this level of carb intake for several months. Should I check for ketosis? What would any results mean for me?

Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498

(2997)

on June 10, 2011
at 11:48 PM

I'm a big fan of eating fat, and each time I 'overindulge' in something yummy (beef tallow recently) I seem to lose weight. It's a mystery!

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on June 10, 2011
at 09:18 PM

Nancy if you are ~25g it would be hard for you not to be in ketosis UNLESS something you are sensitive to is kicking you out regardless of carb count. You can and will move in and out of ketosis on a higher carb count but in your case you should be pretty solidly in it all the time. I would just check randomly but even once a day is fine. Do you have any symptoms of ketosis (bad breath,metallic taste in mouth?) Those are cheaper ways to know.

D5096ff5baffc0ba5d20b21346414a7a

(1112)

on June 10, 2011
at 07:17 PM

I probably would have to be below 50 g. to be in ketosis. I easily stay around 25 g. without any planning. When do you check? First thing in the morning or after meals or several times a day?

D5096ff5baffc0ba5d20b21346414a7a

(1112)

on June 10, 2011
at 06:11 PM

thanks for answering. I think I will check it just to satisfy my curiosity.

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5 Answers

1
Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498

(2997)

on June 10, 2011
at 08:08 PM

I've shifted into pretty reliable ketosis the past month or so, and it's pretty obvious: my pee smells! It's a strong musky smell, not too different from that asparagus smell but less sharp. Now, urine odor isn't the most delicate topic, but it IS a good way to tell.

It's especially strong if I've eaten little but fat during the day (often coconut oil) and gotten some exercise (I typically walk up a bunch of stairs).

I have never counted, but I'd guess my average carbs are around 20g or less - more if I inhale a pint of peanut butter (guilty!) or indulge in cheese.

Note that ketosis isn't either/or, but a matter of degree. For instance, you're already in ketosis every morning because you've used up your glucose stores overnight and switched to fatty acids for energy.

My understanding is the body prefers being dominately in ketosis from an evolutionary perspective but we've shifted away from that with a heavily carb diet over years. Being 'in ketosis' is a way of retraining the body to process energy in its more natural - and healthier - state.

All that aside, I concur with ZeroMcMuffin - it's awesome that you've found something that works and are feeling great!

1
98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

on June 10, 2011
at 06:45 PM

The sticks can be a good check. I agree that the "level" of ketosis is meaningless for weight loss. If you go with the sticks cut them in half or even in thirds to save some $. You only need a tiny bit of test paper to do the test. Just enough to see the color change. And keep them in a baggie or something to help keep the fresh. They tend to go off quickly especially if you keep them in the bathroom.

I would never be in ketosis at 50g. I know that's conventional wisdom around here but I don't be in ketosis over about 30g and even that's iffy.

D5096ff5baffc0ba5d20b21346414a7a

(1112)

on June 10, 2011
at 07:17 PM

I probably would have to be below 50 g. to be in ketosis. I easily stay around 25 g. without any planning. When do you check? First thing in the morning or after meals or several times a day?

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on June 10, 2011
at 09:18 PM

Nancy if you are ~25g it would be hard for you not to be in ketosis UNLESS something you are sensitive to is kicking you out regardless of carb count. You can and will move in and out of ketosis on a higher carb count but in your case you should be pretty solidly in it all the time. I would just check randomly but even once a day is fine. Do you have any symptoms of ketosis (bad breath,metallic taste in mouth?) Those are cheaper ways to know.

1
4a279931e4b9efc1223616592d198553

on June 10, 2011
at 05:39 PM

It really is the best way to know if you are in Ketosis. If you are trying to stay in Ketosis for rapid weight loss, this could help. For some people, 50 grams of carbs can keep them out of ketosis (other can handle more and stay in ketosis) so you could use them for calibration.

Keep in mind, going "deeper" into Ketosis indicated by darker colors on your ketostick does not mean you will lose more weight. Ketosis is either on or off--you are either using fat primarily for fuel or you aren't. The darker color is likely just a higher concentration of ketones in your urine (which for me was often dehydration as a result of the diuretic nature being in ketosis).

For me, I used them for the peace of mind. I was doing a cyclic ketogenic diet and wanted to know what I was doing was working. I needed 40 grams to stay in ketosis. I used the sticks to play around with my diet until I dialed it in and knew what my cutoff carb number was.

I guess the original questions were should you and what would the result be? It sounds like you have found something that works for you. You've done it for several months and you feel great. That is awesome. Whether a stick told you that you were in ketosis or not would irrelevant unless really wanted to drop some serious weight or if you had a medical reason that required a ketogenic diet.

D5096ff5baffc0ba5d20b21346414a7a

(1112)

on June 10, 2011
at 06:11 PM

thanks for answering. I think I will check it just to satisfy my curiosity.

0
116d23135449332a8bf9106220cf632b

on June 11, 2011
at 12:31 AM

I've used keto sticks on a strict VLC diet, but I noticed the correlation between my bad breath and the ketones in my urine.

When I'm tasting wet dog I know I'm in ketosis.

0
345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on June 10, 2011
at 08:46 PM

I've checked often with the stix, I'm a curious sort!! My carbs are generally at or about 50g day. I don't know how to not eat carbs for some reason, I really crave them.

I notice that I go in and out, and definitely after eating register little to none.

drinking lots of fluids can also cause a low result.

First thing in the morning I always test strongly. Thats coming out of a 18 hr fast usually.

I keep my fats high and I really believe thats what does it for me, thats when I really started leaning out, yeah, go fat!!

Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498

(2997)

on June 10, 2011
at 11:48 PM

I'm a big fan of eating fat, and each time I 'overindulge' in something yummy (beef tallow recently) I seem to lose weight. It's a mystery!

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