1

votes

If I'm not in Ketosis what am I burning?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created January 23, 2013 at 2:01 PM

Okay so the short question is, if I am eating a VLC diet but the ketostix are not showing a positive response for even trace what is it my body is burning?

Background: I am typically in a VLC diet and have had no issue getting into ketosis. I have been in and out for 8~ years. Last 6 months started incorp a strength routine and very recently because lifting hit a wall I started a TKD.

So Friday Jan 18th I peed on the last keto stick in my container - positive. Sat I bought a new set. During day worked out at the gym with weights. SS routine very heavy 5 sets. Sat night when out drinking with a buddy. One of those nights where you drink a beer or two and the 2am snack isnt paleo/low carb. Still cant have been >200-300g of carbs. It was 2 beers and a burger.

Sunday - Ketostix test:no go Monday AM - Ketostix test:no go Monday PM - Ketostix test:no go Monday PM - PreWO before gym 20-25g carbs (lara bar) Monday PM - PostWO 20-25g carbs Tuesday AM - Ketostix test:no go Tuesday PM - Ketostix test:no go Wednesday AM - Ketostix test: no go

So Sunday-Wednesday is ~72 hours no carbs. Week before was LC all week, I tested strong positive Friday night. So if I am not in ketosis and thus burning fat, what am I burning? It cant be carbs I have none only the limited amount in my liver and muscle stores.

Am I missing something? Or am I still burning fat but not testing positive? I also debated maybe its the new batch of strips.

Thanks

698db94d83dee10d6ada8cc0128d45fc

(1048)

on February 05, 2013
at 06:39 PM

as an update I changed nothing, kept working out with pre and post carbs and days later I finally started showing strong keto with no knock out even with the Pre and Post. So whatever was going on is remedied now. Pre and Post with workouts feels a lot better than straight keto too.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on February 01, 2013
at 06:08 PM

Acetone, in rats at least, gets converted into acetol which seems to be converted to methylglyoxal and propylene glycol which can both enter metabolic pathways resulting in the generation of pyruvate. (http://www.jbc.org/content/261/28/13179.full.pdf).

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on February 01, 2013
at 01:35 PM

See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ketone_bodies

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on February 01, 2013
at 01:35 PM

@elduderino, which pathways do you refer? Everything I've seen says that acetone cannot be used for energy.

A402a961303d312055dc0b253f29deac

(320)

on February 01, 2013
at 08:31 AM

@Matt: Ketones not used for energy? Acetone can be converted to pyruvate and lactate. Look it up in the pathways.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 23, 2013
at 09:56 PM

Organs and muscles probably. (kidding)

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on January 23, 2013
at 09:36 PM

"The popular dipstick used to detect ketone bodies in urine 'Ketostix' by Bayer, only detects acetoacetate, not BHB or acetone." - wiki And, isn't acetone pretty rapidly excreted through the lungs? (I guess not all of it...)

698db94d83dee10d6ada8cc0128d45fc

(1048)

on January 23, 2013
at 07:09 PM

So essentially if im not in ketosis, and I dont have enough carbs, my protein is moderate but mostly fat, what am I burning? Am I losing muscle mass here???

698db94d83dee10d6ada8cc0128d45fc

(1048)

on January 23, 2013
at 07:08 PM

Alright what im curious of tho is this. 2 Beers ~50g carbs. a bun on a burger and potentially the ketchup is maybe 60g carbs? thats 110, lets round to 200 to be very safe. Now I worked out on the Thursday, tested deep positive on the Friday, worked out on the sunday so my muscles are likely very deplete. The beer/burger replenish my muscles lets say that accounts for 50-75. Because its in my blood then some of it is being burned for energy. So the residual on Sunday cant be a lot, and on Monday should already be gone, its not like I refeeded an entire day consuming thousands of calories

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on January 23, 2013
at 03:07 PM

Not sure exactly what 'ketone' ketostix measure, but you should always be excreting acetone (one of the ketone bodies) because it's not used for energy.

698db94d83dee10d6ada8cc0128d45fc

(1048)

on January 23, 2013
at 02:48 PM

I would but I really need the Pre and Post 25-50 around my workouts as I lift very heavy. Im just hoping that doing this for a week+ it eventually just gets back inline.

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6 Answers

14
A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on January 23, 2013
at 02:57 PM

First, you ALWAYS burn fatty acids and glucose. The ratio may change, but you always are burning both.

Second, you ALWAYS have some ketones in your blood. On high carb, maybe not a lot, but ALWAYS a few. Ketosis is simply a higher than normal (on SAD) level of serum ketones.

Third, ketostix measure ketonuria, not the serum levels of ketones. Ketonuria is the spilling of excess ketones in the urine. This happens to most people when they first go low carb. After some adaptation to burning ketones, more get used by the body and less are spilled into the urine (this is a good thing). Meaning that ketostix are very unreliable as a measure of ketosis. Good for a positive test, but false negatives are likely after adaptation. If you really want to know your level of serum ketones, you can get a ketone capable glucometer.

Fourth, your body is constantly releasing glucose from the liver (so that you don't go brain dead) and it is constantly replenishing its' supply. If not from the food carbs you eat, then from the food protein and lastly from your body's protein (muscle). So it incorrect to say that you are not burning carbs. In fact, if your blood sugar drops below a certain level, you are dead.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on January 23, 2013
at 09:36 PM

"The popular dipstick used to detect ketone bodies in urine 'Ketostix' by Bayer, only detects acetoacetate, not BHB or acetone." - wiki And, isn't acetone pretty rapidly excreted through the lungs? (I guess not all of it...)

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on January 23, 2013
at 03:07 PM

Not sure exactly what 'ketone' ketostix measure, but you should always be excreting acetone (one of the ketone bodies) because it's not used for energy.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on February 01, 2013
at 01:35 PM

@elduderino, which pathways do you refer? Everything I've seen says that acetone cannot be used for energy.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on February 01, 2013
at 01:35 PM

See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ketone_bodies

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on February 01, 2013
at 06:08 PM

Acetone, in rats at least, gets converted into acetol which seems to be converted to methylglyoxal and propylene glycol which can both enter metabolic pathways resulting in the generation of pyruvate. (http://www.jbc.org/content/261/28/13179.full.pdf).

A402a961303d312055dc0b253f29deac

(320)

on February 01, 2013
at 08:31 AM

@Matt: Ketones not used for energy? Acetone can be converted to pyruvate and lactate. Look it up in the pathways.

5
Cf416725f639ffd1bb90764792ce7b8a

(2799)

on January 23, 2013
at 03:05 PM

Did you crank your protein way up? That can knock you out of ketosis.

3
B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on January 23, 2013
at 03:46 PM

You're probably eating too much protein.

2
D05f3050dc3d973b8b81a876202fa99a

(1533)

on January 23, 2013
at 02:09 PM

I think you could probably still be burning fat. For me, regardless of my state of ketosis or how deep it is, I still tend to eat in a caloric deficit when I go VLC. Also, it takes me a week to two weeks of steady VLC to get solid numbers on my ketostix. This can also vary depending on time of day, whether I do it PWO, hydrated or unhydrated etc. Lots of factors at play.

Also, I would imagine 200-300 grams in the context of a ketogenic diet is a monster amount of carbs. That's pretty much a refeed for someone on a CKD. I would try maybe going a solid week without more than 30-50 grams of carbs a day and then experiment with reintroduction rather than trying to establish ketosis with >50 grams a day on and off.

0
90ca1400d597cff69ec5f9c193c4d667

on February 01, 2013
at 07:41 AM

what are you burning? your sanity...lol not sure how this concept of starvation got perpetuated into a "healthy" dietary protocol...your body wants carbs, it will always want carbs...end of discussion.

0
B2634bf90fa31b48a60e7c4f06761200

on February 01, 2013
at 07:24 AM

I just wrote a post about the basics of nutritional ketosis that some of you may find helpful.

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