12

votes

Is there a time limit for ketosis?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created June 23, 2011 at 9:04 AM

Once you reach ketosis, is there a certain amount of time that you should stay in it? Are there negative effects by maintaining ketosis for a prolonged amount of time? Or is it completely safe for your body to constantly stay in a state of ketosis?

3b7e6c77a5412587152c9e3f22b41c2a

(434)

on September 01, 2011
at 01:35 AM

This is pretty much the same question as http://paleohacks.com/questions/19414/how-long-is-too-long-to-be-in-ketosis#axzz1Wf0Ikcxf

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on August 13, 2011
at 05:28 PM

And if you're interested in why ketostix stop registering ketosis, Volek and Phinney have an answer here: http://paleohacks.com/questions/55612/yet-another-ketosis-question/55635#55635

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on August 13, 2011
at 04:56 PM

My understanding is that you can get ALL of your nutrients from animal-based foods. Just eat the whole animal (organ meats, gelatin, bone broth) and eggs & pastured dairy.

7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on August 13, 2011
at 04:49 PM

Thank you James.

5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on August 13, 2011
at 04:37 PM

ketostix stop responding for the most part after you're fat adapted to Ketosis. Just not enough spare ketones to register. How long that takes can vary though.

D10ca8d11301c2f4993ac2279ce4b930

(5242)

on August 13, 2011
at 03:51 PM

Ketosis with how many carbs? I tend to agree with Jaminet's zero-carb phobia which is different than ketosis-phobia http://perfecthealthdiet.com/?cat=83

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on August 13, 2011
at 03:49 PM

plus one Rose........

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on August 13, 2011
at 03:49 PM

Its all context......but once you understand it you can use it tremendous leverage for your health. In fact this is best way to optimize aging going forward.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on August 13, 2011
at 03:48 PM

yes it depends upon you goals and your current epigenetic signals. If you have neurologic issues or cancer you want to spend a lot of time in it. If your a fat ass the same thing. If your an athlete you dont want to be in it as often.

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

(4134)

on July 05, 2011
at 03:37 PM

I have been on a ketogenic food plan for one year and have found it a calm, simple, restorative way to eat. Thanks very much for your answer, Rose. I always enjoy reading your posts and comments. :)

3f4f73fb3e8ada45a698cad5262137bd

(60)

on June 24, 2011
at 08:41 AM

Thanks everyone! great answers. Very helpful since I will be on the road for almost the entire month of July

03f2fb1c6cc60da437adc85027c8a89e

(50)

on June 23, 2011
at 11:44 AM

I am actually interested in this also:)

  • 3f4f73fb3e8ada45a698cad5262137bd

    asked by

    (60)
  • Views
    66.8K
  • Last Activity
    1261D AGO
Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

6 Answers

10
3b7e6c77a5412587152c9e3f22b41c2a

(434)

on August 13, 2011
at 03:13 PM

There are some examples of humans being in ketosis for extended periods without ill effects.

As Rose mentioned, the Inuit probably lived more or less their whole lives in ketosis, or at least most of them were in ketosis most of the time. They weren't the only such culture, either???maybe the Masai and maybe the Bison people of the American Great Plains did likewise, at least sometimes.

There there was the one-year-long experiment in which Vilhjalmur Stefannson and another subject ate nothing but meat while under medical observation.

Then there are the thousands of children who have gone on a ketogenic diet to treat their epilepsy. Many of them stayed on the diet continuously for years. In Caraballo 2011 they reported on more than 200 patients who had been on the diet for between 1 and 12 years, with a mean of 3.5 years. In that and in other studies, it seems like there weren't any common, bad side-effects. (There were some side-effects, but they weren't too bad or too common. The worst was stunted growth, but I think that was not due to ketosis but due to the fact that those diets were usually calorie-restricted and water-restricted, and children need calories and water to grow!)

Also, you have been in ketosis for a year or two straight. Before you started eating solid food.

Also there are the modern group of zero-carb eaters, of which apparently Rose and my wife Ambimorph are the representatives on Paleohacks. They hang out on a forum named "Dirty Carnivore" and some of them (used to?) hang out on a forum called "Zeroing In On Health". There are apparently dozens of them, at least, who've stayed continuously in ketosis for at least a year.

In short, I've looked for evidence that being in prolonged, continuous ketosis is harmful and I haven't found any. I don't see any reason to worry about staying in ketosis.

7
3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on June 23, 2011
at 01:29 PM

I've been in ketosis continually since April of 2007, except for a brief stint on Kwasniewski's Optimal Diet, which at 60g of carbs or so kept me above my threshold (as Aaron notes in his answer, levels vary between people). My health has done nothing but improve since then, including my lab work (pardon me while I take a moment to gloat over my doctor's astonishment--hee!)

I've heard warnings about ketosis being "hard" on the body, but nobody's ever produced any evidence of such difficulty. Ambimorph asked the question directly here on PaleoHackers, "Why do people consider ketosis stressful to the body?" The bottom line seems to be that people just imagine it must be, because it's not non-ketosis, lol.

And I know the Inuit have been discussed endlessly, but regardless of how much plant matter they ate, there's no doubt most lived their entire lives in ketosis prior to the introduction of European foods.

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

(4134)

on July 05, 2011
at 03:37 PM

I have been on a ketogenic food plan for one year and have found it a calm, simple, restorative way to eat. Thanks very much for your answer, Rose. I always enjoy reading your posts and comments. :)

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on August 13, 2011
at 03:49 PM

plus one Rose........

2
D72e9d21977363ea1850fa00555f151a

on June 23, 2011
at 01:04 PM

From personal experience, I've been in ketosis for about a month straight. Especially, when I'm traveling it's a lot easier to just eat meat and fat and not worry about the veggies too much. I worry about ordering starches at a restaurant because they cook them in cheap oils. I usually bring some coconut flakes and snack on that often.

I don't think there is an exact limit on how long you should stay in ketosis but I know that after a while I tend to develop a slight episode of depression and tiredness. I just get lethargic and know it's time to eat some carbs to jump out of ketosis temporarily.

However, after being on it for a bit, most of the typical ketosis signs disappear. No funny smelling pee and no metallic taste in the mouth. It just feels normal, but you definitely feel like you're running on fat fuel.

3f4f73fb3e8ada45a698cad5262137bd

(60)

on June 24, 2011
at 08:41 AM

Thanks everyone! great answers. Very helpful since I will be on the road for almost the entire month of July

2
1cbb6b2a813475d6c0b17fd5e898dc50

on June 23, 2011
at 12:24 PM

From what I understand reaching ketosis is eating below 50grams of carbs a day (could be lower or higher we are all different). This means we are eating pretty much all meat. I believe it was Sisson who said their are some LC veggies and fruit (vitamins and minerals) that the body needs. When I have reached ketosis in the past I never stayed for more than a week at a time because I felt i needed some more carbs. I'm anxious to hear more answers also. I don't think we have to be in ketosis to burn fat all the time but would like to hear what others think.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on August 13, 2011
at 04:56 PM

My understanding is that you can get ALL of your nutrients from animal-based foods. Just eat the whole animal (organ meats, gelatin, bone broth) and eggs & pastured dairy.

0
7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on August 13, 2011
at 04:12 PM

What about, however, after you have switched over to burning ketones for fuel and are no longer "shedding" them. Would you technically be "in" ketosis then? i.e Nora Gedgaudas and others discussion after switching over from sugar burning for fuel. I don't know the answer but I know that my breath and so forth after the adjustment phase are normal/better and my insulin levels stay more constant. Science geeks please weigh in! What would the keto-stix say after adjustment from sugar burning to fat burning? (Zooko..interested in you or your wife's answer. )

5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on August 13, 2011
at 04:37 PM

ketostix stop responding for the most part after you're fat adapted to Ketosis. Just not enough spare ketones to register. How long that takes can vary though.

7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on August 13, 2011
at 04:49 PM

Thank you James.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on August 13, 2011
at 05:28 PM

And if you're interested in why ketostix stop registering ketosis, Volek and Phinney have an answer here: http://paleohacks.com/questions/55612/yet-another-ketosis-question/55635#55635

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on August 13, 2011
at 03:46 PM

I have worried about being in continuous ketosis. The only symptom that bothered me a year ago was dry eyes. I took PHD advice that too few carbs hurt mucus membrane status hence the dry eyes. So I started adding carbs back in and it has been a bumpy year! Under a "Mastering Leptin" and Quilt protocol for about 7 weeks I feel better and decided to let the starch carbs go. I'm taking powdered inulin to feed my gut flora and still eat vegetables. Conversely, my husband has more energy and feels better on the added carbs ~60/day.

If dry eyes comes back, I might hedge my bet and carb cycle in some form. So, yes, for some ppl there might be a time limit for continuous ketosis.

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!