Is it true or isn't it true that the color of the strips doesn't matter? I realize the blood test way is the most accurate but holy crap, they are way out of my budget. Should I consider myself in trouble if the sticks read "trace"? If I don't feel tired then isn't that evidence that I am making sufficient ketones, i.e. my glycogen stores are empty and I'm using ketones for energy? My friend says that if it's purple, that means your body is burning more fat. I repeat what I heard (I need to personally research this) that it doesn't matter what color it is as long as it's registering at least trace. How do get a good understanding of the fundamentals of ketosis? P.S. I am losing 2 lbs weekly and have lots of energy, yet am rarely purple.
Get Free Paleo Recipes Instantly
It really depends on a lot of factors. How long have you been low carb? Ketosticks measure the ketone that your body is eliminating . . . if you are fat adapted (usually it takes several weeks on a low carb diet to get there) your body will efficiently use all of the ketones for energy. In the fat adapted state many people show only trace amounts on a Ketostick.
Another factor can be over consumption of protein (not usually a problem for most people). Through gluconeogenesis your body can turn excess protein into glucose - and that can kick you out of ketosis.
Two quick things - 1) Keep a food journal. If you are under 50 carbs per day, you are in ketosis - regardless of what the Ketostick says. 2) You are still losing weight, and have lots of energy . . . what you're doing is working . . . don't rock the boat!
There are lots of reasons why your ketostix might not be turning purple:
- They're out of date
- They've got damp
- You're drinking too much liquid and diluting them out
- You're testing at the wrong time (they're highest in the evening, lowest in the morning).
- You're burning them all up.
However, the most likely reason is that you're not deep in ketosis.
Probable reasons for this are:
- You're eating too many carbs
- You're eating too much protein (more than 0.8g per lb of lean body mass)
- You're eating too many calories
- You're fundamentally a bad person.
Number 2 will probably catch you out the most. (I made the last one up).
In my experience ketostix are a pretty fair guide to blood ketones. If my blood ketones are over 2mmol/l then the stix will be deep purple.
The best possible guide for getting deeper purple is here:
Read this, and everything RobS has ever written on Paleohacks.
ALso, the concept that every last bit of glucose is used up before ketones are burned is false. Your glycogen stores are backup fuel for short bursts of energy--fight or flight, etc., and will remain available while you normally burn ketones for energy.
Read Volek's on low carb performance for the facts. That's really the best and easiest way.
You shouldn't be eating 6 times a day on keto. You should be eating 3 times a day max. the idea is that the fat and moderate protein levels keep you full between meals if you eat enough. Heres my diet for the day as a sample:
bfast: 6 whole eggs with 1 tbsp olive oil 60g bacon 30g walnuts lunch: 285g tuna 4 tbsp full fat mayo 2 tbsp olive oil 30g walnuts dinnr: high fat meat to fill out my pro macro of 25-28% of calories walnuts/nuts to fill out fat macros to 70%+ maybe 1/2 cup of green beans, broccoli, asparagus. keep carbs minimal to 0-2% max and dietary fiber doesnt count towards carbs so if it says 10 carbs but 5 fiber then its only 5 carbs. I got in keto really quick with this meal plan just waiting for adaptation to finish so i can go into a cyclical keto diet. Enjoy
Can anyone give me a day's diet as an example in 6 meals? what should I have in a breakfast shake, mid-morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, dinner and possibly a late night snack if I get hungry... I really think I'm getting too much veggies, but I find that without the salads I am still hungry and isn't it bad to not get veggies?
Will adding a spoonful of powder greens or algae/chlorella into my breakfast shake make up for the missing 4-5 servings of veggies a day?
I did a four week N=1 where I used a blood ketone measurement tool and the ketostix. I found the ketostix to be incredibly unreliable. Time of day, hydration levels, and other unknowns made the strips impossible to use.
If you want to use the strips, here's how I was able to get the best results:
Pee into a cup first, peeing on the strips gave different readings than dunking (yes I did both)
Use two strips for each test (I did five at every measurement, and found that there were disagreements)
Do it first thing in the morning before you do anything else. I found that hydration can play a huge part in whether the tests are accurate, while they may not be precise first thing in the morning, they will be repeatable and capable of being used to determine general direction.
Hello, can someone please help? I've been trying for weeks to get into ketosis...
when I punch in my food (I use livestrong's my plate application) I see that I often reach about 60-80g carbs, but from sources such as spinach, brocolli, avocado, nut butter, etc... Can someone please help me out and give me a sample meal plan diet for 6 meals a day?? I'm female, 29, 5ft 7.5" 127lbs, 14%body fat, and cannot get my ketosticks to turn colour!
I have no idea what I should be eating. PS - i'm allergic to whey, so I use a combination vegan protein, which has 4g carbs per scoop... can't get away from this.
When you aren't diabetic, the levels of ketones marked on the bottle, don't matter much. you are either IN or OUT of ketosis, the darker the strips, usually you're eating a lot of fat that day or you aren't drinking enough water...or a mix of both. There is not "deep" ketosis in the sense being spoken about here I don't think.
I had a similar question about maintaining Ketosis when using a recovery drink after exercise. This was the response I got directly from Jeff Volek (the coauthor of the Low Carb Living series):
As to your question of Progenex interference with keto-adaptation, the best way to know would be to actually measure your blood ketone levels. We hope there will soon be non-invasive technologies to measure acetone in breath, but for now the hand-held glucose/beta-hydroxybutyrate meter from Abbott (Precision Xtra) does a very nice job using a drop of blood from a finger stick. Keto-adaptation occurs when blood levels of ketones are consistently above 0.5, preferably above 1.0 mmol/L. If you find your current recovery product with 8 grams of carbs is bringing your ketone levels down, then you should probably discontinue it. But I suspect it may not have a major impact on ketosis but it depends on many factors (e.g., the rest of your diet including protein intake, your level of insulin resistance/sensitivity, etc.). Again the best way to know if Progenex is having an anti-ketogenic effect is to measure ketones.
And that meter is less than $20 on Amazon with the test strips (for the meter) around $35 for 50 strips. So not overly expensive and the best way to tell how the ketosis is going. Remember, the pee strips don't work after you are keto-adapted. Using the blood meter is the best way to know and will allow you to expiriment and find out how many carbs you can eat before you are knocked out of ketosis (when you are consistantly below 0.5 - 1.0 mmol/L).
Hope that helps.
For me the ketostick never reads more than a trace...even if I eat no carbs.
I wouldn't go as far as to say the strips don't matter. Having been in ketosis several times, the strips are a good indicator of whether or not you are in ketosis. But as far as being in "deep" ketosis matters...well, that's when things get a little hazy. For example, if you eat stick of butter as your last meal of the day and then retest your urine in the morning, you'll be in the deepest ketosis (dark purple.)
Dietary fat intake has an effect on the ketones your body produces. In reality though, does it really matter how deep into ketosis you are? It should be more than enough to simply know you are in ketosis.