thank you for your response, it helps a lot.
I am mostly trying to heal my brain with ketones...
That's why I did it too. In my case, migraine. Ketosis can be an effective treatment for some neurological diseases. It has been used for nearly a century to treat epilepsy in children, and it helped my migraines tremendously.
I have been trying to limit my protein per Ron Rosedale and Nora Gedgaudas' guidelines...
I haven't read their work but you may be making the same mistake I made. For a couple of years I wasted time trying to learn how to enter high (therapeutic) ketosis from books by people who aren't experts on therapeutic ketosis. Finally I discovered the extensive medical literature on therapeutic ketosis and learned how to adjust my ketosis however I want it. You've made a great start by buying a blood ketone meter. A goood place to begin is with books and websites for parents of kids with epilepsy. The original ketogenic diet -- the one that neurologists call the ketogenic diet -- was invented for epileptic kids in the 1920s. I've put a lot of links about this stuff on my website (which unfortunately is under construction):
Scientific papers on ketogenic diet
Books on medical ketogenic diet
Links to sites about medical ketogenic diet
Finally, it's very useful to know that there are two ways to raise blood ketones. First, you can add ketogenic foods to your diet: MCT oil, coconut oil, palm kernel oil, branched chain amino acids, and dairy fat. I've listed them in order of what I imagine is their ketogenicity but I don't recall seeing any test results to back up my impression. If anybody knows of such tests, I'd appreciate a link. These foods tend to raise blood ketones regardless of whatever else is in your diet.
For some illnesses, this type of "ketosis" may be enough. Dr. Mary Newport has reported good results with this approach with Alzheimer's disease. (See links on my site.)
The other way of raising ketosis is to remove foods from which the body can manufacture glucose. This includes both carbs and protein. This is the basis of "the" ketogenic diet (the classical medical diet invented in the 1920s). This is what you've been trying to do, but unsuccessfully because you didn't realize how drastically carbs and protein have to be limited. A lot of research has been done in this area by pediatric neurologists. The two books linked on my site (both of them about diet for kids with epilepsy) explain how to construct this kind of diet in excruciating detail.
my carbs come from vegetables or trace amounts from coconut, nut, avocado, etc, but I will curb them too...
A teensy amount of carbs can lower ketosis tremendously. You have to experience it yourself to believe it. Sometimes my ketosis gets too high (meter readings of 7.5 aren't unusual) and it feels pretty crappy, and I'll eat a single stalk of celery and it has a noticeable effect. That's why I suggested starting with zero carbs and the lowest amount of protein consistent with good health. That will certainly get you into high ketosis (above 3 mmol/dL BHB). Once you've done that, you'll have a better understanding of how this works and what it feels like, and if you want, you can add a little more protein and carbs to your diet and see what happens. It won't take long -- once your glycogen is depleted, which takes 2 or 3 days, it happens rapidly.
Oh, one other thing. About binges. I've noticed (and it seems to be true for most people) that high ketosis suppresses appetite. A lot of people barely get hungry at high levels of ketosis. For example, right now I'm on day 13 of a fast and I'm not hungry.
However, heavy cream seems to override the appetite suppression. Of course dairy isn't paleo, but I mention heavy cream because it's the most palatable pure fatty food and it's used heavily in recipes for kids with childhood epilepsy. I find that it's very easy to pig out on heavy cream. If I swallow a tablespoon of it I can easily go on to drink a pint straight from the container. This seems to be a special property of dairy and it may be caused by the growth-stimulating substances that nature has put in milk. This may be a good thing for kids on these extreme diets but probably not for grown ups. I can tell you from experience that if you pig out on cream this way more than occasionally, you'll quickly get fatter no matter how high your ketosis.
I use grass-fed tallow as my main fat. Coconut oil is probably good too if you can tolerate a large amount.