Friday, May 20, 2011

How Do I Get Back Into Ketosis Faster?

You went out to eat at a restaurant or you went to a party. You think you ate on plan. But the Ketostix this morning stayed beige, the scale bounced up a pound or two, and now, you just don’t feel like you’re in Ketosis anymore.

You want to fix the problem – fast. Get the sticks turning lavender again. Lose the excess water weight. But most importantly, you want to feel the euphoria that comes when you’re predominantly burning fatty acids for fuel. So what’s the fastest way to get back into ketosis?

What Happens When You Overeat Carbohydrates?


The body has four options when it comes to fuel: glucose, protein, fatty acids, or ketones. At any one time, the body switches back-and-forth between these fuel sources, depending on availability and immediate needs. When you follow a low-carb diet, the body “predominantly” burns fatty acids for fuel, but when glucose becomes available, it burns that first.

When restricting carbohydrates, the glucose most often burned comes from vegetables, incidental carbs, or amino acids. But sometimes life interferes and you accidentally (or intentionally) eat more carbohydrates than you can use. When that happens, the body immediately burns as much glucose as it can, then chauffeurs the rest to the liver where it converts into glycogen, the storage form of carbohydrates.

Refilling glycogen results in a weight gain of a pound or two, because the body deposits water along with the glycogen for later processing. It’s not fat though. So as long as you get right back to your diet plan, it won’t do any permanent damage. If glycogen stores are full, however, that’s when carbohydrates find their way into your fat cells. So a single free meal, or restaurant accident, creates only a temporary setback.

But What is the Quickest Way to Get Into Ketosis?


When you first go on a low-carb diet, the body uses liver glycogen to keep your blood glucose within a narrow, tight margin. Fatty acids fuel this process, with ketones the resultant by-product. Within a day or two, the glycogen level drops so low that the body begins to use the ketones for fuel, because it can’t break down fatty acids fast enough to take care of the body’s needs.

Once the body adapts to ketosis, and the brain, kidneys, and heart begin using ketones for much of their glucose needs, the amount of fatty acids the rest of the body requires goes down. And fat loss slows.

When you refill glycogen stores, returning to your diet program simply starts this process all over again. The length of time it takes to return to a state of predominantly burning fatty acids for fuel depends on how full your glycogen stores were, as well as how many carbohydrates you ate. Therefore, the fastest way to get back into ketosis is to eat a minimum amount of carbohydrate and up your activity level.

While it isn't necessary to cut back to a diet of just "meat and eggs" (personally, I do an Atkins '72 Induction after a free meal or refeed), a lot of low carbers do choose to cut carbs to a bare minimum, since sugar, wheat, and other food sensitivities from eating off plan can cause bloating and discomfort. Some even switch to using weight-loss shakes for a couple of days, rather than whole foods. However, that doesn't work for everyone, especially if you stay at drastically low-carb levels for more than a couple of days.

When you restrict carbohydrates, you have to replace those calories with either protein or extra dietary fats. For that reason, many people new to a low-carb diet, and even those who have been low carbing for quite some time, can actually find themselves not in ketosis. If you need a fast correction, then a no-carb diet and extra movement will get you there the quickest, but if you're having trouble getting into ketosis, severely restricting your carb intake might not be the best way to go.

129 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank You!!! I messed up at a restaurant last night and was immediately kicked out of the "ketosis club!" I feel awful, but won't worry too much since I've read your post. Thanks, again!

Vickie Ewell said...

It takes about a hundred carbs to actually get kicked out of ketosis. Ketosix don't measure whether or not you're in the ketosis club. They just measure how many ketones your body is throwing away, rather than using for fuel. They were the best measurement Dr. Atkins' had when he first introduced the world to low carb eating. They help a lot with motivation.

The best thing to do after a restaurant mess up (I've had plenty) is to just relax, and get right back on plan. We didn't get fat because we overate carbs at a single meal. It's what we do on a daily basis that matters the most.

Glad I could help!

Bethany said...

Thanks! I'm new to the low carb life and went on a bit of a bender this weekend. :( Glad to know if I go right back on plan the weight loss should continue, and I'm going to try your 72 hour induction plan to see if it speeds up the process.

Also, I identifed strongly with your bio. My son has SPD and will probably end up with a PDD diagnosis if his social skills don't pick up. I look forward to reading more from you! :)

Anonymous said...

I feel a tad better after reading some of these comments. I have been following the no carb ways and thought i was doing fine then i find out the protein mix acyually lies about carbs, instead of 6 grams it is actually 30. I dont know what my number would be to stay in ketosis. I do work out every day. My total carb intake the last 12 days has been under 50 per day, however now im worried my last 12 days were a waste as the protien drink screwed up my count.

Vickie Ewell said...

Staying under 50 carbs a day is a nice carb count, especially if you work out daily. The body often cannot convert stored body fat into glucose fast enough for working out. Many find they need to eat a few more carbs than the average low carb individual.

Personally, I can easily enter into ketosis on 60 grams a day. I'm not very active as my vertigo issues won't allow me to be. So I don't think the protein drink made the last 12 days useless.

The Atkins Diet begins with 20 carbs per day because at that level, almost everyone can enter into Ketosis. It isn't a magic number.

Inspire International www.inspireinternational.com.au said...

Hi Vickie,
sorry for my ignorance but how does one know when they are in Ketosis in the first place..sorry I am blonde.
Cathleen

Vickie Ewell said...

Cathleen,
The state of ketosis affects each of us differently. Most people experience a sudden, drastic drop in appetite. They feel much better due to more stable blood sugars. Some describe it as a feeling of euphoria. Many experience a funny smell in their urine or breath due to the ketones being initially thrown away.

But I personally don't experience any of those things anymore. I do get violently hungry when my glycogen stores reduce and the body wants glucose. That state (for me) makes my vertigo worse. So I have to depend on the numbers on the scale to show me that my glycogen stores are dropping.

It's normal insulin levels that keep the pathway open for burning our fat stores, not ketosis. But people have believed in the magic of ketosis for so long, it's hard to convince them otherwise.

If you're eating less than 100 grams of carbohydrate per day, you are most likely in ketosis even if you don't have any symptoms of it. If the body is breaking down fat stores, then ketones are being made as a result of that metabolic process.

Vickie Ewell said...

Cathleen,
I noticed you have an Australian website. Here a link for a good low carb forum:

http://www.apinchofhealth.com

And her blog is at:

http://pinchof.blogspot.com

Her name is Sherrie. You are always welcome to comment and ask questions here, but she and the others on that forum can be very helpful when it comes to Australian specific problems and questions. She used to comment here, but I haven't heard from her in quite some time now.

Vickie Ewell said...

Okay,
I'm going to try and see if my meager knowledge of html will work here. The note underneath this comment box says I can use "some" html tags.

A Pinch of Health Forum

Pinch of Blog

Hopefully, that turns into links to get there easier.

Anonymous said...

so if your in the purple on a ketostick ur in ketosis? And I have been told if you cheat it takes 3 days to get back into ketosis, is that true? Also, if you do mess up does it help at all to work out directly after or not?

Vickie Ewell said...

Yes. If you turn your sticks any color at all, you are getting rid of excess ketones.

How long it takes to get back into ketosis after you eat off plan depends on what and how much you eat. If you go on a binge, it can take you a couple of days or more to eliminate the glycogen out of your liver. If you just have a few extra carbs, then no it does not take 3 days to get back into ketosis. If I have a piece of chocolate cake, for example, it only takes me a day to get back on track.

Working out directly afterwards would help, yes. Increasing activity throughout the day would help too. Liver glycogen depletes as your body needs glucose to maintain blood sugar. So the more active you are, the faster you'll get back into ketosis.

Anonymous said...

If I were to eat just egg whites, tofu, ground beef, bok-choi, low carb protein powder, Cheddar cheese, bean sprouts, and drink almond milk, combined with exersize, all for 2 weeks, would I enter ketosis and stay for the entire time?

I've never attempted, would there be side effects, like fainting or fatigue or inability to concentrate, or heart attack, etc?

If I am 20 lbs overweight, and I were to only use the above ingredients, would I expect to lose a bunch of weight (safely) quickly ?

Thanks! Gary Q.

Vickie Ewell said...

A basic low carb diet consists of: eggs, meats, poultry, fish, tofu, cheese, non-starchy vegetables like salad greens, bok-choi and other cabbages, asparagus, green beans, bean sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, onions, etc. It also consists of a healthy amount of fat (how much fat differs from person to person) and plenty of water.

Starchy vegetables are basically corn and peas. For some people that also includes carrots due to their sugar content. Most vegetables are low carb. Depending on the plan you choose to follow, the amount of veggies you can eat varies.

Almond milk is low carb and healthy, so yes, that would be fine if you were not following the current Atkins' Induction Plan or the plan published in 2002 which has you wait to add in nuts.

In 1992, the Atkins Plan allowed dieters the option of just counting 20 carbohydrates per day, and using any low carb foods they wanted to make up those carbohydrates. So in 1992, dieters were also allowed to use nuts. Many of us use that version rather than the current ones.

Initial side effects depends on what type of diet you've been currently eating (many people go through wheat and sugar withdrawals), electrolyte balance (you initially lose a lot of water when the liver uses up its glycogen/water stores, so Atkins' Nutritionals recommends that you heavily salt your food for the first few weeks), and whether you eat enough protein so your body can use some of it for glyconeogenesis until the body adapts.

Some people do feel fatigue at first since the body is used to using glucose for fuel and must switch to using fats. It takes about 3 weeks for the body to fully adapt to ketosis. Sometimes longer. Some people get flu like symptoms. When I've felt sick like that, upping my salt intake has always stopped the symptoms. At time, increasing carbs by 5 or 10 per day also helps.

If you have never gone on a low carb diet before, you will lose weight faster than those who have attempted it several times before. It is safe for most people except for those who have kidney disease.

When I had my arteries checked after being on low carb for 2 years, the cardiologist was surprised at how clean my arteries were. My brother in law had a heart attack (not related to low carb), and his cardiologist told his wife that low carb was the healthiest way to eat.

But...I'm not a doctor, so I can't tell you whether low carb would be safe for you personally or not.

All the medical professionals I have spoken to about myself over the years have all believed in low carb diets of one form or another. My current doctor stands behind what I'm doing 100 percent, but I've had many, many tests -- and they all point to me being in excellent health. So healthy, that my personal physician is quite amazed.

Cindy said...

I have been on low carb for 6 days now.
I have eaten between 20 and 25 carbs per day and keto sticks are not registering even a trace of ketones.
I have not lost any pounds.
I am drinking diet drinks along with alot of water. I am eating 1 atkins advantage bar a day for breakfast. Other than that, I am eating cheese, eggs, meat and veggies. What can I do to see some results?

Vickie Ewell said...

Hi Cindy,
Are you new to low carb or have you done this type of diet before?

Keto sticks only register a single type of ketone that overspills into the urine. They are not an accurate measurement for everyone. The body also gets rid of ketones through your breath and skin.

I don't know about Atkins' Advantage bars personally, but many people I know stalled when they used them.

As for no weight loss after 6 days, sometimes the body has a tendency to shove water into your fat cells to keep them plumped up. It especially does this if you have a dieting history where you have gone off of your diet and gone back to your old ways of eating. The body will prepare itself for you to do that again. The only answer in that case is to wait it out.

Some people have severe insulin resistance and it just takes time to see the numbers on the scale drop. Others have PCOS and I've seen them never lose any weight on low carb at all. It doesn't work for everyone.

What low carb does is lower insulin levels so the body can access stored dietary fat easier, but it still works by calorie deficit, so make sure you're not eating too much. Plug your menus into a free online calculator and see how many calories you're eating. Some people have to up their calories to their BMR, and others have to lower them to see any losses.

I'm at the point in my own weight loss journey where the body fights back extremely hard. Although no weight loss is unusual for most, the last time I did Induction, I didn't lose a single pound either. My body is just too tired I guess.

Anonymous said...

I dont understand one day I'm in ketosis and the next not. I have not done anything different.
Any suggestions

Anonymous said...

Cindy,

"I am drinking DIET DRINKS along with alot of water. I am eating 1 atkins advantage bar a day for breakfast. Other than that, I am eating cheese, eggs, meat and veggies. What can I do to see some results?"

Some people cannot get into Ketosis and some even get kicked out by consuming Aspartame.

Cut out the Aspartame and if you must have some sweet stuff, limit your intake (especially during induction) maybe to 1 - 2 a week sweetened with Splenda instead.

I speak from experience, Aspartame kicks me right out of Keto and makes me gain weight.

Beer doesn't, go figure lol!

Anonymous said...

I am on low carb for the second time...first time was about 2 years ago, and I was drinking TONS of diet soda. I never got into ketosis (did lose ten pounds in 3 weeks). This time I had already cut out the diet sodas before I started...and I really think it has made a HUGE difference! I got into ketosis easily on day 3 and am now on day 6 with a 6 pound weigh loss! I substituted crystal light into my water, and I am drinking about 6 liters a day! I would have never believed the sodas made a difference...but I do now! GOOD LUCK to all who are low carbing!!!

Anonymous said...

I lost 3 stone last year on low carb (lipotrim shakes) and maintained for the past 8 months eating low carb plan, meat, eggs, tuna, fish, veggies etc. Have just started back on lipotrim to shift my last stone to target, I lost 6lbs in my 1st week, then another 3 1/2 this week, I went off plan yesterday and had a meal out which has knocked me out of ketosis ( according to the stix) I am back on plan today and wondered how long it should take for me to get back in to ketosis?

Vickie Ewell said...

The sticks only measure the overflow of ketones. They do not measure ketosis. If you only went off plan for a single meal, it should take less than one day.

Susana said...

This is an excellent post, very informative. Thank you very much. I have been doing Atkins since February and have lost 20 lbs without any effort, but now after Easter and after buying low carb tortillas and bread for the first time, all of a sudden the ketostix are showing a distinct drop in the number of ketones for the first time since I started on this program. I got very concerned about that. Your post has set my mind at ease, especially since I'm still losing weight at the rate of about .25 lbs per day, so really there is no need for concern.

Anonymous said...

So, I'm in week 3 of the Sanoma diet. Was in ketosis and loosing. This diet has a 10 day phase. Limited veggies and fruits. Phase 2 lends a few more types of veggies and fruit Limited amounts of fruit and 6 oz of wine per day. I had a couple glasses this weekend and I am up 2 pounds.I did not cheat or add anything that I was not supposed to. I am 3 days back on and no wine or fruit for me. I am still not in ketosis and have only lost a tad. What the heck?

Vickie Ewell said...

I don't know anything about the Sanoma diet, but wine (like all forms of alcohol) is processed in the liver and causes ALL dietary fat eaten around that time period to be stored as fat.

Now, the alcohol is metabolized first, then any sugar that may be in the wine, before anything else. Once the alcohol is processed, the recently stored body fat will be used for energy purposes, but only if there are not enough calories coming in. Alcohol is dehydrating. On some people it makes them appear to have lost weight, but they really haven't.

Fruit is part fructose and part sucrose. Fructose always replenishes liver glycogen first (the storage form of carbohydrates) and the sucrose is used for metabolic purposes once the alcohol has been totally burned. But that's only if you are not eating enough carbs. If you are eating plenty of carbs, excess calories will be stored as body fat.

Ketosis occurs when liver glycogen falls to a certain level, generally about 1/3 to 1/2 full. You will be in Ketosis even if testing strips do not show that you are overspilling ketones into your urine.

If you are not eating anything that you are sensitive too (meaning food intolerance) then when your appetite drops you are in Ketosis no matter what the testing strips say. Testing strips DO NOT measure whether or not you are in Ketosis. Ketosis has to do with blood glucose levels. Nothing more.

mlb091582 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Manglishly Mush said...

Hallo there! I am about 5ft tall with 26 percent fat although my weight is in the normal range. I have been going to workout for at least 3 days a week but have not seen much fat lose. I plan on going to low carb but I was wondering if it is possible for me to go out of low carb diet after I achieve a healthy body fat level? Thank you!

Vickie Ewell said...

Moving from low carb to maintenance involves finding the level of daily carbohydrates or calories you can eat that will support your new lower body fat level. The amount of carbohydrate you can eat when you're done low carbing depends on your individual metabolic problems.

Many people have found they must continue to do low carb in order to maintain their weight losses. Some find they can eat a moderate amount of carbohydrate, something like 100 to 150 grams per day, and still maintain. Others have been able to watch their calorie count and been fine.

My uncle lost a lot of weight doing low carb, and then moved to a normal diet afterwards. He eats whatever he wants to now and has no trouble maintaining. Personally, I fall into the moderate range. I try not to go over 125 carbs per day, and have to be very careful with sugar; but I'm a long ways from my body fat goals.

So it's "possible."

Anonymous said...

Hello. I have been trying to get into ketosis for the last week and according to my strips I am in within a trace to a small amount. But I want to get into the large amount because I would like to see results and I have heard that you need to be in the large amount for good results. I have been really strict on eating only things that have 0-3 carbs in it so probably only eating like 25 to 30 carbs a day. Plus I am very active:) So why am I not in the larger amount???

Alex M said...

Manglishly Mush : Low carb diet just for weight loss is unhealthy and does not make fit bodies. Those people that have to do this for medical reasons is one thing but to promote this diet as a good weight loss plan just irks me. I eat 55-60% of my calories as carbs. That is over 1000 calories a day in carbs. My ratios are this, 55-60 carb, 15-25 fat, 25-30 protein. Look at all professional body builders and they will have a similar ratio contrary to the hype out there about all the meat they are eating. Google Dorain Yates and look up his diet, very similar and he was a 6 time Mr. Olympia with a body fat around 4%! I am not over weight but I started an exercise program and I wanted to get a low body fat around 8%. I started around 18% and after 8 weeks, 3xs a week doing the Bob Harper Biggest Loser Boot Camp workout I lost 10lbs fat and gained muscle and got down somewhere around 14% body fat. I have since added weight lifting and am probable closer to 13% or so now after two more weeks. Haven't measured but I see my abs and the muscles in my shoulders. Calories in calories out. Eat less than you burn and you will lose weight. Get a program like Ifit or one of the others online for free and track calories and make sure your exercise keeps you in the fat burning zone. Don't go too low on calories for a long time because then your body adjusts but do keep the calories 300 or 400 less than burned and you will see results with a good workout program.

Vickie Ewell said...

Anonymous,
Ketostix do NOT measure Ketosis, regardless of what anyone has told you. They only measure one particular type of ketone (there are actually several) that the body is over-spilling into the urine. This particular ketone is the ketone that diabetics might have problems with. A dark color indicates DEHYDRATION! Not Ketosis. Ketosis occurs when liver glycogen is reduced by 1/3 to 1/2.

Vickie Ewell said...

Alex M,
I appreciate your comments, even though I do not completely agree with them. A low carb diet is not unhealthy for those who wish to use that type of diet to achieve weight loss. I do agree that not everyone does well on a low carb diet. Some people do better at a higher carb level.

However, MOST PEOPLE who follow a LOW carb diet (rather than a more moderate or higher level) are those who have metabolic issues such as insulin resistance, pre-diabetes, diabetes, food sensitivities to wheat and corn, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, neuropathy, celiac disease, and many other health issues. That was also what Dr. Atkins' patients were experiencing when they first went to see him.

When I began low carbing in January of 2007, I weighed 256-1/2 pounds. Since then, I have lost 100 pounds following a low carb diet. I have been checked out by a cardiologist as well as my primary physician and have been told I'm in excellent shape. Despite my higher than yours dietary fat content, my cardiologist was shocked that my arteries are SO CLEAN!

I have celiac disease, pre-diabetes, neuropathy and food sensitivities to gluten, cow's dairy and corn. I am only 5 feet tall, though I do have a large frame, so my goal weight is 125 pounds. My maintenance level of calories is 12 x my current body weight. That puts my MAINTENANCE for goal weight at only 1500 calories per day.

Personally, I'm a follower of Lyle McDonald, as I have found that what he says fits solidly with my own experiences.

Thank you for stopping by.

Anonymous said...

Vickie what is the best way to tell if I am in Ketosis? I read in your previous comment that ketone stick do not completely tell you. ???

Anonymous said...

Hi, I just want to remind everyone that weight can fool you. Lean muscle weighs more than fat. If you are working out, you develop lean muscle. You may be losing fat without losing weight. If you are on any diet and losing weight but not working out, you may be losing lean muscle mass. Pay attention to the size of your clothing and how it fits. This information came from my doctor who was the head of the UCLA Immuno-Nutrition lab and program.

In my young years (I'm 58 now), I weighed a mere 105 at 5'2". I wore a size 5 jeans. He told me I could get into a size 5 jeans again at 120 pounds if building my muscles and losing the fat. So make sure you are not losing your lean muscle mass at the expense of losing "weight." In other words, lose the fat and keep/gain the muscle.

Ladies, you will not bulk up and look like a body builder. You just won't jiggle like a bowl of Jello!

Vickie Ewell said...

I don't know why my answer at the beginning of this month didn't post, so I'll try again.

What is the best way to tell if you are in Ketosis?

For most folks, degree of hunger goes way down, and many have a surge in energy or a strong feeling of well-being.

But, if you're eating less than 100 grams of carbohydrates per day you HAVE to be in Ketosis. Between the glucose that certain brain functions have to have and keeping your blood glucose levels steady, the liver has no choice but to turn to fat reserves. Dr. Eades has said it takes something like 120 grams of glucose just to fuel the brain. So anything less than that will require the body to go into ketosis.

Vickie Ewell said...

Anonymous,
Thanks for your comments about how weight can fool you.

It's a misunderstanding that muscle weighs more than fat, though. That's impossible. A pound of muscle weighs exactly the same as a pound of fat - but - your point is extremely valid. A pound of muscle takes up less space than a pound of fat does. Hence, your size comparison.

Many low carb dieters find this to be true for them since they eat plenty of protein. Since few readers will see your comment, I'm going to do a post on this subject. Thank you for your reminder. I appreciate your thoughts.

Nicolle said...

Hey, so I am at a loss here... I had a baby Feb 2011 and in Sept cut out nearly all wheat/bread/pasta/sugar... etc and got so small within MONTHS... I wasnt really following anything, lots of nuts, carrots wasnt really following a plan and then I decided I would try induction to get down a little more (I should have just stayed where I was) I gained 15lbs since then, this was back in Feb of this year and I've been struggling ever since... I'm confused about sugars, amounts of water, seems like a lot of things contradict each other, and like I cant find a bacon that isnt cured with sugar. So I dont really know what and how much to eat.

Nicola Reddek said...

Hi all

I am from South Africa and have been on a high protein diet for about a week now and I am drinking evox 100% Whey Protein. I am not much of a eater. Hence the reason why I am overweight. my daily diet was a cheese sandwich. Anyhow my question is, if I stick to protein weigh 3 times a day and don't eat anything else or if I am hungry maybe a steak or chicken, will I go into ketosis and lose weight. I have had major operations on my knee so am not able to do heavy exercise. I really need to lose about 20kg's and am feeling very depressed about the way I look. The whole carb thing is confusing the poop out of me because on here you say you can have in my mind loads of carbs but other sites say differently. the shakes have 3 carbs per serving. oh yeah I also have about 4 cups of coffee a day and put milk in it. therefore approximately 20 carbs a day. so I m consuming lets say about 40 carbs a day and am not losing any weight. I have huge problem drinking plain water and absolutely hate the taste so sometimes drink sparkling water but maybe about 500mls a day, will this affect my weight loss at all. Is it imperative that I consume water and more food?

Vickie Ewell said...

Nicolle,
I'm not quite sure what you're saying. You moved to Induction and gained 15 pounds while doing Induction?

Controlling sugar intake has to do with metabolic problems. Many people who go on low carb diets are pre-diabetic, diabetic, insulin resistant or have problems with hypoglycemia. Others find that even tiny amounts of sugar sets off their cravings.

Many individuals doing Atkins eat bacon that is cured with sugar and find it does not affect their progress. What you have to eliminate is extremely personalized. There is no single way to do low carb.

As for water, it's essential on a low carb diet because the body cannot flush out excess ketone fragments if you don't drink it. The body also needs extra water to help the liver process stored body fats.

Not drinking enough water can affect your fat loss. Atkins recommended a minimum of 64 ounces per day, but many people find they lose weight quicker when they drink more than that. There are different formulas for how much.

I found that when I drank the amount of water that most people doing low carb drink, it made my vertigo worse. I actually had to limit my water to three 32-oz glasses per day. More than that for me was too much. So like sugar, water is individual too.

Everything with low carb is individual. You have to fine-tune the recommendations to fit your metabolism, cravings, food intolerance issues and such. There is no one way to do this.

Vickie Ewell said...

Nicola,

There are no carbs when you eat just meat, so I don't know what you mean when you say this post tells readers they can eat loads of carbs. The post is about how to get into ketosis faster, and the fastest way is to stick to no-carb foods so the body empties out its carb storage in the liver quicker.

Induction is about getting the body into a state where it predominantly burns fat for fuel, rather than glucose. The goal of Induction is to do that quickly. On Induction, you eat 20 grams of carbohydrates per day, or less, and you stick to certain foods that are known to not interfere with the fat burning process.

Milk is not allowed on a low carb diet because it contains too many carbohydrates for the volume you get. I think there's something like 12 carbs per cup. Whereas heavy cream only has 6.

BUT when Dr. Eades lost all of his weight, he did it by drinking protein shakes that were made with milk. He drank about 50 or 60 carbs per day and did well.

The types of foods you can eat and still lose weight is individual. What one person can eat or drink on low carb won't be the same as what someone else can eat or drink. Carb levels vary widely. That's why Atkins recommended starting out with Induction and then adding back foods one at a time to see what was best for you.

40 carbs per day is okay for some people, but too much for others. There is no way of knowing ahead of time what "you" can eat/drink and do okay with. You just have to experiment.

Anything less than 100 grams of carbs per day puts you into ketotis, but ketosis isn't magic. It's purpose is to lower insulin levels so they work more normally.

Normally, insulin rises when you eat, takes care of the glucose, and then falls back down so the body can utilize body fat stores as needed. In metabolic resistant folks, the insulin level doesn't go back down. Low carb corrects that problem. But not everyone has elevated insulin levels. So that's why there is so much variation as to what you can, or cannot eat/drink.

Also, if you began low carb dieting with a depressed metabolism because you were not eating enough before, that will also affect your results. Calories matter, even on low carb, but what I've found with myself, is that the body can adapt to a lower calorie intake. When and if it does that, your metabolism will never return to normal -- at least, mine hasn't. But then, I'm sedentary due to the vertigo.

Anonymous said...

You are very correct regarding a "pound is a pound" in fat vs. muscle. It's just easier for the lay person to get the concept. Like "dead weight" -- "live weight" seems lighter but both weigh the same! No matter how you look at it, lean muscle can only do one good. It burns lots of calories!

pdecks said...

For commenters who mentioned consuming DIET DRINKS and being stalled, many diet drinks contain CITRIC ACID, which has been identified as a culprit in stalling progress on Atkins. Some research says that citric acid -- the same compound in lemon juice, which is why lemons are restricted in induction -- prevents some people from entering ketosis. Every body is different, so if you find that you are seemingly doing everything else right, that diet drink -- aspartame and other artificial sweeteners aside -- might be holding you back.

I only realized yesterday that my NUUN tablets (a sports drink mix) contain citric acid. I was bummed, because I thought they were a great way to jazz up my water AND get some electrolytes at the same time.

Also watch out for citric acid in supplements, such as some chewable fiber supplements.

Vickie Ewell said...

pdecks,
Thank you for your comment. I forgot that citric acid is in most diet drinks. I didn't know that lemon juice is no longer allowed on Induction. I wasn't aware of the change. While citric acid can be made from lemons or grapes, most of the time it's made from corn. It's in a lot of canned products such as tomatoes and tomato sauces. Contradina 6oz tomato paste is the only supermarket brand that I know of that is just tomatoes.

Joe Gutto said...

SO I have been on low carb on and off for about 25 days. I lost 20 LBS. I take in under 30 grams of carbs and once a week I have an entire day where I eat as many carbs as I can (to get my metabolism back going). Sometimes I have a zero carb drink (Gin and Diet Tonic or Rum and Coke zero) Last night I had a couple of drinks (zero Carb). I ate a bowl of cereal and a couple of cookies, making my total carb intake 136 grams of carbs, but earlier in the day I did a 45 minutes core exercise, started with a 1/2 mile to warm up at 7:30 mile pace, did core exercise, then another 1/2 mile at 7:30 mile pace. How long do you think it would take me to get back into Ketosis?

Anonymous said...

I have been doing low carb for many years and can provide some insigt to those who are wondering about the sticks not turning purple one day and then turning the next or trying to measure the amount of ketones actually being used by the color of the stick.

Your body burns sugar first. It is designed that way. We store fat in order to stay alive. Otherwise, we would have to eat constantly. Think of a bear going into hibernation. When there is not enough sugar (glucose) to burn, insulin levels (insulin converts sugar to stored fat) stabilize and the body begins using it's fat stores to survive. Ketones are a by product of the metabolic process called beta oxidation (fat burning metabolism) which is in contrast to krebs cycle (sugar metabolism). Once you stabilize your insulin levels, your body will stop storing sugar as fat, and will switch from sugar metabolism to fat metabolism and ketones are produced as a by product of the chemical reaction in your body. The excess keytones can be measured with the sticks, but you can not totally depend on the sticks to tell you if you are in ketosis or not.

Depending on how dilute your urine is, the sticks will be differnt colors. If the stick is turning any color at all then you are in ketosis. Sometimes I will test in the morning and have no color on the stick and then test 2 hours later and it will be purple.

The sticks are a great measurement tool and help motivate, but do not get too caught up in how purple they are. If you test negative, try again later in the day and see what happens.

Vickie Ewell said...

Joe,
Sorry for the late reply. The message just showed up in my email this morning. Weird.

The first 100 grams of carbs simply goes to feed the brain. So that type of refeed would generally take less than one day to switch back. But with all of that exercise, you probably never went out of ketosis because exercise is mostly fueled by glucose.

Vickie Ewell said...

Anonymous,
Thank you for comments. I appreciate the detailed explanation.

SK LONDON said...

A friend and me have started a low carb diet on Monday - we're both very different weights she has 7kgs to lose I have about 14kgs to get to my goal.

We are both ensuring under 20gms of carbs a day.

Just wondering how soon in to the diet do you notice weight loss

Thank You
SK LONDON

Vickie Ewell said...

Most people see weight loss begin within the first couple of days because as your glycogen gets used up, the body sheds the water that is attached to it. It's common for weight loss to stall after the first couple of weeks while the body adjusts to its new metabolism. Plus, the drop in water can frighten the body into depositing water in your empty fat cells. It's best to focus on inches lost rather than pounds. How your clothes fit.

Sasha Nunke said...

This is an awesome post and very helpful comments. I've been low-carbing for a couple of months (not for weight loss but because carbs just don't agree with me and to break the sweets-eating habit) and maintain a long-distance running and cycling regimen. I noticed that a good 30-mile bike ride gets me into "purpose" zone on ketostix. In general based on my experience with marathon training, a body would store enough glycogen for about two hours (even if you carbloaded the day before). After that you switch to burning fat (it's what runners refer to as "hitting the wall"). This book talks about glycogen depletion and using fat as fuel during workouts on page 18: http://www.teamoregon.com/publication/online/flashmarbook.php.

asferranti said...

I've been on a low carb diet for a week now and have lost 10 pounds, but I find that I am not hungry and feel nauseous quite a bit. I am having trouble eating all that I am supposed to eat and worry that I may begin to burn muscle rather than fat. I don't know how to make myself eat more. I need to lose 50 pounds quickly as the added weight is putting a strain on one of my hip replacements. Any ideas?

Vickie Ewell said...

If you are new to low carbing, dropping 10 pounds the first week is normal. It's mostly glycogen and water.

Nausea can come from several things. If you have food sensitivities you didn't know about, the withdrawal can make you sick. That generally passes within the first two weeks.

It can also be a sign that your electrolytes are out of balance. Since you lose 4 molecules of water for each molecule of glycogen you have stored, you can get out of balance. The Atkins Nutritionals company as well as Dr. Atkins' original diet books both recommend taking a small amount of potassium and make sure you are salting your food well. Salt deficiency is the number one cause of Atkins' flu, which is what you're describing.

But it can also be a sign that you're eating too much protein and not enough carbs for your particular metabolism. Low carb diets are set up so that almost everyone succeeds, but for many people, the amount of carbs (20 net) allowed during Induction is still too low. The purpose of Induction is simply to clean out your glycogen reserves so that your body begins the adaption to using fatty acids for fuel. You can move to the next level by adding an additional 5 carbs if you need to.

While eating enough protein to maintain muscle is essential on a low carb diet, the amount you need is only about 1 gram per pound of lean body mass or less. The exception to that would be if you lift weights.

asferranti said...

Thanks for the info. I am feeling a bit better today but still have no desire to eat. I'm supposed to have something to eat within an hour of awaking, but I just am not hungry. I can usually only get a few bites down. Now if I could have pancakes with syrup or a sweet roll, I think I could eat. I'm almost 70 and have many years of poor eating habits to break. I'll try eating more salt and perhaps a few more carbs. Don't want to slow the losing process down.

Anonymous said...

I have not cheated on my diet. I have been following it. I use the adkins bars and drinks that are allowed in all phases now and again. i was so into the ketosis, dark purple. last nigh i couldnt sleep and ate a hamburger patty, melted cheese and a pickle. i woke up this morning and the stick read at the lowest possible.....what has happenend!!!!?????? I have not noticed a weight gain yet....also last weekend we went to a race, no i didnt cheat. my stick was dark purple when we left, i came home sunday and it was at its lowest reading possible.....what is going on???/ CAN ANYONE HELP!!!

Vickie Ewell said...

In most individuals, dark purple on the test strips means you're dehydrated! The sticks do not measure ketosis. They measure how many ketone fragments are being excreted by the body. The body doesn't dump ketones consistently, so you'll have different readings throughout the day. Sometimes, the sticks will not reveal any ketones in your urine at all. But that does not mean you are not in ketosis. You are.

Hamburger, cheese and pickle are all high in sodium. All that did was balance your electrolytes. That is a good thing. Being dehydrated will slow down your weight loss, so you WANT the sticks to be LESS dark. Not purple.

Eating a cheeseburger did not take you out of ketosis. When the test sticks turn any color, even a trace/light you are still in ketosis. Everything is fine.

Teasha Boulet said...

Thank you Vickie. I was hoping I had not messed up. I am now in what the "legend" on the side of the stips bottle read moderate i believe....i drink so much water I dont think that beinig dehydrated will ever be a problem. I notice i am losing about 8 to 10 ounces a day, sometimes a little less... but on average. Thank you for your help!!!

Micki said...

Just adding my two cents the low-carb discussion;
When I started I swiitched cold turkey; I started having coconut oil in coffee or possibly cream or bit of butter in my coffee.
BF was bacon/egg/omelette or cheese and tuna with mayo.
Lunch/Dinner was normally steaks, cramy sauce and some above ground vegies. Pften some pasta or potato substitute like shiratake noodles or Cauliflower mash.
When ever I felt like a nibble I would have cheese or salami.
I never got the sugar or carb craving and I think this was partly cause I found a salami I really liked so psychologically it worked as substitute.
I also had a bit of 85% dark choloclate most days of the week.
It took about a week before I dropped my first Kg. IN the next two weeks I lost another 6.
Then it stalled. I didn't change the diet but over another month or so I lost another 3Kg.
Then it was time to go on 4wk overseas holiday.
Coming back though it wasn't too bad. I had put on 2kg, which was less than I thought it would be.
It was hard to switch back to full low carb diet becasue of eating away from home events etc and over a cpl months despite keeping carb food down (but not totally disciplined) I put on another 3Kg.
I have the last 6 weeks gone to the gym 3 times a week but done more weithts than cardio.
I also have a glass of milk with low-carb protein shake after.
Weithwise I am still standing still, which has been a bit frustrating.
I am guessing that despite not eating obvious carbs my total intake adds up too much for me.
It was interesting to read also that if drinking alcohol (even whiskey etc with just water or ice, which is not supposed to affect weight by itself) then fat eaten round the same time is stored. Would be most interested in learning more about this as we have quite a social bunch where I live and we get together frequently over a cpl glasses. (i.e. assuming I will continue my social life, what would the best way to mitigate the effects be)
Meanwhile I will have to go strict again for a period and see if the weightloss can kick in again.
Good luck all.

Anonymous said...

I ate one spoon of peanut butter, one bite of Mac and cheese made for my 4 year old, and two nacho chips and it knocked me out of ketosis. Trying no carbs today and lots of water hoping to get back by tomorrow.

Vickie Ewell said...

Anonymous,
How do you know you were knocked out of ketosis? That takes a blood test. The ketostix do not measure ketosis. They measure the amount of ketones the brain and heart are not using for fuel. They are designed to alert a type 1 diabetic to the possibility of ketoacidosis (too many ketones build up in the bloodstream). You will also dump ketones at different times of the day, which is another reason why the sticks are unreliable. One spoon of peanut butter, one bite of mac and cheese and two nacho chips cannot knock you out of ketosis unless you are eating almost 100 grams of carbohydrates per day. That little bit will be burned first, and then you'll go right back to using predominantly fatty acids.

Micki,
Thank you for your wonderful comments. Since alcohol is a poison, the body will burn the alcohol for fuel first. Yes, you will store dietary fats eaten with the alcohol, but the body always stores incoming dietary fats. That isn't special to the alcohol. I'll do a post on this later on this week for a more complete explanation.

Anonymous said...

It's avocado season and I keep seeing all of these wonderful commercials on TV about avocados. What is your take on avocados in a low carb diet? In past rounds of low carb dieting, I felt like eating avocados stalled my diet, perhaps because of the calorie or fat content, or maybe eating a whole avocado is too much. Just wondering what your thought were.

Vickie Ewell said...

Avocados are extremely beneficial health wise. Their antioxidants work differently than the antioxidants found in any other fruit or vegetable. They travel into the mitochondria and prevent oxidative damage, where other antioxidants attempt to clean up the mess afterwards from outside the mitochondria.

Their fat is monosaturated, so it's metabolized by the liver. That makes them beneficial for those who have intestinal inflammation and fat malabsorption problems. Monosaturated fats also tend to get burned, rather than stored.

They do have a lot of calories and their carb content is higher than your typical non-starchy vegetable. The amount you eat at one time only matters in connection with your daily net carb and calorie totals. If you just ate low-carb foods and didn't watch your carbs and calories, you might have been eating too many of them.

Ashley said...

Hi, Vickie, Thank you so much for this site, I have enjoyed reading all your posts. I have a question about something that I cannot figure out. You say that the body needs over 100g of glucose a day (brain, etc.) and if you are eating less than that you have to be in ketosis. Please explain how that can be if some people can't eat more than 40g of carbs per day or they gain or don't lose weight. I can't get my brain around the science of it, please help! Thank you.

cslunt said...

What is an atkins 72'?
I am trying to get into ketosis. I want to do quickest way. I had lots of carbs yesterday and was thinking I would go burn 1000 calories to deplete my glycogen????? This last week I ate all good fats and protein all day but had grapefruit juice before brkft-lunch-dinner and my urine stick never left tan for 6 days. I am not sure why? Today I will take out grapefruit juice. I just heard that helped flush the fats (maybe that was the problem) I have had a blood clot and didn't know if ketones in the blood would make me get another so I was trying to keep blood cleaner from fat. Does anyone know?
Also this is somehting I don not think is healthy my whole life. I am willing to do it for 30 days and then get back on the only healthy carbs in morning and at lunch and lots of veggies and protein diet plan. I am very active. I am wondering how you get out of ketosis without regaining everything? Please help
cslunt@msn.com
will you respond and then copy paste and sent to my email?

Vickie Ewell said...

I'm assuming that you are trying to do this without any understanding of what a low-carb diet is. The Atkins Diet is designed to correct metabolic dysfunction. It's not a band-aid.

Atkins 72 is the first diet that Dr. Atkins created. Exercise is a good way to deplete muscle glycogen, but it doesn't always work to deplete liver glycogen. It depends on how many carbs you ate that day.

You don't say how much grapefruit juice you drank at each meal, but 3 times in one day is a lot of SUGAR! Grapefruit juice does not flush fats.

The Atkins Diet is healthy. It contains lots of vegetables, moderate amounts of protein, and "good" fats such as olive oil, coconut oil and butter. If you're having a blood clot issues, then it best to follow the diet your doctor gave you.

This post was about how to reverse the effects from going "off" of the diet more quickly. This is not the diet. If you do this for only 30 days and then start eating carbs again, you'll simply gain back any weight you lost. The Atkins Diet involves returning carbs to your diet very slowly. That enables you to discover your own carbohydrate tolerance level.




Anonymous said...

I am 40yrs old, approx. 115lbs overweight and am seriously considering the low-carb diet approach. I just need clarification on the calorie portion of this diet because breakfast alone (3 eggs & 6 slices of bacon) can set me at 780calories but only 6g of carbs. My daily activities vary from day to day but I might as well say it is mainly sedentary. Please shed some light on the amount of calories on should consume.

Thanks :)

Vickie Ewell said...

If you've never attempted a low-carb diet before, your body will not use carbs or calories efficiently at first. The only exception to that are women who have PCOS. Sometimes, the diet doesn't work for them at all. Later on, once the body adjusts to using this alternative pathway, calories become more important.

Calorie intake does matter, but going into Ketosis will drastically cut down your appetite. In 2007, when I started counting calories, I was eating 1700 calories when I started Atkins 72 Induction. I did that because the 2002 version wasn't working well for me. Within 4 days, my calorie intake had dropped on its own to about 900. But I'm very short, only 5 feet tall, and needed to lose over 100 pounds then.

It seems that the more weight you have to lose, the more calories you can initially eat. But it also depends on how efficiently your body can burn dietary fats for fuel. Mine doesn't.

At that time, the recommendation was to eat about 10 times your current body weight in calories. That's approximately what it takes to run your everyday body systems. I ate far less than that. Initially, I weighed 256-1/2 pounds and couldn't see the need to eat over 2,000 calories per day.

My health problems make me extremely sedentary, but my maintenance level of calories is about 12 times my current body weight. The 10 times recommendation would still put me in a deficit.

I have discovered that as far as calories are concerned, it's extremely individual. A lot depends upon the amount of metabolic damage you have and exactly what that damage is. Insulin resistance is the easiest to heal.

For me, breakfast is my highest calorie meal. The other meals are far less calorie-dense due to the vegetables, salad and fruit I eat. I also eat less fatty meats. Nuts and cheese are calorie dense, but I can only eat goat cheese which is expensive (so I eat it rarely) and drastically limit nuts because I'm allergic to the corn sugar in the salt.

Eggs contain about 1/2 carb each and bacon is about .1 or .2 per slice, so I'm not understanding where you're getting 6 grams of carbs from (coffee?). I'm in my late 50s and eat 2 fried eggs and 2 or 3 thick slices of bacon for breakfast. I don't drink coffee but do enjoy a cup of homemade sugar-free hot cocoa in the winter. On the weekends, I might have a pork chop and a couple of eggs because I'm more active.

Since I don't metabolize fats very well, when doing a diet round, I generally eat chicken breast and salad for lunch, then some type of grilled meat and vegetables for dinner. When we have strawberries or raspberries, I tend to eat them in place of dessert.

Because of my height and health issues, I can't lose weight unless I seriously drop my calories. I only do a weight loss phase for up to 3 months at a time, then I do at least a month or more at maintenance. But that's just me. Others have experienced different results.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the speedy reply Vickie,
The carb total came from the nutritional lables on the egg carton and bacon package. It says for 1 serving of an extra large egg is 1g of carbohydrates, and 2 slices of bacon are 1g of carbohydrates. Are carbohydrates not the same as carbs? I too am vertically challanged, 5'2" and have been overweight since 19. I have started my low carb diet this morning :) and am so very excited!

Anonymous said...

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don't care at all about eating foods that are healthy or worry about keeping fit.
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Anonymous said...

Some beef burgers have rusk. If its carb within the daily carbs limit. May it knocks me out of ketosis?

Vickie Ewell said...

As long as you stay within your daily carb limit, you should be okay. Rusk in the burger won't necessarily knock you out of Ketosis. The only exception to that would be if you are allergic or sensitive to wheat. Many low carbers use pure wheat protein (gluten) and do okay.


Anonymous said...

im a 16 yr old 275LB 5'-10" guy, i didnt eat for 3 days then started eating under 20 carbs a day. i have no ketosticks but would you say im in ketosis?

Vickie Ewell said...

Fasting will cause your body to burn muscle for its protein needs. You seriously need to eat. Otherwise, your body can start turning protein into glucose. That prevents Ketosis. Your brain needs a certain amount of glucose every day.

IF your glycogen stores were completely full, it takes about 3 days (2 if young and active) at 20 grams of carbohydrates per day to empty them enough to switch into Ketosis.

The younger you are, the more carbs you can eat and still burn body fat. Even in my old, metabolically damaged condition, I can eat 60 grams per day and be in Ketosis within 3 days. There is nothing magical about 20 carbs per day.


Katrina Lunore said...

Ok, so I've completely cut out all diet soda's and instead am making my own, and I need to know if this will have any effect on Atkins. I use the only natural, organic, no calorie, no carb Stevia. Sometimes the packets and most of the time they have flavored liquid. I buy 2 liter bottles of Canada Dry flavored (NOT sweetened) seltzer water in 5 different flavors and add my stevia. I end up drinking about 4-5 of those a day and use the bathroom like a race horse. Do you know anything about this particular sweetener because I've read it is THE only one that doesn't affect weight loss progress.
frazzld69

Vickie Ewell said...

Hi Katrina,
If you're using 100 percent Stevia, it will not affect your Atkins. Most of the time, if a sugar substitute interferes with low-carb, it is due to the maltodextrin filler or a food sensitivity to corn. That's been my experience.

Shivani said...

Hello ,I am 36 and need to lose at least 40 lbs.......am very worried that the diet will cause weight loss but I won't be able to maintain it ...:(
Lack of will power I think :(
Am onmy day2 today and have not experienced anything yet!

Maram said...

Your post is becoming my fav since I started low-carb :)
I had almost 100 carb yesterday & totaday :( "totall of 100"
I started low carb 14 days ago & lost 4 kgs so far, happy about that.
I know that I should get back on track, what other than core workout to get me back to ketosis,? I have a heart problem so can't heavily work out. Can I have 0 carb for tomorrow? Breakfast: 2 scrambled eggs
Lunch: chicken patty, cheddar cheesec(30 gm)
Dinner turkey, 5 green olives
That would be a very low carb intake, do you think this will put me back on track??

Thanks & thumbs up for the great job

Vickie Ewell said...

Shivani,
Generally speaking, low carb isn't something you can easily go off of without regaining the weight. It all depends on how many carbs you're comfortable eating.

That doesn't mean you have to eat 20 net carbs for the rest of your life, unless you are extremely insulin resistant. I eat around 100 carbs per day or less on maintenance.

What it does mean is that if you choose to return to the way you were eating before, then yes, the weight will come back. The idea behind the Atkins Diet (or any low-carb plan) is that you discover your own personal tolerance for carbohydrates and then fine-tune your way of eating to fit that tolerance level. That's how you easily maintain.

Vickie Ewell said...

Maram,
100 carbs per day is maintenance for many folks. Me included. If you were eating very low carb before, 100 carbs won't totally refill your glycogen stores because your body will burn the glucose first. Glycogen storage occurs when you eat more glucose than you can burn immediately, so it depends how you ate those carbs: all in one meal, or throughout the day. A day or two at very low carb such as you described will most certainly clear out any newly stored glycogen quickly and get you back on track.

Maram said...

Thanks Vickie, I'm already back on track with my 20gms of carb, I'm planning to do induction for another month which makes total of 6 weeks. The problem is I get frustrated cause some are loosing 7 kgs in 2 weeks while I lost 4 with on & off but still I'm happy with it.
I'm a carbaholic & leaving carb is something I never thought I'll be able to do but I did it :)

I need to loose 7kgs but my plan is to loose 10 kgs

Thanks & I'll keep an eye on the blog

Maram said...

Forgot to ask about the Jello, I have 0 carb 0 sugar lime jello & I'm loving it, 1/4 cup serving when I'm craving for sweets, what do you think?

Thanks

Vickie Ewell said...

The jello is great. I used it a lot when I was in weight loss mode.

Anonymous said...

I have been doing a very low carb diet now for 5 days and the ketone strips I just purchased are still stating negative. I'm not sure if there is anything I eat that has more than 1 gram of sugar per serving, so I'm not sure if I'm doing something wrong or just need to be more patient. I do not have much physical activity, and although I have been drinking just water or coffee, I can't say that I have been forcing an over abundance of water. Might the excise and water be the variables? I thought stricly low carb would result in ketosis.

Vickie Ewell said...

Negative on ketone strips doesn't necessarily mean you are not in ketosis. They measure the amount of "one" type of ketone that the body is dumping, but not the type of ketone the body uses. Some people never show positive on the sticks, and for some people, it simply takes longer to show up.

Water is important because it helps the liver metabolize fats and gives the body extra liquid to flush the unused ketones out of the body, but you don't have to drink a ton. The current recommendation is to drink about 1/2 in ounces of your current weight. So if you weight 180 pounds, for example, you should be drinking about 90 ounces per day.

Lack of activity does slow down the time it takes to get into ketosis, but not significantly. The body only has the capacity to store about 300 to 400 grams of carbs, so if you've been following Atkins Induction correctly or Protein Power (20 to 30 net carbs per day), after 5 days you'll definitely be in Ketosis even if it's not showing up on the Ketone sticks.

Have you lost any weight? Depending on how you were eating before you started, losing glycogen (the storage form of carbohydrates) generally shows up as dramatic weight loss.

Joanne S. said...

Hi, I have been on the weightnot program (low carb) and found your blog, it has been so enlightening! Thank you thank you thank you!

Vickie Ewell said...

I haven't heard of the weightnot program before, but will look it up. Thanks for your comments.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I was wondering what you thought of the following recipe while on induction or other wise:
3-4 tablespoons of butter, a little tumeric and ginger and I use a single handed mixer to combine with my already brewed coffee.

Sometimes making breakfast is a hassle and this seemed t me to be a quick solution. ( I know turmeric and ginger count as points and they are of course not necessary. My main goal is to efficiently and quickly be in induction losing weight as quickly as I can, willing to suffer the monotony, until I can move on to other phases.

I am sort of concerned with the way I am atkinsing right now- lots of fat-, butter, chicken skin, protein (steak, chicken), some cauliflower and romaine lettuce- 1-2 cups. Most of it is fat- is this ok for now?


Also, I have some neck and nerve issue and exercise has not been much of an option for me. the first time I did atkins- the weight flew off and I was concomitantly dieting and running, weightlifting. Do you have any exercise tips that might be helpful for some one who can't walk too vigorously? or does the lack of exercise hamper the effects of the diet significantly such that I should try something else?
Thank so much for providing your service - your website is immensely useful and helpful!!!

mark said...

Hi Vickie..Everyone...Great information which i thank you for...Can i ask, I am 2 days into my low carb diet...trying to get into Ketosis. I do like a drink of whiskey now and again... well 3-4 times a week. I know whiskey is zero carbs but My question is, if i drink a large whiskey which will be about 100 calories, then the next day i went for a run which burned off 100 calories, as soon as i reached that 100 burn would i be straight back into Ketosis as there are no carbs in the drink? Also ime a little confused about the fiber deduction of carbs in nuts..i would like to start eating some almonds for snacks but also for energy..Any advice would be greatfully appreciated. Thanks Mark.

Vickie Ewell said...

Anonymous,
Some people count the number of carbs in spices, and some people don't. I never have counted them, myself.

As for putting butter in your coffee, and calling it breakfast, that's not very nutritious. Butter isn't a food. It's what I would call a condiment. But with the rise of popularity of low-protein diets within the low-carb community, many low carbers have started doing that.

When I was working and rushed for time in the morning, I always made myself a homemade protein shake or grabbed some leftover cold chicken for breakfast. It only takes a minute to scramble up a couple of eggs with some leftover veggies and cheese.

Nutritional Ketosis (low protein, high-fat) seems to work well for those who are extremely insulin resistant. But that "IS NOT" Atkins!

Despite the common belief that the number of carbs is KEY, the quickness with which one can shed pounds depends on the amount of circulating insulin you have (NOT the increase in insulin you get right after meals), and the number of calories you eat per day. In addition, my own experience has found that the higher in fat you eat, the slower the weight loss.

Adequate protein allows you to eat more calories because it takes a lot of calories to metabolize meat. Hence, the metabolic advantage. But high-fat diets that are low in protein don't have a metabolic advantage, so the calorie deficit is LOWER, not higher. That can cause problems for those who can't exercise regularly.

Once your insulin level is normalized, further cutting down on carbs won't help. There is nothing magic about high-fat diets. High fat only helps those with "extreme" insulin resistance. What people are calling Nutritional Ketosis today is simply the old Atkins' Fat Fast, which Atkins only recommended as a temporary fix for those unable to get into Ketosis eating meat, eggs, and salad.

Dr. Atkins always clearly stated that his diet is NOT a high-fat diet!

My own experience with very low-carb, high-fat diets has never been good. It causes me to gain weight extremely quickly, due to the number of calories, so I'm not the best person to ask for advice regarding high-fat diets. However, having looked at what a lot of people are eating, they are extremely low in protein and nutrients. That robs muscle protein, which can quickly lower your metabolic rate -- the rate at which you burn calories -- and stresses the body. It thinks you're undergoing a "FAMINE" situation.

The first time anyone does Atkins, the body has never used the "famine" pathway before, so it doesn't know how many ketones it needs to produce in order to help you survive the deprivation. When you go off of a low-carb diet and come back, the body remembers how many ketones it takes, so you won't throw away as many as you did the first time.

Lack of exercise doesn't significantly affect weight loss, but it does affect how many calories you burn while you're at rest. However, you can counter that by standing more than you sit, and walking more than you stand. You don't have to do extensive exercise. I lost the 100 pounds by simply being more active during the day. I didn't add an official exercise routine.

In my own experience, the amount of fat you eat makes a huge difference in how quickly the weight comes off. For me, the magic fat number was 45 to 60 grams per day. That's LESS fat, not more. But if I went too low, say 30 grams, the weight also stalled. So we each of a fat intake "sweet spot" that you have to find through your own personal experimentation.

Vickie Ewell said...

Mark,
When you drink alcohol, the body burns the alcohol for fuel first. Those calories don't hang around until the next day.

What happens is that Ketosis is put in a holding status. You don't go "out" of Ketosis, but all other fuels (carbs, protein, and fats) eaten or drunk at the time you drink the whiskey are immediately stored in your fat cells. Then, once the alcohol has been burned, the body goes into your fat cells to get the fuel it needs.

If your circulating insulin level is normal, that isn't a problem. But if your circulating insulin level is too high (as it usually is for those who have just started a low-carb diet), that can interfere with the body's ability to mobilize its fat stores for several hours.

You'll know if that's happening, because drinking will make you extremely tired.

Atkins doesn't allow alcohol on Induction (during the first two weeks) for that reason. In a lot of people, alcohol can interfere with getting "into" Ketosis. However, the original Atkins Diet only eliminated alcohol during the first week. It was allowed after that, if his patients insisted, but you had to count any tag along carbs.

My husband is a construction worker, so he eats cashews for the same reason. But they aren't a good example because they don't have very much fiber. It's less than 1 gram per ounce.

In the U.S., manufacturers separate the fiber count from the total carb count on the label. Other countries don't do that. For U.S. products, you can take the fiber count and subtract that from the total carbohydrate count.

For example, if the nuts you're considering are 5 grams of carbohydrate per ounce, and they have 3 grams of fiber, then you're "net" carb count would be 2 grams. Walnuts LOOK like they have zero carbs, after you do that, but that's due to how manufacturers are allowed to round up or down on the label. To be safe, walnuts should be counted as 1/2 to 1 "net" gram of carbohydrate per ounce.

The body doesn't digest fiber as a carbohydrate. It turns it into a fat in the large intestines, but the law requires manufacturers to list fiber under carbohydrates on the label anyway. The amount of fat it's converted into is very small. Fiber ends up giving the body about 1-1/2 to 2 calories per gram maximum.

You can do the same thing with vegetables. Subtract the fiber grams from the vegetable's carbohydrate count, because the body doesn't turn it into glucose.

However, that doesn't work for a lot of substances that manufacturers claim you don't have to count, such as most sugar alcohols (Erythritol is the only exception), glycerin, and other things. It's only accurate for fiber.

Thomas said...

Cindy:

Congratualtions on taking control of your life and wanting to make lifestyle changes loosing weight. First it may help to get rid of the diet drinks and stick with only water or water with lemon. Artifical sweeters are just about as bad as sugar. If you need a sweetner drink tea with Stevia. Next no more cheese or dairy products for the first month. The Atkins bar, read the ingredients carefully, does it contain sugar. No Good, need to eliminate processed sugar. It may be difficult but the first month look at eliminating all sugar, reduce carbs and no processed foods with preservatives. If it has a shelf life it is NG. Think cave woman diet. Good Luck. My target is 40 lbs in twelve weeks.

HB said...

FYI I have 30kg to lose and it took me exactly 6 days to get blood ketones up to 0.6 on a morning reading. As I understand it you need to be over 0.5 to be 'in ketosis' and around 1.5 for optimal results according to Volek & Phinney. During those 6 days I had 3 meal replacement shakes and 1 evening meal of vegetables or salad with oil dressing. My macros leaving out the 'normal' meal were 60g CHO 60g protein and 10g fat. I deliberately added more fat in the meal by including olive/macadamia oil in the dressing, avocado/some cheese in the salad and cooking veg with butter and/or coconut oil. I also had the occasional miso soup and took magnesium before bed every other day. Also every day I had 2-3 coffees with full-fat cream in them. I'm quite happy to trade 'normal' meals for shakes for the next 12 weeks so long as I can still have things like CREAM in my coffee. You have to find what YOU can live with. I figure the less-than-ideal stuff thats in meal replacement products isn't going to kill me in 12 weeks and in any case isn't a patch on the crap I've eaten over a lifetime of fatness.

Anonymous said...

FYI I have 30kg to lose and it took me exactly 6 days to get blood ketones up to 0.6 on a morning reading. As I understand it you need to be over 0.5 to be 'in ketosis' and around 1.5 for optimal results according to Volek & Phinney. During those 6 days I had 3 meal replacement shakes and 1 evening meal of vegetables or salad with oil dressing. My macros leaving out the 'normal' meal were 60g CHO 60g protein and 10g fat. I deliberately added more fat in the meal by including olive/macadamia oil in the dressing, avocado/some cheese in the salad and cooking veg with butter and/or coconut oil. I also had the occasional miso soup and took magnesium before bed every other day. Also every day I had 2-3 coffees with full-fat cream in them. I'm quite happy to trade 'normal' meals for shakes for the next 12 weeks so long as I can still have things like CREAM in my coffee. You have to find what YOU can live with. I figure the less-than-ideal stuff thats in meal replacement products isn't going to kill me in 12 weeks and in any case isn't a patch on the crap I've eaten over a lifetime of fatness.

Anonymous said...

Do I need to watch my fats when trying to get into Ketosis? and is potted meat okay to eat when getting into Ketosis?

Anonymous said...

I am curious about low carb beer. That is pretty much the only time (Friday s) that I go over my carb count. I have been staying under 30 carbs a day except on Fridays. How does alcohol effect this and can I bounce back and still loose a few lbs before I drink again the next Friday?

Charlotte said...

Hi Vickie

I've been eating high fat, low carb and low/moderate protein for almost 3 weeks now and nothing good has happened.

I have gained 2 kg. and my digestion is totally dead and constipated.

I was so tires og my carb cravings, so I wantes to try to eat to get in to ketosis. And I am (i measure it ind the blood), but have no energy, still crave and have gained weight. And I need to loose fat, not gain.

I also keep my kcal restricted to about 1300-1400 a day and I can't get help from exercise to burn some more kcal, because of a very bad bag.

I have adrenal fatique and PCOS.

I have been eating Paleo diet for a year now, but every week I craved almonds ad dry fruit and needed to try to eat a diet, where cravings would go away.

But even though I'm in ketosis, I,m not at all in the clear.

I eat 80-85 % fat, 12 % protein and 3-8 % carbs pr. day.

Maybe it is not for everyone or am I missing something?

Vickie Ewell said...

Anonymous,
When first going into ketosis you do not have to watch your fats, but some people don't use fats for energy very well. You only have to watch your fats if you are one of those people. I don't know how many carbs are in potted meat. Induction is simply 20 net carbs per day or less.

Vickie Ewell said...

Anonymous,
Alcohol is considered by the body to be a poison, so when you drink, the glucose in your bloodstream is immediately placed in storage so that the alcohol can be burned first. That simply places ketosis on hold. It doesn't throw you out of ketosis. However, the number of carbs in what you're drinking can be a problem if you go over your carb threshold. Whether you can lose weight by drinking every Friday is an individual matter. The only way to know is to experiment with doing that, and then honestly evaluate the results. Alcohol doesn't affect my weight at all, but for someone else, it might.

Vickie Ewell said...

Charlotte,
Not everyone does well on Nutritional Ketosis (high fat). I happen to be one of those individuals. I gained 30 pounds trying to do a high fat low carb diet. Plus, I lost a ton of muscle mass eating that way.

There are a lot of people who cannot eat 80% fat without gaining weight. The original Atkins diet only called for 60 to 60% fat and less for those who had trouble at that higher amount. I can only eat about 60 grams total when I'm doing very low carb, or I start to gain weight.

nhinesscholar said...

Hi Vickie!

Thank you so much for posting this. I'm actually doing the protein sparing modified fast. I've beed doing so well. I lost 7 pounds in 12 days. Then I went to a restaurant and had a few bites of something I probably shouldn't have. I gained 3 of those pounds back in a matter of 3 days. After reading your post and coupling it with my nutrition background, I have a much better understanding of how this works. I felt absolutely awful about myself this morning. But now I will just jump back in and keep going. Thank you so much!!

Pink Clouds said...

Hi, I'm on High protein-low carb diet called Euro Diet and on phase 1 at the moment which takes you into ketosis as the diet claims after 3 days. Although my BMI shows i should be on phase 3 or 4 i was advised to do phase 1 to fast burn. Ive been reading everyone's comments on their experiences during ketosis. I don't get any awkward breath unless i take their milk powder called laktolite. I'm also the only one on this diet from those who are on the same program as i am that is experiencing extreme heat. I feel so hot and i actually feel my body burning all over and i urinate a lot during this period. Is that normal??

Nabila Al Amri said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amy Valentin said...

Thanks for all of this GREAT info. I've been on low carbs a few times in the past, but always fall back into my old habits. I love the way that I feel after being on low carbs for several days.. How do you stay motivated and not revert back to old habits? Also what have you heard about 5-HTP along with the low carb lifestyle?

Vickie Ewell said...

Pink Clouds,

I don't know anything about the Euro diet. I haven't ever heard of anyone feeling hot from doing low carb either. Going to the bathroom a lot is normal, because you're using up your glycogen stores the first week.

Vickie Ewell said...

Hi Amy,
I've only heard good things about 5-HTP and low carb, but I haven't tried it myself.

anonymous said...

Hi, is it ok to substitute 8 glasses of water with 8 glasses of crystal light?alsamsa

Lin said...

Could you please tell me where you purchase Ketosticks in either Canada or the USA?
Many thanks.

Anonymous said...

Vicki,

So you're saying that the sugar alcohols in adkins bars is false advertising? They subtract the SA's from those bars and most have a net carb of 2-4grams.

Vickie Ewell said...

The Atkins Program today focuses on what doesn't raise your blood sugar. So when they subtract glycerine, sugar alcohols, and other chemical substances, that isn't really "false" advertising, because they call it "effective net carb count or something like that. But it is misleading for people new to the low-carb lifestyle. If you don't get sick from eating sugar alcohols, then your body is digesting it the same as sugar.

Anonymous said...

Hey Vickie! I feel so fortunate that I found you. You're one of the most knowledgeable people I've found on this subject, and it's refreshing. After all the garbage I've read in my online travels I'm a weary traveler and I'm basking in your knowledge, lol.

I'm having a bit of a problem and I'm hoping you can help me with some troubleshooting. I started a keto diet on February 3rd. My body couldn't cope with over 80% fat on a daily basis. I ended up with reflux, acne in bizarre places I never had it before (like under my eyebrow and behind my ear) and other nuisances. I ended up switching to Atkins induction about a week ago and stopped monitoring my fat intake (I've been monitoring my carbs though, and have been well under 20 grams, as I have been all along). I've been monitoring my ketones with a blood testing monitor. My ketones started to plummet from 1.9 on March 6th to .3 today (the 14th). I feel okay -- not starving or weak or anything, so I'm really puzzled. There are two potential culprits: I'm on the 3rd day of my period, and I've really been pounding down the Diet Pepsi lately. I'm thinking the latter might be the most likely culprit. My diet soda "relapse" started on the 8th. ;) My weight loss stalled around the same time my ketones decreased and then fluctuated up and down a few pounds, so that's not a reliable indicator of ketosis for me (or is it?). Any thoughts? Meantime I'm off the soda. Thanks a bunch.

Autumn said...

Hi Vickie. Please disregard my previous post. I realize that it's impossible to answer such a question without reliable scientific evidence to back an opinion. I will update though, because I think it’s important to share what I need(ed) to learn on my own. When I started Nutritional Ketosis I was one of those who thought I'd fall into the majority and not have any issues. I did lose 10 pounds in February, but even for someone who started the diet with the worst eating habits I just couldn't hack it; I was literally drinking olive oil to meet my daily quota of fat because I couldn't do it eating MEAT all day. Not even MEAT adorned with oh-so-tempting blobs of coconut oil. It was flat out fricken disgusting. I really hope that other newbies to Nutritional Ketosis don't confuse "nutritional" with "nutritious", because it's far, far from that. I've never taken so many supplements in my life. Not to mention the above problems I had along with other UNMENTIONAL unpleasantries.

Even though I suspected there was information lacking about Nutritional Ketosis, I feel duped. For all I've read about it and its cookie-cutter approach, it's really rare to see any of its proponents speak openly or truthfully about potential complications. Perhaps if they had I would have used a different approach. On the contrary, all I have seen is criticism for those who have had problems. I'll be damned if I didn't do it "right", and I can certainly provide evidence of that. I googled you yesterday and I came across a thread on a message board about your “ketosis disaster”, criticizing you for your experience (along with someone offering naturopathetic nonsense advice [for which, by the way, there was NO criticism of for lack of evidence]. Right…maybe we should go the extra mile by casting spells over our grease bombs before douching our intestines with them). Having said all that, I really, really appreciate your honesty and insight, and your writing is enjoyable to read to boot. :-)

I'm still off soda. I know I haven't had a problem with sucralose because I was consuming it all of last month and managed a good level of ketosis. Even though I get my strips from Canada for $2.50 apiece, they're still very expensive so I only test every 2-3 days (I always test on Sunday, though). Having abstained from Diet Pepsi, maintaining my carbs below 10 g for the past four days and with my period over, I'm back in weak ketosis at .9. In contrast to my ketone reading, my weight is up a pound from last week even though my period has ended (go figure). I really won't know if it was my period or the aspartame that booted me out of ketosis until next month when I can test during my period aspartame-free. The most likely answer is the aspartame, as I have read about so many others who have dealt with that issue.

Anyway, thanks again for all the experience you bring to the (low-carb :-) table. For some of us it really is a unique journey. Your contributions are invaluable!

Vickie Ewell said...

Anonymous,
Sorry for the late reply. I have a lot going on in my life right now.

I can't handle a high-fat diet either. I gain tons of weight very quickly. But I have Graves' Disease, which often interferes with digestion. I've never monitored my blood for ketones, so I really don't know anything about how to adapt one's diet to improve that. I've always just followed the Atkins program as originally recommended and adapted my fat intake low enough to keep losing.

Your monthly period "can" bring things to a stall, due to the hormonal imbalances, but if you're sensitive to aspartame, that can stall you too. That's why sodas with aspartame are not allowed on the Atkins Diet. So I'd definitely cut out the sodas or switch to a brand like Shasta that uses sucralose.

However, real life low carb is really just a matter of personal experimentation.

Vickie Ewell said...

Autumn,

Thanks for the update. Honestly, I lost most of my weight by eating a low-fat Atkins diet. I think I kept my fat grams between 45 and 60 grams a day because that was my sweet spot.

What I've discovered since my Nutritional Ketosis experience is that most of those vocal people in the low-carb community are not doing it correctly. At least, not according to the formula in The Art and Science of Low Carb Living. The true recommendation is to set your protein at 1.5 to 2.0 grams per kilogram of IDEAL body weight, your carbs at 50 TOTAL or less, and then just use fat to fill in with the amount of calories you need to keep your metabolism from tanking. In fact, in an interview with Jimmy Moore, Dr. Phinney said that if you're doing everything right and still not losing weight, LOWER your fat. That has been my own personal experience as well.

I am not sensitive to aspartame. I went off of the stuff several months ago, and it didn't help my current weight problems at all. But I'd be interested to know how that works for you.

Anonymous said...

I have been Low Carb/Paleo/Primal for a couple of years. I have about 28 lbs to lose, up 10 from one year ago :-( My lowest ever.

I found myself eating too many carbs (nuts, cheese, etc) and not enough meat. Carb creep i think itnis called. I am totally out of Ketosis now, but my body has been in Ketosis previously. I avoid all grains, fruit (sugar), sugar as well as artificial sugar and starchy veggies. I did not stray from that, just ate the wrong amounts of the high carb stuff b

About 2 days ago when I reached the magic terrible number of 10 pounds gained (most in the last several months) I decided to go back to square one.

So, I am staying under 20 net carbs. Should it be 20, not net? (Atkins 72), I don't eat processed foods, I am only subtracting fiber.

But I am having a difficult time balancing calories and carbs! If my carbs are low (meat) my calories soar :-/ I hate veggies so I am limiting them to celery, Zuccini & mushrooms.

I want to get back into Ketosis & quickly! I do have a sluggish metabolism. Not currently exercising, but walking is my exercise of choice & I am starting today. About 4 miles per day, but not in the morning.

Advice? Help? Suggestions? Any help will be greatly appreciated!

Oh & I am female, 50 & short!

Anonymous said...

Hi,

I have been so goooood! But today at lunch i had fried zucchini and im almost positive those little suckers are going to throw my right out of ketosis.

My question for you is ...if ketosticks don't measure accurate ketosis then what do you use to messure it?

Vickie Ewell said...

Anonymous,
The fastest way to get into ketosis is to go with 20 total carbs, rather than net, and limit your veggies to just lettuce, celery, and radishes (a '72 salad). According to the Atkins '72 book, the body treats that salad as if you hadn't eaten it. It's pretty much free. But it's limited to a total of 2 loosely packed cups of salad per day.

There can be several reasons for gaining weight while on a low-carb diet. Carb creep is only one possibility. No calorie deficit and eating too much fat will also cause you to gain weight, especially if you are only a few pounds from goal. Stress (which elevates cortisol and therefore insulin) can also be a problem. As can eating too much protein. In my own case, Graves' Disease was the problem.

If 20 full carbs, or less, causes you to drop a few pounds within only a couple of days, then that means you were eating too many carbs before. But if you drop your carbs that low and you don't drop any excess water weight, then the problem is something else.

For the first week after going back to square one, I wouldn't worry about calories. The object is to get into ketosis first, and then let the drop in appetite associated with ketosis control how much food you eat. Small people often find they can't eat very much at normal weight. Their fat intake has to be less as well. I eat a lot of chicken breast and lean pork to keep my calories lower, but active people don't always have to do that.

Vickie Ewell said...

Anonymous,

Personally, I don't measure whether I'm in ketosis or not. I can pretty much tell by my appetite and how I feel. But a lot of people are using blood ketone meters these days. Fried zucchini (according to the SparkPeople stats) is 23 net carbs in an average serving. That shouldn't really throw you out of ketosis unless you are sensitive to wheat.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your response!

Goodness, I don't eat my Zuccini or anything else fried! It is either grilled or sautéed :-)

I know I am not in Ketosis, I can tell the same way that you can, by my appetite and the way I feel. Not there :-(

I do use keystone strips, but I do understand the controversy.

But because I KNOW I am not and trying to get back into Ketosis, I want to get there as quickly as possible :-)

Anonymous said...

Ohhhh....SORRY! I did not see your answer to me and the other post in tween LOL. I am a goof.

Thank you, your answer is very much appreciated. I don't have the Atkins 72 book, but I found that when I went with the new one I did not do as well.

I am small, but a long way from my goal weight :-(

I do remember that you could put something else on your salad. I just cannot remember what? Tomatoes? Olives (like 5 or something)? I don't use any dressing.

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Vickie Ewell said...

Anonymous,
That's okay. If you look up at the green bar at the top of the page, there is a link for "Posts Archive." If you click on that, it will take you to a list of my older posts. The Atkins 72 section is close to the top, in its own section. There are 2 articles there for Atkins 72. One spells out the plan in detail for you. I can't remember what the other one is about exactly.

Anonymous said...

Thank you!

TJ said...

Thanks for all the great info! I just found your site and have been reading like mad! I'm doing a low-carb diet...lifestyle change. I've been at it since June 2013 and am down 30 lbs. I slipped up and am definitely out of ketosis, I feel lousy and am trying to get back in!

Anonymous said...

I've had a lot of success with Atkins but my lifestyle recently (and even part of my job) is to take people out for drinks and dinner etc. I am having a terrible time with the drinks aspect - as people tend to view not drinking as a social signal of some sort rather than just not wanting carbs - is there any combination or alcoholic drink that can be ordered that is the least counter effective to the diet.

Every time I go out with clients I can easily order steak or chicken with salad and stay on my diet, but the drinking is always the issue. UGH.

Any advice?

Sharon said...

My husband is on the ketogenic diet for brain cancer and is doing quite well. Recently, however, he has been negative on the test strips, and his blood glucose has been slightly higher(92). He had been registering at least moderate, sometimes higher on the test strips. I have read that sometimes the body will convert protein to glucose after being ketogenic for a while? Is there any information you can provide on that? Or any diet change info that might benefit him? Your posts and comments are extremely helpful - thank you very much.

Vickie Ewell said...

Anonymous,

I'm sorry. I didn't see your comment until today. Alcohol burns first before anything else, so it does not affect ketosis; it just puts it on hold. We don't drink when we go out, but this is what we do at home: you can order any type of distilled alcohol, such as vodka, whiskey, etc. and have them put it in a diet coke. Wine is okay sometimes, but it will have about 8 carbs or so per restaurant sized glass (4 to 6 oz I think it is).

Vickie Ewell said...

Sharon,

92 blood glucose is normal if you are consuming very very few carbs. Most people on a very low carb diet have a blood glucose level in the low 90s. As long as it stays around that high, he's fine. Damage doesn't occur unless the glucose goes over 140.

Vickie Ewell said...

As for the test strips, they only test for 1 type of ketone, which the body eventually stops making, so the strips stop working. They don't work for me anymore. It is possible to eat too much protein. I've heard that you need about .8 to 1 gram of protein per kg of lean body mass to make sure you're getting enough. You could cut down on the protein just a little and increase the fat, since the diet is for cancer rather than weight loss, and see if that brings the blood glucose level down. But the body might just steal muscle to get the protein-glucose it needs, and still result in a 92 glucose level.

Sue said...

What a great page. There is so much useful information. And, I love hearing about everyone's individual issues and triumphs. This is encouraging.

I'm starting low carb today. And let me tell you, that's hard to do when you are a vegetarian like me. I will eat fish to get through this process, so call me a pescatarian for now.

I had a cup of coffee this morning with a spoon of coconut oil, and I experienced the same thing as the gentleman in an earlier post. Total headrush! Is this normal?? I may switch to decaf for my first cup in the morning, because I really want that coconut oil at the beginning of my day. I've read that it can speed up ketosis if taken on an empty stomach. We'll see.

Also, I consume most of my daily 'water' by drinking club soda. I gave up diet soda because of the artificial sweeteners, but I just gotta have my bubbles! There should be no difference, right?

Jimmy Johns said...

How to Get Rid of Water Weight Drink eight to 10 glasses of water per day. Although edema is fluid retention, drinking plenty of clear fluids, such as water, will flush out toxins and excess fluid build up. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, excess water retention can cause kidney strain, therefore flushing the kidneys with water will relieve unnecessary damage due to continuous kidney strain.

Vickie Ewell said...

Hi Sue,
I know what you mean about the bubbles. Club soda is definitely better than diet soda. Although some people drink sodas sweetened with stevia, they also have other types of sugar substitutes in there too.

I don't know anything about putting coconut oil in coffee, nor why that would cause a head rush. I always drink coffee on an empty stomach, but I've never put coconut oil in it.

Good luck with your low-carb vegetarian diet. I know that won't be easy. I'm getting together some info on eating that way and plan to do a post the first part of this coming week. Good luck!

Vickie Ewell said...

Jimmy Johns,
Water retention from recently eating carbs isn't the same as edema. I'm talking about the water the body stores in order to process glycogen, the storage form of carbohydrates. That water weighs a lot more than the glycogen does, and is used up and eliminated as the body metabolizes the glycogen.

Sue said...

Vickie,

I look forward to your post on veggie low carb! To go low carb, I've added salmon, tilapia, and shrimp to my diet. That, along with my eggs, are my main sources of protein.

I do have a sweet tooth, so I'm thinking....sugar free jello? Maybe with a little real whipped cream on top.

I've tried the "all natural" stevia sweetened sodas, and was NOT impressed with the flavor. Yuk. Club soda is best. I can drink that all day.

I'm loving the coconut oil in my morning coffee now. The 'headrush' feeling has diminished over the last couple of days, and there is another benefit. The melted oil is a great moisturizer! My lips haven't been this smooth in a long time.