T Nation

Cyclic Ketogenic Diets and Ketosis

I’e read volumes regarding CKD diets, and have myself had reasonable success with them most of this year. However, I NEVER reach ANY measurable stage of ketosis (using Ketostix). Mostly I have been using the T-Dawg diet where I keep my carbs to <30g on non-workout days and around 70g on workout days. The additional 40g coming from my post-workout shake. I have kept my protein at approximately 1.5g per lb and my calories at 12 X bodyweight. I take the weekends off so I use these two days as my “free” days and include a reasonable level of carbs (I don’t really count them) and cut back on the protein a bit (1g per lb). I have been performing 20 minutes of cardio at a fairly high level of exertion three days a week. I have lost bodyfat and feel good on the diet, but continue to wonder why I haven’t EVER reached ketosis. Has anyone else experienced this situation or do most reach ketosis by the second day of the reduced carbs each week? Thanks for any enlightenment!

The reason you aren’t hitting ketosis is because youre consuming too much protein and not enough fat. You need to consume adequate fat to make ketones that will show up on the ketostix. Drop the protein to .8g/lb and for fat consume 1.5g * protein. So if you are consumint 100g protein you will need 150g fat. Sometimes you burn off the ketones with exercise so a glucose monitor helps. You will be in ketosis when the monitor shows less than 70, but ideally you want to be below 50. Anyways, I’m rambling…I hope this helps!

What ekul said about protein/fat were right on. I beleive however your never going into ketosis by consuming 70g of carbs post workout (without the help of injecting insulin, which I don’t recomend). So what! You said that you dropped fat and felt great. Stick with it as long as it works. Some people beleive that ketosis is necessary to spare lbm. I don’t agree. I’m curious, under your present diet (high protein/low carbs/mod fat) do you feel like you’ve also added muscle (not necessarrly lbm)? Post back. Thanks.

LA, whaen I began using a CKD last January I (6’3", 265lbs) I did try a lower protein and higher fat ratio. I had success, but began to worry that the amount of saturated fat that I was consuming via whole eggs, bacon, sausage, hamburger, steak, cheese etc. was probably not the healthiest protocol long term. So I began to add more flax and Udo’s oil and reduce the fattier protein sources in favor of tuna, chicken etc. Unfortunately, when I did this my calories went too low so I “added” more protein in the form of casinate/whey. You know, I could only swig down so many tablespoons of “good” oils. So…to answer your question, I am now about 253lbs, but can clearly see my two upper rows of abs - I guess you could say that I have a pretty good four-pack and can see the lowest ab only in the AM upon rising. Progress? Definately! I used to think that my parents had my abs surgically removed at birth! I do think that I have hardened up significantly so yeah I believe that the past 9 months have resulted in a slow, but steady, fat loss as well as a measureable gain in lbm.

It is better to just stop worrying about “hitting ketosis”
or more accurately, seeing evidence of ketones in the urine. You can be in ketosis metabolically while having no ketones in the urine. There are no significant calories excreted
that way, BTW… there’s no magic or any advantage in having ketones in the urine. If you are consuming less than 100 g of carbs per day you ARE in ketosis regardless of whether you have ketones in the urine or not. Unfortunately keto dieters get obsessed with those ketostix… but they are completely unnecessary and the results are of zero importance.