Following my first keto experiment in July 2020, this is another attempt at inducing ketosis through a low-carb diet.
I’m measuring my ketones with the excellent Keto Mojo GK+. I paid about $100 for the meter plus 70 glucose + 70 ketone test strips. Measurement takes under a minute and the results are bluetooth-synced to my phone, from which I can easily download the numbers for later analysis.
The ketogenic diet is interesting to me because there is an objective measure, taken in real time, of how well it’s working. Our bodies normally get energy from glucose, which is usually absorbed from digesting carbohydrates, but when carbs are missing, we can switch to ketones as an alternate fuel. This condition, called “ketosis”, is associated with many metabolic changes, notably a high level feeling of energy. Thanks to the low-cost blood measurements of ketone levels, there is an objective measure of whether the body has hit that magical state or not.
I’ve confirmed myself under ketosis several times, but this time I tried testing at various different times and under different circumstances.
This time I’ve learned:
- Ketone levels vary a lot throughout the day: Once I measured myself at 3.7 mmol/L at noon, 1.0 mmol/L at dinnertime, and down to 0.6 mmol/L by bedtime.
- Don’t measure immediately upon waking (which I did in previous experiments). Ketones are often at their lowest then, thanks to a flood of other hormones when we wake up. Instead, measure a few hours after waking, or better yet, wait till later in the day. My highest levels are often right before dinnertime.
- Ketone values plunge far more than you’d think when eating carbohydrates. A single cup of rice (40g of carbs) nearly kicked me out of ketosis for a day.
- My dream life is going crazy. I notice a lot more dreaming (and better sleep generally). I confirmed this with a 3.8 GKI taken at 3 am.
I didn’t experience the fatigue (“keto flu?") that plagued me a few days into the diet last time. This may be due to my deliberate effort to increase liquid intake and salt. I’m also taking 200+ mg of magnesium, which may be helping.