Someone recently asked me how they could increase their ketones and after typing out an epic comment, I decided to turn my reply into a post.
When it comes to ketones, there are a couple things to look at:
1. Are you measuring using a blood ketone meter or a urine strip? If you are using a blood meter, it usually registers highest in the evening and lowest in the morning. If you are using the strips, it’s the opposite, higher in the morning and lower in the evening.
2. How long have you been eating a ketogenic diet? It can take weeks for your body to adapt and make an adequate amount of ketones. If you are measuring using a blood ketone meter, the range is 0.5 – 5.0.
3. How much protein are you eating? Your body can convert a portion of the protein you eat into glucose. Have you tried calculating your suggested protein and seeing if you are within range? Try to find an amount that keeps you satisfied, as I’ve found going too low while it may raise your ketones, causes me to be constantly hungry! :–)
4. How much fat are you eating? When doing a ketogenic diet, please don’t try to go low-fat! Make sure you are getting enough healthy fats (saturated and mono-unsaturated, like avocado, pastured eggs, butter and animal fats). When doing a ketogenic diet, the majority of your calories will come from fat.
If you are “doing everything right” and have given yourself enough time, you may want to try eating more coconut oil or MCT (medium chain triglyceride) oil as they are converted to ketones easily. Another idea is to switch up when you test. For example, since I have diabetes, my blood sugar rises quickly in the morning and that causes my morning ketones to read very low. However after eating breakfast, they rebound nicely.
One more thought is to ask yourself why you want higher ketones (assuming they are at least registering). Is it because you are feeling tired or experiencing poor blood sugar control? Or is it because you believe that higher ketones will result in better weight loss? If it’s the former, then keep tinkering and hopefully you will find what works best for you. If it’s the latter, I wish you the best of luck but must caution that I and a few others have found that there isn’t a great correlation between high ketones and weight loss.