Saturday, July 26, 2008

LLVLC On YouTube (Episode 47): Ketostix A Low-Carb Guide, Not Really That Necessary

Is your low-carb diet relying too much on Ketostix?

One of the most interesting tools we have at our disposal when we start livin' la vida low-carb to let us know whether we are doing it right or not is a testing strip that measures ketone levels called Ketostix (there are other brand names for ketone sticks, but this one from Bayer is the most common). Basically, here's how it works: you can check your urine on this testing strip to see how many ketone bodies you are excreting out of your body. Ketones are present when you are in ketosis which is instigated when you keep your carbohydrates at a ketogenic level (usually under 50g carbs daily).

I recently asked a group of low-carb experts the following question--"Is Ketosis Necessary On A Low-Carb Diet?" That seems to be a "well duh" kind of question which is why we use things like Ketostix to see whether we are in ketosis or not. But where people seem to get most confused is with the color of the testing strip. If it's light pink, then I must be doing something wrong. My Ketostix need to be dark purple if I am experiencing "deep" ketosis, right? I get these kind of questions every single week and they miss the point of the testing strips.

In Episode 47 of "Livin' La Vida Low-Carb On YouTube," Christine and I seek to better explain the purpose of Ketostix by telling you what they are for, what the various colors actually mean, why showing no ketones on these strips may not be a bad thing, and how you can virtually guarantee your body is in ketosis. I'm astonished by how many people are still so concerned about the results of their Ketostix, but hopefully this video will clear up some of the miscommunication.

Find out all you need to know about Ketostix in today's video:

Noted biochemistry professor Dr. Richard Feinman from SUNY Downstate in Brooklyn, New York provided a very succinct explanation for how these Ketostix are supposed to work:

"There is a continuum of ketosis. In fact, one of the features of ketone bodies is that, unlike other fuels, glucose and fatty acids, they can be present in plasma over a wide range of concentrations. What is true is that Ketostix measure ketonuria (ketones in the urine) which may or may not give you an accurate view of plasma ketone bodies. If ketone bodies are used as fast as they are made, you may never see ketosis."

This should give those people who see pink or even beige on the ketone testing strips hope that they are indeed in ketosis even if the tests say otherwise. The bottom line you should remember is that Ketostix are merely a low-carb guide to provide proof that you are livin' la vida low-carb in a ketogenic state, but they're really not that necessary if you are keeping your carbohydrates significantly reduced below 50g daily. When you are doing that, then you WILL be in ketosis. Hopefully this clears up some of the confusion about why some people seek purple and others see pink or beige.

"The Biggest Loser" 4 contestant Isabeau Miller

Also in today's video, Christine and I share about our upcoming trip to Nashville, Tennessee to attend "Biggest Loser" 4 contestant Isabeau Miller's FitCamp. Since landing in the final four last Fall on the hit NBC-TV weight loss reality series, Isabeau Miller has taken her passion for her own personal weight loss journey and is now helping others who struggle with obesity like she once did before Jillian Michaels got a hold of her tail and whipped it into shape. Today she is a personal trainer and is giving me and several of my readers a chance to experience what it was like to be on "The Biggest Loser" over a special two-week period.

The first session of FitCamp in July just concluded and our session in August will commence on August 17th. We will be doing a daily video log of this experience and sharing it on YouTube as part of a FitCamp series of videos. Isabeau said she will not be allowed to be videotaped because of contractual obligations from her stint on "The Biggest Loser." But I'm gonna ask permission from the other people who will be there going through this experience with me to talk about how FitCamp is helping them. I am super-excited about this, especially in light of my recent 30-pound weight gain I've experienced. Perhaps this will get me back to where I need to be. I sure hope so. :)

We LOVE making videos for you and doing them on topics that YOU care about. Tell us your show ideas for future videos by e-mailing them to Check through all of our previous YouTube videos to make sure we haven't already tackled your favorite subject! While we were away last week, there was a sudden surge of people decided to subscribe to our YouTube videos and now we have well over 600 subscribers! WOW! Join in on the low-carb fun on YouTube and help us spread the positive message of livin' la vida low-carb to the masses!

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Blogger HunBun said...

Just to clarify, "your body is using the ketones"...would this be someone that exercises more/regularly would probably be showing less ketone bodies on the test strips than someone that doesn't?

7/27/2008 1:33 PM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

That's certainly possible, HunBun, as would someone's biochemistry that enables them to more efficiently use the ketone bodies. THANKS for your comment!

7/27/2008 2:27 PM  
Anonymous Mil Sandokan said...

Jimmy I was glancing at your meal blog recently. Let me first say that I am not a low-carber, I just struggle to keep my weight down as I do enjoy good food. From what I see it really looks like you need more volume. And to do that and keep calories down and nutrients up I really think you need to consume more lightly cooked and raw food. I know that you need to train your palate for this but when you you have legitimate hunger pangs, whole foods will be ravenously consumed and enjoyed. I know you keep carbs down, but a bowl of melon or berries is good. A handful of raw unsalted almods, brazil nuts is nice. Cans of low salt salmon and tuna, lightly cooked greens are great, big bowls of plain nonfat yogurt with your own added fruit and nuts is high volume and filling. Eat more volume, more veg, and some fruit. You need more fiber. You need less salt. The meats and cheeses you are eating have too much sodium. Also whey protein flavored with stevia is great. I adore Jay Robb and strongly recommend you check out his site. I would also say check out Gillian McKeith though she is a vegetarian I think you could learn something. You also may be too sedentary and need to fidget more - this may not seem natural at 1st as you may tend towards being sedentary. But maybe a mini-tramp at home that you could jump on for a few minutes every hour. Good luck to you & family !!

7/28/2008 9:50 AM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

THANKS for your comments, Mil! I'm not at all worried about this recent weight gain issue, but I appreciate your attempt to help me.

I'm working on the volume of food I am eating this week when I add in more non-starchy, green leafy veggies. I had to buy a car last week and that threw a monkey wrench in my budget. But we'll manage to get the foods we need.

I don't like most raw food (except for spinach which I eat ABUNDANTLY!), so that may pose a problem for me. But I do enjoy steamed veggies with butter on top and will be doing that most of the time. I just gotta get some in my refrigerator.

I'm avoiding fruit right now, even berries and melons, until my weight comes back down. The sugar in those fruits will not help me towards my goal. The same goes for the nuts which my low-carb doctor said to avoid for now as well. I love almonds, so that's difficult.

I do eat Wild Alaskan Salmon from time to time, but I wouldn't eat nonfat yogurt if it was the last food available to me. TOO MUCH SUGAR! I was getting plenty of fiber from my chocolate, but I've cut that out. I'll get it from my spinach as well as my supplement.

Salt is a non-factor and overrated as a health risk. Only a very small minority of the population has to worry about their salt intake. Most people eliminate it quite nicely through sweat, tears, and urine. I choose cheeses and other foods with lower salt already, so I'm not sure where you're coming from thinking I'm consuming LOTS of salt.

I'm not consuming protein powders right now because they lack the fat my body needs. While I can appreciate that you seem to be a vegetarian fan, I don't think I'll be contacting your vegetarian friend. I don't mean any disrespect, but the Atkins low-carb diet works for me and I'm sticking to it. Four years later I've still kept off the vast majority of my weight and I have no intentions of eating any other way. Maybe a few tweaks with the calories and portions, but I'm VERY happy with my low-carb lifestyle.

As for your comment about me being sedentary, what the heck are you talking about?! I lift weights twice a week, play three hours of volleyball on Tuesday nights, and I'm very active throughout the week being "fidgety." Why would you ASSUME I don't exercise? You see, it's people like you who are so quick to judge others based on what you believe is true that discourages so many from even trying. You won't deter me one bit, but I find your comments rather puzzling.


7/28/2008 10:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So did you eat and fidget like a chimp today ?

7/29/2008 6:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Look around your mid-section, you could live off that fat for 6 months. I am highly skeptical that your body needs all that fat. I'm pretty sure your gall bladder will need removal within a few years. Though that's only if you survive the colon cancer from the 15 pounds of fetid low quality hormone laden mad cow meat adhering to you colon. Do you notice how bad your BO is and how bad the toilet smells after you go. If you don't just ask your wife. Chimp poo is nothing like that !

PS - and what is with your so called brother being in hospice and singing karaoke ? I've yet to meet a hospice patient released for a little karaoke R&R. I think somebody is looking for pity points. But if you weren't a drama llama you would not over medicate with fatty foods (formerly sugary foods in your younger years).

7/29/2008 7:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First off, I normally don't post, but after that stupid comment by annonymous, I felt I needed to. That comment shows how incredibly unintelligent you really are...
That comment was very insensative. You don't make personal, ugly comments like that unless you don't have anything better to say that would be worth reading. You don't know Jimmy and what he's going through so I suggest you keep your comments to yourself until you get all the facts.


7/29/2008 10:10 PM  

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