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. :)
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