Why Am I Not in Ketosis? 4 Possible Causes
Have you been on the keto diet for a while now without experiencing any results? Are you asking yourself, “Why am I not in ketosis?”
The keto diet, when done correctly, should put one into a state of ketosis that can help you lose weight and build lean muscle. But, what if it’s not working for you?
If you find that you haven’t yet entered ketosis, there are few possible explanations as to what is going on.
Check out this guide to discover the top possible causes as to why you’re not in ketosis.
1. You’re Not Tracking Your Carbs
Oftentimes, the number one reason people aren’t in ketosis is because they’re not properly tracking their carbs. Remember, on a keto diet, you want to follow a macronutrient ratio of low carbs, high fats, and moderate amounts of protein.
Carbs are everywhere, especially in the American diet, and as much as you may try to avoid them altogether, it’s nearly impossible.
Although carbohydrates generally make up 5 percent of the keto diet, the exact amount one can tolerate while still staying in a state of ketosis varies from person to person. Also, keep in mind that there are factors that can affect how your body uses carbs, such as:
- The types of carbs you’re consuming
- Your metabolic history
- Your overall lifestyle
To understand how you react to different foods and just how many carbs you’re consuming, we suggest using a daily tracker.
2. You’re Not Eating Enough Calories
If you’re on the keto diet for weight loss, then you may think that eating very little calories is a good idea.
However, not consuming enough calories can be extremely detrimental to your health over time. If you’re not eating enough calories each day, your body will go into starvation mode. This will cause your body to hold onto stored body fat as much as possible, as your body doesn’t know when it’ll be fed next.
Additionally, not eating enough calories each day can have a negative effect on your hormones, as well as other bodily functions. This is especially the case for women.
Also, remember that on the keto diet, the majority of your calories should come from fat, so make sure you’re tracking where your calories are coming from.
To figure out how many calories you need to eat per day, we suggest using an activity tracker. An activity tracker can tell you exactly how many calories you need based on your height, weight, gender, age, and activity level.
3. You’re Not Testing Your Blood Ketone Levels
Another reason you may be struggling to enter ketosis is because you’re not properly checking your blood ketone levels.
These levels should be checked after each meal to make sure you’re staying in ketosis.
When it comes to checking your blood ketone levels, you have three options. These include:
Urine Strips or Sticks
Ketone urine strips use a color-grading scale to indicate ketone quantity.
Urine strip tests are both affordable and easy to use. However, you should be cautious, as these are known for sometimes having inaccurate results.
Urine tests are only capable of monitoring unused, leftover ketones in your body. Therefore, when you’re new to the diet, the strips will be darker. As your body adapts to ketosis and uses more ketones, you’ll expel fewer ketones through your urine.
Ketone Breath Meters
This test involves blowing into a meter in order to measure the acetone levels in your breath.
Acetones are one of three types of water-soluble ketones. With this test, the more acetones you have, the further away your body is from ketosis.
Blood meters are supposed to be the most accurate of all the ketone tests. For this test, all you need to do is prick your finger, draw blood, and then wait to get a reading on your ketone levels.
However, although these tests are known for being very accurate, they’re also the most expensive.
If you want to avoid the testing route in general, you can look out for signs that your body is in ketosis such as:
- Weight loss
- Fewer hunger cravings and sugar cravings
- Increased focus
- More energy
- Strong fruity or metallic smelling breath, aka “keto breath”
By testing your ketone levels, you’ll have a better idea of what eating habits throw you out of ketosis and which ones keep you in it.
4. You’re Not Taking Nutrition Into Account
When meal-planning on keto, a lot of people only take the high-fat/low-carb aspect of keto into consideration.
However, just because you’re tracking your macronutrients doesn’t mean that the rest is a free-for-all and you can throw nutrition out the window.
If you want to enter ketosis and get the best results possible, you need to think about what you’re eating. This means that each meal should be nutrient-dense and you should focus on high-quality fats and proteins.
Some sources of high-quality fats include:
- Olive oil
- Wild-caught fish
- Whole, organic olives
- Fatty, grass-fed meats
Additionally, some sources of high-quality protein include:
- Natural cheeses
- Whole milk ricotta cheese
- Whole milk cottage cheese
- Unsweetened, whole milk plain Greek yogurt
If you’ve been consuming a lot of processed foods like cheese, bacon, or packed sausages, it’s time to switch these out for some of the whole foods listed above.
In addition to tracking your macronutrients, make sure you are also keeping an eye on your micronutrients. Also, make sure you’re eating plenty of fiber and try to include fermented foods into your diet.
Why Am I Not in Ketosis?: Wrap Up
Now that we’ve answered the question, “Why am I not in ketosis?”, it’s time to decide on the changes you need to make in your diet.
If you’re looking for some help with your diet, be sure to check out our keto programs.