If you are not in ketosis, you’ll want to evaluate your carbohydrate intake from everything you’re eating and drinking. You may be consuming more carbohydrates than you realiz e, possibly from unexpected sources. Don’t forget to check package labels for the total amount of carbohydrates per “serving size”.
The amount of restricted carbohydrate intake that allows most people to achieve a state of ketosis is somewhere in the range of 50-100 grams a day. The exact number depends on the individual, so it is important to experiment and find the number that works for you. Keep in mind that physical activity plays a role. You will burn more carbohydrates and fat when you are more active. If you have a particularly sedentary day, you may find that you need to decrease your carbohydrate intake to achieve ketosis. As you lose significant amounts of weight, you may also find that you tolerate fewer carbohydrates to achieve ketosis. Increasing your activity level or adjusting your carbohydrate intake at this point can help.
If you are consistently losing at least 2-3 pounds/1-1.5 kg. a week (4-5 lbs/2-3 kg. in the first week), combined with the other “symptoms” of ketosis such as decreased hunger and improved mood and energy, then you may be in ketosis even if it’s not showing on your ketostick, for a variety of possible reasons. For example, certain pain medications from the barbiturate family, such as Vicodin, may cause the ketostick result to show negative even though you’re in ketosis. Also, drinking large amounts of fluids, such as water, prior to checking the ketostick may dilute the urine enough to cause a false negative reading. However, this applies only if you are experiencing the good weight loss and the other signs of ketosis mentioned above. If not, you can assume that your ketostick is negative due to your carbohydrate intake.
Measure everything you eat and drink, using measuring cups and spoons and “level them off” across the top for accuracy. You can go out of ketosis if your portions are too large. Also be aware that saving foods from one meal or snack and adding it to another may cause you to consume too many carbohydrates or calories at one time.
Evaluate any protein products (such as bars, drinks) you are using. You may consume more carbohydrates than you realize if you calculate your intake using a “net”, “impact” or “effective” carbohydrate number advertised on the product package. Currently, there is no standard or regulation on how these numbers are determined. For example, some manufacturers claim that a commonly used ingredient, glycerin (glycerine), has an insignificant impact on blood sugar and therefore do not include it in their “net” carbohydrate calculation. However, science supports that glycerin is metabolized as a carbohydrate and is known to raise blood sugar levels. We recommend using the “total carbohydrate” number found on the Nutrition Facts label rather than a “net”, “effective” or “impact” carb number advertised on the product package.
You can calculate the total carbohydrate content for protein products by using the simple formula on page 83 of Lean for Life – Phase One: Weight Loss.
Although it’s not usually a significant factor, you may also consume more carbs if you use large amounts of “sugarless” products such as gum, candy, mints, syrups, etc. or other products that claim “zero” carbohydrates per serving. By law, food items that contain less than one gram of carbohydrate per serving are allowed to claim “zero” carbs on their label. Some of these products contain 0.9 grams, however, which is practically a whole gram. This can add up if you consume enough of these products. (This does not apply to sugar-free diet soda, however.)
Find activities that you enjoy so that you want to participate in them frequently and with enthusiasm. Also try adding short periods of exercise throughout the day whenever possible. And be sure to do things like taking the stairs, “pacing” while you talk on the phone instead of sitting, etc. Make a conscious effort to move quickly rather than at a slow or lethargic pace.
The pedometer is a great tool to focus on fat burning activity. If you regularly increase the number of steps you take each day (even throughout the normal course of your daily activity) you will increase fat burning. Focus on this in addition to any other type of exercise you do and you should notice a positive difference. If you don’t have a pedometer, you can get one online or by calling 1-800-Lindora.