Whether you are a newbie to the Ketogenic diet or are fairly experienced, you might find that one day, while testing your ketone levels, you find that they have dropped for no reason you can think of. This happens to almost everyone at one time or another, so you shouldn’t worry about it, but a consistent level of lower ketones should cause you to take a second look at your diet and lifestyle.
If you can’t quite figure out what is going on, take a look at these 5 common problems that can cause your ketone level to drop and knock you out of ketosis.
Little changes can mean a lot when it comes to low carb eating. If you are frustrated and can’t seem to find any reason for a drop in ketones, you might want to re-evaluate your macros. The best keto calculator around can be found right here.
If you are consuming more than 50 grams of carbs per day, you probably should drop down to 40 or even 30 grams to see if this works. While we hate to be a party pooper, you shouldn’t forget that alcohol can knock you out of ketosis faster than a politician can lie. Keep alcohol consumption down to a minimum or quit for a few weeks.
It’s easy to forget the little things, but the truth is that little bits of hidden sugars, such as the kind found in ketchup, can be enough to knock you out of ketosis. Double check all labels and see if you find any hidden sugar (it goes by many names, sucrose, HFCS, agave nectar, molasses, dextrose, ethyl maltol, maltose, maltodextrin, so look carefully) in your diet. Don’t forget that even some supplements and vitamins have sugar! Always read labels carefully!
Unfortunately, there is not really much you can do about those beautiful hormones your body makes every month. If everything else in your life checks out, you might be able to rack this up to hormone fluctuation. Try checking your ketones at the same time every single day for 30 days. You might find that your levels drop only 3 or 4 days out of the month, which is normal and not a cause for concern.
Studies have shown that going into ketosis can cause our bodies to produce more cortisol, which is a hormone related to stress. For most people, these higher levels of cortisol disappear in about 6 weeks. If you are new to ketosis, it could simply be your body’s reaction to a new way of eating. Be patient and it will pass shortly.
Now the rest of us have to face the fact that today’s modern lifestyle is loaded with stress. If you think stress is causing you to, well, “stress out”, then it’s time to make some changes in your life.
Reduce your stress level as much as possible and learn ways to deal with the stress you cannot get rid of. For many people, this means practicing things like meditation, deep breathing exercises, and/or yoga.
One of the mistakes many newbie’s make is eating WAY too much protein. Again, this might be a good time to double check your macros and eat no more protein than is recommended, which for most people is about 20-25% of their daily caloric intake. We can’t stress how much we love this calculator! Try it and see if you are eating more protein than you need.
Another common mistake is to eat even though you aren’t hungry. Calories still count on the keto diet. There is no need to “fuel” your metabolism with the keto diet. Being in a state of ketosis already lights the fire in that fat burning furnace we call metabolism, so if you aren’t hungry, don’t eat simply because it’s “time” to eat, because everyone else is eating, or for any reason other than you are hungry.