Ketosis: The key that opened the lock

Recently I have taken my low carb, moderate protein, high fat primal diet to a new level. I have gone a step further and have also cut out nuts, berries, alcohol and dark chocolate as well as dairy (except for a little hard cheese and butter). I had to eliminate these foods so that I could get my consumption of carbs low enough to get into nutritional ketosis. Ketosis is when your body switches from burning glucose for fuel to burning ketones.  Basically, your body is enabled to burn stored fat for energy instead of using the glucose from the food you eat at each meal.

My fat-fighting toy

weight-loss-cartoon-jokeI have a nifty little blood meter (Abbott Freestyle Optium) and ketone test strips, which I bought at Dischem. It is similar to the blood glucose meter that diabetics use but this one measures blood glucose AND ketones.  I just have to buy separate strips for each purpose.

I have been pricking my finger and testing myself regularly for the last 5 months. Unfortunately I have endured 5 months of complete and utter frustration and disappointment.

Maybe I purchased a faulty meter? Maybe my body is so stuffed up that I just can’t do this?  Getting into a state of nutritional ketosis totally eluded me  – until now.

I am a keto-adapted fat fighting machine

It was only after I dropped the berries, dairy, nuts, alcohol and dark chocolate that I finally tasted victory. I am thrilled to report that I am now keto-adapted. I have turned my body into a fat burning machine! The range for ketosis is between  0.5 and 3. Those are the numbers I aim for. Seeing those numbers on the little screen and getting this feedback has been amazing for my motivation levels as there is no more guess-work. If I am “in the zone” then I know my body is burning stored fat. It is that simple.

I have managed to effortlessly lose 2 kilograms in 2 weeks. This achievement has been incredible for me since I have been sitting on a plateau for a VERY long time. If you have really struggled to lose weight despite eating a healthy low carb diet, then I encourage you to try this approach to get things moving again. I do however advise you to check in with your doctor first if you have any serious pre-existing health condition. It is very possible that they won’t know what on earth you are talking about, so be prepared to explain it to them.

What I eat in a day to stay in ketosis

Breakfast around 8:30:

  • 2 eggs cooked in butter , baby tomatoes or spinach, cheddar cheese and maybe some bacon
  • Or I might just have a cup of bullet-coffee, i.e. with butter and coconut oil
  • Or I just grab a few chunks of fresh coconut (Woolworths is selling them now in little packs)

Lunch around 13:30 pm:

  • Side-plate of leftover vegetables and meat or
  • Tinned tuna, pilchards or salmon with a mixed green salad, avocado and a drizzle of olive oil or
  • Bowl of homemade low carb veg soup, e.g., broccoli or baby marrow or cauliflower with a knob of butter melted in
  • Or sometimes I just skip lunch if I am not that hungry and just have a cup of homemade bone broth

Dinner around 18:00 :

  • A generous serving of salad and/or low carb vegetables such as spinach, courgettes, gem squash, cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus, cabbage or green beans with
  • Beef, pork, chicken, lamb or fish (usually a portion the size of my palm) – remember this is not a high protein diet, so one shouldn’t eat half the cow! Too much protein will also convert to glucose in your body and can raise your insulin levels enough to kick you out of ketosis.

Beverages during the day:

  • Distilled water (because tap water tastes like pool water to me)
  • Black rooibos tea (unsweetened)
  • Black coffee or bullet-coffee (sweetened with xylitol)
  • Sparkling water with fresh lemon and mint
  • Bone broth

So there you have it. The food I eat is delicious and nutrient dense.  I don’t feel hungry and my energy levels are very high. This diet also helps to delay the aging process, so hopefully this face of mine won’t have to go near a botox needle or surgeon’s scalpel.  A low carb diet can also help my brain retain all its marbles as I get on in years.  Alzheimers is a devastating disease and one I would very much like to avoid.

I have to keep my carbs under 20 grams a day to be in ketosis. Others will achieve keto-adaptation at 50 grams.

What is your magic number?

last key in bunchDon’t be discouraged. It’s often the last key in the bunch that opens the lock. – Author Unknown


About Nicky Perks

Passionately sharing information about the paleo/primal, high fat/low carb lifestyle that will rock your world! I am on my own journey to good health and a slim body. My goal? To enjoy the ride as life on this beautiful planet is just too short to do it any other way.

Posted on August 30, 2013, in Primal 101 and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. Nice work… I’ve been off ketosis since my channel swim 2 weeks ago and have picked up about 5kgs… Going back into ‘the zone’ from monday… I wonder how long it will take me to get back ‘in’. I’ve heard a variety of theories about getting back into keto… from 2 weeks to 2 days… This has been more most significant break since xmas so will be interesting to see…

  2. Well done on this latest blog article Nix – and in particular the loss of the 2kgs these past two weeks or so. That’s great stuff and well done after all the hard work you’re putting in.


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  3. Yehudis Schamroth

    hi I signed up for your blog- thanks- Question- you said in this post that you cut out dairy- yet you wrote that you had cheddar chees in one of the meals- an error or a once off allowance? thanks

    • Hi there, no it isn’t a mistake. At the beginning of the post I clarify that I cut out dairy (except for a little hard cheese and butter). The main offending culprits when it comes to dairy for me is milk, cream and yoghurt.

    • A very informative article. Knew nothing about ketosis. Want to start banting but too much fat & cream makes me nauseous and gives me heartburn
      Thanks so much for article

  4. How do I count my carbs?

  5. Thanks for this excellent article
    I know nothing about ketosis. Interested in banting but too much fat cream gives me heartburn & makes me nauseous
    Thanks again. Much appreciated.

    • HI Ellen, some people need to up the fat slowly. Increasing fat gradually is often the best approach to avoid heart burn and nausea. Start with switching to full cream dairy. Use some butter on your veggies, splash olive oil on your salad and cook with duck fat, lard or coconut oil. The fat component isn’t what makes you lose weight. It helps you to feel satiated and nourishes your body so you actually eat less, without feeling hungry.

  6. Hey I’v signed up for your blog… i need some inspiration..

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