Why ketones can rise so high and how that can be bad or good

Coach Jack explains why you may get very high ketones

So you just measured your ketones and they are super high. The highest I have ever seen is 7.6 mmol/L. This is actually high enough to spike insulin so it is unnecessarily high. It isn’t dangerous but not necessary. Now why does this happen?

This will happen if you are already in a state of very low insulin, like if you’ve been fasted for 3 or more days or if you’ve maybe eaten 90+% fat for the day so far, and you eat a meal that is again very ketogenic. Like 90% or higher fat content. If your insulin is already very low, your glucagon (energy releasing hormone) is high.
This hormone is like a bouncer in a club at 3am kicking all the drunks (fat) out of the Club (fat cells) so they can go home (to the body) and sleep (get used by the cells for energy). So long as the bouncer (Glucagon) is pushing people (fat) out of the club (fat cells), no new people (more fat) can go in to the club (fat cells). So you eat a high fat meal (more people wanting to party) but at this time but that bouncer (Glucagon) is not letting nobody (fat) come in. Since he (Glucagon the Bouncinator) has kicked a bunch of drunken club goers (fat) out of the club (fat cells), the streets (your cells) are flooded with drunken people (fat) and there is no room for the incoming flood of people (fat) that have just showed up on the scene (just been eaten by your mouth). The police (your body) has to figure out what to do with these excess people (fat) since the bouncer (glucagon) is pushing the drunks (fat) out into the street (your cells) and there is no way they can get into the club (fat cells). The police (your body) can’t have all these people (fat) just hanging out free in the streets (your cells) so they start shipping some of them off to the drunk tank (Ketone supply). This is why your ketones are so high.

This state is actually the only scenario where eating too much fat can cause weight loss stalls. Since high levels of ketones can also cause an inulin spike, and I believe that level is around high 6’s or low 7’s since I have never seen higher than 7.6 mmol/L, eating excess fat in a state of already high ketones can cause a spike of insulin which triggers fat storage. It has nothing to do with fat being a lever since this level of fat intake is only achieved in circumstances that are very unlikely. You pretty much have to be at near 100% fat intake for the day which is not the usual issue. Usually this only occurs later in the day if someone has either fasted all day or just had BPC all day. It could happen early in the day for someone who has adrenal or thyroid issues since they don’t have the morning glucose spike from the dawn effect to clear some of the ketones from the overnight fast.

Hope you enjoyed story time with Ket_Coach_Jack! 🙂



11 Replies to “Why ketones can rise so high and how that can be bad or good”

  1. Thank you for making this process easier to understand. I’m a beginner and I appreciate your educating people like me.

  2. I do not have a ketone reader but I have a glucometer. Can you provide information on what glucose levels should be in ketogenic state before and after meals?

    1. Not really relevant. YOu can have slightly elevated glucose but still be in ketosis or you can have very low glucose and be in ketosis.

  3. Quoted from above:” It could happen early in the day for someone who has adrenal or thyroid issues since they don’t have the morning glucose spike from the dawn effect to clear some of the ketones from the overnight fast.” …. So it is normal to have a higher blood sugar count in the morning before eating?

    1. Completely normal. Cortisol rises before dawn as part of the circadian rhythm. This causes a blood sugar spike to give you energy to et going for the day and go hunt for food.

  4. I am confused. I am type 2 not on insulin. Taking Glipapirid 6mg a day. My sugar is around 12.on my meter weigh 12 stone and 20 years ago I had my Thyroid removed and am taking 100mg of Thyroxin. I have started a low carb diet over a week ago and have lost 4 lb.NOW… READING YOUR POST. The Method can go up or down….Q:. Am I doing something wrong..If so what am I doing wrong or right…I think I need help as I am getting help from my GP. because of cuts to the UK. NHS. Thanks for any help you can give me

    1. I don’t know what you are doing so I can’t say if you are doing anything right or wrong.

  5. This is both enlightening and hilarious! Out with the drunks! I have an unusual problem — but I don’t know if it really is a problem. While I hear of many keto dieters who struggle to achieve and maintain ketosis, I find it almost too easy. I test my blood levels every two or three days, and I am usually above 3.0. Occasionally above 4.0. I think this is a good thing, but it does seem unusual. Should I be at all concerned? Incidentally, I did not expect this at all from my research, because I am a post-menopausal woman who has been extremely obese for decades. I was fully prepared for it to be very difficult for me to even get into the 0.5 to 1.5 range.

    1. This is pretty par for the course for people following my protocol. I sit between 3.0 and 8.0 all the time. No worries at all.

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