Chase Results, Not Ketones

In their myopic “chasing of ketones”, a lot of low carbers have been decieved into chasing ketones, instead of results.

They forget why they even started Keto in the first place, and in most cases, they did so to lose weight (yes, there are other valid approaches such as increased mind focus, treating a neurological illness, etc… but those are not the topic here). You don’t need to “eat fat to burn fat”… even on keto, you still need a negative energy balance.

Fat Bombs / Fat Coffee have become the bane of ketogenic diets.

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The correct formula to apply a low carb or ketogenic diet for Optimal Body Recomposition is:


(K)eep your carbs below 30g Net, but make sure these carbs come from green, fibrous veggies that are rich in vitamins, minerals and thus electrolytes. Don’t base your diet in “empty” calories. Use your carb allowance to load on nutrients, as well as add more “volume” and variety to your diet.

(E)at “more” Protein, not more fat. Again: fat does not induce ketosis: [you enter ketosis either by not eating carbs, or by that extent… not eating anything at all -duh!!!-.]

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And for the record, protein does not turn into chocolate cake – but that would be cool as hell!

(T)rack your macros often, not your ketones. If you are going to “track” something, make it macros (and by proxy, calories): not ketones. High ketones do not necessarily mean more fat loss.

(O)verdoing FAT is bad. Fat intake goes according to your recomposition goals and energy requirements: for fat loss, lower fat, for maintenance or even gains, increase it.

Now, more info:

You do eat fat on keto, because:

* Protein should be ingested in accordance to lean weight, and the purpose of protein is repair and growth, not energy. Protein is King and the most important macro: people often think that protein is only for “silly muscles” when in fact, almost everything in your body, even hormones, are made of (or require) protein. We have seen some people suggesting very low intakes of protein: less than 40g a day for an adult woman!!! Which in the medium – long term will yield more negatives than benefits. Be sure that the “weight” you lose is of the right kind.

* Carbs are kept low, usually at 30g NET or less.

So then, your main source of energy becomes Fat…. but wait:

If you are overweight… you already have lots of fat in reserve.

LCHF Pro Tip


If you really want to lower your body fat percentage, you still need to eat at a deficit as to actually use your own fat reserves – repeat after me: you don’t need to eat “more fat” when you are stalling. You need to review macros and make sure you are in an energy deficit.

Marty Kendall writes this:

What should your blood sugars and ketone levels be in ketosis?

The ketogenic diet is still evolving and fertile area of research. Even Keto Clarity co-author Eric Westman admitted recently that there is still a lack of clarity around what your ketone levels should be.

The classic chart from the ‘optimal ketone zone’ from Volek and Phinney’s Art and Science of Low Carb Living which is typically referred to as the ultimate guide to optimal ketone values, has a problem: is that it is difficult for most people to achieve “optimal ketone levels” (i.e. 1.5 to 3.0mmol/L) without fasting for a number of days or making a special effort to eat a lot of additional dietary fat (which may be counterproductive if you’re trying to lose weight).

Recently, I had the privilege of having Steve Phinney. I quizzed Steve about the background to this optimal ketosis chart. He said it was based on the blood ketone levels of participants in two studies:

One was with cyclists who had adapted to ketosis over a period of six weeks and another ketogenic weight loss study.

In both cases these ‘optimal ketone levels’ (i.e. between 1.5 to 3.0mmol/L) were observed in people who had recently transitioned into a state of nutritional ketosis.

Since the publication of this chart in the Art and Science books, Phinney has noted that well trained athletes who are long term fat adapted (e.g. the athletes in the FASTER study) actually show lower levels of ketones than might be expected. Over time, many people, particularly metabolically healthy athletes, move beyond the ‘keto adaption’ phase and are able to utilise fat as fuel even more efficiently and their ketone levels reduce further.



Are Ketones Insulinogenic and Does it Matter?

Again, pretty much what me and many other Ketogenic athletes who have done low carb and keto for years experience:

Low ketone levels, not because I’m not “ketogenic” but more so, because I am very well keto adapted.

Chase results, not ketones.

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About Author

Amateur natty bodybuilder/powerlifter, marketeer, entrepeneur and all around great guy... Lifting since 1996, ketogenic since 2001.


  1. Amrit

    An eye opener just a beginner in Keto diet and was scared of the amount of fat intake being recommended on some of the other websites. Reading the post I understand body being Ketogenic relates to the body being in deficit state of glycogen and moving to fat as a source of energy.

    Thanks @darthluiggi

  2. Maureen Laxpati

    This really helps. I lost 50 pounds on a Dr. supervised keto diet: 108g protein, 20g fat, 40g net carb (yup that’s about 800 cals). Then the program got cut by the hosp. admin. They left my on a higher calorie version but I can’t seem to lose even though I have kept up a rigorous exercise schedule with weight training and 20 mile bike rides. I will try going back to the low fat, lower carb level and see if I can lose the last 20 pounds. I’ve been eating veggies/salads and allowing a lot more fat. I guess its back to shakes and bars until I get the weight off. THanks for the info. It makes so much sense.

  3. Jenn

    I just came across your website and am extremely grateful! I went into ketosis very fast last year and rapidly dropped a lot of weight/fat, then stopped because I felt I had lost too much and it made me nervous. This year I decided to try again but did more research prior to beginning. And haven’t lost any weight at all after 2.5 – 3 months. I followed the wrong info!! Reading this article, which mirrored what I did last year, is now putting me back on the right track. I am already looking forward to further educating myself in the correct way to continue this WOE. Thanks again!!

  4. Jackson

    Wow that linked article about exogenous ketones and insulin was fascinating. Very great argument against EK for fat loss in keto. I haven’t heard these arguments before, what a great intellectual exercise broken up from the same old points being made all over the internet.

  5. OleDad

    Sorry . . . I typed “protein (70% calories)” . . . I meant “protein (70-90 grams, which is <20% of calories)"

  6. Michele McAskill

    Thankyou for that! So really you dont have to add extra fat just lower your carbs intake ! Have i got that right? Been doing keto os for 7wks and i must admit uping my fat intake does scare me as im not used to it! But in this time there has been no sigificant change for i wonder what im doing wrong?

    1. darthluiggi (Post author)

      Yes, fat is not a goal.

      And you don’t need exogenous ketones, really. The ketones should come from your own body fat, not from outside sources. If you want to burn body fat, eat less dietary fat.

  7. Maria S

    Wonderful post! I find a lot of people do chase ketones. Every time I stall I hear eat more fat. But I already have an excess amount of fat in my middle. I love knowing that my eating of more protein is not wrong. If we really take a look at our macros we know we have slipped. Any advice on how to incorporate weight lifting since I run 3 to 4 days a week? Should I increase my protein intake? Do cardio first or,last?

    1. Deb Griffith

      Same here! That drives me nuts! Eat more of what I already have more than enough of?? How does that even make sense?! I had to drop my protein a bit, lean it out, and start doing IF, 16:8 or better every day. Lose almost every day now. Do Zumba 2 nights a week semi-fasted.

      1. darthluiggi (Post author)


  8. Joao

    Awesome post. I’m glad I came across this because that is exactly what seems to be happening to me. I have been doing keto for 10 months now and lost 45 lbs, still loosing but at a lot slower pace with a few stalls in the way. My ketones (Blood) seem to be higher in the morning but a lot lower than they used to be. Time to cut the fat a little more and see what happens. Went from a waist size 36 to 32 and veins are showing everywhere.


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