Remembering Kevin Moore

Jimmy Moore’s n=1 Experiments: Nutritional Ketosis Day 31-60

Ever since I first began my n=1 experiment examining nutritional ketosis on May 15, 2012, it’s been quite the time measuring my blood ketone levels on a daily basis. Using the Precision Extra Ketone Meter (pictured to the left), I’ve pricked my finger every single morning when I wake up to see where my blood ketones stand. You’ll recall I was inspired to start testing my blood ketone levels after reading Dr. Jeff Volek and Dr. Stephen Phinney’s latest book The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance and realizing that I’ve probably been making some mistakes in my low-carb lifestyle despite eating this way for years. Although the book was written specifically to show how athletes can maximize their performance in a ketogenic state, the section in there about nutritional ketosis is invaluable to anyone who thinks they are already eating a well-formulated low-carb diet–but like me, they’re not. What I’ve discovered in the midst of this experiment is that I wasn’t nearly as zoned in on my high-fat, low-carb diet as I should have been. And this blood ketone meter has helped me correct that.

It’s been rather humorous to me reading some of the comments from people on forums and blogs about my experiment. Some say, “it’s about time he started eating high-fat, low-carb” or “of course your hunger will go away eating ketogenic.” Still others believe I’m simply doing the Fat Fast (a calorie-restricted very high-fat, very low-carb diet), Atkins Induction, or some other quick weight loss strategy. But these people totally miss the point. While I’m not yet revealing my menus during this experiment (and I won’t be for a while until the experiment is completed), I can tell you it all boils down to three things:

1. Consuming MORE fat, especially saturated fat (85% of calories)
2. Eating LESS protein overall (12% of calories)
3. Keeping carbohydrates significantly reduced (3% of calories)

That’s pretty much it! I’m not counting calories at all and I’m eating once or twice a day depending on my hunger. And lemme tell you–getting into a true ketogenic state has revealed to me precisely what satiety on a low-carb diet is supposed to feel like. Perhaps other people can get away with consuming more carbohydrates and protein and maybe less fat in their diet to feel this same kind of hunger satisfaction. But for me, this is what is working to give me the satiation, energy, and mental clarity that has been quite evident over the past 60 days of this experiment.

Interestingly enough, on the day we left on our trip to see my buddy Tom Naughton in the Nashville, Tennessee area on July 1, 2012, I decided I’d do a little bit of intermittent fasting during the 5-hour drive and eat when we got there. So I hadn’t consumed any food since the afternoon before and when we get closer to Naughton manor Christine tells me she has a sharp pain in her stomach. It kept getting worse and worse to the point that I asked her if she needed to go to the emergency room (yes, we’ve been seeing a lot of the ER lately!). So we got to Tom’s house and asked where the closest emergency clinic was–then bolted there to take care of the issue. Tom had a fabulous brats and peppers meal for us…but we got stuck at the clinic for three more hours with x-rays and MRIs (turns out it was a urinary tract infection which will be funny when you read what happened to me about a week prior to this below). By the time we ate around 9:30PM, I hadn’t eaten in 29 hours–and yet I was still fine without any hunger. AMAZING!

And if how I feel right now eating this way is how it will always feel, then you bet your sweet bippy I’ll be eating this way for life. Although my Paleo blogging friend Sarah Ballantyne shared in Episode 589 of “The Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb Show” podcast that consuming less than 100g carbohydrates daily is “not sustainable or even necessary” (presumably over the long-term), perhaps for some of us it’s EXACTLY what we need to do in order to overcome the damage that has been done. I guess I’ll have to be the guinea pig for this in the months and years to come if (and when!) I continue pursuing nutritional ketosis and making this a truly sustainable plan for me while reaping the benefits to my weight and health it is giving me. More on this in a moment.

After I blogged about my first 30 days testing nutritional ketosis last month, there’s been an explosion of interest in testing blood ketones, increasing fat consumption, moderating protein intake and more across the health forums and blogosphere. Here are just a few examples:

  • My Low Carb Road To Better Health
  • Sweet Geek
  • It’s The Satiety
  • Low Carb Friends
  • PaleoHacks
  • Diabetes Daily
  • I’m happy to hear others are seeing results when they’ve been stuck in their low-carb plan and that getting into nutritional ketosis has been the key to making that happen. Naturally there are a LOT of questions people have about blood ketone testing since it is a newer way to measure ketone levels in the body. When I sent a few commonly-asked questions over to Dr. Volek to share his answers with you in this post, he said that he and Dr. Phinney are in the midst of writing a new book that will address these questions and more in much greater detail. I’ll be sure to tell you more about that book when it is released later this year.

    In the meantime, I’m still plugging away at my experiment and it was a challenging past 30 days for me. Nine days into this 30-day period I had to go to the emergency room (MY TURN!) with a 102-degree fever which turned out to be a urinary tract infection (ironic that Christine would get one just a week later) requiring me to be on an antibiotic for a month. UGH! The doctor said I needed to drink cranberry juice to help with it and she recommended the diet version of it since I don’t consume sugar. But it still had enough sugar in it that it negatively impacted my ketone levels for a few days. ARG! The fever continued for four days before it broke. Of course, I couldn’t go to the gym while I was sick and the antibiotics were giving me some bad diarrhea. Then I went on vacation to Tennessee and then Indiana and caught a nasty cold that required Sudafed and Mucinex and got poison oak (while playing frisbee golf with Tom Naughton on his farm) treating it with calamine lotion and Benadryl. This was one big comedy of errors that would have been hilariously funny if I didn’t actually live through it. It’d be a miracle if I could salvage anything out of this 30 days. But, surprisingly, I still managed to do remarkably well despite these obstacles.

    Let’s first take a look at blood ketones which have been in a good range (ideal is between 0.5-3.0) since Day 4 of my nutritional ketosis experiment. In Day 1-30 they reached as high as 5.0 with an average close to 2.0. How did my blood ketones fare in the midst of the sickness and vacation time in Day 31-60? Let’s see:

    Overall, it wasn’t too bad all things considered. I still averaged around 2.0 blood ketone levels despite the precipitous drop in blood ketone levels about the time I was consuming the cranberry juice when it dipped to a low of .6 on July 1, 2012–just barely above the .5 minimum level of nutritional ketosis. After I stopped drinking the cranberry juice and Christine and I went to visit Tom Naughton and his family in Nashville, you’ll see the blood ketones spiked up there again (henceforth known as the “FAT HEAD effect”) thanks to some really nice high-fat, moderate protein, low-carb meals and lots of frisbee golf. One of the things Volek/Phinney discuss in their book that raises blood ketones is exercise and we got in our fair share that week (and yes, I’m a full-fledged frisbee golf addict now!):


    I was seriously concerned about how I was going to eat while on vacation, but I came prepared with my own food we brought in a cooler that helped significantly. The final day we were in Indiana (which will be reflected on the first day of Day 61-90 when I update next month) was the only “mess up” that happened when we visited a Chinese buffet restaurant with family and they didn’t have any real butter. So I KNOW I overconsumed protein that meal which messed up my blood ketones and weight. I’ll share my weight change in a moment, but for this 30-day cycle I decided to also test urine ketones to see if there was a correlation between them and the blood ketones. Here are those results (I used the numbers correlating with the color changes on the Ketostix package):

    While measuring urine ketones is significantly cheaper than blood ketones, the problem is there are subtle discrepancies that could deceive you into thinking your ketone levels are good when they are not and vice versa. For example, on July 4, 2012, my blood ketones were 2.3, but my urine ketones were moderately small at just 25. Compare that with my June 18, 2012 urine ketone reading of a moderately large level of 60 and yet my blood ketones were 1.5. A lot of things can impact urine ketone levels from the amount of fluid you drink (or don’t drink) to the time of day you measure. I measured first thing in the morning everyday, so there was consistency there. And blood ketones were tested shortly thereafter. My conclusion is that urine ketones are somewhat useful but not as reliable as blood ketones. So what about weight loss during this second thirty days of nutritional ketosis testing? With all the travel and sickness, did I manage to lose even a pound? Why don’t we take a look at that now:

    It was ugly with a lot of ups and downs, but I stuck with it despite the struggles early on fighting that UTI. You’ll notice the “FAT HEAD effect” kicked in during the first part of July when we were with Tom’s family and I lost most of my weight this past month in that week alone. I started at 286.0 pounds on Day 30 and ended at 279.8 pounds on Day 60 for a 6.2-pound weight loss and a cumulative 60-day weight loss so far of 26.4 pounds. I’m pretty thrilled with this progress and fully expect the next 30 days to be even better! I can tell I’ve lost weight in my face but it’s hard to tell I’ve shed much weight in my midsection except that my shirts fit looser. My legs and arms are muscular, so it seems most of this added weight is smack dab in the middle of my body. I’m going to be aggressively attacking this in the coming months and I’ve already decided to extend my nutritional ketosis n=1 experiment to 180 days (6 months) to see if I can maximize the effects not just to my weight but also my blood sugar control which has still been a challenge to get stabilized. Like last month, my fasting blood glucose levels were all over the place from highs to lows seemingly at random despite eating a consistent high-fat, moderate protein, low-carb diet:

    Once more, the “FAT HEAD effect” was in full force the week I was with the Naughton’s and my readings were the lowest they were all month. Perhaps I need to implore the principles I applied there that week (or I just need to move in with Tom!) into my normal schedule. Of course, I’m not underestimating the power of relaxation while on vacation helping to lower cortisol levels and give my body the relief it needed to be healthy. Trust me, I’m working on that part of all of this too by taking deliberate breaks from my regular schedule. I hate being away from my blog and podcasts, but I’ve learned I need that to help keep my health in order. In the end, that’s what is most important to me.

    I’ll continue to test this nutritional ketosis concept over the next 30 days and give you my 90-day update after the Ancestral Health Symposium. If no more surprises happen in the next month, then I should see a 10-12 pound weight loss happen which would put me into the 260s for the first time in a VERY long time. THANK YOU to everyone who has wished me well in this exciting next journey of my healthy low-carb lifestyle and I’m grateful to each and every one of you for your incredible kindness and support. Lemme know what you think about what happened in Day 31-60 for me and please feel free to share any updates from you about how your own blood ketone testing is going in the comment section below. Be well!

    • Stephanie OHara

      Jimmy, so glad this is still working for you. I tested my blood ketones the first time this morning and they came in at .2 – I did drink wine on Sunday so I wasn’t too surprised that it was under the target at bit. I will stick with it and adjust the fat up and the protein down. Carbs were at 20 (total, not net).
      I hope that the test strips will prove to be a useful tool, plus for me the fact that they are sort of expensive will motivate me to make better food choices toward my target so I don’t waste the strips. (Sort of in the same way that paying for the crossfit gym motivates me to make it to the classes I have paid for.) 
      Thank you for being so open with us. I am really interested in seeing what a day of food looks like for you but in the meantime I Rebecca at “My Low Carb Road To Better Health” did post a week of her menus. And Dr. Volek & Dr. Phinney’s book has some good recipes to work from.  (http://lowcarbbetterhealth.blogspot.com/2012/07/higher-fat-and-lower-protein-week-1.html)
      Thanks Jimmy,

      • LLVLCBlog

         Keep up the great work yourself, Stephanie!

    • Melancholyaeon

      I predict now that if you continue on this path, you will enjoy Christmas at 200-210 pounds. I’ll put $20 on it, even. Way to go Jimmy! 🙂

      • LLVLCBlog

         I like your thinking. 😀

    • zack passman

      “And if how I feel right now eating this way is how it will always feel, then you bet your sweet bippy I’ll be eating this way for life.”
      Though I’m not following a ketogenic diet at the moment necessarily (only on non lifting days), I totally feel this quote. I find being in ketosis highly addictive without the crash associated with any other type of high. I frequently tout the high to my friends while they look at me and shake their heads as if to say, “No way I’m giving up carbs.” and that’s fine too. But man… the mental clarity is unparalleled. 

      • LLVLCBlog

         I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

      • If I understood correctly The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance is all about being able to perform keto adapted…I think this may even work effectively with weight lifting.
        Maybe you could try it? I would like to but need to find a gym or buy equipment first…not sure I can afford it at the moment. I know for sure it was talking about being athletic and keto adapted…doing as well or better keto adapted. Not sure if that applies to heavy weightlifting or not…but if long endurance biking is good on it than weight lifting might work fine too…

        • LLVLCBlog

          I’ll be doing a 30-day test of this after this current 30 days.

      • Also I’ve been reading Body By Science and since you do weight lifting was wondering if you know of it and think its a good book? The author mentions hunter gather diets and I think the authors support them it seems to be good so far.

    • Carli

      Just an FYI, if you ever run into a UTI again, health food stores carry cranberry pills that have an even better effect than the juice. 

      • LLVLCBlog

        THANKS Carli! Yes, I’ve heard this from several people since then. I hope I never get one of those ever again. NOT FUN!

        • Congratulation 🙂 By the way, a doctor friend of mine has said “that Cranberry Juice thing is just ridiculous – you’d need to drink something like 20 gallons of the stuff to get any effect. It’s mindless superstition”. So maybe you didn’t need the sugar-load after all, and fell pray to another “conventional wisdom” prescription (like “hearthealthywholegrains” and so on).

          • LLVLCBlog

            Well, I didn’t get the “sugar load” because I got the kind that contains very little sugar. But hopefully I won’t need to worry about this ever again! 🙂

            • LLVLCBlog

              And I was simply following the doctor’s orders.

              • Indeed. If only doctors were infallible. Glad to hear you’re better now!

                • LLVLCBlog

                  Don’t I know it. THANKS buddy!

    • Kent Altena

      I am glad to see the experiment continues and continues successfully.  Good job in sticking with it and demonstrating the first month was not a fluke or happenstance of chance.   Keep up the documentation and spreading the word.  I hope the next 30 days are not as eventful (in a bad way) as the last ones.  Good job and great account!

      • LLVLCBlog

        THANK YOU buddy! I feel I’m on the right path for me again.

    • Jimmy, can you please incorporate your level of hunger in your evaluations? I find that I must stay very low on the carb/protein to lose and maintain, so ketones may be the key to keeping the weight off and losing a little more. I know my hunger is much better but would still like to feel more in control without struggling to do so. Thank you so much for your information.

      • LLVLCBlog

        No hunger ever since I’ve been doing this, Stephanie. I could literally go an entire day and not eat if I choose to–that’s how much these ketones are fueling my body.

    • Sam Knox

      Glad to see you’ve got the needle moving in the right direction, Jimmy. Also, lots of useful information for others.

      • LLVLCBlog

        THANKS Sam! It’s been a long time coming.

    • Whoohoo! Congrats on sticking to it under such adversity. It must feel great to have all your hard work pay off. 🙂

      I have noticed by my fasting blood sugar has gone down dramatically (~95 to ~75) since starting a ketogenic diet. So have a few of my diabetic buddies who are experimenting with me.

      Unfortunately, our little group has not experienced the dramatic weight loss or lack of hunger that you have. Some of us haven’t lost a pound (even on 20g carb / 45g protein / 130g fat) which is disappointing but the blood sugar improvements cannot be underestimated. I am struggling to go more than 3 hours between meals due to increased GERD symptoms that die down when I eat. Maybe the new diet has messed up my gut bacteria…

      Either way, this is a great experiment. We are all learning a lot along with you. I can’t wait for the next Phinney / Volek book!

      • LLVLCBlog

        CONGRATS on the blood sugar control. My wackiness can’t be explained.

    • I forgot to add that there is a long thread with our ketone test results, over at http://www.diabetesforum.com/diabetes-diet-nutrition/10576-using-ketone-meter-do-ketogenic-diet.html. I figure it may be interesting for people to see how diabetics and people of all ages respond to the diet.

      • LLVLCBlog

        How cool!

    • J_Buddah

       you should test your blood sugar 3 to 4 hours after your meal to make sure you are not converting excess protein into sugar. your body only converts protein if you eat an excess amount. for example, you eat 30 grams of protein and your body takes maybe 10-15 grams and converts it into sugar. if you are only eating twice a day there is a good chance you are eating more than 20 grams per meal which will lean to gluconeogenesis. a sprint workout will lower your blood sugar the fastest. that is why sprint burns body fat, not because of the calorie burn but because you run through your blood sugar in about an half hour of working out and you have nothing else left to burn. 

      • LLVLCBlog

        THANKS Joshua! I’m not testing that in my n=1, but feel free to share your results with that. I am mixing in some exercise with my testing and denoting it along with my menus which will all be shared at the end of the experiment.

        • Susannne L

          Hi. Im eating LCHF for a long time now and can´t say that i weigh to much, just like to eat that way. Because of training a lot, foremost “Fitness” I normally eat more protein than an average LCHF diet. I haven´t read Volek and Phinneys book yet, since it doesn´t seem to be in bookstores in Sweden (will order it on internet soon) What does Volek and Phinney say about building muscles? Is it possible to do this on strict ketogen diet? Maybe you can eat more protein (for example BCAA or EAA) during the muscleworkout and then on resting day extrem low protein to compensate ?? If your intake on BCAA or EAA is done prescisely when you workout I´ll guess it goes direct to the muscles and will be “consumed” The other day I took 10 g EAA during my workout and still was in a medium ketosis (according to urine-ketostix) But of course I did then had a lower percentage of protein along with my ordinary meal.  What´s your point of view in this matter and what does Volek and Phinney say? 

          • LLVLCBlog

            Try to get the book because it explains all of that. The ebook should be available for download online for you. Test blood ketones rather than urine for greater accuracy.

    • LLVLCBlog

      Ha ha! THANK YOU!

    • LLVLCBlog

      GREAT WORK, Tiffany! The “FAT HEAD effect” is referencing my buddy Tom Naughton who I stayed with the week of the 4th of July in Nashville, TN. He did a movie about low-carb diets called FAT HEAD and so when I saw improvements in my numbers while staying with Mr. FAT HEAD I naturally wanted to credit being with him for my success. Thus, the “FAT HEAD effect.” Sorry to confuse you.

    • LLVLCBlog

      I have a good general idea based on the amount of food I’m consuming examining the macronutrient breakdown of those foods. Appetite diminished by Day 4 and it’s been pretty much a non-issue ever since. That’s interesting you’d be hungry on that much fat and other ratios. Can you share EXACTLY what you ate? Feel free to email me this info if you’d like. The cheapest place to get blood ketone strips that I’ve seen is from a Canadian online pharmacy–still about $2/strip.

      • marilynb

        I got some blood ketone strips from the Canadian pharmacy but they didn’t work.  The Lot numbers on the packages and calibrators were different than the actual strip itself (it read a different lot number in the meter).  They were quick to give me a full refund, though, and didn’t even ask me to return the product.  They only asked for photos.

        • LLVLCBlog

          Good to know.

        • rebeccaslatham

           Uh-oh.  The ones I got tonight were from a pharmacy in Canada.  I sure hope they work, or I will be VERY upset!

          • LLVLCBlog

            I’ve had several people get theirs from Canada with no issues.

            • rebeccaslatham

               I got mine.  They are fine.  No worries.

        • Melancholyaeon

           Is this why they’re so cheap? Because they’re Chinese re-packaged fakes?

    • LLVLCBlog

      As I shared, we are all different and varying levels of carbs, protein and fat will work best for individuals. You just have to find what’s right for YOU!

    • Good job, Jimmy! 🙂

      • LLVLCBlog

        Thank you!!!

    • cathy kramer

      Congrats on the weight loss.  One of the things I always love about you is you’re a real person experiencing the ups and downs of weight loss just like the rest of us.  Sometimes I listen to other podcasts and they make weight loss seem so effortless.  For the majority of us that are leading healthier lifestyles, it is still an issue.  I know I am always moving forward, but sometimes also take a few steps backwards. Thanks for sharing your journeys with us and keeping us motivated to keep working and making ourselves better!

      • LLVLCBlog

        The journey is ALWAYS worth pursuing.

        • LLVLCBlog

          Thanks for sharing your success on this too Sietske! How cool! On the carb counts, I’m doing total carbohydrates. I’m not sharing my menus yet because I haven’t accomplished anything. If and when this is a full success, I’ll likely release my menus.

    • comedy

      Great to see the update, Jimmy. I went out and bought a ketone meter after reading your first blog post and was pleased to see that I was ketogenic already. Lost some weight, but now I see your F:P:C ratio of 85:12:3 I’ll make a few more changes and hope this finally stops me getting hungry between meals. Thanks for doing this, it’s all very helpful.

      • LLVLCBlog

        I realize I’m probably on the high en of the fat intake spectrum, but it can take that much for those of us who are especially resistantb

    • Hallie

      Hello Jimmy- I have been trying this, but no weight loss.  Just ordered a blood ketone meter…..maybe that will assist.  Just out of curiosity, are you taking any supplements?  I take D3, Green Pastures CLO/HB blend, magnesium, chromium, probiotic and drink bone broth daily.  Do you know the nutritional value of bone broth?  I have searched, but cannot find and thinking maybe the bone broth maybe keeping me from losing….I am at a loss.  Thanks so much for sharing your progress.  It is very inspiring to those of us who are stalled on our weight loss journey!

      • LLVLCBlog

        Hallie, hang tough. Feel free to email me your menus and blood ketones readings. I’m happy to offer my opinion. Yes, I’m taking all my normal vitamins plus. High-dose probiotic for obvious reasons. Diane Sanfillipo should know th nutrition of bone broth.

        • Hallie

          Thanks Jimmy…..found it.  http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/recipe/2422683/2
          More protein than I thought…..this may be my issue. :0)

          • Margo Hsubs

            Wow, I am shocked by the nutritional analysis of bone broth.  One cup has 17 grams of carbs? If this is correct, I’m going back to boullion cubes only.

            • Hallie

              I don’t think so…  I was shocked at the carb count so I ask Diane at Balanced Bites and she didn’t think it could be accurate. Please don’t rely on that information……Bone broth is much more nutritious than bouillon cubes.

              • Margo Hsubs

                Thanks Validvibe & Hallie – someday boullion vs. broth (and yes, I did use garlic in it) =blood sugar & ketones results is going to be my n=1.  Right now I’m still recovering from an apparent salt deficiency that hit me hard about 4-5 weeks into ketogenic eating.  Until I can get my sleep, immune system, BS and ketones back, its back to boullion (+potassium & magnesium) for me.

                • Peggy Holloway5

                   I can’t find bouillon cubes without msg and some form of sugar. We’ve been making our own bone broth, but would like the convenience of bouillon cubes. Where can I find suitable cubes?

            • Validvibe

              Margo, I think that link is for a broth with *garlic*. Garlic is almost pure carbs (not fiber carbs), so it is no doubt skewing that calculation. For those trying to get VLC, garlic and onions can potentially be trouble due to the starchy/sugary contents.

    • LLVLCBlog

      No daily with pics is coming but perhaps the menu when this experiment is completed.

    • LLVLCBlog

      Anxious to hear about your blood ketone levels, Rebecca. I bet you’re around 1.5. 😉

    • LLVLCBlog

      Thanks for the info, Marci. Hopefully the UTI is history and th poison oak is clearing up now. Let me know how this works for you.

    • LLVLCBlog

      Please feel free to share your progress with us here. 🙂

    • I have noticed that even when following Phinney and Volek’s minimum protein recommendation, 0.6 g per 1 lb lean body mass that amount prevents weight loss. I have had to cut down to .5g or lower in order to lose weight.

      Jimmy, I read somewhere that you are eating 75g / day which based on your height alone I’m pretty sure is also lower than their minimum from The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance (pg 65). Have you asked them about that minimum and if they have observed some people needing to go lower?

      • LLVLCBlog

        THANKS Daytona! I haven’t actually shared how much protein I’m eating, but as a percentage of my total calories it is around 12%. Perhaps that’s lower than I was consuming before and I’ll up that slightly on days that I’m lifting weights. Hope this helps!

    • JoshuaTenner

      Good job Jimmy! Keep at it!

      • LLVLCBlog

        Thanks Josh!

        • LLVLCBlog

          This is merely what I’m doing. Others can certainly eat differently from me.

          My goals? Stay in nutritional ketosis, stabilize blood sugar levels and burn stored body fat for fuel producing weight loss. As LNG as that happens, I consider this a full success. Menus will come when I reach this status. But you can feel free to guess based on the clues I’ve already provided.

    • “consuming less than 100g carbohydrates daily is “not sustainable or even necessary” (presumably over the long-term)” … I don’t buy it (either?)… The “not sustainable” / “not healthy” arguments always remind me of the interview Dr. Eenfeldt did with Dr. Phinney who says he’s been on a ketogenic diet for 6 years (and is weight stable and off of blood pressure meds). Sounds pretty sustainable to me!

      I also like how this flies in the face of all those who say that gluconeogenesis isn’t that big of a factor—that overeating protein isn’t that big of a deal; the body isn’t going to convert that much to sugar. Think again!I also read Low Carb Performance, probably about the same time you did (after voraciously reading Low Carb Living); Found it interesting that urine ketone measurement only measures acetoacetate, which, according to the authors, when the body is really keto-adapted gets converted by muscle into beta-hydroxybuterate which is what is measured by the blood ketone monitors and is the preferred ketone for brain fuel. I would be interested to see more correlations/testing between the two different levels aligned with mood/feeling/energy and see how those relate. Maybe you can do some overlays of those two graphs. Also, were you testing the two at the same time, or was there a time of day differential between blood and urine measurements?Love it! Keep it up!

      • LLVLCBlog

        I thought about overlapping…perhaps in the next update. Testing within one minute of each other.

      • I wonder if combining high intensity training with a heavier protein day would still give you a good day. Maybe on training day it would be good to eat more…?

    • For the cranberry juice, perhaps you could have used d-mannose instead. “Allegedly”, it is the actually beneficial ingredient in the juice (highly concentrated) and is not metabolized, so no harm to BG.

      • LLVLCBlog

        Long done with cranberry juice by now…but thank you!

    • Adam Kosloff

      Brilliant my friend! That progress must feel so good. If your experiment continues to bear out, think about how many thousands might ultimately benefit. And kudos to Drs. Phinney and Volek for helping to blaze the intellectual path…

      • LLVLCBlog

        They are doing amazing work.

    • jethro bodine

      Way to go Jimmy. You are doing great and I’m rooting for you.

      Two questions:

      1. How many calories do you eat per day?

      2. Do you eat/drink anything sweet?

      • LLVLCBlog

        THANKS! Dunno how many calories I’m eating because I’m not counting. Yes, I’ve had the taste of sweet in my food and/or beverages.

    • Don in Arkansas

      1. Consuming MORE fat, especially saturated fat (85% of calories)
      2. Eating LESS protein overall (12% of calories)
      3. Keeping carbohydrates significantly reduced (3% of calories)

      Jimmy, quick question.  You say in a post below that you don’t know how many calories your are consuming because you aren’t counting calories.  If you aren’t counting, how do you figure your percentages and if you are just counting fat/carb/protein grams wouldn’t that make it easy to figure your caloric intake.  Some of us (me) may not have bought into the whole ‘calories don’t count’ thing and that information would be of some use to us.  

      • LLVLCBlog

        I read the labels and/or choose foods obviously highest in fat as a percentage of calories. It’s a rough guesstimation but I’m sure my numbers are pretty close.

    • Ashley

      So excited for you, Jimmy! Hated to read about you and your lovely wife getting sick, but your current weight loss put a big smile on my face.  Keep it up! And thank you for keeping your readers updated on your progress. Team Jimmy!

      • LLVLCBlog

        Thanks sweet lady.

    • Hallie

      Tiffany- would you share what you eat during a typical day?

    • Jonathan Duncan

      Supposedly this meter is re-branded for Walmart’s Reli-On meter and should be able to use the Reli-On Glucose strips which are cheaper but they don’t have Reli-On Ketone strips.  Are the Ketone strips really about $5.00 each?  Do you have to order them online or have you found them locally?

      • LLVLCBlog

        Read my first post about the Day 1-30 on this experiment and you will see the lengths I went to find a cheaper way to get these testing strips:


        I tried convincing the manufacturer they needed to stock the ketone strips in drugstores, but I couldn’t find a pharmacist that even knew what I was talking about going to 8 different stores in my area. So you’re stuck paying $4-6/strip on eBay/Amazon or going to a Canadian online pharmacy to get them for about $2-3 each. I hear they are cheaper overseas. It’s not cheap but this tool has been invaluable to me.

        •  I think ordering from Canada is the way to go.  There are quite a few sources.  Sometimes I can get them comparably on eBay, but that is hit and miss.

    • Christianna

      Yes, please!  Share what your typical eating is like.  That would be greatly appreciated!

    • Jillm

      Very, very interesting.  Thank you Jimmy.  I have a copy of the new booklet from the Australian Diabetes Council.  The heading Healthy Eating Plan should read “You don’t have diabetes yet?  We can help you!”  BTW what is a sweet bippy? 

      • LLVLCBlog

        Jill, I’ll have to see that booklet for myself when I visit Australia in November. Hope to meet you there during my speaking tour there. “You bet your sweet bippy” is just a colloquialism for “you know it’s true.”

        • John

          What cities are you visiting in Australia?

          • LLVLCBlog

            I’ll be blogging the details as soon as the organizers finalize the plans.

    • Ann Day

      Jimmy, very well done with this !!! I’m excited to see where this goes for you.  I have a couple of questions…did you, out of curiosity, also test for ketones with the ketostix, just to compare? I’m curious because I used to get much darker readings at night than in the morning and wondered how accurate the whole urine-testing was. Secondly, have you considered trying the whole Cold Thermogenisis protocol with this to see if the weight loss and sense of well-being could be enhanced even further?,,finally, wow !!! you are coming to Australia !!! If you come to Canberra, our national capital, I’ll take you both to lunch at the restaurant at the top of Telstra Tower (google it). Are you coming here for a conference or just a holiday 🙂

      • LLVLCBlog

        THANKS Ann! Did you read my post? After I shared my blood ketone chart, I followed it with the urine ketones. Go back and check that again. My conclusion is that they don’t correlate very well. Probably will not confound variables with this experiment by introducing a new stimuli like CT. When I come to Australia in November for three weeks, it’ll be a speaking tour that I’ll be blogging about soon. I’ll be in four cities across Oz. CAN’T WAIT!

        • Martin

          Jimmy, from the 2 charts you posted it appears that they correlate very well.

          • LLVLCBlog

            Too many anomalies like the ones I shared in my post. It’s not reliable like blood ketones.

    • R.Y.

      Interesting! I would be worried about eating away at lean body mass with low protein consumption. Maybe we don’t need as much as we thought, though. How can you be sure you are losing fat (or mostly fat) vs muscle?

      • LLVLCBlog

        I’m maintaining muscle well and my workouts have not diminished. I suppose I don’t know for sure if this is impacting muscle or not. But I’m willing to test this hypothesis on myself. Volek/Phinney say in their latest book it should be fine.

        • Also, Dr. Atkins talks about the fat fast results where people consuming 90% of calories from fat on a 1000 calorie diet lost much less muscle mass than those on the high protein or high carb diets…

        • Have you read Body By Science they make a pretty good case for High Intensity weight training. Apparently in 12 mins or so a week you can get all the muscle strength you want. The explanations sound good…I haven’t used the advice myself but the guys in the book mention hunter gatherer eating and I think they support it. I’m fairly convinced that its legit. I have seen studies and they have ones cited in the book that talk about high intensity activities involving weight lifting or exercise are much better at working you than steady state cardio.

    • Kelly Mahoney

      It would be informative to count calories for a few days. If you are only eating 1 to 2 meals per day, then you are probably consuming shy of 2000 calories per day, which would technically be calorie restriction for a guy your size. Also, I know you’ve said that cholesterol is meaningless, but it would be interesting to test your serum levels given all the saturated fats that you are consuming. Anyway, congrats on finding a solution to your weight loss problem.

      • LLVLCBlog

        Oh, it would be easy to run the numbers on my calories as I write down EVERYTHING I’m eating right now. Don’t underestimate how much fat calories I’m eating right now. 🙂

        • LLVLCBlog

          As for testing my cholesterol, that will happen at the end of the experiment.

      • I doubt it will matter. I’ve read about people eating 4500+ per day and still losing a pound per week as long as they kept the fat high enough…

      • The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living/Performance has details on how the amount of saturates in the blood actually go down eating a low carb high fat diet. You are using a large amount of your fat for fuel so you actually end up with less saturated fat. Not sure how bad the saturated fat is anyway…I’m don’t think the saturated fat is the same in someone eating a ton of carbs or eating a more fat and not many carbohydrates…..not sure on this but anyway.

    • LLVLCBlog

      Testing blood glucose is ALWAYS a good idea in my book. It’s a good marker to watch which is why I’m tracking it. GO CUBS!

    • Janet femalemuscle

      I wish you well Mr. Moore, but this seems like yet another fad diet, calling it an experiment doesn’t change the meaning.  Since I have been following  your blog you have done, Kim something or other, low carb fake foods, all eggs, yams and fasting to name a few.  What will be next when this fails you?  Whatever happened to what drew may of us to this site,  simply living la vida low carb?  I hope you find the answer you are searching for, however what makes me feel genuinly sorry for your weight issues, is that you have the answer, but for some reason, maybe informaiton overload, you choose to ignore it.  I found you when I started losing weight following an Atkins based diet.  That was about 4 years ago.  I reached my goal and have not gained any weight back.  A low carb lifestyle works.  Re-read your Atkins book (the one written my Dr. Atkins), stop with all the b.s. and you will get the weight off once again. 
      I have been praying for you every day since you have regained wieght 3 years ago and I will continue to pray for you.   

      • LLVLCBlog

        Actually, what I’m doing now is PRECISELY livin’ la vida low-carb a la Atkins. It’s a high-fat, moderate protein, low-carb approach with a mindfulness to areas in my diet which may have been preventing me from being optimally successful. This is low-carb living at its finest and I’m enjoying the success I’m seeing doing this. THANKS for your prayers and support and I look forward to sharing more good news in the months to come.

        • Diane

           Jimmy, just want to commend you for your unfailingly gracious response to people who apparently know what works for you better than you do yourself.   😉

          • LLVLCBlog

            Thank you Diane! I believe in treating others as I’d like to be treated.

            • You are a saint, Jimmy. Reading Janet’s post really made me angry. Good for you!

              • LLVLCBlog

                Thanks buddy!

    • LLVLCBlog

      Ha ha!

    • LLVLCBlog

      You’ll need the test strips for your specific meter.

    • LLVLCBlog

      Awesome Margo!

    • Melancholyaeon

      I think the secret ingredient is coconut oil. . .lots and lots and lots.

    • Hi, Jimmy

      It’s nice to see you are not counting calories. Counting calories is a complete illusion and people are delusing themselves. Calorie labels are off by as much as 10 % to as much as 80 % as Dr. Friedman showed.

      Add to this that even the most dilligent calorie counter could  never balance the many, many millions of calories he eats in a few years let alone a decade. Most people not tryint to change their weights remain weight stable over a decade, literally by only a few pounds, as Dr. Friedman also noted.

      People  who count claories are fooling themselves. It  is a complete waste of time.

    • tam
      • LLVLCBlog

        LOL! I’ll take my chances. 😉

    • Peggy Holloway5

      I was on a short vacation last week without free WiFi, so just had a chance to check your blog updates. I’m thrilled to read about your success. We are such believers in nutritional ketosis. Our ketone-biker-geezer summer continues to return amazing results for us. Ken (my 70-year-old “animal” cycling partner) is now researching the improvement in respiratory quotient he is experiencing after 6-months of VLCHF – biking up steep hills at top gear/speed and not even breathing hard at the top! We have been doing 30-45 mile rides averaging 18mph and feel like we’ve done nothing when we finish – on nothing but coffee with a little heavy cream. We also tend to eat twice a day and are never hungry. We had delayed flights on our recent vacation which meant missing dinner on both outbound and inbound trips. We ate lunch at home on Sunday  (we split a leftover cheeseburger patty) and didn’t get to our hotel until midnight. We felt perfectly OK. Can’t imagine how starved we would have been were we not ketone burners!
      As for the question of building muscle – you should see our leg muscles!
      Ken continues to see his “wheat/beer belly” diminish and is weighing under 190 pounds  (he was up to 230 in March). He has no family history of insulin-resistance and has never considered himself to have any carb intolerance, but he has had such amazing results on the ketogenic diet that I don’t see him ever going back to “eating whatever he wants” like he used to do. As for me, I am amazed at my health and well-being. One last quick anecdote – we were in NYC and for a variety of reasons, I walked from 50th and Lexington to Times Square and back 3 times on Tuesday. The heat index was over 100, and I was still full of pep and energy. I am 59. When my grandfather was my age, he could barely get up from his lounge chair. When my dad was 60, he went to visit my brother in NYC and had trouble negotiating the steps in the subway and all the walking required. I feel so blessed to have figured this all out, so instead of being fat and “diabetic” I am truly “livin’ la vida low-carb” to the fullest. The best part is being able to do everything I want and more and never having to worry about lack of physical ability or being tied down to specific mealtimes, etc – truly liberating.
      The Phinney/Volek books should be required reading for all medical professionals.

    • Karen Hunt

      Jimmy, you are amazing at the way you continue to tweak what you do and try to help others around you.  I have learned so much FROM you and BECAUSE of you (the podcast and friends from Low Carb Cruise) and I just want to say a big thank you!! You are the best.  Karen Hunt

      • LLVLCBlog

        Appreciate it Karen. We’re all in this together working through the challenges we face.

    • Luke

      Jimmy, without a doubt the best info and podcast around. I follow you from the UK and like many others here ever since I increased my fat intake and lowered my PROTEIN and Carbs intake feel so much better.  I only have around 10 kg (5 lbs) of fat to loose; yet is taking way longer than i expected. Do you have any tips on how to get rid of the final lbs of ‘stubborn’ fat??  

      • LLVLCBlog

        Persistence and patience. Keep at it! Email me your menus if you get stuck.

    • Hallie

      Hi Jimmy- I listened to the podcast with Robb Wolff and note his thoughts on high fat and he ultimately said that if your fat intake is too high it will impact your ability to lose fat (I am paraphrasing)…..what are your thoughts on his comments?  

      • LLVLCBlog

        When I further had him clarify his comments, Hallie, you’ll hear that Robb believes as you INCREASE your carb intake (safe starches, etc.) that you must DECREASE your fat consumption. But he did say if your goal is to be in ketosis then a high-fat, moderate protein, low-carb nutritional approach is the way to go. THANKS for listening!

        • Hallie

          Thanks Jimmy…….just got my blood ketone meter and tested for the first time this morning- 1.6.

          • LLVLCBlog

            WOO HOO! JACKPOT!!!

    • Jimmy, are you drinking any diet soda? If so, what brand(s)?

      • LLVLCBlog

        Not sharing details about what’s in my diet yet Cody. Thanks!

    • LLVLCBlog

      I’ve stayed around 30-40g carbohydrate daily for many years poor to this experiment. And don’t worry, I’m not getting down or giving up. This is working and I wouldn’t dream of it.

      • Hallie

        Jimmy- are you counting total crabs or net carbs?  I am entering everything into my fitness pal and it counts total carbs in the percentage of calories at the end of the day.  

        • LLVLCBlog

          Total carbs…I’m becoming less convinced of net carbs as the years go by.

          • Hallie

            OK- so am I to asume you are not really eating many vegetable at all……I know you are not sharing menus, but a little hint would be appreciated!  Please……

            • LLVLCBlog

              HAHAHA! Try, try as you may. I’m still not sharing. 😀

    • I was looking at your fasting blood glucose levels.  It looks like you have only a handful of measures that fall below 85 mg/dL.  I think you need to consider yourself as someone who is on the diabetic “slide,” i.e., you are what the medical establishment calls “pre-diabetic.”  This slide is very, very hard to get off of– believe me, I have tried.  I want to believe that diabetes is reversible but I am afraid I have reached the conclusion that it is not.  Yes, we can control our blood sugar but we cannot reverse our carbohydrate intolerance.  If we cannot reverse carbohydrate intolerance, then we cannot reverse diabetes.  I hope I am wrong, but I don’t think so.

      • LLVLCBlog

        Perhaps. But low-carb controls it better than anything.

    • LLVLCBlog

      I don’t know if it’s the ONLY way to go, but it’s certainly a good one if you are having issues with your metabolic health.

    • Lriddle

      Jimmy, first of all I sincerely wish you well with this. You have been and will be a real inspiration to me! I am only on week two of trying to duplicate this N = 1 experiment and so far, it has gone very well. I have managed to get fat to 84%, but it seems to be a struggle to do that without upping protein. I’m using lots of mayo, sour cream and butter, but any other suggestions would be welcome. And just BTW, I have finally broken the stall in my Atkins weight! I am now down 6 pounds after 12 days!
      Thank you for all you do!


      • LLVLCBlog

        Awesome! Don’t forget coconut oil, cream, cream cheese, and fatty meats.

    • Sammi

      Jimmy thanks so much for posting this! It’s really inspiring. I was wondering since your not sharing your menus yet would you be able to post at least the supplements and vitamins your taking. Kind of curious =) 

      • LLVLCBlog

        I’m taking all the same vitamins and supplements I was taking before this experiment.

    • Sammi

      Just started reading your blog.Very interesting. Is there a link or a certain part of your blog I should read that details it?

      • LLVLCBlog

    • Sammi

      Thanks that was very helpful…But I am curious are you supplementing any extra sodium into your diet or are you getting enough with just what your eating?

      • LLVLCBlog

        My pleasure. I don’t fear salt. Use sea salt everyday.

      • LLVLCBlog

        I’ve always consumed adequate salt in my diet so I don’t feel the need to add extra. But many people do skimp on salt because they think it’s healthier.

      • Unrefined salt such as Real Salt, Celtic Sea Salt, Himalayan salt or the salt naturally in wild caught fish or animals is much different than table salt. I’m guessing Jimmy is talking about an unrefined sea salt as there are kinds of “Sea Salt” that are refined …and are just more coarse. I figure most visiting here know most of this but just posting in case someone stumbles on it that doesn’t.

        • LLVLCBlog

          Unrefined of course. 😉

    • Sue

      Didn’t see when you do your fasting glucose in the day, but I have had mine done a few times after my morning run. Both times I had elevated glucose, and I am not prediabetic. Figure it’s gluconeogenisis. Wonder if that could be a factor for you?

      • LLVLCBlog

        Those readings are fasting just after an overnight sleep/fast.

      • You had glucose that was higher than before you ran? Or you didn’t test before you ran? Every time I do any exercise my blood sugar readings go down not up…

    • LLVLCBlog

      Ive always consumed ample salt in my diet.

    • Hi Sammi!

      You might want to consider drinking an electrolyte mix  to replenish potassium, magnesium and sodium, or drinking a tea made with a bouillon cube to replenish your salt.

      Your light-headedness could be related to depleting electrolytes. Remember, the standard american diet is a water-retaining diet.  A low carb diet tends to be a water-flushing diet.  This means that on a low carb or ketogenic diet, you’ll tend to pee a lot. Flushing water from your system means that every time you go, it takes electrolytes with it. 

      I’ve been doing a ketogenic diet for over a year and this was a big issue for me when I started.  Now that I’m fully adapted, it appears to be less of a problem…but when I was starting out, I’d have to drink some bouillon or some of the Electro Mix when I’d feel low energy, headachy, dizzy, etc…


    • LLVLCBlog

      It’s a Tanita body fat scale…but can be fluky for accuracy.

      • Bling

        Thanks Jimmy! Which Tanita model is it? I found Tanita on amazon (even before you said it was Tanita you used) and was looking at reviews and couldn’t pick between them….

        • LLVLCBlog

          Mine was around $75.

    • Volek and Phinney talk about that in The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living/Performance and recommend bouillon cubes or home made bone broth. Making home made bone broth would probably be the ideal and using Pastured bones from chicken, beef, or even wild caught fish would be ideal.

    • Chaplain W.

      Thank you very much! I commend you for working so hard but also for being kind enough to share your progress and insights. I have been on a low carb diet (135 carbs) per day for 4 weeks after learning my a1c1 was close to 14. Yet, in two days of eating Dr Voleck and Dr Phinney’s diet plan my blood sugar has been below one hundred and I have gone off both my morning and evening diabetic medication. I am going to order my ketone meter and strips asap. I am in the Army and workout in gym or by running/walking between 1.5 to 3 hrs a day and I’m sure that has helped these last couple of days as well. I just need more help figuring out a diet plan. If anyone can help, pls do. I wish some folks that have diabetes would try this for 4 weeks! Chaplain W.

      • LLVLCBlog

        Congratulations Chaplain and keep it up! It sounds like you’ve found an excellent diet plan through Volek/Phinney! High-fat, moderate protein, low-carb is working well for you. 🙂

    • SweetSunni

      This is great…it really gives me a mental boost and encouragement to do this again, too…I have known for years that I lose the most and quickest on almost a “fat fast” type of diet, but I can get away with high 70’s to 80’s percentage of fat and don’t have to hit the 90% (and can eat 1500 cals instead of 1000). Isn’t it great to not feel hungry!! I realize you aren’t calling it a “fat fast” but it sounds like you’re losing fat fast! Congrats!! 😀 — Megan B

      • LLVLCBlog

        Thanks Megan. Better than the weight loss has been all the intangible health improvements.