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Jimmy Moore’s n=1 Experiments: Nutritional Ketosis Day 331-360

After one year of daily testing of my weight, blood sugar and blood ketones, my n=1 experiment of the concept known as “nutritional ketosis” has come to an official end. Wow, what a year it has been! Little did I know when I started this personal journey just 12 months ago that it would be such a resounding success on so many levels and helping so many of my readers get back on track again after getting just as frustrated in their low-carb lifestyle as I was. We’re all better now as a result of this great adventure.

Deep down inside I was hoping and praying that I could find a way to get my low-carb plan rolling again for me when it had seemingly stopped working in recent years. What I discovered was that it wasn’t so much that low-carb failed me as much as it was that I was making some key mistakes that needed to be corrected. The changes I made were nuanced, but obviously much more profound than I realized. That’s the biggest lesson I have taken from this experience. Now I’m in a much better place than I was even after my original 180-pound Atkins diet weight loss success. If you missed following my NK experiment over this past year beginning in May 2012, get caught up here: Day 1-30, Day 31-60, Day 61-90, Day 91-120, Day 121-150, 151-180, Day 181-210, Day 211-240, Day 241-270, Day 271-300 and Day 301-330.

Let’s take a look at the guy I was BEFORE I started this experiment in earnest last May. I’ll tell you a secret about this fella: he was not a happy camper at all with where he was physically and emotionally despite seemingly doing all the right things to be at his optimal weight and health:

That was then, but this is now AFTER 12 months of NK:

My Paleo bud Darryl Edwards from “The Fitness Explorer” posted this photo from PaleoFX in March 2012 and then again at PaleoFX in March 2013:

Can you tell I’m just a wee bit different now than I was then? That’d be an understatement! While the weight loss is evident, how about some of the health changes? Look at a recent blood pressure and heart rate reading I had:

Yowsa! Those numbers are pretty stellar and greatly improved from the 160/95 blood pressure and 69 heart rate prior to starting nutritional ketosis. These numbers went from okay to spectacular! They weren’t the only things that got better. Check out what my A1c was just a few weeks ago:

YES! As exciting as the weight loss has been doing this, it’s the health improvements that have made me most proud. Although the official one-year of public updates are over now, I will obviously be continuing to monitor my blood sugar and blood ketones along with other key health tests while continuing to purposely put myself into a state of nutritional ketosis by consuming a high-fat, moderate protein, low-carb nutritional approach. When I attended the American Society Of Bariatric Physicians medical conference in San Diego, CA last month, I was able to publicly thank Dr. Stephen Phinney and Dr. Jeff Volek for writing the book that inspired my n=1 called The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance. So many physicians attending the event came up to me asking about what I did. It’s something that has the potential to help so many more people. More on that after I share my final 30-day update with all my latest numbers. Let’s take a look what Day 331-360 ended up looking like:

AM BLOOD KETONE LEVELS – DAY 331-360

It was a pretty typical month for AM readings averaging around .8 millimolar with a few high days while I was in San Diego. I’m still not sure why my ketone levels seem to soar when I am away from home. Whether it is the change in food or something else, I find it intriguing that it seems to happen without fail. As long as I am above 1.0 millimolar most of the time, I know I am burning fat for fuel. If you’re testing in the morning, don’t be discouraged if your numbers are lower. Just keep tweaking by lowering the carbohydrates, lowering the protein and upping the fat. It’s something that Dr. Phinney discussed in this lecture he gave about “The Art And Science Of Nutritional Ketosis”:


http://vimeo.com/61215449

Some have wondered how often they should be testing their blood ketones and the answer to that is up to you. I think if you measure once or twice in the morning and night each week should give you an idea of where you stand. How about my PM ketone levels for Day 331-360? Let’s take a look:

PM BLOOD KETONE LEVELS – DAY 331-360

It’s an average of 1.6 which is nearly double the morning readings. That’s what you can expect from your nighttime blood ketones as long as you measure at least four hours after your last meal. You should be able to be well above 1.0 millimolar with your PM blood ketone levels when you’ve found your carbohydrate tolerance and protein threshold. Fat is your friend, so eat up on the healthy natural saturated and monounsaturated fats. How about the weight loss in Day 301-330:

WEIGHT LOSS – DAY 331-360

As has been typical since the weight loss has slowed down in recent months, the loss is not a steady daily movement. There’s a bit of ebb and flow and I realize that’s all a part of it. Up a little, down, down, down, up, up, down down down…I don’t fret about what my weight is doing in the day-to-day because in the end the trend is still down. Now that my experiment is finished, I may not weigh everyday anymore. I merely did that as a measurement for this n=1 test. I ended up with a 3.8-POUND WEIGHT LOSS which is about a pound a week. Not too shabby after a year of doing this. WOO HOO! What does that make my total weight loss for this one-year experiment? Check it out:

CUMULATIVE WEIGHT LOSS – DAY 0-360

The final tally came in at a TOTAL WEIGHT LOSS OF 78 POUNDS for this experiment. If you had told me in May 2012 that I’d lose 78 pounds to get back to a weight that is lower than I saw at the end of my Atkins weight loss success in 2004 and that for the first time in my adult life I am wearing shirts that begin with an “L” in front instead of an “X,” I probably wouldn’t have believed you. But it’s not only happened, I’m still excited about what the future holds now that I’ve found that sweet spot that works for me. Not everyone necessarily needs to be in nutritional ketosis to see the same kind of changes that I have seen. But if you’ve struggled and can’t seem to get anything else to work, it’s certainly worth giving it a try. Now let’s look at my AM blood sugar levels in Day 331-360:

AM BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS – DAY 331-360

Yes, I had a few funky blood sugar readings while I was traveling in San Diego and then on the trip to Texas for the Low-Carb Cruise. The average fasting readings in the morning were around 85 which I’ll take every day of the week. Yes, I’m still taking the blood sugar lowering supplement Glycosolve (two in the morning and two at night) to go along with my nutritional ketosis. How about my PM blood sugar readings in Day 331-360:

PM BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS – DAY 331-360

An average of 86 for this cycle which is right where I like it. The fact that my A1c is as low as it is at 4.3 shows that my blood sugar control has been stellar. I fully intend to keep this trend going. It’s interesting how very little it takes to make my blood sugar go up. Even a little bit of cashew butter sets it off–and I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of vegetables could as well. Perhaps that could be a future n=1 test to see what impact consuming green, leafy vegetables has on my blood sugar and blood ketone levels. Stay tuned!

Now that the n=1 of nutritional ketosis is over, that doesn’t mean I won’t keep testing stuff. Someone in Spokane, Washington asked me if I tested for pH balance to see if I’m acidic or alkaline and I did this urine test daily over a two-week period–I’m almost always alkaline in the 8.0-9.0 range. One of my medical friends paid for me to have my hair analyzed for minerals and toxins and I’ll share the results from that test in another post soon. If you want to help me keep running tests on my health, then feel free to e-mail me what tests you would like to see along with making a donation towards this effort through PayPal:






Or CLICK HERE to donate!

Where do I go from here? Stay the course, keep doing what’s working for me, encouraging others in their own NK journey, tracking my health progress along the way, sharing any interesting data with you on my blog, doing lectures on my nutritional ketosis experiment (and even presenting a poster at Ancestral Health Symposium in Atlanta, GA in August 2013) and pursuing my next big goal–I WANNA SEE MY ABS! Yes, I realize this is a very challenging goal and that’s the point. I will do what I gotta do to make it happen. It may take a few years, but I’ll never stop pursuing this goal.

The day before I left on the Low-Carb Cruise, I signed the book contract to write my next book about my nutritional ketosis experiment called Keto Clarity tentatively set to release in March 2014. This has the potential to help so many people…I can’t wait to get the message out there to the masses! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for all of your amazing support of me throughout this one-year experiment. I’m grateful for all of your encouragement and motivation to keep me going even when the going got tough. I feel like I’m just now getting started and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Carrie.Bell444 Carrie Surfus Bell

    Congratulations Jimmy! Thank you for spearheading this. Now…where do I start?

  • http://www.facebook.com/olivia.fischer Olivia Fischer

    Congratulations Jimmy — you look terrific! Very inspiring.

  • Greg

    Jimmy,

    Congratulations on “completing” your experiment! You have been an inspiration to me and my wife in our own quest for nutritional ketosis (about five months in). We’ve been doing daily AM blood ketone readings for a few months now and it’s a wonderful feedback mechanism for fine tuning one’s diet. I think the book sounds like it will be a great reference. Keep up the good work! Now if we can just get those ketone strips cheaper….

    • Kathy Miller

      Greg, Jimmy gave the name of a Canada Pharmacy where you can get them FAR cheaper than here- I think it is Universal Drug Store! I don’t know how TWO of you can do this and still eat! :-)

  • Connie

    Congratulations Jimmy! I can’t wait to read your book!

  • Carole Sampson

    WOW!! Well done Jimmy! As I say on my CarbsaneR blog, you really are an inspiration.

  • http://www.facebook.com/claude.grant Claude Grant

    Congratulations Jimmy!! Your work has been an inspiration to so many. Best wishes on your continued nutritional ketosis lifestyle.

  • http://www.getbetterwellness.com/ Erin Chamerlik

    Congratulations and job well-done with your experiment and documentation and health improvements! I posted this story on my facebook page. Skeptics will benefit by reading the book you highlighted, The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living.

    • LLVLCBlog

      Thank you Erin. The Performance book helped with the practicality of this.

  • April Lark

    Congratulations Jimmy! Thank you for being an example of how it’s never too late to learn what works for your body, even if you think you have it all figured out! :-)

  • Jeff Consiglio

    Jimmy, congrats on your journey! I’ve enjoyed watching you take it, and I know it’s helped a LOT of people realize that not only are carbohydrates insulinogenic but so is excess protein. Not only due to conversion of amino acids into glucose, but also because amino acids themselves can really spike insulin. FAT is relatively insulin NEUTRAL. Controlling insulin works wonders! I’mm curious if you changed your caffeine intake at all during this? Did you find that being in deep keto lessened your desire for caffeine at all?

    • LLVLCBlog

      Wasn’t really a heavy caffeine addict. Don’t drink coffee.

  • http://www.facebook.com/GrantsSingleMothers Butch Pornebo

    How about doing Dr. Jack Kruse Cold Thermogenesis ?

    • LLVLCBlog

      Nah, seeing great results without it.

  • pforrester

    Congrats Jimmy. This has been very interesting. I have been trying to do this but AM ketones are rarely over .2 So I have a few questions:
    1) What do you actually eat?
    2) How tall are you?
    3) What time do you test ketones in the morning? As soon as you get up or later?
    4) How many calories on average?

    Thanks!

    • LLVLCBlog

      Lots of fat, moderate protein, few carbs. I’ve written about the foods I’ve consumed many times in my updates. I’m 6’3″ tall and test first thing when I wake up. I don’t count calories, but they average 2,200-2,600 daily.

  • September Mihaly

    Congratulations, Jimmy! You are an inspiration to many who have struggled finding success doing low carb without paying attention to fat. I wish you continued success!

  • http://twitter.com/notjustpaleo Evan Brand

    Hey Jimmy, I’m bookmarking this page. This is great. I didn’t think too much of the readings until I got to the cumulative weight loss chart and then my jaw dropped.

    Keep it up man, see you at AHS.

    • LLVLCBlog

      You bet buddy!

  • Joe

    God bless you Jimmy for doing this. It was really cool to watch. I tried to join you last October without the testing of course and it worked for a month or two and then I ate too much fat (calories) I guess and gained some fat back . I am making some progress now by counting macros and Having one carb nite per week .( Carb nite Solution style)

    Keep it up Thanks.

  • Jason Green

    Great Job. Inspirational. Can you elaborate on your ketone reading while intermittent fasting? My ketones hover around .3 most days, regardless if it’s day or night. However, after a 12-hour plus fasting workout, I’ve seen then climb as high as 2.6 on the meter. Note that I’m a high-level paraplegic, so I burn fewer calories than most throughout the day. I also have another question. Is it possible that the dietary fat you consume translates to higher ketones in the pm?

    • LLVLCBlog

      Ketones get higher the longer the fast. That’s natural. And definitely the fat with carb restriction helps produce ketones. My level this afternoon was 3.1.

  • Mary

    Congratulations and thanks so much for sharing. My concern is I have been in nk since sept have lost 20-25 lbs only 10 to go, but my blood sugar seems to be higher than when I started. Not sure because when I started this I got a few free blood sugar test strips and always test 80-85,so didnt buy anymore till recently. Now I test 115 in morning and goes back to 80-85 in afternoon. This seems odd to me.

    • LLVLCBlog

      Did you keep using the same meter? There is wide variation with glucose monitors. I wouldn’t sweat it. Email me what you’re eating along with you blood ketone and blood sugar levels. My addy is livinlowcarbman@charter.net.

  • Michael Mifsud

    Congrats mate :)

  • Robert McFerran

    Hi Jimmy,

    My wife and I have had no problem getting to nutritional ketosis — but we have had trouble with balancing electrolytes. We are 4 months out and find we still have to supplement with potassium and drink salted water to feel our best. The suggestion of 3-5 grams/day of sodium and 2-3 grams of potassium is difficult for us to attain through diet alone.

    The combination of low sodium and potassium has revealed itself as lowered blood pressure and low pulse rate (in the 40′s) and feelings of lethargy.

    We were wondering if you supplement electrolyte minerals?

    BTW – we make our own bone broth and enjoy it every day. Thanks for sharing your experience!

    • LLVLCBlog

      I get ample salt, so this isn’t an issue.

  • LLVLCBlog

    Nope, you have to use the right meter with the corresponding strip.

  • Michael Mifsud

    Thanks Jimmy.

  • Charlie Shaughnessy

    Hey Jimmy – I purchased some glycosolve and I noticed it says to take one pill 15 minutes before eating, and not to take more than 3 per day. You are taking 4 per day. What is your approach to this – and does it matter to take it 15 minutes before eating?

    • LLVLCBlog

      I sometimes take 5-6 daily depending on my blood sugar. I tend to take two in the morning, one midday and two at night.

  • Elliotte Harold

    Congrats on the loss. I confess that I’m still confused on exactly what your diet is, though, and how it differs from traditional Atkins. It might be worth a summary post.

  • Michael Mifsud

    Hi Jimmy,

    Question for you. I started this same experiment on myself. After a week I have seen my morning ketone average at about the 1.5 range (low being .4, and high being 2.1). Does this mean I am fat-burning adapted? Or I shouldn’t consider being adapted until the 3 or 4 week mark?

    Thanks in advance.

    • LLVLCBlog

      It means you are burning fat for fuel and are keto-adapted. Congrats!

      • Michael Mifsud

        Thanks :) now to see if I can get rid of the last vestiges of fat-me : the dreaded spare tyre!

        Thanks Jimmy for being a Ketone evangelist as your experiment and blogging of it was a real eye opener for me.

        I hope you see your abs soon!

        • Michael Mifsud

          One other interesting observation after a week is that I didn’t lose strength in the gym. Every other time in the past I tried dialing back carbs to less than 50 and conversely increased my protein intake I had gone backwards in my lifts forcing me to increase my carbs again. Ketone seems to have solved this conundrum. Not only didn’t I lose strength I was actually able to increase my lifts. My carbs have consistently been between 20 to 50g

          • LLVLCBlog

            That was shocking to me as well.

  • Sergio

    What about sex life in keto adapted state?

    • LLVLCBlog

      Just fine.

  • Kirk Bloomer

    Anyone else get a LOWER keto reading at night? I test just before bed about 90 minutes after my last meal. Only just started measuring twice a day, will keep an eye on it.

    • LLVLCBlog

      You’ve got to measure at least four hours after your last meal or the readings will not be accurate.

  • Sergio

    Why did you stop your keto experiment if you feel so good?

    You are almost a month out of ketosis, what about withdrawal symptoms?

    What about 10 unexpected health benefits?

    • LLVLCBlog

      LOL! I didn’t stop NK. All that stopped are the public updates. I fully intend to eat this way as long as it keeps working for me. So forever. :)

  • LLVLCBlog

    I’ll be sharing about a new technology soon that doesn’t require blood. Urine can be tested but it’s highly inaccurate.

  • Michael Mifsud

    Jimmy, just got a new batch of ketone strips. Just noticed they recomend using test solution before each new batch for accurate reading. Did you do this and any idea if it makes a difference?

    • LLVLCBlog

      Unnecessary IMO.

  • Sergio

    I can’t find Kerrygold in my country, but we have Anchor (New Zealand), President (France), Valio (Finland). Please advise if any of those is as good as Kerrygold?

    • LLVLCBlog

      I don’t know Sergio. Grassfed is the key.