Some Comments about pursuing the holy grail of ‘Optimal Ketosis’
When I first got my ketonix I thought like other people that it would not be much more useful than a toy. Maybe that's true in terms of absolute values measured but it does seem to produce some interesting trend results when used in a planned and systematic way.
Something I am now trying to get to grips with is what 'level of ketosis' to aim for in maintenance mode, which in turn determines what macro levels to maintain for the long term.
When I started on low carb about 14 months ago I didn't do it the typical Atkins way, i.e. by extreme reduction of carbs to around 20g per day. My approach was much more gradual as shown in the following chart.
NB: In the above chart CHO is total carbohydrate. It is not net carbohydrate.
In fact I began by only reducing carbs to ~120 g/d and on a daily basis I never went below 50g/day until the last two days of ketonix experimentation. Nonetheless my weight loss has been very successful. I reached my goal weight of 150lbs after about 12 months and have been in maintenance for about the last 2 months.
Over time though my diet has gradually become more 'ketogenic' as fat intake has increased in response to the reduction of 'on-board' fat stores and an increasing appetite. I have been careful to satisfy the increasing appetite primarily with extra fat and hence the concomitant reduction of carbohydrate.
So for me, personally, the pursuit of the holy grail of ‘optimal ketosis’ (which seems to be a typical obsession of many blog posts, (for example see What is Nutritional Ketosis
and Jimmy Moore's n=1 Experiments: Nutritional Ketosis
) was not necessary to achieve a desired 57lb weight loss. Personally I am very glad this is the case because I find that once I go below ~60g carbohydrate per day the constraints it imposes on food choices makes my daily menus less enjoyable.
But everyone is different and perhaps for some other people there is simply no other way to 'kick start' weight loss without an extreme reduction of carbohydrate intake and the pursuit of 'optimal ketosis'.