Thursday, June 18, 2009


So, now that Gwen pointed out how bad it is to eat too few calories, I thought I'd mention a little something here about ketones. I honestly think the way I got overweight in the first place is that I messed up my metabolism by skipping lunch in middle school. I wanted to keep my lunch money, so I either ate nothing, or bought a candy bar to spend only half as much. Brilliant, huh?

This slowed my metabolism to the point that I gained weight very easily. In fact, my mom wondered if I had thyroid problems since I didn't eat any more than any of the other kids and gained more weight than they did. She even took me to the doctor to check it out, but of course found nothing wrong.

Anyway, I don't know how many of you are familiar with ketones, but I learned about them when I was pregnant and had gestational diabetes. Ketones are substances that are made when the body breaks down fat for energy. Normally, your body gets the energy it needs from carbohydrates in your diet. However, stored fat is broken down and ketones are made if your diet does not contain enough carbohydrates to supply the body with sugar (glucose) for energy or if your body cannot use blood sugar (glucose) properly. This is the whole "your body thinks it's starving" idea -- your body uses the fat that's there. Sounds great, right? Not so. It slows down your metabolism.

In any case, I was SHOCKED to find out how quickly ketones are present in your body -- at least how quickly they were in my body during pregnancy. I had to pee on ketosticks every morning (which you can buy from any pharmacy without a prescription), and it would turn to whatever color based on the amount of ketones in my urine. If I had none, it was the color on the left. If I had minor amounts, it was still to the left. To the right were the darker, more dangerous colors meaning there were more ketones in my urine.

So, if I was an hour late eating a meal during pregnancy, I had ketones in my urine the next day. ONE HOUR!!! I'm still really bad at eating at regular intervals, and I think that's why I continue to struggle in losing weight. I know once I get in the habit of eating my meals and snacks regularly, my fat will fall off more quickly. Just a thought I hope is useful to all of you.

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