The big question seems to be “Is testing for ketones necessary?”
This depends on how hard core ketogenic crazy you have become. I have traveled the ketogenic highway and bought the souvenirs lol. Generally you can judge whether you are in ketosis or not simply by looking at your food journal. If you are keeping your carbohydrate intake below 20 total carbs …..(please note total carbs and net carbs are very different things) and you are eating moderate protein and lots of delicious fat then you are probably a happy fat burning human!
What is ketosis?
When your body is burning fat for fuel instead of sugar then you are by definition in nutritional ketosis. The by product of burning fat for fuel is ketones which are a chemical that can be found in the blood and urine. Testing your blood or urine (also breath) are great ways to definitively know you are in ketosis.
How does it feel to get into ketosis?
The first time that you attempt to give up sugar and all those refined carbohydrates you should expect your body to take some time to adjust. This will include some symptoms including but not limited to: sweats, headache, misery, cravings, mood swings. This is when you will want to give up, Eat a jelly bean and move on! BUT DON’T DO THAT! Stick with it! Your body is using up all its glucose stores and starting to learn how to burn fat efficiently for fuel! Let your body get through the process. For me I had about a week of these symptoms. And one day, I was eating lunch and realized I felt great and hadn’t been craving a thing! This meant that my body was finally becoming Keto adapted!
What does keto adapted mean?
So, you have suffered the wrath of getting your body into ketosis. You now can happily know that your body is burning fat for fuel. And every day that you avoid those sugars and refined carbs you become more and more efficient. Your body learns and adapts… This is keto adaptation.
Which test for ketones is the best?
Once you have gotten into ketosis you may have a funny taste in your mouth, or your breath seems bad. This is simply your ketones rising and signaling that you are doing everything right. At this point using the urine strips would be a fun thing for you! To see if you are creating the ketones!
Once you have been in ketosis for a long period of time this type of testing is not very accurate and may not even show ketones in your urine. This is because your body is becoming very efficient at burning fat! Instead of dropping ketones in urine, it’s using them in your blood, as fuel. At that time you have to move on to bigger and better gadgets!
There are two options. Testing blood and testing breath.
There are a few blood meters that will test for ketones. The one that I have is the Precision X-Tra that I ordered online along with the strips. This can get very costly and I do suggest searching for an option in Canada or Australia. The blood test will show you a number that should range from .5- 4 of course it could be lower, but that would probably mean you are not in ketosis (at the moment). And higher than .5 is great! I have had the highest reading of 2.4. The highest readings will be at night and your lowest readings will be when you first wake up.
The breath test that is available is called ketonix. It blinks different colors depending on the level of ketosis you have achieved. I do not have one of these so I don’t have a lot of information on them. But I do feel it is a cost effective way to test for ketosis and I highly suggest getting one! It’s definitely on my wish list!!!! Here is the link to their website: KETONIX USA
Have fun on your keto journey and be proud of who you are becoming! I’m always here for you!