Testing your blood for the presence of ketones is probably the single most important thing you can do to ensure that your body is in a constant state of ketosis therefore ensuring your weight loss success on the keto diet.
Of all the the questions I get across the various platforms I advocate on for the keto diet usually relate to the understanding, or lack of, ketosis. How do I know if I’m in ketosis? How long will it take to get into ketosis? Can I have a cheat meal or a cheat day and stay in ketosis? What are the best foods for ketosis? The questions amount to more than I care to repeat in this article however you get the point. The lack of understanding ketosis and obtaining the holy grail of being in ketosis is the single biggest concern among those who wish to lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle using the ketogenic diet.
I have make this mistake before, more than once. I would get comfortable with my keto diet and way of eating, stop measuring my macros, stop tracking my foods, and slowly drop out of ketosis without even knowing it. Not from eating to many carbs but by eating too much protein. Yes, protein. Eating too much protein can also knock you out of ketosis and if you’re not tracking your macros then accidentally eating too much protein is a lot easier than you would think. It is very important to manage your fat intake and also test for blood ketones so you are able to adjust your diet if needed.
One of the reasons people struggle with the keto diet is they want a cookie cutter plan to follow but unfortunately it doesn’t always play out that way. Everybody is different especially when it comes to this type of diet. You see the ketogenic diet is so much more than just eating certain foods or cutting calories. The keto diet literally manipulates the inner workings of the body on a cellular level. You change the bodies energy burning process from glucose to ketones. Not that this is unnatural but most people never use ketones for fuel because there is always an ample supply of glucose to use. Once the glucose is gone the body turns to ketones for energy. Where do the ketones come from? Your fat! That’s good news for us!
Now, back to my original point. You must know if your body is using ketones or not so you are able to adjust your diet. If you do not know if you’re in ketosis then you’re wasting precious time and not burning fat. Ultimately if you do this correctly you could be in a constant, yes constant state of fat burning. Do you realize what being in a constant state of fat burning means for your health, for your energy levels, for your sex drive? It is the promise land! It means you will never gain body fat again! You can end the lifelong struggle of being overweight and not stave yourself eating little baggies of celery and carrot sticks.
Sorry, back to my original point, again. In order to live in the promise land you must measure and know your blood ketone levels. Yes, this means you must stick yourself with a needle and test your blood. I know, I know. I am not a lover of needles myself and thus the reason I spent my first year on the ketogenic diet peeing on little sticks and wondering if I could make it change colors. Unfortunately pee sticks only work in the beginning stages of being on the keto diet. They measure the excess ketones in your urine and do little to indicate at what level of blood ketones are actually in your blood. You are going to have to bite the bullet and use the needle. Fortunately its not that bad and way easier than I worked up my imagination to make it out to be.
So if you have read this far you may be asking how I test my blood ketones and what meter I use. I use the Precision Xtra Blood Ketone Monitoring System and have been extremely happy with the results. It just works. Its easy to use and the system for pricking your finger is less invasive than you would think. Using this meter I know exactly what my ketone levels are and can adjust my diet to raise or even lower my blood ketones if needed. The recommended range is 1.0 to 5.0 however I always aim to been at 2.0 or above. Ketone levels of 1.0 are just in the initial stages of ketosis and like I said earlier we want to be fat burning machines. Hovering at 1.0 makes it way too easy to drop out of ketosis with the wrong macros.
The perfect ketone level!Here is a picture of one of my readings sitting in the perfect ketosis zone.
This meter keeps the last dozen readings in memory so you can compare with previous readings and ensure you are maintaining ketosis or making progress towards ketosis. It is also the best meter I have used on the market for the money. At under $100 it is very reasonably priced. Truthfully the test strips are what gets you in the wallet so that is why it’s very important to get into and stay in ketosis and measure your blood once a week for adjustment. More if you feel the need.
Purchase your meter on Amazon for the best price and when you buy from this seller you will get a very good initial supply of test strips, lancets, and alcohol wipes.