Ketosis is a state where your body uses ketones for energy instead of glucose. Ketosis is a very powerful tool for individuals who wish to lose weight and improve their physical performance. To get your body into ketosis, you have to either fast or use a ketogenic diet. Both fasting and ketogenic diet eliminate energy adding foods- mainly carbohydrates. As a result, your body is forced into a ketosis state— where fats are converted into ketones for energy.
When fasting or on diet, it is important to measure your ketosis. Measuring your ketosis will help you understand the effectiveness of your diet. Using a Ketogenic diet appropriately can help manage diabetes and enhance your weight loss efforts. People suffering from diabetes also need to measure their ketone level from time to time for glucose management. Fortunately, there are several ways of measuring ketosis at home. The 3 main ways used to measure ketosis at home include Keto Sticks, Keto Breathalyzer, and Ketometer.
Types Of Ketone Bodies
Before you select the method to use, you need to understand how ketones operate. Essentially, there are 3 main types of ketone bodies: acetoacetate, beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) and acetone. Each of these bodies offers different benefits when your body is in ketosis stage. The good news is that each of the three ketone bodies can be tested individually. Ketones are found in your breath, saliva, urine and blood. Most of the kits used to test ketones can be acquired at a local pharmacy or online. The measurement procedures are also easy to follow.
You should start tracking your ketones levels a few days before you start your diet. Tracking your ketones early will help you start noticing any major differences as you advance into your fast or diet. The measurements will help you make decisions such as reaction to your workout routine. If your intention is to cut weight, you can optimize on your maximum ketone level for a significant weight cut. Increase your workout efforts as you draw closer to your target ketosis level. When measuring ketosis, you should have a set goal. Do not get into dieting before establishing how many days the diet should last and the amount of weight you intend to lose. Such goals will also help you plan for your ketosis measure.
Keto sticks and keto strips are the easiest for testing your ketosis. If you are just starting off your diet, use the urine keto sticks test to know whether your body is adjusting to the ketosis state.
Measuring Your Ketosis With Urine
Urine sticks are easily accessible and affordable. The ketosis sticks are also easy to use. Simply hold your stick in urine for about 15 seconds. You will notice a colour change on the stick if your body is already in ketosis state. The stick changes into different shades of red depending on your level of ketones. Pink is the lowest level while dark purple is the highest level. Ketosticks offer answers to general questions. They will help you know whether your body is in ketosis state or not. However, they are not effective in providing precise answers as to the level of ketosis.
Measuring ketones with urine strips
Urine strips just like urine sticks measure the level of acetoacetate— the unused ketones by the body. Essentially, when you get deep into ketosis, your body will optimize ketone production. This will increase the level of ketones in your system and the same will reflect in your urine. You can use urine strips after you have been on diet for several days.
The urine strip shows results that are somewhat contradicting. You will notice a dark purple colour when you are starting your diet. After some days, the colour will change to purple or will be lighter than initially. This is not a bad thing; since the strip only measures unused ketones. The shift in colour to a light one is an indication that your body is adapting to the production of ketones. As you get deeper into fasting, your body starts creating more ketones and uses them as fuel for your body. At some point, you can get a false negative report if you have been in ketosis for a long time. At this stage, the body utilizes all the ketones produced in fueling.
Advantages of Sticks and Strips
Test With The Blood Ketone Meter( Ketometer )
The BHB ketones are the most important when it comes to providing energy for your body. Unfortunately, the urine strip does not measure BHB ketones. The blood ketone meter is more accurate when it comes to measuring BHB ketones. The BHB ketone is responsible for the provision of energy and must be produced for your body to attain a full ketosis state.
The ketometer uses a blood strip that is attached to an electronic meter. To measure your ketone level, prick your finger and squeeze a drop of blood on to the testing strip. The blood meter will detect your blood ketone level in digits between 0.5 and 3.0 mmol/l.
The ketone meter is the most reliable way of testing your ketosis. The results are more accurate since they do not depend on factors such as the level of hydration. The blood is highly regulated and does not get affected by how much water you drink and food consumption in a day. This method does not give false results as urine strips. The level of ketones produced in the blood will be measured on the meter accurately in spite of the number of days your body has been in ketosis.
Some people are usually afraid of pricking their fingers with the needle. If you are afraid, ask a friend to help but be careful about the person you chose. It should be an adult who knows how to use the prick. Although the strips are quite expensive, this is the only way to know for sure how many ketones your body is producing at a certain level.
How to Read Your Blood Ketone Levels
Only buy high-quality ketosis meters from reputable manufacturers. You can use the Precision Xtra meter since t is one of the best in the market. Some meters are accompanied by blood strips while for others you have to purchase the strips separately. You can purchase blood strips online or from the nearest pharmacy.
Cleanse your fingertip well with an alcohol swab. Using a fresh lancet, prick your finger and squeeze the blood on to the stripe. Wait for about 10 seconds and read the final results on the display. The meter used for measuring ketones is the same as the one used for diabetes. You can use it to also measure your blood Glucose Ketone Index ( GKI). Measuring GKI is important for individuals who are trying to lose weight. Track your GKI test to optimize your workout.
As mentioned above, the ketone levels are measured in numerics ranging from 0.5 to 3.0 mmol/l. If your target is to attain optimal BHB levels, you should set your target between 1.5 and 3.0mmol/l.
Blood ketone levels are measured in mmol/L. For most people, optimal BHB levels are between 1.5-3.0 mmol/L.
The breathalyzer can be used to measure the level of acetate in your body. Acetate is the ketone that is produced when BHB metabolizes. Measuring the level of acetate will help you confirm the blood and urine results. You can also to use the breathalyzer test independently although it is not as accurate as blood testing.
The breathalyzer is a device that detects acetone in your breath. The more acetone measured the higher the levels of ketones in your body. All breathalyzers are electronic meters that give the number of ketones in digits just like the blood testing meter.
How to Read Your Breathalyzer Results
Switch your meter on and breath into it until it starts flashing. After 10 to 20 seconds, stop breathing and check the results. Some meters may not flash while measuring the breath. Check the instructions on the meter to ascertain how it works. A reading of 40 to 80 indicates that you are deep into ketosis.
Most people are not sure about the right time to test their ketone levels. As seen above, each of the three methods measures different types of ketones. The Keto sticks measure the level of acetoacetate- which refers to unused ketones. The ketometer, on the other hand, measures BHB while the breathalyzer measures acetone. Depending on which method you chose, measuring ketosis should be done at different times.
The urine stick should be the first test when measuring ketosis. Take the first measurement before you start your diet. Check your progress with the stick two days into the diet. Keep checking until you are one week or more into the diet. You will realize that there is a progressive colour change on the stick as you progress from one week to another. Unfortunately, the keto stick may provide irregular results. The colour transformation is usually light pink to dark purple. However, as you get deep into ketosis, you may notice that the colour is shifting back to light. At this stage, you are ready to introduce the ketometer.
The ketometer offers direct and accurate results. You get the results in numerical values in mmol/l.
Light Ketosis: (0.5 – 0.8) mmol/L
Medium Ketosis: (0.9 – 1.4 )mmol/L
Deep Ketosis (1.5 – 3.0 )mmol/L
If you are on diet for the purposes of weight loss, work hard to get your body into deep ketosis. You should start using the ketometer when you want to get more accurate results. However, if you only want to know whether your body is in ketosis or not, use the simple keto sticks.
The breathalyzer is used to confirm the results of the urine and ketometer. However, it is not recommended for beginners. The breathalyzer should be used by people who are already in medium or deep ketosis. You should start using the breathalyzer at least one week into your diet.
All the three methods can be used to confirm whether your body is in ketosis or not. However, for workout purposes, use the most accurate method, the ketometer.
Measuring ketosis is important for athletes, weightlifters, and diabetic individuals. Determining the state and level of ketosis can help you make informed choices on your workout and diet plan.
If you are dieting or fasting for weight loss purposes, use the accurate ketosis measurements provided by a ketometer. If you are just starting out, use the keto sticks. In either case, you must use your results wisely to gain the most out of your ketosis state.
You can use the keto diet or fasting to get your body into a ketosis state. Once your body is in ketosis, it is easier for you to control your calorie gain and calorie loss. You can also manage your blood sugar levels effectively.