You’ve adapted your diet to eat high fat, moderate protein and low-carb. You’ve been tracking your macros and now you want to know if your body is in a state of ketosis (burning fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates). There are three methods to test for ketosis.
How To Test For Ketosis
- Urine: you can measure the level of ketones in your urine using ketostix, a product that is readily available from pharmacies. This is a cheap and easy method and I would recommend starting with this product. As you become fully adapted to the Ketogenic Diet over time, you may find this method less reliable, however, and should consider one of the methods below if you wish to keep testing yourself.
- Blood: The most accurate way to measure ketones is with a blood ketone meter where you prick your finger to test your blood. These tend to be more expensive though, especially if you are testing frequently. One of the best blood ketone meters is the Precision Xtra or the Freestyle Optium in the U.K.
- Breath: a device called Ketonix can be used to test for acetone (ketones) in the breath.
It is a good idea to test your ketone levels daily when you first start (using Ketostix) as it will give you confidence that the diet is working and it will help you know if you have reduced your carbohydrate level enough to enter ketosis.
Nutritional ketosis is defined as ketones falling in the range of 0.5 – 3.0 mmol/L. The average person’s ketone level is 0.1 -0.2.
Other signs that you are in ketosis:
- Your breath will be sweet smelling or fruity. You may have a metallic taste in your mouth.
- Excessively thirsty – this is a good sign so drink lots of water
- Appetite suppression
- Increase in focus and energy (lifting of brain fog)
- Feeling like you have the flu or “keto flu” – a common sign that the body is adapting to burning fat. This will pass after a few days but ensure that you drink a lot of water and increase salt intake (use quality salt such as Himalayan rock salt).