Measuring your ketone levels is not necessary, but it can help you figure out if you are on the right track.
The most common ways to measure ketosis are:
- Blood Ketone Meter. Very accurate but the strips are very costly.
- Breath Ketone Meters. More accurate than the urine strips, but can sometimes vary in accuracy. They are cheaper than blood strips in the long-run.
- Urine Stricks. This will answer the question “Am I in ketosis?” but will not provide an accurate measure of blood ketones.
To learn more about how to use these tools to measure ketosis, click here.
Each one has its downsides and its upsides, but the most accurate is the blood ketone meter. If you decide to use this method of ketone measurement, here is a quick overview of what the numbers mean:
- Light Ketosis: 5 mmol/L – 0.8 mmol/L
- Medium Ketosis: 9 mmol/L – 1.4 mmol/L
- Deep Ketosis (best for weight loss): 5 mmol/L – 3.0 mmol/L
- Dangerous Ketone Levels: over 6.0 mmol/L
If you would rather not spend the money on these ketone measuring devices, there are some symptoms of ketosis you can look for as well.
Here is a short list of physical “symptoms” that usually let you know that you are on the right track:
- Increased Urination. Ketones are a natural diuretic, which means you will have to go to the bathroom more when you are entering.
- Dry Mouth. The increased urination leads to dry mouth and increased thirst. Make sure that you’re drinking plenty of water and replenishing your electrolytes (salt, potassium, magnesium).
- Bad Breath. Acetone is a ketone body that partially excretes in our breath. It can smell sharp like overripe fruit, similar to nail polish remover. It’s usually temporary and goes away as you adapt to keto.
- Reduced Hunger & Increased Energy. Usually, after you get past the “keto flu,” you’ll experience a much lower hunger level and a “clear” or energized mental state.
Most people end up driving themselves crazy measuring and testing ketosis. It’s much better to focus on the nutritional aspect, making sure that you’re eating the proper foods and staying within your macro ranges. You don’t need to be in ketosis to lose weight (although it can help by decreasing your appetite).