One of the biggest questions that many people have while they are on the ketogenic diet have to do with the ideal level of ketones that a person should be targeting for their overall weight loss. The good news is that it is possible to track and target specific numbers for ketones using urine testing, breath testing or even blood testing, but discovering the ideal number for your weight loss can often be something that takes a bit of trial and error.
If you've just started the ketogenic diet and you are interested in getting into the ideal state of ketosis that your body needs to lose weight and for you to see all the benefits of this diet, there are some great ways that you can prepare to measure ketone levels.
How to get started:
Often you can know when your body is reaching into a state of ketotsis. Checking for the early signs can help you to determine when the right time to actually do further testing could be a good idea. It could take a week or more for your body to actually go through all of the carbs and other nutrients that are in your body before it starts to move to fat and create the ketogenic effect.
Some of the earliest signs that you might spot include a suppression of your appetite, bad breath, improvements with your focus and energy, some short-term fatigue and light insomnia. This can often change when your body gets used to getting into this state regularly or when you start to balance out your ketosis by reaching an ideal level of ketones. It will take you some time before you find out where you are most comfortable with ketones and how you can lose weight the most effectively. Recognizing some of these symptoms can often be a great indication of when it is time to test your body next and see how it is changing/ reacting to more or less ketones in your system.
The simplest way to get started with measuring ketones in the ketogenic diet is with some of these three testing methods:
Urine sticks: A urine stick is one of the easiest ways that you can see if you are in ketosis but it doesn't always deliver an accurate measurement of the ketones in your blood. These aren't always the best ways that you can get an answer on your diet but these are important testing tools that you can use at the start of your diet to discover when you really are in ketosis.
Breath ketone meters: These are commonly cited as some of the easiest testing methods to use because they are much more accurate than urine strips and they can actually deliver some accuracy in the long run. Many people that go on the ketogenic diet over a long period of time will often pick up their own specialty breathalyzer so that they can continue to monitor their progress and get reasonably accurate readings on their ketosis levels. The best news about using one of these testing methods is that it can be done quite discreetly and he can do it multiple times throughout the day to make sure that you can constantly have a handle on your ketone levels.
Blood ketone meters: The only problem with this testing method is that it is far from discrete and it often requires the use of regular blood draws as a control. The test strips are extremely accurate for measuring the total number of ketones the body is creating in the bloodstream but it generally isn't convenient for everyone to test their blood throughout the day.
The optimal levels to have in your breath:
The measurements that you get to test your breath and make sure that you're in ketosis can actually determine the success of your diet. If you are serious about trying out the ketogenic diet you should consider getting something that you can use to measure your ketone levels. In order to continually achieve weight loss you need to make sure that you are constantly in a state of ketosis throughout the diet. Cheating the diet could instantly throw your ketone levels off.
Breath ketones are generally best measured first thing in the morning before you have eaten your first meal. Generally when we fast, we can see the most accurate levels of ketosis especially after we had just woken up. Some of the levels that you might see during testing will include:
A reading of .05 mg/l: A reading of this or lower is not considered to be an optimal state of ketosis. You do have some ketones in your breath but this puts too far away from their maximum fat burning capabilities.
A reading from .05 - .10 mg/l is considered to be a nutritional ketosis of the lightest variety. It's likely that in this state of ketosis your body is going to start burning fat but it's going to come off very slowly.
The optimal state for most people happens at around .10 mg/l and above. It often takes time to find the spot where you can have the most energy and focus with the maximum fat burning capability in this value. Any reading inside this range is generally considered to be the maximum weight loss that you can achieve using the diet.
A value that's above 3mg/l is considered to be unnecessary these higher values often mean that you aren't getting enough food and you could actually be putting yourself at risk. Your body might even crash due to a loss of insulin and this value can be particularly dangerous if you have a disease like diabetes.
As you can see, during the ketogenic diet is very important to do regular testing and to find the area that works best for your needs as a dieter. By getting access to a testing device and making sure that you are regularly testing ketone levels each morning, you can make sure that your diet is progressing well!