Testing For Ketosis – What Are The Best Methods?

If you’re familiar with the Ketogenic Diet then you’re probably aware of it’s effect on losing weight and improving overall health.

The Keto diet revolves around the ideals of high fats, moderate protein and low carbs.

Normally our bodies use carbs as it’s energy source so reducing your carb intake forces your body to find a new source of energy.

Your body then begins to adapt and goes through biological changes like a reduction of insulin and improved breakdown of fat.

The end result is your body produces what’s known as Ketones.

Ketones then become your new source of energy!

This entire process is known as Ketosis, which apparently is the most optimal fat burning state for your body.

Now, when you’re just starting Keto it can be pretty hard to figure out if your body is in Ketosis.

Luckily for you there are legitimate methods of testing for ketosis!

First things first, let’s start off with symptoms you need to look out for!

Signs of Ketosis

Keto basically flips your world around when it comes to how you diet.

There is an adaption period that may last a few days or a few weeks. It varies from person to person.

However, those who are more active tends to adapt faster.

Throughout this adaption period there will be both obvious and subtle signs of ketosis. 

It’s important you pay attention and listen to your body so you can learn how your body works in ketosis.

Here are a few things to look out for!

1. Weight loss

Seeing an increase in weight loss during the first 1-2 weeks is a great sign that your body is in the state of ketosis.

When you’re in ketosis, your body begins to get rid of stored carbs and excess water.

A lot of people claim to see 10+ pounds of weight loss during their first week.

However, most of that will initially be water weight.  

As your body get’s rid of excess water it will then begin to burn fat, it just won’t be as rapidly.

2. Increased thirst

Like I mentioned above, one of the first things your body does trying to get in ketosis is get rid of excess water weight.

You’ll also have a drop in electrolytes.

This means you will see a huge spike in your thirst. It’s important that you drink more water than you normally would.

Otherwise the transition will feel a lot worse and you’ll be extremely dehydrated!

3. Fatigue

Since you’ve cut carbs and sugar your body will be looking for glucose.

When it doesn’t have it, it needs sometime to produce enough ketones to sustain you.

During this time you will most likely feel weak and fatigued but this is a great sign of ketosis.

The best way to combat the fatigue is to make sure you’re getting enough water and increase your electrolytes.

4. Drop in performance

Naturally, since you are fatigued you will most likely suffer from very little energy as well.

Again, your body hasn’t produced enough ketones for you to use as energy so feeling sluggish is a symptom of getting to ketosis.

Keep in mind that whether it’s working out simply doing day-to-day activities you’ll experience a drop in your regular performance. 

Until you are finally in ketosis and feel energized it’s highly recommended you stay away from any intense activities.

5. Loss of appetite 

High carb foods tend to be pretty addictive but ironically when you say goodbye to carbs you eventually stop craving them.

In result you also feel less hungry throughout the day

You still get hungry but your stomach won’t be roaring at you trying to convince you that a 4×4 from In-n-Out with cheese fries is necessary.

This happens because your body gets better at regulating the hormones in your brain that let you know that you need to eat.

6. Digestive issues

While your body adapts to the Keto Diet chances are you will experience digestive issues in the meantime.

Your body will react in one of three ways here:

  1. Constipation
  2. Diarrhea
  3. Nothing 

Most people will experience constipation or diarrhea but there are a lucky few that will not experience a thing.

The best way to decrease any discomfort is to ease in Keto and slowly make adjustments to your diet. It’ll give your body enough time to adjust properly.

7. Bad breath

Bad breath is one of the side effects of the keto diet.

For some people “keto breath” can get really bad. Luckily it’s more a morning thing, it doesn’t necessarily last throughout the day.

The reason for this is one ketone your body produces is Acetone which is detected in your breath. The excess ketones then cause the bad smell.

When you body start optimizing how it uses ketones then there will be less excess causing this problem to go away.

You may just have to brush your teeth more often and use mouth wash.

8. Insomnia 

One of the most common symptoms of ketosis is insomnia.

This is simply caused by all the changes your body is going through.

You may have some trouble sleeping or simply staying asleep. Some people claim to have woke up a few hours in and not been able to fall back asleep

Keep in mind that all the negative symptoms or signs of ketosis are only short term.

As your body progresses through ketosis you’ll eventually feel a lot better.

For example, once adjusted to ketosis instead of having no energy you’ll feel like the energizer bunny.

Testing For Ketosis

Okay, so you’re experiences some symptoms and signs of ketosis, what next?

Now it’s time for you to get an accurate answer by testing your ketone levels. 

There are 3 types of ketones that your body uses. 

  • Acetoacetate
  • Acetate
  • Beta-hydroxybutryate

Each of these ketones come in different forms so each one requires a different method of testing.

Here are the most common methods to test ketone levels:

  • Keto Urine Strips – Beginner entry. Will help identify if you’re in ketosis but provides no in-depth readings
  • Breath Ketone Meter – Better than urine strips but after being in ketosis for a while it can vary in accuracy
  • Blood Ketone Meter – The most accurate method of testing but in the long run can be fairly pricey

Ketone Urine Strips

Keto urine strips

The first ketone on this list is Acetoacetate!

Acetoacetate is products when ketone body levels are at high levels. 

When this happens it excreted through your urine.

So the best way test ketones in your urine?

If you said Ketone Urine Strips then you are correct!

Urine strips are great because they are the most affordable and easiest way to measure ketosis. 

The directions are simple!

Simply hold a ketone strip in your urine stream for a few seconds. 

If you ARE in ketosis then within 30 seconds you’ll see a color change in the strip.

The color of the stick typically is measured in red.

If there is any color change then the general rules are this.

  • Light pink – low in ketone production 
  • Dark purple – high in ketone production

testing for ketosis

Ketone urine strips are great for beginners because it will answer the question “am I in Ketosis?”

However there is a downside.

Now, as you become more adapted to being in ketosis your body will begin to optimize how it uses excess ketones.

Since your body will be adjusted to the high ketone levels it may not register accurately on a urine strip.

So as you progress with the Keto Diet the results from urine strips will begin to vary.

For beginners it’s perfect because it provides exactly what you need!

Simple to use – Just hold the strip in your urine stream and wait 30 seconds for your results

Availability – You can purchase them at almost any local pharmacy or brand companies like Walgreens or CVS

Affordability – You can purchase a pack of 100 ketone urine strips for $7.95 on Amazon

Ketone Breath Meter

keto breath meter

The next ketone you can test is Acetate (Acetone). It is produced by gas exchange in your lungs.

Acetate can be measured directly by using a ketone breath meter. Normally, the more acetate detected in your breath, the further you are in ketosis.

Breath ketone meters are becoming more and more popular because of how easy they are to use

All you have to do is connect the USB cable end to your computer and blow into the meter.

Within a few moment it will measure the acetate in your breath and show you a breakdown of your ketone levels

The downside is the upfront cost can be pretty pricey! You’re looking anywhere from $100-$300 for a breath meter.

However, unlike urine strips you do not need to replace it or buy another one. 

You simply pay once and you can use the ketone breath meter however many times you need to.

The best keto breath meter on the market is Ketonix. It’s simply been the most reliable one we’ve tested.

You can also purchase one on Amazon.

Ketone Blood Meter

keto blood meter

The last ketone that your body produces is Beta-Hydroxybutyrate (BHB)

BHB is a critical ketone that your body makes and converts to energy. 

The testing method for BHB is similar to how people with diabetes test their blood glucose levels. 

The blood meter will prick your finger and squeeze out a small drop of blood.

Then you tap it on a testing strip and the ketone blood meter detects your ketone levels.

Blood ketone meters are the best way of testing for ketosis. 

They show an accurate and real-time measurement of the ketones in your blood system.

Now the drawbacks to this is that the blood strips can get expensive. They cost about $1 per strip. 

$1 isn’t necessarily a big deal but if you decide to test your ketone levels everyday then you’ll be spending $30/month on blood strips.

A Ketone blood meter is better suited for advanced people on keto. It’s for those who’ve been on ketosis for months and are seeing varying results with urine strips and breath meters.

If you’re interested in a blood meter you can purchase one directly on Amazon

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Testing For Ketosis – What Are The Best Methods?

If you're familiar with the Ketogenic Diet then you're probably aware of it's effect on losing weight and improving overall health. The Keto diet revolves

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  1. Ashley February 6, 2019
  2. Ricky February 6, 2019
  3. Leslie February 8, 2019
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