When I started Keto a years ago I was under the impression that I had to manage and pay attention to the Ketones I am outputting. This question is frequently asked on forums, websites, and Facebook and always receives many different answers.
Do higher ketones burn more fat? There is no correlation between ketone level and fat loss. It can sometimes derail people in their pursuit of fat loss to chase ketones. To increase your ketone level you could just ingest more fat from food. This is due to the fat in the blood increases the ketone level overall, not that more body fat is being used.
Since we understand the answer above we can dive into the different types of monitoring you can do if you still are interested. There are 3 primary types of monitoring which exist currently: urine, blood
We will explain each and their benefits, drawbacks and other useful information so if you choose to purchase one you will be knowledgeable in your choice.
Urine strips are a basic item that is inexpensive and useful for people who are new to Keto. They do have a short lifespan though as you move into Ketosis you will stop peeing out the actual measured substance since your body gets much better at using it.
I would recommend skipping urine strips and managing to eat under 20 grams of carbohydrates as this will undoubtedly put you into Ketosis. If you still are interested then check the cost on the Keto-Mojo site today, this will open in a new tab so you can swap back over to continue reading on. Please realize you will need to move on from these later.
Ketone test strips measure the level of acetoacetate in your urine, which is an unused ketone by the body. The longer you maintain ketosis your body adapts and becomes more optimized in ketone production.
When this occurs you will have less acetoacetate in your urine which is why they are good for starters but over time can cause you concern when you don't see results. This isn't because your not in ketosis but more that you aren't making wasteful acetoacetate any longer.
This is the part where the blood and breath based ketone testers can come in if you want to continue measuring for data or for peace of mind.
Thankfully the Keto urine strips are fairly inexpensive, under $10 typically for 100, which can make them nice to use up front for those who worry about if they are in ketosis via measurable methods. Please take note again though that if you get strips I believe that after the first 6-8 weeks they are not going to give you consistent results.
Ketone Test Strips are very straight forward and simple to use. You only need to hold the strip in your urine stream for a few seconds (10-15 typically).
You will then see a color change on the strip if you have any ketones in your urine. Typically the strip colors are measured in a red range: from light pink being low in ketone production to dark purple being high in ketone production.
Please note that this depends highly on your level of hydration, you may read very low if you drink a lot of water. In addition should you be heavily under hydrating it may show purple but this doesn't mean you have a high level of ketones.
The most consistent ketone meter I have found to largely be the blood ketone meters. The only downside to most people about purchasing a blood ketone meter is down to not liking the need to poke your finger to draw blood.
To me this is a fairly simple and non-painful thing that I do only when I am trying to add a new food and want to see the effect the food has on me. I reviewed a Keto Mojo here if you would like more specific information, it will open in another tab so you don't lose your place here.
This is the primary reason anyone should have a blood ketone monitor for as knowing that someone online has a reaction to a food type doesn't mean you will.
If there is a food or drink you like that everyone says impacts ketones and blood glucose I would run the test on yourself to understand how your body manages this food or drink.
Unlike a urine ketone strip a blood ketone meter checks the level of beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) in your blood which is not impacted by your hydration which yields a way more exact value. This is why I use this as my primary method for investigating any food and drink impact on my diet.
This is why ketone blood meters aren't used as often. The cost is much higher than the urine strips and at a per use each strip to measure BHB costs about $1 each.
This is another reason why I measure only when I need to exact correlate foods and drinks to changes in my ketone levels over time after consumption.
I will again state that none of these are required for Ketosis and that consuming less than 20 grams of carbs in a day will put you into Ketosis regardless of if those 20 came from cake or vegetables.
You are looking for a value of typically .5 or larger. Many people will read about the readings on a diabetes-related page and worry about any level. This is incorrect if you have a well performing body that can produce insulin there is always a balance within your body.
If you are a type I or II diabetic you can still be on Keto but I would make sure you discuss it thoroughly with your physician first.
These tools are becoming the most popular way around to measure due to their ease and simplicity. There is one, Keyto, on IndieGoGo which aims to make it a solid part of your life. For most of them you can use an app on your phone and others connect to your computer via a USB cable.
While breath meters are expensive upfront, it is much cheaper than the regular purchases of blood ketone strips. In the long-run, the most economical value for the results would be a breath analyzer – since you can reuse it as many times as you want.
Any Keto breath meter measures the acetate in your breath. This is what fat is converted to once burned up by your body this is how it is expelled. This is why people end up with "Keto breath" and that associated sweet smell. Please note that this will read higher if you are eating a load of fat just as all the other tools.
Most of these products will be in the range of $100-200. This makes them a significant expense to those who aren't rich. I would prefer you used that money on much better qualities of meats.
Please note these same devices are sold as a Blood Alcohol Content checker so don't be alarmed when shopping for them online.Josh
I recommend skipping them entirely unless you are an analytic fiend who wants to track data in spreadsheets. Here is a quick look at the one I found the best reviews on Amazon for, it will open on a separate tab for you. Then close it and come back!
This is highly down to the breathalyzer purchased and I would refer you to their guide as most of this is a mathematical calculation on the device side. I wouldn't want to lead you down the incorrect path if you choose this direction I would read a lot of information before choosing any specific device.
If you are a data fanatic and measure lots remember not to strive for higher readings. If your values are over a 3, you don’t get additional benefits or results than if you had a reading in the 2.5 range.
Consistently high readings can sometimes be due to a lack of calories in your diet as ketosis as a normal state is to support us during times of starvation when the body needs to break down fat from our stored energy.
I hope that this has provided you a quality look at each type of monitor available on the market today and lets you make a knowledgeable choice in your purchase.
If you have one please let me know below what you think of it and how it is helping you in your pursuit of fat loss. Maybe you can change my mind!
I was searching around by my house to find quality grass fed beef along with heritage pork as I love the taste. Unfortunately farmers markets failed me and I found ButcherBox.
It is now almost 3 years later and I still receive my ButcherBox monthly and I get a mix of all three items but have added bacon and sausage into each additionally to give me a strong pork option that is from heritage hogs.