In brief, these questions are best answered by ‘what works for you!’ However, there are some basic principles, and indeed expert opinions, you may want to factor in to your personalised testing-schedule.
Firstly, the key to informed testing is consistency, not least because this will allow you to make direct comparisons in accurately assessing your level of ketosis.
Secondly, the more convenient your testing schedule is, the more likely you will be to adhere to it.
Thirdly, a twice-a-day test is generally considered a good starting point. This reveals occurring fluctuations and provides a picture of your overall baseline.
Fourthly, assess your own personal goals, this will re-define where you build from step three.
Finally, organise your test area to optimise hygiene standards and time efficient blood samples.
A flat table surface in an ambient environment is ideal.
Optimal testing times?
Avoid the ‘dawn phenomenon.’ The dawn phenomenon relates to natural body changes that occur during the sleep cycle. In the morning, everyone experiences a slight rise in blood glucose levels and ketones are generally lower. If you have opted to test in the morning, wait for one hour (without eating or drinking) for an accurate reading.
Alternatively, test before lunch-time and/or your evening meal.
An optional approach…
Test before a meal and at intervals of 30, 60, and 120 minutes after eating. This will reveal how you are reacting to certain foods in your ketogenic diet.
D'Agostino, Domonic https://ketonutrition.org/
Eenfeldt, Andreas M.D https://www.dietdoctor.com
Feldman, Dave http://cholesterolcode.com/
Kalamian, Miriam CNS https://www.dietarytherapies.com/
Noakes, Tim, Professor https://thenoakesfoundation.org/