At the outset of your keto diet, you’ll find it helpful and informative to test your ketone levels regularly. It will serve as a learning curve, standing you in good stead for the long-term.
Not only will you be able to confirm your body is in ketosis but, most critically, you’ll be able to identify which foods adversely affect your ketosis as well as identifying those which drive and maintain your ketogenic life-style.
Be consistent. Testing at the same times each day reveals your personal baseline.
If testing in the morning, take note the human body releases cortisol to ‘waken’ us, which in turn increases glucose levels. This increase in glucose will deplete your ketone level. This natural occurrence is often referred to as the ‘dawn phenomenon.’ How to avoid this? Ideally, test an hour or two after rising but BEFORE breaking your fast.
Ketone levels tends to rise throughout the day therefore testing before your evening meal will add to your baseline data.
If you decide to test after eating specific foods, it’s recommended you test at similar time intervals. For example: 60 or 120 minutes after the meal. Note that ketone levels respond slowly to foods you eat.
Physical exercise can affect your measurable ketone levels since your body may burn available ketones as fuel.
What is the ideal ketone level?
Each of us is unique…
You may start out with readings between 4 and 5 or between 1 and 2.
A high ketone reading is not necessarily better than the lower. Your body may be efficient at producing ketones but not yet practiced at using them. In fact, once you are fat ‘adapted,’ you’ll rarely see those high numbers…unless you are fasting.
To summarize, if you are testing at between 1.0 and 3.0 you are on track!