Quick & easy: how do you know when you’ve achieved Nutritional Ketosis?

Checking whether or not you’re in Ketosis isn’t much of a chore, nor need it be daunting and complicated.

Many people either seem to believe that they don’t need to check that they’re in KETO [WRONG], that they can just ”know” or feel that they are (maybe they can, maybe not); or that finding out if they are in KETO is a complicated matter, like becoming a freemason [WRONG again].

The two Ketone Bodies that you’re concerned with are Acetoacetate and BetaHydroxyButyrate (BHB).

The simplest one of these two to find is Acetoacetate, the chemical that causes your breath to smell of acetone. This brings up the point that the odour of acetone on your breath is a very easy practical way to tell if you’re in Ketosis. In other words, it rarely gives you a false positive and you can use it quite happily as an indicator.

  • If your breath smells like acetone, you’re in.
  • If your breath doesn’t smell of acetone, does that mean you’re out? NO. Some people are just more susceptible to this type of bad breath than others (probably due to certain characteristics of their gut microbiome).
  • If you’re not using the smell of your breath to find your status, the other easy way is to use KETOstix or a similar brand to easily test the level of acetoacetate that your body is excreting in urine. You can buy a little packet or canister of these handy little tool on Amazon for about £10.

Now, for geeks, like myself, blood BHB meters are widely available online for about £50. These involve pricking your finger with a little microchipped lancet and having the device analyse your blood for any BHB molecules swimming around in it. Not necessary, but fun (at least for people like me).

During the day, there are two optimal times for testing:

  1. Before breakfast
  2. An hour or two after supper and prior to bed.

Be warned, testing after the gym quite often leads to disappointment. This is usually because exercise will break down any glycogen stores that still may be clandestinely stored in little packets around the body, releasing enough glucose in the bloodstream to boot you out of Ketosis for a while.

Being a Mad Scientist and Experimenting on Yourself is often Fun and can be Educational.

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