A new toy measuring blood ketones

ketoner

I just got a new toy: a device for measuring blood ketones. This is a far more exact and reliable measurement than testing for urine ketones using cheap dipsticks. Ketosis is of course the state the body is in when eating very low carb. Ketones, made from fat, will then fuel the brain instead of glucose.

So who needs one of these gadgets? Perhaps nobody. Obviously it’s easy to eat LCHF without it. This is for curious nerds (like me) and for those who want definite proof that they are eating so little carbs that insulin levels are low and fat burning is maximized.

A ketone level somewhere between 1.5 – 3 is said to be an optimal level for maximizing weight loss. It means that insulin levels are very low. As you can see my first measurement was 0.2, after a caesar sallad dinner. I’m not surprised as I’ve probably eaten at least 50 grams of carbs a day lately.

I will try it out fasting in the mornings during the coming days. Perhaps I’ll try being really strict with the carbs for a while to see what happens.

Have you tried one of these or are you interested in doing it?

263 comments

Top comment

  1. Willis Morse
    After a huge weight loss and health improvement five years ago with very low carb, I've been backsliding in weight gain and health for the last few years, despite rigorous very low carb diet. I got this meter and lo and behold, I wasn't anywhere near ketosis. As soon as I cut WAY back on protein, a la Volek/Phinney/Moore, I start going into ketosis again. I've played with this up and down a couple of times now, and it's totally repeatable even over a single day. I had to drop from an average of 150g protein/day down to around 70g protein/day. That's pretty close to the "0.5g protein/lb lean body weight" amount suggested by Volek and Phinney.

    Also, my fasting glucose dropped when I dropped the protein. It bounces around a lot, but the trend seems to be upper 90s before, low 80s afterwards.

    It doesn't seem to matter how many calories I eat, or how much fat I eat. Ketosis seems to be directly tied to the ABSOLUTE amount of protein and carbs I eat. Once I've hit my protein and carb limit for the day, I can stop eating or I can guzzle pure fat; it doesn't matter. This holds true whether I eat 800 or 1600 calories in a day. It basically means I have a meat and eggs budget for the day (my two largest sources of protein).

    I don't think it's really about the macronutrient ratio in your diet. I think it's about absolute amounts that you can tolerate. I think focusing on percentages of macronutrients just confuses the issue; if you eat 70g of protein each day, the daily percentage of protein will change if you eat 800 calories one day and 2000 the next. Percentages only make sense in the context of a constant number of calories. It's not mathematically incorrect to talk about percentages, it's just a more indirect way to calculate things. Just like expressing your carb limit as 20g/day; it's much simpler to track.

    I bought the ketone strips from the Canadian pharmacy that Jimmy mentioned in his original post. Much cheaper, but they did take almost a month to arrive. But even at high US $ rates, I think a pack or two of strips is a worthwhile investment if you aren't already dialed into steady weight loss.

    Replies: #105, #108, #265
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All comments

  1. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    i have been on zero carbs for two months and did a finger prick test and it tells me my ketones are at 0.2.. what gives?

    How are you measuring 0 carbs? Eating an all meat diet?

    Reply: #253
  2. Llwyd George Langdon Morgan
    yup.. carnivore diet
  3. Llwyd George Langdon Morgan
    i’m on carnivore diet
    Reply: #254
  4. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    i’m on carnivore diet

    The excess protein may be getting converted into glucose. You can read more about achieving optimal ketosis at this link - https://www.dietdoctor.com/lose-weight-by-achieving-optimal-ketosis

  5. Llwyd George Langdon Morgan
    ok cool.. thanks👍🏻
  6. Dr. Jackie
    That is not even remotely true. Look up the facts first.
  7. Vanda
    I have been 11 days in a fun Keto diet but my ketone level does not move from 0.2: could it be because I drink alkaline water? I don't understand because I follow it by the book!
    Reply: #258
  8. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    I have been 11 days in a fun Keto diet but my ketone level does not move from 0.2: could it be because I drink alkaline water? I don't understand because I follow it by the book!

    Here is our full guide to ketosis you may find helpful.
    https://www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb/ketosis

    Reply: #260
  9. Robert
    Hello Peter,
    I just got a Keto Mojo meter, and it reads 0.3 before I even started the diet
    I just tested my blood for fun when I got it, I thought it would read negative
    Is it normal for people the have small amounts of Ketones?
    I have tested a few times and it reads 0.3 to 0.5
    To afraid to start diet until I sort this out
    My blood sugar is in the normal range, and I am not a type 1 diabetic, maybe the meter is junk?
  10. Robert
    Hello Kristin,
    I just got a Keto Mojo meter, and it reads 0.3 before I even started the diet
    I just tested my blood for fun when I got it, I thought it would read negative
    Is it normal for people the have small amounts of Ketones?
    I have tested a few times and it reads 0.3 to 0.5
    To afraid to start diet until I sort this out
    My blood sugar is in the normal range, and I am not a type 1 diabetic, maybe the meter is junk?
    Reply: #261
  11. Crystal Pullen Team Diet Doctor

    Hello Kristin,
    I just got a Keto Mojo meter, and it reads 0.3 before I even started the diet
    I just tested my blood for fun when I got it, I thought it would read negative
    Is it normal for people the have small amounts of Ketones?
    I have tested a few times and it reads 0.3 to 0.5
    To afraid to start diet until I sort this out
    My blood sugar is in the normal range, and I am not a type 1 diabetic, maybe the meter is junk?

    Check out this guide to ketosis https://www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb/ketosis The fifth paragraph under "What is ketosis" discusses how even in a high carb diet your live is still producing ketones at a low rate.

  12. amanda_foote
    I’ve heard different opinions and would like to know is it best to test blood ketones one the morning before or after your first meal?
    Reply: #263
  13. Kerry Merritt Team Diet Doctor

    I’ve heard different opinions and would like to know is it best to test blood ketones one the morning before or after your first meal?

    Our guide to ketosis may be helpful for you!
    https://www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb/ketosis

  14. billywilson500
    Eat healthy fats Don't overdo the protein track your macros Exercise and intermittent fasting. Are key

    I supplement Udos Oil MCT Vit D Omega 3 6 9 Magnesium

    Dont overdo the nuts Treat yourself to a bottle ( Between 2 ) of Extra Dry Champagne occasionally.

    Stay Hydrated and Sleep

  15. Colette
    All this well-known Keto scientists say, "protein dont kick you out of ketosis.
    Gluconeogenisis happen only on demand". But if i eat more than 80g protein, i cant stay in ketosis too!
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