Ketosis is a state where the body is burning fat for fuel. The body runs on fuel sources. Glucose from carbohydrates, Amino acids from proteins and ketones via fat. Ketones as an energy source become fuel for our brains after being converted from fat by the liver. Ketone production is made possible when the amount of insulin in our bloodstream is low. When insulin is low, ketone production is high. When a sufficient amount of ketones are in our blood, it is evidence that insulin is low and this is when we reach optimal ketosis. Intermittent fasting and eating a low carb/high fat diet helps us reach this. Reaching optimal ketosis is different for everyone. Some people take longer than others and for some, it doesn’t happen. Supplementing with exogenous ketones can help in this situation and the body will reach ketosis with the help of supplementation. You can find out more on ketones HERE.
For most, fine tuning and continuing to adjust our diet and monitor our ketone levels regularly to find out what is happening, is the best way. Many people use the ketone urine test strips on AMAZON and while they are helpful in the beginning of a keto journey, they aren’t as reliable as blood monitors. Today there are some really reasonably-priced monitors for measuring ketone levels at home. I use and recommend the KETO MOJO KETONE and GLUCOSE METER. Blood ketone levels are best measured in the morning before our first meal (break-fast). Here are some pointers via The Diet Doctor Website on how to interpret the results:
- Below 0.5 mmol/L: not considered “ketosis”. At this level, you’re not burning fat.
- Between 0.5-1.5 mmol/L: light nutritional ketosis. Burning fat at a slow rate, but not optimal. May see some results.
- Around 1.5 – 3 mmol/L: optimal ketosis; this is recommended for maximum fat loss.
- Values of over 3 mmol/L aren’t necessary. That is, they will achieve neither better nor worse results than being at the 1.5-3 level. Higher values can also sometimes mean that you’re not getting enough food. For type 1 diabetics, it can be caused by a severe lack of insulin, see below.
From the research I have done and from my own experience, many of us who feel we are eating low carb seem surprised that our blood ketone levels are only in the “light nutritional ketosis” range. Well, it isn’t ONLY about cutting out carbs but it monitoring other foods that will be converted to glucose in the body. By fasting, eating moderate protein and more fat will allow us to feel more satiated so that our insulin levels will drop and be able to reach optimal ketosis. It isn’t just about what we eat, but when we eat, AND when we monitor our levels.
The pictures below show my keto levels while fasting and after drinking ketones. I recommend testing while fasting so you can get a more reliable reading. Drinking ketones is a great way to get into ketosis fast…within one hour actually! The therapeutic ketones that I recommend are perfect for fighting cravings, boosting mood and energy and helping with fat loss and muscle preservation.
These ketones are amazing and not only get us in to ketosis in one hour but help with fat loss, muscle preservation, sustained energy, reduced brain fog, appetite suppression, strength gain, better mood, better sleep and better digestion. They also offer flexibility with this lifestyle.
Be sure to check your ketones regularly–especially in the beginning so you know what ketosis FEELS like. Forget the pee strips and use the monitor I mentioned. I recommend checking as often as you need to in order to get into a routine until you get comfortable with your new habits and lifestyle.
This post is is not intended to replace consultation with a qualified medical professional. It is not intended to treat or advise on medical situations. Type 1 diabetics as well as others seeking medical advice should consult their doctor before implementing any information obtained from this site or others on the internet.