Step 3 – Monitoring & Optimizing

Have We Achieved Ketosis?

Our primary goal is to be in a state of ketosis. How do we know if we are in ketosis? One way to measure is by using ketone testing strips. This measures the concentration of ketones in your system. Ketones are produced by our liver when carbs are restricted. These are transported from the liver to other tissues where they can be reconverted by enzymes in the body to produce energy.

If you do opt for this approach as a guideline, a normal diet would produce ketone levels of under 0.5 mmol/l, however on a ketogenic diet we are aiming for 1.5 – 3.0 mmol/l for the optimal state of ketosis.

Over 5.0mmol/l is unnecessary and over 10.0 is unhealthy as we are at a risk of ketoacidosis. However within the first week as our body is adapting it can be normal to have levels over 3.0 mmol/l.

If testing is not possible or you prefer not to test, then an alternative measure is to go on the basis of how you feel:

  • Did you go through the ‘keto flu’? More energy, increased focus? If not then adjustments may be needed.
  • Weight and visual inspection? Have you lost weight? Do you look slimmer? If so, you are likely on the right track.

If you are happy that you are in ketosis then we can move onto the next stage, otherwise try reducing your carb intake by 5g a day and review after 1 more week. If you wanted to eat more carbs, then you can try increasing your carb intake by 5g a day and see if you are still in ketosis after another week.

If you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it.’ William Thompson – Physicist