In pursuit of really knowing whether or not I was in a ketogenic state, I’ve opted to test my blood for ketones.
When I initially started practicing fasting in my twenties, my mom worked in a hospital laboratory and gave me the urine test strips to pee on because she was worried I was “acetonic” or in a state of ketoacidosis. I was neither, but I definitely had high levels of ketones, I felt fine and let it at that.
Fast-forward 20+ years and there is so much more information and science about fasting, authophagy, and being in a ketogenic state available. In addition to the science, there are at-home tools that anyone can use to test their ketone and glucose levels. I purchased the Precision Xtra meter at the recommendation of Dr. Stephen Phinney and highly recommend his book The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance (co-authored with Jeff Volek)
I know people have had luck with the Keto Mojo product, I just prefer the Precision Xtra over others. I choose to use a blood test system because:
It is the most accurate way to test
Blood testing tests for BHB, rather than acetoacetate or acetone
I know that is more expensive and it can be annoying to prick my finger constantly, both of my parents have had Type 2 diabetes for decades, I’ve witnessed their struggles with testing their blood.
Since I test both Glucose and Ketone levels the only other effective way to know is to test your urine.
These “pee sticks” are identical to the ones my mom had me use. They test for a bunch of different things, but testing Glucose and Ketone levels are what I would use them for. You can also use them to check your urine for Leukocytes or Blood if you think you may have a UTI (Bonus!).
They are less expensive than blood tests
Available at most local pharmacies
Easy to use
Not as accurate as blood testing
Over time, as you become Keto-Adapted, readings are less-accurate
It all depends on what you want or feel you need.
I haven’t included breath testers because they only test for Ketones. Knowing Glucose and Ketones are important data points when pursuing a well-formulated Ketogenic Diet.
All this said, because I’ve had so many years of practicing fasting, eating low-carb and living with diabetes… I feel l know when I’m on the right track and listen to my body. Stressing about what a monitor or stick says can almost be as bad as allowing what the scale in the bathroom says, make or break my day.
Knowing my body and listening to it is usually the best way to know where I’m at and where I need to go. But when in doubt, I will test it out!