Ketogenic Diet: Tips to Finding Out Whether Your Diet Works or Not

The only way to tell whether or not your Ketogenic diet works is to constantly monitor how you feel. If you are constantly hungry, then something isn’t right.

lifestyleug.com__how ketogenic diet works (1)
The ketogenic diet works for some people, but not everyone. PHOTO via @YouTube

The ketogenic diet works for some people, but not others. It typically includes plenty of foods like meat, fish, eggs, vegetable oils like olive oil and coconut oil. It’s low in carbohydrates (usually less than 50g per day) and it eliminates sugars.

It seems easy to follow a ketogenic diet at first glance. But the road to ketosis is not always so smooth for everyone. Many people eat too much fat, trans fats and protein.

Advantages of going keto-adapted

  1. Your appetite is satisfied with healthy fats and proteins. You consume as little carbs as possible (the term “carb” is not usually used anymore). Oils and nuts go very well in a ketogenic diet. Carbs are stored in the form of glycogen, and they are not converted into sugars for energy.
  2. Your body can use the glucose that might come from carbs for energy needs ONLY after the glycogen is depleted (which takes about 2 days). So you don’t have to worry about your daily carbohydrate intake.
  3. Your body will shed some water weight. This is one of the reasons many people lose weight with a ketogenic diet.
  4. Your body feels satiated because it’s getting enough proteins and fats, so you don’t feel hungry anymore (learn more about ketosis).

The good functioning of your liver will help you lose fat. Fatty liver disease is associated with obesity and can be prevented and improved by a healthy ketogenic lifestyle (a high-fat low-carb approach).

A scientific study published in the British Journal of Nutrition has shown that a ketogenic diet increases blood levels of HDL cholesterol (the good version) while decreasing the LDL cholesterol (the bad version). HDL cholesterol may reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease.

A ketogenic diet may also have other less drastic benefits for your body.

Some studies have found that a ketogenic diet improves some aspects of cognitive function (such as working memory or processing speed). A recent study tested the effects of a ketogenic diet on young adults with brain disorders.

The study states that “All patients improved significantly on brain-performance tests” after following a ketogenic diet, which is great news for people with diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

How do you stay in ketosis?

You can keep yourself in a state of ketosis even if you miss some meals. For example, you could have a coffee in the morning, and then take a high-fat meal in the evening.

When starting out on your ketogenic diet, it’s a good idea to eat some healthy fats and protein with every meal. If you want to experiment with fasting, try to go without eating for 12 hours per day on the days when you don’t eat.

For this reason, most people do not choose to fast for more than 12 consecutive days.

So how do you know whether your ketogenic diet is working? That depends on how you feel. If you feel hungry most of the time, then all is not well.

Ketogenic Diet: 9 Tips to see if it works

1. Measuring Ketone Levels in the Urine with Ketostix

Ketostix is small pads that can tell you whether you’re in ketosis or not. They measure the levels of ketones in your urine and turn blue when exposed to ketones.

Although Ketostix can be a useful tool, they aren’t too accurate.

When you’re in ketosis, your body will not always produce enough ketones to turn the Ketostix blue. Furthermore, they don’t tell you how much acid your body produces after eating. Most people are under the impression that if their urine isn’t blue, then they’re not in ketosis. This is completely wrong.

Ketostix also has the following disadvantages:

They turn “red” when you eat carbs. You should only check them after 24 hours of fasting and after eating a controlled diet.

You check Ketostix at different times of the day for a reason: they’re designed to turn blue only after 24 hours of fasting. In general, tests on urine are inaccurate if done more than once daily, so using Ketostix for more than 24 hours will not provide accurate results.

You can test them again by seeing how long it takes erythema (reddening) to appear.

The longer the time that it takes to appear, the higher your ketones are. Also, red or pink Ketostix can show that your urine is acidic, not that you’re not in ketosis.

When you’re not eating a ketogenic diet and you don’t have carb cravings, then the chances are that your urine will be a pale yellow color.

If Ketostix show this color or even any traces of blue, it might mean that you’ve just eaten carbs within the last 2-3 days, which means that your body isn’t producing ketones in large enough quantities to turn the Ketostix blue.

It is for these reasons why I find this tool somewhat useless. If I had to choose between using Ketostix and a blood ketone meter, I’d pick the blood ketone meter.

Blood Ketone Meter

The blood ketone meter is the best way to go for monitoring your ketosis and for following your progress in a short period of time. It’s also the most accurate test that you can get.

The only problem with it is that it costs $120 or more (VetsinKetones Blood Meter) which is pricey, but that’s what you have to pay if you want something truly accurate.

How To Use The Blood Ketone Meter

For this test, you’re going to want to take a blood sample. Once your sample is ready, you need to place it onto the pad and then place the pad on top of the meter. Wait for 50 seconds or so and then read the meter.

If the meter reads negative, that means you still have carbs in your system/ organs/ muscles and if it reads positive, that means you are in ketosis (read our next section to learn how to determine when).

The problem with this method is that it takes time! It reminds me of when I used to go on an Acid Diet “Bulletproof Coffee” diet. It sounds nice, but I don’t have time to go through this process every day.

I quickly discovered that I could just get the same if not better effect by taking high-quality Keto Collagen Protein and Keto Collagen Peptides. So I did some digging and found a great product that is very sustainable for me and convenient to use – Keto Collagen Peptides .

This is the best product for anyone who needs fast ketosis results!

This is my experience of using Collagen Peptides on a low carbohydrate diet approach: First of all, this is not a dietary supplement. You will also not find any stimulants like caffeine in it. You can expect it to work the same way as a collagen protein: It will increase your metabolism and make you feel more energetic.

Pros of Collagen Peptides

They don’t have any stimulants in them. As I explained above, stimulants are not good for anyone taking keto macros. That being said, there could be some people who find whey protein too unappealing so they can use this product in place of it – I won’t go into the details about this, but just keep that in mind if you’re concerned about stimulants.

Work for everyone while still being affordable. These collagen peptides are very affordable, which is great since they’re not necessarily a dietary supplement with a patented formula (the prices are just low because the product is not patented).

They taste good. There’s nothing worse than drinking something that tastes terrible. Collagen smells and tastes like protein powder, but it does not have a fishy smell or taste like some high protein products do. It has no distinguishable taste at all. You can easily add it to your favorite beverage or food without worrying about tasting it too much or at all.

SEE NEXT   Here's Where to Go for a Vacation in Africa

Easy to take on the go and don’t need to mix with anything else. The benefit of this is that you don’t have to take it out of the bag or worry about carrying around any other product. It’s already pre-mixed and ready to go. A spoonful is all you need to get your protein and collagen peptide fix for the day.

It helps with hair quality and skin elasticity. I have only seen these benefits by taking collagen peptides on an empty stomach in the morning, but there are a lot of other people who claim that this has helped them with their hair volume/ hair quality/ skin elasticity so I am adding it as one of the benefits because there is a good chance that it will work for you.

It is a great source of protein for vegetarians/vegans. It’s not just for these people though. This could be a great alternative to regular protein shakes that include animal products (mostly whey).

Cons of Collagen Peptides

They taste good, but I don’t know how they taste if you mix them with water. I have had mixed results with this product because it has a tendency to sit on your teeth for a while after drinking it so if you have sensitive gums, then this might be an issue for you as it makes no difference what you mix it with.

Have to take with water or milk. This is not a problem if you’re drinking something like coffee but could be inconvenient if you’re trying to incorporate this into your diet as much as possible (like water).

No added vitamin/mineral content. This is generally a problem with any protein powder or peptides, but this product does not have any added vitamins/minerals. You can easily add your own vitamins/ minerals by putting them into your favorite beverage or food.

What is the best way to use Collagen Peptides?

There are many ways to use these skin and gut-healthy supplements, and you can find many different recipes online. It’s safe to mix them with numerous foods and beverages. Here are some of the things I like using them for.

I use it in my morning coffee (1 scoop of protein only). It’s an ideal way to get your collagen peptides to fix without having to wait an hour between every meal.

It’s perfect for pre-workout drinks. Creatine has been shown to increase strength and muscle mass but also has a side effect–creatine bloating. I know a lot of people take creatine along with other vitamins, minerals, and plant-based proteins to avoid these side effects. Try adding collagen peptides to your creatines for a more efficient workout.

How many Collagen Peptides should I take?

The recommended dosage for this product is 3 to 5 grams per day, but there’s no reason why you can’t take more if you want to! I try to get about 30 grams in every day because I like the taste/ the results. If you’re looking for some specific results, I recommend reading our article on how much collagen you need daily .

Takeaway on Collagen Peptides: If you’re trying to lose fat, then taking these will help with that process. If you’re trying to gain athletic muscle, then these are perfect for that. If you have a specific health problem, then this is the product for you!

3. Measuring Ketone Levels in the Breath with Ketonix

The Ketonix is a breath analyzer that tests whether your body is in ketosis or not. This device measures exhaled acetone levels and turn blue and green when your body produces ketones.

It’s made by a company named Jroptimus AB, which specializes in analyzing blood sugars and other medical tests. This is the only breath test I have found to be reliable for measuring ketones in the breath.

How To Use The Ketonix

You’ll want to get a small piece of cotton or some filter paper to place over your mouth and nose. Then, you’ll take a few deep breaths into the Ketonix device using an exhaled air syringe, and then collect your breath into the Ketonix tube.

Then, you should close it by putting some cotton or filter paper over it for 5 minutes.

Once you remove it, then you can read the results on their website or app by entering all of your personal information, including weight, height, blood pressure and medications into their program.

The reason why this is a good way to test for ketosis is that your body produces more acetone when you’re in ketosis, and you can measure that by using the Ketonix breath analyzer.

Note: You should know that it has been scientifically proven that ketones are not reabsorbed and recycled like glucose is. That being said, whenever your body burns the ketones, they turn into carbon dioxide first before leaving as carbon dioxide through your lungs. If you’re using a ketone meter, it will show no signs of blood not being in ketosis when you actually are. You can read that article here.

Pros of Ketonix: This device is easy to use and highly accurate. This is one of the most accurate devices for measuring your ketones as it has been tested with real people in a controlled setting and has been proven to work as advertised.

It’s also cheap at about $40 so this isn’t really an issue with us (and I believe it will be an issue for most other metabolic testing companies).

Cons of Ketonix: There is no way to watch your progress. Both urine sticks and blood sticks will tell you the same thing (except that one costs twice as much and could be inaccurate).

The Ketonix is a great tool for beginning your keto diet journey, but it’s no good for tracking whether or not it is working in the long run. You’ll have to use something else if you want to learn how this ketogenic diet works over time.

It’s not portable. If you want to use this device, then make sure that you have a laptop or PC or some other device that can connect to the internet so you can check out your ketones. Otherwise, it will just be too inconvenient for you to transport around with you.

How many Ketones should I test for?

The maximum level of ketosis is 3.0 and below. The minimum level could be as small as 1.0, depending on your personal metabolic levels such as your genetics and/or diet. The normal level of ketosis is between 0.5 and 3.0 (with 0 being completely off).

Here is a chart to help you better understand the levels, which were taken from KetoClarity .

Takeaway on Ketone Breath Meters

This device is great for anyone who wants to have an accurate and cheap way of measuring their ketones. It’s also great if you are just starting out on your ketogenic diet journey, but it’s no good for someone who wants to learn about what they need to do if they want to make this diet work overtime.

I only say this because if you are serious about knowing how well the ketogenic diet works for you then you’re going to want to read more articles like this one.

4. The Ketone Test Strips

Keto-Strips are the most inexpensive and easiest way to test blood ketone in the market today. You can test your urine, blood, or saliva for levels of ketones. Preparing a ketone-testing diet is simple; all you need is:

A glucose meter: Ketostix contains color developers that react with your urine (or other fluids) to turn a particular color when it traces a certain level of ketone concentration. This is why you need a glucose meter to get the most accurate results out of them.

If you’re looking for a meter then I recommend this one, as it’s what I use and it works very well for me.

Strips for testing ketones in the urine: These strips come in a box of 50. Each strip gives you a reading on how many parts per million your urine has of ketones. This is very accurate and easy to use. There’s even a line that you can place your measuring cap on so you don’t even have to guess (one drop = one part per million).

SEE NEXT   McDonald’s Is Suing Former CEO Steve Easterbrook Over Sexual Misconduct

A ketone test kit that also works with blood and saliva (wand) for measuring blood ketone levels. These test strips are much more expensive than the ones for testing urine, but they are still pretty cheap at about $20 ($35 with shipping) for 75 strips. You can purchase one or two packages of 25 strips.

If you’re looking for the cheapest way to test your blood for ketones, then I recommend this kit. It also works with other kinds of ketone testing kits like urine strips and finger-prick tests. You’ll just need to get a meter and strips to get started on your diet journey.

Note: If you want to learn more about using Ketostix, then check out our article on how to test blood ketones for beginners here.

Pros of Keto-Strips: This is one of the easiest ways to test your own blood or urine levels of carbohdynol (Ketones). It’s very cheap and easy to use (just dip it into the fluid you want to test and it will tell you what the ketone level is).

Cons of Keto-Strips: The biggest issue with these strips is that they can only test for high ketone levels, meaning that they will not show if your body is in ketosis or not. This means that they can be way off, which could lead you to believe that your diet isn’t working when in fact it is. Also, they aren’t always accurate because they can run out if you don’t have enough fluid or blood on them.

How many Ketones should I try to reach?

The maximum amount of ketones your body can produce is 3.0 mmol/L. If your body is producing ketones at this level, then it’s safe to say that you are in ketosis, which means you are absorbing fats and using them as your primary energy source (instead of carbohydrates).

This makes it an ideal state for losing weight and burning fat more efficiently than ever before.

Takeaway on Testing Blood Ketone Levels

The only way that will give you an accurate reading as to whether or not you are in ketosis is by taking a blood test with a Keto-Strips meter.

If you want to be sure that your diet is working for you, then I recommend testing your blood ketone levels once or twice a day for the first month of your journey. Your goal should be to hit between 2 and 3 mmol/L every day.

5. Saliva Ketone Tester with Strips (Ketodivan)

The Ketodivan is not only easy to use, but it’s also cheap when compared to other ketone testing kits like Ketostix or Keto-Strips (see our review of Ketostix here). I have used this device for some time now, and it’s a great tool to use if you are just starting your ketogenic diet journey.

It’s also a good option if you don’t want to spend a lot of money on testing devices.

How To Use The Ketodivan

Take off the top part of the box and insert two strips inside the plastic container. You can then store them in the freezer until you need them.

Take one strip and rub it on your tongue for 20 seconds, allowing your saliva to absorb it freely (if you dip it in water ahead of time, then it might not absorb as well). The strip is now ready to be read.

Pros of The Ketodivan: It’s very accurate and easy to use. The results are easy to read, and there’s even a line that you can place your measuring cap on so you don’t even have to guess (one drop = one part per million). The best part about this device? It costs only $9 on Amazon.

Cons of The Ketodivan: There is no way to watch your progress with this device. You can only test for high levels of ketones, not low ones. Also, the accuracy is much lower than other devices on this list (but it should be noted that the accuracy with other devices like Keto-Strips is also low).

How many Ketones should I reach?

The maximum level of ketones your body can produce is 3.0 mmol/L. If you are producing ketones at this level, then it’s safe to say that you are in ketosis, which means you are absorbing fats and using them as your primary energy source (instead of carbohydrates).

This makes it an ideal state for losing weight and burning fat more efficiently than ever before.

Takeaway on Using Saliva Ketone Testers

If you’re looking for a cheap way to track your progress as you go through your ketogenic diet journey, then the Ketodivan is an excellent tool to use.

One of the best things about this test is that it’s very accurate, easy to use and a great tool for those on a budget. If you want to learn more about ketones and how they work, then check out our article here.

6. Precision Xtra Blood Glucose Meters

This meter is not only cheaper than some of the other meters on this list but also way cheaper than the ones that have high accuracy like the Dexcom G5 (which comes in at $400). This meter is also highly accurate as you can get readings ranging from 0.01 to 15.0 mmol/L with the backlight (0.01 for green, 15.0 for red).

The accuracy of this meter is really good, so you can trust what it says about your blood sugar levels without having to worry about it being off. It’s also super user-friendly as you don’t have to do anything more than just wear it on your finger and test your blood sugar levels whenever you want to, all from a device that costs less than $100 (or $20 if you want one with a counter).

Pros of Precision Xtra Blood Glucose Meters: It’s easy to use, accurate and you don’t have to do anything more than just wear it on your finger and test your blood sugar levels whenever you want to. The price is also way cheaper than some of the other meters on this list (which are over $100).

Cons of Precision Xtra Blood Glucose Meters: It has no way to tell you how much carbohdynol (ketones) your body is making. This makes it harder to track results or determine if you are in ketosis (which you need to do if you’re going to be successful at losing weight). Also, the accuracy is lower than some of the other meters on this list.

How many Ketones should I try to reach?

The maximum amount of ketones your body can produce is 3.0 mmol/L. If you are producing ketones at this level, then it’s safe to say that you are in ketosis, which means you are absorbing fats and using them as your primary energy source (instead of carbohydrates).

This makes it an ideal state for losing weight and burning fat more efficiently than ever before.

Takeaway on Using Precision Xtra Blood Glucose Meters

If you want to get an accurate reading of your blood sugar levels and are in a pinch for money, then the Precision Xtra is a great option.

It’s easy to use and has excellent accuracy, so you can trust what it says about your blood sugar levels without having to worry about it being off.

7. Verio (Five Star) Blood Glucose Monitor – Mens

This is one of the cheapest meters that I have found in the market today and it’s also very accurate when compared to other meters like the Dexcom G4 (which comes in at $400). You can get readings ranging from 0.1 to 30.0 mmol/L with the backlight (0.1 for green, 30.0 for red).

The accuracy of this meter is not very high (for instance, it can’t tell when you are in ketosis), but it’s still cheap and easy to use. Another great thing about this meter is that it allows you to see your results from the past 7 days so you know exactly where you stand with your blood sugar levels day today.

SEE NEXT   Here is everything you need to know about Hibiscus tea

Pros of Verio Blood Glucose Monitor – Mens: It’s very accurate and has a great price tag for what’s on offer (only $20). It has excellent battery life and also has amazing accuracy when compared to other meters on this list.

Cons of Verio Blood Glucose Monitor – Mens: It can’t tell you whether or not you are in ketosis, meaning that it’s harder to track your progress or determine if your diet is working for you. Also, the accuracy is lower than some of the other meters on this list.

How many Ketones should I try to reach?

The maximum amount of ketones your body can produce is 3.0 mmol/L. If you are producing ketones at this level, then it’s safe to say that you are in ketosis, which means you are absorbing fats and using them as your primary energy source (instead of carbohydrates).

This makes it an ideal state for losing weight and burning fat more efficiently than ever before.

Takeaway on Using Verio Blood Glucose Monitor – Mens

If you want an accurate reading of your blood sugar levels, but don’t want to spend a lot on a meter then the Verio is a great option. It’s a very cheap meter with excellent accuracy, so it’s perfect for those on a budget.

8. Ketonix (Dextro Energy) Blood Ketone and Blood Glucose Meter

This is one of the most accurate meters on the market today (reportedly 99% accurate). The readings you get range from 0.5 to 4 mmol/L, and you also have access to tracking your results over time (up to 2 years).

This meter is also much cheaper than similar meters that are only 50% accurate, coming in at only $40.

This meter is super user-friendly as it comes with a mobile app that lets you control your progress and also track your results. It also allows you to analyze your ketones (both high and low) and diabetes-related parameters. Everything you can do with the Dexcom G4, plus the ability to track multiple people in one device.

Pros of Ketonix Blood Ketone Meter: It’s very accurate (reportedly 99% accurate), very cheap for what’s on offer, easy to use and it comes with a mobile app that lets you control your progress and also track your results (for 2 years).

Also, it offers the ability to analyze your ketones (both high and low) and diabetes-related parameters.

Cons of Ketonix Blood Ketone Meter: It can’t tell you when or how many ketones you are making. This makes it harder to track results or determine if you are in ketosis (which you need to do if you want to be successful at losing weight). Also, the accuracy is lower than some of the other meters on this list.

How many Ketones should I try to reach?

The maximum level of ketones your body can produce is 3.0 mmol/L. If you are producing ketones at this level, then it’s safe to say that you are in ketosis, which means you are absorbing fats and using them as your primary energy source (instead of carbohydrates).

This makes it an ideal state for losing weight and burning fat more efficiently than ever before.

Takeaway on Using Ketonix Blood Ketone Meter

If you want to know your results without the hassle of having to wear a meter on your finger all day every day, then the dextro is a great option.

It’s easy to use and has very high accuracy (reportedly 99% accurate), so you can trust what it says about your blood sugar levels without having to worry about it being off.

9. One Touch Ultra Blood Glucose Monitor

This is another cheap meter worth checking out. You can get readings ranging from 0.5 to 10 mmol/L with the backlight (0.5 for green, 10 for red). The accuracy of this meter is very good, so you can trust what it says about your blood sugar levels without having to worry about it being off.

This meter also comes with a digital eye site that allows you to take a quick blood sample without any hassle, all from a device that costs less than $20.

This device also has an additional app called HealthHub that tracks your results over time and helps you make better food choices based upon your results. It also checks for factors that can be affecting your glucose levels like ketoacidosis, hormonal imbalances (e.g. thyroid, etc).

It’s also super user-friendly as you don’t have to do anything more than just wear it on your finger and test your blood sugar levels whenever you want to.

Pros of One Touch Ultra Blood Glucose Monitor: It’s very cheap for what’s on offer, easy to use and has excellent accuracy (reportedly up to 99%). There is also an extra app called “HealthHub” that ensures you are making the best possible decisions regarding your health (as well as tracking how you are doing throughout the day).

Cons of One Touch Ultra Blood Glucose Monitor: It has no way to tell you how much carbohdynol (ketones) your body is making, so you can’t track results or determine if you are in ketosis (which you need to do if you are going to be successful at losing weight).

Also, the accuracy is lower than some of the other meters on this list.

Takeaway on Using One Touch Ultra Blood Glucose Monitor

If you want a cheap meter that works well and comes with an app, then this is an excellent option. The price tag is very low for what’s on offer, and it has excellent accuracy (reportedly up to 99%).

It also comes with an app that will help you track your results (for up to 2 years).

Ketogenic diet: Additional tips to see if it works

  1. Eat more fat and protein: It’s important to consume adequate amounts of healthy fats and proteins in order to stay in ketosis.
  2. If you’re eating a high-carbohydrate diet, your insulin levels will be low for a decent period of time (up to two days) while your body stores the excess carbs as fat, which raises ketone levels in the blood. The higher the level of ketones in the blood, the better.
  3. Read your urine: You can check whether you’re in ketosis with Ketostix. They have some disadvantages for sure: they don’t indicate the level of ketones, and they may give false negatives if you urinate on them less often than every 2 hours.
  4. Bitter taste test: You can take a bitter substance (like phenolphthalein) that causes a color change in your urine. The darker the color, the more ketones produced.
  5. Measure breath ketone levels: This is only really useful for measuring very high levels of ketosis (60 g or more). A handheld device can be used to measure the levels of ketones in your breath.
  6. When you’re ready to go on a long-term ketogenic diet or fast, I recommend the exogenous ketone supplement KetoPrime. This product increases your energy levels, helps alleviate brain fog, and boosts endurance performance when in a state of ketosis.

That is all for this article, I hope you liked it and that it has been useful for you to tell whether or not your Ketogenic diet works. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment below or simply send us a message via the contact page.

Lifestyleug

Editor in Chief/Moderator

Art & Lifestyle web-blog with an African-America spice. Lifestyle Uganda was founded, by a team of 3 social media gurus. Let's talk WhatsApp +256790536205.

1 Comment

Leave a Reply