@evinced if it weren’t for the expense, I’d try. Frankly I think I’ll just learn from your validation and tighten up on my carbs which I’m certain on some days have crept upwards. Supposedly that, plus age/hormonal issues, could well be responsible for any stall. Perhaps a move toward carnivore for a period while observing myself would be a better ‘test’?
Just my opinion, but from the beginning, I never wanted to test my ketones, blood sugar, or anything else. I don’t even want to weigh myself and only find out my weight when I go to the doctor’s. From what I’ve learned here, if you keep the carbs under 20/day, then metabolically you will be in ketosis. Just like with the scale, I’m sure ketone levels can fluctuate for various reasons, which doesn’t necessarily mean you are doing anything wrong. Keto has been so effortless to me that I don’t want to torture myself wondering whether or not I’m doing it “right,” (i.e. “perfect”), and feel afraid that I am going to gain weight. Again, that’s me. I’m sure there are other members here who find testing helpful and valuable.
As far as I know, there aren’t even tests clearly saying you are in ketosis or not…
I know little about tests as I never did anything like that. I just wanted to feel right and listened to the responses of my body. I am among the ones who doesn’t feel ketosis though it was a tad different in the first times. My only useful measurement was my weight (it always changed quite noticeably when I went in and out of ketosis. little but my weight is very, very stable) but that stopped to be the case when I lost my water weight changes. Now I have no idea if I am in ketosis except when I eat little carbs so I surely am.
But ketosis was never important to me except when my goal was fat adaptation. It doesn’t give me noticeable benefits. I need to go very low with my carbs, way below my pretty generous ketosis carb level (I figured that out in the early times when I still noticed changes and anyway, I reached something that must be fat adaptation while eating around 40g net carbs a day. so I suppose my limit is high but it gives me nothing. but if I go way lower, or maybe it’s avoiding plants, I don’t know, plants are carby so the two are very closely correlated, maybe I will make tests later… then great things happen to me. ketosis alone isn’t enough for many of us).
The best test for ketosis is not output, but input. I would weigh every bit of food, down to the gram, then input the foods into an app like myfitnesspal, cronometer, carb manager, etc. When the carb input is 20 grams or less per day, from whole unprocessed foods, you will be guaranteed ketosis. The output of ketones and blood glucose can vary greatly for a variety of reasons. The input is the only constant that can be calculated, verified, and controlled.
It doesn’t seem to be bad breath, as far as I can tell. Nor does there seem to be any acetone in my breath—again, so far as I can tell. It’s more like a sort of dryish feeling, and possibly a slight metallic taste, depending on the day. The metallic taste seems to be much stronger for others than it ever is for me, at least judging from some posts I’ve read here. Other than that, I find it quite hard to describe.
@Elliot-W that makes some sense. I admit, however, that I’m not eager to return to strict weighing. I feel I did it long enough to get a good idea of what combinations of food in what quantities were likely to meet or exceed my carb allowance. If I have indeed crept up in carb consumption, it’s not really a mystery to me where!
@PaulL thanks for taking the time to come back and explain. What you’re referring to if I’m understanding correctly is how your mouth feels if/when you’ve fallen out of ketosis, right? I’m actually tempted to try this to see if I could better grasp what you’re having trouble (understandably…) describing. The single thing that seems to change how my breath feels to me in the morning is when I’ve had something the previous night in the onion family. Otherwise, while it may never be wonderful in the morning (is anyone’s?!) I’m not aware of a change I can put my finger on. You’ve piqued my curiosity here!
My two cents…
I think it’s useful to blood test periodically, if you can afford the strips, just to see what level of ketosis you are in, or not. If you adhere to a certain routine, you can establish quite quickly what your numbers will look like.
Other than that, sometimes it’s just nice to experiment. For example, I have pulled some high numbers on fasts, e.g. +3 mmol, or on other occasions 0.2 upon waking, and ended up 1.2 by noon. It is also useful to see how quickly you can get back in ketosis after a dietary abberation. This is probably one of the best strategies if you are into some kind of carb cycling protocol. I also tested levels after taking exogenous ketones, just to see what that did.
So I would classify it as a nice to have. Apart from the expense, another negative is obsession with numbers and chasing ketones, which is a perennial issue among the KD community. If you have said obsessive tenancies, then testing is best avoided.
Actually, it’s the opposite. I get a certain feeling in my mouth when in ketosis. I don’t get it if I’ve eaten too much carbohydrate the day before, and it’s a distinctly different feeling from the vile morning breath I used to get as a carb burner. I know others get something similar, because I’ve seen posts about it, but it seems to be an individual thing.
I appreciate your take @Jamesbrawn007and you’ve captured my initial thoughts – basically getting some solid ‘baseline’ data. I am not interested in spending much money on this, however – any broad guidelines about what these things cost? As for the obsession angle, as noted above I can tell that I could get a wee bit obsessive, but I also think I could nip it in the bud before it gets too out of hand!
Ah-ha @PaulL – good thing I asked! Now I’m even more curious so am tempted to experiment, although I admit that a significant carb-binge sort of scares me, especially because if I feel I’ve noticed anything with even a fairly modest binge, it’s a headache the next day. And I really dislike headaches!
As you say you are tempted to experiment…. Go for it! Many of us change our approach over time. You have the freedom to be your own test subject.
@robintemplin I do indeed have the freedom! Am I the only one, however, who now has what can best be described as fear of overdoing carbs? You know … “just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!”
You are absolutely NOT alone. I now fear carbs the same way I fear ever having another glass of scotch. Nope, nope, and nope. We each know how our head works and the lessons we have learned (sometimes over an over). Trust your gut instinct.
I still have occasional nightmares about eating carbs, after almost four years of constant ketosis
I am very interested to know how your mouth feels when you wake up and how that helps you know you are in ketosis. Thank you.
Please take a look through the thread, and you will see my description in a couple of earlier posts.
Just read you bio. Good for you!
…Now if I could just stop the vicious cycle of night eating syndrome that has consumed me for over 2 years