Keto Resources

What’s the Best Time to Test Blood Ketones? (And How Often)

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Okay the bottom line is these blood
ketone strips are expensive and we don't want to be wasting them. There are
several times during the day when testing will give you misleading
readings. By the end of this video, you're going to know when you should be testing
when you shouldn't be testing and how often you need to be testing in order to
get an accurate picture of your ketone levels. Let's get started Hey Carbdodgers! My name is Dr. Dan
Maggs thanks for visiting my channel where I help people achieve long-term
sustainable weight loss through low carb real food nutrition. I struggle with my
weight pretty much my entire life until about 2016 when I went from officially obese to a normal way, in just over six months and I've maintained it ever since.
And I'd love to show you how to do the same. I release new videos here every
Tuesday and I'd love it if you'd subscribe to my channel and hit that
bell to get notified whenever I release a new video.

Now I've never been a big
tester of ketone levels and when I went through my period of rapid weight loss
back in 2016 I didn't actually check ketones once. I didn't need to because I
was consistently losing weight and ultimately that was the goal and there
seems to be this myth in the keto diet world that we should be aiming for
really really high ketone levels all the time and it's simply not true. In fact, I
think it often leads to an overconsumption of fat and often an
under consumption of protein and I've made a separate video that deconstructs
this myth about high ketone levels. And you can check that out by clicking up
here.

It's also linked down below in the description below this video. Now, a lot
of keto websites or YouTube channels are sponsored by the manufacturers of ketone meters. I'm not, so I'm not going to tell you that you should be testing all the
time because it's simply not true. But testing does have its place and it can
be useful particularly for overcoming problems. Also I know some people who
find testing their ketone levels just really reassuring.

It provides some sort
of accountability to the data and they know their on the right track
also if you like me you're a bit of a data geek and it can be quite fun to
track these things. So, if you are testing then blood ketone readings are by far
the most accurate way to check your ketone levels but whilst the ketone
meters themselves are often relatively cheap, the test strips are still quite
expensive and we don't want to be wasting them. Testing more often than we need to or testing at times of day when we're going to be getting a misleading
reading and there are several times during the day when you're gonna get
falsely low readings. The first time you should avoid testing is first thing in
the morning and that's due to something called the DAWN EFFECT. Now the dawn
effect is a normal physiological process that happens to all of us.

In the early
hours of the morning, there's a surge in number of hormones, cortisol and
adrenaline and this is part of the body's normal circadian rhythms. It
promotes the release of glucose into the bloodstream which is just there to help
you prepare for the day ahead. Now a lot of diabetics noticed a spike in their
blood glucose levels at this time of day but non-diabetic shouldn't actually see
a rise because insulin should be compensating for that rise in blood
glucose but that rise in blood glucose will also cause a reactionary lowering
of the ketone levels. So, if you testing in the early hours of the morning and
you find that you've got a low ketone levels it's due to the dawn effect you
want to be waiting at least an hour after you wake up as a minimum before
you start testing your ketone levels.

The second time you should avoid testing is directly after a meal. Even a low carb meal will cause some insulin to be
released by the pancreas so it's not uncommon to see a temporary dip in blood ketone levels at that point. Now ketones will often quickly recover over the next
few hours but not in an entirely predictable way and it will vary
depending on the meal. Now as a side note some people do like to see the response
their meals have on their ketone levels and may
like to test on a schedule such as before a meal 30 minutes after that meal
an hour after that meal or 2 hours after that meal just to see what their
response has been and this can be quite interesting for a day to eat like me to
see my body's response to certain meals but it really doesn't tell us a lot
about the long-term stable levels of ketones that our bodies are achieving.

So
by all means do it if you're curious but not really for any other reason than
that. Talking of curiosity, I'm curious as to how many people out there are data
geeks like I am. So if that is you and you enjoy testing in that way hit the
like button below and type the word geek in the comments just to let me know. Now
the third time of day you should avoid testing is after exercise. Now ketones
are being used by the body for energy and anything that causes them to be used
faster such as exercise will cause a temporary lowering of ketone levels that
misrepresents your longer-term levels again by all means test for curiosity
but don't get misled when the levels drop after exercise so that's when we
shouldn't be testing but when should we be testing and how often?
Now I typically recommend the best time of day to test is before your main meals
so lunch and dinner, for me.

Now that's typically 12:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. which
fits in with my normal 16 8 pattern of fasting checking before lunch gives
plenty of time for that dawn effect phenomenon to pass and typically I
usually work out in the mornings too. Now, if you typically skip breakfast like a
lot of lowcarbers who do intermittent fasting do then it'll have been
approximately 16 hours since your last meal if you've not achieved a stable
level of ketones by this time you're probably not in ketosis and if I had to
just test once a day it would definitely be this before lunch
check and the check before dinner gives plenty of time for you to achieve a
stable level of ketones after your lunch but not if you've just exercised you may
wish to consider testing before bed for example if you often workout before your
evening meal and twice a day we'll give you a good idea of things are stable
adding in a third testing point I don't really think it really adds much to your
data.

So twice a day is what I usually recommend and if you're going to be
testing on a regular basis you're gonna want to find a pattern that works for
your particular lifestyle and stick with it. Just make sure you avoid the common
mistake times that I've mentioned above work out what works for you and stick
with it every day. Now be sure to check out my video where I discuss optimum
ketone levels for weight loss please don't get caught in that trap of chasing
hi ketone levels it doesn't matter anywhere near as much as you might think
you also might find it useful to check my video which was all about monitoring
the symptoms of ketosis to check you're on the right lines I'll put the links to
both of those videos down in the resources section which you can find in
the description of this video. So that's it for today's video, I hope you've
enjoyed that I hope it's been useful for you and hope you've got something out of
that.

If you've enjoyed this video, please hit the like button down below and why
not leave me a comment in the comment section
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Thanks for watching!.

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