Are you starting the ketogenic diet? If so then it’s important to know about something called “ketosis.” The body’s first choice for energy is calories/carbs from the food we eat. However, a second option is fat stores. If you’ve ever gone all day without food then you were in “ketosis.” A low/zero-carb diet causes your body to go into ketosis. This causes the liver to crank out something called “ketones” that help to fuel the body and brain. It’s important to know how many ketones in urine for ketosis. By using “keto strips” you can find out whether or not your body is in ketosis.
How do you stay in ketosis? When on the keto diet you have to consume less than 50g of carbs per day. In some modified keto versions that figure drops to half of that. The test strips give you a way to test whether you’re in ketosis. That’s based on the number of ketones your body is producing. If you consume too many carbs then it kicks you out of ketosis and your ketone level will be lower. When you’re on the keto diet that’s a bad thing. Besides using the test strips you’ll need to know what level of ketones you’ll need to stay above.
What Is Ketosis?
This is a key feature of the keto diet. Consider that “keto” is in the words ketosis and ketones. What are these terms all about?
This is a normal state related to human metabolism. For example, our bodies are hard-wired to go into ketosis when there are situations like famines. If you get lost and there’s nothing to eat it’s another reason your body uses this process.
What is it all about? When we don’t get enough carbs, our metabolism slows down. It first eats the carbs from the last meal we just had. It then consumes the stored glucose (blood sugar) that’s left.
The body’s metabolism slows down during this process so it hordes leftover glucose. This is important because it extends how long a person can go without food.
However, the body still needs energy. That’s when it starts getting energy from two other sources. One is fat stores. The process is different from getting energy from food and more complex. That said, it still works.
The body also gets energy from something the liver starts amping up its production of ketones. This is another way a person’s body/brain gets enough energy when there are no carbs available.
This process is “normal” in that it’s Plan B when the body is on a diet of low/zero carbs. However, there are also diets like Keto and Atkins that hack the body’s systems.
Because they’re super-low carb diets this causes the body to go into ketosis like it would when you do a 24-hour fast, for example. The keto diet can be a short-term or long-term diet.
When you’re on the keto diet you’ll need to know whether or not you’re in ketosis. One way to test that is to use something called “keto strips.” They’re test strips to test your urine and find out your urine’s ketone count.
How Many Ketones in Urine for Ketosis?
It’s quite easy to use the test strips to test your ketones. However, it’s important to know how to “read” them in terms of whether or not you’re in ketosis.
These test strips are quite cheap and you can find them at various stores like drugstores and online retailers like Amazon.
One of the main benefits of these strips is they’re very convenient. They’re a basic urine test to discover if you’re in ketosis. If you are then you’re on track. If you aren’t then it’s time to cut carbs and boost fat.
Keto strips were originally designed for patients with type-1 diabetes. The goal was to show whether or not they had a very serious condition that involved rock-bottom carbs.
One benefit of the strip kits is you can typically buy them in bulk. That includes ones with 50 pieces and others with many hundreds. This means you won’t’ have to buy test strips daily. That would be harder than going low-carb.
There’s a caveat. The keto strips typically expire within 6 months after you open the box. So, make sure to do the math regarding how many you’ll need in the next months. You might want to consider a smaller box to make sure you use them before they expire.
When using the test strips, it’s a good idea to use them at the same time daily. The test strips change color based on how many ketones are in your urine. The range is 0 too high ketones. A dark color means higher ketone levels while light colors mean lower levels.
If you’re in ketosis it’s normal for your ketone range to be 0.5 to 3.0 millimoles/liter. However, as noted you won’t need to know this figure because the test strips change color to show your ketone concentration. It’s still good to have this FYI data.
Ketones in Urine: Tips to Get into Ketosis
1. Cardio/Weight-resistance Workout
This is important because it will cause your body to burn all stored carbs faster. This has a similar result as fasting since you’re burning calories/carbs faster.
The harder you exercise the faster you’ll get into ketosis. So, you could try high-intensity interval training (HIIT). It’s tough but works.
This is a trending diet that’s been popular during the past few years. This diet requires you to do a cycle of fasting and eating. Some options include 18/6 or 20/4 cycles although you can start too with 16/8 since it’s easier.
This is one of the top ways to get into ketosis faster. That’s because you’re consuming 0 carbs during your fasting hours. This is even better than a low-carb diet since your body gets into ketosis ASAP.
3. Boost fats
When on the keto diet your fats should be 70% or even higher. Make sure you’re consuming more healthy fats. That includes unsaturated fats vs. trans fats. Saturated fats are OK but try to limit them. Here are some good options for good fats:
- Fatty fish (tuna, salmon, mackerel, sardines, trout, herring)
- Dairy (milk, cheese, yogurt)
- Olive/coconut oil
Boosting healthy fats will provide several benefits. You can get into ketosis faster. You can also enjoy benefits like better heart health and weight loss.
4. Cut carbs
This is probably a case of stating the obvious but is worth noting. When on the keto diet you usually have to eat under 50g or even 30g of carbs per day. Are you an athlete/weightlifter? If so then you might be allowed a little more.
If you want to get into ketosis ASAP then make sure to cut carbs drastically. This is a better option than phasing out carburates after learning how many ketones in urine for ketosis.