How to Use Ketone Strips to Stay in Ketosis

If you are new to the world of low carb, you may have come across people talking about ketone strips or “ketostix” to see if they are in ketosis. These are small strips to test your urine to see if you have ketones in it. It is a roundabout way to see if you are in ketosis. Here is a guide to your most common questions about how to use ketone strips and if they are right for you!

Ketone Strips FAQ

What Are Ketone Strips Used For?
Ketostix are used to help track when someone is in ketosis. Sometimes people use them to see how many carbs they can consume and stay in ketosis. For most people this range is from 40-55 net carbs a day. For other, it can be as low as 20 carbs per day. Also, it can be used to help determine what foods may interfering with ketosis. For some people, dairy products, artificial sweeteners, or high fiber foods (giving a high carb content, but low net carb result) will take them out of ketosis. Using these strips can help one figure out what the problem is if they are not staying in ketosis or losing weight.

How To Use Ketone Strips:
You take a strip and dip it into your urine. Generally it is better to dip it into a cup with urine in it, rather than passing through your urine stream. This is because if your stream is too strong, you could potentially wash all the reagent off of the strip and get a false negative result. Either way, dip it, and remove immediately. Usually the bottle will tell you how long to wait, but as a general rule, you will see your results in seconds. After a minute, the results are no longer valid.

How Accurate Are They?
They are very accurate at showing if you are passing ketones in your urine, so the rate of a FALSE positive is very low. However, you can be in ketosis WITHOUT having ketones in your urine. If this is the case, you would get a false negative. This is because you are measuring ketones in your urine, not your blood. Some people use their ketones more efficiently, and  make less of them, therefore they don’t “spill” into the urine.  Also, as a person spends more time in ketosis, such as several months, lower levels of ketones are detected in the urine, even while they are still burning fat and following the ketogenic diet well.

What Brand Should You Use?
There is no specific brand that is superior. I personally like SmackFat, which has 100 strips and has a 4.5 star rating on amazon. You can check it out here: Smackfat Ketone Strips {affiliate link}

What Are Other ways to Know You Are in Ketosis?
Ketones can be detected in the breath, blood or urine. Testing the urine with ketone strips is generally the quickest and easiest method. They make disposable breath ketone tests, which you can check out here: Disposable Breath Ketone Test {affiliate link} They also make blood ketone meters.

What is The Best Way to Detect Ketosis?
The most accurate way to detecting ketosis would be a blood test. They now make blood meters that measure ketones in your blood similar to a blood sugar test. In fact most of the monitors made can do both, as they are designed for diabetics. You simply prick your finger and put a drop of blood onto the reagent strip and plug it into the meter. I personally like the Precision Xtra Blood Glucose and Ketone Monitoring System {affiliate link}

What Do The Darker Colors Mean?
Ketone strips usually range from white/cream color which is negative, to purple, which means large ketones are being passed in the urine. But a darker strip does not correlate with “more” ketosis. You are either in or out of it. A purple strip is more of a sign of DEHYDRATION. You may notice your back hurts more when the strips are purple. This means your kidneys are under stress. Remember that ketosis puts you in somewhat of a water wasting state. It is important to stay hydrated in this process!

ketone color

 

 

 

 

Happy Ketosis! ~HealthyGirl

P.S. Have I answered all your questions about ketone strips? Comment below!

 

How to Get Back into Ketosis Quickly After Cheat Day

Get Back into Ketosis

For those of you on a low carb diet (LCD) who are actively trying to stay in Ketosis, cheating is a BIG deal. Unlike other diet plans, you cant simply make up for that piece of cake or bowl of spaghetti with an extra workout for the week. A cheat day takes much longer to recover from and it cab be quite frustrating to recover from.

 

Some people need to plan scheduled cheat days. It helps them stay on track and not go stir crazy trying to be strict. Some plan it every 40 days, 90 days or after a certain amount of weight loss. This is a perfectly acceptable method to try if you are truly missing your carbs and treats. Just be aware that it can take days or weeks to recover at times and get back into ketosis quickly. Some people start to feel ill and have to re go through “carb flu”, fatigue, and hunger issues. Others do just fine carb cycling. Some just don’t want to cheat at all because of these issues.

Get Back into Ketosis Calendar

So whether it is a planned cheat day, and accidental carb overdose, or a part of your fat burn/muscle building cycle, here are a few tips to help get back on track after throwing yourself out of ketosis.

Get back into Ketosis Scale

1. Hide your scale
You are almost guaranteed to make the scale go up after a big cheat. I typically experience a 3lb weight gain when this happens. It is not necessarily weight gain but more water weight. Your best bet is to hide your scale for a week and not even bother to check it until your back into ketosis for a few days.

2. Fast
This is going to be the tough part, but hear me out. Your body needs to deplete those carbohydrates it just stored for fuel. Fasting is a decent way to get that done. If you cheated around dinner time, try skipping breakfast and lunch the next day. The most effective fast would be a 24 hour fast, but even a half day will help.You are going to be hungrier, and it is going to suck but you can do it! Watch out for cravings! If you must snack, try high fat or protein items such as heavy cream, cream cheese, ect..
Get back into ketosis with Exercise

3. Exercise
Another great way to get rid of those stores quickly is to exercise. Try a HIIT type of exercise that will push your body harder and use up energy quicker like CIZE Dance Workout by Shaun T. {affiliate link} Burn up those glycogen stores and get down to business. If you are going to be fasting as well, try to get this done early in the morning so its not so difficult on an starving cranky stomach.

4. Induction
For the next few days (after your fast) you will still want to restrict your carbohydrate intake to an induction level. (roughly 20 carbs a day). If you chose not to fast, you would want to use this method. Restrict your carbs as much as possible the first few days to get the ball rolling.

Get back into ketosis with induction

5. Fat Fast
For some people who truly struggle getting into ketosis, there is a last resort type of option known as a fat fast. This is ONLY recommended for people who are on a weight loss stall for 2 weeks or greater, or those trying to get into ketosis quicker. The idea is to eat between 1000 and 1200 calories a day, where 80% – 90% of your calories come from fat, and only fat. The 1000-1200 calories break into 4 or 5 meals a day,or 200-250 calories per meal. To learn more about the fat fast you can check it out at ruled.me. Some people have tried doing a meat fast instead. For more information on what a meat fast is, check out my other article here.

6. KETO//os
There is some recent internet buzz going around about KETO//os {affiliate link}, a powder you mix in water. It has ketones in it, making you show up positive for ketones in 1 hour and will have you producing your own ketones in about 12 hours. I’ve heard many rave reviews from fellow keto people and I personally just ordered some myself, so i’ll let you know how that goes!
Get back into ketosis KETO/os

 Check out my other article on how to use ketone strips to see if you are in ketosis here. What tricks have you tried to keto convert faster? Comment below!

~HealthyGirl