Monitoring Data for KETO Success

” If you didn’t measure it, it didn’t happen”
People who track their daily steps, tend to walk more.
People who use CGMs , tend to have lower Blood Sugars.
People who track their food intake, tend to have better results.
These are known facts.
By tracking activity, logging food consumed, and measuring vital statistics such as Weight, Blood Pressure, Glucose Levels, and Ketone Levels, you  can gain valuable insight as to how you can adjust for the maximum benefit of your Ketogenic Lifestyle.
This requires some tools and fortunately, most of this data can be compiled and evaluated on your computer or smartphone. 
Here are some of the tools I personally use.
[Note: I get paid ZERO for any product recommendations I make- I recommend them because I USE them and I LIKE them]

 

ACTIVITY TRACKER

FitBit, Garmin, Apple Watch,  Galaxy Watch, etc.
I currently use a Garmin VivoActive HR . 
The only time I DO NOT  wear it is in the shower or pool.
This tracks my daily steps, energy level, calories used, distance walked, and the quality and length of my sleep.  It also uploads the data to a central online system, and can synchronize with my My Food Diary ( Cronometer).

 

FOOD SCALE / MEASURING SPOONS & CUPS

 In order to accurately track your dietary intake and macro-nutrients, it is VITAL that you weigh and/or measure  all of your food. 

 

FOOD DIARY

Applications or Online Applications can help you track your dietary intake.
I personally use and recommend CronometerIT IS FREE!   It shows me a graphic of my consumed  Carbs, Proteins and Fats, and how any particular part of what I ate affects my current state.  I can also create “what if I eat this” scenarios . You can use it on the web,  iOS or Android app.  It allows me to enter a food individually or I can build entire recipes and enter the food as the entire recipe or a portion of the entire recipe.  The phone/tablet apps allow you to scan a foods bar code and enters the data automatically.  It also interfaces with my Activity Tracker , Scale, and other Tracking devices so that I have a single ,centralized place for evaluating the majority of my data. I can also include Manual data that cannot be entered automatically e.g. GKI.

 

WEIGHT SCALE

 I weigh in every few days, not every day, but this should still be done  and tracked. I use the Fitbit Aria scale, which automatically uploads my readings to  Cronometer.

 

GLUCOMETER

Yes, even if you are NOT a diabetic, but certainly if you are!
Tracking your Blood Glucose before, 1 hour and 2 hours after eating can give you great insight as to your metabolic and insulin resistance health. It also provides one of your GKI calculation variables.
I measure blood glucose two ways: 

  1. A Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM)
  2. KETO MOJO  Blood meter.

The CGM requires a Physicians Prescription. It uses a sensor that stays attached to your skin with a ever so tiny cloth-like “needle” that stays inserted under your skin.  the sensor transmits a signal to a reader ( or even smart phone!) to get an instant reading of your blood sugar as many times as you want without needed to poke your finger several times a day.
I use the Abbott Freestyle Libre  due its popularity & relative low cost.

 

KETONE MEASURING

How do you KNOW you are in Ketosis? To what Level?
There are Three Ketone Bodies produced by the Liver:

  1. Acetone
  2. Acetoacetate 
  3. βeta – Hydroxybutyrate

Likewise, there are Three ways to measure your level of Ketosis:

  1. Urine
  2. Breath
  3. Blood

Urine is tested using  Urine Strips available at most pharmacies.  I use  Nurse Hatty Ketone Test Strips.  Our bodies cannot use the Acetone ketone body so the body eliminates it, and it can be measured in the Urine by the test strips.
The darker the “purple” , the deeper in ketosis you are, however, because is is measuring a “waste” ketone, it is not an terribly accurate measure of ketosis, but provides a good basic Yes/No . These must be kept sealed tight in the bottle because once they lose their freshness, they are no longer usable.

The ketone body  Acetone is responsible for the sweet-smelling urine, and the molecule  is so tiny, that it winds up being filtered  out by our lungs as well- causing that tell-tale bad breath. This too, is a test for ketosis.

Breath is tested using a device very similar to an Alcohol breath analyzer  that the police use for field sobriety tests.  I use the  KHC M3 because of it’s low price, and I do not need to carry around urine strips or poke myself for blood while out & about.  Like Urine, the breath test looks for the presence of the eliminated ketone Acetone, so it’s accuracy for level of ketosis is also not as good as a blood test. 

Testing your BLOOD is the most accurate way of checking your level of Ketosis. Very similar to checking your glucose levels, except that you would use a different type of test strip in the meter. My first Keto meter was good and was able to do glucose as well, but the test strip cost about 4-5 dollars each test! I now use the KETO MOJO  blood meter. the ketone strips cost about $.99 each – much more reasonable. It also test for glucose, so you only need a single meter for both.

 

GKI TRACKING

 Your Glucose Ketone Index is a mathematical ratio of Glucose to Ketone readings  In my blog, I have created a GKI Calculator .
This is an important number to track over time because it is an indicator of metabolic health, and scientists are using this index in the treatment and management of cancer. 
See:  BOOST YOUR IMMUNE 
 
 

OTHER  METRICS THAT MATTER

Please see these related articles for information on other metrics that help you in your keto Journey:

KETO: WHAT TESTS DO I ASK MY DOCTOR FOR? 

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