Starting a new eating plan can be stressful and if doing well is important to you, it’s very easy to get worked up wondering if you’re doing it right. Atkins recommends test strips to see if you’re in full blown fat-burning mode and many newbies will test with those suckers multiple times a day looking for reassurance. Here’s what you need to know about checking for Ketosis.
- While the benefits of being in Ketosis is like the Low-Carbers holy grail (energy surge, lessened appetite and clear head), showing Ketosis on the test strips is NOT important.
- You do NOT need to register in Ketosis to lose weight. Many lose just fine and have never turned a test strip in the slightest.
- Showing Ketosis on the strips does NOT mean you’ll lose weight. It’s only one indication you’re probably burning fat. However, the metabolism of dietary fat will result in the production of ketone bodies. It’s also possible to eat enough fatty foods to sustain your body without having to tap into your own fat reserves.
- Darker on the strips is not necessarily better–it’s just more emotionally satisfying. Burning Ketones is like being pregnant: either your are or you are not. There isn’t a “little bit” option.
- Are your strips old? Have they gotten damp? They are sensitive to both age and moisture. It may just be bad strips and not an uncooperative metabolism you’re dealing with.
- Time of day matters. How much water you drink matters (and it’s likely a lot)! There are factors besides your eating that will impact whether or not you register on the test strips.
- Pay attention to other progress indicators. How your weight is doing, how you feel, your energy level, and how your clothes fit all matter a whole lot more than what those little test strips say.
- Know the other indicators of being in Ketosis as well. Reduced appetite, increased energy, metallic taste in the mouth, and bad breath are some common indicators of ketosis. For most people, these fade with time but they can be great early signs you’ve hit the mark.
- Too much success! As your body becomes more keto-adapted, you’re less likely to show as being on the ketosis strips even if you are in ketosis. You can either look to get a more accurate (and more expensive) blood ketosis meter to continue tracking it, or just let it go. Either choice is valid.
You’ll do well to keep things in perspective, in all phases of Low Carb. That means having LOTS of ways to trek your progress so you don’t freak out when any individual measure isn’t showing the true extent of your dedication. If you’re doing all right overall, the color of these little strips don’t invalidate everything that’s going right. So don’t worry too much about it. Just go ahead and do your thing, okay?
Bonus tip: Snip those strips in half lengthwise to double your investment.
Do you test for ketosis? Do you find it helpful?