What is Ketosis? How do I measure my ketone levels?

LET’S NOT OVERCOMPLICATE THIS…

There are two sources of fuel for the body:  FAT in the form of KETONES and SUGAR in the form of GLUCOSE. Ketosis is an incredible fat-burning state during which your body and brain use ketones as fuel instead of glucose.

Ketosis And Your Overall Health

When your body doesn’t have enough glucose for energy, it burns fat instead - a metabolic state known as ketosis.

The ketogenic diet is aimed at keeping your body in a state of ketosis, so your body burns its own fat stores for energy, instead of glucose.

What are ketones and how do I get some?

Guess what?  Your body makes them. Yip, inside each and every one of us is a ketone making factory which, if fuelled correctly, will continue to produce these little rascals for the rest of our lives. Isn’t that fantastic??! Au re-voir glucose!

Ketones are an alternative fuel source that will kick in once there is no more glucose in the body. Instead of the liver releasing glycogen for energy, the liver will convert fatty acids into ketones. What is so great about this, is that the body will now use both nutritional fat and stored body fat for energy, resulting in major fat loss. When your body doesn’t have enough glucose (carbohydrates & sugar) available, it will enter into a state of ketosis. Ketosis is your body’s natural function of producing ketones. Ketones are the cleanest, most powerful and beneficial energy source for your body.

The body can’t burn sugar and fat at the same time. You’re either in a sugar-burning state (glycolysis), or a fat-burning state (ketosis). When the liver is depleted of sugar it starts producing ketones. When you consistently eat a very low amount of carbohydrates and a moderate amount of protein, your liver converts your body fat and the dietary fat you eat into ketones.

Glucose is a dirty fuel!!!  When the body processes sugar it produces free radicals, which in excess contribute to inflammation and accelerated ageing. KETONES make the body assured, confident  and potent.  SUGAR makes the body soft, ragged and slipshod.  THE CHOICE IS YOURS …LET'S FEEL GOOD!!

As with everything, if its worthwhile doing then it will require some effort!!  Getting into ketosis isn’t easy, and can take the body a while to transition from using glucose to using ketones. Our internal mechanisms work at different paces with some people producing ketones in a number of days and others taking weeks.

Be patient, and give your body time to adjust.

To get into ketosis, your diet must consist of high fat (around 60-70% of your calories), moderate protein (15-25%), and low amounts of carbohydrates (10-15%). Don’t worry too much about these breakdowns, here's some MKb tried and tested recipes we love and a fantastic book here. We've also created a shopping list for you to low carb-ise your pantry.

When your liver starts producing ketones, you’ll notice all kinds of wonderful changes:  

BENEFITS OF KETOSIS:

  • Fat loss: When your body is using fat directly as a source of energy, you lose weight more readily because your body taps into your own fat stores for energy.
  • Hormone Regulation: Ketosis can help sustain weight loss by regulating hormones that affect weight. That means eating a ketogenic diet can help you avoid cravings for unhealthy foods, reducing the chance of gaining the weight back.
  • Blood sugar stability & improved energy levels: Without spikes in glucose, your body has more consistent energy levels because you can use your own body fat for energy (no sugar crashes or food comas). A glance at the cakes in the coffee shop or hotel breakfast full of croissants, bagels, muffins and sugary cereals all cause a sugar crash and explains why people need a snack a few hours later just to make it through the inevitable mid-morning blood sugar crash. The same goes for a high carb evening meal. We’re zonked soon afterwards or crave something sweet!

  • Increased focus and energy: Fat is a more consistent source of energy, and preferred by the brain, meaning you don’t have ups and downs in energy and focus.
  • Longevity and disease prevention: Ketosis has been shown to decrease inflammation, alzheimers, and benefit cancer, epilepsy patients and people with type 2 diabetes.
  • Increased physical performance: Ketosis uses oxygen more efficiently and avoids physical crashes of low blood sugar.

How to Reach Ketosis

Here’s the bottom line on what you need to do:

  • Restrict your carbohydrates. Most people tend to focus on net carbs. If you want great results, limit both your net carbs and your total carbs. Try to stay below 20g net carbs and below 35g total carbs per day. Net carbs = Total carbs - Fibre. Fibre is the reigning underdog of nutrition. Its essential for heart health, reducing your risk of colon cancer, can reduce your risk of diabetes by lowering your blood sugar levels, and aids in weight loss. The source of fibre is important. More on that later.
  • Restrict your protein intake. Many people move over to keto from an Atkins diet and don’t limit their protein. Whereas the Atkins Diet is extremely high in protein, a keto diet contains moderate amounts of protein. Too much protein is converted to glucose which leads to lower levels of ketosis. Ideally for weight loss, you want to eat 1g of protein per kg of lean body mass. Lean Body Mass = Total Body Weight - Body Fat weight. To help with this, consider using the keto calculator or Fitness Pal version
  • Stop worrying about fat. Good Fat is our friend. It’s the primary source of energy on keto, so make sure you’re feeding your body enough of it. Approx 60-70% of your diet will come from good fats.
  • Drink water. Try to drink a litre of water a day. Or one of these low sugar options. Make sure that you’re well hydrated and add an electrolyte. Water not only helps regulate many vital bodily functions, but it also helps control hunger levels.
  • Stop snacking. Weight loss tends to happen when you have fewer insulin spikes during the day. Unnecessary snacking won’t help lose weight. Stating the obvious! If you fancy a treat then always low carb low sugar.
  • Start fasting. Fasting can be a great tool to boost ketone levels consistently throughout the day. Try to limit your ‘food eating window’ to a 6 or 8 hour period.
  • Exercise. Move!! It’s a known fact that exercise is healthy. If you want to get the most out of your ketogenic diet, add in 20-30 minutes of HIIT training a day. Even just a short walk can help regulate weight loss and blood sugar levels.
  • Supplement. Supplementing can help with a ketogenic diet. Every day, you face hundreds of toxins – pollutants in the air, degraded plastic byproducts in drinking water, chemicals in cleaning products, and pesticides in our food – which further increase our bodies’ needs for vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

A company called Bulletproof also cover Ketosis and the Ketogenic Diet nicely and make some suggestions incorporating their products.


Fortunately, there is also a simpler way to get into ketosis. A way that allows for a less strict diet while allowing you to experience its benefits. You can directly ingest ketones ie Exogenous Ketones. It raises your blood's ketone levels to get you into ketosis — on the go, any time. EXOGENOUS KETONES WILL HELP BOOST YOUR BODY INTO KETOSIS MUCH FASTER THAN A STRICT DIET. That doesn’t mean your diet isn’t important, it is!! The combination is a powerful one.

AM I IN KETOSIS? Let’s measure it....

There are usually a few physical initial indicators that you are in ketosis:

  • Increased Urination. Keto is a natural diuretic, so you will go to the bathroom more often.
  • Dry Mouth. The increased urination can lead to dry mouth and increased thirst. Make sure that you’re drinking plenty of water and replenishing your electrolytes (salt, potassium, magnesium).
  • Bad Breath. Acetone is a ketone body that partially excretes in our breath. It can smell sharp like over ripe fruit, similar to nail polish remover. It’s usually temporary and goes away after a few days.
  • Reduced Hunger & Increased Energy. After you get past the “keto flu,” keto flu article you’ll experience a much lower hunger level and a “clear” or energised mental state. Laser sharp!

You can measure if you’re in ketosis with a urine test or a simple finger prick and test your blood.

Test and record ketones each day, before and after exercise, before and after drinking ketones to check whether or not you’re in Ketosis.  

The main aim: to become a fat burning machine!!!

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Dislcaimer: We’re not doctors. We have summarised key messages for an easy read and are firm believers ketones are the only fuel we need for our bodies to glow and excel inflammation free!

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