For anyone who is getting started nutritional ketosis or interested in how I track everything, I figure I would write a post showing all the tools I use. Something like this would have been helpful for me when I was just starting.
Precision Xtra Blood Glucose and Ketone Meter: This is the system I use to track my daily fastingmorning blood ketones to determine if I am in the range of nutritional ketosis (0.5 mmol- 3.0 mmol). I’ve gotten pretty good at predicting what my ketones will be the following morning based on my diet and activity level. The system I purchased came with the meter itself, the lancet you see pictured on the right of the meter, and 10 needles. I had to purchase the ketone strips separately. There is another system out there, the Nova Max Plus, but I ended up going with the Precision Xtra system based on a review I read from Jimmy Moore and I wanted to the most accurate system available. The main draw back of the Precision Xtra system is the price of the ketone strips, which can be in the range of $5.00 a strip.
Precision Xtra Blood Ketone Test Strips: These are the all important test strips to use with the Precision Xtra system. As you can see by the link, these things are costly! But in my searches online I found a Canadian pharmacy that sells these for a much more reasonable price of $1.99 per strip. Here is another one based in Canada that offers the strips for $2.49 per strip, depending on how many you buy. These prices also don’t include the shipping, so keep that in mind. I’ve had a lot of success with the first one so at least for the length of this experiment, I’ll continue to order from them. I have read in some places that eBay can be a place to look for these strips, but when I checked there the prices weren’t much better.
FreeStyle Lite Blood Glucose Monitoring System: This is what I use to monitor my daily fasting morning blood sugars. I bought system from a few months ago when I was experimenting with the effects of different foods on my blood sugars, and had quite a few remaining test strips, so I decided to continue using this. I read a lot of good reviews for this system with a lot of people saying that it was the most accurate and correlated very well with the fasting blood sugars they obtained from their doctors offices. Again, accuracy is the most important thing for me since I want to know that my numbers are truly reflecting what’s going on in my body. They meter and strips are all very affordable and can be purchased anywhere online. I typically use Amazon but sometimes wander over to eBay as deals can be found occasionally. One of the things I like about this system is that it only uses a tiny amount of blood. So I only need to prick my finger once, and after I feed the ketone meter (which likes a bigger drop of blood), I can use whatever is left for this system.
NewlineNY Step-On Mini Travel Bathroom Scale: Since I travel a lot and want to do my best to continue tracking my numbers while on the road, I wanted a scale that I could bring with me. I came across this scale which I saw for a reasonable price, $18.95, and decided to try it, and it has worked out great. It is convenient to carry and is about the size of a large book, so it fits inside my backpack easily. It measures 9.25 x 5.25 inches and only weighs 1.5 lbs.
Here’s a picture with my feet on it to give you a better sense of the size. Since it’s so small, my feet do hang over the edge a bit, but I think that’s a fine trade off for its portability. I also tested it by walking off and on a few times to make sure the numbers came out the same, and they did. Amazon does carry a few different colors like black and red, but I liked green the most.
Keto-calculator: An online calculator that helps you calculate what to eat to maintain ketosis and caloric intake for weight loss. I try to use these numbers as a guideline for what I consume. You just have to input your sex, weight, height, age, exercise activity, and body fat %. The body fat % is the hardest one to calculate, and what I found most helpful was to use online pictures (such as this or this) to gauge my percentage along with some guidance from the bioimpedance results from one of my other scales. Afterwards you input the amount of carbs (< 50 gm according to V&P) and amount of proteins (0.6 – 1 gm/lb of lean weight according to V&P) you want to eat. The last thing you input is the amount of calories you aim for (they give you minimum intake and maintenance intake values for reference). Then, voila, it spits out the results for your ideal macronutrient intake and shows you a handy dandy forecasting your weight-loss.
Here is another resource brought to my attention by Joshua Hardwick regarding the basics body fat % and the different ways to measure it.
If anyone knows of anything better out there I’d love to hear it!
Hope you found this helpful.