Last week I put together a 3 week guide to starting fasting. Part of that process involves testing your blood sugar and ketones during a fast. In fact, I believe that everyone should throw out their scales. Focus on what your blood sugar and ketones are telling you about your body’s reaction to the food you’re eating.
First, you’ll want to get a blood reader. My favorite one is the Keto Mojo. This involves an easy finger prick and is more affordable than other devices.
When to check your blood sugar and ketone levels
- You’ll be taking two sets of readings. The first set of blood sugar and ketone readings will be taken as soon as you wake up and before consuming any food. Then, finish your morning routine, have your cup of coffee, and test these levels again right before consuming your first meal of the day. Write down and keep track of your readings.
Your blood sugar should be somewhere between 70-90.
Your ketones should be above 0.5.
What you want to look for in the second reading is that your blood sugar has gone down and your ketones have gone up.
If you’re doing more than a 24 hour fast, you may want to measure three times a day. Morning, noon and night, so that you can start looking for a trend.
If you are looking to understand your blood sugar levels and ketone levels during fasting watch this Youtube video.
Beware of the “dawn effect”
- The dawn effect is when you wake up and see that your blood sugar has skyrocketed from the number you read the morning before.
- The reason this happens is because after you eat dinner and go to bed, at some point in the middle of the night your body uses internal mechanisms to dump stored sugar (usually from the liver) that had been stored in your body long before.
- Your body does this in an effort to make sure your brain is getting enough glucose to function normally while you are asleep.
- If you find this to be something happening to you, push your morning measurement back an hour and wait for those numbers to come down.
Troubleshooting: What if you’re still struggling to get into ketosis? Or your blood sugar is still high?
The first thing you will want to try is fasting for longer. If your numbers aren’t moving, it may be time to push your body to a new level. Do this through longer fasts. 24 hour, or “one meal a day” fasting, aka OMAD fasting. Through these longer fasts your body is forced to exhaust sugar stores and look for fat to create energy.
Look at the foods you are eating! You may be consuming too many carbohydrates. This makes it harder for your body to burn fat. I recommend staying under 50 net carbs when trying to get into ketosis.
Lastly, if you still find yourself with high blood sugar levels and low ketones it’s time to look at your toxicity. There are several different reasons we become insulin resistant. The toxins in our air, food, soils, and water block our receptor sites for insulin. If this is you, I recommend doing a 90 Day deep detox to get your receptor sites for insulin back to where they need to be.