How can I tell if I’m in nutritional ketosis?

By Dr. Stephen Phinney and the Virta Team

Ketone production in the body is a very natural process that can be measured at home by a medical device such as the Precision Xtra meter or keto-mojo meter. Besides measuring blood sugar levels, these meters can also detect the ketone concentration in the blood.  We are always producing ketones but for the carbohydrate consuming individual they are suppressed—so if you regularly eat carbs and you measured your ketones you would likely get a reading of 0.0-0.2 mM. If your ketones are at or above 0.5 mM, you are likely in nutritional ketosis (Volek, 2012).

IMPORTANT: Blood ketones are very sensitive to your diet—eating just one food item containing a moderate to high amount of carbs can “knock” you out of ketosis and bring your meter reading plummeting back down to 0.1 mM.


Volek JS, Phinney SD.  The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance.  2012. PP 4-5.  Beyond Obesity Publishing, Miami FL.

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  1. Avatar
    Dr. Larence Jordan January 9, 2020 at 11:11 am

    What breath tester do you recommend for evaluatrng the level of nutritional ketosis.

    Something that is consistent and accurate for breath as the Keto-Mojo is for blood BHB


    1. Virta Health

      We currently use Keto Mojo blood ketone monitors with our patients, so I’m not able to provide any recommendations on a breath tester.


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