Measuring your ketones is a great way to track your progress whether you’re fasting, following a low-carb diet or just watching your calories. Learning which foods and exercise routines increase or decrease your depth of ketosis is an enlightening and often surprising experience.
But what if you’re looking for a simple, boiled down answer to the question: how did I do today?
That’s where the Ketone Score comes in.
The Ketone Score is a summary of how long and how deeply you’ve been in ketosis on any given day. This is important because research suggests that a daily Ketone Score of 120 is associated with a fat loss rate of about 0.5 pounds/week.
The graph below shows the Ketone Score of one of our clinical trial participants who restarted her low-carb lifestyle after a long break. Throughout the first week of the trial, she watched her Ketone Score rise from 0 to 120 and her weight drop by 4 pounds!
Tracking her score allowed her to see that, although she was not yet “in ketosis” during the first few days of the trial, her numbers were steadily rising. In her post-trial interview, she told us that watching this trend was hugely motivating.
Of course, the benefits of ketosis are not restricted to weight loss. Other users with high ketone scores reported improved sleep, more stable energy levels, improved mood and stress management and better athletic performance.
How We Calculate the Ketone Score
Let’s say you’re new to the low-carb lifestyle. After your first day tracking, you find that you’ve maintained an ACEs level of 3 for 24 hours. Your Ketone Score for that day would be 3 ACEs x 24 hours = 72.
Below is a table relating the average ACEs level over a 24 hour period with the associated score.
While the BIOSENSE app allows you to set your own goal for the Ketone Score each day, our default target is 120. Where does this number come from?
Research suggests that maintaining a breath acetone level of 5 ACEs (or about 2 ppm) results in an average fat loss rate of about 0.5 pounds/week. As the table above indicates, a daily average of 5 ACEs corresponds to a Ketone Score of 120.
For most users, ketone levels vary, often substantially, throughout the day. For this reason, it is important to take a minimum of 3-5 breath ketone measurements per day to capture that variability. More frequent measurements will make your calculation that much more accurate and meaningful.
The Importance of Goal Setting
You can set a personalized goal for your daily Ketone Score in the BIOSENSE app. This will allow you to benchmark your progress and set targets to improve upon your past scores.
But where should you set your target Ketone Score?
That depends on your goals. If you are new to the low-carb lifestyle and are trying to elevate your ketones slightly above baseline, a Ketone Score goal of 70-80 might be great for you. If you goal is to stay in ketosis all day, a target of 120 or greater is probably best.
Whatever target you choose, we believe that lifestyle change is a deeply personal experience. You, along with your coach, nutritionist or doctor, are best qualified to determine what success looks like.
We wish you success as you begin setting your goals and knocking them down!