7 Signs That You Are In Ketosis
Keto is the latest rage in the dieting world and this diet is here to stay!
Instead of forcing people to restrict their calorie intake and keeping them starved every day, keto allows you to eat cheese, butter, meat and other yummy foods you want in decent quantities.
How amazing is that!
This is a Low Carbohydrate High Fat (LCHF) diet that also includes healthy proteins to ensure you do not lose your muscle mass when you drop down weight.
The process of getting into the diet is downright exciting. For the diet to work, your body will have to get into a mode called ‘ketosis’.
There are certain signs you can look out for in your body to know if you are in this mode.
What are ketones and what exactly is ketosis?
Ketones are biochemicals produced during breakdown of fat by the liver.
It is similar to glucose that is produced when the body breaks down carbohydrates.
For people who eat considerable carbohydrates throughout the day, the presence of ketones in the urine or blood will be nil or negligible.
However, when you are on a low carbohydrate diet, your body struggles to get hold of glucose to convert it into energy. Without the presence of glucose, it starts burning fat instead.
The liver turns fat into a type of acid called ketones and pushes it into the bloodstream, urging the muscles, tissues, and cells to use them for energy.
When your body shows elevated amounts of ketones, the state is called ketosis.
When you are in ketosis, some changes that you are likely to experience:
- Consistent weight loss
- High energy
- Increased body strength
- Elevated mood
- Increased satiety
Once you start the diet, it could take anywhere between 2-5 days to get into ketosis depending on the amount of carbs you consume per day.
Here are other important signs that tell you whether or not you are in ketosis.
Frequent Feelings Of Thirst
Many people who are a few days into the diet start noticing that they grab their water bottle more often now than before.
This is a sign that your body is in ketosis.
As the body is not given enough carbohydrates, it loses electrolytes faster and this causes thirst throughout the day.
When you choose fat-rich food, the amount of sodium you consume also drops down (low sodium is good for your heart), making the body demand more water.
You should also note that making ketones in the beginning use up all the water stored in your tissues and muscles, making you more thirsty.
The need to constantly drink water goes off in a few days though. Your body gets used to the new food regime and the overproduction of ketones also stabilizes.
Usually our breath does not have a distinctive smell. When you start smelling a fruity or a metallic odor in your breath, it is a sure sign of you being in ketosis.
When your body starts burning ketones for energy, it releases certain natural chemicals as a result.
These chemicals include acetone, acetoacetate, and beta-hydroxybutyrate.
Acetone has a fruity/metallic smell and this is released both through your breath and your urine.
During the initial few days, your body gets all tense because of a lack of glucose and starts producing excessive ketones, making your breath smell very prominent.
With time, however, the production process stabilizes, and you should stop feeling like a fruit farm!
Feeling Of Fullness
A positive sign of ketosis you can start noticing from the beginning is the lack of hunger.
Many people worry that they may feel constantly hungry because of carb deprivation. In reality, this may not happen.
Since you eat adequate fat, you will always feel quite full and you may not even notice lunch or dinner time until someone reminds you of them!
Temporary Feelings Of Fatigue
Before you can enjoy the strength and physical stamina that a keto diet gives you, you will have to handle a few days of fatigue and tiredness.
After being on the diet for a few days, you could wake up lacking the energy to even get up to make a cup of coffee.
Relish the feeling, because it means you are finally getting into ketosis.
The body is going through a lot at the beginning of the diet.
It is handling a ‘glucose-less’ situation, is producing ketones and struggling through possible dehydration. All these can make you tired.
This feeling, however, passes off quickly and you will be left behind with abundant energy and strength.
Another short term sign that you are in ketosis is a slight difficulty in falling asleep at night. Some people fall asleep but wake up in between.
This could can last for a couple of days to a week.
Remember that your body is going through ‘glucose withdrawal’ symptoms. Here are a few things your body finds difficult to comprehend and handle.
- You are used to consuming carbohydrates in sufficient quantity
- Your body is used to the glucose rush you get after eating dinner
- Your body finds no glucose to use as fuel when you are sleeping
Due to this, your body releases a chemical called cortisol between 2 AM and 4 AM. This is your body’s alarm system asking you to get up and find some glucose-based energy source to eat.
Changes In Digestive Process
Generally, your body is used to getting about 20% of calories from fat and the remaining from carbohydrates and proteins. With a keto diet, your macros will be split this way.
- 70-75% - fat
- 20-25% - proteins
- <5% - carbohydrates
Due to this, your body struggles initially to digest the excess fat it is not used to. This can cause changes in your digestive process. Few people experience diarrhea, slight constipation, or bloating in the first week of the diet.
Get used to the diet and the symptoms will go off by themselves.
If you find the symptoms hard to handle, talk to your doctor or your dietician for medications or supplements to help you handle the short period.
Rapid Weight Loss
You will be surprised at how quickly you lose weight in the first few weeks of ketosis. Experts believe that the body sheds off its water weight and stored carbohydrates initially at a rapid rate. Once this is done, your body will start losing actual fat.
There are a few quantitative ways you can check your ketone levels in the body.
Breath analyzers can be used to measure the levels of acetone in your breath. The more the level, the more ketones your body has. There are dedicated urine strips available in all pharmacies and drug stores too.
These need to be dipped in fresh urine and the strip changes color based on ketones expelled in the urine.
A simple blood test can also help find if you are in ketosis.
If you have been struggling really hard to lose weight and none of the other diets have worked for you, try keto.
You will love how healthy it makes you and how quickly you shed off the extra fats.