What Everybody Ought To Know About Ketosis
Recently I wanted to explore the world of Ketosis. I thought I knew a little bit about ketosis, but after doing some research I soon realised how wrong I was. 3 months later, after reading numerous books, listening to countless podcasts and experimenting with various diets I know have a sound understanding of ketosis. This resource is built as a reference guide for those looking to explore the fascinating world of ketosis. It is a resource that I wish I had 3 months ago. As you will soon see, a lot of the content below is not mine, instead I have linked to referenced to experts who have a greater understanding of this topic than I ever will. I hope this helps and if there is something that I have missed please leave a comment below so that I can update this. Also, as this is a rather long document, I have split it into various sections. You can click the headline below to be sent straight to the section that interests you. For those that are really time poor I have created a useful ketosis cheat sheet guide. This guide covers all the essential information you should know about ketosis. It can be downloaded HERE. Alternatively, if you're looking for a natural and sustainable way to improve health and lose weight head to this page - What is Ketosis? What Are The Benefits from being in Ketosis? Isn’t Ketosis Dangerous? Ketoacidosis vs Ketosis What Is The Difference Between a Low Carb Diet and a Ketogenic Diet? Types of Ketosis: The Difference Between Nutritional, Therapeutic & MCT Ketogenic Diets Is The Ketogenic Diet Safe? Long Term Effects Thyroid and Ketosis - What You May Want To Know What is a Typical Diet/Macro Breakdown for a Ketogenic Diet? Do I Need to Eat Carbs? What do I Eat On a Ketogenic Diet? What Do I Avoid Eating on a Ketogenic Diet? Protein Consumption a Continue reading >>
10 Signs And Symptoms That You're In Ketosis
The ketogenic diet is a popular, effective way to lose weight and improve health. When followed correctly, this low-carb, high-fat diet will raise blood ketone levels. These provide a new fuel source for your cells, and cause most of the unique health benefits of this diet (1, 2, 3). On a ketogenic diet, your body undergoes many biological adaptions, including a reduction in insulin and increased fat breakdown. When this happens, your liver starts producing large amounts of ketones to supply energy for your brain. However, it can often be hard to know whether you're "in ketosis" or not. Here are 10 common signs and symptoms of ketosis, both positive and negative. People often report bad breath once they reach full ketosis. It's actually a common side effect. Many people on ketogenic diets and similar diets, such as the Atkins diet, report that their breath takes on a fruity smell. This is caused by elevated ketone levels. The specific culprit is acetone, a ketone that exits the body in your urine and breath (4). While this breath may be less than ideal for your social life, it can be a positive sign for your diet. Many ketogenic dieters brush their teeth several times per day, or use sugar-free gum to solve the issue. If you're using gum or other alternatives like sugar-free drinks, check the label for carbs. These may raise your blood sugar levels and reduce ketone levels. The bad breath usually goes away after some time on the diet. It is not a permanent thing. The ketone acetone is partly expelled via your breath, which can cause bad or fruity-smelling breath on a ketogenic diet. Ketogenic diets, along with normal low-carb diets, are highly effective for losing weight (5, 6). As dozens of weight loss studies have shown, you will likely experience both short- and long Continue reading >>
3 Ways To Measures Ketones: Which Is Best?
Intro: the age of Do-It-Yourself at-home medical technology The medico-technological age we’re in goes by many names, such as biohacking, self-experimentation or the quantified self. A lot of it is about tracking biochemical markers and performance metrics that can tell you something about your past and present state, usually in an attempt to predict or change it in the future. Ketones are one such biochemical marker of metabolism that can be measured in blood, breath and urine (see our What’s a ketone? section for more details). Some people use a ketogenic diet to manage cancer, epilepsy, obesity or diabetes and may find it helpful to monitor their ketone levels. Alternatively, they may simply be curious and interested in physiology. Whatever the case may be, since ketones can be measured in blood, breath and urine, which method might you chose for your circumstance and why? Measuring blood ketones The ketone bodies measured in blood are acetoacetate and is β-hydroxybutyrate (BhB), the latter being the most commonly measured. A well-known at-home device for doing so is the Precision Xtra. It can also measure blood glucose using glucose-specific strips. The portable device can measure BhB concentrations ranging from 0.1 mmol/L (1.0 mg/dL) to 8 mmol/L (or 83.3 mg/dL). Measuring blood ketones is the most accurate method compared to breath and urinary ones but the ketone strips are still quite expensive. One case in which blood ketones are measured is when doctors ask their diabetic patients to monitor their blood BhB levels so as to stay below 0.6 or 1.5 mmol/L. These doctors are worried that a rise above these levels may lead to a pathological condition called diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). DKA is distinct from the normal physiological state of ketosis, where insulin Continue reading >>
The 4 Ketosis Symptoms You Should Be Looking For
Ketosis is the condition in which your body begins burning fat instead of carbs for its energy source. The benefits of ketosis range widely, but some of the best include: fat loss increased endurance less cravings shredded physique neurological optimization But how do you know when you’re in ketosis? Are there symptoms that you’re in ketosis? Is there a way to “feel” like you’re in ketosis? Obviously the best way to see if you’re in ketosis is to test you breath, blood, or urine. However, we’ve constructed the following list to help you detect the signs that you’ve transitioned into ketosis and turned your body into a fat burning machine! If you’ve been on the Ketogenic Diet for at least a week, run through this list of ketosis symptoms, and see if they fit what you’re experiencing! 1. Ketosis Breath A popular report from many low-carb and keto dieters is that their breath is less than desirable. The smell has been compared to fingernail polish remover, which is believed to come from the presence of acetone. Acetone is, of course, a ketone body, and is also found in many brands of nail-polish remover. 2. Keto Flu After a life full of ingesting large portions of carbs for energy, dropping carbs and moving into ketosis can often result in ketosis symptoms known collectively as the “keto flu.” It’s not unheard to feel light-headed, fatigued, or anemic when your body runs out of carb stores and begins turning to fat for its fuel source. You might feel irritable, or short-tempered; this is your body’s natural reaction to having sugar removed. Much like an addict in rehab, when you cut out mass amounts of processed sugars, you turn into a bit of a monster. Ketosis symptoms also include nausea, or stomach aches. These can be caused by your stomach r Continue reading >>
Source Ketosis is the name for a state achieved on a low-carbohydrate diet. According to WebMD, when you are in ketosis, it means your body is burning fat for energy. When that happens, your body releases ketones into your bloodstream, and you are in ketosis. This state may cause a host of temporary symptoms. Understanding the Symptoms Many dieters develop symptoms that let them know ketones are present. For many people beginning a low-carb diet, ketosis kicks in after a few days of strict adherence to the diet. In fact, many low-carbohydrate plans, such as Atkins and paleo, have an initial phase in which dieters take in extremely low amounts of carbohydrates (usually less than 25 grams per day) to kick start ketosis. You can test for ketones in the urine using ketosis strips, or rely on symptoms to tell you ketosis has been achieved. Early Stages Symptoms of ketosis vary, depending how long you've been in the state. In the early stages, the symptoms may be a bit unpleasant. However, as your body adapts to ketones in the bloodstream, symptoms may decrease. Early symptoms usually last for several days or up to a week in some people. This period of symptoms is sometimes called the keto flu. It may continue until your body is used to burning fat instead of glucose. Afterwards, the levels of ketones should lessen, but that doesn't mean you aren't losing weight. It means your body has found a balance and is no longer producing excess ketones. According to Diet Doctor, early stage symptoms include: Flu-like symptoms, such as fatigue and headache Nausea Brain fog Constipation Leg cramps Feeling unusually thirsty Irritability Heart palpitations Dry mouth Ketosis breath, which smells fruity and unpleasant Decreased energy and weakness Dizziness Sleep problems Cold hands and feet Continue reading >>
A Detailed Guide On How To Test Your Ketone Levels
I have to be honest with you. I’ve been making some critical mistakes. I was assuming that I was in ketosis for months but I’m now finding out that isn’t the case. Not even close. I’ve finally hunkered down and have been measuring my ketones the right way and the results have been pretty surprising. I was eating too much protein, and too little fat. I was eating too frequently. I was eating too few calories. I never would have known this without testing. Time for you to learn from the mistakes I made and test the right way. Ketosis can be a powerful nutrition approach to use switch your metabolism to prioritize for fat loss, mental output, physical performance, and much more. The main problem? Many people just assume that if they are “low carb” they are in ketosis, but think again. How do you know if you’re actually in ketosis? As I love to say, “test, don’t guess” when it comes to your health. (Still trying to get “track, don’t slack” to catch on…) I’ll outline in this article the three ways to test your ketone levels and which you should be doing when. HOW TO TEST YOUR KETONE LEVELS: THREE DIFFERENT WAYS There are three testing methods because there are three forms of ketones in your body: acetate, acetoacetate, and beta-hydroxybutryate. Each of these ketone bodies do slightly different things and are in different forms, so they can be tested individually with different methods. The three different area these ketones exist in your body are your breath, urine or blood. The good news is that all of these ketone level measurements can be done at home, by yourself. You don’t need to go to a lab or use any fancy high-tech gadgetry. Tracking consistently, at least when you’re getting used to a ketogenic diet, is important so you know how mu Continue reading >>
Am I In Ketosis? The Symptoms And Signs Of Ketosis.
One of the questions people who are new to the LCHF (keto/ketogenic/low carb) diet frequently ask me is: how do I know if I’m in ketosis? What are the main signs of ketosis? Everyone’s different and while some may experience all of the symptoms of ketosis, some might only feel a couple of them. Some feel none at all. There are basic signs and symptoms that indicate that you’re in ketosis. But please note that I’m differentiating between the signs of keto flu (covered in the post I’m linking to) that many experience in the first days of a ketogenic diet, and the feeling of being in ketosis when the flu has subsided: Dry mouth (eat more salt and drink more water to alleviate this). See my keto breath article here. Weight loss. Yay! Metallic taste in your mouth or a strange taste in the back of your throat. Some describe it as fruity or a little sweet. A kind of “buzzing” feeling that’s hard to describe. Almost euphoric at times. Different kind of urine smell, stronger too! “Ketosis breath” – It can range from being a little sweet to being almost like you’ve had a drink of alcohol. Less appetite. You can go for hours without eating and don’t feel very hungry. Increased energy. If you don’t experience it try to eat more fat. Also, drink more water and watch your electrolytes. A ketone strip you pee on shows a positive result. There are also blood ketone meters, or the popular ketone breath test, that give a more specific result. (Pro-tip: If you get the pee strips, cut them in half ) But do note that even with a positive pee strip it’s not 100% certain that you’re in ketosis. A very dark positive result may only indicate that you’re dehydrated. For me personally, the main signs of ketosis are hard to miss. I just feel different! It’s hard Continue reading >>
How To Get Rid Of Ketosis Breath
Keto is one of the best ways to lose weight and get healthy. It’s attributed to everything from weight loss to curing MS and autism. Yet keto can also have some pretty intense side effects. What many people call the keto flu might start to set in within the first few hours to days. Headaches, muscle aches and nausea can all accompany this diet. The good thing is that’s how you know it’s working. One of the most unusual side effects can be bad breath. Your oral hygiene is perfectly fine, but you still find yourself getting strange looks from coworkers. You might even be able to notice the smell yourself. What Causes Ketosis Breath? This side effect is caused by the excess influx of protein. When your body doesn’t get very many carbs it can’t use glucose as a form of energy. Instead, it turns to stored fat in your body for this energy. Your body starts releasing ketones when this energy is utilized. Unfortunately, ketones don’t have a great smell when they’re released from your body. Your bad breath is simply your body letting go of these excess ketones. Many people notice their bad breath goes away after a few weeks, but an unfortunate few never see a change. Find out what you can do to minimize bad breath and get back to your day-to-day life. 1. Maintain Good Oral Hygiene Your bad breath may not be the result of bad oral hygiene, but it doesn’t hurt to brush up on your hygiene anyway. Try to keep your mouth as clean as possible. You don’t want mouth bacteria to worsen your ketosis breath. Brush your teeth twice a day minimum. Try to brush your teeth after every meal if possible. Invest in an electronic toothbrush to remove as much plaque from your mouth as possible. Floss twice a day and after every meal. Use mouth wash after brushing morning and night Continue reading >>
Measuring Ketosis: What Are Keto Sticks And Keto Strips?
Ketosis is a metabolic state where the liver breaks down fat to produce ketones. Ketones, on a ketogenic diet, are the primary fuel source for the body. If you’re new to the ketogenic diet and you still have questions, consider reading our Comprehensive Beginner’s Guide to Keto > There are three main ways to measure the ketones in your body, all of which have their advantages and disadvantages. The most common ways to measure are: Blood Ketone Meter. Very accurate but the strips are extremely expensive. Breath Ketone Meters. More accurate than the urine strips, but can sometimes vary in accuracy. Cheaper than blood strips in the long-run. Urine Stricks. This will answer the question “Am I in ketosis?” but will not provide an accurate measure of blood ketones. Scroll down to read a more in-depth analysis of each, and what we recommend for you. Measuring Ketones with Urine Sticks Urine sticks will always be the cheapest and easiest way to measure ketosis. For beginners, this should cover everything you need – there is no point in getting more complex blood strips so early on when you are still trying to understand the nuances of a ketogenic diet. Ultimately, keto sticks are very easy to use – you hold the sticks in your urine stream for a few seconds, and within 10-15 seconds you should notice a color change in the strip (if you are in ketosis). The color of the stick typically is measured in red: light pink being low in ketone production and dark purple being high in ketone production. While keto sticks can be ideal for a general answer to the question “Am I in ketosis?”, they aren’t precise with their accuracy. They measure the acetoacetate in your urine, which is an unused ketone by the body. As you get deeper into ketosis and your body adapts, your b Continue reading >>
How Do I Know If I Am In Ketosis?
[Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you choose to purchase something by using one of those links, I may receive a small financial compensation, at no cost to you.] Ketone testing strips are not reliable, so it can often be difficult to know if you are in ketosis, especially, if you are not losing weight as quickly as you had hoped. Weight loss isn't a sign of being in ketosis, so even if the scale isn't moving, you could still be using dietary fats to fuel your daily activities. To put your mind at ease, we have put together a list of the signs and symptoms of ketosis for you, as well as advice on what you can do to be more comfortable during Atkins Induction. "How do I know if I am in ketosis?" I have been getting quite a few emails and comments lately from people who have been asking me if they are in ketosis. After a bit of discussion back and forth, the conversation usually reveals that: 1) The ketone strips that Dr. Atkins recommended are only turning pink; and 2) They are not losing much weight. Both of the above ideas show a misunderstanding about: the purpose of ketosis weight loss and low-carb diets So, I went searching through the archives to see what I had already written on the topic. During that extensive search, I found this old post on how to tell if you are in ketosis. This post was originally written in 2012. It contained a bullet list of symptoms that could help you know if you are in ketosis. It also explained what you can do to ease the symptoms and make yourself more comfortable while going through the change. I decided that since so many of you are struggling and don't know if you are in ketosis, or not, I would give the post a major overhaul. I wanted it to accurately reflect what we know about ketosis today. Many people believ Continue reading >>
7 Signs You Might Be In Ketosis When Doing The Ketogenic Diet
One of the main goals of starting the ketogenic diet is to get your body into a metabolic state known as ketosis. Note: If you don’t know what the ketogenic is all about then check out the Ketogenic Diet: Beginner’s Guide to Keto and Weight Loss. This is when your body starts to produce a lot of ketones to supply energy for your body. Why is this good? Because it means your body has converted from a sugar-burner to a fat-burner. If your body is burning fat for energy then something amazing starts to happen. The fat on your body starts to disappear. But how do you know when you’re in ketosis? Besides using test strips or an instrument there are some signs that your body will give. 7 Signs You Might Be in Ketosis These don’t 100% guarantee that your body is in ketosis but if it is in ketosis then these signs will appear. 1. Weight Loss One of the obvious signs of ketosis is weight loss but this can also be pretty deceptive because many people don’t experience the kind of weight loss that they expect. This can happen for a variety of reasons but when you get close to entering ketosis or do enter ketosis you’ll find that you lose a healthy amount of weight quickly. For example, when you switch to low carbs you usually experience significant weight loss in the first week. In fact, my wife lost 12 lbs in the first 28 days of Keto and I lost 13. This isn’t your body burning fat but finally being able to release the water that was being held by the fat cells. If your fat cells don’t release this water then they can’t flow through the bloodstream to be used as fuel so losing water weight is a good thing. After the initial rapid drop in water weight, you should continue to lose body fat consistently if you are able to stick with the low-carb aspects of the diet Continue reading >>
Breath Acetone Is A Reliable Indicator Of Ketosis In Adults Consuming Ketogenic Meals1,2,3
Abstract Background: Ketogenic diets are used therapeutically to treat intractable seizures. Clinically, it appears that the maintenance of ketosis is crucial to the efficacy of the diet in ameliorating seizures. To understand how ketosis and seizure protection are related, a reliable, noninvasive measure of ketosis that can be performed frequently with minimal discomfort is needed. Objective: The objective was to determine which index, breath acetone or urinary acetoacetate, is more strongly related to the plasma ketones acetoacetate and β-hydroxybutyrate. Design: After fasting overnight for 12 h, 12 healthy adults consumed 4 ketogenic meals over 12 h. Blood, breath, and urine samples were collected hourly. Blood was analyzed for plasma acetoacetate and β-hydroxybutyrate, breath for acetone, and urine for acetoacetate. Results: By the end of the 12-h dietary treatment, plasma acetoacetate, plasma β-hydroxybutyrate, and breath acetone had increased 3.5-fold, whereas urinary acetoacetate increased 13-fold when measured enzymatically and 25-fold when measured with urinary ketone dipsticks. Plasma acetoacetate was best predicted by breath acetone (R2 = 0.70, P < 0.0001). Plasma β-hydroxybutyrate was equally predicted by breath acetone and urinary acetoacetate (R2 = 0.54, P = 0.0040). Conclusions: Breath acetone is as good a predictor of ketosis as is urinary acetoacetate. Breath acetone analysis is noninvasive and can be performed frequently with minimal discomfort to patients. As an indicator of ketosis in epilepsy patients consuming a ketogenic diet, breath acetone may be useful for understanding the mechanism of the diet, elucidating the importance of ketosis in seizure protection, and ultimately, enhancing the efficacy of the diet by improving patient monitoring. I Continue reading >>
5 Ways To Measure Your Ketones
5 Ways to Measure Your Ketones A ketogenic diet is a very low carbohydrate, moderate protein and high fat based nutrition plan. A ketogenic diet trains the individual’s metabolism to run off of fatty acids or ketone bodies. This is called fat adapted, when the body has adapted to run off of fatty acids/ketones at rest. Research has demonstrated that this nutrition plan improves insulin sensitivity and reduces inflammation throughout the body. This leads to greater fat metabolism and muscle development as well as a reduced risk of chronic disease. (1, 2). I get asked all the time how to measure the state of ketosis. There are several major ways and we will discuss those in this article. Measuring Your Ketones There are three types of ketone bodies: Acetone, Acetoacetate and Beta-Hydroxybutryate (BHB). Each of these three can be tested as acetone is a ketone released through the breath, acetoacetate is a ketone released through urine and BHB is (although not technically a ketone it acts like a ketone) in the blood stream and used by the cells for energy. 1. Blood Ketone Meter This measures BHB and is considered to be the most accurate way to measure ketone bodies. These have the ability to determine the ketone level in your blood precisely but they are also pricey and invasive. Personally, I freak out every time I have to prick my finger!! The Precision Xtra blood glucose and ketone meter is a good buy at $28-$30. The expensive part is the ketone test strips here which can cost $4 each. If you are looking at testing yourself every day it is going to cost you $120 a month and the $30 meter. Here is a starter kit you can get on Amazon Most people will enter into a light nutritional ketosis (between 0.5-1.0 mmol/L on the meter) within two or three days. It typically takes Continue reading >>
9 Signs Of Being In Ketosis – Monitor Your Progress
Ketogenic diets have become a popular way to lose weight and that isn’t terribly surprising. Essentially, this type of diet is a variation of low carb dieting, where your carbohydrate consumption is so low that the body is burning fat for energy, instead of carbs. Doing so produces ketone bodies, which is where the diet gets its name (1). Ketosis is appealing for weight loss because you are burning fat and also because the diet tends to reduce hunger (2). At the same time, the diet has also been linked to other benefits for health, such as lowering insulin levels (3), improving cholesterol and lipid profiles in the blood (4), along with potentially decreasing risk for heart disease, epilepsy and cancer (5,6). One of the challenges with this type of diet is figuring out when you are actually in ketosis. In most cases, you can just follow a ketosis diet. But, individual people do vary in the carb intake needed to reach ketosis, which can complicate matters. In particular, some people need to lower their carb intake further than others to enter into ketosis. With that in mind, this post offers 9 important signs of being in ketosis. Watching out for these signs can help you figure out whether your diet is right to put you in ketosis and keep you there. Weight loss is probably the simplest example out of the various signs of being in ketosis. This is also the reason that many people turn to ketogenic diets in the first place. There are a number of different studies that show that ketosis and very low carb diets, in general, can significantly help with weight loss. This is true in the short-term and in the long-term (7,8). As with any diet, the main way to lose weight via ketosis is to stick with it. For many people, this isn’t a problem. However, some people do find the Continue reading >>
Ketosis Breath: Causes & Solutions For Bad Breath
Ultra-low carb diets have grown in popularity over recent years. These so-called “keto diets” aim to facilitate rapid weight loss, through the consumption of minimal carbohydrates. Keto diets have become understandably popular on account of their rapid results, together with the practical benefits of consuming healthy volumes of the right foods, making hunger less of a problem than on more typical calorie-controlled diets. However keto diets are not without their issues, and one of the most common complaints comes in the form of “ketosis breath”. Quite simply many individuals making use of very low carb diets suffer from pungent and unpleasant breath. The question is what can be done to counteract such a problem? The Cause of Ketosis Breath In order to learn how to get rid of keto breath, we first need to understand why breath can smell under such a regime. As it turns out there are two potential reasons(1), both of which can operate independently, or in conjunction. Ketone Release The most typical source of energy used by the body is glucose. This is typically derived from carbohydrates, where the digestive system breaks down complex sugars into simple glucose molecules. On very low carb diets, however, the body is unable to utilize such a fuel. Instead, the liver utilizes the fat present in the body as an energy source, producing “ketones” in the process(2). This is known as “ketosis” – and is the process from where keto diets get their unusual name. These ketone bodies come in three common forms; acetoacetate, beta-hydroxybutyrate and acetone(3). In large quantities they are removed from the body in the urine or through exhalation. Ketones can have quite a characteristic smell; they often make the dieter’s breath smell quite sweet and fruity, quit Continue reading >>