8 Signs You’re In Ketosis
If you’re eating a low carb diet, are you wondering if you’re actually in ketosis? Here are some signs that you may be burning fat for fuel. When I first started a low carb, high fat way of eating, I felt horrible! I’m not going to sugarcoat it. The first few days of cutting my carbs were rough. I felt tired and a little nauseous, like I had the flu. The first time I tried going low carb and felt this way, I decided to quit because I thought my body didn’t like cutting the carbs and adding in the fats. But the second time I cut my carbs, I Googled “feeling like crap without carbs” and low and behold…it’s actually a thing! It’s called the Keto Flu! Once I knew that, it all made so much sense to me. The reason I was feeling like garbage is because my body was switching from being a sugar burner to a fat burner. My body was no longer being constantly supplied with glucose for fuel (from carbs.) It kept looking for that glucose to burn, so when my body didn’t have it, it revolted! It took about a week of flu like symptoms for my body to finally realize that “hey, we have another source of fuel…FAT!” Once my body started burning fat for fuel, I felt so much better! And I mean, SO much better! I had more energy, better focus, less hunger, less cravings. 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. So how does a person know if they are actually in ketosis and using ketones for energy? Main Signs Of Ketosis: Dry Mouth/Bad Breath Some people report that they have really bad breath or a dry mouth when in ketosis. You may feel like you have a metallic taste in your mou 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 >>
Ketosis: What Is Ketosis?
Ketosis is a normal metabolic process. When the body does not have enough glucose for energy, it burns stored fats instead; this results in a build-up of acids called ketones within the body. Some people encourage ketosis by following a diet called the ketogenic or low-carb diet. The aim of the diet is to try and burn unwanted fat by forcing the body to rely on fat for energy, rather than carbohydrates. Ketosis is also commonly observed in patients with diabetes, as the process can occur if the body does not have enough insulin or is not using insulin correctly. Problems associated with extreme levels of ketosis are more likely to develop in patients with type 1 diabetes compared with type 2 diabetes patients. Ketosis occurs when the body does not have sufficient access to its primary fuel source, glucose. Ketosis describes a condition where fat stores are broken down to produce energy, which also produces ketones, a type of acid. As ketone levels rise, the acidity of the blood also increases, leading to ketoacidosis, a serious condition that can prove fatal. People with type 1 diabetes are more likely to develop ketoacidosis, for which emergency medical treatment is required to avoid or treat diabetic coma. Some people follow a ketogenic (low-carb) diet to try to lose weight by forcing the body to burn fat stores. What is ketosis? In normal circumstances, the body's cells use glucose as their primary form of energy. Glucose is typically derived from dietary carbohydrates, including: sugar - such as fruits and milk or yogurt starchy foods - such as bread and pasta The body breaks these down into simple sugars. Glucose can either be used to fuel the body or be stored in the liver and muscles as glycogen. If there is not enough glucose available to meet energy demands, th Continue reading >>
How To Detect Ketosis
How can you tell if your low-carbing efforts have been effective enough to induce ketosis? Learn how to check your ketones! The state of ketosis The state of ketosis means that the body has switched from depending on carbohydrates for energy to burning fats for fuel. This means not only dietary fats (olive oil, guacamole, deep-fried pig ears), but also all the jiggly bits around your waist — clearly a desirable state for anyone looking to shed extra weight. When the body metabolizes fat, it generates molecules called ketones (also known as ketone bodies). As you restrict carbohydrate intake and amp up the dietary fat, more fat is metabolized and a greater quantity of ketones are created. Most of the cells in your body — including those in your brain — are able to use ketones for energy, although many people experience a few days’ adjustment period, often called the low carb flu. One of the varieties of ketones generated — acetone — cannot be used by the body and is excreted as waste, mostly in the urine and the breath. Conveniently, this makes it very simple to measure whether or not you are in ketosis. Upon entering ketosis, some people report a distinct change in the smell of their breath as a result of the extra released acetone. It could be “fruity” — it’s been likened to overripe apples — or even “metallic.” If you notice this happening during your first few days of changing your diet, it could be a good sign you’re in ketosis. The unusual smell isn’t anything dangerous, but it could be annoying. Drinking plenty of water should help, or get yourself some sugar-free gum. Most people report “keto-breath” diminishing after the first few weeks. Detecting ketones in urine The more accurate way — and the one we recommend — to check f 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 >>
The Causes And Solutions For Bad Breath (ketosis Breath)
If you’re on a low-carb diet, not all the outcomes are good. One of the side effects you could notice is bad breath. It’s commonly nicknamed ketosis breath, whether it happens when following the ketosis diet, but it can happen with all low carb/high protein diets. In fact, bad breath is becoming an epidemic. This is because so many people now are following these low carb diets. So, you’re definitely not alone. In fact, scientists say that 40% of people on these types of diets report bad breath as one of the worst side effects. I’ve been in your position before with my low carb diets. Your best friend likely has, too. We just get so embarrassed about our bad breath that we tend not to mention it. We just hope that we can mask it with some breath mints. But what is the real cause of bad breath on the ketosis diet? Just why do low carb diets make us stink? And is there anything that we can do to stop the problem? I can share some very positive news. You can stop ketosis breath becoming an issue. You don’t need to become part of the growing epidemic. I’m going to share everything that you can do to stop ketosis breath becoming a problem. So, Why Do We Get Bad Breath? Let’s start with how low carb diets work. When we stop feeding ourselves as many carbs, our bodies have to get the energy in other ways. They do this through the burning of fat, which means the release of ketones in the body. It’s a chemical process since the body can’t create the carbohydrates that it would need to help It’s this process that is causing the bad breath. The great news is that you’re sticking to your diet and you will see a smaller waistline. It will be successful, and you will be able to lose weight. Of course, the downside is that you have to deal with the breath. The mos Continue reading >>
Ketosis & Measuring Ketones
Generally, ketone concentrations are lower in the morning and higher in the evening. Whatever time you pick to measure ketone levels, make sure to keep it consistent. Also, do not measure your ketone levels right after exercise. Ketone levels tend to be lower while your glucose levels higher so you won't get representative numbers. Keep in mind there are daily fluctuations caused by changes in hormone levels. Don't get discouraged! Another aspect that affects the level of ketones is the amount of fat in your diet. Some of you may show higher concentration of ketones after a high-fat meal. Coconut oil contains MCTs that will help you boost ketones. To easily increase your fat intake on a ketogenic diet, try fat bombs - snacks with at least 80% fat content. Ketone levels tend to be higher after extensive aerobic exercise as your body depletes glycogen stores. Exercise may help you get into ketosis faster. ketogenic "fruity" breath is not pleasant for most people. To avoid this, drink a lot of water, mint tea and make sure you eat foods rich in electrolytes. Avoid too many chewing gums and mints, as it may put you out of ketosis; there may be hidden carbs affecting your blood sugar. Increase your electrolyte intake, especially potassium. You are likely going to lose some sodium and potassium when switching to the keto diet. Finally, if you find it hard to lose weight on a ketogenic diet, there may be plenty other reasons than the level of ketone bodies: Not Losing Weight on Low-Carb Ketogenic Diet? Don’t Give Up and Read Further. Continue reading >>
How To Tell If You Are In Ketosis Without Strips
A ketogenic diet is having a minor resurgence as of late, surpassing low carb diets for fat loss. The idea of keto dieting is to use all of your bodies glucose reserves and burn ketones for energy. The body eventually reaches a state of ketosis from the result of reducing your net carb intake. People who are new to a low carb high fat, ketogenic diet often ask what are the signs, symptoms and how to tell if you are in ketosis without strips. If you’ve never been in ketosis before then you may not even realize you are in it. The human body is quite remarkable being able to switch from burning glucose for energy to ketones. Your body experiences many physiological adaptions, including a decline in insulin and breakdown of fats. While Ketosis may be confirmed by urine ketone sticks and blood ketone tests, it is not always practical or convenient. You may be at work, out to eat with friends and don’t need the hassle of measuring your blood or urine levels of ketones. There are many small signs and symptoms of ketosis which can help your analysis. Sleep and Ketosis No matter what type of diet you follow, after a good nights sleep you are already in light ketosis. While you have fasted for over 8 hours you are on your way to burning ketones. Once our liver glycogen stores have been depleted we begin to produce ketone bodies at an exponential rate. Despite that, it doesn’t mean that we’ll be utilizing them efficiently. We will not be able to effectively use ketone bodies for our muscles, brain, digestive system if we are not keto-adapted. When following a ketogenic diet some people may experience all symptoms of ketosis, some may only feel a few signs or none at all. If you are brand new to low carb high fat dieting then achieving the optimal fat burning state takes ti 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 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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
On The Keto Diet? Ketosis Symptoms And Benefits Explained
“How do I know if I’m in ketosis?” If you’ve been on the Ketogenic Diet for a little while, that’s a legitimate question. If you’re diligently following the plan you know that it takes effort to be on the keto diet. And at this point you’re probably wondering, “what are Ketosis Symptoms?” Do you have to have ketosis breath (hopefully not, right)? Do you have to have a keto headache or have a bout of keto diarrhea (again, hopefully not right)? Maybe you need to have metallic breath and a keto headache to fully be in ketosis. If you’re confused about ketosis symptoms and you really want to be sure that you’re not missing the mark with the ketogenic diet then you definitely need to read this article. We’re going to cover the benefits of ketosis and commonly experienced ketosis symptoms. By the end of the article you’ll have all the information you need to know so that you can easily tell if you’re in ketosis. What Is Ketosis? Ketosis is one of the most misunderstood medical terms among laymen and even health professionals and medical experts. Often, they confuse it with ketoacidosis (a potentially life-threatening condition caused due to deficiency of insulin). If you are going to follow the ketogenic diet, it is crucial to know about nutritional ketosis, when and why it occurs and the possible ketosis symptoms. In simple words, ketosis is a metabolic state where the body uses fat for fuel. In the absence of dietary carbs your body will use fat and protein for energy. Essentially, you’re turning the body into a fat burner vs. a sugar burner. Most people in Western nations are sugar burners (which is why weight management issues are so common). The Western diet is full of sugar and high glycemic foods. In this environment the body adapts to bur 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 >>
The Beginners Guide To Ketosis: Investigating Low-carb, High-fat Eating
The only hard and fast rule of health is that health is personal and what works well for one person may not work for someone else. Aside from that rule, there are “frameworks” that seem to benefit large groups of people. One more level down from that are alternative strategies that benefit smaller groups. Ketosis is likely one of those alternative strategies that works well for certain, smaller groups of people. So, right off the bat I want you to understand that Ketosis might not be for everyone. I’m going to lay out the case for potential benefits of Ketosis. If it sounds interesting and beneficial to you, then consider trying it. (see our free cheat sheet to help you). What is Ketosis Ketosis occurs when liver glycogen gets depleted and the body burns fatty acids for fuel. The primary driver of this state is a very low carbohydrate intake. Often, it also requires a low protein, higher fat intake. You can also achieve a state of ketosis by not eating altogether. The creation of ketones is a byproduct of this metabolic state. Ketones are a source of fuel, just as glucose is a source of fuel. Ketones tend to have some added benefits, though. What role does Ketosis play in human health? Ketosis allows our bodies to function in the absence of carbohydrates, both physically and mentally. Instead of burning carbohydrates, or converting protein to glucose, the body burns ketones. This is pretty much a survival mechanism. It allows your body to function in a state of caloric deprivation. This is why ketosis often gets bad press (as it’s linked to “starvation”). Being a survival mechanism doesn’t make it invalid as a strategy, though. There can still be potential benefits to be had. Let’s cover a few of them… Ketosis and Accelerated Fat Loss Being in ketosis Continue reading >>