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How Do I Know If I'm In Ketosis Without Ketostix

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What are the benefits of exercise? Is exercise all that good for you? Yes, yes, and yes. Studies overwhelmingly indicate that exercise has a LOT of benefits. I wrote a piece on exercise and weight for The New York Times a couple months ago, and I'm going to talk about that next week. But a lot of people took that column to mean that exercise isn't important or helpful. That's so wrong that I want to address that first. Exercise, and the good it can do you, is the topic of this week's Healthcare Triage. For those of you who want to read more, go here: http://theincidentaleconomist.com/wor... John Green -- Executive Producer Stan Muller -- Director, Producer Aaron Carroll -- Writer Mark Olsen -- Graphics http://www.twitter.com/aaronecarroll http://www.twitter.com/crashcoursestan http://www.twitter.com/johngreen http://www.twitter.com/olsenvideo And the housekeeping: 1) You can support Healthcare Triage on Patreon: http://vid.io/xqXr Every little bit helps make the show better! 2) Check out our Facebook page: http://goo.gl/LnOq5z 3) We still have merchandise available at http://www.hctmerch.com

Do You Really Need Ketostix?

If you’ve ever spent time browsing the #keto hashtag on Instagram (what? I like to get meal ideas!), you’ve likely seen pictures of ketostix, proudly displaying their pinkish purple results. It’s exciting! It’s an almost instant way to tell if you’re in ketosis…sort of. Either way, the concentration of keto strip pictures on social media would seem to indicate that they’re necessary. After all, don’t you want to know you’re in ketosis? So, what’s the deal with ketostix? Do we really need keto strips to know we’re in ketosis? What Are Ketostix? Basically, ketostix (or keto strips) are used to detect ketones in your urine or blood. If you’re in ketosis, your body will excrete a measurable amount of ketones. This is a fairly good indicator of whether or not you were recently in ketosis. I say recently because if you have literally just eaten a piece of chocolate cake, and then go to test to see if you got knocked out of ketosis (spoiler alert: you did), it might not register for a little while. There are typically two types of keto strips. One is the type that you pee on, and the other is a blood test. For the latter, you use the same type of testing kit that d Continue reading >>

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  1. Bellyman

    I am just wondering if there are any signs of ketosis that one can watch for that a person can see without any sort of testing? Are there things that happen physically that give clues?
    I don’t have any means of testing anything. I have a simple bathroom scale. That’s pretty much my only tool.
    I’ve been eating what I think is a pretty strict keto diet for about 4 days shy of one month. I’ve had a day or two when I didn’t exactly feel the greatest but never anything resembling the flu. I’ve had a couple of small oopsies but quite small ones, not within the last week or so, and less than I would have fingers for counting on one hand. I’ve been pretty good. I haven’t done anything extraordinary exercise wise, just a little walking. I’ve lost 19 pounds and feel pretty good. Brain seems pretty clear. No real issues that I can point towards except maybe a few restless nights, but even that isn’t dramatic, and getting used to new bowel habits.
    One thing I have noticed several times in the last week, when I take a shower in the mornings, I kinda notice what I think might be my breath. It’s not quite the same acetone smell I’ve noticed after a hard workout (when I had my elliptical machine). But it’s still a peculiar smell. I’ve wondered if that might be a hint that I may be in ketosis.
    So that got me to wondering whether that or maybe some other subtle things might be little clues of being in ketosis.
    I hope I haven’t plowed right into the content of a previous thread. I didn’t see it if it’s here, though, I’ll be the first to admit, I haven’t read them all.
    Glad to hear what you think if you’d care to share!

    And thanks for being here to talk about something that so many people haven’t a clue about. To most, it’s total deer-in-the-headlights talking about keto.

  2. Just_Todd

    Bellyman:
    And thanks for being here to talk about something that so many people haven’t a clue about. To most, it’s total deer-in-the-headlights talking about keto.

    The people here are the salt of the earth. (See what I did there?) I’m curious to hear responses to your question.

  3. Daisy

    Unless you have a really broken metabolism and need super super low carbs you are in ketosis and have been for a while. It does take a bit longer to really start running on fat as routine - what people call being fat adapted.

    It drove me mad not knowing though and I had to get gadgets!

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A Quick Primer On The Ketone Test Strips...

A Quick primer on the Ketone Test Strips... Questions about ketones, ketosis, KetoStix, and its implications and misconceptions have always been one of the most common querries at Low Carb Luxury. We'll try and clear up some of those mysteries here. So... what are they? You'll hear them referred to as KetoStix (the original brand name), Urine Test Strips, Reagent Strips, Ketone Testing Strips, and Lipolysis Test Strips. Depending on the plan you follow and whether you are new to this way of life, or an old timer from the 70's, you'll be referring to them as one name or another if your plan calls for being in Ketosis. Please note, we're not here to debate the merits of Ketogenic vs non-Ketogenic diets here, so don't send me mail of disagreement. For me personally, being in Ketosis is my ideal state and keeps my body's systems at their best. The Ketosis we're talking about here is what Dr. Atkins refers to as "Benign Dietary Ketosis" (or BDK), and should never be confused with Acidosis — a dangerous state for diabetics and those in advanced starvation where acetone builds in the blood and tissues. People will sometimes tell you that producing ketones is dangerous for the body. This Continue reading >>

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Popular Questions

  1. Farfalla

    I counted my calories and other nutrition values yesterday. It was not something I had planned, so all quantities were rough estimates because I had not weighed anything. It turned out that I consumed roughly 55 g of carbs (complete results here). I was surprised because I had expected a higher number, like 80-100 g, since I eat a lot of veggies, about 3 pounds a day.
    Mark says:

    The Primal Blueprint recommends “generally” about 100-150 grams of carbohydrates a day, but many who follow it or the related paleo principles choose diets that fall in the realm of 50-80 grams a day, a practice (along with IF) that spurs the body to turn on ketosis as needed.
    Could I be in ketosis without really knowing it? I am just a bit more thirsty but I haven't observed the other symptoms like loss of appetite, metallic taste, stinky urine etc. Do all people suffer from them when in ketosis, or is everyone different?
    I should say that I am not very interested in being in ketosis because of the unpleasant symptoms (after being very sick some time ago, I get rather nervous when I start feeling unwell). Unless I can be in ketosis and feel fine at the same time, like now.
    Thanks.

  2. pattyd

    Get sticks and test your urine. You can pick them up at most grocery store. Mine are in the back by the pharmacy and diabetic stuff.

  3. 0311

    I intentionally sought out ketosis earlier this year. Restricted my diet to 500 calories p/day.
    The most significant effect was that I was very much ready for bed about 8pm. I would all but pass out most days if I hung on till 9:30.
    Just so you know...it worked. I lost 30 lbs in 30 days. During this time I eliminated strength training and just walked for five days p/week because there wasn't enough going in to build muscle anyway.
    Right now I'm eating normal and pursing muscle growth again. I've not looked at the scale since the last day of the Very Low Calorie Diet (VLCD) but I've had to crank down another knotch on the belt and I seem to look better in the mirror, so I'm not worried about it.
    I'll be doing another 20 day sprint starting the day after Easter Sunday. It'll have been about 8 weeks between rounds.
    On the first round I was taking 150 iu's of pharmaceutical-grade HCG as laid out in Dr. Simmeon's book "Pounds and Inches" but I think that Simmeon's was wrong about the effects of the HCG. I think it had no impact at all. Instead, I think it's the prescribed diet which made the difference...which, in hindsight, is actually a variation of eating Primal. This is what I think was the true cause for my weight loss success. Only other thing I was taking at the time was vitamin B injections.
    This next round I'll not be using the HCG...but will just adhere to the diet. I'll keep the Vitamin B shots though.

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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 Continue reading >>

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Popular Questions

  1. carissanbo

    I'm just wondering if there are ways to tell if you're in Ketosis without using the strips. We live in the Outback in Australia in a small town and I'm not sure I would be able to find them here. And to be honest, I really don't feel like checking. I feel that I finally found a WOE that works for me and I'm feeling great and don't want to focus too much on that aspect. So I'm wondering if there are signs to tell me.
    I'm finishing up my 3rd day of induction and to be honest, it's been pretty easy for me. I haven't really had any bad side effects and after supper I have no urges or cravings to eat anything (and no urges for carbs during the day). I have ALWAYS had a snack before bed my whole life, but I've really had no interest.
    I just want to make sure I'm doing this right. If you go to my journal you can check out my menu for today if you'd like to see what I'm eating. And I have lost a few pounds.
    Thanks!

  2. Sinbad

    Hiya!
    You should update your profile with your weight loss so we can share your happiness
    As for ketosis, I can tell without strips because I sometimes get an odd tinny taste in my mouth, I don't feel hungry or sluggish or headachey at all, and most convincing of all (for me) is that my pee smells almost of acetone... Sometimes it looks almost greenish too but that could be because of the supplements I'm taking (or all the green veggies I'm eating, which I never used to! )
    Of course, the best sign that you're in ketosis/lipolysis is that you're losing weight!
    Good luck with the plan!
    Steven

  3. btdude

    Agreed. Metal mouth prevails. You are in the bathroom every (at least) 35.4 minutes.

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