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How Do You Check If You Are In Ketosis?

7 Signs You Are In Ketosis

7 Signs You Are In Ketosis

The Ketogenic Diet (also known as “keto”) has been all over social media. You’ve probably seen ripped fitness models claiming that Keto gave them their physique, and the even more inspiration stories of normal people like you and me, who lost weight and reclaimed their lives through this diet called Keto. If you’re not sure what the Ketogenic Diet is, head on over to What is a Keto Diet? (Ketogenic Diet 101). Over there I’ve detailed what exactly Keto is and isn’t, given you meal plans, snacks, and answered all of your questions about the diet. But let’s say you’ve jumped into Keto with both feet, and now you want to know “Is this working?” I don’t blame you. It can be hard to tell what’s going on inside your body. Are you in Ketosis? Are you eating few enough carbs? Are you shedding fat? Well, there are 7 obvious ways to tell if you’re in ketosis, without testing your blood or urine. Here are the signs you’re in Ketosis: 1. Weight Loss Weight loss is the first and most obvious sign that you’re in ketosis. The weight loss happens for a variety of reasons, but it’s important to note that it’s very fast in the beginning. This is because when you switch to a low-carb diet, your muscles start losing water. Carbohydrates are what bind water to your muscles, so when you’re not eating carbohydrates, your muscles start dumping them, and the attached water. That’s one of the things that causes Keto Flu (which you can read about in Keto 101), but drinking plenty of water and keeping your salt intake up will keep you hydrated and feeling healthy. After the initial water leaving your body, then you’ll start to see steady fat loss. Related Reading: My 60 Day Keto Challenge Results (I lost 23 pounds!) 2. Little or No Appetite When you stop eati Continue reading >>

How To Tell If You Are In Ketosis Without Strips

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 >>

How To Know If You Are In Ketosis Without Strips.

How To Know If You Are In Ketosis Without Strips.

To know whether or not you’ve entered ketosis you can measure your blood ketone levels. But how to know if you are in ketosis without strips? Well, we’re already mildly ketogenic after an overnight fast. 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. If we’re not adapted, then our brain and muscles won’t be able to put those ketones into use. Nutritional ketosis begins if our blood ketone levels are over 0.5mMol. To indicate that, you can use either urine strips like Ketostix. There are also breath takers. The most optimal range for ketosis is between 0.5 and 3 mMol. Ketoacidosis occurs over 10mMol, which is quite hard to reach. It usually happens with people who are diabetic or after excessive alcohol consumption. But there are a few problems with measuring ketones. Having elevated levels of ketones doesn’t mean you’re in ketosis. These urine strips are expensive and taking several measurements a day is very costly. That’s why there’s another way how to know you’re in ketosis without strips. Like said, elevated ketone levels doesn’t necessarily mean ketosis. It might even be the opposite. If we’re not putting ketones into use, then we’re probably urinating it out. That’s why urine strips are not ideal. What we want to know as well is our blood sugar levels. Glucose and ketones are contradicting fuel sources. If one is elevated, then the other has to be decreased. If we have high blood sugar levels, then we won’t be able to use fat for fuel. We definitely won’t be in ketosis. Quantifying is great because it gives us an accurate interpretation of our condition. However, we shouldn’t get stuck with the dat Continue reading >>

5 Ways To Measure Your Ketones

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 >>

Measuring Ketosis: What Are Keto Sticks And Keto Strips?

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 >>

8 Signs You’re In Ketosis

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

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 >>

The Signs Of Ketosis On Atkins Diets

The Signs Of Ketosis On Atkins Diets

The Atkins diet, first published in 1972 and reinvented 20 years later, has helped countless people lose weight, but isn't without controversy. The diet severely limits your intake of carbohydrates -- found in sugar, bread, pasta, most fruits, starchy vegetables and many processed snacks -- to encourage your body to lose fat. Often, this pushes you into a state of ketosis, a process that occurs when you burn fat for fuel. Video of the Day Ketosis isn't inherently harmful, but in some cases can lead to a build up of the ketone bodies, causing dehydration and changes in your blood chemistry. Though a blood test is the most accurate way to determine if you're in ketosis, certain other physical changes provide clues that you're in this state. Ketosis and the Atkins Diet Your body usually uses glucose, derived from carbohydrates, for energy -- particularly to fuel the brain. Ketones are produced when you're short on carbohydrates and must burn fat for fuel. When you produce ketones for energy, you are in ketosis. Phase One, or the "Induction Phase," of Atkins will likely cause you to produce ketones. During these first two weeks, you consume no more than 20 grams of carbohydrates per day. This represents a significant restriction in carbohydrates -- the Institute of Medicine recommends you eat 45 to 65 percent of your daily calories from carbs, or 225 to 325 grams daily on a standard 2,000-calorie diet. To meet your low-carb limit, the Atkins diet has you subsist primarily on meats, fish, poultry, eggs, oils, some cheese and watery, fibrous vegetables with few carbohydrates, such as lettuce and cucumbers. Breath and Urine Signs of Ketosis Ketones are burned for energy, but also breathed out through the lungs and excreted in the urine. As a result, your breath takes on a frui Continue reading >>

7 Signs You Might Be In Ketosis When Doing The Ketogenic Diet

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 >>

The Beginners Guide To Ketosis: Investigating Low-carb, High-fat Eating

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 >>

How Do I Know If I Am In Ketosis?

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 >>

5 Ways To Measure Your Ketones

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 >>

Ketosis & Measuring Ketones

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 Know If You’re In Ketosis: A Guide To Testing Ketone Levels

How To Know If You’re In Ketosis: A Guide To Testing Ketone Levels

Ketosis can be a powerful way to use your metabolism for fat loss, mental output, physical performance as well as many other health benefits. But how do you know if you’re actually in ketosis? As the old adage goes “test, don’t guess” when it comes to your health. In this guide, we’ll show exactly how to test your ketone levels to know if you’re in ketosis so you can make sure you’re getting all of the benefits that ketosis has to offer. There are three primary forms of ketones in your body, acetone, acetoacetate, and beta-hydroxybutryate. Each of these compounds do different things in the metabolism of ketosis and can be tested individually with differing techniques. Not all measurement is created equally, however, and some can be better than others for different purposes or times. The three different ketone bodies can be measured when they spill over into three different areas of your body: 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 have to go to any lab or use any fancy high tech equipment. Tracking diligently, at least when you’re getting used to ketosis based diets, is important so you know how much you react to different variables like exercise, type and amount of food, and amounts of exogenous ketone supplements. Also, the optimal level of ketones for specific goals can vary per person. Knowing the amount where you thrive in the goal you want to achieve (and consistently checking if you’re hitting that amount) is the fastest way to reach your goals. Testing levels of ketones with urine strips (acetoacetate) One of the ketone bodies, acetoacetate, can be measured directly in the urine if they are in excessive levels. The way metabolic substrates get into Continue reading >>

How To Detect Ketosis

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 >>

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