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 >>
Kicked Out Of Ketosis? The Dirty Little Secret About Ketone Testing Strips
[Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. I might receive a small commission if you purchase something by using one of those links.] Confused about how ketone testing strips actually work? Do you think you've been kicked out of ketosis because they suddenly turned tan? Many low-carb dieters have misconceptions about Ketostix and blood ketone levels, so in this post, we are going to clear out some of those myths and misunderstandings. You'll get the truth about testing strips and learn what really causes those high blood ketone levels. If you hang out at low-carb forums for any length of time, you're bound to hear again and again how someone recently got kicked out of the state of ketosis, and they are looking for a fast way to get back in. Out of all of the issues that you can have with a low-carb lifestyle, understanding ketone testing strips is one of the biggies. “I got kicked out of ketosis,” is one of the most common complaints I hear. And while that may or may not be true, depending on the situation, there are a lot of misconceptions about the role that ketones and ketone testing strips play in a low-carb diet. Even those who are using a blood meter often go by the rumors circulating around the web instead of listening to Dr. Phinney himself. For example: One of the misconceptions I've run into over the years is the idea that ketones are used to fuel the entire body. This is only true at the very beginning of your low-carb diet. When the body first runs out of glucose, the body runs on protein and ketones, but as carbohydrate restriction continues past those first few days, your body goes through a series of steps, or adaptions, that eventually result in muscle insulin resistance. This resistance to the presence of insulin allows the ketones buildin Continue reading >>
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 is simply misinformation. They're confusing ketosis (the state from a Ketogenic diet) with ketoacidosis (or acidosis) which occurs in uncontrolled diabetes and/or starvation. Ketones? Ketones are incompletely burned carbon fragments. The very fact that they are less efficient as fuel is what makes them give you that 'metabolic advantage.' Some of the calories burned are not used to their full capacity... hence the person can eat more calories when in ketosis than when not, and still lose the same amount of weight. Ketoacids are short (four carbons long.) It's important because in that way the Continue reading >>
Color Of Urine Strips For Ketosis
Ketosis occurs when the body runs out of carbohydrates for energy. As a result, the body begins to process dietary and bodily fat to carry out necessary functions; the presence of ketones in urine thus indicates the metabolism of fat. Ketone testing strips evaluate the presence and concentration of ketones using a urine sample. Ketosis is evidenced by the a chemical reaction on the testing pad, which will change colors based on the concentration of ketones. Presence of Ketones The presence of ketones in urine may be surmised by a simple urinary test. Some test strips offer further evaluation of the presence of glucose, proteins or other material in urine. However, in testing for ketosis, strips need only to test for the presence of ketones. Use of Test Strip Urinary ketone test strips (or reagent strips) are simple to use. The testing pad, on one end of the test strip, is exposed to urine; it can be passed through a urine stream or dipped into a urine specimen. The testing pad contains a chemical that reacts in the presence of ketones, changing color depending on concentration. Ketone Readings For utmost accuracy, ketone readings should be conducted exactly 15 seconds after exposure to urine. On the testing bottle will be a small selection of colored squares demonstrating (in ascending order) what colors the test pad will turn in the event that ketones are present. Test Strip Readings Ketone test strips generally have five categories associated with ketone concentration in blood. A negative reading indicates no ketones are present in urine. Trace (5 mg/dL), small (15 mg/dL), moderate (40 mg/dL) and large (80 to 100-plus mg/dL) are the four positive ranges, indicated by a pale pink (trace) through deep burgundy (large) color on the test pad. Accuracy The testing pad may 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 >>
Ketone Strip Reviews Which Keto Urine Sticks Are The Best?
If this is your first-time hearing about keto strips as a weight loss product, then you’re probably wondering what in the world they are. Fortunately, we’re here not only to answer that question but to also give you the rundown on how to find the type and brand is the best keto strip today. But first, let’s rewind a bit. To understand what these products do, it’s important to first understand ketosis. This process is the metabolic state in which your liver breaks down body fat. Through this process it produces ketones. During a ketogenic diet, they are your body’s primary source of fuel. What this means is, if you want to lose weight through this process, then these particular bodies are essential to keep your body powering through the challenges of everyday life. As you can imagine, this would make measuring your bodies ketone levels very important during the process of this diet. There are three primary methods of doing so: For more information on choosing the right measurement tool for you and getting the most accurate results possible, you definitely need to keep reading this review. Continue reading >>
The Ketogenic Diet For Fat Loss & Much More
In this article you will learn: What Ketosis is and how it relates to fat metabolism. How to structure your diet in such a way as to create a healthy state of ketosis for fat loss, massively improved energy levels and many other health benefits. To put it simply, ketosis is the metabolic state wherein your body is burning predominantly fat to produce energy. Ketones are the energy substrate your body makes from fats you eat and from your own bodyfat. Getting into ketosis (fat burning mode) is a highly sought after state for anyone who desires to lose bodyfat. There are a few things that can get in the way of being in fat burning mode and we will review them in this post. For a more elaborate definition of ketosis, here is an excerpt from wikipedia: Note: when glucose is available for energy then the body will generally not produce ketones (i.e. will not burn fat). Glucose can come from eating foods that contain carbohydrates and it can also come from protein through a process mentioned above called gluconeogenesis (the production of glucose from protein.) That means that if you are eating carbohydrates often or too much protein, it can keep you out of fat burning mode. Before you jump into trying to follow a ketogenic diet you have to first determine if your body will be able to run primarily on fats for energy. The ketogenic diet is very high in fat, which means you need to be able to digest fat very effectively if you are going to thrive on this diet. Effective digestion of all the fat you eat on a ketogenic diet require your liver and gall bladder to be working well - i.e. producing and effectively secreting sufficient amounts of bile. Bile is an alkaline liquid soap/salt that your liver makes and your gall bladder stores and concentrates. When you eat any meal, the Continue reading >>
Can A Low-carb Diet Make One's Urine Smell Bad?
Urine usually has little odor to it, so you may be puzzled if yours smells stronger than usual. A restrictive low-carb diet can put you into a state of ketosis, a side effect of which is a fruity-smelling urine. Moderate low-carb diets are unlikely to give your urine an unusual odor, however, so consider other causes and, if still not sure why your urine smells, consult your medical provider. Video of the Day It's unlikely that you'll reach the state of ketosis with moderately low-carb diets. You'll need to follow a restrictive plan, such as the Atkins 20™ diet, which only allows 20 grams of carbs per day, with virtually all high-carb foods off your plate. You focus on moderate amounts of protein and large amounts of fat. No added sugar, fruit, grains or starchy vegetables are allowed in a ketogenic diet. Meals consists of meats, cold-pressed oils and leafy, watery vegetables. Nuts, eggs and cheese serve as snacks. After several days or weeks of following this extremely low-carb plan, your body starts to produce ketones. You don't have enough carbs for energy, so, to fuel activity, your body becomes efficient at burning fat and the liver produces ketones to fuel the brain. This production is normal, but not regularly experienced by people that consume the 225 to 300 grams of carbohydrates recommended on a standard American 2,000-calorie diet. Benefits of the ketogenic diet include stabilization of blood sugar and insulin levels and the weight loss that results from your body reaching into your fat stores for energy. The diet may also help alleviate symptoms of a number of diseases, including neurological conditions and some cancers. Your Urine on Ketosis One of the first signs that you've reached a state of ketosis is frequent urination. As the diet stabilizes your in Continue reading >>
What Are The Optimal Ketone Levels For A Ketogenic Diet?
If you’ve just started a ketogenic diet, then you’ll know that it can be really tough to figure out if you’re doing keto right. Am I eating too many carbs? Too much protein? Should I still be feeling tired? When is the fat burning supposed to start? It’s confusing, and one of the most confusing aspects is what your optimal ketone levels are supposed to be. Unlike most other diets, the ketogenic diet is designed to put your body into a state of ketosis in order to get your body to start burning ketones instead of the glucose that it usually burns when you eat a high carb standard American diet (SAD). But to know whether you’re in ketosis and whether your body has enough ketones circulating for you to use as energy instead of glucose, you have to measure your actual ketone levels and then determine whether they’re high enough for you to be reaping the benefits of the ketogenic diet. If you’ve tried searching for this information already, then you’ll know that there’s some controversy depending on which expert you follow. So in this article, we’ll tell you exactly what the different experts are suggesting are the optimal ketone levels as well as give you recommendations for what ketone levels you should be aiming for depending on your goals with a ketogenic diet. A Few Quick Notes Before We Start… If you’re looking for signs other than testing your actual body ketone levels as to whether you’re in ketosis or not, then please check out this article instead that provides you with signs you’re in ketosis. If you’re a type 1 diabetic, then this article is not for you and the optimal ketone levels suggested below are not applicable to you. Please check out the tons of other ketone level articles on the web to ensure your ketone levels do not reach Continue reading >>
- The effect of a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet versus a low-glycemic index diet on glycemic control in type 2 diabetes mellitus
- World's first diabetes app will be able to check glucose levels without drawing a drop of blood and will be able to reveal what a can of coke REALLY does to sugar levels
- Does the Ketogenic Diet Work for Type 2 Diabetes?
The Low Carbohydrate Or Ketogenic Diet
The Atkins diet and other low-carbohydrate diets are still popular. Understanding the concepts behind these diets will help you lose weight in a safe, responsible manner and avoid certain pitfalls. Force your body to burn fat On a low-carbohydrate diet, your body is forced into burning its second choice for energy, fat. Normally, your body prefers to use carbohydrate for energy. Any time you eat carbohydrate-rich foods (starch, sweets, bread, etc.), your body first burns the carbohydrate for energy. Excess carbohydrates are then stored as glycogen (a form of sugar in the liver). Once your carbohydrate stores are full, extra carbohydrate is stored as fat. When carbohydrate calories are plentiful, your body never has to use its fat reserves for energy. Only when your carbohydrate intake is limited will your body reluctantly begin to burn fat. The key to dieting success Controlling your appetite is the key to controlling your calorie intake. When dieting, most people can't stand that "starving" feeling and quit after a very short time. Normally, foods are digested and absorbed into the bloodstream, causing an increase in blood sugar, which triggers insulin secretion. Insulin pushes sugar from the bloodstream into your body's cells and liver, and keeps the blood sugar stable. Simple carbohydrates, such as pasta, breads, and most sweets get into the bloodstream too quickly, triggering a large release of insulin from the pancreas. This flood of insulin causes your blood sugar to drop quickly, triggering hunger and stress hormones to bring your sugar back up. If you try to lose weight with a high carbohydrate, low protein, low fat diet, you will constantly be fighting insulin spikes and resulting hunger. Low carbohydrate diet stops insulin spikes A low carbohydrate diet helps Continue reading >>
- The effect of a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet versus a low-glycemic index diet on glycemic control in type 2 diabetes mellitus
- The interpretation and effect of a low-carbohydrate diet in the management of type 2 diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials
- Pre-diabetes goes into remission on higher protein, lower carbohydrate diet (Zone diet balance)
Metabolism And Ketosis
Dr. Eades, If the body tends to resort to gluconeogenesis for glucose during a short-term carbohydrate deficit, are those who inconsistently reduce carb intake only messing things up by not effecting full blown ketosis? If the body will still prefer glucose as main energy source unless forced otherwise for at least a few days, is it absolutely necessary to completely transform metabolism for minimal muscle loss? Also, if alcohol is broken down into ketones and acetaldehyde, technically couldn’t you continue to drink during your diet or would the resulting gluconeogenesis inhibition from alcohol lead to blood glucose problems on top of the ketotic metabolism? Would your liver ever just be overwhelmed by all that action? I’m still in high school so hypothetical, of course haha… Sorry, lots of questions but I’m always so curious. Thank you so much for taking the time to inform the public. You’re my hero! P.S. Random question…what’s the difference between beta and gamma hydroxybutyric acids? It’s crazy how simple orientation can be the difference between a ketone and date rape drug…biochem is so cool! P.P.S. You should definitely post the details of that inner mitochondrial membrane transport. I’m curious how much energy expenditure we’re talkin there.. Keep doin your thing! Your Fan, Trey No, I don’t think people are messing up if they don’t get into full-blown ketosis. For short term low-carb dieting, the body turns to glycogen. Gluconeogenesis kicks in fairly quickly, though, and uses dietary protein – assuming there is plenty – before turning to muscle tissue for glucose substrate. And you have the Cori cycle kicking in and all sorts of things to spare muscle, so I wouldn’t worry about it. And you can continue to drink while low-carbing. Continue reading >>
Being Fat Adapted Versus "in Ketosis" (pt.1/3)
UPDATE!! (9/20/2017) I have a new post that explains how and why the body produces ketones, It will help you understand much better the difference between burning fat and having a fat-based metabolism, versus being "in ketosis." It's very long, but I think it's worth reading if you'd really like to understand this -- and if you want to stop freaking out about your ketone levels. (If you click over to that post and want to read only the section that explains the difference between ketosis and running on fat, scroll way down to where it says Ketogenesis: How and Why Do We Make Ketones? Also: Fat Adaptation versus Ketosis.) Happy reading! If I never hear or read those six words, in that order, ever again, I’ll be one happy individual. Based on what I come across on low-carb forums, blogs, and videos, there is a lot of confusion about the correct use of urine ketone test strips (which I’ll sometimes refer to as ketostix, since “ketone test strips” is a mouthful, even when you’re only reading). So allow me to ‘splain a little bit about how to interpret these things, and what role they should play—if any—in your low-carb life. First and foremost is the most important thing you will read in today’s post. (And it is so important that I will likely repeat it in all the posts to follow in this little series. Plus, you can tell it’s important because it’s red, bold, in italics, and all caps, hehheh.) You can be in ketosis and not lose body fat, and you can lose body fat without being in ketosis. Here is an exhaustive, comprehensive list of everything urine ketone test strips tell you: There is acetoacetate in your urine. That’s it. Nothing more. Nada más. Game over. Finito. The fat lady has sung, and Elvis has left the building. Your worth as a human being Continue reading >>
Why You Need To Stop Worrying About The Color Of Your Ketostix
Yeah, I know you like to use them, but there are so many misconceptions about what they are telling you, that I need to intervene and make sure you get it. But before I go there, let me urge you to just buy The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living, and read pages 164-165. Phinney and Volek have the best description of this that has probably ever been written, and you should really just read it from them. If I could copy these pages verbatim and paste it here, I would. Seriously, it’s only a few bucks and it’s quite literally the book you want to own if you’re interested in low carb ketogenic diets. OK, while you wait for your book to arrive, let’s dig in… What ketostix measure First off, we need to understand what ketostix actually measure, and more importantly, what they don’t. Generally speaking, ketostix measure excess ketones in your urine. They are considered excess, because they are removed from your serum and shunted to your urine by your kidneys. Their caloric content is thereby wasted. Of the three types of ketones (acetate, acetoacetate, and beta-hydroxybutyrate) produced by your body, ketostix only measure acetoacetate. This is extremely important to understand, because it turns out that your body produces different quantities of these different types of ketones depending on how long you’ve been in ketosis. If you’ve been in ketosis for a while, you’re going to see a reduction in the “intensity” of what you register on your ketostix for two reasons: A change in the relative volume of the ketones produced/present in your body A reduction in the volume of ketones in your urine as your kidneys reduce the amount they secrete Both of these are covered below. Changes in the types of ketones you produce When you first start your ketogenic Continue reading >>
The Paleo Guide To Ketosis
Ketosis is a word that gets tossed around a lot within the Paleo community – to some, it’s a magical weight-loss formula, to others, it’s a way of life, and to others it’s just asking for adrenal fatigue. But understanding what ketosis really is (not just what it does), and the physical causes and consequences of a fat-fueled metabolism can help you make an informed decision about the best diet for your particular lifestyle, ketogenic or not. Ketosis is essentially a metabolic state in which the body primarily relies on fat for energy. Biologically, the human body is a very adaptable machine that can run on a variety of different fuels, but on a carb-heavy Western diet, the primary source of energy is glucose. If glucose is available, the body will use it first, since it’s the quickest to metabolize. So on the standard American diet, your metabolism will be primarily geared towards burning carbohydrates (glucose) for fuel. In ketosis, it’s just the opposite: the body primarily relies on ketones, rather than glucose. To understand how this works, it’s important to understand that some organs in the body (especially the brain) require a base amount of glucose to keep functioning. If your brain doesn’t get any glucose, you’ll die. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that you need glucose in the diet – your body is perfectly capable of meeting its glucose needs during an extended fast, a period of famine, or a long stretch of very minimal carbohydrate intake. There are two different ways to make this happen. First, you could break down the protein in your muscles and use that as fuel for your brain and liver. This isn’t ideal from an evolutionary standpoint though – when you’re experiencing a period of food shortage, you need to be strong and fast, 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 >>