Is Being In Ketosis Safe And What Are The Potential Side Effects
Sign up for updates to receive one week FREE of my low carb and gluten free meal plans: CHECK OUT SOME OF MY OTHER FAVORITE LOW CARB KETO RESOURCES: Is being in ketosis safe? Some people think that ketosis is extremely dangerous. However, they might be confusing ketosis with ketoacidosis, which is completely different. While ketoacidosis is a serious condition caused by uncontrolled diabetes, ketosis is a natural metabolic state. In fact, ketosis and ketogenic diets have been studied extensively and shown to have major benefits for weight loss (1, 2). Ketogenic diets have also been shown to have therapeutic effects in epilepsy, type 2 diabetes and several other chronic conditions (3, 4, 5, 6). Ketosis is generally considered to be safe for most people. However, it may lead to a few side effects, especially in the beginning. An Overview of Ketosis First, it’s necessary to understand what ketosis is. Ketosis is a natural part of metabolism. It happens either when carbohydrate intake is very low (such as on a ketogenic diet), or when you haven’t eaten for a long time. Both of these lead to reduced insulin levels, which causes a lot of fat to be released from your fat cells. When this happens, the liver gets flooded with fat, which turns a large part of it into ketones. During ketosis, many parts of your body are burning ketones for energy instead of carbs. This includes a large part of the brain. However, this doesn’t happen instantly. It takes your body and brain some time to “adapt” to burning fat and ketones instead of carbs. During this adaptation phase, you may experience some temporary side effects. These are generally referred to as the “low-carb flu” or “keto flu.” Bottom Line: In ketosis, parts of the body and brain use ketones for fuel instead o Continue reading >>
Not to be confused with Ketoacidosis. Ketosis is a metabolic state in which some of the body's energy supply comes from ketone bodies in the blood, in contrast to a state of glycolysis in which blood glucose provides energy. Ketosis is a result of metabolizing fat to provide energy. Ketosis is a nutritional process characterised by serum concentrations of ketone bodies over 0.5 mM, with low and stable levels of insulin and blood glucose. It is almost always generalized with hyperketonemia, that is, an elevated level of ketone bodies in the blood throughout the body. Ketone bodies are formed by ketogenesis when liver glycogen stores are depleted (or from metabolising medium-chain triglycerides). The main ketone bodies used for energy are acetoacetate and β-hydroxybutyrate, and the levels of ketone bodies are regulated mainly by insulin and glucagon. Most cells in the body can use both glucose and ketone bodies for fuel, and during ketosis, free fatty acids and glucose synthesis (gluconeogenesis) fuel the remainder. Longer-term ketosis may result from fasting or staying on a low-carbohydrate diet (ketogenic diet), and deliberately induced ketosis serves as a medical intervention for various conditions, such as intractable epilepsy, and the various types of diabetes. In glycolysis, higher levels of insulin promote storage of body fat and block release of fat from adipose tissues, while in ketosis, fat reserves are readily released and consumed. For this reason, ketosis is sometimes referred to as the body's "fat burning" mode. Ketosis and ketoacidosis are similar, but ketoacidosis is an acute life-threatening state requiring prompt medical intervention while ketosis can be physiological. However, there are situations (such as treatment-resistant Continue reading >>
7 Signs You Might Be In Ketosis When Doing The Ketogenic Diet
One of the main goals of starting the ketogenic diet is to get your body into a metabolic state known as ketosis. Note: If you don’t know what the ketogenic is all about then check out the Ketogenic Diet: Beginner’s Guide to Keto and Weight Loss. This is when your body starts to produce a lot of ketones to supply energy for your body. Why is this good? Because it means your body has converted from a sugar-burner to a fat-burner. If your body is burning fat for energy then something amazing starts to happen. The fat on your body starts to disappear. But how do you know when you’re in ketosis? Besides using test strips or an instrument there are some signs that your body will give. 7 Signs You Might Be in Ketosis These don’t 100% guarantee that your body is in ketosis but if it is in ketosis then these signs will appear. 1. Weight Loss One of the obvious signs of ketosis is weight loss but this can also be pretty deceptive because many people don’t experience the kind of weight loss that they expect. This can happen for a variety of reasons but when you get close to entering ketosis or do enter ketosis you’ll find that you lose a healthy amount of weight quickly. For example, when you switch to low carbs you usually experience significant weight loss in the first week. In fact, my wife lost 12 lbs in the first 28 days of Keto and I lost 13. This isn’t your body burning fat but finally being able to release the water that was being held by the fat cells. If your fat cells don’t release this water then they can’t flow through the bloodstream to be used as fuel so losing water weight is a good thing. After the initial rapid drop in water weight, you should continue to lose body fat consistently if you are able to stick with the low-carb aspects of the diet Continue reading >>
First Week: Top 3 Keto Conundrums
The low carb lifestyle is known to sculpt some serious fat off your body. Many followers of the keto diet experience rapid weight loss, low hunger levels, and good energy levels. Since you cut out most of the high sugar foods, controlling your calories becomes a breeze. Sounds like an easy plan to success, right? Those who joined the ketogenic army can attest that the early weight loss comes with a toll. The first week of low carb living can be daunting, both mentally and physically. As your brain and body are adapting to a life without glucose, you may become outright miserable. Don’t go shoving cake down your neck just yet – the misery passes. To have an idea what you’ll go through, check out these common side effects that most go through when switching to a keto diet. Usually they only last for the first few days to a week, but preparing yourself for what might come will always help. Mental and Physical Fogginess The first major sign – coming 2 or 3 days into your ketogenic transition – will be the fogginess. You’re brain likes to take it easy and it if had a choice, would run on only glucose. As your body is switching from glucose to ketones as its main source of energy, your body will continue to burn the last stores of glycogen. This results in a foggy haze that might make it hard to concentrate. You might find yourself staring into space or feeling lethargic, but have no fear – it will pass. Headaches might pound at your door, nausea can pit in your stomach, muscle cramps can ruin your day and irritability can spark arguments, but knowing this can help you plan. Switch your diet in the middle of the week, so you will have the weekend to fully rest and recover from your transition. What we suggest is to go super low carb for the first week, which mea Continue reading >>
Symptoms Of Ketosis:
If you are considering the ketogenic diet or have already started down this carb-free road, you may wonder what you can expect. Here’s the thing. Ketosis looks different for everyone, but I will share many of the most common symptoms with you today. If something other than what’s listed here is happening to you, just do a quick Google search for that symptom and keto. You should be able to find what you’re looking for! The Early Signs: The early signs of ketosis vary from person to person. The biggest impact on how quickly you notice the symptoms of ketosis will have a lot to do with how you ate before you started the diet. If your diet was very high carb, you might get hit pretty quickly and furiously with what we like to call the “Keto Flu.” This can last anywhere from 3 days to a week or more. Once your body has adapted to burning ketones for energy instead of glucose, you’ll be golden so don’t give up! Here’s what you can expect within the first 2-3 days of starting the Ketogenic Diet: Fatigue & Weakness (lack of concentration) Headaches Metallic taste or sweet taste in your mouth (I experienced this, and it tasted like blood in my mouth) Lightheaded / Dizzy upon standing Heightened Thirst Hunger / Sweet or Carb Cravings Dry Mouth possibly paired with “Keto Breath.” Stomach Discomfort / Mild Nausea / Cramping Trouble Sleeping or Staying Asleep (early waking) Water weight loss (perhaps an excessive loss of weight within the first two weeks) Frequent Urination Allergies or cold like symptoms may flair up For the ladies: Period issues: You may experience a longer, shorter, earlier, later period because of Keto. Seriously it causes all of that. Each woman is different, and I have experienced every one of those issues with my period since starting ket 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 >>
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 To Identify Ketosis
Expert Reviewed Ketosis is a normal metabolic process by which your body breaks down stored fat for energy, which can also result in a dangerous buildup of ketones in the body called ketoacidosis. Ketosis is often the product of a low-carbohydrate diet that people use to lose weight and gain muscle or it can also be a product of malnutrition. Although the long-term risks of ketosis are not clear, there is some evidence that it can increase your risk of heart disease and certain cancers. By recognizing the signs of ketosis, you can help minimize your risk for developing ketoacidosis. 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 >>
The Fat-fueled Brain: Unnatural Or Advantageous?
Disclaimer: First things first. Please note that I am in no way endorsing nutritional ketosis as a supplement to, or a replacement for medication. As you’ll see below, data exploring the potential neuroprotective effects of ketosis are still scarce, and we don’t yet know the side effects of a long-term ketogenic diet. This post talks about the SCIENCE behind ketosis, and is not meant in any way as medical advice. The ketogenic diet is a nutritionist’s nightmare. High in saturated fat and VERY low in carbohydrates, “keto” is adopted by a growing population to paradoxically promote weight loss and mental well-being. Drinking coffee with butter? Eating a block of cream cheese? Little to no fruit? To the uninitiated, keto defies all common sense, inviting skeptics to wave it off as an unnatural “bacon-and-steak” fad diet. Yet versions of the ketogenic diet have been used to successfully treat drug-resistant epilepsy in children since the 1920s – potentially even back in the biblical ages. Emerging evidence from animal models and clinical trials suggest keto may be therapeutically used in many other neurological disorders, including head ache, neurodegenerative diseases, sleep disorders, bipolar disorder, autism and brain cancer. With no apparent side effects. Sound too good to be true? I feel ya! Where are these neuroprotective effects coming from? What’s going on in the brain on a ketogenic diet? Ketosis in a nutshell In essence, a ketogenic diet mimics starvation, allowing the body to go into a metabolic state called ketosis (key-tow-sis). Normally, human bodies are sugar-driven machines: ingested carbohydrates are broken down into glucose, which is mainly transported and used as energy or stored as glycogen in liver and muscle tissue. When deprived of d Continue reading >>
What Is Keto Flu? (plus 6 Ways To Cure It)
You’re tired and dizzy, you crave sugar, bread, pasta, and your mind wanders like crazy. You just started a ketogenic diet (or a Paleo or other low carb diet) and you’re suspicious if your new diet is making you feeling this crappy. Removing carbohydrates from your diet all of a sudden may well be the reason why you’re barely able to concentrate on this sentence! This can happen even on a Paleo diet if you remove too many carbs from your diet. And all this feeling of crappiness is due to something people call Keto Flu (or Carb Flu). Read on to find out what is keto flu, how long keto flu lasts, and of course, how to cure keto flu. (CARB FLU = KETO FLU) KETO FLU INFOGRAPHIC – please pin! Please feel free to pin and share this infographic about the keto flu. WHAT IS KETO FLU? Keto flu describes the flu-like symptoms that people starting a low-carb diet often experience. These symptoms are caused by your body being too used to receiving carbohydrates from the food you eat and not being able to change your body’s energy source when you stop eating carbs. (If you’re interested in the science, then this article provides a very detailed explanation of why keto flu happens.) Some people explain keto flu as symptoms resulting from withdrawal from carbohydrates (think drug addiction here). And indeed, there are studies showing that sugars (which are a form of carbohydrates) can cause drug-like additions. But don’t panic if you think you have keto flu. I’ve listed several ways to shorten that period of feeling crappy below. WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF KETO FLU? If you just started a low carb or ketogenic diet, then you might experience keto flu symptoms like: Fatigue Sugar cravings Dizziness Difficulty focusing (or Brain Fog) Nausea Difficulty Getting To Sleep Irritab 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 >>
Source Ketosis is the name for a state achieved on a low-carbohydrate diet. According to WebMD, when you are in ketosis, it means your body is burning fat for energy. When that happens, your body releases ketones into your bloodstream, and you are in ketosis. This state may cause a host of temporary symptoms. Understanding the Symptoms Many dieters develop symptoms that let them know ketones are present. For many people beginning a low-carb diet, ketosis kicks in after a few days of strict adherence to the diet. In fact, many low-carbohydrate plans, such as Atkins and paleo, have an initial phase in which dieters take in extremely low amounts of carbohydrates (usually less than 25 grams per day) to kick start ketosis. You can test for ketones in the urine using ketosis strips, or rely on symptoms to tell you ketosis has been achieved. Early Stages Symptoms of ketosis vary, depending how long you've been in the state. In the early stages, the symptoms may be a bit unpleasant. However, as your body adapts to ketones in the bloodstream, symptoms may decrease. Early symptoms usually last for several days or up to a week in some people. This period of symptoms is sometimes called the keto flu. It may continue until your body is used to burning fat instead of glucose. Afterwards, the levels of ketones should lessen, but that doesn't mean you aren't losing weight. It means your body has found a balance and is no longer producing excess ketones. According to Diet Doctor, early stage symptoms include: Flu-like symptoms, such as fatigue and headache Nausea Brain fog Constipation Leg cramps Feeling unusually thirsty Irritability Heart palpitations Dry mouth Ketosis breath, which smells fruity and unpleasant Decreased energy and weakness Dizziness Sleep problems Cold hands and feet Continue reading >>
5 Common Keto Challenges—and How To Overcome Them
The transition from a high-carb diet to one that’s built around healthy fats can trigger some side effects. Here’s how to dissipate them. Unsplash/Eduardo Roda-Lopes The transition from a high-carb diet to one that’s built around healthy fats can trigger some side effects. Here’s how to dissipate them. Unsplash/Eduardo Roda-Lopes In the age of the “obesity epidemic,” more research than ever is focused on determining safe, effective, and long-lasting ways to help prevent or reverse unhealthy weight gain. And studies have found that one possible solution is following a very-low carbohydrate diet called the ketogenic diet. The keto diet drastically reduces the body’s supply of glucose—which is typically obtained from eating carbohydrate-heavy foods like grains and sugar—instead forcing the body to use fat for energy. That may sound similar to other low-carb diets, but there is one key keto distinction: Instead of a focus on lots of protein, the keto diet emphasizes healthy fats, mostly from keto-approved foods like coconut or olive oil, butter, meat, avocado, and eggs. For this reason, the keto diet doesn’t just help with weight loss. It’s also been shown to reduce the risk for diabetes or heart disease, protect against certain neurological disorders, and improve cognitive function. But that doesn’t mean that adopting the keto diet will be all smooth sailing, either. For many, the transition from a high-carb diet to one that’s built around healthy fats and plenty of vegetables can trigger some side effects. If you’re considering adopting the keto diet to help improve your overall health, be advised that you may run into one or more of the following challenges. The good news, however, is that most of these will very likely dissipate within severa Continue reading >>
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 >>