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What Does Ketosis Feel Like

What It Feels Like To Be On The Keto Diet

What It Feels Like To Be On The Keto Diet

Putting your body into ketosis—causing it to switch from burning carbs to burning fat for fuel—is a major metabolic change. Some people don’t react well, while others thrive on it and feel more energy. “Low-carb and ketogenic diets aren’t for everyone, so it’s important to listen to your body,” says Alissa Rumsey, R.D., C.S.C.S., of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “If after a few weeks you still feel worse than you did before you started, you should stop and reconsider if it’s the right diet for you.” Here’s what she says you should expect when going keto. The first few days on keto You may feel low on energy, lethargic, and dizzy. Some people suffer from headaches or flulike symptoms during the first few days or weeks due to the depletion of muscle glycogen and the lack of glucose. This is the hard part, because you have to avoid eating carbohydrates to halt the cycle of glucose-based metabolism, even though your glycogen stores are dwindling and your cravings are probably increasing. Your body is used to burning glucose, not fat, for fuel, which is why—for the first few weeks, while your body adapts—your energy levels may be down. The first week on keto You’ll likely see a pretty rapid weight loss in the first week, though this will be from water depletion. Glycogen is attached to water in our bodies, so when you lose glycogen, you also lose water—as much as four-plus pounds of just fluid. Your workouts may also suffer during the first few weeks; many people report a loss of strength and endurance until their bodies become more efficient at using fats for fuel. The second week on keto Your body will still be adapting to using fat for fuel, but toward the end of the second week and into the third week, you may start to see increasi Continue reading >>

8 Ways To Blast Through Low-carb Flu And Dive Into Ketosis

8 Ways To Blast Through Low-carb Flu And Dive Into Ketosis

Have you just started a low-carb diet? Do you find yourself feeling exhausted and overcome by tiredness? Perhaps you are thinking that going low-carb wasn’t a good idea after all… You might already know that these symptoms are not uncommon, especially if you are doing low-carb for the first time. Also known as “low carb flu” or “Atkins flu”, this phase is completely normal – although by no means pleasant. This condition occurs when you cut your carb intake sharply, to about 20-30g a day, in order to induce ketosis. What is low-carb flu? Your body is used to running on carbs. It’s been operating this way for decades. Cutting carbs in favour of fat is a huge change for your metabolism. Your body needs some time to adjust to this change. This period of adjustment can sometimes cause flu-like symptoms. Fatigue is the most common one, but you could also get muscle cramps, headaches, dizziness and mental fog. Some of these symptoms are markers of sugar withdrawal. Sugar addiction is real and common, so trying to break away can be difficult. Low-carb flu is not actual flu Please note that “low carb flu” does not include fever or respiratory cold-like symptoms such as coughing or sneezing. If you are experiencing any of these, it means that you might have actually caught an infection! So it would be a good idea to postpone starting your diet until you are all clear. How can you fight tiredness and other symptoms of low-carb flu? First of all, remember that it won’t last forever. Low-carb flu usually lasts around 3-5 days (although could be 1-2 weeks for some unlucky people with high metabolic resistance). Here are some simple tips on making this transition easier. 1) Eat more fat Fat is the key to this whole issue. You must eat lots of it – a lot more th 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 >>

The 4 Ketosis Symptoms You Should Be Looking For

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 >>

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 >>

Symptoms Of Ketosis:

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 Tips For Getting Into Nutritional Ketosis For Weight Loss

10 Tips For Getting Into Nutritional Ketosis For Weight Loss

10 Tips For Getting Into Nutritional Ketosis For Weight Loss What is Nutritional Ketosis? Ketosis is an eating plan where the body uses ketones to fuel the brain and body instead of glucose like most people use when on the SAD (standard American diet). It can be very helpful for blood sugar and consistent energy because fat is a very stable source of fuel. We all have a few million calories of fat we would gladly burn off, right? It takes a while to get into ketosis and it can be elusive if you are not paying close attention. It can be very safe for a period of time (even forever) but each person has to decide what feels compatible with their own lifestyle. Some experts do not think it is an optimal state for athletes but others experts disagree. I think we all have bio hack ourselves to see what feels right. Of course, I believe that the paleo template is good starting place for optimal health but ketosis can be an add-on or tweak for people who get stuck or feel hopeless. It can be a powerful and effective way to lose weight without hunger and many of my friends have had success with it. Always ask your doctor before beginning any new nutrition or weight loss plan. Here are some ways to make it work for you: 1. Eat Less Protein I have a made a handy dandy chart here for figuring out the right amounts for you. Most average ladies need about 50-100 grams, no more, fyi. You have to self experiment a little to find what is right for you. The idea is that protein can turn to sugar if someone eats more than they need, then the sugar spikes blood glucose encouraging fat storage. 2. Eat More Fat I used to see this all the time in clients, I say add more fat and people add a tsp of evoo to their salad, NO!!! I am talking about seeing fat as a food group not a side item. Avocad Continue reading >>

Not Losing Weight On A Low-carb Ketogenic Diet? Don’t Give Up And Read Further

Not Losing Weight On A Low-carb Ketogenic Diet? Don’t Give Up And Read Further

The ketogenic diet is not only known to be one of the most effective weight loss tools, but has proven to have many health benefits. Ketosis is a state at which your body produces ketones in the liver, shifting the body's metabolism away from glucose and towards fat utilization. Unless you can check your blood ketones, using Ketostix is an easy way to detect urinary ketones. It's not the most accurate method, but may be good enough to find out whether you are in ketosis. In some cases, weight loss may be difficult even on a low-carb ketogenic diet and there may be a few possible reasons for weight stalling, which I have listed in this post. If you want to know more about the ketogenic diet and how it can help you lose weight, have a look at my Practical Guide to Keto Diet which is freely available on my website also as PDF. 3 free diet plans to help you kickstart your diet, lose weight and get healthy Recipes, giveaways and exclusive deals delivered directly to your inbox A chance to win the KetoDiet app every week Top Reasons You Are Not Losing Weight on a Keto Diet 1. Carbs are Too High Your carbohydrate intake may be too high. Try to decrease your daily carbs limit. Also try to include coconut oil in your diet. Coconut oil consists of MCTs (Medium chain triglycerides), which are easily digestible, less likely to be stored by your body and are used for immediate energy. MCTs are converted in the liver into ketones, which helps you enter ketosis. If you want to know more about carbs, check out this post. For more about ketones, have a look at this post. 2. Protein is Too High or Too Low Your protein intake may be too high/ low. Protein is the most sating macronutrient and you should include high-quality animal protein in your diet. If you don't eat enough protein, you Continue reading >>

Keto-adaptation #1 – Lessons Learned From 1 Year And 5 Months Of Ketosis

Keto-adaptation #1 – Lessons Learned From 1 Year And 5 Months Of Ketosis

Intro Update: before reading this, make sure to know my current thoughts (about page) As of February 2015, I’ve been 1 year and 5 months into ketosis. I entered this metabolic state using nutrition primarily and I was able to maintain it through nutritional, as well as other interventions. More than 98% of the time I was in ketosis. It was, I believe, two or three times when I was out of ketosis for a couple of hours and this happened during the first months, back in late 2013. Be reasonable My personal nutritional approach is individualized. I do not do 80+% fat and 5% carbohydrate and I would be inclined to say that it may not be optimal for healthy adults to eat so much fat and deprive their bodies of micronutrient, vitamin, and mineral diversity that come from vegetables, leafy greens, and/or some legumes, unless a severe medical condition (such as epilepsy, for example) implies it. I do 65-70% fat, 15-18% protein and ~10-15% carbs. It keeps me in ketosis. I eat below my daily energy requirements, I consume low protein, <1g per KG of bodyweight – which fall somewhere in-between 50 – 65g of protein per day, sometimes even lower. I fast a lot, I train fasted and I feel that my lifting performance keeps getting better, contrary to popular belief. Many folks would opt-in for much higher protein intake. I find it not necessary for me. Ketones may play a crucial role in this. Ketosis is not magic. Keto-adaptation does not happen overnight (or in 2-3 weeks of ketosis)1 Eating low calorie does not make me nutrient deficient. On the contrary, I optimized my approach so that I can get as many nutrients from food as possible. I also supplement. I want to underline that this works for me (apparently) and I do not want to get more specific so that folks will immediately th Continue reading >>

Being Fat Adapted Versus

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 >>

What Is The Keto Flu Or Low Carb Flu And What To Do About It?

What Is The Keto Flu Or Low Carb Flu And What To Do About It?

Keto flu symptoms, mitigation and getting over excess carbohydrates Any major dietary or lifestyle change has the potential to cause discomfort or lets face it, even mess you up for a bit. This is sometimes referred to as a ‘flu’. It’s the most common time during which people will quit their dietary or lifestyle shift as many simply feel they are unable to function without significant carbohydrates and snacking throughout day. Here we’ll discuss the major downside to starting a ketogenic diet or a low carb one, and how to minimize the discomfort often accompanying this adaptation period. Like most people you’ve probably spent 20 – 60 years feeding your body a significant amount of carbohydrates and much of them from poorly chosen overly processed sources. Your cells, organs, central nervous system and brain have all adapted to it through hormonal and metabolic responses normally running in the background. Switching fuel sources, like eating less carbs and more fat, is likely to throw your body and brain for a loop. To be clear, the “keto flu” label is a bit of a misnomer. It’s more akin to carbohydrate withdrawal symptoms resulting from a shifting hormonal states and imbalanced electrolyte adjustments that are along for the ride. Regardless, this buzz term is in the general consciousness now so we might as well keep using it for now. Before diving into the details, keep in mind that the following four books should teach you nearly everything you need to know about low carb and ketogenic diets, including how to handle the keto flu. The rest of the relevant science is dispersed amongst hundreds if not thousands of papers only a search away on PubMed. If you want to ask questions about it or be part of our community please visit Ask BreakNutrition. Sympto 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 >>

What Is Ketosis And Why I Like It

What Is Ketosis And Why I Like It

I want to start out by sharing a link that explains a common misconception about ketosis and keto-acidosis: eatingacademy.com/nutrit ion/is-ketosis-dangerous Ketosis or keto-adaptation is not dangerous but very helpful. Ketones are what our brain and our muscles use for fuel when there is no glucose. Only when our carb intake goes under about 50 grams/day does our body start fueling significantly with ketones that are made from fat. This is the reason why people on low-carb (under 50 grams of carbs) diets can lose weight quickly and without hunger. Their body has learned that fuel comes from fat, either body fat or fat in the diet because there are not enough carbs to burn. The human body does need some glucose but it can manufacture the necessary glucose through gluco-neogenesis in the liver. Since gluconeogenesis will only happen when the glucose is needed this will not lead to excessively high sugar levels in the blood as happens when we eat high-carb foods which will then cause a rise in insulin. Insulin will lower the blood sugar level quickly, but the result is that the low blood sugar level will make us hungry for more carbs. By eating a low-carb diet, our body gets in the habit of burning ketones for fuel and blood sugar levels are much more stable. This is why people on ketogenic (very low-carb) diets can easily skip breakfast, exercise without fueling or even do some intermittent fasting without feeling hungry. When people on ketogenic diets increase their carbs a little, to the level where they are still relatively low-carb, but not ketogenic, these benefits often go away. This is what happened to me several times when I fell back into old habits of eating. The most recent one was using supplements that contained sugar when I felt sick, another was eating mor Continue reading >>

What Is It Like To Experience Ketosis?

What Is It Like To Experience Ketosis?

Ketosis is great, it's the transition that stinks. Being in ketosis means that your body is receiving its primary energy from ketones, which come from fat. The standard American diet is pretty high in carbohydrates, which convert to glucose in the blood. As long as your body has glucose around, it will always pick that over ketones. The transition from processing glucose to processing ketones invariably creates a gap in energy delivery to the brain (and other parts of the body), which will NOT kill you but which WILL trigger a stress response in the form of aches, headaches, fatigue, fogginess, etc. Really, it will vary by person. YMMV. If you fast (don't eat anything), you could be in ketosis in 24-48 hours (apparently, I've never tried it). If you carb-restrict your diet to less than 20-40g carbohydrates per day, you could be in ketosis within 3-5 days. It depends on a few factors, but mostly how much glycogen you have stored in your liver (glycogen converts to glucose). I was listening to a Tim Ferris podcast with Dom D'Agostino (Dom D’Agostino on Fasting, Ketosis, and the End of Cancer) where they talk about exogenous ketones among other things. Exogenous ketones are apparently available in several forms (BHB monoester, AcAc di-ester, BHB mineral salt) and if taken during the transition period will eradicate any negative side effects. I haven't tried them for myself (Peter Attia has! but it's intriguing to think that the one thing that prevents most people from enjoying ketosis (the crappy transition) could be optional. While in ketosis, I experience a little bit higher than normal energy level and fewer food cravings. I can think more clearly. I get hungry less often. I am frequently thirsty (this is normal side effect, and if you are in ketosis you should be dri Continue reading >>

How To Tell When You’re In Ketosis

How To Tell When You’re In Ketosis

Ketosis isn’t some mystical state, achieved only by days and months of fasting and spiritual connection. Kind of the opposite, actually. A lot of people (whether or not they follow a low carb diet) go into a state of ketosis every night without even trying, just by having a functioning metabolism. Of course, as soon as they eat carbs again, they’re knocked out and back to burning carbohydrates preferentially – but we’re not here to talk about them. The question at hand is for those following a low carb diet, who want to be able to tell when they’re in ketosis. Seems simple enough. Keto Sticks I’m including these, and listing them first, because they’re pretty widely known in the keto community. You really can’t throw a rock without hitting a post about them. The thing is, keto sticks work nicely to tell that your body has been in a ketogenic state recently, they just aren’t the best at letting you know whether or not you’re in a ketogenic state now. I’m not totally against using them, just not as a regular means of identifying your body’s current state. They’re certainly a good starting point to try and see when you hit that keto place. Keto Meter There are two varieties of these: blood & breath. Both test your current state of ketosis, but are costly. The advantage of breath over blood is no skin pricking, and any diabetic will tell you that has its benefits. The breath meter will also save you in the long run, if you plan on using this daily for any duration of time. While the blood meter is initially 1/5 the cost of breath, use requires testing strips that are $35 for 10. Yikes. Of course, if you don’t want to spring for a testing meter, you can check your body’s symptoms… Your Pee & Poo Yup. Get excited, you’re about to become very Continue reading >>

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