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 >>
Body Odor In Ketosis – What’s Going On?
If you are new to ketosis, you may find yourself somewhat puzzled by a couple of odd symptoms that can show up in the first few weeks. In short – the dreaded body odor and bad breath. Now, this can vary from person to person depending on what the state of your health is when you begin the ketogenic diet, and how your body handles the process. If you are coming from a place of quite poor overall health, with years of eating a typical unhealthy diet, plus smoking and drinking, ketosis is going to happen, but there is also going to be a process of detoxing, in which your body begins to clean itself out during ketosis as it gratefully adapts to your new, ‘clean’ way of living and eating. There Are 2 Main Causes of Body Odor When You Are in Ketosis 1. Detoxing This process of detoxing can occur throughout your body, but in particular in your large intestine. A diet that has been high in gluten and refined carbs and low in dietary fibre and fresh, wholesome foods, is likely to have left your large intestine with a fair amount of cleaning out to do. This is the main potential source of the body odour associated with the first phase of going into detox. Also, it is known that the body can often deal with toxins by locking them away in fat deposits. As your body begins to break these down and get rid of them, it also has to get rid of those toxins. The downside of all this is that, if your initial ketosis journey is also one of detox, you may well find yourself with a number of slight personal hygiene issues, like excessive and smelly wind, bad breath, sour sweats and an overall feeling of ickiness. Don’t worry! As anyone who as been through this process will tell you, it is temporary. The major bonus is that you do really feel like you are doing yourself some good whils Continue reading >>
Ketosis: What Is Ketosis?
Ketosis is a normal metabolic process. When the body does not have enough glucose for energy, it burns stored fats instead; this results in a build-up of acids called ketones within the body. Some people encourage ketosis by following a diet called the ketogenic or low-carb diet. The aim of the diet is to try and burn unwanted fat by forcing the body to rely on fat for energy, rather than carbohydrates. Ketosis is also commonly observed in patients with diabetes, as the process can occur if the body does not have enough insulin or is not using insulin correctly. Problems associated with extreme levels of ketosis are more likely to develop in patients with type 1 diabetes compared with type 2 diabetes patients. Ketosis occurs when the body does not have sufficient access to its primary fuel source, glucose. Ketosis describes a condition where fat stores are broken down to produce energy, which also produces ketones, a type of acid. As ketone levels rise, the acidity of the blood also increases, leading to ketoacidosis, a serious condition that can prove fatal. People with type 1 diabetes are more likely to develop ketoacidosis, for which emergency medical treatment is required to avoid or treat diabetic coma. Some people follow a ketogenic (low-carb) diet to try to lose weight by forcing the body to burn fat stores. What is ketosis? In normal circumstances, the body's cells use glucose as their primary form of energy. Glucose is typically derived from dietary carbohydrates, including: sugar - such as fruits and milk or yogurt starchy foods - such as bread and pasta The body breaks these down into simple sugars. Glucose can either be used to fuel the body or be stored in the liver and muscles as glycogen. If there is not enough glucose available to meet energy demands, th Continue reading >>
No More Dragon Breath!
Too many people who eat low carb diets believe that they have to live with the intense bad breath nicknamed "ketobreath" if they are to keep their carbs down either to control their blood sugar or lose weight. That's because they believe that the bad breath is a sign that they are eating what is called a "ketogenic diet" which some dieters and low carb enthusiasts believe makes it much easier to burn off fat. The term "ketogenic" simply means "producing ketones." Ketones are a byproduct of fat digestion. They become significant when you are eating so few grams of carbohydrate each day because at that point most of your cells switch over to burning fats, including ketones, rather than glucose. You can tell when you have entered a ketogenic state because your body will dump a great deal of water when this happens, causing a weight loss of anywhere from two to six pounds within a day or two. When you exit the ketogenic state, those same water-related pounds come right back. Why this happens is explained in greater detail on this web page. Unfortunately, most people who cut carbs low enough to remain in a ketogenic state for more than a few weeks develop a distinctive and truly awful bad breath that they assume is a necessary part of eating a ketogenic diet. This is not true but widely believed. It is also the major reason why the loved ones of low carb dieter, after a period of patience, may start undermining the low carbers' diet, tempting them with carbs in the hope that if they ruin their loved one's diet they will no longer have to live with the wretched smell of that "ketobreath." This is rational behavior on the part of those loved ones. The bad breath--which the dieter usually can't themselves smell--is often so strong it makes riding in a car with the dieter unplea Continue reading >>
Home The last few 100s I've finished, my wife has informed me I have a keytone smell that permeates throughout my body as well as my breath. She has also noticed this to a lesser degree when I've been building mileage. Could this be the result of fat metabolism? It usually subsides after 24-36 hours. Anyone else experience this or are their spouses keeping quiet? I've never really had this problem until the last fews years. Harry Strohm I am not an expert but it is my understanding that a keytone smell would be associated with protien conversion not fat converson. Paul Comet Are you on a diet? Sounds like ketosis. When I fasted on water and vitamin pills for 8 days, I had that smell big-time. I recall reading that the smell comes from muscle tissue being destroyed. But I'm no expert on physiology. Scott Weber When Al Howie brought up diabetes and ketones, here's what he was referring to: When too little insulin is present, your body cannot use glucose for energy. It is then forced to break down fat for energy. Your body produces ketones (acids) and releases them into the blood and urine. When people with Type I diabetes do not take enough insulin, especially in times of stress or illness, ketones are produced. Large amounts of ketones can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis, a medical emergency. Karl King Ketosis is a result of profoundly low carbohydrate availability and is normally associated with prolonged starvation. The take home message is: eat something, preferably some carbos. I try to run with an intake of 30 to 50 calories per mile and have never experienced a ketone aroma when I run, though I've noted it in others after a long run. Dr Martin W. Fryer, (PhD School of Physiology & Pharmacology University of New South Wales) Without trying to be too technical I think Continue reading >>
Ketosis Breath: Causes & Solutions For Bad Breath
Ultra-low carb diets have grown in popularity over recent years. These so-called “keto diets” aim to facilitate rapid weight loss, through the consumption of minimal carbohydrates. Keto diets have become understandably popular on account of their rapid results, together with the practical benefits of consuming healthy volumes of the right foods, making hunger less of a problem than on more typical calorie-controlled diets. However keto diets are not without their issues, and one of the most common complaints comes in the form of “ketosis breath”. Quite simply many individuals making use of very low carb diets suffer from pungent and unpleasant breath. The question is what can be done to counteract such a problem? The Cause of Ketosis Breath In order to learn how to get rid of keto breath, we first need to understand why breath can smell under such a regime. As it turns out there are two potential reasons(1), both of which can operate independently, or in conjunction. Ketone Release The most typical source of energy used by the body is glucose. This is typically derived from carbohydrates, where the digestive system breaks down complex sugars into simple glucose molecules. On very low carb diets, however, the body is unable to utilize such a fuel. Instead, the liver utilizes the fat present in the body as an energy source, producing “ketones” in the process(2). This is known as “ketosis” – and is the process from where keto diets get their unusual name. These ketone bodies come in three common forms; acetoacetate, beta-hydroxybutyrate and acetone(3). In large quantities they are removed from the body in the urine or through exhalation. Ketones can have quite a characteristic smell; they often make the dieter’s breath smell quite sweet and fruity, quit 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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
Low Carb Diets And Stinky Urine
Experiencing unusual smelling urine or even foul smelling urine is a common issue for those on low carb diets. Diets like the Atkins Diet, South Beach Diet, Paleo Diet and the Ketogenic Diet can cause smelly urine for several different reasons. High Protein Diets Cause Stinky Urine Low carb diets are usually high in protein. Consuming all that extra protein makes your liver work harder, and ammonia is a by-product of that. Ammonia is toxic to the body, so the liver converts it to urea. It is then expelled from the body in urine. If you have very high concentrations of ammonia, you might even be able to smell it in your urine. If ammonia levels in your urine are high enough that you can easily smell them, your body is probably also releasing ammonia through your breath and sweat as well. This could put you in the unfortunate position of battling stinky urine, body odor and bad breath all at once. High Protein Diets Are Often High In Sulfur Lots of foods that are high in protein also happen to be high in sulfur, which is known to cause stinky urine. Red meat, poultry, eggs, fish and nuts all have high sulfur content. On top of that, many vegetables low carb diets allow contain high levels of sulfur. Asparagus, broccoli, green beans and peas, for example, are all offenders. As mentioned above, if your diet has high levels of sulfur, it may cause not only stinky pee, but bad breath and body odor. Higher Ketone Levels In Urine Make It Smell Bad High protein/low carb diets can cause your body to go into ketosis, which is another main reason these types of diets can cause stinky pee. Ketosis is when your body is using fat as fuel instead of sugar. In many low carb diets, ketosis is the goal because it is believed to encourage weight loss. When your body burns fat, it produces Continue reading >>
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 Acetone?
You can find it in paint thinners, nail polish, and the manufacturing of plastics. But it’s also found naturally (and safely) in the human body, especially in those following a ketogenic diet. What we’re talking about here is acetone, a ketone body produced in the ketosis process, which has many benefits in the body. But what is acetone, exactly? What role does it play in ketosis? Those are questions we’ll be diving into below so you can better understand how this molecule fits into your ketogenic diet and why it’s important. What is Acetone? Acetone is a type of ketone. When someone is eating a high-fat and low-carb diet (namely, the ketogenic diet) or goes through prolonged fasting and there isn’t enough glucose in the body for fuel, the liver starts breaking down fatty acids for energy for the body and the brain. This is the process known as ketosis, the primary function and goal of the ketogenic diet. When ketosis happens, water-soluble molecules called ketone bodies, or just simply “ketones,” are released. These three ketones are: Acetoacetate Beta-hydroxybutyrate Acetone Acetoacetate is created first, followed by beta-hydroxybutyrate and acetone. Acetone is created spontaneously from the breakdown of acetoacetate and is the simplest and most volatile ketone. It diffuses into the lungs and exits the body from exhaled breath. Acetone Benefits on the Ketogenic Diet One way that those on a keto diet ensure they maintain their ketosis, and receive the benefits of ketosis, is by measuring the amount of acetone on the breath. Typically, the higher amount of acetone present, the further they are into ketosis. Weight Loss Benefits There are many reasons someone might choose to follow a keto diet and put their body in ketosis. Benefits of being in ketosis incl Continue reading >>
How Do You Know You Are In Ketosis?
I've not noticed any of these alleged ketosis symptoms and I've gone weeks without consuming carbs. This includes extended periods of fasting. I think I notice a few changes in mood during periods when I'm in extensive ketosis, but nothing that would suffice to serve as an indicator. I think it needs to be recognised that ketosis is not a binary in/out affair and also that just eating a high fat diet doesn't necessarily mean you'll be in deep ketosis. This table is fantastic. It shows that the levels of ketones in the blood vary as follows: 0.1 for a normal diet, up to 0.3 on a 12-24 hour fast, up to 1 during late pregnancy, 0.7-1 in a 5-10 day old baby, up to 2 post-exercise, 2-3 on a 48-72 hour fast, up to 3 on a high fat diet, 4-6 in late pregnancy after 48hours fasting and up to 25 in an untreated diabetic. I think this shows that eating high fat is not the be all and end all, and exercise and fasting are major factors and also that ketosis is not a radically unusual state, but rather something that neonates and pregnant women routinely enter (without bizarre symptoms). Notably the liver can hold up to 100-120g of carbohydrate, so you may not quickly enter ketosis after ceasing to eat carbs, your stored glycogen (and any excess protein) will see to your body's needs for some time. If, as is common among paleos, you're eating quite a lot of meat, then you'll be generating a lot of glucose endogenously- more than enough to limit ketosis (which seriously begins once you exceed more than 25% of calories from protein). Also I do wonder how low carb "very low carb, (no fruits)" is, since you can be extremely high carb without eating any fruit. If you really want to be sure you're in ketosis, then do some intense exercise and eat not too much protein and lots of coconut (w 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 >>