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What Ketosis Feels Like

First Week: Top 3 Keto Conundrums

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 >>

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 >>

Signs That You Are In Low-carb Ketosis

Signs That You Are In Low-carb Ketosis

The idea behind restricting your carb intake is to reach a state of ketosis in which your body, having used all its glucose stores, begins burning fat for energy. Urine and blood tests can confirm ketosis, but certain signs can also reveal the body's switch from glucose use to ketones for fuel, including the presence of acetone breath, a decrease in appetite and constipation. While low-carb diets help you lose weight, not much is known about the long-term effects of ketosis, so you should consult with your doctor before starting a low-carb diet. Video of the Day Noticeable Signs of Ketosis It takes about three to four days for your body to burn through your glucose and start using fat for energy. One of the first things you -- or more likely your friends -- may notice once you hit ketosis is your breath. Ketone production creates acetoacetate, beta-hydroxybutyric acid and acetone. Acetone is a toxic chemical you may know better as nail polish remover. It causes your breath to smell sweet or fruity, similar to nail polish. Feeling less hungry may also be a sign you've reached ketosis. Its been theorized that ketosis affects appetite hormones, decreasing your desire to eat, according to a 2013 article published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Although not a pleasant sign, constipation may also indicate ketosis. Without carbs, you're not getting enough fiber, which may make it more difficult to have a bowel movement. Measurable Signs of Ketosis Your breath, appetite and bowel function may indicate you're in ketosis, but you may want to confirm it with measurable tools. Your body excretes ketones through urine. Urine ketone testing strips, which you can find at your local pharmacy, are commonly used to test for ketosis. These strips may be able to tell you wh 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 >>

Does Ketosis Cause An Internal Rise In Body Temperature?

Does Ketosis Cause An Internal Rise In Body Temperature?

Ooh, ooh, ooh, I feel my temperature rising Help me, I’m flaming I must be a hundred and nine Burning, burning, burning And nothing can cool me I just might turn into smoke But I feel fine –Elvis Presley singing “Burning Love” Somebody’s turned up the heat up in here and it’s gotta be that low-carb diet I’m on, right? That’s what everybody does with livin’ la vida low-carb when something new happens to them after starting this way of eating–they blame it on low-carb! I mocked this notion in this blog post about an earache a couple of years ago, but what if there is merit to some rather strange side effects of following a controlled-carbohydrate nutritional approach? Hmmmmmm. There are several things we KNOW will happen to most people when they begin the low-carb lifestyle: their HDL “good” cholesterol goes up, there is a marked improvement in mental health, for women it helps with reproductive health, blood sugar levels are stabilized, they end up having less acne, triglycerides plummet (a VERY good thing!), and so much more I could spend hours sharing with you about. But there are some things that can vary from person to person as one of my readers shared with me in a recent e-mail. This 43-year old man starting cutting his carbohydrate intake beginning in January 2008 and has lost over 25 pounds so far. WOO HOO! He has really enjoyed this new low-carb lifestyle change, but was curious about an unexpected side effect that has been plaguing him with no apparent cause. Here’s what he wrote: Hey Jimmy, After lots of searches, I’m having trouble finding out if anyone experiences a sensation of a rise in body temperature while in ketosis. There are some days I feel like I am literally burning up (but I don’t have a fever or anything). Coinciden 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 >>

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 >>

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 >>

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 >>

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

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

The only hard and fast rule of health is that health is personal and what works well for one person may not work for someone else. Aside from that rule, there are “frameworks” that seem to benefit large groups of people. One more level down from that are alternative strategies that benefit smaller groups. Ketosis is likely one of those alternative strategies that works well for certain, smaller groups of people. So, right off the bat I want you to understand that Ketosis might not be for everyone. I’m going to lay out the case for potential benefits of Ketosis. If it sounds interesting and beneficial to you, then consider trying it. (see our free cheat sheet to help you). What is Ketosis Ketosis occurs when liver glycogen gets depleted and the body burns fatty acids for fuel. The primary driver of this state is a very low carbohydrate intake. Often, it also requires a low protein, higher fat intake. You can also achieve a state of ketosis by not eating altogether. The creation of ketones is a byproduct of this metabolic state. Ketones are a source of fuel, just as glucose is a source of fuel. Ketones tend to have some added benefits, though. What role does Ketosis play in human health? Ketosis allows our bodies to function in the absence of carbohydrates, both physically and mentally. Instead of burning carbohydrates, or converting protein to glucose, the body burns ketones. This is pretty much a survival mechanism. It allows your body to function in a state of caloric deprivation. This is why ketosis often gets bad press (as it’s linked to “starvation”). Being a survival mechanism doesn’t make it invalid as a strategy, though. There can still be potential benefits to be had. Let’s cover a few of them… Ketosis and Accelerated Fat Loss Being in ketosis Continue reading >>

How 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 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 >>

The Only Diet You Should Ever Consider (ketogenic Diet)

The Only Diet You Should Ever Consider (ketogenic Diet)

You are what you eat. If you feel like shit – that’s because you eat like shit. Lately (last 3-4 months) I’ve been running several experiments to find a diet on which I can perform optimally. I’m a big believer that health is one of the key ingredients for a better life; If your nutrition is in order, you’ll have more energy. If you have more energy, your brain functions better. If your brain functions better, you make better choices. Your life quality is the product of your choices. Better input, better output. Simple, right? There’s a lot of conflicting opinions on this topic, but I’ve finally settled on a diet that seems to work great. In this article I’ll go in-depth on the ketogenic diet. I’m convinced that a diet, high in fat, moderate in protein and low in carbohydrates is optimal for (almost) anyone. If the whole world would switch to this diet, we’d see a dramatic decline in health expenses globally (+-500B/year) I’ll also be using a Color code in this article, like so: Difficult words that make me feel smart That will be all. —————————————————- What Is A Ketogenic Diet? A ketogenic diet is a diet that is high in fat, moderate in protein and low (or no) carbs. It’s based on the premise that humans were never designed to eat so much damn carbs. In the paleolithic era, carbohydrates were only available seasonally. To supply food for a constantly growing population, we’ve turned to (cheaper) mass production of corn, wheat, soy and other modified crops (crap(s)). This hasn’t only degraded the quality of grains but also the amount it represents in our diet. Literally turning the food pyramid upside-down since agriculture became the established norm. Grains are cheaper to produce and maintain, compared to Continue reading >>

My Experience With Ketogenic Diet

My Experience With Ketogenic Diet

I recently followed the Ketogenic diet (click on the link to learn more) for over 6 weeks and I wanted to give you guys my honest opinion and an overview of my own experience. It wasn’t my first time doing Keto, however it was different from the first and second time I tried it. They say 3rd time is a charm, and it sure was this time around. Our bodies are really good at adapting and the more you do something, whether it be exercise or diet, your body becomes better and more efficient at dealing with the situation. In this case, I have noticed a huge difference in the rate that my body adapted to the high fat diet and using fat as a main source of energy, in comparison to my past 2 trials. It felt like my body was telling me: “oh, are we doing this again? I remember, and I can do better this time”. It took me only 3 days to get into Ketosis, however I was really diligent and followed strictly the jump start rules, I have posted for you guys. The entire adaptation period took about 10 days, which is quite fast. Some people take as long as 3 weeks. These were the stages of my transformation to a burning fat for energy: The first 3 days I was peeing every 10 minutes like a 4 year old, and had to drink a lot of water not to become dehydrated. Some people experience headache during this time, but I was ready. I was drinking a lot of water, had salt if I started to feel tired (mostly in the form of home made chicken broth), and I supplemented with Pottasium and Magnesium. After the first 3 days I have already noticed an increase of energy that lasted the entire day. I didn’t feel like I wished I could take a nap during the afternoon, and despite how busy I was, I didn’t feel overwhelmed (we were in the process of moving into our new home, and I have a lot going on w Continue reading >>

What Is Keto Flu? (plus 6 Ways To Cure It)

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 >>

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