The Main Goal of Starting the Keto Diet is to enter a metabolic state know as ketosis. Ketosis is when your body is no longer using carbs as its main fuel source and is instead using fat to power itself.
You have gone from being a sugar burner to a fat burner. Being in ketosis is great because it means that you will be able to acheive rapid weight-loss and get to enjoy the many benefits that come with being on the ketogenic diet.
When your body starts to burn fat for energy then the fat it stored up starts to disappear
But how do you know when you are in ketosis?
You can use test strips or instruments to measure the ketone levels in you blood, saliva or urine. (Ketones are the compounds that your liver turns fat into. they are the fuel source for your body while in ketosis).
If you didn’t know now you do!
Ketosis Symptoms: 7 Signs You Might Be In Ketosis
Here are some signs that your body will give you that you might be in ketosis. But they are not a 100% guarantee. After all everybody is different.
- Weight Loss
- Increased Energy and Focus
- Bad Breath
- Short term fatigue
- Bathroom Issues
- Loss of Appetite
Weight loss is one of the signs that you are in ketosis. Although people dont always lose weight they way they thought they would.
Let me explain this a little bit.
If you have been eating a diet high in carbohydrates, the you body has stored up glycogen in you muscles, liver and fat cells.
Glycogen is the “saved for later” form of glucose. when you body stores glycogen it also stores water with it. approximately 3-1, water-glycogen.
So when you begin cutting out carbs. you body starts to use of the glycogen stores it has. this releases a lot of water.This water accounts for that rapid weight loss you notice when you first start a keto or low carb diet.
This can be pretty exciting to see on your bathroom scale! but it doesn’t mean that you are now a fat burner supreme. it just means that you body is using up its stored energy.
You will notice an increase in urination while this is happening. again this is just your body releasing water that it has been holding on to.
This initial weight loss is great but eventually you will see it start to plateau. Don’t freak out. if you understand what is happening inside your body then you will know that first you burn through your glycogen reserves and with it comes a lot of water weight.
After you have burned through this stored energy, then you start to enter ketosis as your body begin using fat as its fuel.
Just remember, your body will always burn glucose/glycogen over ketones/fat. As you maintain a keto diet you will see your weight continue to drop while you stay in ketosis.
2.Increased Energy and Focus
Experiencing an increase in energy and focus is something you will start to notice while in ketosis.
There isn’t really anything to complicated or fancy about this.
As you body stops using sugar as its fuel source you will stop getting those mid afternoon sleepy times. (Time for more coffee right?)
Consider a typical meal. plenty of bread, rice, pasta, right? when those foods enter you blood stream in the form of glucose, your blood sugar goes up. your body then produces insulin to help transport that glucose into you cells for energy.
But after short while all the carbs/glucose is metabolized, its already been used or stored up. and now you have an abundance of insulin in your blood stream. insulin itself is destroyed after about 5-6 minuets. but the effects it has on cells can last from 1 to 2 hours. further more insulin levels tend to peak around 45 min after your started eating you meal. (Conveniently just as you are heading back to work from lunch!)Then begin to taper off after all the glucose has been happily used up.
This is why you feel tired after lunch.
And why you really want a snickers bar in the middle of the afternoon.
If you are in ketosis. then you wont be dealing with blood sugar spike like these. You will still get hunger of course. But you wont get the Hungery/Angery = “Hangery” feeling. Your energy level will stay more or less consistent through out the day.
You might just consider it to be a more consistent level of energy rather than increased energy. although compared to what you might be use to, it will feel like more energy.
The focus part of this goes hand in hand with the energy.
If you are not feeling hungry or experiencing blood sugar spikes and crashes. Then you will just feel more focused.
Its a little difficult to describe. Myself I just feel more “calm and clear”. Problems that come up in life dont seem to be as overwhelming. I feel like I can focus on a single task and actually get it done.
While in ketosis you will be burning up fat for energy. Fat is turned in to Ketones by your liver and these ketones are responsible for providing you with energy.
There is evidence that ketones are a better/higher quality fuel source for you brain. there are studies that have concluded that a ketogentic diet is helpful in treating many neurological disorders.
I’m Just gonna drop this link to this Scientifc American article. It goes into much more depth than I can in this post.
So more energy and more focus, its a great feeling!
3.Bad Breath and/or a Metallic / Fruity Taste.
Many people experience bad breath and or a metallic or fruity taste while in ketosis.
First I’m going to talk about why this happens. Then I’m going to talk about why it usually goes away after a while.
So we were talking about Ketones earlier. that’s the whole nexus of this diet after all. Ketones, Ketosis, Ketogenic, Keto. You might know that ketones are whats providing your body with energy in ketosis. But what are they exactly.
When ever your body runs out of available glucose, its favorite fuel. It then starts to turn fat, (Technically Fatty acids), in to ketone bodies. These are
The first 2 are produced by the liver and are used for energy. particularly BHB. Acetone is created when the first to ketones break down naturally.
Ketones are expelled thorough urine, saliva and sweat. Basically this means your pee and saliva can smell kinds funny while in ketosis. So that taste and smell is really just excess ketones that your body isn’t using.
It can take a while for you body to really become adapted to being in ketosis.
I will cover this more in a second.
but having bad breath or a metallic taste are pretty good indicators that you might be in ketosis.
4. Short term fatigue
Weren’t we just talking about increased energy?
But now I’m telling you that you might also experience fatigue when first getting into ketosis.
So i was just talking about how your body is trying to get rid of those excess ketone?
why is it doing that, doesn’t it need those ketones for energy?
Your body does need those ketones for energy. but since its so used to burning sugar for a living. it doesn’t really know how to burn fat very well. In order for your cells to use ketones they need to produce some enzymes.
it just take a little while to build up enough enzymes to become,”keto-adapted” there really isn’t a hard definition of what this means it just means that your body is better bale to use the ketone that you liver is producing.
So before this happens you may feel kinda sluggish, tired. You might get headaches. the very first stage of this is called the “Keto Flu”.
It really varies, person to person.
You might not get it at all. if you do there are ways to combat it. Such as getting enough electrolytes and getting enough sleep.
If you arent getting enough electrolytes tru useing a supplement like Mio Water enhancer. Its an easy way to get replenish the salts that your body is expelling whil it burns through your stored glycogen.
well that also varies person to person. how dependent were you on carbs? how often do you “cheat on Keto” and have yourself a cookie or doughnut? these will all slow down the process of building up the right enzymes.
Sometimes while first entering Ketosis. you will experience some difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.
This is can be a tricky one. for some people it seems to go away after a few days or weeks. others can struggle with it for longer.
Since you brain is now running like a tuned up, turbo charged muscle car. its going to feel great during they day. You will experience clarity, no brain fog and that increased focus I was talking about earlier.
Unfortunately there can be a dark side to this mental ninja like state.
when its time to go to sleep. It can be hard to drift off into dreamland, when your brain is feeling its best.
there are some things you can do to help with this. although in time it will probably stop being an issue as your body gets used to being in ketosis
- Get enough minerals: You will need more sodium, magnesium,calcium and phosphorus w than you are used to while in ketosis. consider taking some supplements or try a water enhancer like Mio.
- Get enough Exercise: this can help wear you out and really you should be excersisng anyway.
- Try some calming Yoga before bed
- My personal favorite is to read some fiction, Paper back of course, no screens! fiction helps the mind relax. and if you cant sleep at least your reading a book not just laying there awake. Just saying.
So if you have insomnia during Keto, know that it is normal and should get better, try all the normal things you might try to get to sleep. But just know that your body is going through changes and that takes some time to get use to a new way of living.
6. Bathroom issues
Yes. that’s right. You may experience some gastric disruptions while radically changing you diet. It can happen. But don’t worry to much its not permanent.
You are eating a whole lot more fat than your body is use to eating. it can kinda “lube” things up. if you know what I mean.
O.K. I’ll just say it. You might get diarrhea.
To help deal with this issue. try the following.
- Make sure you are eating enough fibrous vegetables or taking a fiber supplement.
- Eat fermented foods like Sauerkraut or high fat unsweetened Greek yogurt, ( just watch you carb intake). You can also try a probiotic supplement.
- Get enough electrolytes. this is a big one on while on the keto diet.
- Drink enough water.
Of course if this doesn’t clear up after a little while definitely talk to a doctor!
7. Loss of Appetite
Something kinda weird happens once you leave the carbs behind.
You dont get very hungry. you still definitely get hungry but you wont get that super duper, growling stomach hungry like you used too.
In fact you will be able to go hours with having to eat or worrying about needing a snack after lunch. Its pretty great
You will find it easier to only eat what you need to continue with you day.
This is because your body start doing a better job of regulating the hormones that make you feel hungry.
When you eat a ton of carbs your body start to become resistant to this hormone. that’s why its so easy to binge out and eat until you feel stuffed.
Healthy fats can be incredibly filling when you eat them right. combined with fiberous vegetable and you will be good to go.
One of the Hardest parts about the Keto diet is that everybody is different. Not every thing will happen at the same pace and some symptoms may never come up. there is really no step by step formula that will gauruntee that you are in ketosis.
some people need to eat fewer carbs than others
Some will just take longer to get there. its all there is to it.
If you are struggling to get into Ketosis and aren’t having any luck turning that pee stick purple. dont worry about it. if you are eating less carbs then you are doing a wonderful thing for you body. just try to focus on that and let everything happen naturally.
Just keep going you doing great
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