Over the recent past, the ketogenic diet has risen in popularity. More and more people have embraced it since it’s an effective way to lose weight and improve their general health.
Once you get on a ketogenic diet, your body will automatically undergo numerous adaptations. For instance, since the diet consists of fewer carbs and more fats, your body adapts by reducing insulin levels and increasing fat breakdown.
Carbohydrate restriction and ketosis are both distinctive features of the ketogenic diet. Notably, it is easy to play by the low-carbs rule. All you need to do is to stick to the limit. However, you might not tell when your body is burning ketones for energy.
Since various changes occur, you might be confused about whether you are in ketosis or not.
Here are ten signs and symptoms that could indicate that your body is in ketosis:
1. Keto Breath
Most people often experience bad breath, dubbed as the keto breath, once they reach full ketosis. Therefore, if you notice a fruity, acetone, or metallic smell, it could be a sign that your body is burning ketones for fuel.
Once your body relies on burning fat for energy as opposed to glucose, ketone levels drastically skyrocket. Since the ketone acetone is expelled via your breath, it results in the lousy breath. However, as time goes by, your body adapts and becomes more efficient at using ketones, thus resolving the issue.
Inevitably, you might feel self-aware about the breath, especially during social gatherings. Nevertheless, brushing your teeth more frequently could help you cope. Alternatively, you can also resort to sugar-free gum or drinks. However, be sure to check their carbohydrate levels to avoid watering down the ketogenic diet’s essence.
2. Digestive Issues
As your body acclimates to the keto diet, you might realize some problems with bowel movements. However, this is not usually the case for everyone. Some people might not record any changes at all. On the other hand, others might experience constipation. In this case, a few days might pass before you feel the urge to use the bathroom. This could be as a result of fluctuations in mineral levels as well as fiber in the body. To solve the constipation issue, it would be best to increase your water intake and incorporate low-carb vegetables in your meals. Besides, you can take supplements for more fiber and minerals if need be.
On the contrary, you might experience diarrhea once your body reaches ketosis. This is because the ketogenic diet could cause variations in the amount of water your body holds onto. The diet could lead to more water loss, which in turn results in diarrhea.
3. Weight Loss
If you are like most people, you are on the keto diet in order to lose some weight. Therefore, this could be a good sign. However, the loss can be quite drastic, especially during the first few weeks. The rapid weight loss results from shedding a few pounds of water weight and some fat. This is an indication that your body is getting ready for ketone production.
While the rapid weight loss only lasts for around a week, that’s not the end of your weight loss journey. However, you will now lose weight at a consistent rate, as long as you adhere to the diet.
4. Ketone Tracking Method
Although your body will show signs and symptoms, you might want to find out beyond reasonable doubt if you are in ketosis or not. Thanks to technological advancements in the medical field, you can accurately track the level of ketones in the body using a variety of methods.
One of them is measuring your blood ketone levels. Notably, the keto diet results in a drop in the blood sugar levels and a spike in ketones. Therefore, using a specialized meter, you can check your blood ketone levels. The meter measures the amount of beta-hydroxybutyrate in your blood with precision.
Alternatively, you can measure the number of ketones in your breath or urine. For breath, a breath analyzer can track acetone, a ketone presents during ketosis. On the other hand, urine strips are used to measure ketones in the urine. Although these options are not as accurate as of the blood test method, they give you a rough idea of the ketone levels. Besides, they are cheaper.
You might be in light ketosis within two or three days of starting the ketogenic diet. Therefore, this would be a good time to monitor your ketones levels. However, it might take a few weeks for your body to get into deep ketosis.
As your body transitions from your everyday lifestyle to ketosis, you might experience fatigue, though not for long. Typically, you will experience this in your first week. Basically, this is due to dehydration, which happens when your body tends to lose water rapidly. Therefore, you might notice a decrease in your physical and mental energy. You might not even have the energy for exercise.
Although the fatigue will gradually go away as your body adapts, staying hydrated could come in handy in the meantime. Besides, it would help to add a little Himalayan salt to your water. The salt replenishes your electrolytes, which are likely to get depleted along with the rapid water loss.
6. Mental Clarity and More Energy
While you might experience brain fog and fatigue in the first few days, the opposite could be real after that. As your body gets into ketosis, you might experience more stable energy levels all day long. Therefore, it becomes easier to focus for more extended periods. However, you will only notice these changes once your body starts producing ketones faster. This could take a few weeks or months, depending on your body.
According to studies, ketones lead to improved cognitive performance. Therefore, as you dive deeper into the diet, you will enjoy the mental perks that come with it. Besides, you might notice an improvement in your general mood and less anxiety. Again, due to the increased energy, you might have more endurance, making it easy to work out.
7. Appetite Suppression
Would you like to eat less without realizing it? The keto diet is an effective way of doing that, making it an excellent choice for your weight loss journey. Since your body uses ketones for fuel during ketosis, you can stay energized for longer. You might even skip meals.
Notably, your appetite doesn’t entirely vanish. It just becomes more comfortable for you to eat smaller portions and increase intervals between meals. Appetite suppression could be attributed to the keto diet’s nature, which has more fiber and protein. Since ketones are more efficient energy sources, your body will only require a few calories to sustain it, thus, less hunger.
8. Frequent Urination
While your body goes into ketosis, you might realize that you are using the bathroom more frequently. This is as a result of your body trying to eliminate glycogen stores. In the process, it pulls more water out of your body. Your kidneys also pump more fluid out during ketosis as opposed to regular times.
Since your body is losing more water, you might inevitably feel thirstier. You might also have a dry mouth. To tend to this situation, ensure that you stay hydrated.
9. Insomnia and Muscle Cramps
As your body transitions into ketosis, you might experience temporary muscle cramps. Since you cut down on your carb intake, your body responds by producing less insulin. Consequently, the kidneys release more sodium, offsetting the electrolyte balance in your body, hence the cramping. You can get some relief by adding a little Himalayan salt, just as with fatigue. The salt helps your body regain an electrolyte balance.
Besides cramping, you might notice some changes in your sleep pattern. For instance, you might struggle with getting some sleep or find yourself waking up in between the night.
This is because carb restriction temporarily elevates stress hormones. However, there is no cause for alarm since these struggles are short-lived. You might even sleep better after that.
10. Other Benefits of Ketosis
While ketosis is an effective weight-loss method, it does more than that. For instance, it stimulates the production of mitochondria. As a result, your cells get healthier. Besides, ketosis also protects and regenerates the nervous system. It also acts as an antioxidant, further protecting your body against damage and disease.
Additionally, a ketogenic diet could help preserve your muscle mass, which in turn enhances longevity. Other studies show that ketones could prevent cancer growth since most cancer cells can’t get energy from them.
The above signs show that your body is in ketosis. However, they might vary from person to person. Therefore, please don’t beat yourself up when you don’t experience some of them. Instead, focus on staying consistent with the diet, and you will reap the benefits.
While it’s easy to get swayed away, remain on course without paying much attention to the ketone levels.