Signs You’re In Ketosis
Knowing how to recognize the signs that you’re in ketosis is the key to success on the keto diet. These are the main ketosis symptoms that you’ll have, to indicate that your body is in ketosis.One of the most popular ways to lose weight lately is the Keto Diet, a high-fat low carb approach to losing weight. The idea is that your body switches its fuel from burning carbs to burning fat.
These signs most likely appear within two weeks of your body entering ketosis, but they shouldn’t last long. Once your body has adapted to its new fat-burning state, the signs should go away.
Fast Weight Loss
You’ll probably lose a significant amount of weight in your first couple weeks of keto. It’s one of the most obvious and motivating signs you’re in ketosis.
It won’t be all fat loss, although that does come later. It’ll mostly be water weight that you lose when you burn through your glycogen stores. During the first few weeks of keto, people see a very fast, significant drop in weight. Typically, in the first week of the keto diet, people lose anywhere from a few pounds to as much as 10!
Your body is forced to use up these glycogen stores as energy since you’re no longer eating carbohydrates in your diet. The water molecules have nothing to attach to, so are then flushed from your system.
After the initial week of rapid weight loss, it’s quite normal to expect a slower but consistent drop in body weight.
With glycogen reserves depleted, you can be confident that any further weight loss is coming from stored body fat. When you’re in a calorie deficit on keto, your body turns to stored body fat instead.
Seeing fast weight loss when you start a new diet is both incredibly satisfying and motivating. You may notice a greater loss of fat by how your clothes fit more than the scale as you continue. Just remember, the scale isn’t the only measure of success.
Seeing a loss in inches is a great motivation to just keep going even if the scale isn’t moving as fast as you think it should. I recommend recording your measurements along the way to keep your motivation going.
One of the biggest signs you’re in ketosis is that you feel less hungry. Although this isn’t true for everyone, you may begin to feel less hungry in the beginning. When you fuel your body with fat, you stay satiated much longer, which means you think about food less. For many, this is a welcome sign as higher carb foods fuel hunger signals.
It’s a great feeling if you have been struggling to lose weight from over-eating or snacking in the past.
Imagine: no more hunger pangs, cravings or binge eating. Not to mention the shame and guilt we pile on ourselves for ruining our diet.The high amounts of fat consumed on the ketogenic diet are intensely satisfying and keep hunger locked away for hours.
Fat also has a much lower impact on blood sugar levels.
This results in stable insulin levels which is crucial to weight loss and eliminating hunger pangs.
Ketogenic diets also require you to consume medium amounts of protein.
And like fats, eating healthy protein will keep you feeling full after meals.
Not only do high protein foods help to rev your metabolism, but they have an interesting effect on your hunger hormones leptin and ghrelin.
You Feel Totally Wiped Out
When you first go into ketosis, your body gets confused by the fact that it doesn’t have the normal amount of carbs to burn for energy. While your body makes the transition to ketosis, short-term fatigue is a well-known side effect.
Your body has learned how to use and burn carbs efficiently all your life. So when you start a ketogenic diet, your body is forced to change to a whole new process.
It must now learn to burn a different fuel source as efficiently as it once did with carbohydrates.
But expecting instant results is impossible and unrealistic.
Feeling fatigue and weakness is what causes many people to abandon the ketogenic diet.
However, remembering that this is a temporary feeling should motivate you to keep going. After two weeks, you should begin to feel more energetic and have no problem with picking up your usual fitness routine.
A Decrease In Athletic Performance
As discussed above, removing carbs can lead to general tiredness at first. This includes an initial decrease in exercise performance.
It is mainly caused by the reduction in your muscles’ glycogen stores, which provide the main and most efficient fuel source for all forms of high-intensity exercise.
After several weeks, many ketogenic dieters state that their performance returns to normal.
In certain types of ultra endurance sports and events, a ketogenic diet could actually be beneficial.
There are also some further benefits, primarily an increased ability to burn more fat during exercise.
One study found that athletes who had switched to a ketogenic diet burned as much as 230% more fat when they exercised, compared to athletes who were not on a ketogenic diet.
Short-term decreases in performance can occur. However, they tend to improve again after the initial adaptation phase is over.
I added in this Keto friendly protein shake to help me energize.
It not only helped me add more protein to my diet but really aided me to get back to my optimum performance in the gym. It comes in a few different flavors so you can decide which one you would prefer.
Increased Energy and Focus
Eventually, your body will figure out that you can get by just fine by burning fat and protein for energy, and so you start to feel a little more energetic. But that’s likely a placebo effect more than anything, given that it’s basically just an improvement from feeling exhausted all the time.
Many people often report an increase in energy while they are on a keto diet.
When you’re in ketosis, your body starts producing ketones. Ketones are a much more efficient fuel source for the brain than glucose. This increased energy and concentration will have a positive impact on all areas of your life.
Constipation and diarrhea are further signs you are in ketosis.
It may take your digestive system some time to adjust as you begin following this way of life. For some, constipation can be an aggravating side effect while others deal with diarrhea. This, too, should be temporary as your body gets used to digesting the foods in this new way of eating. For others, their digestive system may go in the other direction, and they may experience loose bowels, which should also resolve.
If you’re lucky, you may not experience digestive issues at all. However, these symptoms usually subside as your body adapts.
Make sure you add plenty of keto approved vegetables and fruits to minimize effects further.
When you go on keto, your start eating some serious fat, and your body just isn’t ready for it. Your body doesn’t digest it properly and the bacteria in your gut is not ready to break it down. This can lead to diarrhea or a temporary disorder called steatorrhea, which causes really smelly poop. This should subside after a little bit but you can always ease into a keto diet rather than jump all in to avoid these issues.
Related: Vegetables that are safe to eat on a ketogenic diet.
When I first started following a ketogenic lifestyle, I noticed that I wasn’t sleeping well. It seemed to take a long time to fall asleep, and I would wake up all through the night. As with any major diet change, sleep can be interrupted until your body adjusts to this new way of eating. For most, this crazy sleep cycle is fairly short-lived; as you become fat-adapted, the pendulum swings to the other side, and you’ll sleep much better and wake up rested and refreshed. One of the less desirable signs you are in ketosis can be insomnia.
Best of all, this symptom of ketosis should improve within a week or two.
And once you’ve made the transition, you’ll not only enjoy better sleep than before adapting to keto, but you may also need less sleep.
What I found really helpful when I was having trouble sleeping was this humidifier and a few drops of Lavender Essential oil.
One of the clearest signs of ketosis along with dry mouth. The elevated ketones in your body are to blame for this bad breath. Knowing you’re getting healthier, bad breath is a small side effect. Many people on the Keto diet also have said that their bad breath didn’t stay long. People often report bad breath once they reach full ketosis. Don’t worry, this won’t last long and it’ll be worth it.
It’s actually a common side effect. Many people on ketogenic diets and similar diets report that their breath takes on a fruity smell. This is caused by elevated ketone levels. The specific ketone is acetone, a ketone that exits the body in your urine and breath. The ketone acetone is partly expelled via your breath, which can cause bad or fruity-smelling breath on a ketogenic diet.
Luckily, any bad breath is only temporary on the keto diet and will subside as your body learns to run on ketones. In the meantime, chewing gum and mints will go a long way to keeping your breath smelling fresh.
What I found particularly helpful when I was going through the early phases of Keto and struggling with bad breath was to keep hydrated and use this mouthwash and this toothpaste.
Don’t worry too much as when you make the transition from Ketosis, this problem should go away.
Obviously, if you are in ketosis, your body is producing more ketones.
If you really want to check your ketone levels, then the best route to go is to use a Glucose Meter.
The whole point of a ketogenic diet is to force your body to ramp up the production of ketones.
Insulin levels fall and your body releases fatty acids into the bloodstream.
Your liver then converts these fatty acids into ketones to be used as energy.
You can detect elevated levels of ketones quite easily by using a ketone breath analyzer.
Ketone strips are a cheaper alternative but can give inaccurate readings if you had too much water. I, however, did use them when I first started out on Keto just to make sure I was heading in the right direction.
Increased Thirst and Frequent Urination
Being in ketosis is a natural diuretic, which means food and water are going to move more quickly through your digestive system.
You may notice that you are urinating and using the restroom much more often than you used to, sometimes getting up more than once in the middle of the night. It does subside a little bit, but having to urinate frequently while in ketosis is a good thing. Since you are urinating more often, expect to have more thirst as well.
To avoid dehydration, drink plenty of water and other liquids.
Muscle cramps and spasms
Dehydration and electrolyte imbalances can cause muscle cramps. Electrolytes are substances that carry electrical signals between the body’s cells. Imbalances in these substances lead to disrupted electrical messages that may cause muscle contractions and spasms.
People following the ketogenic diet should ensure that they are getting enough electrolytes from the food they eat to avoid muscle pains and other symptoms of an imbalance.
Electrolytes include calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium. You can get these from eating a balanced diet.
Keto flu is your body’s natural response to carbohydrate restriction. This is often the first thing people notice when they start a keto diet and first get into ketosis.
It won’t happen to everyone, but if you notice you have flu-like symptoms and have been on keto for about a week or so, it could be that you are now entering ketosis.
Some of these symptoms might include dizziness and lightheadedness, hot flashes or cold sweats, muscle cramps, increased temperature, and feeling queasy.
Fatigue is a prominent feature of the keto flu and can be extreme. Sometimes the symptoms are subtle, at other times you feel like you can barely get up. This is most often from not getting enough electrolytes while on keto, so luckily there is an easy remedy.
How Long Will These Symptoms Last?
Ketosis symptoms are usually short-term, typically lasting about a week, sometimes less. You must keep in mind, however, that we are all different. Our bodies will react in different ways and some of us may experience these symptoms much worse than others, later than sooner, to a lesser extent, or not at all.
But your symptoms of ketosis will fade away, usually within a couple of weeks, once your body has adapted to its new fat-burning state.
What You Can Do To Help With The Symptoms
One thing you could try if, you develop a headache, lethargy, nausea, or dizziness during the first few weeks of your keto lifestyle, try a glass of water with half a teaspoon of salt stirred into it. It could help.
The Bottom Line
One of the toughest things about the keto diet that many people struggle with is that all of our bodies are different and therefore our bodies will react differently when on the diet. Not everyone will experience the same signs of ketosis.
You might read how someone was able to lose 10 pounds in 1 week and got into ketosis after just 3 days while you’ve been struggling for 3 or more weeks to make the pee strip turn darker.
Some people need to eat fewer carbs than others while some might need to incorporate exercise into their daily routine sooner.
The point is that when you get rid of sugars and lower the number of carbs you consume you are doing a great thing for your body anyways. If you can focus on those things and let everything else happen naturally you’ll find yourself in a much better state of mind.
There are a ton of benefits of entering ketosis like better control of your blood sugar levels and lower cholesterol levels so by simply trying to get into ketosis you’ll already see huge improvements.
While your body is making the transition into fat-burning mode some of the signs that you are in ketosis are not always great.
If you’re finding the transition tough try not to get discouraged. Stick with the diet and the symptoms will eventually pass. Just keep in mind that while the signs you’re in ketosis are not always pleasant, they’ll be beneficial in the long run.
Following the guidelines of a ketogenic and staying consistent, will result in you being in a state of ketosis and lead to weight loss.