The keto diet is easily one of the most popular weight loss diet plans to date, and celebrities have been raving about it for years. The ketogenic diet is very high in fat and low in carbohydrates. The goal is to put yourself into a state called ketosis, in which you start burning fat instead of carbohydrates for energy.
According to a 2018 study, people who follow a “standard ketogenic diet” typically consume less than 50 grams of carbohydrates per day and about 0.7 to 1.5 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.
Despite these standards and guidelines, many people on a ketogenic diet still don’t know when they’re in ketosis.
In this article, I’ve listed 8 signs and symptoms to help people determine if they are entering a ketogenic state.
Increase in ketone bodies
Elevated ketone bodies in the blood are probably the clearest indicator that someone is entering ketosis. Of course you can also use urine and breath tests to check ketone levels, but these are far less reliable than blood samples.
As the conversion of ketone bodies gradually smooths out and more and more ketone bodies are produced, the blood ketone level begins to gradually rise, and the body gradually adapts to being fed mainly with ketone bodies, at which point the phenomenon of ketosis breath and urine ketones instead lessens or disappears. At this time, if you simply use urine ketone test paper as a judgment standard, you will mistakenly think that you have not entered ketosis.
Finally, some people fast or fast in order to deliberately pursue a deep ketosis state, and it may lead to ketosis overproduction. At this time, not only the blood ketone level is super high, but also the phenomenon of ketosis breath and urine ketone is getting more and more serious, not only that, but also some other symptoms appear. At this time, ketoacidosis must be highly suspected, and feeding should be resumed immediately, and if the symptoms still cannot be relieved, medical treatment should be sought immediately.
Many studies have shown that the ketogenic diet, a very low-carb diet, is very effective for weight loss. There was also a 2013 meta-analysis that showed that people on a long-term ketogenic diet may lose weight over time compared to a low-fat diet.
When implementing a ketogenic diet, you may notice a particularly rapid weight loss in the first few days, and some people exclaim, “Wow! Ketogenic weight loss really works! But this is only a reduction in water and glycogen weight, and there may not be much fat loss in the first week because not much ketone bodies are being produced or utilized.
Entering ketosis may cause some people to feel more thirsty than usual, which may be a sign of excessive water loss. Insulin has a sodium-retaining and potassium-removing effect, and upon entering ketosis, insulin levels are low, so the body speeds up the process of sodium removal and diuresis. In addition, the process of gluconeogenesis and high levels of ketone bodies in the body can lead to dehydration and electrolyte imbalance.
Presence of muscle spasms
Dehydration and electrolyte imbalance can lead to muscle cramps. Electrolytes are substances that transmit electrical signals between cells in the body. An imbalance of these substances can lead to disruptions in electrical messages that may cause muscle contractions and spasms.
People following a ketogenic diet should make sure they are getting enough electrolytes from their food to avoid muscle pain and other symptoms of imbalance.
Electrolytes include calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium. You can get them through a balanced diet, such as eating a variety of leafy green vegetables, but if symptoms persist, your doctor may recommend taking additional supplements such as calcium and magnesium tablets, potassium tablets, and light saline.
Headaches are probably the most common side effect of the ketogenic diet during the conversion process. It may be caused by consuming too few carbohydrates, especially sugar. Dehydration and electrolyte imbalance can also cause headaches.
For example, for patients with hypertension on medication or low blood pressure, they may experience low blood pressure and may drink light salt water to relieve symptoms, and they should closely monitor changes in blood pressure and consult their doctor promptly to adjust their medication. The same is true for diabetics and hypoglycemic patients.
Ketosis headache usually lasts from 1 day to 1 week, and a few people may have pain for longer. If a persistent headache does not resolve, see your doctor.
After entering ketosis, many people find themselves suddenly suffering from bad breath.
In fact, bad breath is a common side effect of ketosis. Many people who follow a ketogenic diet or other similar diets for a period of time notice a strange, fruity taste in their breath.
The culprit of bad breath is acetone. When ketone levels increase in the body, the body has to find a way to get rid of the ketones that have been discarded, and this is the way to do it.
While this sign may not be good news for your social life, it is a positive sign that your body is entering a state of ketosis. You can brush your teeth or chew sugar-free gum a few more times a day. But when buying gum or drinks, remember to always check the carbohydrate section of the label first. Products that contain too much carbohydrate may raise your blood sugar levels and lower the ketone levels in your body.
Many people who adopt a ketogenic diet also find that they have a smaller appetite and are not as hungry as they used to be.
The reasons for this have not yet been understood by scientists. Some hypotheses suggest that the increase in protein and vegetables consumed by individuals on a ketogenic diet, combined with hormonal changes in the body, results in a smaller appetite.
The ketones themselves can also affect your brain’s response to hunger, reducing your appetite.
If you don’t like to eat as much as you used to, then it’s probably a sign that your body is in ketosis.
There are many athletes on a ketogenic diet who experience varying degrees of insomnia. This is especially true for those who are new to changing their diet for the first time.
Many people report that they often wake up at night for no apparent reason or even have complete insomnia when they first start to reduce their carb intake.
But don’t worry too much, this will usually improve within a few weeks. This usually gets better within a few weeks.
Many people who have been on the ketogenic diet for a long time tell us that once their bodies adjust to the rhythm of the diet, they sleep better than before.
After a period of time on a ketogenic diet, we all want to know if we have entered ketosis. Today we’ve outlined 10 signs to help us determine this. If you want a more accurate quantitative assessment, there are devices you can purchase to test your blood, breath or urine.