If you are following the ketogenic diet, you should be able to achieve the state of ketosis to get the benefits of your diet, such as weight loss. But what is ketosis? Why is it important? Above all, how would you know if you’re already in the state of ketosis? This article will cover those questions and much more.
So, if you want to learn how to tell if you’re in ketosis, let’s get started!
What Is Ketosis?
Ketosis is a physiological state and process that happens when your body does not contain enough carbohydrates to use as its fuel. When your body runs too low on carbs, it will be forced to use and burn fats as its fuel source.
In the process, our body will convert these fats into what is called “ketones,” and these ketones are specifically what the body uses as a fuel source so long as it runs low on carbs. There are three main types of ketones that are produced by the body: acetone, acetoacetate, and beta-hydroxybutyrate.
Needless to say, this is also where the name of the diet comes from, although other low-carb diets may also induce ketosis. Ketosis is important because this is where you’ll begin to get the benefits of the ketogenic diet, such as decreasing fat and increasing energy. Hence, many followers of the keto diet wait for this state to occur.
3 Benefits Of Ketosis And The Keto Diet
As just mentioned above, ketosis is important to reap the main benefits of the ketogenic diet. These benefits range from increasing your energy sources to losing water weight to balancing cravings. You can check your blood ketone levels by using a blood ketone meter. These can be moderately priced at around $60.
Here are some of the benefits that people have seen while in ketosis (and on a ketogenic diet in general):
1) Weight Loss And Fat Burning At A Relatively Faster Rate
Like other diets, the ketogenic diet is known to aid in weight loss and fat burn. However, what separates the ketogenic diet from other diets is its simplicity and relatively quick speed when it comes to burning fat and losing weight.
To burn fat and lose weight in a ketogenic diet is pretty simple: just cut carbs to a minimum, and you’ll most likely decrease in weight after a week or two. This happens because, as you essentially eliminate your carb intake, you’re going to get rid of excess water from glycogen; hence you’ll drop weight.
Cutting carbs also forces your body to use fats as its fuel – the state of ketosis. When this happens, your body will tap into its fat storage, mostly on your abdominal fat, which is great because you’ll also reduce your risk of some of the major diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.
If you devote yourself to a workout routine, whether it’s light or heavy, it will also help in decreasing excess fat.
2) Reduced And More Controllable Cravings
If you want to lose weight, you should eat less. However, when you eat less, you’ll also feel more hungry – and that’s one of the things you need to go through if you want to drop weight and burn off excess fat, and the ketogenic diet is no exception.
However, many people find that the keto diet can help alleviate hunger pains by cutting out carbs. To begin with, the average modern Western diet is filled with sugar and simple carbohydrates. These things cause a spike in our insulin levels, only to be followed by a quick drop afterward. Once insulin level drops, hunger levels increase.
Cutting out carbohydrates, especially sugar, will help you control your hunger pains and cravings. What’s more, eating more protein and healthy fat in place of the removed carbs will also help you suppress your appetite.
Now, this does not mean that the ketogenic diet will spare you from your cravings. In the beginning, you may still miss your favorite donut or pizza. But as you move on, you’ll find that you’ll feel fewer cravings for food unless you’re truly hungry.
3) Improved Energy And Focus
Many people experience fatigue and reduced energy levels when they’re just starting on their keto diet, but once your body fully adapts to using ketones as its fuel source, you may experience improved energy and focus.
This is because ketones are a very potent fuel source for your brain. You can help your body improve energy and focus by eating a keto meal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It will keep you full as well as boost your energy. Watch as your body becomes less prone to craving caffeine as it becomes fat adapted.
Aside from bringing you more focus and energy, ketones can also help in overall brain function.
How To Know If You’re In Ketosis
Now that we know the benefits of getting into ketosis, how would we know if, after following the ketogenic diet for a while, we are already in that state? Here are some signs and symptoms and side effects of being in ketosis:
1) Weight Loss
Ketogenic diets can be effective for weight loss.
Once you’re in a state of ketosis, you may find yourself losing some weight. If you experience a loss of weight, that is one good sign that your ketogenic diet is working.
On average, you may expect a decrease in body fat in as fast as 1-2 weeks. Of course, other factors will play, and the results will vary. But as long as you experience a decrease in body fat, that’s a sign that your ketogenic diet is already working.
2) You Feel Fewer Cravings
If you stop craving for your favorite dessert after following the ketogenic diet for a few days or a week, that’s another sign that your protocol is already working.
While you may still experience hunger and cravings after jumping on the diet, you should experience less of them as you stick to it.
There is no clear explanation as to why this happens, but reduced carb consumption and higher intake of protein and fat are believed to play a role in appetite or carving suppression.
3) You Have Increased Ketone Levels In Your Blood
If you want an accurate way of telling if you’re in ketosis or not, simply measure the ketone levels of your blood – your blood ketones should range from 0.5-3.0 mmol/L.
While this is an accurate way of telling if you’re already on nutritional ketosis or not, there is only one downside to this method: you’ll need to prick your finger to draw blood for testing. The good news is there are other ways to test your ketone levels as well, with a breath analyzer like Keyto Breath or urine strips. These are very accurate in determining your levels of nutritional ketosis.
4) You Feel Fatigued At First (Should Be Followed By Improved Energy Later)
If you feel fatigued after following the ketogenic protocol for days, don’t fret.
It’s normal to experience fatigue, weakness, and performance problems after a few days of following the ketogenic diet. This is because your body is just getting used to its new fuel source, the ketones – after all, your body is so used to carbs for fuel. A sudden change of fuel source meant that your body will need to adjust first before it gets used to it.
Once your system adapts to its new fuel source, you should be able to perform better and have improved energy levels for your daily activities.
Common Questions About Ketosis
How Long Does It Take To Get Into Ketosis?
How long it would take to get your body into ketosis varies from person to person, but in general, it takes around 2-4 days to get into the state of ketosis by eating a low carbohydrate diet.
Keep in mind that different factors also affect the timeframe you’ll take to enter into ketosis. For instance, the 2-4 day average is usually applicable if you eat 20-50g of carbohydrates per day. If you didn’t reduce to that level, it might take a bit more time before you enter into ketosis. You can check your ketone levels to see if you are truly in ketosis!
Will You Pee More When You’re In Ketosis?
Yes, you will pee more when you’re in ketosis because you are releasing excess water after reducing your glycogen levels in your body as a result of significantly reduced carb consumption.
While not necessarily bad, you should make it a point to drink more water as more urination can lead to dehydration.
How Can You Speed Up Ketosis?
If you’re on a ketogenic diet, there’s not much you can do to speed up your ketosis rather than to stick to the low carbohydrate diet until you experience its symptoms. This is because the diet itself is designed to induce ketosis in your body.
However, if you think that you still do not experience ketosis after following the ketogenic diet, consider changes in your diet, such as lowering your carb intake more than when you first started. You could also consider adding some vitamins or supplements to your keto diet to help promote ketosis or at least quell some of the less fun side effects. There are quite a few out there worth checking out, including KetoMax for fat burning, Purely Optimal Keto BHB for more energy, and Keto K1000 for electrolytes.
Are Ketosis And The Ketogenic Diet Safe?
Technically, all of the things you expect (and for some, you even hope for) as you enter ketosis are its side effects – including decreased BMI and appetite suppression.
However, if we are talking about its “negative” side effects, you may feel or undergo a series of symptoms which are collectively called the “keto flu.” Keto flu is a symptom associated with a ketogenic diet, particularly when you’re just starting. The symptoms are different for different people, but many report similar findings. The good news is the keto flu goes away once your system has adjusted to your new diet.
If you’re experiencing side effects for a lengthy period of time, make sure to check in with your doctor and potentially get your blood tested.
Below are the symptoms and signs of keto flu:
- Sugar cravings
- Difficulty in sleeping
- Muscle cramps
- Stomach pain
- Keto breath (bad breath)
Final Thoughts: Ketosis And The Keto Diet
If you are trying to decrease weight or even get in shape, trying out the keto diet can be a great way to embark on a low-carb diet. As you’ve read above, there are many benefits to trying out this type of high-fat diet, like balancing blood sugar levels, getting rid of water weight, fat loss, and even balancing your hunger hormones. But you also have to be careful when you start off, as you can experience a variety of negative symptoms throughout the day as your system adjusts.
It’s also important to remember that if you want to stay in ketosis, you have to stay consistent with your diet. One way to determine if you are in ketosis is you can check your blood ketone levels using a urine strip, breath test, or even a blood test. Many people find that this is a useful way of using tracking technologies alongside their signs and symptoms as well.
What do you think? Are you going to give this diet a try? You can find more health information on this from your doctor as well!