According to Google’s 2018 ‘Year of Search’ data, the ketogenic diet was the most searched for diet for 2018.
Ever since it became popular, keto has seen a surge of acclaim, with it being more popular now in 2019 than ever.
The key to the ketogenic diet is to get into a state of ketosis where the body starts to use fat as its primary fuel source instead of carbohydrates.
But how does one know when this has happened? What are the signs of ketosis?
This state of burning ‘fat first’ is considered to be the reason behind why people have seen such great results with keto. If you have joined the ranks of people harnessing the keto diet, then you are probably excited about seeing some of these results.
One of the best ways to ensure that you get the most out of the keto diet is to keep tabs on when you are in ketosis or not by monitoring the signs. It’s also pretty exciting to notice when your body goes into fat-burning mode!
To find out what the signs of this are, read on.
1. Sharp Focus or Brain Fog
One of the best keto side effects is that you might experience enhanced mental clarity. Many people who have maintained a keto diet for extended periods have reported that they enjoy a laser-like focus, and research suggests that ketogenic eating might have neuroprotective effects and enhance cognitive function.
Unfortunately, in the initial stage of the diet, some people experience the complete opposite and complain of mental fatigue and brain fog.
The good news is that any initial brain fog is a sign that your body is in ketosis. So ride it out, and know that you are in for enhanced mental sharpness down the line.
2. Decreased Appetite
The high-fat content of the ketogenic diet makes one feel fuller for longer. But, that isn’t where it ends. The state of ketosis is scientifically proven to make your appetite less.
If you are noticing that your appetite is not what it used to be, then this is a sure-fire sign that your body is in ketosis.
Yes, weight loss is another side effect of ketosis and the one that most of us are going for. If you have noticed yourself shedding weight while on your ketogenic diet, then this is a clear indication that you have been hanging out in ketosis.
4. Bad Breath
This is a very unwanted side effect that can rear its head when ketosis starts to kick in. The reason for this is thanks to a ketone called acetone (yup, the same stuff that’s in nail varnish and other paints). This is present in the breath when the body goes into ketosis.
Of course, the upside is that if you are experiencing bad breath while on your keto plan then this is a rock-solid indication that your body is in ketosis.
At the same time, none of us want to have bad breath, so here are two ways you can combat bath breath during ketosis. Firstly, try drinking more water. If this doesn’t help, what some people do is increase their carb intake just enough to temper their breath, but not so much that they get out of ketosis.
Fortunately, after your body has been in ketosis for an extended time, and has adjusted to the state, your breath should return to normal.
5. Blood Ketone Levels
Another way to tell whether or not your body is going into ketosis is to check the ketone levels in your blood. Science has established that a blood ketone level of 0.5 mmol/L indicates that you are entering ketosis. So, anything above that indicates that you are riding the ketosis wave.
To test your ketone levels, you can visit a doctor, who will measure these through blood, urine or breath tests.
Or, you can choose to test yourself at home using at-home ketone tests. The most reliable types are the ones that test your blood, but you can also get urine and breath tests for home use.
6. Increased Thirst or Signs of Dehydration
During ketosis, your body will begin to expel water stores. This can lead to dehydration and thirst.
So if you find yourself thirstier than usually—you are in ketosis!
If this is a symptom that you encounter, be sure to tank up on water, as hydrating is especially important during ketosis.
In the initial stage of the keto diet, it is not uncommon to experience headaches. Fortunately, these pass pretty quickly, and it is another sign that you’re in ketosis.
8. Gut Issues
As the body shifts from burning carbs to burning mainly fats, a lot of changes can happen in the digestive system.
Because of this, some people experience constipation, diarrhea or frequent urination. If you notice any changes in these areas, then most likely you have ketosis to thank for it.
These possible ketosis symptoms can be rectified by drinking a lot of water and eating fiber-rich vegetables that are non-starchy.
9. Weakness or Tiredness
Are you feeling tired on keto?
If so, this could be a good indication that you are in ketosis.
During the time that your body switches over and adjusts to burning fat for fuel rather than carbs, it is not uncommon to experience no energy on keto.
According to a study published in 2017, athletes reported lowered levels of endurance during the first stages of the diet but noted that this decreased with time.
Fortunately, as shown by this study, you can expect these symptoms of fatigue to ease off as your body adjusts. In fact, many people report heightened energy levels thanks to the keto diet, after they have been on it for an extended period.
10. Disrupted Sleep
Lastly, if you are having trouble falling asleep, and are waking up in the middle of the night this could be another sign of ketosis happening in your body.
Like most of the other keto side effects, this too should pass within a few days or weeks.
Now You Know What the Signs of Ketosis Are
Starting a new diet is exciting, and if you are like most of us you want to know right away if it is working or not. Well, guess what? With keto, you can.
All you need to figure out is whether or not your body is getting into a state of ketosis. If it is, you’re in the fat-burning zone. Now that you know about some of the signs of ketosis, you will easily be able to gauge whether or not you are in this ramped-up state of fat burning.
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