Identifying Ketosis: Physical Signs That You Truly Are In Ketosis (Without Ketostix)
The ketogenic diet is awesome. The magical benefits it has on your body are awesome.
But they are so effective thanks to the metabolic state called ketosis. It is a condition where your body runs literally on fat instead of carbs as its main energy source.
It’s awesome and you should try it if you haven’t yet.
But why I am praising this? Well, because it has many good benefits like:
And much more! You probably are in the keto lane already and are trying to figure out if you are already in ketosis or not. Or you may already have searched for quizzes which will tell you if you are in ketosis or not.
You may have questions like what are the signs of ketosis?
What does it “feel” like?
You also may start wondering if you are not experiencing ketosis?
Of course the fastest and most accurate way is to test your breath, pee on a Ketostix or measure ketone levels in your blood.
But when you are starting out and you may not want to throw your hard earned money on keto gear yet, then here are our list of physical signs that tell you if you are in ketosis or not.
No need for external gear, you can monitor your state all the time, the more you follow your body, the better you get at it.
So what are the physical signs that you’re in ketosis?
1. Ketosis breath aka Dragon Breath
So, one of the first signs that you are in ketosis could be ketosis breath. Ketosis breath is an unfortunate side effect of the keto diet. Keep in mind that it’s not just you, it isn’t forever, it simply means that you are on the right track with your diet.
Ketosis breath often starts out with sweet taste in mouth and the smell of the breath reminds acetone. Keto breath is caused by elevated ketone levels.
The specific culprit is acetone, a ketone that exits the body in your urine and breath. The bad breath usually goes away after some time on the diet, it is not a permanent thing.
2. Keto flu
A symptom that most of the keto dieters will go over some time is called the keto flu. Adapting to your diet and getting into ketosis can feel like flu: tiredness, fatigue, stomach pains and dizziness are some common symptoms of keto flu.
Interestingly enough the keto flu is not caused by keto diet or ketosis itself, it is caused by the body’s response to carbohydrate restriction.
Other ketosis symptoms can also include a sore throat, headaches, nausea and you can feel irritated or short-tempered. By now you probably are wondering that how long does keto flu last?
Well, there is no definitive timeline about how long does keto flu last, but it usually lasts from a couple of days to a couple of weeks, depending on your genetics and previous eating habits.
The main takeaway is that it is going to pass, so no worries.
3. Dry mouth and increased thirst
Reaching into ketosis often causes frequent urination. Your body is burning the extra energy (glycogen stores) stored in your liver and muscles.
This process releases a lot of water, that is why you may find yourself peeing all the time. As your carb intake and glycogen stores drop, your kidneys will start dumping extra water.
This extra loss of water weight will also cause a dry mouth and increased sensations of thirst.
Frequent urination and thirst can be annoying at first but no worries, it takes care of itself once your body adjusts and is no longer burning through the extra glycogen.
4. Appetite suppression and fewer cravings
Not all the physical signs of ketosis need to be bad or negative. Now its time for something positive. Many people report decreased hunger and carvings (sugar and carb carvings).
There is nothing necessarily wrong with this. It is one of the reasons why ketogenic diets can be so great for weight loss. It’s been suggested the hunger reduction may be due to an increased protein and fat intake, along with alterations to your body’s hunger hormones.
This means that the days of sugar or carb cravings will become a distant memory.
5. But what are some other considerations?
If you are tired of the guessing game and want accurate specific results then testing is a must! Ketosis symptoms are often misinterpreted and testing eliminates all doubt.
Accurate testing isn’t something expensive and fancy that only doctors can do. Its accessible and continent for everyone.
Don’t be frightened by the side effects of ketosis, they are part of the journey so embrace them. If you have a feeling that you are experiencing ketosis symptoms above, then test your theory!
Alex is the founder of Bodyketosis, an author, low-carb enthusiast, and a recovering chubby guy who reclaimed his health using the ketogenic lifestyle. The need for the keto life began after his aunt and cousin were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and he was next in line. Through personal experience and extensive scientific research, Alex offers insightful tips for everything keto.