The ketogenic diet is a popular and useful diet to lose weight and enhance overall health. If you follow this low-carb and high-fat diet, it will increase your blood ketone levels. These ketones provide a new energy source for your cells and provides several health benefits and a few side effects in this diet. In a ketogenic diet, your body goes through a lot of new biological changes, including a reduction in insulin levels and rapid fat breakdown. When this happens, your liver starts producing large amounts of ketones to transport energy to your brain. But, it can be challenging for some people to know if they are in ketosis. You should be aware about the signs of ketosis as it can help in determining if this diet is working for your body or not. Ketosis is basically a metabolic process that occurs when the body starts burning extra stored fat for energy because it does not have enough carbohydrates to burn. During this process, the liver produces chemicals called ketones. Read this article further to know about the symptoms of ketosis that tell if keto diet is working or not.
Symptoms of ketosis
Despite some guidelines and instructions, some people following ketogenic diet might be aware when they are in ketosis. It can have both negative and positive impacts on your body. So, here are the 7 main symptoms of ketosis:
1. Weight loss
Ketogenic diet, just like the normal low-carb diets is one of the best diets for your weight loss regime. According to a lot of weight loss studies, you are likely to experience both short term and long term, positive and negative effects of following a keto diet. Quick weight loss can occur during the first week. While some people believe this to be fat loss, it’s primarily stored carbs and water being used up.
2. Bad breath
People often experience episodes of bad breath once they reach full ketosis. It is one of he most common side effects of keto diet. Many people on ketogenic diets and similar diets, such as the Atkins diet, say that their breath takes on a fruity smell. This happens due to the increased ketone levels. The specific culprit is acetone, a ketone that exits the body in your urine and breath. While this breath may be less than ideal for your social life, it can be a positive sign for your diet. Many ketogenic dieters brush their teeth several times per day or use sugar-free gum to solve the issue.
3. Increased ketones
Having ketones in the blood is also another sign to know if someone is in ketosis. Many experts might use urine and breath tests to check for ketone levels, but these are less definitive than doing blood tests. A home testing kit helps people in checking their own blood ketone levels. Even a doctor can take your blood sample for testing. When a person is in nutritional ketosis, they will have blood ketone levels of 0.5–3 millimoles per liter.
4. More thirst
Ketosis can also cause some people to feel more thirsty than normal, which happens because of rapid weight loss with keto diet. But, high levels of ketones in the body can result in major dehydration and an electrolyte imbalance. Both of these reactions can cause various complications, including feeling thirstier. Researches about ketogenic diets for sports performance shows dehydration as a side effect of ketosis. Some athletes and sportsperson may also have a greater risk of kidney stones, which is a complication of dehydration.
5. Muscle cramps and headaches
Dehydration and electrolyte imbalances can even lead to muscle cramps and spasms. Electrolytes are substances that carry electrical signals between the body’s cells. Any imbalances in these substances result in interrupted electrical messages that can cause muscle cramps and spasms. Headaches are also a common side effect of following a ketogenic diet. They may occur as a result of consuming fewer carbohydrates, especially sugar.
In the early stages of a keto diet, people might also have a feeling of weakness, fatigue and tiredness than usual. This happens as the body switches from burning carbohydrates to burning fat for energy. Carbohydrates provide a quick supple of energy to the body. According to a study involving athletes, it was found that tiredness can be a common side effect of the ketosis diet.
7. Increased focus
People also observed that there can be symptoms such as brain fog, tiredness and a sick feeling if you are in ketosis due to the low carbohydrate foods. This is also called “low carb flu” or “keto flu.” But, the people who have been following this diet since a long time also say that it increases your focus and energy. It has a tendency to burn more fats than carbs. When you get into ketosis, a large part of the brain starts burning ketones instead of glucose. However, it can take a long time for this positive effect to start showing.
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