A ketogenic diet has been proven as an effective way to lose weight, improve your health or help to manage diabetes and some forms of epilepsy.
The low-carb, high-fat diet will raise ketone levels but without an accurate ketone meter like the KETOSCAN Mini, it can often be hard to know whether you’re in ketosis or not.
Here are 5 signs that your body is in ketosis:
A common size effect of a ketogenic diet is bad breath. Many people on a keto diet report that their breath smells fruity or even slightly alcoholic! This is due to the higher levels of ketones produced when your body is in ketosis. One component of a ketone is acetone, which is responsible for the bad smell – or ‘keto breath’.
Whilst not the most pleasant side effect of a ketogenic diet, it goes some way to reassure you that your body is in ketosis. Like any other case of bad breath, you can tackle the symptoms by brushing your teeth more often or chew a sugar-free gum (just remember to check the ingredients for carbs).
If you’re using gum or other alternatives like sugar-free drinks, check the label for carbs. These may raise your blood sugar levels and reduce ketone levels.
2. Losing weight
When starting a keto diet, many people experience both short-term and long-term weight loss. Initially, weight loss can be caused by the body using up stored carbs and excess water (water weight) which will results in quite a drop in the number you see on the scales. As your body becomes ‘fat-adapted’ you will start to lose weight more consistently when following a ketogenic diet.
3. Loss of appetite
Many people following a keto diet report being less hungry since drastically reducing their carbohydrate intake. It’s not known what causes this decrease in appetite, but it’s been suggested that it may be due to increased protein intake.
When starting a ketogenic diet, it’s common to get ‘keto flu’ – your body feels weak and tired. It’s reassuring to know that this side effect is common and short-lived; if you can get through this stage of entering ketosis, your body will thank you for it later. The process is sometimes referred to as becoming fat adapted and is your body’s response to switching fuel systems – from a heavy reliance on carbs to fats.
5. Tummy trouble
As with any major change in diet or food intake, it’s common to experience some digestive issues when starting a keto diet. Common side effects may include constipation and diarrhoea, although these should settle down as your body adapts. It’s important to keep an eye on your fibre intake and eat plenty of low-carb vegetables.
The only real way to know if your body is in ketosis is to accurately check your ketone level with a ketone analyser like the KETOSCAN Mini. Read more about breath-testing for ketosis and how it compares to blood and urine testing here.