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You want to know the good, the bad and the ugly, right? If you’ve done any research at all you already know that this diet is a popular one and it has some great results, you probably also know that there is something called ‘ketosis’ associated with it.
But you may not know just what ketosis really is or how to know if you’re in the middle of it once you start this diet. So let’s start there.
What is Ketosis
Ketosis is a state that your body enters into at some point after you begin the Ketogenic Diet. The diet itself reduces the amount of insulin that the body produces and increases the amount of fat that’s broken down.
It does this by creating something called ketones in the liver.
These ketones are then sent to the brain so that it gets the energy that it needs for you to go about your normal daily life.
Are You In Ketosis
So, how do you know if you’ve achieved the stage in your diet where ketosis happens?
You could test for ketones in the body.
https://amzn.to/2H1Tr9T (Don’t measure the colors on the side. Not accurate for the degree of ketosis)
Keto Blood Meter
https://goo.gl/WMkzPE (I have an affiliate relationship with this company.)
Keto Breath Analyzer
https://amzn.to/2L3rd0L (never used. This is purely one option on Amazon)
And you can also look at some of the facts and features that we describe below.
Some of these may be positive, some may be negative and some may be neutral to you. The important thing is that each one of them is a sign that you’re going through this part of the process and it’s a sign that you’re getting to the stage you want to be when it comes to your diet.
1. Bad Breath
This may not seem like a good thing at all, but it’s one of the most common side effects that’s associated with ketosis. It’s because of a specific part of the ketones that are produced in the body, acetone.
Though it generally doesn’t last the entire time that you follow the diet, bad breath can be an annoying side effect for a lot of people. If it bothers you too much don’t give up on the diet, just brush your teeth more frequently or chew gum to help combat the smell.
Make sure you’re using a sugar-free, 0-carb gum though, so you don’t sabotage your diet.
2. Weight Loss
Okay, so we’ve had one bad one but now we have one good side effect. While you’re in ketosis you can generally expect to see some weight loss. Because you’re in a calorie deficit and you’re restricting carbs you’ll notice a relatively large drop of weight in the first week or so of this diet, getting rid of excess carbs and water and then you’ll generally notice a consistent drop in your weight as you continue the diet and remain in ketosis.
This is common with any low-carb diet you may follow.
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3. Increased Ketones in the Blood
We already mentioned ketones once, but you’ll have far more of them during this part of the process. If you’re interested, there are blood ketone monitors that you can purchase for a relatively low price to test your own levels of ketones.
These are going to be produced more in the body as you continue on the diet because this becomes the primary source that your body uses in order to get the energy to continue on throughout the day.
Blood ketones between 0.5 and 3.0 mmol/L are generally a sign that you are in ketosis.
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4. Ketones in Breath or Urine
We already mentioned that ketones can make your breath smell bad, but you can actually measure the amount of ketones in your breath or in your urine with different tests. A breath analyzer will help you determine the amount of acetone leaving your body.
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These are not as reliable as a blood test but they are more reliable than the urine strips. Still, urine strips are another way to test acetone that is leaving your body and they’re also the least expensive of all of the options. That definitely makes for a bonus if finances are a little low.
5. Decreased Appetite
During ketosis, many people say that they actually feel less hungry. Because of the increase in the amount of protein being ingested and the increase of vegetables, it’s possible that there are changes occurring within the body.It’s also possible that hormones in the body that control hunger are being altered or even that the ketones are affecting the way that your brain processes hunger or feels hunger.
It may be that they actually tell your brain that you are not hungry, causing you to eat less during this period.
6. Increased Focus
Though many people report that they actually feel a little bit lethargic or like they are in a fog when they first start following this type of diet, most start to report the complete opposite when they enter into ketosis. The so-called ‘keto flu‘ starts to fade away and you start to feel even better.
7. Weakness and Fatigue
These are part of that so-called ‘keto flu’ and they can definitely be a downside that you’ll want to pay attention to.
Many people feel weak or tired during the first part of their diet, lasting up to 30 days, though it could be as short as 7 days.
Overall, your body is losing a lot of electrolytes and through that a great deal of sodium. That’s because of the very quick reduction in water that takes place within the body when you first start this diet. Adding electrolyte supplements can help with this and keep your body healthy through the transition.
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8. Decreased Performance
Again, we’re talking about the ‘keto flu’ which can last for a short time and cause you to feel more tired and less productive. You’ll likely find that your exercises suffer and that you can’t quite do as much as you used to.
You may also find that you don’t have the level of endurance that you once did. Over time, however, as you enter into ketosis, you’ll start to notice an increase in endurance sports and an increased ability to burn fat while engaging in exercise and sports.
For high-level athletes, the level of skill required may not be possible, but for general purposes, it can definitely return you to normal levels.
9. Digestive Problems
Because you are likely dramatically changing the way that you eat it’s entirely possible that you will start to feel less than ideal. You may have constipation or diarrhea as a result of the dramatic change to your normal diet.
These side effects are normal and as long as they don’t continue for an extended period you can continue with the diet (otherwise seek out a medical professional for better advice).
?Others have read: What to Eat on the Keto Diet
10. Trouble Sleeping
Finally, for the first few weeks, you may experience difficulty sleeping through the night. It may be difficult for you to fall asleep or to stay asleep.
As time goes on, however, you will likely find that you actually have much better sleep later on as you work through ketosis and actually become accustomed to the ketogenic diet.
Keep in mind that these sleep problems only last for a short period of time and will generally be resolved with the rest of the symptoms of ‘keto flu.’
Working through the keto flu and getting into the ketosis process can be complicated and you will likely have some side effects. Some of those side effects may even seem difficult or uncomfortable, but the end result is definitely going to be something that you can be proud of.
Your body is going to be healthier and happier and you’re going to be more successful in any of your goals. You’ll improve your brain capacity, improve your sleep habits, lose some weight, and a whole lot more, just by changing your diet.