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What is Ketosis? Simply Explained With Symptoms


Are you ready to strut the sidewalks like Victoria’s Secret angel walks the ramp?

Do you want to show off those razor-sharp shoulder blades and those divinely toned thighs?

If you have tried everything on this planet and failed to achieve the body you desire, then it is time you move to what embrace the holy trinity of the keto diet – less protein, lesser carbs and a lot (I really mean a lot) of fats.

But in Keto Diet, a term is most frequently used ‘Ketosis’, let’s dip deep and find what ketosis is?

What is Ketosis?

To address the elephant in the room, it is important to understand the basic dynamics of metabolism undergoing in your system. Your body relies on the intake of three primary ingredients in your food – carbohydrates, protein, and fats – which are broken down, consumed and consequently stored in the body.

Since your body requires energy to perform its basic functions and metabolism, it relies on glucose as its primary source of fuel. When there is not enough supply of glucose for the body to use – primarily the brain – your body starts burning fats in order to make up for the depleted glycogen reserves.

By replacing carbohydrates with fats for its primary source of fuel, the body enters a state called ‘ketosis’. The term ketosis is coined after ‘ketones’, which are fat molecules that are broken down from fats through a process called emulsification in the liver. These fat molecules are then sent to the bloodstream where they can be consumed for the body’s various metabolic functions.

How to Kick Start Ketosis?

However, in order to know how to kickstart ketosis, you need to realize that your body will start consuming fat molecules or ketones for its primary source of energy after you expose it to a rigorous ketogenic diet or long periods of fasting.

Your body is said to be in a state of ketosis when it exceeds the level of ketones required to be in the bloodstream which, therefore, can be measured significantly. Ketosis is said to be approximately equivalent to or beyond 0.5 mM of ketones.

Ketosis can be achieved when you minimize your daily intake of carbohydrates – approximately to 20 – 50 grams every day – and stick to it rigorously. Long periods of fasting might seem ridiculous since it requires you to eat during the first 8 hours of the day and go for 16 hours without consuming food. This is probably why nutritionists and dieticians advise (and celebrities swear by) following the ketogenic diet for better and maximized results.

Signs and Symptoms of Ketosis

So, how do you know you are in ketosis? There are specific signs and symptoms that can help you to know that you have been in the state of ketosis for a significant period of time. Mentioned below, is a little guide that can help you run through the various ketosis symptoms and signs.

  • Significant ketone production might lead you to lose large amounts of water, which will increase your thirst and therefore, cause you to drink water in larger amounts.
  • Ketone production also increases urination, and therefore, might act as natural diuretics.
  • Halitosis or bad breath is one of the common symptoms of ketosis. This bad breath, also known as ‘ keto breath’ is primarily due to the formation of acetones that are consequently excreted from the body.
  • During the early stages of ketosis, you might suffer from the ‘keto flu’ which might last for a week’s time at the most. You might feel fatigued, inactive, and slightly irritable due to the lack of sleep.
  • After your body adjusts to ketosis, you will see a gradual wave of change in your body. Not only you will experience weight loss, but you will also achieve increased mental and physical performance due to the stable energy resource.

How to Test For Ketosis?

So, how to test for ketosis? This question can be answered by catering to opting for three significant tests as mentioned below.

1) Urine Strips

Testing ketosis via urine strips is perhaps the most affordable and inexpensive way to see if your body is producing and excreting acetones or not. These reagent urine strips allow you to analyze the color grade in correspondence to the reading shown. After dipping the strip in your urine, it is advisable to wait for at least 15 seconds so that you can visualize the color change in accordance with the presence of ketones.

2) Breath-ketone analyzers:

Since keto-dieters might experience ‘keto breath’ once their body shifts to an active state of ketosis, the breath-ketone analyzers can help you stay ahead of it. Ketone breath analyzers are, therefore, expensive, but are reusable and therefore, possess value for money.

3) Blood-ketone meters:

While blood-ketone meters are the gold standard methods for testing whether your body is in an active state of ketosis or not, they can be expensive and warrant as much as $2 per test. However, they are far more reliable and can help you to keep a thorough check of the presence of ketones in your body while you are on the keto diet.

In order to achieve an optimal state of ketosis and prevent your body from entering a state of ketoacidosis due to unregulated production and assimilation of ketones in your system, it is advisable to refer yourself to a licensed nutritionist before jumping on the bandwagon.

Wrapping it Up

However, relax ladies – if we can go through PMS, we can surely tackle the above-mentioned symptoms. All you need to do is stay consistent and ignore the temptation of those freshly baked goodies at the mall. Seriously, stay away from those aisles.

I hope this article will help you. Let me know your questions in the comments section below.

Images Credit: pixabay.com


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