The ketogenic diet has gotten all the rage for its effectiveness in the last couple of years. It’s changed a lot of people’s lives and helped to shed the pounds they couldn’t before.
When you are on the keto diet, your body will undergo major changes in the way it metabolizes nutrients.
Once you’re in ketosis, the primary resource of energy will become ketones instead of glucose. Your insulin levels will go down too.
When you are on the keto diet, you want to keep track of your ketosis. That will help you to understand whether you’re consuming too many carbs or not.
Tracking these signs of ketosis will give you reassurance whether you’re on the right track or not. Also, knowing some of the side effects of ketosis will help you to understand where you are in your weight loss journey.
1. Weight Loss
A ketogenic diet is effective at both short-term and long-term weight loss. When you first start the diet, you might notice a sudden change in your weight.
That’s actually a very natural phenomenon. However, it most often indicates the usage of water and glycogen in the liver and muscles (source).
Once you notice the weight loss, it’s important to continue eating a low carb diet so you keep on burning the fat. Check these keto lunch and ketogenic dinner ideas that will help you stay in control of your ketosis.
2. Increased Energy
If you’re on a ketogenic diet, one of the long-term benefits is an increased amount of energy. That has a lot to do with shedding the pounds, not having to carry that extra weight anymore.
Also, since you‘re cutting on carbs, your blood sugar levels tend to be more stable. That, in turn, provides you with a more long-term stable energy that has no high ups and low downs.
3. Digestive Issues
This is, unfortunately, one of the side effects that the ketogenic diet can cause. Why does that happen?
Any dietary change, usually makes our bodies react to those changes. Eating a low carb diet can be a major change for your gut bacteria.
Thus, diarrhea or constipation are common. While the side effects are usually short-lived, you should pay attention to what foods might be causing it, especially if it becomes a long term problem.
Very often, the cause of indigestion is the lack of fiber in the diet. That’s mostly because once you start cutting on carbs, you tend to avoid the products that are also high in fiber.
Thus, make sure you incorporate low carb vegetables into your diet. Also, don’t be afraid to try new meals to diversify the nutrients you get.
Check these some of these articles to start planning your keto diet plan: keto crockpot recipes, low carb salad ideas, and these keto snacks.
4. Short-Term Weakness
Feeling fatigued at the beginning of your dieting journey is absolutely normal. That has a lot to do with how your body has been used to processing energy.
If you have eaten carbs before, it’s most likely adapted to deal with them. Now, that you’re switching to a completely new eating system, your body will react accordingly.
It takes time for it to adjust to getting energy from mostly fats and proteins. Also, due to fast changes in diet, you might experience water loss which can be debilitating.
With the loss of water comes the loss of electrolytes which are very important for proper cell function.
You can get these Perfect Keto Electrolytes that are great for when you feel fatigued or battling with keto flu. They’re a lifesaver for your energy and health while you’re body is adjusting to the ketogenic diet.
5. Reduced Cravings
If you’ve always been a sweet-tooth or found yourself eating whenever you’re bored, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with reduced cravings. The Keto diet has shown significant effects on hunger hormones which play a role in reducing hunger (source).
Also, fats, as well as proteins, tend to be considered as a source of slow energy. Which, in return, keeps you full for longer periods of time.
6. Increased Focus
Once you’re in ketosis, your body starts burning ketones instead of glucose. Multiple studies are suggesting that such ketone metabolism contributes towards increased focus, memory and brain functions (source).
That also has to do with having better levels of energy as well as the lacks of cravings. These two can highly limit your focus and distract you.
While you might experience the lack of energy at the beginning of starting the keto diet, the long-term effects offer quite the opposite. You’re going to feel more energetic, more focused and notice a significant improvement in cognitive health.
7. Bad Breath
That’s a very unpleasant yet common side effect of ketosis. Our breath can often be affected by our diet and that’s also the case with the keto diet.
Once you enter ketosis, the levels of ketones in your increase. Well, acetone is one of such ketones too and you can mostly find it urine and breath.
Here is a great study was done on breath acetone during ketosis. Breath acetone increases 3.5-fold once the person is in ketosis.
That, while a good indication of ketosis, unfortunately, causes bad breath. Thus, make sure you frequently brush your teeth as well as chew on gum after meals.
I highly recommend xylitol gum because it boosts dental health and has a small glycemic index (source). It’s safe to chew on if you don’t want to increase your carb intake.
8. Keto Flu
Keto flu is well known for its flu-like symptoms. Some of these include:
It’s usually caused by a sudden change in diet which means that your body needs to adjust to a new way of living. If you have been fueling yourself with carbs for the majority of your life, such a sudden change can stress your body.
Some of the best ways to cope with it are to drink loads of water, incorporate electrolytes into your diet, keep your calorie intake high enough to get an adequate amount of energy, and get enough sleep.
The keto flu will pass once your body adjusts to a new source of energy – ketones.
9. Increased Ketones
The easiest way to test whether you’re in ketosis is by using a special home testing kit. Here is one that will do the job.
When you get into ketosis, the levels of ketones increase in blood, urine, and breath. So, there are different ways to test it.
Obviously, the cheapest testing kits are usually for urine. That’s the one I recommended above.
You could also get a ketone meter for your breath here.
10. Sleeping Issues
A lot of the side effects mentioned above can cause sleeping issues. If you’re bloating or feeling fatigued that might cause you to wake up at night or make falling asleep troublesome.
That’s completely normal and usually goes away with time. If you want to help yourself sleep better, get into a habit of drinking camomile tea in the evening.
Ketosis has multiples signs. Some of them are more positive than others. The important thing is to understand what your body is going through.
In that way, you’ll be more in control of your weight loss progress and your health.