Is Keto The Right Fit for You? What Ketosis Symptoms can you expect?
Ketosis is a natural state that the human body gets into when it uses fats as the primary source of fuel. The state is normal when someone is on fasting or while on the ketogenic diet or low-carb high-fat diet. Ketosis comes with several benefits and side effects too. Ketosis can become dangerous in some are cases like type on diabetes.
While ketosis has several benefits, it has its share of mild to moderate side effects, which can be mitigated when you know how to look out for them. These Ketosis symptoms are usually termed as Keto Flu. The body is able to produce some small molecules that we refer to as ketones while on ketosis. These ketones are an alternative source of energy that the body uses when glucose or blood sugar is in short supply. The low carb diet will basically turn your body into a fat burning machine.
The body produces ketones when you consume few carbohydrates that it breaks down into blood sugar. You also need to moderate the amounts of proteins to consume because the body will also convert excess proteins into blood sugar.
The liver uses the available fats to produce ketones. The body organs including the brain then uses these ketones as the primary source of fuel. It’s important to note that the brain is one of the hungriest organs that require a lot of energy each day. Limiting the amount of glucose implies that the body will burn fats to generate energy.
Brain Fuel and Ketones
It is a misconception that the brain requires carbs – research results suggest that the brain burns fats with an equal amount of ease. It turns to burning ketones when the body has a low supply of carbohydrates. This function is critical for basic survival. Since the body stores carbs for a maximum of one to two days, the body will stop functioning after a few days of starvation.
The body could revert to converting the muscle protein into glucose but this process is very inefficient. and is a survival technique to keep the brain going. Such a process can make our brain wear out very quickly. The goodness of the human brain is that it has evolved and is smarter than we think. The body normally stores fats for a long period to allow us to survive for several weeks or months without food. Ketosis is a state that allows the body to operate on those fat stores. Therefore, the brain can still run on fat when we are not eating carbs. In fact, most individuals feel more focused and energized when their bodies are running on ketones that come from fats. The process speeds up the rate at which the body loses fats, which is beneficial for anyone who wants to lose weight.
Benefits of the Ketogenic Diet
Ketosis comes with several benefits to the human body. You will be able to give your body enhanced physical and mental endurance by supplying the brain and body with a supply of energy that is almost unlimited. It also facilitates an effortless process of weight loss and reduces hunger. This metabolic state can reverse type 2 diabetes. The stability in the blood sugar levels while in ketosis ensures that there are no sugar highs or crashes during the day, with a steady source and sense of energy. The benefits of the diet can also be leveraged to control epilepsy.
How Can a Person Get into Ketosis?
You need to have a very small amount of insulin present in the body to get into ketosis. Lowering your carb intake to under 20 grams per day while increasing the intake of ‘good’ fats (think avocados, olive oil, etc.) helps the body enter a state of ketosis within a week. A commonly used approach is an eating pattern called intermittent fasting (IF), which involves longer gaps between meals, or eating two meals a day.
What symptoms can you expect when in Ketosis
A few telltale signs that the body gives when you are in ketosis include-
- Reduced Hunger: Most people experience a significant reduction in hunger when on the ketogenic diet. The main reason behind this is that the body has a high capacity to receive fuel from the stored fats. It is a good thing to eat just one or two times in a day. You will find yourself getting into some form of intermittent fasting unintentionally.
- Increased Thirst and a Dry Mouth: Your mouth will always feel dry unless you take in enough electrolytes such as salt or drink a lot of water.
- High Energy Levels: Initially, keto flu may take you into a state of feeling exhausted for the first few days. However, you will experience a steady increase in your energy levels over time.
- Keto Breath: There is a ketone body that is referred to as acetone that escapes from your body through the mouth during ketosis. Your breath may smell fruity, similar to a nail polish remover; you may also pick up this smell from your sweat while working out. This is often a temporary feeling. However, not all people who are on the ketogenic diet will experience keto breath. In fact, the feeling typically goes away after one or two weeks. In case keto breath is a deal breaker for you, an effective solution is to consume some small amounts of carbs (50 to 70 grams daily). The challenge is that it will reduce the effects of the ketogenic diet to your body especially when it comes to diabetes and weight loss. However, some individuals still get all the benefits of ketosis at this level. In case this does not work for you, you can increase the amounts of carbs but mix it with intermittent fasting. This combination can give you exactly the same results as a strict low-carb diet but without keto breath.
- Increased Urination: One of the ketone bodies that is known as acetoacetate ends up in the urine when you are in ketosis. Medical practitioners take advantage of this ketone body to measure the level of ketosis using urine. This may cause those people who are starting on the ketogenic diet to go to the bathroom frequently. This occurrence is one of the reasons that enhances thirst and a dry mouth. You may find a fruity smell in urine as a result of this ketone body.