Decoding Ketosis: 7 Biological Effects of the Ketogenic Diet

My friend Dr. Monti told me that he has been on a ketogenic diet for two months and has been feeling great. In sharing a bit about his experience with the Keto diet he also told me that I should buy a test kit to check whether I am in a state of ketosis.

The ketogenic diet brings many biological changes to our body and in addition to using a test kit, the body itself might provide some signals about whether we are indeed in a state of ketosis.

1. Weight Loss
An immediate delight for most people during their first week on a ketogenic diet is rapid weight loss. The main reason is that the stored carbohydrates and water in the body are consumed, and the body begins to use fat as fuel.

After this initial rapid loss of water, the body will continue to burn body fat if you stick to the ketogenic diet and keep your calorie intake under control.

Many studies on weight loss have shown that you are likely to experience both short-term and long-term weight loss after switching to a ketogenic diet.

2. Reduced Appetite
Many people report feeling less hungry when following a ketogenic diet. The reduction in hunger may be due to increased protein and vegetable intake, as well as changes in the body’s hunger hormones. Ketone bodies themselves may also affect your brain to reduce appetite.

3. Improved Concentration
Once people enter ketosis, the brain starts to burn more ketone bodies than glucose. Ketone bodies are an excellent energy source for the brain. They are good for some brain disorders, such as concussions, epilepsy, and memory loss.

That is why long-term ketogenic dieters often report sharper minds as well as other improved brain functionalities. Stable blood sugar levels further improve concentration and brain function.

4. Insomnia
Many people report having insomnia or waking up during the night when they first drastically cut their carb intake. This state will improve gradually after a few weeks. Once getting adapted to this diet, they will sleep even better than before.

5. Bad Breath
It is often said that once the body reaches full ketosis, the mouth will exude bad breath or a fruity taste. This is caused by elevated levels of ketone bodies. The main culprit is acetone, one of the ketone bodies that is excreted through urine and breath.

6. ‘Keto Flu’
When first embarking on a very low-carb diet, people can experience brain fog, tiredness, and feeling unwell—symptoms similar to the flu.

These side effects are all normal cleansing reactions of the body. Our bodies have been running on a high carbohydrate system for possibly decades, and when the body is forced to adapt to a different way of operating, it doesn’t make the switch overnight. People generally need to go on a ketogenic diet for 7 to 30 days before they can fully enter a state of ketosis.

You can take electrolyte supplements to reduce fatigue during ketosis and take up to 1000 mg of potassium and 300 mg of magnesium a day.

7. Constipation and Diarrhea
Both constipation and diarrhea are common side effects at the beginning of ketosis. Going on a ketogenic diet may mean a drastic change in the types of food you eat. This can cause problems with the digestive system. We want to make sure we eat plenty of healthy low-carb vegetables such as broccoli, zucchini, jicama, celery, and even pumpkin. These vegetables are low in carbohydrates and contain plenty of fiber.

8. Three Ways to Detect Ketogenic Status
In addition to the above seven signs, we can also test the ketogenic content in blood and urine to confirm whether we are in a ketogenic state.

  • Blood test: The most reliable and accurate way to measure ketosis is to measure the amount of beta-hydroxybutyrate in the blood. Nutritional ketosis is defined as ketone bodies in the blood between 0.5mmol/L and 3.0mmol/L.
  • Breathalyzer: Although not as precise as blood tests, breathalyzer tests are quite accurate. Unlike blood tests, breath analyzers monitor our acetone levels.
  • Ketosis test strips: Another technique is to daily measure the amount of ketone bodies in the urine with special indicator strips. This is a measure of the level of ketone bodies excreted through urine. It can be used as a quick and inexpensive way to assess your daily ketone levels. However, the test results are not as reliable as the two tests listed above.

In summary, the few key signs and detection methods can help you determine whether you are in a state of ketosis. However, if you’re losing weight and enjoying your ketogenic diet, there’s no need to worry about your ketone levels at all.

Reposted from:

Risks of the keto diet

Staying on the keto diet in the long term may have some negative effects, including risks of the following:
  • low protein in the blood
  • extra fat in the liver
  • kidney stones
  • micronutrient deficiencies
Important Safety Note: A strict ketogenic diet might cause liver failure due to the omega-6 fats in the diet. It's crucial to make sure the fats you eat are actually healthy. For details, check out "
How Linoleic Acid Wrecks Your Health".



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