5 Signs That You Are In Ketosis


The ketogenic diet is taking the health world by storm. It is a high fat, low carb eating plan that is designed to get your body into a metabolic state called ketosis. In this state your body changes its energy source from sugar and instead uses fat for energy. In order to use fat for energy the liver converts the fats into ketones. Ketones are chemicals that are designed to be used by the body as an energy source. This state is great for weight loss because your body literally burns its stored fat as an energy source. However, one of the biggest difficulties people on the diet have is knowing if they are in ketosis. There are really two different approaches to knowing if you are in ketosis:

  • Look for those tell tale signs that you are in ketosis
  • Measure your ketone levels

1. Keto Breath

A common sign that you are in ketosis is that your breath takes on a fruity smell. Others say their breath smells like nail polish remover. This is caused by the elevated levels of ketones in your body. There are 3 ketones: hydroxybutyrate, acetoacetate, and acetone. Acetone is the least used ketone, and when the body does not need it for energy it is broken down and expelled through the breath and urine. Since acetone is an ingredient used in nail polish, if your breath smells like nail polish it is a good indicator that you are in ketosis.

The good news is keto breath is temporary. The odor will subside after your body adjusts to the lower carb intake. Also, not everyone on a ketogenic diet experiences this.

Another keto indicator is a keto breath analyzer. The breath analyzer measures acetone on the breath. This is a fairly accurate indicator that you are in ketosis and is highly convenient due to the fact that it can be used as many times as you like. This means you can use the analyzer after eating, which will show you the effects specific foods have on ketosis.

2. Weight Loss

The most sought after goal of the keto diet is weight loss. It is common to experience dramatic weight loss the first week of the diet. Some people have reported that they lost as much as 4.5 kg. The reason this happens is the body is releasing water, not fat. When carbs are not used, your body converts them into glycogen. Glycogen is stored in your muscles. Your body needs water to store glycogen as it binds to water. When you begin your keto journey, your body will first burn all of your glycogen reserves. Once the reserves are used up your body will release the water that was used to store it. Although this is not really fat loss, if you are seeing a dramatic weight loss in your first week it is a good indicator that you are heading into a state of ketosis.

3. Appetite Suppression

On a traditional high carb diet it is not uncommon to have blood sugar swings that can cause intense hunger sometimes as little as two hours after a meal. On a keto diet the focus on eating high fat and moderate protein helps us to feel full and satisfied in the short term. On a traditional low fat diet, the body senses it is being starved and increases ghrelin levels. Ghrelin is a hormone that causes the feeling of hunger. On a ketogenic diet, however the ketones themselves also help to control ghrelin, helping you feel satiated while losing weight.

4. Increased Mental Focus

Did you know that your brain uses roughly 25% of the calories you eat? It therefore stands to reason that your diet is a powerful effect on your mental health. Your brain usually gets its energy source from the glucose we get from the carbs we eat. However when you are in ketosis the greater part of your brain gets its energy from ketones instead of glucose. Ketones are a highly effective energy source for the brain that have been proven to benefit people with neurodegeneration issues. Due to its benefits on brain health, long term keto dieters often report improved memory and increased brain function.

5. Increased Ketones in Your Blood

When we eat carbs, the food is broken down into glucose which enters the bloodstream. Our bodies bring nutrients to our organs, muscles and nervous system through our bloodstream. The measure of how much glucose is present in our bloodstream is called blood sugar levels. On a ketogenic diet, the blood sugar levels drop simply because our bodies are no longer using sugar for energy. Instead there is an increase in ketones in our blood. This makes it easy to accurately test whether you are in ketosis. You can buy a simple blood test that will measure the levels of ketones in your blood. The advantage of this method is it is highly accurate. However if you are afraid of needles the blood test might not be for you.


By following the basic guidelines of a ketogenic diet and by staying consistent, you should be in ketosis. However if you want to be certain, you can monitor ketone levels in your blood, urine or breath on a weekly basis. Nonetheless, if you’re losing weight, and feeling healthier you are most likely in ketosis.


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