Whether or not you have achieved ketosis can be checked with the help of special tests or some models of blood glucose meters. It can also be manifested by symptoms that do not require special testing:
Other, less characteristic, but more pleasant symptoms can be:
There are several ways to measure the amount of ketones, each with its advantages and disadvantages.
The most basic method of testing for ketosis is urine test strips, which are also the most popular choice among beginners. Submerging the strip in urine is how the test is done. The colour of the bar will change after a few seconds. You’re in ketosis if your result is high.
Advantages: Strips are inexpensive and readily available at pharmacies. You’re in ketosis if you get a strong positive result.
Cons: Results may vary based on fluid intake. The bars do not show the exact level of ketones. And most importantly, over time, adaptation occurs and the body captures ketones back in the urine. The result can always be negative, even if you’ve been in ketosis for a long time.
Ketone level meters show you the exact current blood ketone level. They are the most reliable method of testing. Their main disadvantage is the price and the need to incur additional expenses for measuring strips.
Pros: Accurate, Reliable.
Cons: Expensive. They require a finger prick to collect a blood drop for testing.
For comparison purposes, it’s best to do this at the same time of day. The easiest way is to compare the results of the measurement taken each morning before meals.
It should be remembered that the values in the morning are the lowest, while the highest are in the evening.
While ketosis is safe, you may experience some side effects at first.
Short-term side effects are common when people switch from burning sugar to burning fat. Because the symptoms are similar to those of the common flu, they are commonly referred to as the keto flu. Fatigue, nausea, headaches, muscle cramps, and other symptoms are among them.
To avoid or mitigate them, the first thing to keep in mind is two things:
When you start a ketogenic diet, your body loses water and electrolytes along with it. Carbohydrates cause the body to retain water and salt. The body loses this water when it is not supplied. If you don’t drink enough water, you might get keto flu. Drinking a glass of water with salt and lemon juice will help with this.
When you suddenly stop eating carbohydrates, your brain runs out of energy and must switch to getting it from ketones rather than sugar. This means that cutting carbs drastically overnight can result in fatigue, nausea, and headaches. These problems can be alleviated by giving the right amount of water and electrolytes. Another option is to gradually reduce your carbohydrate intake over the course of a week or more. There will be no side effects because the body will become accustomed to burning fat rather than glucose. If you don’t want to gradually reduce your carbohydrate intake, make sure you’re getting enough fluid and salt (2 cups of broth per day) to avoid unpleasant side effects. Your body will adjust to the ketogenic diet after about a week.
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