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Ketosis explained: how to recognise the signs of being in ketosis

What is Ketosis? 

Ketosis is a perfectly natural phenomenon that occurs in all mammals and enables them to survive in times of reduced food intake.

Your liver converts fat (stored excess food) into something the body can use for energy.  It can’t turn your fat back into food – it turns fat into ketone bodies, which your body uses as if it were recently eaten food; this is called ketosis. Being ‘in ketosis’ gives a sense of wellbeing, energy and suppresses appetite.

Just like being pregnant (you either are or you aren’t) you either are or you aren’t in ketosis.  By sticking to our TotalFast plan you will be burning fat and therefore in ketosis.

How do I know I’m in Ketosis?

Although you can test whether you are in ketosis using Ketostix, there is no need to keep testing – stick to your diet plan and after around 5 days you will be burning fat and be in Ketosis. You will also experience reduced cravings, have more stable energy levels and begin to think clearer.

The colour on a Ketostix is an indication of how concentrated your ketones are.  Aim for 1.5 or 4 on the scale.  If you are higher than that you need to drink more water which will dilute your ketones.

Ketones are water-soluble and are excreted in your urine and breath. They can make your breath smell but it is at least proof that you are burning fat. If you are experiencing bad breath, you can use any sugar free mouthwash or mouth spray to combat this.

Is Ketosis the same as ketoacidosis?

No – although you will sometimes find the two confused in the media. Ketoacidosis is a complication of type 1 diabetes, where the pancreas does not produce insulin and this lack of insulin leads to the body metabolising protein.