6 ways your body is naturally telling you that you’re in ketosis

When I first started a ketogenic lifestyle in 2017, pee sticks were my low carb bread and high fat butter. For the first few weeks, they told me how well I was following my new way of eating and I always felt a level of accomplishment when my urine could make the little square sponge the darkest shade possible. Too much information? Cool. Not done yet.

Around the 2 month mark of eating HFLC, my body adapted and my urine no longer registered on the strip. I turned to my Keto for Badass Babes Facebook Group where many have experienced the same challenge.

Well I’m eating low carb, but like, how do I know, you know?

Some have suggested purchasing a blood test much like checking your insulin, you can check your ketones. They are reliable and accurate, but also expensive and I’m not 100% invested in the idea of poking myself just to see if I’m burning fat. I’d rather sniff my armpits for that confirmation.

I’ll admit, 2018 has been a year of regrettable sugar binges. I finally revisited my low carb roots recently, and experienced the painful sugar withdrawal symptoms to get back to burning fat for energy. Not fun.

I am a sugar addict and have no issues admitting it.

If it were my last week on Earth and there was a table full of illicit drugs in front of me and carbs were included, I’d pick the dang old donuts. The intoxicating ice cream. The romantical Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. The voluptuous french baguette.

I should probably put a carbohydrate trigger warning at the top of this post, now.

After I most recently made it through the wilderness (the keto flu,) ketosis took over and I was reminded about the ways your body tells you it’s burning fat for energy instead of sugar. Without the use of a single pee strip or blood test, you may be able to tell that you’re ketosis if you’re experiencing these symptoms:

  1. Extreme thirst: You may find yourself refilling your water bottle more often and i need it! water GIF-sourcemaking more trips to the bathroom. Your body has begun to hold onto less water and due to this, water will taste like the most precious gift the world has offered humans.
  2. Elevated heart rate: If you wear a heart rate monitor, you may find your that your resting heart rate has elevated. I’ve never personally experienced this nor do I know the science behind it, but my sister in law, has relied on this tell all and has had a lot of success from this sign!
  3. Suppressed appetite: Intermittent fasting and the ketogenic way of eating go hand in hand, and it’s much easier to do on accident when you enter ketosis. There are a few reasons behind this. Fat keeps you fuller, longer and your blood sugar levels aren’t going to crash because you’re not eating sugar. Win, win. Being hangry is still possible, but you won’t turn into a Snickers commercial because the last thing you want to do is ruin your ketosis with one.
  4. Smelly: What’s the smell? Oh, it’s you. Yeah, it’s definitely you. Burning fat for fuel smells a lot different than burning carbs for fuel. If you start noticing your deodorant has weakened, it’s probably because your ketone levels strengthened. This mask might be worth investing.
    black-and-white-eyes-face-60061
    This guy looks like he just got a wiff of your keto-pits and doesn’t want to call you out, but also wants to suggest a new brand of deodorant.
  5. Metallic taste in your mouth: Your armpits won’t be the only thing that smell. Your breath may rival sasquach if he were real. Some liken the taste in your mouth to metallic or copper; it’s most present when I’m exercising, and tastes like I’ve been eating raw beef. Graphic? Yes. Burning fat, though? Very yes.
  6. More energy: Are you sleeping less and not tired? Welcome to ketosis! Once you adapt and no longer rely on sugars and carbs for energy, you’re going to feel better and you’re going to crash less. This will come after a few weeks of potentially extreme muscle fatigue from the keto flu and adapting, so you’ll really notice the difference once it happens.

Here’s my disclaimer. I am not a doctor and I don’t intend to become one. I’m not even a health and wellness guru. I’m simply pointing out the signs of ketosis that I’ve personally experienced, or those close to me.

Since going keto, anytime I break out of ketosis, I can feel it. IMO, sugar is toxic and it makes my entire body ache. That said, I’m still an addict and will basically give up my dog for a sugar binge if the weather is right and Mercury is in retrograde. I’m not proud of this, so instead, I focus on what new keto treats I can introduce to my mouth without the potential of shitting my pants in the process (thanks, sugar alcohols.) More on that to come soon!

Talk of shitting pants seems like a good place to end this post. If your body has naturally told you ways that you’re in ketosis that I left out, please comment them below! The more symptoms, the better.

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126 thoughts on “6 ways your body is naturally telling you that you’re in ketosis

  1. I found this page on pinteret! You are so funny. I burst out laughing more than once! Thanks for sharing this info!

  2. I’m 51 yrs old and have been doing Keto about 7 weeks . I thought I was having HOT FLASHES. about 2 weeks of feeling like I had the flu, here comes the hot flashes for 2 to 3 weeks.
    Not one but two fans blowing on me at work no release. Being naked would not have helped!!! Then the were gone.
    Could that be a sign?

    1. Alicia, could be hormones. I’m hypothyroid and as I started losing weight, I started having those hot flashes. Once my meds were adjusted, I was fine. Good luck!

    2. My hot flashes have been horrible! But I have had them for 10 years. I was wondering if they are worse after 3 weeks on keto.

  3. Thank you for this post! It is so very descriptive and more in touch to me than other posts I’ve read!

  4. Has anyone’s bowel movements slowed down? Going on 4 days here of not visiting the bathroom. I’m typically a 2x/day kind of person.

      1. As long as I use MCT oil in my coffee once a day, I have ho issues. Start out at 1/2 tsp and work your way up to 1 tbls.

    1. If you cannot go to the bathroom try taking 2 MCT oil gelcaps( bought mine on amazon) then hold on tight and stay close to the bathroom.

  5. I would like to pursue a strict keto diet and need to lose weight fast. Please advise me of the foods that i can eat. I would really like to know more about the (healthy) fats. I am desperate to lose about 3 stone in about 9 weeks. Thanks please respond speedily

    Kind regards

  6. I absolutely loved your article. It was sooo real and understandable! I felt as if I was talking ( reading) something an old friend wrote. Thank you for making it clear ( no medical terms) just real talk. I am also a sugar junkie & would probably give up sex for a table of ding dongs, Hershey chocolate bars & a Mocha Frappuccino, if I was given the choice. I have been doing keto since March 27, 2019 & is now July 15,2019 & I have experienced these symptoms ( thank God)!! I’ve only lost 18 lbs so far, but I haven’t given up, got a long way to go, but I’ll get there. Thank you once again!! 💚

  7. I absolutely loved your article. It was sooo real and understandable! I felt as if I was talking ( reading) something an old friend wrote. Thank you for making it clear ( no medical terms) just real talk. I am also a sugar junkie & would probably give up sex for a table of ding dongs, Hershey chocolate bars & a Mocha Frappuccino, if I was given the choice. I have been doing keto since March 27, 2019 & is now July 15,2019 & I have experienced these symptoms ( thank God)!! I’ve only lost 18 lbs so far, but I haven’t given up, got a long way to go, but I’ll get there. Thank you once again!! 💚

  8. Loved your down to earth, humorous, but truthful post. I laughed throughout. Enjoyable read. I started Keto June 26 and have metal mouth symptom and feel my mouth waters for fluids. I’ve lost overall 18” on my body and have found the most delicious Keto recipes on Pinterest so I’ve been hanging out here a lot reading . Keep the fun, informative posts coming.

  9. Apart from hot flashes, one way I know I am in ketosis is by the smell of my urine. It’s not unpleasant, just different. I have been on the Keto diet eight months now. It literally saved my life so I am not even tempted to cheat. My health improvement and diabetes control are a powerful motivator to take it as a life long pattern.

  10. Such truthful humor! I’m only a week in but I’m loving it so far. Had the near “shit myself” experience 4 days in(totally unlike me). Good luck everyone 😁

  11. This post is awesome! I have one more symptom to add…my pee is glossy or oily. I googled it already and it’s seems to be due to Ketosis…weird 🙂

  12. Can anyone help me? I’ve been doing keto for around 2 weeks now. I’ve lost 7lbs. Feeling great, loads of energy. Doing the morning urine tests though and, according to the test strips, have only been in ketosis around 5 days. And not in high levels of ketosis. What could I be doing wrong? I’m drinking around 3-4 litres of water a day. I do have a long way to go in my weight loss journey and feel like I am not getting the most out of this.

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