Tips & Advice

How do I know if I’m in ketosis (fat adapted)?

“How do I know if I’m in ketosis?” is a question everyone on the keto diet will ask themselves.  Ketosis is the state where your body has become fat-adapted, i.e. you are burning fat for fuel instead of sugar. Ketosis is the holy grail of the keto diet – it’s the whole point of eating ketogenically, to shift your body from using carbs (sugar) for energy and instead use an alternative fuel source known as “ketones” (which are made from fat) instead. 

So, it’s understandable that people on the keto diet obsess about whether they are in ketosis or not.

You can buy a machine that takes a pin prick of blood and that can tell you if you’re in ketosis (the most accurate method). Or you can buy strips that you urinate on (not as accurate and can be tricked by taking unnecessary “keto supplements” that only mimic the signs of ketosis rather than put you in a real state of ketosis).

However, what if you don’t have a machine? Well, here are five clues that can suggest if you’re in  ketosis. They are not as accurate as a machine but can give a good indication of the probability you’re fat-adapted. The more you can say “yes” to these, the better! And if there are some to which you say “no”, perhaps those are areas you may want to focus on.

How do I know if I’m in ketosis #1: High energy

This is one of the best signs that you’re keto fat-adapted: your energy levels go through the roof. No more post lunch drowsiness, no more afternoon slumps and nor naps needed. You’ll have energy throughout the entire day starting from the moment you wake up to bed time. You’ll feel great, alert and alive.

As you begin to burn fat for fuel, you’ll no longer experience such wild insulin spikes so will not find yourself fighting to stay awake in the afternoon. No more reaching for that fourth coffee or – worst of all – a sugary snack or “energy” drink that will knock you out of ketosis.

The keto diet keeps insulin and glucose levels low and this, in turn, increases ketone levels in your body. As ketone levels increase so does cortisol, epinephrine and human growth hormone – all leading to sustainable energy. 

Once you’re fat-adapted, you will enjoy sustained energy levels. For this reason alone, you could say going keto is worth it.

How do I know if I’m in ketosis #2: No more sugar or carb cravings

Could you ever imagine the day would come when you no longer crave sugar or carbs? Well, good news – when you’re fully fat-adapted, these cravings disappear. Why? Because ketones are appetite suppressants.

Most people have spent their lives eating carbs and sugar and they are addicted. The slightest hunger pang can set off a cascade of carb and sugar bingeing which only deepens the craving. However, when you’re keto adapted this no longer happens: your body has this new-found innate ability to start breaking down fats to produce ketones which suppress the appetite. You go from burning sugar to burning fat which gives you all the energy you need.

In fact, your body can only store about 1,700 calories of energy in the form of carbs but it stores approx. 77,000 calories in the form of fat. So you’re not going to run out of energy any time soon.

How do I know if I’m in ketosis #3: Mental clarity

One of the main ways to tell if you’re in ketosis is that you begin to experience much greater mental clarity. Your brain fog is gone – you feel mentally sharper. Perhaps you’re remembering things better, are more creative and are solving problems more easily and feel more mentally resilient. Sounds great, right? Well, that is one of the signs that you’re in ketosis. 

The ketones your body makes once you become fat adapted actually fuel your brain up to three times more efficiently than glucose. We’ve all experienced the low of coming down from a sugar rush – we’re sleepy, we’re slow, we’re lethargic. You get none of that with keto.

This mental clarity is one reason why the keto diet is so popular among entrepreneurs, go-getters and those who want to get the most out of life. You won’t get far if your brain is always putting the brakes on your efforts but with keto your brain starts to become more of an ally than an obstacle holding you back.

How do I know if I’m in ketosis #4: Fat loss

Of course, one of the signs you’re fat-adapted is fat loss. If you can maintain ketosis for a few weeks, you will notice dramatic results. And while there are many other reasons to do keto besides fat loss, when you’re keto adapted, fat loss happens effortlessly. Indeed, it may be the only diet that works for many people: you don’t have to go to the gym for 3 hours a day, you don’t have to starve yourself.

When you’re fat-adapted your body burns almost exclusively fat and this drives down glucose and, in particular, insulin. Insulin is the fat-storing hormone. Insulin channels sugar into your cells where it’s used as fuel. Any sugar that is not used as fuel is stored as fat. By keeping insulin way low, this fat-storing mechanism is minimised. You’re burning fat for energy 24/7, you’re eliminating carbs and sugar and you’re keeping insulin to a minimum: dramatic, effortless fat loss is the result.

How do I know if I’m in ketosis #5: You can skip a meal and feel great

In other words, you have no problem with intermittent fasting. You can reduce the amount you eat without it really bothering you. Intermittent fasting has its own incredible health benefits but when combined with keto is can be a real tonic for your body: inflammation goes down; chances of diabetes goes down; it improves heart health and so much more.

So if you want to know if you’re fat-adapted pay attention to how easy it is for you to skip a meal. If you get hungry and irritable and all you can think about is eating, you’re not fully fat-adapted. If however you barely notice and you feel great and function at your peak, your body is drawing all the energy it needs from y0ur fat stores and, chances are, you’re in ketosis.


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