How to know if you’re in ketosis – 10 signs and symptoms

Nowadays, the ketogenic diet is very popular and it’s an effective way to lose weight and improve your health. On a ketogenic diet, your body undergoes many biological adaptations which include a reduction in insulin levels, increased fat breakdown and it is particularly challenging for all people who’re in ketosis. When ketosis happens, your body starts producing high numbers of ketones to support energy for your brain. It’s not really hard to know if you’re in ketosis or not. Therefore, there are several to know but the first things we need to know what ketosis is and some signs and symptoms of it.

What exactly is ketosis? 

Ketosis is the metabolic state which the body enters when it needs to produce ketones for fuel because of not being enough sugar available. Since blood levels are about 0.5 mmol/ L, it can reach ketosis. How long does it take to start ketosis? Depending on the person, their lifestyles, it can take anywhere to start to sustain ketosis.

In general, the body won’t enter ketosis as long as there are enough carbs from the diet or stored glycogen (the storage form of sugar) to provide the cells with energy and when you follow this correctly, the blood ketone levels will be raised by the low-carb and high-fat diet. But how to know you’re in ketosis?

There are 10 signs or symptoms of ketosis which are both positive and negative

1. Bad breath

People often report bad breath when they reach ketosis. Since it can’t be used as fuel by our cells, we urinate it from our body in the urine and through our breath. This is the reason why many keto dieters have bad breath that will sometimes smell sharp, pungent like overripe fruit or nail polish remover.

Luckily, the “keto breath” will not last forever. Many keto dieters usually brush their teeth many times per day or use sugar gum to solve this problem.

If you use gum or others like soft drinks, please check the label for carbs. These may raise your blood sugar levels and even reduce your ketone levels. However, having bad breath doesn’t mean you’re in ketosis. Keto breath is simply a measure that you will soon be in ketosis.

2. Dry mouth and increased thirst

When you eliminate carbs, sugar from your diet, your insulin levels will drop, and your kidneys release this stored sodium and water. Carb restriction and ketone production are combined which will lose water in your body at a rapid rate. If you don’t drink enough water during the process when water exits your body, you may find yourself getting thirsty or you will have a dry mouth and increased thirst.

This is a good sign which tells you if you are on ketosis progress, when you notice those signs, make sure that you increase your water. If you don’t drink too much water, you may become dehydrated and lead to unpleasant symptoms.

3. Increased urination

Carbohydrate restriction and ketones are natural water pills. When you first start getting into ketosis, you may have more frequent bathroom trips because the insulin levels in your body have decreased and you release more water and sodium as a result.  After a few days, the bathroom trips will continue because you start to produce more ketone in your body.

This also measures ketone excretion through the urine and it can be a quick and cheap method that can assess your ketone levels each day. However, they’re not considered very reliable.

4. Decreased hunger and appetite

The keto diet is one of the best diets for reducing hunger and eat fewer calories. In many ways, the keto diet is the perfect diet for weight loss but it focuses on highly satiating foods like cheese, meat, and low carb vegetables while also stimulating the body to use fuel sources that are more efficient than sugar.

That change in appetite can be caused by many reasons, but being in ketosis plays an important role in reducing hunger as well. When you are in ketosis, your body will use more energy than sugar. With the high availability of efficient fuel sources, an increased ability to use them, your body will require fewer calories to sustain yourself. Ketosis can significantly reduce your appetite and hunger. If you feel full and don’t need to eat as usual as before, you may be in ketosis.

5. Digestive issues

When you first start on ketosis and your body is not used to digesting a large amount of fat, you may initially notice some digestive issues like diarrhea or constipation,…

Some of these issues should ease after the transition period, but it may be major to be mindful of different foods that may cause digestive issues. Besides, don’t make the failure of eating a diet that lacks diversity. Eating many diverse foods may increase your risk of digestive issues and nutrient deficiencies. Short-term fatigue.

6. Insomnia

One of the big issues for many ketogenic dieters is sleeping, especially since they first change the diet. Insomnia or lack of sleep might be experienced when you first adapt to ketosis. You will find that you’re struggling to fall asleep, waking up in the middle of the night, or even getting a full night’s rest.

Many people report insomnia in the case of waking up at night when they first reduce their carbs. However, we don’t need to worry about that. Your sleep will return to normal and even better as your body becomes more and more keto-adapted.

7. Increased Focus and Energy

People often report brain fog, headache, and feeling tired when they first start a very low-carb diet. In other words, when you first start keto, you can feel fatigued. When you start producing ketones, the mental will drift away and it will be replaced by more energy and mental clarity. After a few weeks or months, you will be a ketone burning machine, experiencing all of the perks of burning ketones for fuel to the full. Many long term ketosis dieters report improved brain function, more stable energy levels, it may be due to the rise in ketones and more stable blood sugar levels.

8. Weight loss

Many people follow keto for some weight-loss benefits, which can be significant, especially if you stick with the lifestyle for a good amount of time. When you first start on keto, you might be experiencing rapid weight loss. Losing weight rapidly when you are restricting carbs is a good sign that you are on ketosis. It’s absolutely that your insulin levels are significantly being dropped, setting your body up for ketone production.

After the rapid drop in your weight, you ought to continue losing body fat consistently as long as you stick to the diet and remember to remain in a calorie deficit.

9. Using a ketone tracking instrument

Although the signs and symptoms of ketosis we find out so far won’t tell you exactly what your ketone levels are, they will give you an accurate answer to the question, “how to know you re in ketosis?

If you’re in ketosis or not, you should try using one of those three methods instead of:

  • Urine Strikes: This method will answer the question “How to know when in ketosis?” but it will not provide an accurate measure of blood ketones.
  • Breath Ketone Meters: These can sometimes vary in accuracy, more accurate than urine strikes and it’s cheaper than blood testing strips in the long-run.
  • Blood Ketone Meter: This is the most accurate keto which measures methods available to the public. However, the strips are extremely expensive.

10. Short-term Fatigue

Short-term Fatigue often causes people who quit the diet before they are into ketosis and reap many of the long-term benefits. As you might expect, this switch does not happen overnight because it generally requires from 7 to 30 days before you are in ketosis. If you want to reduce fatigue during this switch, you should take electrolyte supplements. In general, you may suffer from tiredness and low energy. This will pass your body and become adapted to running on ketosis.


If you have some questions such as: ”How long does it take to get into ketosis on a keto diet?” or something else, you can follow the 10 major signs and symptoms we listed here. With that being said, if you are on track to lose your weight, enjoying your keto diet, feeling healthy. And all you need to do now is keep calm and take action on your goals.