We have repeatedly talked about the effects of ketosis, which leads to a ketogenic diet on the body. The reason lies in both the popularity of the diet and the visible results that most people who follow it enjoy.
However, two issues are rarely discussed – how long we can stay in ketosis, and how to eat afterwards. And they are far from insignificant.
About ketosis – what it is and what results we expect
Generally speaking, ketosis is a condition in which we place the body through careful selection of our menu in order to lose weight and / or improve lifestyle.
This diet is also strictly low-carbohydrate due to the limitations of everyday products that contain large amounts of carbohydrates.
Yeah, they’re like that:
- sweets, etc.
It is argued that for ketosis and an effective keto regimen, you should limit carbohydrates to a maximum of 20 g per day.
When followed properly, this low-carb, high-fat diet will increase blood ketone levels.
They prefer them to carbohydrates and, accordingly, glucose, because, unlike them, ketones do not remain harmful free radicals during their decomposition.
Moreover, ketones even suppress the production of free radicals and thus protect the body from dangerous diseases that these elements can cause when they accumulate.
It is also important to note that ketones provide significantly more energy than carbohydrates (from sugar, for example). That is why our tissues prefer them to it.
Recent studies also claim that ketones significantly improve brain function – even in people with incurable diseases such as Parkinson’s, epilepsy and others.
In the presence of larger amounts of ketones, our muscles also prefer them as a source of energy. Unfortunately, ketones as such are activated only after we use up the reserves accumulated by carbohydrates. Where do some of the problems come from when there are large amounts of them in our daily menu.
But on the other hand – this is a great reason to reduce them to a minimum and turn to healthier substitutes.
Signs of ketosis
We usually enter ketosis at will, but it is still good to know what the most common signs are so that we do not feel anxious during the process.
One of the most common signs of complete ketosis is bad breath. It can be defined as unpleasant or strange depending on the individual feeling, but many people think that it has a more fruity taste.
This is due to the increased amount of ketones in the body and acetone, which our body naturally excretes in our urine and breath.
It is natural at such a time to reach for chewing gum, candy or ribbons to refresh the oral cavity, but be careful! Many of them have hidden (or not so much) sugars that can easily disrupt the ketosis you have reached! Therefore – read the labels carefully.
A side effect or rather a side benefit of ketosis is that you will feel significantly more toned and concentrated in your daily tasks. This is a sure sign that you have reached ketosis and your body is using ketones as a means of energy.
Before this cherished goal, however, the body goes through the so-called Carbohydrate “hunger” – a condition in which it suffers from a lack of the usual doses of sugars, dough and other sources of substances.
It is also known as “keto flu” and during this period many give up ketosis, which is a completely wrong move. It is typical during this transition to suffer from fatigue, tension, and sometimes nausea.
Weight loss also falls into the category of “side effects that are actually beneficial” – and is perfectly normal, as the body expels large amounts of carbohydrates and water. Therefore, even in the first week you may notice a significant decrease in weight.
Insomnia is also a manifestation of approaching ketosis and should not bother or deny you – just give your body a few days to adjust.
How long in ketosis to keep the body to achieve the desired results?
The answer to this question is not easy and depends on a number of factors. If you have decided to try the keto regime and are worried that you are not one of the people for whom it is easy to impose a new habit on yourself, then keep in mind a few things.
Second, you need to answer the following questions:
- For what purpose do I enter ketosis – weight loss, need for more energy, health problem?
- What type of keto diet will I follow: fasting, vegan, classic keto diet or a type modified to my needs?
- What are the capabilities of my own body? Do I need specific substances because of a health condition that prevents / helps ketosis?
- Do I have a disease / condition that would not allow me to reach complete ketosis? Would ketosis hurt me if I had a specific condition?
As always, it is advisable to consult a doctor or nutritionist on these topics so that you can be sure that ketosis is for you and you will achieve the desired results.
In case the answer is yes, and you start with the keto regime, it is important to carefully monitor your body and how you feel the effect of ketosis on yourself.
In the most general case, it takes several days (with a strict regimen) or about a week (with the gradual imposition of ketosis) to enter into complete ketosis. Find a description of what to expect in the first week of ketosis.
If the goal of ketosis is to lose weight, then you can use the keto regimen for several months until you reach the desired goal, but not more than 6 months in total. You can then pause briefly and enter the mode again.
If you want a detox or a complete lifestyle change, you can apply ketosis for 1 to 3-4 months, depending on the needs of your body.
If you use ketosis in order to improve the chronic condition (diabetes, hashimoto, hormonal imbalance, etc.), it is mandatory to consult a doctor before taking long regimens.
It is important, no matter how long you decide to stay in ketosis, to measure your ketone levels during this period – this is very easy with test strips.
What’s next for nutrition?
As with all diets, ketosis is important to keep some of the changes you make in your daily life. This will avoid weight gain or worsening of the problem for which you have applied ketosis. It’s easier than you think.
The first rule of eating after a keto diet is to get out of it properly. And that doesn’t mean just ending your last day in ketosis and going back to sweets, juices, sodas and all the other foods you haven’t touched during the keto regime the next day.
In addition, as already mentioned, low carbohydrate regimes, and especially ketosis, release a lot of water. Therefore, keep in mind that the moment you start eating more carbohydrates again, the body will start to retain it again. Which will inevitably increase your weight by 2-3 pounds and that should not bother you.
Bonus tip for quitting the diet: do not look at food as a sum of calories, but as a sum of substances, whether you enter or leave ketosis. 200 calories of healthy foods are not equivalent to 200 calories of harmful / processed / fatty products.
Think about who will give what to your body, how quickly it will process it and what it will absorb from them.