5 Ways to Know You are in Ketosis

If you want to lose fat fast, try a very low carb ketogenic diet.

When you cut your carb intake to between 20-50 grams per day, you all-but eliminate one of your body’s main sources of fuel.

Subsequently, it has to use more fat instead.

However, your brain cannot use fat for energy so your body has to convert some fat into a substance called ketones – something your brain CAN use.

This process wastes a lot of energy and, long story short, you end up burning fat and losing weight faster.

It takes a while for your body to transition from using carbs and fat for fuel to fat and ketones, but once it makes that shift, you are said to be in ketosis or a ketogenic state.

But how do you know you’ve reached ketosis?

Good question!

If your carb intake is low enough, you should reach ketosis in 3-7 days regardless, but it’s worth monitoring your progress so that if you aren’t in ketosis after that time, you can take steps to speed up the process such as add some exercise or reduce your carb intake a little more.

1. Keto Sticks

Ketone bodies show up in your urine and using a ketone urine analysis stick is probably the most effective and accurate way to check if you are in ketosis.

Ketone urine analysis sticks are available from pharmacies and drug stores and are pretty cheap – $10 or so for 50-100 individual test sticks.

You simply pass the ketone urine analysis stick carefully through your urine stream and then wait for a minute and read off the result.

The stick will change color and all you need to do is compare it to the color chart supplied with your product.

In general, the deeper the color, the deeper you are into ketosis – easy to remember.

Make sure you follow the manufacturers’ instructions to get the most accurate result you can.

2. Keto Breath

Many people report fruity breath once they reach ketosis.

This is nothing to worry about and is a side effect that often disappears after a few weeks.

The smell is often described as like “pear-flavored sweets.”

If you experience this but find it unpleasant, drinking more water can help, as can chewing sugar-free gum.

Again, this is nothing to worry about and simply indicates you have reached ketosis.

3. No More Side Effects 

The initial stages of reaching ketosis can be unpleasant for some people.

As your body makes the shift from using fat and carbs to using ketones and fat, it is common to experience some or all of the following:

  • Weakness
  • Lethargy
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Disrupted sleep
  • Headaches

In can take 3-7 days to reach ketosis, during which these side effects are normal.

This simply coincides with a depletion of your carb reserves.

However, once you reach ketosis, these side effects should disappear which suggests your body has gone through the metabolic shift and is now happily using ketones for fuel.

If you wake up feeling good a few days into your ketogenic diet, it’s safe to say you have made the transition into ketosis.

4. Increased Urine Output

You may experience increased urine output once you are in ketosis as your body works a little harder than normal to excrete the used remnants of ketone bodies.

Monitor your urine output and if you notice you are urinating more often than normal, but have not increased your fluid intake, you are probably in ketosis.

When you notice your urine output increasing, make sure you also increase your water intake to prevent dehydration.

Also consider an electrolyte supplement to replace any lost minerals.

5. Reduced Hunger and Cravings

The ketogenic diet often causes hunger and carb cravings – especially as your blood glucose and muscle glycogen levels initially decline.

However, once you are in ketosis, your body will stop carving carbs and your hunger levels should stabilize as your body goes into full fat-burning mode.

The initial hunger and cravings are why some people fail to even make it through the first 3-7 days to reach ketosis.

But, if you can tough it out, you will be rewarded with no more cravings, no real hunger, and accelerated fat burning and fat loss.


Getting into ketosis is a process that takes several days, but once you get there, you’ll experience far batter fat loss than ever before.

The initial transition into ketosis can be a little challenging but you only need to do it once and the results make your efforts worthwhile.

Use a couple of these methods to monitor your descent into ketosis so you can keep an eye on your transition and relax knowing you are making progress toward your ketogenic diet goal.