Am I in ketosis? Signs and symptoms

Am I in ketosis? Am I in ketosis?

One of the questions people who are new to the LCHF (keto/ketogenic/low carb) diet frequently ask me is: how do I know if I’m in ketosis?

Everyone’s different and while some may experience all of the symptoms of ketosis, some might only feel a couple of them or none at all. There are basic signs and symptoms that indicate that you’re in ketosis, but please note that I’m differentiating between the signs of keto flu (covered in the post I’m linking to) that many experience in the first days of a ketogenic diet, and the feeling of being in ketosis when the flu has subsided:

So, am I in ketosis?

  • Dry mouth (eat more salt and drink more water to alleviate this).
  • Metallic taste in your mouth or a strange taste in the back of your throat, some describe it as fruity or a little sweet.
  • A kind of “buzzing” feeling that’s hard to describe, almost euphoric at times.
  • Different kind of urine smell, stronger too!
  • “Ketosis breath” – It can range from being a little sweet to being almost like you’ve had a drink of alcohol.
  • Less appetite. You can go for hours without eating and don’t feel very hungry.
  • Increased energy. If you don’t experience it try to eat more fat, drink more water and watch your electrolytes.
  • A ketone strip you pee on shows a positive result. There are also blood ketone meters that give a more specific result. (Pro-tip: If you get the pee strips, cut them in half ;) ) But do note that even with a positive pee strip it’s not 100% certain that you’re in ketosis and that a very dark positive result may only indicate that you’re dehydrated.

For me personally, the feeling of being in ketosis is hard to miss. I just feel different! It’s hard to describe, fortunately I don’t get ketosis breath, but I do have a different taste in my mouth, that buzzing feeling, dry mouth (when I forget to drink enough), less appetite and increased energy unless I forget to eat. However, my husband had a different experience and I’ve heard many versions and stories of people’s experiences with ketosis, so keep in mind that everyone’s different and even if you don’t have any of the symptoms of being in ketosis I describe in this post it doesn’t mean that you’re not ;)

If you’re eating low carb, lost some water weight already or went through the dreaded keto flu I’ll bet at least a few $$that you’re in ketosis.


{ 17 comments… add one }
  • Danielle May 15, 2013, 6:26 pm

    What about early menstration in the first month of keto?

    • Julie April 21, 2015, 6:30 am

      Happened to me too, for the first time in my life I got it a week early! Apparently this is not uncommon.

  • Paige December 2, 2013, 10:36 am

    I am on my first day on the keto diet and I have the keto flu. Dreadful but I will persevere!!! :)

  • Toni Hancock February 20, 2014, 9:03 pm

    I have been on the KD since Thanksgiving and have not lost weight. I have cut out almost all carbs except low glycemic greens and still nothin.

    • Nicole WB April 15, 2015, 12:19 am

      You are most likely in gluconeogensis. You are eating too much protein and your body is turning the excess aminos into glucose for fuel. Limit your protein to the bare minimum (say 1 gram for every pound of lean mass), increase fat macros with the missing calories from lowering protein, and see how that goes.

  • geekmom April 22, 2014, 7:50 pm

    I can totally tell when I’m in ketosis. It’s like taking adderall. LOL One time the doctor prescribed adderall to me and I didn’t like the feeling then. It gave me energy yet calmed me down. Unfortunately, it destroyed my low carb diet because when the feeling wore off at night I wanted a lot of food and I would eat anything. Now I realize that low carb dieting has the same effect when the sugar high completely exits the system and you’re losing while not craving food. It doesn’t feel like the false ick adderall gave me, but it feels good like a natural high. It’s pretty amazing and the other plus side of low carb ketosis is that I’m losing weight.

  • Sharon Hartwig May 10, 2014, 2:20 am

    I am super thirsty, but really would like to have the more energy, less appetite thing. I am hungry all the time!

    • Lilja May 10, 2014, 8:36 am

      You´ll get there :)

  • natalya July 29, 2014, 10:10 pm

    hey there…I am on keto diet too. Have lost 14 pounds at first 3 stuck a little…4 th week. But I have no appetite.Have lots energy or none. Feel better.

    Just wonder…how big portion should really be?

  • Sojodave November 10, 2014, 3:51 pm

    When I am Ketosis, I can taste what I had for breakfast on my lips all day. I’ve lost 29 lbs in two months and I’m surprised how much more energy I have and I’m not hungry all the time.

    • Melody December 27, 2015, 2:44 pm

      Hi, I am hoping you could please give advice on your main foods? I just started an all meat diet a week ago and lost 10 pounds! I know probably half is water weight, but I am swimming, walking, and eating wild salmon, lean ground turkey, and tons of scrambled eggs.

      I would be so grateful if you could tell me good ketosis favorite foods, please?

  • jeff February 12, 2015, 10:21 am

    I’ve been on the keto diet for 6 weeks a lot more energyI mainly eat in the morningI have lost weight inches I feel goodbut remember it’s a long term process it’s not just for quick weight lossthe idea is that you cut out allprocessed foods almost all sugars after some months down the roadyou will able

    • Roza January 20, 2016, 5:54 pm

      good for you jeff. I am the same except i miss my fruits.

  • Roza January 20, 2016, 5:53 pm

    I started low carb diet about 6 weeks ago and i have lost weight and inches. It does feel good but i love fruits and crave them most of the time. I have been eating mostly strawberries on a daily basis but when i over indulge a bit especially on peach or apple and i start getting strict the next day, i experience fatigue, headaches and nausea. I have the dry mouth, funny taste and thirst symptoms but i don’t eat a as much as t used to before i started, i seem to feel fuller faster and have no cravings for food. I do crave fruit and nuts though.

  • Roza January 20, 2016, 5:56 pm

    What happens if you interrupt the low carb diet for 1 day and spend the whole day having fruit and nothing but fruit?


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