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Keto 101: Ketosis, Ketones, and Everything You Need to Know About Them and Weight Loss

You're in ketosis, now what? Actually, what should your ketone levels look like to begin with? Get ready to learn what and when ketosis starts, how ketones work, and what you need to know about being on a keto diet.

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Keto, ketosis, ketones...what does it all mean?

Anytime you look up the keto diet, aside from reading that it is a low carb, high fat diet that is loaded with health benefits, you’ll see the words ketosis and ketones. To best understand what the keto diet does to your body, it's helpful to know what those words mean. Read on to discover a brief overview of what ketosis actually is, what ketones are, and why they are so effective at helping you lose weight. You’ll also read about how to know whether your body is in a state of ketosis and how to check your ketone levels.

What are ketones? What is ketosis?

Ketones and ketosis

So, what is ketosis? The simple answer is this: ketosis is a metabolic state, or a way of burning food for fuel. But how we get into a state of ketosis is a little more complicated and takes some dietary changes on our part. Our bodies are programmed to first break down carbohydrates, then the fat and protein we ingest. That means when there are no carbs to burn, our bodies start to burn fat, and this process produces an energy source called ketones. Ketones are made in the liver from your body’s fatty acids. Once there is a certain level of ketones in your body, they are used to fuel your metabolism, and that is ketosis.

Being in a state of ketosis means your body can burn fat at a faster rate than when it is not in ketosis.

How to get into ketosis

Sounds amazing! But how do I get myself into ketosis and how do I know if I am in ketosis?


In order to enter a state of ketosis, you’ll have to follow a high fat, low carb diet (the standard “keto” diet). On the keto diet, only 5% of your caloric intake can come from carbohydrates. That amounts to about 50 grams of carbs per day. It usually takes anywhere from 2-4 days for your body to enter a state of ketosis. Once you’re there, you’ll have a detectable level of ketones in your bloodstream, anywhere from 0.5–3.0 mg/dL, and experience some side effects like weight loss. Other side effects include bad breath and, for a short while, fatigue. Don’t worry, though, these negative side effects, sometimes referred to as “keto flu,” will go away once your body gets used to its new fuel source.

Am I in ketosis?

Are there any tests I can do to see if I am in ketosis?

Yes! You can easily check to see whether you’re in ketosis by using inexpensive and readily available urine test strips. When ketones pass through your bloodstream, your kidneys discard the ketones as waste in the urine. Because of this, you may also notice a side effect of a keto diet: an unpleasant, fruity smell in your urine. This is caused by acetone, one of the byproducts of ketosis.

To test your ketone levels, you can use test trips that you dip in your urine. They change color based on the presence of the ketones. The darker the strip, the higher the level of ketones. This method isn’t as accurate as a blood test, but it is simple, cheap, and easy enough for everyday use.

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Let Green Chef help you raise your ketone levels and reach ketosis!

Are you ready to get your body into ketosis? Let‘s get started! Find countless keto friendly recipes on Green Chef. We’ll take care of portion control, shopping, and delivery. All you need to do is cook, enjoy, and start losing weight!

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