I often have people email me wanting to know how they can tell if they’ve reached ketosis or not. Because one of the goals of medifast is to consume a low enough amount of carbs and calories and a high enough amount of protein to get your body burning fat rather than carbs. Most people want to get to this state as soon as possible because this is when you begin to see the results. So how can you tell if you’ve reached these levels? Well, you can look at your physical symptoms, you can test yourself, or you can do both. I will discuss this more in the following article.
The Physical Symptoms You Might See With Ketosis Once You’ve Been On Medifast Longer Than 3 – 4 Days: First of all, if you follow along pretty well and you’re careful with your lean and green meals, you should be able to get into ketosis within the first week. Many people see this happen sometime around days 3 – 5. But, sometimes, it takes a little longer if you are working out a lot.
The first thing that you might notice is that you’re having an easier time on the diet. The cravings might become less and you might find that you’re just not as hungry. You might also find that you have a bit more energy. I’ve also heard people say that they noticed a change in their breath. They’ve said that their breath had an almost fruity, sweet smell and / or taste.
Using Strips To Test If You Are In Ketosis Or Not: If you doubt these symptoms or just want to be sure that you’ve finally reached this state, you can use little strips that test for ketones in your urine. These are often sold under names like ketostix or ketone strips. Basically, you urinate onto the end of the stick and then wait for the amount of time indicated in the directions. (This is usually anywhere from 15 -30 seconds. It does not take long to get results.) Usually you are looking for the strips to turn color. The strips come with directions that will show you what color you are looking for. But with many, you are wanting the strip to turn a purple to dark pink color to indicate that you are in ketosis.You can get the strips at most pharmacies and grocery stores. They are often in the diabetic section. You don’t need a prescription for them, but they are sometimes kept behind the counter, depending on the store.
What happens if you don’t see the change in color? Well, there are a few possibilities. The first would be that you’re not yet showing ketones in your urine. You can try to check again in a few days. Sometimes, if you work out heavily, your muscles will need the ketones as fuel and therefore it won’t be in your urine. You may also have been drinking so much water that your urine is too diluted to change the color.
I understand that ketosis is really where you want to be on medifast and I know that we all want validation that we are there. But the strips really are a guide. If you are seeing some of the symptoms and the weight is coming off as it should, there really is not reason to give so much importance to the test results or to let them stress you out. What is really important is getting the results on the scale, not in the strips, although they can help to offer you some reassurance if you need it.