When you are losing weight, one of the most motivational things there is is being able to measure your results. Seeing yourself looking leaner in the mirror, and feeling your clothes getting looser is a great feeling, but being able to truly measure the progress you’re making towards your goals gives you the reassurance you need that your work is paying off. With a ketogenic diet plan, there are a couple of ways you can monitor your success, right from the beginning.
As you know, a ketogenic diet plan works when your body goes into a state called ketosis, where fat is burned off for energy. As this happens, bi-products of the process, called ketones, are released from the body. Ketones come out in your breath, sweat and urine, and by testing your urine using readily available self testing strips called Ketostix, you can see when your body first goes into ketosis and reassure yourself that it is staying there. The strips start off neutral in color, and when ketones are present they change through shades of pale pink to deep purple. The darker the color the more ketones, but even the lighter ends of the scale are positive confirmation that you are in ketosis and your body is burning fat.
Measuring Weight Loss
You have probably heard that a ketogenic diet plan, particularly in the first few weeks, will help you lose a significant number of pounds. This is very true – in ketosis you are burning off your body fat and will certainly lose weight – but be careful with how often and how you weigh yourself to ensure your results aren’t misleading. In the first week, you are likely to see a significant drop in weight. Some of this will be fat, but some will also be retained water. A ketogenic diet plan has a diuretic effect, flushing excess water out of the body. This is a good thing, and will make you look slimmer, but means that the amount of weight you lose at first will be partly water and therefore not indicative of how much you will lose every week. How often you weigh yourself is up to you, though once a week at the same time of day is usually advised, but consider also using measurements to monitor weight loss. Ketosis burns fat without losing lean muscle, so if you are working out too you may gain some weight in lean muscle mass (muscle weighs more than fat), but still lose inches.
This post is part of a series on Ketogenic Diet Success:
- Ketogenic Diet Success Part 1: Low-Carb Dieting Habits
- Ketogenic Diet Success Part 2: Measuring Ketogenic Diet Success
- Ketogenic Diet Success Part 3: Ketogenic Diet Exercise Tips