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Changing your diet and increasing your physical activity can help you reach your weight loss goals. But changing your diet does not just mean a reduction in calories. This also involves changing the types of foods you consume, which can lead to other side effects than weight loss.
The ketogenic diet (or keto diet) is a high-fat, low-protein, low-carbohydrate diet designed to help you get ketosis. This is a natural metabolic state that occurs when you do not get enough carbs for energy and your body starts to burn fat for fuel.
While the ketogenic diet and other low carb diets can help you lose weight faster, "keto breathing" is an undesirable side effect of ketosis. Here's what you need to know about keto breathing, including the symptoms and how to get rid of them.
Keto breath produces in the mouth a taste or smell distinct from ordinary halitosis or bad breath. Some people describe ketone breath as having a metallic taste. In addition to a fun taste in the mouth, the keto breath can have a fruity smell or a strong odor similar to nail polish remover.
To understand the cause of the keto blast, it is important to understand how the metabolism works. Your body gets its energy from a variety of food sources, including carbohydrates, fats and proteins. As a rule, your body breaks down carbohydrates or glucose into energy, then fats.
Since the ketogenic diet and other low carb diets deliberately limit your carbohydrate intake, your body is forced to use its fat reserves as a source of energy when you have depleted your glucose reserves. Ketosis occurs when your body breaks down fat into energy.
Fatty acids are then converted into ketones, natural chemicals that your body produces when you burn fat to get energy. These include beta hydroxybutyrate, acetoacetate and acetone.
Ketones are usually harmless and released from the body by exhalation and urination. Since acetone is an ingredient in some nail polish, your breath that smells nail polish remover in particular may indicate a state of ketosis. On the one hand, the indication that you have contracted a ketosis can be reassuring. On the other hand, it's an unfortunate indicator.
Some people under ketogenic diet never feel keto breathing. For those who do, the smell can be annoying. But the keto breath is temporary.
You may notice a change of breath a few days or a week after starting a low carb diet. However, the odor will lessen as your body adjusts to lower carbohydrate intake. It may take a few weeks and you can do several things to refresh your breath during this time.
Here are some simple tips to reduce bad breath while your body adapts to a low carbohydrate diet.
1. Increase your water consumption
In addition to exhalation, your body eliminates acetone and ketones from your system by urination. Stay hydrated and drink water throughout the day to increase urination. This helps eliminate ketone bodies from your body and improves your breathing. Drinking more water can also help you achieve your weight loss goals.
2. Eat less protein
Although protein plays an important role in a low carbohydrate diet, excessive protein intake can worsen bad breath. When your body breaks down protein, it produces ammonia. It is another byproduct of the metabolism that is eliminated by urination and expiration. Ammonia can also create a strong smell on the breath.
Decreasing your protein and increasing your intake of healthy fats (avocados, nuts, olive oil) can improve your breathing without forcing you to leave the diet.
3. Practice good oral hygiene
Brushing twice a day and flossing daily may not completely eliminate keto breathing, but these practices help to reduce odors from your mouth.
Bacteria can accumulate in the mouth and between the teeth when you do not brush and do not floss regularly. Since bacteria also trigger bad breath, poor dental hygiene can worsen keto breathing.
4. smell mask with mints and gum
You may want to suck mints and chew gum until your body adapts to a low carbohydrate diet. Make sure you choose mints and candies without sugar.
Be aware that some chewing gum and mints contain a small amount of carbohydrates. If you chew or suck several pieces during the day, it could increase your daily carbohydrate intake and drive you away from ketosis.
5. Increase your carbohydrate intake
Slightly increasing your carbohydrate intake can also eliminate keto blast. If you want to stay in a state of ketosis, increase your daily amount of carbohydrates only slightly.
Let's say you consume 15 grams (g) of carbs a day. Try to increase your intake to 20 g per day to see if your halitosis improves. Then use a ketone breath analyzer to measure your ketone level. Monitoring your ketone level is essential to know if you are still in ketosis after increasing your carbs.
6. Be patient
Sometimes you can not get rid of keto breathing. So, if you intend to lose weight by eating a low carb diet, be patient and allow your body to adapt to its new fuel source. Your bad breath will improve after a few weeks.
Ketosis is a side effect of ketosis and a low carbohydrate diet, and there does not seem to be any way to prevent the odor. What you can do, however, is to use a ketone breath analyzer to determine the most carbohydrates you can eat without being expelled from ketosis. If you can add more carbohydrates to your diet and eat less protein, this might be enough to cool your breath.
If you notice a ket breathing and you do not intentionally follow a ketogenic diet or a low carb diet, eating more carbohydrates can quickly help you get rid of ketosis and eliminate bad breath. For example, if you currently consume 50g of carbohydrates per day, increase your consumption to 100g per day. You can increase your physical activity to compensate for added carbohydrates.
A low carb diet can help you lose weight faster, but the keto breath is a side effect that you can not always ignore. If you are determined to turn your body into a fat burning machine, do not give up on your diet. Between mints, chewing gums and drinking more water, you may be able to mask the smell until the keto breath subsides.