First thing, please ignore my ignorance as I've only been paleo for about a week :)
I started reading tonight about going into 'ketosis' I'm wondering if maybe I have done this by accident. My carb intake has been on average 20grams for the last 8 days and I'm feeling dehydrated (I've been drinking 4 litres of water), to the point that the sides of my lips are all cracked.
I've also become really emotional in the last 24 hours, crying at the drop of a hat (for the record I finished my period 7 days ago so it's not that)
Thanks for taking the time to answer P.S This site is fantastic and I wouldn't of gotten this far without it
Yes, if you eat less than 100g of carbs a day then you're in ketosis to some degree.
Ketosis depends only on your brain's requirement for fuel. Without ketones, your brain needs about 100-130g a day of glucose to meet it's energy needs (this is true for most people on a regular "balanced" high-carb diet). Your brain is selfish, and gets first call on any glucose in your system (before muscle or liver storage).
Ketosis occurs when you don't injest enough carbohydrate to fuel your brain (ie <100g), when this happens your liver breaks down free fatty acids to form ketones, which are an alternative energy source for your brain (and other cells in the early stages of ketosis).
In deep ketosis your brain's glucose requirements are redued to about 25g, with the other 75% of its energy coming from ketones. All of that 25g can be generated from protein and fat through gluconeogenesis, so you don't actually need to injest any carbohydrates.
At 20 g. a day you are most certainly in ketosis. Most people use it to lose weight (people usually adapt and feel better after a little while), others think it's the ideal way for the body to function. There are potential issues with it long-term (thyroid function is the most worrisome, I believe).
It's easy to avoid it by adding some fruit and and/or starchy/sugary veggies (sweet potato, plantain, beet, carrot) to your diet. You won't need much of those things (1 serving of each a day might do it), and you'll feel better almost immediately.
Hope that helps!
Not sure what you mean by "accidentally"??
With carbs that low it is pretty much a given you will begin keto-adaptation-not an accident-that is the point of staying low carb.
salt intake? potassium? magnesium?
you lose a lot more water esp when first adapting.
I would immediately add salt to your water. 1/2 tsp to a litre and sip on that constantly and get the other supplements as well.
eat a few carbs in the meantime (an apple) to pick yourself up and understand "what" you are actually doing before doing it. Depending on where you are coming from this is a huge adaptation for a body.
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