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What is Ketosis

You may have already heard of a VLCD/ Ketosis weight loss plan.  Both the NHS and NICE now recommended the method as a successful and proven weight loss, and they are becoming very well known....good news travels fast!

Ketosis is a natural process that our body adopts when it receives deficient energy/fuel from foods consumed and to enter Ketosis you generally follow a VLCD (very low calorie diet) Plan.  Recently VLCD/Ketogenic weight loss has taken the weight loss industry by storm and been proven to promote a amazing, fast and regular weight loss, whilst decreasing hunger, promoting a feeling of well-being and banishing bad eating habits for future weight management.  Hopefully this page will provide a little more information on Ketosis and will provide you with a glimpse of the most fantastic weight loss experience you can imagine with The KeeDiet meal replacement products by your side.

Our Ketogenic/ VLCD plan is designed to restrict your daily calories to less than 800, alongside reducing carbohydrates and by doing so forces your body to switch from a carbohydrate-burning organism into a fat-burning one.  The fat stores become your primary energy source, and you lose weight FAST!

Although carbohydrates are a known source of energy/fuel it is important to understand that generally no food group should be totally eradicated from your diet as this can often lead to health problems and it is important to ensure you receive a good ratio of carbohydrates, protein, fats and other nutrients. By following a safe VLCD you should be consuming sufficient carbohydrates, between 40-70g per day. Our VLCD Total products have been specifically designed for VLCD weight loss and provide you with the correct ratio of protein, carbohydrates, fats and nutrients for a safe and successful weight loss.

During the first 3 days of starting a VLCD/Ketogenic weight loss plan you will slowly be depleting your stored energy (glycogen) which is found in your bloodstream, muscle and liver, once depleted your body can then convert to a fat-burning organism.  It is known that stored energy (glycogen) plus the water it stores alongside can account for approximately 4-5lb on your weighing scales and therefore during the first 3-4 days you will experience a dramatic weight loss.  Although this is not a loss of stored body fat it should help to motivate you and will immediately make you feel lighter and less bloated.

Using our VLCD Total Meal Replacements you are not provided with sufficient energy (glycogen) to fuel your body's requirements and after approximately 72 hours your body is forced into a natural state of ‘ Ketosis’. Once in ‘Ketosis’ your body has been forced to switch to using stored body fat instead of food/carbohydrate for its fuel/energy.  At this point you are classified as being in a Ketogenic condition, the body is breaking down your stored fats and by doing so creates tiny molecules called ‘Ketones’, if the body cannot find a use for them, they are excreted in your urine or breath.  Dry mouth and bad breath are noted as a common side effect of a VLCD / Ketogenic weight loss and it is important to ensure you drink sufficient water as explained in more detail below.

Whilst your body switches from being a carbohydrate-burning organism into a fat-burning one it is a good idea to take it easy in the first week or two of starting.  In fact, planned exercise throughout a VLCD should be restricted to light movement or light toning as your daily calories are insufficient for high fat burning workouts and muscle building. Increased movement and taking light exercise is to be promoted for a successful weight loss, so taking quicker, longer walks, using stairs, yoga and swimming for example are all great additions after the first initial weeks. For more information visit our Exercise topic page.

You may find the first few days a little difficult, you will naturally feel hungry, tired and crave energy foods, you may also experience headaches and muscle weakness, symptoms which are very similar to a detoxification process. However, as your first week continues you should start to gradually feel better and as you enter your second week those in Ketosis note a decline in hunger, plus whilst your fat stores are becoming the primary energy source our clients often remark they feel, full of beans, euphoric and experience a sense of well-being, plus an instant great weight loss!   


It takes the body approximately 72 hours (3 Days) 

to reach a mild Ketogenic State.....


Once you have completed your weight loss and are ready to return to conventional eating, it is advised to re-introduce food groups slowly, specifically carbohydrates. Using our Diet Plans as Step Up's is highly recommended and the ideal solution, returning you back to conventional healthy eating is then made easy and will encourage a new healthy eating regime for you to adopt for successful weight management.  

You should expect when you start to consume more carbohydrates, your body will convert them to glycogen and they will be stored back into the muscle, liver and blood stream along with the water, this is competely normal. We mentioned above that in the first few days of starting a VLCD/Ketogenic plan you depleted your energy (glycogen) stores which equated to approximately 4-5lbs loss on your weighing scales.  It is therefore quite normal and expected for the same to happen when you come off a VLCD plan that has involved ketosis and you should expect a small regain of weight. But........

Remember as none of the initial weight lost in the first few days was considered a fat loss - none of the weight gained is a fat gain either and you shouldn’t allow yourself to become overly concerned.  It can take two weeks to slip back into healthy eating and you may even notice a slightly bigger increase than expected, sometimes an extra 2lb in addition to the 4-5lb glycogen is gained.  This additional 2lb is extra loading and is lost naturally the next week when following the re feeding plan.

It is worth mentioning at this stage that 'Fat' gain will only occur if you overeat and consume more energy foods / carbohydrates than your body requires, working out your BMR figure can help here.  In fact the glycogen and water gain you will experience is actually quite positive, it effects your metabolism as it occupies your muscle cell areas and increases the amount of calories your body burns each day.  Isn't it great to know that some weight gains are actually a positive and something to look forward to!

Hopefully this has provided some key information on Ketosis, weight-loss and weight-loss v weight-gain after following a VLCD plan.  Remember generally only you appreciate how much you weigh, but you and many others appreciate how you look. If however being a certain weight is a goal or target you may wish to consider dropping a little extra on the weight loss phase as an insurance policy to cover the re-loading of glycogen you can expect.

When following a VLCD (very low calorie diet) plan you will be reducing both your calories and carbohydrates for a short period of time.  The NICE Guidance recommends the maximum time a VLCD plan should be followed consecutively is 12 weeks.  If not at your optimum weight after 12 weeks you should stop for a week or two and can then with your Doctors agreement start a new phase. 

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What does it feel like?

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Once on a VLCD plan your carbohydrates and sugars are controlled and restricted. Over the first few days you may experience some common side effects, headaches, fatigue and mood swings for example.  This is to be expected and natural due to your body "detoxing" from carbohydrates, sugars, additives and the reduction in carbohydrates and sugar you are consuming each day.   Your body is changing it's source of energy fuel from foods consumed to stored body fat. 

Ensure you are drinking sufficient water evenly throughout the day, this will help and if required take a headache remedy to ease the pressure. Go easy in the first few days, remember your available energy is declining and you will naturally feel fatigued with possible muscle weakness.  Plan your first week on a VLCD, ensure you have a few quiet days until your Ketosis condition has begun and is established. 

Most side effects should pass by the 4th / 5th day of your diet and things start to get easier. If unpleasant feelings or a feeling of being unwell persists, it may be that the sudden drop is too much for you and gradually stepping down our plans is a better option.  Or, if your past eating habits have included high volumes of carbohyrates, sugar, caffine or carbonated drinks you may find it is also best to cut down on these prior to starting a VLCD as the withdrawal effect is magnified for you. Use our higher plans as a gradual step system of preparation.  

Not all persons are suited to a VLCD plan, this can be dependant on your lifestyle, preference, your present and past health history and use of prescribed medication (see our medical guidance).  In any situation where you feel unwell or have unpleasant side effects for a period of time or are ever concerned, you should stop your weight loss plan and seek professional medical advice. 


Around the 4th day on a VLCD plan you enter Ketosis - This day is a personal acheivment and Well Done ! From this day you are now using your bodies stored fat for the majority of your energy.  You may start to gradually feel that you have an abundance of energy and are on top of the world, your appetite & cravings decrease, you feel healthier, less bloated and of course fat loss is accellerated

Excess bodyfat is simply stored energy from previously overeating & surplus to your bodies requirements - Burning it generally gives you a great feeling of well-being

During your VLCD weight loss plan foods are restricted, which will cause you to reflect on your relationship with food, your willpower grows stronger and you gradually notice that food is no longer a crutch for your feelings and no longer has the same control over you as it did in the past. You will have the space to make life changing decision and the opportunity to build foundations for a new healhty lifestyle.  

Once at your optimum target weight, we suggest using our higher plans for weight stabilisation and weight management to gradually step up calories and re introduce foods in a controlled way and will then be in a perfect position to maintain and control your new body shape and lower weight. 


Measuring Ketosis:

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If using Ketone sticks to monitor your fat burning or to confirm Ketosis. You will place a measuring stick in the stream of urine to determine if Ketones are detected.











  • Colours light pink to rose pink are a good gauge of Ketosis, dark pink to maroon are considered a gauge of dehydration and drinking more water is required.
  • If showing extremely dark in the morning (first passing of urine) keep to your regular quantity of water and test again in the early afternoon, if still dark increase your water consumption.
  • Metalic taste / dry mouth / bad breath odour are also signs of increased water consumption required and may lead to dehydration.
  • Users should be aware of normal fluctuations, although a good indicator Ketur Reagent Sticks are not a guaranteed result.  Illness, Stress, lack of water, Menstral Cycle etc. may affect the results.

The importance of Water on a Ketogenic Diet Plan:

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When the body is in Ketosis the individual tends to feel less hungry, and will probably eat less than he/she might otherwise do. The body switches from being a carbohydrate-burning organism into a fat-burning one. The fat stores become a primary energy source, and the person loses weight. That is one reason why low-carb diets have become popular, and effective.  By switich its source of energy the body naturally creates Ketones. Ketones consist of acetone, acetoacetate or beta-hydroxybutyrate. In some cases very high ketone levels can be toxic, making the blood more acid, and in extreme circumstance may damage such organs as the kidneys and liver.  

It is therefore imperative whilst following a diet that is based on the concept of Ketosis that sufficient water is drunk.  On all KeePlans we recommend a minimum of 2.25 litres of water. The human body will try to lower acetone (a ketone) levels by breathing it out, causing an unusual taste in the mouth and bad breath. We also reduce Ketone levels by expelling them through our urine. 


Why do some people think ketosis is a bad thing?

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A dangerous condition called Ketoacidosis can develop in those with Type 1 Diabetes, and it is sometimes confused with normal ketosis. The body usually avoids this state by producing insulin, but people with Type 1 Diabetes are unable to produce insulin. Even most people with type 2 diabetes who inject insulin usually produce enough insulin of their own to prevent ketoacidosis.  This is totally different to the concept of weight loss and Ketogenic dieting.

There is an assumption that if a body is burning a lot of fat for energy, it must not be getting "enough" glucose. However, there is no indication, from studying people on reduced carbohydrate diets, that this is the case.  Although it's true that our bodies can't break fat down into glucose (though, interestingly, they easily use glucose to make fat), our bodies can convert some of the protein we eat into glucose. Indeed, this works well for people who don't tolerate a lot of sugar and because this conversion happens slowly it doesn't spike blood glucose.

For further information read the information provided by the Diabetes UK - Ketoacidosis