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Bad taste in my mouth when dieting
An_198591 posted:
I asked this on the dieting community, and they referred me here.

I have been on a weight watchers diet since New Years. I've lost 21 pounds and am 5 pounds from my goal. One thing I have noticed while dieting is that some days, maybe once every couple weeks, I have this bad taste in my mouth for no apparent reason at all. At first, I would have described it as a salty taste, but that's not quite right. It's kind of a stale, morning wake-up taste.

It doesn't go away all day. I drink tons of water trying to rinse the taste out. I brush my teeth and tongue. I chew mint gum. No matter what I do, a few minutes later the taste is back.

I know it's not ketosis, because I eat plenty of carbs: Complex carbs like old fashioned oatmeal, double fiber bread, apples. I just keep my WW points below my max for the day, and I lose about a pound or two a week.

I have also ruled out anything to do with my teeth. I have recently gotten good marks from the dentist, and I have only had a couple of cavities in my life.

Does anyone know what this is? The only thing I can think of is that it is the result of fat breaking down, and the byproducts not immediately getting purged from my system and somehow coming out in my saliva. I do notice that often after I have these days of stale taste in my mouth I will suddenly drop a pound or more overnight.
56GSB responded:
Dear Anon,
It sounds like your body detoxes really fast. I am no expert--that's just a hunch--but as you probably know, when you undereat, the body is free from the constant task of digestion and can then work on other tasks like carrying away toxins.

Was going to type here, but there's too much info. Get to a health food store and skim pages of the book: Linda Page's Healthy Healing--they'll have the latest edition. Look up Bad Breath and/or Halitosis in the index and then read her suggestions. Something there probably relates to you. It's a little more complicated an issue than I thought! Hope you find your answer there. Bad taste is unpleasant. I've had it before too! Cheers!
Rich Weil, MEd, CDE responded:
Ketones are still possible if you lose lots of weight, because even if you are eating carbs, you could still be burning lots of fat, and ketones are the by-product of fat metabolism. However, ketones typically taste metallic, or fruity like alcohol, which you're not describing. I don't really know what you're experiencing, but maybe one of the doctors at the Sports Medicine Community has an idea. Post back if you find out what it is.
Shelleyannelli responded:

I've had this same experience. Did you ever find an answer (more than the two replies below)?

Rich Weil, MEd, CDE replied to Shelleyannelli's response:
Hi Shelley,

As I said, most of the time the taste in the mouth during weight loss is ketones because they are produced when excess fat is being burned. Lots of carbohydrate intake and low fat intake is precisely when ketones are produced, so the fact that An reports "I know it's not ketosis, because I eat plenty of carbs" is incorrect, and as I said, especially so when the fat intake is very low and there is weight loss. And An also reports that there is a drop in weight at the same time there is the taste in the mouth, which points toward ketones.

Perhaps this is ketones and the taste in An's mouth is just another taste that is not commonly reported. Perhaps the taste of ketomes is interacting with some other bacteria in An's mouth or a food interaction.

If you as well are keeping your fat intake low and carbs high (like an Atkins diet) and you are losing weight, then ketones is a very real possibility. And if you are exercising a lot it increases the probability of ketones.

Take care,
unknownsharma responded:
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stellagonzalez responded:
Frequently try to eat mouth freshener, and have a proper diet. It is happening may be because of indigestion.

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