The worst thing about switching to the Keto diet is the transition from your normal metabolism to ketosis. Glucose, as we all know, is our primary source of energy. The brain is heavily reliant on glucose. The whole idea of the Keto diet is to go from being glucose-dependent to ketone-dependent. During the first few days of starting the Keto diet, you’ll notice some symptoms that are collectively known as the Keto flu.
The unpleasant symptoms of the Keto flu include headaches, fatigue, overall discomfort, nausea, and generalized cramps. When you deprive your body of carbohydrates and glucose, it will have to look for another source of energy. That new source is fat. The body converts it into ketones or ketone bodies to be useable.
But everything is not as simple as flipping a light switch. Your body needs time to switch gears from using glucose to using ketones. During this period, you’ll suffering from hypoglycemia and you haven’t entered into ketosis just yet. That explains why most people experience flu-like symptoms. Since you’ll be hypoglycemic, you might want to avoid high-energy activities during those couple of days up until you enter ketosis.
Another reason why you experience the Keto flu is because ketones increase one’s urine output. In other words, ketones are diuretics. This isn’t harmful to your kidneys, but you might start to feel dehydrated as you lose water and electrolytes. You might need to replenish your electrolyte level as your body and kidneys adjust to this new state of diuresis.
Overall, it should take the average person less than a week to overcome these unpleasant and undesirable symptoms. You could speed up the process by replenishing your electrolytes and increasing your water intake. You should also cut back on carbs in a more intense manner to speed up your body’s switch to ketosis.
Gradually cutting back on carbs would lessen the severity of the symptoms, but will also prolong them. As long as you’re eating carbohydrates, your body will continue using glucose for energy. Remember that glucose is the body’s go-to energy source. If it finds it, it will use it. You can’t afford to go back to using glucose while on the Keto diet.
Those who practice high-intensity sports or have jobs that include intense energy-consuming activities might feel these symptoms more than others. Nonetheless, you shouldn’t worry. You’ll just feel like you’re in a poor form for a few days, but that will soon be over.
The wrong thing to do would be to give up on the Keto diet and decide that you don’t want to feel this way. Try to keep at it because the symptoms won’t last for long. Once your body starts burning fat for ketones and energy, your stamina, strength, and mental performance will return to normal and might even improve. The gains associated with Keto diet are definitely worth it. Just hold on for 4 to 5 days and you’ll feel much like your fully energized self once your body adjusts.