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8 Ways To Blast Through Low-carb Flu And Dive Into Ketosis

Have you just started a low-carb diet? Do you find yourself feeling exhausted and overcome by tiredness? Perhaps you are thinking that going low-carb wasn’t a good idea after all… You might already know that these symptoms are not uncommon, especially if you are doing low-carb for the first time. Also known as “low carb flu” or “Atkins flu”, this phase is completely normal – although by no means pleasant. This condition occurs when you cut your carb intake sharply, to about 20-30g a day, in order to induce ketosis. What is low-carb flu? Your body is used to running on carbs. It’s been operating this way for decades. Cutting carbs in favour of fat is a huge change for your metabolism. Your body needs some time to adjust to this change. This period of adjustment can sometimes cause flu-like symptoms. Fatigue is the most common one, but you could also get muscle cramps, headaches, dizziness and mental fog. Some of these symptoms are markers of sugar withdrawal. Sugar addiction is real and common, so trying to break away can be difficult. Low-carb flu is not actual flu Please note that “low carb flu” does not include fever or respiratory cold-like symptoms such as c Continue reading >>

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  1. parkscs

    Just my opinion, but worrying about "optimal ketosis" and pricking your finger all the time is just wasting your time and money. Ketostix are even more of a waste of your resources. In terms of body composition and performance, I'm not sure what you stand to gain from having a particular blood ketone level. Ketogenic diets are useful to create a caloric deficit because they're particularly satiating and there are some adaptations where your body learns to more easily rely on fat to fuel certain forms of exercise... but beyond that, I'm not aware of anything you stand to gain in terms of body composition and performance from being in "optimal ketosis." And for that matter, you can influence ketone levels by things like by simply consuming a very fatty meal, which may well put you further away from your goals rather than closer to them.
    I'd nix the blood tester and focus your time and resources on your calories, training and overall body composition. But like I said, just my $0.02.

  2. NLPz

    Well, I think that although I'm a newbie in keto I have the biochemistry and physiology background that allow me to understand some concepts that I think you may be dismissing: Nutritional Ketosis and Optimal Ketosis.
    When your body is fully keto adapted, you can use lipids with high efficiency. There are numerous pubmed papers on that, and it's not just for the "fat loosing" before Mr. Olympia: not just "relax, just keto on for the burn". The main benefit is the actual performance and also the carb-freedom - wit the satiety and all the stuff you refer. Not to mention the long term health benefits: there are also a lot of scientific papers on that.
    That being said, I recommend to dwell into the blog of Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt, dietdoctor.com, and let me suggest his article about some measurements he made himself: Experiment: Optimal Ketosis for Weight Loss and Improved Performance
    In another post, he explains the ketosis levels:
    Below 0.5 mmol/L is not considered “ketosis”. At this level, you’re far away from maximum fat-burning. Between 0.5-1.5 mmol/L is light nutritional ketosis. You’ll be getting a good effect on your weight, but not optimal. Around 1.5 – 3 mmol/L is what’s called optimal ketosis and is recommended for maximum weight loss. Values of over 3 mmol/L aren’t neccessary. That is, they will achieve neither better nor worse results than being at the 1.5-3 level. Higher values can also sometimes mean that you’re not getting enough food. For type 1 diabetics, it can be caused by a severe lack of insulin, see below.
    By those definitions and the graph he posted, you can see its not "easy and clean" to be in optimal ketosis.
    Since I'm starting, I prickI test my levels to understand my variations, and because you don't always understand what happens to you, and if I feel tachycardia during the day, one possible explanation may be I was keto-offed by some meal (it's impossible to control everything and to always eat at home) and re-starting the adaptation.
    I found, also, that as the time goes by I can re-enter ketosis with few side effects, meaning my body is becoming more and more adapted.

  3. parkscs

    You're citing a blog that talks about "maximum fat burning" and "maximum weight loss", yet the studies show there is no metabolic advantage to ketogenic diets or low carb diets in general. In short, the science doesn't support any extra fat loss from a ketogenic diet beyond the calorie deficit you're creating. Thinking you're going to lose more fat because of your "optimal ketone level" is just deluding yourself. All we're talking from a high "ketone level" is burning lots of fat that includes both dietary fat and stored fat, but there's no increase in body fat burned from being in "optimal ketosis." It's the same way you can get a high "ketone level" measurement after you eat a very fatty meal - yes, you'll have a higher concentration of ketones on your little test strip, but that doesn't mean you're any closer towards your goals. To the extent the calories in that very fatty meal push you into a surplus, you're further away from your goals even though your ketone level is "great."
    As for performance, keto is pretty much worse in terms of optimal performance in nearly every way. There are ways you can mitigate the impact on performance, but doing keto for "actual performance" reasons doesn't make a lot of sense.

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