The Dreaded Keto Flu
For all the excellent benefits of the ketogenic lifestyle, getting there can be a physically rough road. The primary reason for this is what is known as the “keto flu”. Almost everyone who has changed their life to the healthy ketogenic lifestyle has had to deal with the keto flu, and some have had a worse deal than others. Background The keto flu is the common name for the induction phase of ketogenesis. That means it’s the period of time when your body is getting used to the changes you have made to what you eat. When you change what you eat, you change everything about how your body operates and functions. Inside your gut (where close to 70% of your immune system lives) are billions of bacteria, and they are all battling for dominance. If your diet consists of highly refined carbs, the types of bacteria that thrive in your gut (e. coli, h. pylori, candida a, etc.) will be inflammatory and detrimental to your immune system. By changing your diet to be high in fat, those same bacteria die off rapidly, because they don’t have their preferred energy source. This massive bacteria death has consequences. These consequences are typically: Diarrhea Headaches Nausea Lack of mental focus and clarity Fatigue In short: You feel like you have the flu. That’s because, in a way, you do. Your immune system is taking a beating when you make the change, because it has grown accustomed to the way things have been. But once you get through the induction phase, and you start to feel better, your immune system will be several times stronger and more efficient. That’s one of the reason that Ketovangelists don’t get sick (and when they do, it’s not nearly as bad as it could have been). Changing Fuel Sources The best way to think about what you’re doing to your body is to i Continue reading >>
Ketogenic Diets And Migraines: What You Need To Know
The links between diet and migraine are well established. Most migraineurs recognize certain foods that either trigger an attack or make an episode worse. Avoiding personal food triggers soon becomes a lifestyle choice that’s vital in managing the condition. Research into diet and the ways in which what we eat affects our bodies is constantly evolving, with new or alternative ideas appearing all the time. The ketogenic diet, while not new, has been found to have a beneficial effect for some migraine patients, and research into how this diet works provides interesting links to migraine causes that may encourage sufferers to experiment. How Does a Keto Diet Work for Migraines? At its most basic level, a ketogenic diet is one that stimulates the liver to produce ketones. But what does that mean? Ketones are produced when the body burns fat for energy instead of carbohydrates (glucose). A ketogenic diet is very low in carbohydrates, and has several alternative names including the low-carb diet or a low carb high fat (LCHF) diet. DOWNLOAD OUR FREE MIGRAINE DIARY TODAY! » In a normal regular diet, one that contains a high amount of carbohydrate, the body uses glucose as the main form of energy. Being the easiest molecule to convert into energy, the body chooses glucose over other energy sources, producing insulin to process the glucose and carry it around the body. When glucose is used as the main energy source, other fats are not needed so the body stores them. The most common reason for adopting a ketogenic diet is to lose weight, since when we drastically lower our carbohydrate intake we put the body into a state of ketosis. This is a natural physical defense to protect against starvation when food intake is very low. Deliberately introducing this particular metabolic s Continue reading >>
The 11 Most Common Keto Side Effects
The 11 Most Common Keto Side Effects The ketogenic diet is a powerful new tool to hit the mainstream recently. This style of eating has substantial data behind it showing that it can boost fat-burning, reduce inflammation, boost cognitive performance, and more. What has not been covered quite enough are common keto side effects and how you can avoid them to make the best of this powerful eating style. Although there can be many different side effects that manifest while becoming keto-adapted, many of them stem from similar underlying issues. In this article, I outline what those underlying issues are, their related side effects, and simple strategies to overcome them so you can become keto-adapted as smoothly as possible. Three Primary Causes Although there are a variety of symptoms that can arise during keto adaptation, they mostly manifest from the same three underlying causes. Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) axis dysfunction, and electrolyte/mineral deficiencies. While these three causes are seemingly different, they are actually all related. When becoming keto-adapted initially, your body has been running on sugar for years. When you suddenly switch to fats, your body has to essentially build the cellular machinery necessary to generate and utilize ketone bodies as a fuel source. This means that instead of generating tons of ketones from the very beginning, most people experience hypoglycemia for a period of time. With hypoglycemia comes a disruption in cortisol signaling which is what accounts for the HPA axis dysfunction. Finally, HPA axis dysfunction leads to an increase in secretion of minerals from the body in the urine. Together these three causes can create all kinds of side effects. Once you understand them, though, a lit Continue reading >>
Symptoms Of Ketosis:
If you are considering the ketogenic diet or have already started down this carb-free road, you may wonder what you can expect. Here’s the thing. Ketosis looks different for everyone, but I will share many of the most common symptoms with you today. If something other than what’s listed here is happening to you, just do a quick Google search for that symptom and keto. You should be able to find what you’re looking for! The Early Signs: The early signs of ketosis vary from person to person. The biggest impact on how quickly you notice the symptoms of ketosis will have a lot to do with how you ate before you started the diet. If your diet was very high carb, you might get hit pretty quickly and furiously with what we like to call the “Keto Flu.” This can last anywhere from 3 days to a week or more. Once your body has adapted to burning ketones for energy instead of glucose, you’ll be golden so don’t give up! Here’s what you can expect within the first 2-3 days of starting the Ketogenic Diet: Fatigue & Weakness (lack of concentration) Headaches Metallic taste or sweet taste in your mouth (I experienced this, and it tasted like blood in my mouth) Lightheaded / Dizzy upon standing Heightened Thirst Hunger / Sweet or Carb Cravings Dry Mouth possibly paired with “Keto Breath.” Stomach Discomfort / Mild Nausea / Cramping Trouble Sleeping or Staying Asleep (early waking) Water weight loss (perhaps an excessive loss of weight within the first two weeks) Frequent Urination Allergies or cold like symptoms may flair up For the ladies: Period issues: You may experience a longer, shorter, earlier, later period because of Keto. Seriously it causes all of that. Each woman is different, and I have experienced every one of those issues with my period since starting ket Continue reading >>
Troubleshooting Headaches On The Keto Diet
The keto diet is known to help improve brain function to achieve peak performance. You will feel more energy, and put an end to brain fog once and for all. It was initially developed as a way to treat patients suffering with epilepsy, and had great success. Click here to learn more about that! One unpleasant side effect you may experience in the beginning is headaches. These keto headaches should only last for the amount of time you are transitioning from a sugar-burner to a fat-burner. If you are experiencing headaches during the first week of starting the keto diet, it is most likely caffeine and glucose withdrawals. Your body is used to using glucose as its primary form of energy, so it will send signals to you to give it more of this quick source of energy. You may also experience flu-like symptoms, such as feeling tired and nauseous. If this is the case, these ketogenic diet headaches should dissipate within a week. During this week, do your best to reduce stress. That means physical stress (pull back on your high intensity workouts as you will not have the energy you need until you are fat-adapted), and emotional stress (don't put added pressures onto yourself, such as agreeing to run a charity bake sale for your church group). If you are having ketogenic diet headaches after you are fat-adapted, there are a couple things you can try. You can take nutritional supplements (always check with you doctor first). Magnesium is great for brain health, as well as your digestive system and your bones and joints. This can also help if you get muscle cramping at night. Just take the supplement right before bedtime as it helps to relax your muscles. Omega-3 is also so great for brain health if you aren't eating wild caught fatty fish often. You should make sure you are gettin Continue reading >>
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 coughing or sneezing. If you are experiencing any of these, it means that you might have actually caught an infection! So it would be a good idea to postpone starting your diet until you are all clear. How can you fight tiredness and other symptoms of low-carb flu? First of all, remember that it won’t last forever. Low-carb flu usually lasts around 3-5 days (although could be 1-2 weeks for some unlucky people with high metabolic resistance). Here are some simple tips on making this transition easier. 1) Eat more fat Fat is the key to this whole issue. You must eat lots of it – a lot more th Continue reading >>
Scientists Believe A Low-carb, Low-fat Diet Can Help Your Splitting Migraines
Migraines are a painful and widespread problem. They afflict an estimated 1 billion people worldwide, including about 38 million in the US alone. There are all sorts of purported remedies for them, but a team of scientists in Italy has identified what it believes could be a simple way to avoid the debilitating headaches. The answer? A diet low in carbohydrates. The scientists believe avoiding carbs allows your brain to work more efficiently and reduces migraine-causing inflammation. The team, led by Cherubino Di Lorenzo of Sapienza University of Rome, looked specifically at the effects of a “very-low-calorie ketogenic diet.” The typical ketogenic diet, which is high in fat and low in carbohydrates, was first introduced in 1921 as a way to treat drug-resistant epilepsy. The low-calorie version, however, is low in both fat and carbohydrates. The team first had the idea to study the diet’s effect on migraines after being alerted to the case of twin sisters who found their frequent migraines disappeared after they started on a ketogenic diet for weight loss. They decided to examine its effects by studying two groups of overweight, female migraine sufferers who were seeing a dietician to aid with weight loss. One group was put on a very-low-calorie ketogenic diet for one month, and then switched to a standard low-calorie diet. The other group did the full six months entirely on a standard low-calorie diet. The scientists found that members of the first group saw their headaches “significantly reduced after the first month of diet,” but as they transitioned to the standard diet, their headaches worsened (though they remained improved from the initial baseline). The other group only started seeing significant decreases in the number of days with headaches after the t Continue reading >>
What Is Keto Flu & How To Help!
Symptoms of Keto Flu: Keto flu is the name given to a set of symptoms some people experience when first starting keto. It’s not actually a flu and definitely not contagious, but it can become quite tiring. Keto flu symptoms are very similar to that of your regular flu and can last anywhere from a day to a few weeks! You may experience fatigue headaches cough sniffles irritability nausea Many people who experience these symptoms in the beginning of their ketogenic diet will believe the diet is to blame and carbs are good after all. Ironically, seeing these symptoms is a sign that you were very dependent on carbohydrates! Your body is going through withdrawal from sugar and carby foods. Subscribe for a FREE copy of our 14-Day Keto Meal Plan Withdrawal from Carbs There are studies that have shown sugar has the same effect on our bodies and brains as cocaine and heroine!1 The same areas of the brain are activated when one eats sugar as when one ingests cocaine. In addition, when we eat sugar, our brain sends messages for the release of dopamine, the “feel good” hormone. After some time, the release of dopamine is more or less regulated and less is sent out each time we eat sugar. The absence of large amounts of dopamine triggers our need to want more sugar, to get that same “feel good” feeling back. Coincidentally, drug addiction is exactly that. The brain remembers what made it feel good, even if you don’t- cravings aren’t random. When we stop eating sugar (or carbs altogether) our bodies can go through withdrawal. Many people report irritability and mood swings from the hormone surges, or lack thereof. Our bodies are recalibrating themselves without the influence of heavy factors such as carbs. Readjusting to Fat Headaches and fatigue can come from the sudde Continue reading >>
Low Carb Diet Side Effects
Low carb diet side effects are manageable if you understand why they happen and how to minimize them. Understanding your physical reactions will help you avoid the worst of the symptoms, and keep you from quitting before you get out of the chute, so to speak. After several weeks, these side effects will subside as you become "keto-adapted" and able to burn fat instead of glucose for fuel. The list below includes the most common low carb diet side effects, and I've included tips on how to handle them. The only caveat is that you have no contraindicated health conditions. I have detailed here who should NOT follow a ketogenic diet. Frequent Urination After the first day or so, you'll notice that you are in the bathroom urinating more often. Your body is burning up the extra glycogen (stored glucose) in your liver and muscles. Breaking down glycogen releases a lot of water. As your carb intake and glycogen stores drop, your kidneys will start dumping this excess water. In addition, as your circulating insulin levels drop, your kidneys start excreting excess sodium, which will also cause more frequent urination. (see this reference). Fatigue and Dizziness As you start dumping water, you'll lose minerals such as salt, potassium and magnesium as well. Having lower levels of these minerals will make you very, very tired, lightheaded or dizzy, give you muscle cramps, and headaches. You may also experience skin itchiness. Fatigue and dizziness are the most common of the low carb diet side effects, and they can be avoided for the most part by making sure you stay ahead of mineral loss. You can counteract mineral losses by eating more salt or sipping salty broth throughout the day, and eating potassium rich foods. (Dairy foods, green leafy vegetables and avocados are high in potas Continue reading >>
Headaches From Ketosis?
I have been full Paleo for about 9 months and recently diagnosed with Hashimoto's. So, in response to that diagnosis, I took out all nightshades, eggs, nuts,..etc. I decided to eat only meat products and one (or two) cooked squashes each day. But, after a couple weeks on that diet, I learned I would be best off to eliminate everything except meat/fat products for a few weeks. Low in behold, I came down with a headache after two days with practically zero carbs. Today, I ate my regular breakfast of meat, still sporting a headache and decided to eat 3.25 oz. beef jerky at (11 am) that contained about 18 grams of sugar and it cut the headache immediately. Unfortunately, around 2 pm I had terrible diarrhea likely from the jerky - so I won't eat that again. Aside from the jerky diarrhea, do you think I messed up ketosis by eating that amount of sugar? And, will eating 20 grams carbohydrate from cooked squash hinder healing of my gut/Hashimotos? Do you think it is worth while to go about healing with this meat diet/ketosis for a few weeks in a fashion of a couple days all meat and one day with a bit of carbs from one cooked squash? Or, should I deal with the headaches in hopes my body will adjust to ketosis and they will go away? For more Paleo hacks: Continue reading >>
Keto Headache Guide
Try 5 keto headache remedies proven to work within 30 minutes. Learn why a keto headache happens on a low carb diet and find out how long yours will last. See how to prevent a keto headache from recurring in the future. Keto Headache Cures If you need immediate keto headache relief, here are five different proven remedies you can use to cure it within 30 minutes. This works just as well if you have a keto headache first day in versus a keto headache two weeks in. 1. Drink warm water with half teaspoon of table salt. You might want to try the simplest solution first. Add half a teaspoon of table salt to a 24 ounce glass of warm water (3 cups) and drink it. This should cure your headache within 20-30 minutes if it’s being caused dehydration or sodium deficit. I have tried this drink both cold and warm. When the water is cold it’s damn near intolerable, but when the water is warm, I can get it down. 2. Drink a carton of bone broth. If warm salt water isn’t to your tastes, then try sipping down a carton of bone broth. You can drink chicken or beef bone broth, doesn’t matter. Drink 16 ounces (2 cups) or more to ensure you get enough sodium. The beef bone broth pictured above is a bland, almost tasteless drink that I much prefer with a spoonful of butter added. Butter improves the taste and keeps you inline with your keto macros as it adds a lot of fat. 3. Drink vegetable bouillon dissolved in two cups of water. Boil two cups of water in the microwave, then drop in a bouillon tab and stir it with a spoon to help it dissolve. Drink up. This is a good headache remedy if you’re doing vegan keto. It’s also surprisingly delicious. The vegetable bouillon is definitely the best tasting of the 5 keto headache remedies. I had never even heard of it before I started my rese Continue reading >>
Common Ketosis Side Effects And Treatments
There are many awesome benefits with come with adopting a low-carb ketogenic diet, such as weight loss, decreased cravings, and even possibly reduce diseases risks. That being said, it’s also good to talk about possible ketosis side effects so you know fully what to expect as you start this new health journey. Not everyone experiences side effects when starting a ketogenic diet, and thankfully, those who do don’t usually experience them for very long. It varies with the individual, but just to make sure all your bases are covered, we’re going to breaking down each possible side effect and go over ways to manage and alleviate them if needed. KETOSIS SIDE EFFECT 1 – Frequent Urination As your body burns through the stored glucose in your liver and muscles within the first day or two of starting a ketogenic diet, you’ll be releasing a lot of water in the process. Plus, your kidneys will start excreting excess sodium as the levels of your circulating insulin drop. Basically, you might notice yourself needing to pee more often throughout the day. But no worries; this side effect of ketosis takes care of itself once your body adjusts and is no longer burning through the extra glycogen. KETOSIS SIDE EFFECT 2 – Dizziness and Drowsiness As the body is getting rid of this excess water, it will also be eliminating minerals like potassium, magnesium, and sodium too. This can make you feel dizzy, lightheaded, and fatigued. Thankfully, this is also very avoidable; all it takes is a little preparation beforehand. Focus on eating foods that are rich in potassium, such as: Leafy greens (aim for at least two cups each day!) Broccoli Dairy Meat, poultry, and fish Avocados Add salt to your foods or use salty broth when cooking too. You can also dissolve about a teaspoon of regu Continue reading >>
Less Carbs, More Fat: Ketogenic Diet Makes Migraine Patients' Headaches Disappear
Before the ketogenic diet became the latest low-carb diet trend, it was used to treat childhood epilepsy. Doctors had observed that fasting reduced the amount of seizures, and eating mainly fat and little else mimicked the effect of starvation in the brain. In recent years, researchers have made similar positive observations with migraines. Cherubino Di Lorenzo studies the effect of a ketogenic diet on migraine patients and, in his latest paper, their brains at the Sapienza University of Rome. ResearchGate: What is a ketogenic diet? Cherubino di Lorenzo: The ketogenic diet is a particular nutritional regimen that mimics starvation by restricting carbohydrate intake. It was developed 95 years ago in order to treat drug-resistant epilepsy in children. Traditionally, the ketogenic diet is rich in fat and low in carbohydrates, but in the past decades another type of ketogenic diet was developed to treat obesity and metabolic syndrome: the low fat (10-15 grams/day) low carb (20-50 grams/day) diet, also known as the very low calorie ketogenic diet (VLCKD). RG: What does this diet do to the body and the brain in particular? Di Lorenzo: During a ketogenic diet, carbohydrate restriction induces the fat metabolism to produce so-called ketone bodies. These ketone bodies act as a replacement for carbohydrates and fuel several types of cells, including neurons. In the classic ketogenic diet, the fat that’s taken in with the food is the source for the production of ketone bodies . In the very low calorie ketogenic diet, however, the ketone bodies are produced from fats in adipose tissue. You could think of this process as the body’s own biochemical liposuction. Each molecule of ketone bodies produces more energy than glucose, but less oxidative stress, so the brain and the muscle Continue reading >>
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5 Most Common Low-carb Mistakes (and How To Avoid Them)
A few months ago, I read a book called The Art and Science of Low-Carbohydrate Living. The authors are two of the world's leading researchers on low-carb diets. Dr. Jeff S. Volek is a Registered Dietitian and Dr. Stephen D. Phinney is a medical doctor. These guys have performed many studies and have treated thousands of patients with a low-carb diet. According to them, there are many stumbling blocks that people tend to run into, which can lead to adverse effects and suboptimal results. To get into full-blown ketosis and reap all the metabolic benefits of low-carb, merely cutting back on the carbs isn't enough. If you haven't gotten the results you expected on a low-carb diet, then perhaps you were doing one of these 5 common mistakes. There is no clear definition of exactly what constitutes a "low carb diet." Some would call anything under 100-150 grams per day low-carb, which is definitely a lot less than the standard Western diet. A lot of people could get awesome results within this carbohydrate range, as long as they ate real, unprocessed foods. But if you want to get into ketosis, with plenty of ketoness flooding your bloodstream to supply your brain with an efficient source of energy, then this level of intake may be excessive. It could take some self experimentation to figure out your optimal range as this depends on a lot of things, but most people will need to go under 50 grams per day to get into full-blown ketosis. This doesn't leave you with many carb options except vegetables and small amounts of berries. If you want to get into ketosis and reap the full metabolic benefits of low-carb, going under 50 grams of carbs per day may be required. Protein is a very important macronutrient, which most people aren't getting enough of. It can improve satiety and incr Continue reading >>
Of The Keto Diet?
There are many awesome benefits that come with adopting a low-carb ketogenic diet, such as weight loss, decreased cravings and even possibly reduce disease risks. With that being said, it’s also good to talk about possible ketosis side-effects when ingesting these specific ketone supplements, so you know fully what to expect when you get started on this mission. If you’ve already heard about some of the side-effects that come with this special diet and are starting to freak out, don’t panic. We’re going to break down everything you need to know when it comes to what your body will experience when using these supplements for the first time. It’s important to remember, not everyone experiences side-effects when starting a ketogenic diet and thankfully, the symptoms are all very temporary and it can pass very quickly. It varies with the individual, but just to make sure all your bases are covered, we’re going to break down each possible side effect that you could possibly experience. 1. Flu Symptoms Within the first 2-4 days of beginning this diet, a common side-effect is known as the “ketosis flu” or “induction flu” because it mimics the symptoms of the actual flu. This means you might experience: Headaches Lethargy Lack of motivation Brain fog or confusion Irritability Although these symptoms typically go away completely within a few days, they are also completely avoidable if you stay very hydrated and increase your salt intake and like always, be sure you're eating enough fat. 2. Dizzyness & Drowsiness As you start dumping water, you'll lose minerals such as salt, potassium and magnesium. Having lower levels of these minerals will make you tired, lightheaded or dizzy. You may also experience muscle cramps, headaches and skin itchiness. Fatigue Continue reading >>