First Week: Top 3 Keto Conundrums
The low carb lifestyle is known to sculpt some serious fat off your body. Many followers of the keto diet experience rapid weight loss, low hunger levels, and good energy levels. Since you cut out most of the high sugar foods, controlling your calories becomes a breeze. Sounds like an easy plan to success, right? Those who joined the ketogenic army can attest that the early weight loss comes with a toll. The first week of low carb living can be daunting, both mentally and physically. As your brain and body are adapting to a life without glucose, you may become outright miserable. Don’t go shoving cake down your neck just yet – the misery passes. To have an idea what you’ll go through, check out these common side effects that most go through when switching to a keto diet. Usually they only last for the first few days to a week, but preparing yourself for what might come will always help. Mental and Physical Fogginess The first major sign – coming 2 or 3 days into your ketogenic transition – will be the fogginess. You’re brain likes to take it easy and it if had a choice, would run on only glucose. As your body is switching from glucose to ketones as its main source of energy, your body will continue to burn the last stores of glycogen. This results in a foggy haze that might make it hard to concentrate. You might find yourself staring into space or feeling lethargic, but have no fear – it will pass. Headaches might pound at your door, nausea can pit in your stomach, muscle cramps can ruin your day and irritability can spark arguments, but knowing this can help you plan. Switch your diet in the middle of the week, so you will have the weekend to fully rest and recover from your transition. What we suggest is to go super low carb for the first week, which mea 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 >>
What Everybody Ought To Know About Ketosis
Recently I wanted to explore the world of Ketosis. I thought I knew a little bit about ketosis, but after doing some research I soon realised how wrong I was. 3 months later, after reading numerous books, listening to countless podcasts and experimenting with various diets I know have a sound understanding of ketosis. This resource is built as a reference guide for those looking to explore the fascinating world of ketosis. It is a resource that I wish I had 3 months ago. As you will soon see, a lot of the content below is not mine, instead I have linked to referenced to experts who have a greater understanding of this topic than I ever will. I hope this helps and if there is something that I have missed please leave a comment below so that I can update this. Also, as this is a rather long document, I have split it into various sections. You can click the headline below to be sent straight to the section that interests you. For those that are really time poor I have created a useful ketosis cheat sheet guide. This guide covers all the essential information you should know about ketosis. It can be downloaded HERE. Alternatively, if you're looking for a natural and sustainable way to improve health and lose weight head to this page - What is Ketosis? What Are The Benefits from being in Ketosis? Isn’t Ketosis Dangerous? Ketoacidosis vs Ketosis What Is The Difference Between a Low Carb Diet and a Ketogenic Diet? Types of Ketosis: The Difference Between Nutritional, Therapeutic & MCT Ketogenic Diets Is The Ketogenic Diet Safe? Long Term Effects Thyroid and Ketosis - What You May Want To Know What is a Typical Diet/Macro Breakdown for a Ketogenic Diet? Do I Need to Eat Carbs? What do I Eat On a Ketogenic Diet? What Do I Avoid Eating on a Ketogenic Diet? Protein Consumption a Continue reading >>
Does A Low-carb Diet Make You Tired?
A low-carb diet, whether it's Atkins, ketogenic or a Paleo plan, promises weight loss and vitality. Not everyone thrives on such a diet, however. Carbohydrates are the body's primary source of fuel -- too few can mean your energy levels plummet. In addition to possible side effects such as constipation, headaches and weakness, you may also experience tiredness and fatigue. Video of the Day What Counts as Low-Carb? The publication "Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010" recommends you get between 45 percent and 65 percent of daily calories from carbohydrates, including those found in breads, pasta, vegetables and fruit. Although many diet plans reduce your intake of carbohydrates, a true low-carb diet limits your intake of carbs to fewer than 150 grams per day, according to a 2007 paper published in the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition." Ketogenic diets, which are ultra-low-carb plans that may be followed during certain phases in bodybuilding or to treat specific medical conditions, may restrict you to just 30 to 40 grams per day. Cut out most grains, breads, pizza, fruit and sugar to reduce your carb intake to low levels. Your body uses carbohydrates as an immediate source of fuel. Carbohydrates raise your blood sugar and, in turn, stimulate certain brain chemicals that blunt your appetite and make you feel good. Many athletes, especially endurance athletes, need carbohydrates to perform at their best. When you limit carbohydrates, your body may feel weak and lack energy. You'll switch from burning carbohydrates for fuel to burning fat, a process called ketosis, which requires extra energy from your body. The resulting ketones can cause side effects, such as nausea, lightheadedness and tiredness. Athletes who stick to low-carb plans may feel exhausted by their w Continue reading >>
Source Ketosis is the name for a state achieved on a low-carbohydrate diet. According to WebMD, when you are in ketosis, it means your body is burning fat for energy. When that happens, your body releases ketones into your bloodstream, and you are in ketosis. This state may cause a host of temporary symptoms. Understanding the Symptoms Many dieters develop symptoms that let them know ketones are present. For many people beginning a low-carb diet, ketosis kicks in after a few days of strict adherence to the diet. In fact, many low-carbohydrate plans, such as Atkins and paleo, have an initial phase in which dieters take in extremely low amounts of carbohydrates (usually less than 25 grams per day) to kick start ketosis. You can test for ketones in the urine using ketosis strips, or rely on symptoms to tell you ketosis has been achieved. Early Stages Symptoms of ketosis vary, depending how long you've been in the state. In the early stages, the symptoms may be a bit unpleasant. However, as your body adapts to ketones in the bloodstream, symptoms may decrease. Early symptoms usually last for several days or up to a week in some people. This period of symptoms is sometimes called the keto flu. It may continue until your body is used to burning fat instead of glucose. Afterwards, the levels of ketones should lessen, but that doesn't mean you aren't losing weight. It means your body has found a balance and is no longer producing excess ketones. According to Diet Doctor, early stage symptoms include: Flu-like symptoms, such as fatigue and headache Nausea Brain fog Constipation Leg cramps Feeling unusually thirsty Irritability Heart palpitations Dry mouth Ketosis breath, which smells fruity and unpleasant Decreased energy and weakness Dizziness Sleep problems Cold hands and feet Continue reading >>
End Fatigue Naturally With Ketosis
Needing less sleep, having a clearer mind and being in a better mood have one thing in common: these are benefits of ketosis – and they happen fast. How ketosis energizes When keto clears the brain fog Why good moods happen on keto A main benefit of ketosis is lower insulin levels. Tiredness disappears and energy increases. Is Food Making You Tired? Low carb diets end fatigue simply because they are low in sugar. It’s that easy. Toss the sugar / starch, and toss the naps. Traditional diets are centered around sugary, starchy carbs. These carbs increase and spike insulin levels, resulting in high blood sugar. A rapid rise in insulin causes sluggishness and increases lethargy. The rise in insulin is why we feel tired after a carb-filled meal or have ‘afternoon slumps.’ By the end of the first week of your new diet plan, you should start to reap the rewards of low carb eating. Many people begin to experience increased energy, better mental concentration, less compulsive eating and few or no carb cravings. Of course, everyone’s experience is variable, and it takes longer with some than others. Goodbye Brain Fog Many people begin to experience better mental concentration, less compulsive eating, and few or no carb cravings. Some experience it as a “fog lifting” that they didn’t even know was there. Low carb dieters often report elevated moods, heightened feelings of alertness and less of a need for sleep. Believe it or not, glucose (found in carbs) is not the preferred fuel source for the brain and body. The body and brain run most efficiently on fat. After a few days of severely decreasing or banishing carbohydrates from the diet, most ketogenic eaters report improved moods and a sudden increase in energy to the point where they are bouncing off the walls. H 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 >>
Keto-adaptation (on A Zero Carb Diet)
For a comprehensive page on keto-adaptation and performance by the experts visit this page, or just read The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living which covers this subject in depth and many others: According to Owsley “The Bear” Stanley This is not a dedicated nor complete article, this page is an extract from Owsley’s correspondence with others. See this page for more info. Keto-adaptation on zero carbs should be complete in 3-4 weeks. Ketosis is the situation in which ketones are voided in the urine. It takes place within a few hours of blood glucose stabilising and no glucose entering from the diet. At this point many of the body-structures, such as the brain and deep dense tissues like cartilage and tendon will still require glucose and will not take up the ketone by-products of fat metabolism. So the excess ketones are voided and the necessary glucose is obtained from glycerol and liver glycogen. If carbs continue in small amount, this condition will persist. If however carbs do not reappear in the diet, then the body begins to adapt to using the ketones as food hence the term keto-adaptation. During the period of adaptation, energy levels are subjectively low. As the body begins to run most of the glucose-dependent tissues on ketones, energy increases several fold and some additional benefits are realised, such as a lack of ‘hunger pangs’, increased endurance time, increased strength, a feeling of well-being, and rapid bodyfat loss. Keto-adaptation takes time, from a very minimum of about 2 weeks in a very remarkable person, to from three to six weeks in most people. This is a very hard but very important first hurdle to overcome in getting comfortable in the all-meat dietary path. A person in permanent ketosis will feel tired, lacking in energy mo Continue reading >>
Ketosis Symptoms & Low Carb Flu Explained
What does Ketosis mean exactly, and what are Ketosis symptoms? There are a lot of questions about the Low Carb Flu, also known as “Induction Flu” (based on the Atkins Induction Phase). If you’ve just started eating low carb and you feel miserable, you’re experiencing the low carb flu. Ketosis symptoms include: Headaches, bad breath or a metallic taste in your mouth, irritability (like PMS on steroids! lol), leg cramps, insomnia, nausea, etc. It basically feels like you’ve been hit with a nasty flu. Symptoms vary from person to person. The good news is, it means you’re doing it right! The even better news is… it only lasts a few days. What Is Ketosis? It is a state in which your body burns fat for energy instead of carbs/sugar. A keto state means you are fueling your body on healthy fats instead of carbohydrates. So that saying that “You need carbs for energy!” is untrue. But you DO need either carbohydrates OR healthy fats for energy, which is why you can’t (or shouldn’t) eat “low carb, low fat”. See Low Carb, High Fat Diet Explained Your body and your brain actually operate much better on healthy fats. A ketogenic diet is known to reduce seizures, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, control diabetes and chronic pain issues (fibromyalgia, arthritis, etc) and remedy many other common health issues. The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet. The diet forces the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates. Normally, the carbohydrates contained in food are converted into glucose, which is then transported around the body and is particularly important in fuelling brain function. However, if there is very little carbohydrate in the diet, the liver converts fat into fatty acids and ketone bodies. The ketone bodies pas Continue reading >>
Ketosis – What Is That All About?
What’s it all about? Is it good for you? Is it bad for you? What’s it like? How do I ‘do’ ketosis? How do I know I’m in ketosis? The questions everyone who’s Banting wants the answers to. Ketosis, in chef speak, is quite simply a state your body enters once it has been deprived of glucose. Your body switches to burning fat for energy (stored fat or fat that you have eaten) instead of glucose. A side-effect of that process is the release of ketone bodies into the blood stream. When you’re starved of glucose, your body has no choice but to burn fat for fuel, so it needs little explanation as to why ketosis works at melting fat like a blow heater on an ice sculpture. Ketosis comes with some added extras, namely a commonly noted sense of euphoria or lucidity and increased energy levels. A downside includes toothbrush-proof halitosis, which stems from the secretion of ammonia through the lungs as a side effect of burning all that fat. Some people on low-carb diets have reported kidney stones, gallstones and a number of other ailments. Scientific research on both sides of this debate is being done all the time, but in our experience from talking to the members of our community and tracking their data, it is generally a case of what was done before they started Banting and not Banting itself. But, this post isn’t here to debate that, it serves as a ‘how to’ and not as a ‘you should’. Eat more buttery or creamy sauce on your steak and eat less steak. Your body can convert protein into glucose so too much meat will hinder your progress. What doIdo? Theoretically it is very easy. Avoid anything with high carbs in it. If you’re not sure what those might be, consult the Real Meal Revolution ‘Red List’. Even dipping your toe into the red list will ruin Continue reading >>
Why Do I Have No Energy On Paleo?
One of the biggest reasons why people try Paleo in the first place is to get more energy. They read the testimonials from people who went from constantly-exhausted couch potatoes to vibrant, joyful CrossFit athletes, and they want that transformation for themselves. It’s perfectly understandable to expect that a healthier diet will give you more energy – which is why it’s such a betrayal when sometimes, it doesn’t. If Paleo means spending all day in a haze of exhaustion and brain fog, something’s gotta give. So what could cause this sudden dip in energy when eating healthier foods is supposed to make you feel better? First off, start with the obvious. If you’ve just quit caffeine, if you’re not getting enough sleep regularly, or if you’ve just made another drastic life change, your diet should not be the first place to look for answers. But assuming that nothing else is responsible, it’s reasonable to start troubleshooting your food to make sure you’re not accidentally shooting yourself in the foot with your efforts to eat better. Fatigue Culprit #1: Transition For the first 3 weeks or so of your new Paleo lifestyle, the most likely culprit is simply the transition period. Changes, especially big changes like your entire diet, are exhausting. That’s one of the reasons why habit has such a strong power over us: it takes less energy just to do whatever we’re used to doing. Until you get into a routine, you have to use willpower, and that’s draining, both mentally and physically. Your brain is working a lot harder than it usually has to, so it’s no surprise that you’re tired. On top of that, Paleo tends to be lower in carbs, with most of your calories coming from fat. If you’re switching from a high-carb diet, there’s usually a week or two Continue reading >>
Is There A Dark Side Of Ketosis?
I can’t remember what appetizer she pointed to, but the woman sitting to the left of me said this so casually, and several folks at the table knew exactly what she meant, confirming what I’d long suspected: Ketogenic diets have officially gone mainstream – or recognizable at a party mainstream at least – in 2017. Let’s back up and demystify ketosis, which simply means you’re utilizing ketone bodies – more commonly called ketones – rather than glucose as your body’s primary fuel. Just like your car uses gasoline, your body needs fuel. That usually means glucose. But let’s say you’re on a very-low carbohydrate, higher-fat diet. Your body doesn’t get a lot of glucose, which primarily comes from carbohydrate and to a lesser degree protein. That means your liver’s backup glucose (glycogen) also becomes in short supply. Unlike your car, your body doesn’t just shut down. Thankfully, you have an alternative fuel source called ketones. Ketones are organic compounds your liver always makes. You’re cranking out ketones right now as you read this. During starvation or (more likely) when you restrict carbohydrate and increase fat intake, your body uses ketones as its primary fuel. In other words, when your body doesn’t receive or can’t make enough glucose, it shifts to this alternative fuel. Almost every organ can utilize ketones except for your red blood cells (which don’t have ketone-metabolizing mitochondria) and liver. Your liver, in fact, does the heavy lifting. This hardworking organ metabolizes fat into three ketone bodies: acetoacetate (ACA), beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB), and acetone.(1) BHB is the first substrate that kicks ketosis into action. Among its benefits, BHB reduces chronic inflammation and restores healthy inflammation levels. In 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 >>
What Is Keto Flu? (plus 6 Ways To Cure It)
You’re tired and dizzy, you crave sugar, bread, pasta, and your mind wanders like crazy. You just started a ketogenic diet (or a Paleo or other low carb diet) and you’re suspicious if your new diet is making you feeling this crappy. Removing carbohydrates from your diet all of a sudden may well be the reason why you’re barely able to concentrate on this sentence! This can happen even on a Paleo diet if you remove too many carbs from your diet. And all this feeling of crappiness is due to something people call Keto Flu (or Carb Flu). Read on to find out what is keto flu, how long keto flu lasts, and of course, how to cure keto flu. (CARB FLU = KETO FLU) KETO FLU INFOGRAPHIC – please pin! Please feel free to pin and share this infographic about the keto flu. WHAT IS KETO FLU? Keto flu describes the flu-like symptoms that people starting a low-carb diet often experience. These symptoms are caused by your body being too used to receiving carbohydrates from the food you eat and not being able to change your body’s energy source when you stop eating carbs. (If you’re interested in the science, then this article provides a very detailed explanation of why keto flu happens.) Some people explain keto flu as symptoms resulting from withdrawal from carbohydrates (think drug addiction here). And indeed, there are studies showing that sugars (which are a form of carbohydrates) can cause drug-like additions. But don’t panic if you think you have keto flu. I’ve listed several ways to shorten that period of feeling crappy below. WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF KETO FLU? If you just started a low carb or ketogenic diet, then you might experience keto flu symptoms like: Fatigue Sugar cravings Dizziness Difficulty focusing (or Brain Fog) Nausea Difficulty Getting To Sleep Irritab Continue reading >>
7 Ways To Fight Fatigue On A Low-carb Diet
You have just started a low-carb diet. It’s going ok. Except that you are exhausted all the time. Tiredness is a common low-carb diet side effect, especially in the beginning. Moving from carbs to fat as your main fuel source is a major change for your body. Your metabolism needs time to adjust. Until it does, you might feel tired, and experience low-carb flu symptoms. The duration of this period varies for each individual – it can last from several days to a couple of weeks. Here are some tips on how to speed up this transition and feel better throughout. 1. Eat enough fat Once you cut your carbs, dietary fat becomes your main source of energy. Make sure you are getting enough. On any low-carb high-fat (LCHF) diet, most of your calories should come from fat – about 60%-80%. Check the fat intake guidelines of your chosen diet plan. This is not easy for beginners. Our perception of fat has been destroyed by years of negative propaganda in the media. You need to make an effort to include extra fat to your diet. Otherwise you could fall behind. Not enough fat means less fuel for your body, and less energy. Here’s how to crank up the amount of fat in your diet: Eat fatty meats (for example, sirloin or rib-eye steak, pork belly, lamb neck, bacon, sausages), poultry with skin, fatty fish like salmon and mackerel. Jazz up your cooked vegetables and salads with plenty of butter and high-quality vegetable oils (coconut oil, avocado oil, flax oil, cold-pressed olive oil) Use full-fat cream (or maybe even butter!) in your tea and coffee Choose snacks with some fat in them, for example, cheese, macadamia nuts, brazil nuts, avocados Use high-fat sauces (e.g Bearnaise) and condiments (e.g. mayonnaise) – preferably home-made More tips on how to eat more fat 2. Eat regularly Continue reading >>