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Ketosis Symptoms & Low Carb Flu Explained

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 >>

Is A Low-carb Diet Ruining Your Health?

Is A Low-carb Diet Ruining Your Health?

I am adding some research gathered from other posts on this site regarding Candida, as I suspect it will help people whose Candida infections are getting worse, or are not improving, while on a low carb diet. As Jeff Leach has pointed out, when people switch to very low carb diets their fermentation drops considerably — which means that there is less acid being produced as Short Chain Fatty Acids (SCFAs). Candida is a dimorphic fungus, which means that it can be either benign or pathogenic (extending hyphae). Candida is only hyphal when it gut pH is extremely acidic (somewhat rare, but can happen with gut diseases like ulcerative colitis) or too alkaline (which happens from not eating enough resistant starches and fibers). If you read through the half dozen studies in that link, you’ll see that Candida has a number of growth genes that are sensitive to pH. These hyphal growth genes switch on when gut pH is too high or too low. In other words, Candida is benign when gut pH is normal. It’s the SCFAs from our fiber and RS fermentation that keep our guts slightly acidic. And it’s no coincidence that acids like acetate or caprylic acid are well known to inactivate candida. Virtually any acid would inactivate candida and it’s the SCFAs from our own gut bugs that do a particularly good job. So, people on very low carb diets have guts that aren’t fermenting and are therefore too alkaline, which as we can see from above promotes candida overgrowth. For these people, increasing their safe starch consumption and taking RS will increase SCFA (acid) production, which helps normalize gut pH and switch off the candida growth genes — returning candida to its benign and harmless state. Simultaneously, RS and fibers tends to bloom good bacteria (which also contributes to in Continue reading >>

5 Keto Flu Remedies That Work

5 Keto Flu Remedies That Work

It can be really unpleasant starting a ketogenic diet as the dreaded keto flu can kick in after a day or two. You have a headache, you feel drained and are thinking that you just have to eat carbohydrates to feel normal again. I know, I’ve been there. There are 5 keto flu remedies that work and I’ll explain them in this article. What Is The Keto Flu? The keto flu is really the body flushing out the stored glucose from the body and attempting to switch over to burning fat as fuel. We are not used to using fat as a fuel so it can take a while for this process to get fired up. In the meanwhile, you are suffering from what is known in keto circles as the keto flu. When it strikes, you are in desperate need of keto flu remedies and fast! You might also hear it called low-carb fatigue, carb withdrawal or keto headache. Symptoms of Keto Flu heart racing feeling weak or fatigued headaches pins and needles brain fog, difficulty concentrating Keto flu may persist for 2-7 days as the body burns through its glucose stores and starts to burn fat for fuel. Two Factors That Cause Keto Flu There are a couple of things going on with keto flu. One of those is that the brain is craving carbohydrates and as a result you get headaches and brain fog as the brain looks for glucose to fuel it but doesn’t find any. The second issue is the drop in insulin caused by the carbohydrate reduction. Sodium is released by the kidneys as a result of the insulin reduction. The body will then lose water along with the sodium causing an electrolyte imbalance. Electrolytes (sodium, magnesium, potassium) are essentially too low and you become dehydrated. So when you combine the brain freaking out and the body lacking essential electrolytes, you can feel pretty rotten. The good news is that you can trans Continue reading >>

Side Effects Of Ketosis

Side Effects Of Ketosis

What are the symptoms of ketosis? The first thing you may notice is a flu type feeling, this can last anywhere up to a week depending on the level of carbs and sugar that you were consuming before you started, and as you progress further you may experience the following; Irritability, Fatigue, weakness & lack of concentration Decrease in performance Dizziness, lightheaded Heart palpitations Headache Cold/flu symptoms Insomnia Keto Breath, dry mouth Metallic or sweet taste in your mouth Increased ketones in blood & urine Heightened thirst Hunger, sweet or carb Cravings Stomach discomfort, nausea, cramping constipation or diarrhoea Fast weight loss in the first week (usually water weight) Frequent urination Periods can become heavy, more frequent (this will settle down) Hormonal Hair growth or loss in some cases (this will settle down) Body odour, including vaginal odour (the PH balance is changing in our bodies) Yeast infection (candida dying off) Increased fertility Keto rash Recent recipes Weight loss Inch loss Improved mental health Improved mental clarity Lowered cholesterol. Lowered blood Sugar More energy Lack of hunger Lack of cravings Improved skin How to overcome Keto side effects Start off by lowering your carbs over a few days or even 2 weeks, going cold turkey can make you feel really crappy especially if you have been consuming lots of carbs and sugar. Eat lots of fat Make sure you are getting enough electrolytes Low carb diets are diuretic so it is important to replenish our electrolytes we need sodium (salt) magnesium and potassium you can do this by Upping your sodium (salt intake) to 5g per day if consuming less than 50g of carbs per day, achieve this by drinking 1-2 cups of bone broth, bullion or stock per day and sprinkling pink Himalayan rock salt on Continue reading >>

Transitioning To Keto & Avoiding The Keto Flu

Transitioning To Keto & Avoiding The Keto Flu

Although "keto flu" symptoms are commonly experienced by people transitioning to a lower carbohydrate diet, if you ever feel unwell when following a ketogenic diet, you must pause it and see your care provider. Before going on a ketogenic diet, you should first discuss it with your doctor and make sure that it is a safe and healthy option for you. Ketogenic diets are not beneficial for everyone (see medical conditions which are contraindicated with ketogenic diets below, and do your research before trying a low carb or keto diet which is very restrictive in carbohydrates). In some cases, low blood sugar can result in adverse reactions (with diabetics in particular) so caution and proper doctor supervision and permission must be sought when making any drastic dietary changes. What exactly is the “Keto flu”? During the beginning stages of the ketogenic diet, its common to begin feeling “bogged down”. Due to ketogenic processes happening in your body, this abnormal feeling is to be expected. However, it must not be sustained due to prolonged exposure to circulating ketones. The “keto flu” is a feeling of flu-like symptoms due to your muscles and organs not being able to function optimally due to circulating ketones generated by the ketogenic diet. It may also be related to hypoglycemia or low blood sugar (see below). Common symptoms include lightheadedness, nausea, fatigue, mental fogginess, abdominal cramps, headaches, and diarrhea. How long does it last? It really depends. However, Keto flu symptoms can begin to appear as early as 1-2 weeks into the ketogenic diet and will remain as long as ketosis is occurring. If symptoms become uncomfortable or interfere with daily routines, the ketogenic diet should be stopped and carbohydrates are to be reintroduced. Hyp Continue reading >>

Dear Mark: The Low Carb Flu

Dear Mark: The Low Carb Flu

Conquering carbs offers a whole constellation of rewards, not the least of which is a steady, brisk energy unlike most people have known before (well, maybe since the whirling age of 10 or so…). People tell me constantly that they can finally make it through the day without being down for the count every midafternoon. They enjoy enough vigor and vitality to weather a whole day’s worth of activity. The busyness of life becomes easier to handle: the energy demands of daily work or business travel, the mayhem and constant commotion of kids, a weekend’s worth of chores and errands, etc. A skipped meal doesn’t suddenly change the agenda to including procuring a bagel or other false pick-me-up. Nonetheless, for some folks, there’s a common, temporary but still bothersome bump in the road on the way to that Primal prize. Though it varies, it often means a couple weeks of mental fuzziness, fog and fatigue. Although your body might be off to the races, your brain can lag behind like a little brother in a stuffed snowsuit. It’s a game of “hey, wait up!” while the body’s mechanisms and metabolism align themselves. They call it “low carb flu,” and rest assured it’s just as temporary. Dear Mark, I just want to know if anyone who has been Primal for some time had any trouble with cognition in the first few weeks. I can hardly think straight, especially after eating, and I am also low on energy. Will this pass??? Besides that, my body feels great!” Thanks to Jessica for her question in response to Matt Garland’s excellent guest post last week. It’s a common subject of emails I receive. First off, I should mention that some folks experience the low carb flu, and others don’t. Overall, those who have been lower carb for some time seem to have fewer proble Continue reading >>

Why The Ketogenic Diet May Help Fight Diabetes, Cancer

Why The Ketogenic Diet May Help Fight Diabetes, Cancer

A diet extremely high in fat may not seem like the best way to lose fat. But there’s a growing body of research showing that the high-fat, low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet is not only good for weight loss, but also may help in preventing disease. The ketogenic diet, or keto, relies on using your fat as fuel, instead of glucose from carbohydrates or protein. Simply put, the daily ketogenic diet consists of 75 percent fat, 20 percent of protein, and a teeny allotment of carbohydrates, about 5 percent. This balance of macronutrients is intended to put your body in a state of ketosis, which suppresses the release of insulin and blood glucose levels. The benefits of ketosis to your health are improvements in biomarkers like blood glucose, reduction of blood pressure and decreased appetite due to fullness linked to consumption of fats. You might think this sounds a lot like the Atkins diet — it’s not. The main difference lies in the protein content of the diet. Atkins tends to be very high in protein, while ketogenic is moderate. Getty Images stock It's not the easiest plan to follow, but the theory of ketosis as a possible prevention against disease is gaining attention from cancer specialists. Tumor immunologist Dr. Patrick Hwu, one of the leading cancer specialists in the U.S., has followed the keto diet for four years, although he prefers to call it the fat-burning metabolism diet, or fat-burning diet. More research is needed to prove its benefits, but Hwu, the head of cancer medicine at MD Anderson in Houston, believes in it after seeing improvements in his own health. Why keto works The body’s first and preferred fuel of choice is glucose — stored as glycogen. Anytime you eat a carbohydrate, be it lentils or licorice, the body turns it into glucose, or sugar. B Continue reading >>

The Basic Ketogenic Diet

The Basic Ketogenic Diet

Note: Please note that if you are interested in a Ketogenic Diet used to treat Epilepsy or Pediatric Epilepsy, please start at Johns Hopkins who are the pioneers in this field. The wikipedia page for the Ketogenic Diet diet also has information on the diet as it relates to treating epilepsy. The diet below is simply for rapid and effective weight loss and uses a 1 to 1 fat to protein ratio rather than the 4 to 1 fat to combined protein and carbs ratio of the Ketogenic Diet pioneered by Johns Hopkins used to treat epilepsy. [wp_ad_camp_3] Disclaimer: I am neither a doctor nor self proclaimed nutrition expert so please consult your doctor before starting any diet or taking any action that affects your health and wellbeing. After finishing Gary Taubes latest book, which seems to have rapidly become the cornerstone of a new approach to nutrition, I’ve become very interested in the Ketogenic diet. The speed of weight loss I’ve seen is incredible and my energy level has remained high. The science behind a ketogenic diet is solidly backed up by Taubes research published in “Good Calories, Bad Calories” and “Why we get fat“. According to Taubes’ research, it may also be the only way for people who have become severely insulin resistant, to effectively lose weight. The Ketogenic diet has always lived on the fringes of diet lore and has been seen as extreme. But the reality is that the low glycemic index diet (Low GI Diet) is effective because it is close to, but not quite, a ketogenic diet. Other diets like the South Beach Diet are also only effective because of the reduction in carbs and consequently insulin levels. The science behind this diet looks solid and it is part of the massive shift in nutrition research we’ve seen in the last few years. Prominent sport Continue reading >>

The Ketogenic Diet And Mental Health

The Ketogenic Diet And Mental Health

Inflammation is one of the most powerful factors which determines health and illness. Levels of inflammation in the body are very strongly influenced by dietary choices. In my holistic practice of psychiatry, one of the most important conversations which I have repeatedly with my patients, is the fundamental importance of following a non-inflammatory diet. This conversation must be had repeatedly, because diet is one of the very hardest things for most people to change. For optimum health, I believe that a Ketogenic Diet, one that is high in fat, adequate in protein and low in carbohydrate, exerts the most anti-inflammatory effect. This combination changes the way energy is used in the body; instead of deriving energy from carbohydrates which convert to glucose, energy is sourced from fats which convert in the liver into fatty acids and ketone bodies. An elevated level of ketone bodies in the blood, a state known as ketosis, is correlated with myriad health benefits. In contrast, elevated levels of glucose leads to inflammation, insulin resistance and accelerates aging. Research on the impact of a ketogenic diet for Cancer, Autism, Alzheimer’s Disease, ALS, Parkinson’s Disease, Traumatic Brain Injuries, Sleep Disorders, Headaches, Bipolar Disorder, Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease is emerging, and I anticipate that we are going to be hearing much more about its health benefits and novel applications. The ketogenic diet was used very effectively to treat epilepsy in the 1920’s, until anti-convulsant drugs were introduced in the 1940’s, when it fell out of favor. It’s easier to take pills than to follow a restrictive diet, and the pharmaceutical industry’s lobby is very influential. Pharmaceuticals, as opposed to dietary changes, remain the standard of care Continue reading >>

Surviving Wheat Withdrawal

Surviving Wheat Withdrawal

Wheat withdrawal can be unpleasant business. Read the many thousands of comments on this blog describing the physical and emotional turmoil that develops in the first few days of wheat avoidance and you will come to appreciate just how awful it can be. It is important that wheat withdrawal is recognized for what it is, as some people say, “I feel awful. It must mean that I need wheat.” Nope. It is a withdrawal syndrome, a good thing, a transitional phase as your body tries to return to its normal state. Wheat withdrawal has been labeled by different names over the years–“Atkin’s flu,” “Paleo flu,” “keto flu,” “low carb flu,” etc. Because this only happens with the various forms of carbohydrate restriction (there is no corresponding “low-fat flu” or “Ornish flu”), it has often been attributed to the delayed conversion of a glycogen/glucose-dominant metabolism to that of fatty acid oxidation. This is true . . . but only partly. Yes, forcing the conversion from a constant flow of carbs from “healthy whole grains” and sugars to increasing the enzymatic capacity to oxidize fats does indeed cause several weeks of low energy–but how do we explain the depression, nausea, headaches, lightheadedness, dehydration, emotional outbursts, intensive wheat cravings, bloating, constipation, even intensification of joint pain, effects that are not likely attributable to hypoglycemia or poor mobilization of energy? Delayed ramp-up of fatty acid oxidation is indeed part of the reason for the phenomena of wheat withdrawal, but does not explain all of it. Most of these phenomena are caused by withdrawal from the gliadin-derived opiates in wheat, the 4- to 5-amino acid long polypeptides that increase appetite and cause addictive eating behaviors. You can a Continue reading >>

Ketogenic Diet Side Effects

Ketogenic Diet Side Effects

Keto side effects So we know that a side effect of ketosis is weight loss, but what other side effects are there? Not everyone will experience any of these or all of these. It really depends on your body chemistry. Well, here is the positive and the negative of it! The Negatives: Keto flu – Usually occurs in the first week, but really can happen anytime we are not ensuring electrolytes and water are in check! It really does feel like the flu, headaches, brain fog, feeling tired, nausea and muscle cramps. Muscle Cramps – This is a side effect of mineral loss, in particular magnesium. Making sure to drink plenty of water and managing electrolytes is key to warding of muscle cramps. Bad Breath – This is caused by ketones. It produces a fruity smell similar to nail polish remover. It is usually temporary while the body becomes more adapted to ketosis. This is NOT a dental problem, the smell is actually coming from your lungs. Maintaining good oral health and drinking plenty of water can help. As it keeps the mouth fresh and prevents other odors from mixing with the acetone smells. If it becomes a real issue try reducing your ketosis by increasing your carbohydrate intake. Fatigue or reduced physical performance – While the body is adapting to burning ketones you may experience this. Try increasing fats a bit and drink plenty of fluids. This will only last a couple weeks! Frequent urination – This is not only a side effect of the ketosis but also from the increase in fluid intake! While on keto drinking plenty of water is very very important. Ketosis causes insulin levels to drop and level out and so this signals to the kidneys to release extra water stores and this comes out as urine. Keto rash – Usually happens where the body produces sweat. Neck, armpits, ches Continue reading >>

7 Signs That You Are In Ketosis

7 Signs That You Are In Ketosis

When you first start following a keto diet, it will take you a couple of days to enter into the state of ketosis. Depending on your activity level and on your metabolism, this usually takes 2 to 4 days to achieve. How do you know that you’re in ketosis, though? There are a few signs and symptoms that you might experience, which will definitely help you to figure it out. If you don’t want to measure your ketones level and spend money on Ketostix and similar products, you can rely on these symptoms to tell if you are in ketosis: #1. Rapid weight loss One of the first signs of ketosis is the rapid weight loss that you will experience in the first couple of days. It usually varies from 3 to 8 lbs and most of it will be water weight. Nevertheless, it’s still a very encouraging way to begin your keto journey. Glycogen is how your body stores the extra energy from glucose, and each gram of glycogen is bound to 3 to 4 grams of water. This is why, as glycogen stores in your muscles, liver and fat cells get depleted, a lot of water will come off (1). Because of the diuretic effect of the keto diet, you need to stay properly hydrated and make sure that you have your electrolytes in check. After the initial period of rapid weight loss, you will continue using your fat stores and will be now losing body fat. #2. Decreased hunger When your body switches to using fat as its primary fuel source (instead of glucose) it is normal to experience a significant loss of appetite, which will probably last for a while. The reasons for this are not completely clear yet, but a lot of people report a diminished sense of hunger on a keto diet, which is indeed one of the reasons why it is so easy to stick to it and achieve great results. Calories still matter and you will need to be in a calor Continue reading >>

The Ultimate Keto Diet Beginner’s Guide & Grocery List

The Ultimate Keto Diet Beginner’s Guide & Grocery List

This post may contain affiliate links. See affiliate disclaimer here. So you’ve made the decision to change your lifestyle and lose weight fast & easy with a keto diet – yay! But where do you start? A new diet can be stressful. Constantly wondering if you are eating the right things, buying the right things and just doing it right in the first place. Sound familiar? It doesn’t have to! I’ve created this grocery list guide for Keto beginner’s so you can jump right in and start losing weight! Macros Before we get into the list, I want you to know what you should be eating and why. Generally, macros in a Keto diet ranges from: 60-75% of calories from fat 15-30% of calories from protein 5-10% of calories from carbs. So if you are eating 1500 calories a day, you should be consuming: 117 grams of fat 92 grams of protein 20-25 grams of net carbs (subtract grams of fiber from grams of carbs consumed) You can easily adjust these goals in MyFitnessPal (they do all the math for you!). What to Make It’s always good to go into the grocery store with a game plan so you don’t buy things you’ll regret later. I also like to keep things as simple as possible. Going through Pinterest, every recipe seems to have a bazillion ingredients, take hours & a culinary degree to make, or require random ingredients that are annoying to find and super expensive. You can also find my 7 Day Free Meal Plan here for inspiration! My Top Tips for Keeping It Simple — Go for quality, not quantity. You don’t need to buy everything you see to start out on a keto diet. I love Keto because it’s simple, so stick with that mindset! Get a nice cut of meat, a good quality butter & some dark green veggies – you’re done and you won’t feel like you’re dieting! — Complicated recipes are d Continue reading >>

The Ketogenic Diet Part Two: Troubleshooting

The Ketogenic Diet Part Two: Troubleshooting

Since writing about the ketogenic diet, I received a slew of inquiries on the “how-to’s,” and the process of keto-adaptation. I have also received emails from some who are having a hard time breaking into ketosis. There are numerous factors involved in the adaptation process and properly following the diet for success; however, I believe more research is needed to learn why some people become efficient fat burning machines and others struggle to keto-adapt and lose fat. I have learned a lot working with so many weight loss resistant individuals, and will attempt to bring more clarity to some of these difficult questions. Since each of our bodies is different, the diet needs to be fine-tuned to gain the greatest benefits, but there are conditions like perimenopause, hypothyroidism, and neurotoxicity that I have found will keep someone from adapting to an efficient fat burner. The complex topic remains an ongoing subject of interest for me and many of my clients, and following are some common questions I’ve been asked, as well as strategies I developed to help those who struggle to break through into fat burning machines. Some people confuse being in nutritional ketosis (NK) with diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), which is very different. DKA is a serious condition affecting people with diabetes (mostly type 1), and occurs due to a massive shortage of insulin in the body that forces the body to burn fatty acids for energy and gives off a massive amount of the byproduct from the fat burning (ketones > than 10). The lack of insulin also leads to an increased release of glucose by the liver and dangerously high blood sugar levels, and can result in death. Conversely, NK is safe, produces normal levels of blood ketones from fat burning (.5 to 5), and can provide outstanding Continue reading >>

Ketogenic Food List • What Is Keto Diet?

Ketogenic Food List • What Is Keto Diet?

Note: There are affiliate links in this post. See full disclosure. I’ve created this full Ketogenic food list of allowed and not allowed foods + all there is to know about the Ketogenic Diet. Do you feel like your normal body energy is all over the place? Are you constantly losing focus after a meal containing high levels of carbohydrates? Well, try to consider the Ketogenic Diet, also known as Keto for short. Just like the normal diet, this one aids in weight loss and is considered a fat loss diet. However, it is not really like the average diet. It stands out on so many levels. It comes with its own Ketogenic food list, see below. Keto diet is famous for improving the health of people suffering from cancer, epilepsy, and Alzheimer’s disease and many other health issues (see below). It is simple yet requires paying attention to what you eat. What is Keto Diet? (Low-Carb, fat loss diet) The Keto diet is a diet where you eat very low amounts of carbohydrates, moderate amounts of proteins, and a high amount of fats. It seems like you are cutting down on all the good stuff, but this is actually more beneficial to your health than most diets. Most people are generally addicted to carbohydrates (learn about good carbs vs bad carbs) and sugars, especially those of the working class due to the high energy levels they have to sustain and the minimal free time they get. However, this diet is sure to wean you off this addiction sooner than you think. The Nitty-Gritty Details about Ketogenic Diet….. The main benefit of this is the amount of glycogen this diet allows you to accumulate in the body. Glycogen from carbohydrates and all other macronutrients end up stored in the body. Therefore, fat levels in the body are burnt-out for energy, which the diet boosts. The body loses Continue reading >>

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