Are you struggling while starting out on a low-carb or keto diet? Do you get headaches, leg cramps, constipation or any of the other more common side effects? Use the information on this page to avoid them — and feel great while losing weight. The main way to relieve these symptoms may be to increase your intake of water and salt to replace what your body is losing. It commonly occurs during the first week or two, often starting on days 2 through 4. Symptoms include headaches, feeling tired, lack of motivation, nausea and lethargy. The even better news is that you can possibly avoid these symptoms altogether by consuming adequate water, salt, and fat on day 1.
Dizziness can occur in the first few days, or even week, of a low-carb diet as you adapt to this new way of eating. Loss of water, and consequently electrolytes, as well as plummeting blood sugar levels may make you feel fatigued and lightheaded. Don’t skimp too much on calories and stay ahead of mineral loss to head off this unpleasant side effect. When you lower your carb intake to 50 grams or fewer per day, most people shift into a state of ketosis. Ketosis occurs when your body ups fat burning and produces ketones for energy, rather than using glycogen from carbohydrates. While this is a natural state, if you previously consumed the to grams of carbs — or more — in a standard American diet, it takes time to adjust. The “keto flu” describes some of the unpleasant symptoms that occur during this adjustment period. You feel almost as if you’ve been stricken by a true illness — poor energy, lack of focus, sleep disturbances, exercise intolerance, digestive distress and dizziness are common symptoms. The keto flu usually lasts just a couple of days, or up to a week, as your body adapts to using fat and ketones for energy.
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People who follow a ketogenic diet often complain of unpleasant ketosis side effects. The answer lies in how you approach keto. In these studies, the participants were reducing their carbohydrates to grams per day. Cutting out these complex carbohydrates, as well as gluten, is essential in order for you to become the keto-adapted fat burner we all strive to be. One of the best benefits of becoming keto-adapted is the disappearance of the desire for carbohydrates and sugar, but it can take some time. However, if you find yourself indulging in carbs on the weekends, whether it is a beer or a piece of pizza, these indulgences will throw you out of ketosis. This is why I often discuss with my clients the possibility of adding specific supplements: bifido bacteria, 5-HTP, magnesium, and liquid zinc, to help deter those nasty cravings. This is a problem that can be remedied with better salt and mineral intake. On another note: when you have metabolic syndrome, it means you have a lot of insulin circulating in your blood. I have had clients who were underweight and still had extreme blood sugar issues.