THE KETO FLU
Cravings for Carbohydrates
If a low-carb or ketogenic diet is a new experience, you may notice increased cravings for carb-rich comfort foods like bread, chips, crackers and dessert.
Often times our “cravings” are simply habits. See them for what they are and allow the feeling to pass.
However, there are also biological explanations.
The microbiome in your gut has grown accustomed to feeding on carbohydrates and you probably have an imbalance of species that demand these foods.
Yes, it is true… the bugs in your gut can actually influence your brain to feed them what they desire!
The good news is that your microbiome changes on a daily basis – and a positive change in your diet can quickly alter its makeup.
Also, if your body is accustomed to burning glucose for energy (as is the case for most people), it will cry out for glucose when it is suddenly no longer available.
However, as your blood sugar metabolism stabilizes, your carbohydrate cravings will gradually decrease and then go away almost entirely. >>Discover This Keto Diet Loophole Designed For The Hormones And Metabolism Of People Over 40…
Electrolyte Loss & Increased Urinary Frequency Another common side effect of your transition into ketosis might include more frequent visits to the bathroom. And this is especially common during your first week.
As you produce less insulin, your body will begin dumping the glycogen (a form of stored carbohydrates) held in your liver and muscles. And for every gram of glycogen, you store about three grams of water. This water may come pouring out in a big “whoosh”.
As this happens, you should also experience a decrease in overall bloating and much leaner, less puffy facial features.
Most people are very happy with the quick weight loss results and rapid positive change in their appearance!
But there is a downside…
Increased urination and the release of retained water can lead to dehydration (so be sure to drink lots of water). It can also cause a loss of critical electrolytes, including sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium.
And if you allow these critical minerals to become depleted, you will almost certainly experience the “keto flu.”
A general consensus among nutrition experts is to aim for the following daily amounts:
- Sodium: 3,000 – 5,000 mg (3g – 5g)
- Potassium: 1,000 mg
- Magnesium: 300 mg
Here are a few recommendations:
- Alternate plain water with Sole Water. It is pronounced “solay” and simply means that the water is fully saturated with high-quality mineral-rich salt (not table salt). You can Google the term for more information and instructions.
- Sip on Bone Broth. Not only is a well-seasoned bone broth delicious… it is also packed with electrolytes!
- Increase consumption of low-carb vegetables, rich in calcium, potassium and magnesium. This can include kale, broccoli, beet greens, spinach, avocado and mushrooms (Yes, we know “shrooms” are technically not veggies – but they are a good source of potassium!).
Unusual-Smelling Breath A few weeks into the ketogenic diet, you (or others) may notice a smell on your breath, reminiscent of turned fruit, baby’s breath or nail polish remover. This is due to the increased levels of acetone in your body.
Acetone is a ketone that is produced as your body enters ketosis. Smelling it on your breath is actually a good (if slightly awkward) indicator that your ketogenic diet is working.
If you do experience this, pat yourself on the back that you have reached ketosis. And keep in mind that for most people the smell subsides after a few weeks. To reduce the odor in the meantime, rinse your mouth with coconut oil, chew on mint leaves or carry a container of xylitol mints (which have an added benefit of reducing oral bacteria and risk of cavities).
It is important to note that, while it doesn’t happen to everyone, a change in your breath is a normal and temporary aspect of nutritional ketosis.
Short-Term Fatigue One of the many wonderful health benefits of the ketogenic diet is increased energy. However, as your body makes the switch from burning primarily carbohydrates to using healthy dietary fat, stored body fat and ketones for energy – it is not uncommon to experience fatigue.
Feeling sluggish is one of the primary reasons people abandon keto. But remember… this is NOT a permanent condition!
While it can take anywhere from a week to a full month for your body to reach a stable state of nutritional ketosis, the reward on the other side is incredible.
Not only will your energy return in full – you will probably experience more energy, stamina and mental alertness than you have in decades!
That is because fat is a FAR MORE efficient fuel than sugar. Not only does it produce less metabolic waste when it burns – it also generates significantly more raw horsepower!
Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is the basic unit of “energy currency” in your body. A molecule of sugar produces exactly 36 units of ATP, while dietary fat produces an average 155 units of ATP.
In other words, dietary fat produces 330% more cellular energy than sugar!
But get this…
The fat stored on your body is in the form of triglycerides. And every TRI-glyceride holds THREE long chain fatty acids.
So every molecule of body fat you burn produces 465 units of ATP! Compared to the measly 36 ATP you get from carbs, you produce 1,191% more cellular energy from body fat than you do from sugar!
It’s obvious why the number-one benefit cited by people who become “fat burners” is profoundly more energy! When your body is adapted to produce energy from stored fat…
- You wake up feeling refreshed in the morning
- You no longer crave a jolt of sugar or caffeine to fight afternoon drowsiness, and
- You have all the energy you need for work… play… and exercise.
The more energy you have, the more success you will enjoy in every aspect of life!
So if you do make the decision to pursue the keto diet, I strongly encourage you to stick with it long enough to transform your body into a lean, mean fat-burning machine.
Once you do, you’ll never look back!
References Musa-veloso K, Likhodii SS, Cunnane SC. Breath acetone is a reliable indicator of ketosis in adults consuming ketogenic meals. Am J Clin Nutr. 2002;76(1):65-70.