dehydration

8 Things I’ve Noticed During My First Week Of Keto

It’s been over a week since I starting a keto diet.  Here are a few things I’ve noticed:

1.  Keto flu Is Real:  Before starting the diet I heard that some people experienced what is known as the “keto flu.”  Some people had minor symptoms and full blown flu like symptoms for weeks.  I thought it wouldn’t hit me so hard since my original diet wasn’t heavy in carbs and sugar.  I was wrong.

The first couple days I was fine, but by day three I was floored.  Day 4 was even worse.  It wasn’t until I started chugging bullion and popping magnesium and potassium pills that I started to feel normal again.  It’s day 9 and I think it’s safe to say the worse is over.

2. Brain Fog But Less Anxiety:  The bad part of my first week on keto – the brain fog.  The good – less anxiety.  I’ve gone through waves of brain fog since starting the diet.  When the brain fog hits my concentration goes out the window.  Even typing out a simple post becomes a chore.  Yesterday I tried to write a post and ended up just staring at the computer screen like an idiot.  But I was a happy idiot, which is the good side about going keto.  Since starting this diet I’ve noticed that I’ve become a lot more calm.  I don’t react negatively to situations that would usually anger me (road rage has gone way down).

3. Less Energy:  My energy levels took a major hit since starting this diet.  There coming back a little, but it’s nowhere near the levels I had when I was eating a moderate to high carb diet.  I still workout, but I just don’t have the same juice.  This has been the most disappointing aspect of the diet so far.

I started a keto diet because I heard it was suppose to give you more energy.  I knew it would take sometime to become “keto adapted”(your body learns to burn fat instead of glucose), but I didn’t expect my energy to dip this low.

4.  Shredding Weight:  I’m losing so much weight I’m afraid I might wither away.  Losing weight wasn’t my main goal of this diet since I didn’t have much to lose in the first place, but if your looking to shred weight quickly keto is definitely for you.

5.  Thirst:  I’ve been drinking over a gallon of water a day plus a couple cups of bullion.  After being hit by the keto flu hard on day 3 & 4 I’ve made sure to keep hydrated.

6.  It’s Tougher Than You Think:  Limiting yourself to 20-30 carbs a day isn’t easy.  You find yourself analyzing every food label.  You’ll start to notice that foods you thought were good choices are actually loaded with carbs.

It’s also, hard to eat a ton of fat while not getting an equal amount of protein.  Sure, a ribeye steak may have 63 grams of fat but it also has 69 grams of protein.  A keto diet is suppose to 65% fat and 35% protein, a balancing act that is sometimes tough to manage.  The last week I’ve been on a quest to find foods that are high in fat without much protein, and 0 carbs.  My recommendation – learn to love coconut oil, avocados, and cacao butter.

7. Phantom Hunger Pains: I get these weird hunger pains after meals that I can only describe as phantom hunger pains.  I’m full yet I still have something telling me I need to eat more.  I guess it’s my body’s way off dealing with the carb & sugar withdrawal.

8.  Sleep:  For as long as I can remember I’ve had a problem with insomnia.  It’s either I can’t fall asleep or I’ll wake up in the middle of the night and won’t be able to fall back asleep.  Not anymore.

I sleep like baby since starting the keto diet.  No tossing and turning.  No more waking up in the middle of the night.  The most beneficial and unexpected part of this diet is the quality of sleep I’m getting.

Conclusion 

After a week I think I may up my carb intake from 20-30g’s a day to the 40-50 range.  I feel that limiting you carb intake to 20-30g’s is for people who are really trying to cut weight, which is not one of my goals.  I also really don’t like the idea of skimping on certain vegetables in fear they’ll push me past my carb limit.

If your interested in starting a keto diet I suggest you don’t start it while training.  If you’re accustom to the Standard American Diet your first week is going to be brutal.  Your energy levels will be shot.  They say it takes 21 days on average to transform your body into fat burner.  It’s probably best to start a training program after that time has passed.

If you do decide to train hard or have a physically demanding job while doing keto I suggest you shoot for the 100g a day average instead of 20-30g’s.     

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3 Ways To Cure Keto Flu

It’s day six of my ketogenic diet.  I haven’t been able to kick the keto flu completely.  It comes in waves.  I’ll feel good for a while and then it hits me like a ton of bricks.  Today I couldn’t pull myself off the bed for two hours.

It probably doesn’t help that I’ve been doing kettle bell workouts and 8 miles runs, or that it’s 80+ degrees inside and outside my house.  Oh well.

So far my keto diet seems like an act of masochism.  My energy is shot.  My mind is a haze.  I fantasized about eating something as simple as a bowl of white rice.

You may ask why would you inflict this much torture on yourself?

I don’t know if I have a good answer for that.  I guess I’m hoping that this will pay off once my body becomes keto adapted.  Maybe I’m just stubborn.  I definitely didn’t know what I was getting into, and now that I’m in it I feel like going back is failure.

I also realize I haven’t exactly been stellar in combatting the keto flu.  I don’t need to be working out so hard in 80+ degree weather.  This doesn’t exactly help mineral depletion that’s already happening as a result of eliminating carbs & sugars.   

If you’re in the beginning stages of a ketogenic diet don’t shoot yourself in the foot.  Make sure to replenish yourself.

When you starve yourself of carbs your kidneys shift from retaining water & sodium to getting rid of them at a faster rate.  This causes all kinds of problems like dizziness, brain fog, and nausea.  On top of that, your kidneys respond to lower sodium levels by dumping potassium in order to maintain an adequate sodium – potassium ratio.  To sum it all up, your feeling like shit because your dehydrated.

So how do you replenish yourself?

Sodium, Potassium, and Magnesium

Sodium:  Since I started the keto diet I’ve had a water bottle close at all times. I’m constantly thirsty.  It’s fair to say, I underestimated how dehydrated you can get on a keto diet.

A couple days ago I started adding a sea salt and lemon to my water.  It seemed to help a little, but if you really want to amp up the sodium level I suggest sipping on some bullion.

There’s over 900 mg of sodium in each bullion cube.  Bullion is cheap and it tastes better than constantly chugging salty lemon water.  You can get bullion in different flavors, usually beef or chicken, its just like soup broth.

Potassium:  Potassium is one of the most common deficient mineral in the Standard American Diet, and it’s especially deficient in keto diets.  Make sure to eat potassium rich foods like spinach, avocados, mushrooms and pork.  You can also take a potassium supplement.

Just remember too much potassium can be a bad thing.  Always read labels.  The standard adult should get 2,000 mg per day.

Magnesium:  Magnesium is another common mineral deficiency.    The average adult should get 400 mg a day.

Some magnesium rich foods that are also keto friendly are: nuts, cacao, fish, and spinach.  You can also take magnesium supplements.

Conclusion

A few hours ago I felt like death.  I took a potassium pill, magnesium pill, and drank 2 cups of bullion and I feel much better.  Will see what tomorrow brings.

P.S. Don’t forget to drink water.  Lots of it.  Carry a gallon jug around with you if need to.