Keto Flu

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.   

Why You Should Use A Keto Calculator

It’s day 4 of my keto diet.  I woke up feeling good, no keto flu symptoms.

I did a little work, went for a long run, and had my first meal of the day – 3 eggs, 2 slices of bacon, a little spinach, onion, and cheddar cheese.

Twenty minutes later I felt like death.  Keto flu was back.  I laid down on the bed and drifted in and out.  I caught myself fantasizing about eating ramen noodles and dorritos.  Even as I type this my mouth waters at the thought of it.

Kicking my carb & sugar addiction has been a chore so far, but I’m already in too deep.  There’s no going back.  If I folded now I couldn’t live with myself.

  If I haven’t scared you off the keto diet yet, and you’re still interested in giving it shot, I suggest using a keto calculator.

A keto calculator will give you a rough estimate of how many grams of fat and protein you should have daily depending body size, age, lifestyle etc.  Carbohydrates stay the same for everyone.  The goal is to get 20-30 carbs a day.  Fats and proteins intake can change a lot depending on the person and their goals.  In general, it should always remain around 75% fat to 25% proteins.

Once you get a rough estimate, start writing down your meals.  Look up the nutritional facts for each food throughout the day.  Pay close attention to fats, proteins, and carbs.  After a few days you will get a good idea of what you need to eat to reach ketosis.  Now you can make meals plans instead of having to look at the nutritional facts every time you sit down to eat.      

Day 3 Of A Ketogenic Diet – “Keto Flu”

It’s not even three days into my ketogenic diet and I can feel the effects of the “keto flu.”

If your not familiar with ketogenic diet, it’s basically a diet where you starve your body of carbohydrates.  This is unusual for most since the Standard American Diet (SAD) is loaded with carbs.

Carbs get broken down into glucose & insulin which your body turns into energy.  When you starve yourself of carbs your body is forced to use fat storages to produce energy.  Of course this is a complete laymen’s description of a ketogenic diet.  If you want to learn more you should read up on it.  Ruled.me is good place to start.

My old diet wasn’t loaded with carbs.  I stayed away from bread and pasta.  My main sources of carbs came from brown rice, quinoa, and steel oats.  My diet was also low in sugar (another thing you starve yourself of on a ketogenic diet).  I knew the transition to a ketogenic diet wouldn’t be as tough for me as it for some, but that doesn’t mean I still haven’t felt the effects.

New comers to a ketogenic diet usually experience flu like symptoms for the first few days.  Some cases are worse than others.  Basically you’re experiencing withdrawals from carbs and sugar.  Here’s a few things I’ve notice since switching to a ketogenic diet:

1. Constant Thirst:  My mouth is constantly dry.  If your thinking about switching to a ketogenic diet make sure to have a water bottle handy.  I’ve been taking a gallon water jug with me everywhere, and have had no problem finishing it before the day is done.

The Ketogenic diet acts as a diuretic.  You’ll constantly be running to the bathroom.  You’re going to lose a lot of electrolytes.  Most of the flu like symptoms that people experience during the first couple of days of a ketogenic diet are a result of dehydration.  Drink lots of water.  It also helps to throw a lemon and some sea salt in your glass.   

2.  Brain Fog:  The last couple of days my brain has been in a fog, and generally just  feel lazy.  It’s a bit harder to keep concentration.  Even writing this post right now feels like a chore.  Supposedly, the ketogenic diet is suppose to increase mental focus, but that’s after your body has adapted to burning fats to create energy.  It’s only day 3, so will see what happens.

3.  Phantom Hunger Pains: After I ate last night I felt hunger pains even though I was completely full.  I felt these throughout the night.  I ate a few handfuls of nuts to curb these cravings, but it was like force feeding myself.  I can only assume this was my body screaming for carbs since I ate more than enough.    

Conclusion

Even though it’s only been a few days I figured I would let people know what to expect if they were considering a ketogenic diet.

If you do decided to try it keep in mind what in store for you. Of course, these results will vary drastically depending on your lifestyle.  You may have no symptoms at all or you may feel like you have a full blown fever.  So far the effects I’ve noticed are mild, and nothing that will throw you off too much.

I will keep you posted on my journey with ketogenic diet.  At this moment, I’m treating it like an experiment.  If I notice benefits after a two weeks I will stick with it.