Why am I Exhausted on the Keto Diet?

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The keto diet triggers the body to severely change the way it stores, utilizes, and processes food. This, inevitably, severely alters in the way one feels – at first, anyway. In order to fully grasp how this occurs, it is necessary to first know more about ketosis and the keto diet. The title ‘keto diet’ was given to this particular diet plan due to what occurs in the body when its intake is strictly ‘low-carb’ and ‘high fat.’ Listed below are some of the key facts.

Glucose, which is known to be a simple sugar, is the main energy source of the body and is also known as blood sugar.

  • The body typically derives energy via food consumption and by transforming carbohydrates into glucose. When an excess of glucose is present, it is kept in the liver and in the muscles as fat tissue.
  • If the body does not ingest ‘enough’ carbohydrates to satisfy all energy needs of the body, it is forced to find a different energy source. It breaks down the stored fat, altering it into a different energy source known as ketones (via a process known as ketogenesis.)
  • When the body is using stored fat and making ketones for its energy requirements, it then enters a metabolic state referred to as ketosis – a metabolic state which is the foundation of the keto diet.

To cut a long story short, keto is a low-carb diet intended to push the body into ketosis. In this metabolic state, your body burns fat cells that have been kept over time and does not have an abundant amount of glucose to keep as new fat.

The title ‘keto diet’ is a shortened title for ‘ketogenic diet,’ which describes the practice of burning fat by the body – and the practice of losing weight.

Why the Keto Diet Temporarily Exhausts You

In the words of The Healthy, this diet delivers drastic changes to the body. Rather than consuming a diet that is high in carbohydrates, you are now ingesting large amounts of fat and protein while staying away from most carbohydrates and beginning a state of ketosis as an outcome. Suddenly, the body must acclimate to a completely new diet and must use a different technique of obtaining its needed energy.

This is a difficult process to which the body adjusts and it may exhaust you (temporarily,) but this is normal. Actually, it is assumed that this will be problematic and there is actually an unofficial name for it – the keto flu. A more scientific title for this is keto induction and it is sometimes entitled ketogenic fatigue. This is not exactly the flu and it doesn’t come from a virus, but ketonic fatigue has similar symptoms. Fatigue/weakness, nausea, and headaches are the most commonly known symptoms. One could experience muscle cramping, constipation, a rash, or even bad breath, as well.

A ketone that is produced by our bodies is acetone, which is commonly known to be a foul-smelling solvent.

One usually experiences the keto flu, which has historically been known to cause low-energy levels, if the body is currently starting ketosis. Because the body is expending all of the glucose it has been keeping and more are not being added through carbohydrates, one is left with decreased amounts of insulin in the blood.

This is beneficial to burning fat and losing weight, but it also the cause of excess urination. In this process, a large amount of bodily fluid is lost – mainly sodium and potassium. This indicates that one may feel weak and dehydrated.

There are three exciting points to remember. First of all, the keto flu denotes the entrance of ketosis, which is the means to the success of the diet. Secondly, it won’t last for very long. The majority of people only feels symptoms of the keto flu for 1 – 2 weeks, even though it may persist as long as a month for some. Third, in many people, ketogenic fatigue only continues for a few days and you have options for feeling better even faster.

Treatments for the Keto Flu

When we have enough forewarning of a problem, we are able to be better mentally prepared for it. In the case of the keto flu, this will require one to augment or modify their eating habits during in the initial first several weeks or so.

  1. The majority of side effects of the keto flu will be due to the reduction of fluid, salt, and potassium mentioned earlier. Always be sure to drink at least 8 – 12 cups of water daily. It doesn’t need to be only water. It can also be juice, milk, or broth and we recommend that everyone keeps their caffeine intake to a rational level. For example, when someone drinks one cup of tea/coffee/alcohol/soda, it should then be replaced with two cups of water. If light-headedness occurs, simply drink some water.
  2. It is necessary to absorb an ample number of electrolytes such as salt, magnesium, and potassium. Steer clear of sugary and artificially flavored beverages that can be bought at the supermarket. Absorb your electrolytes from salty broths and keto-based food such as avocados and nuts, and forget the salt during each meal. Many types of electrolyte-rich food will also prevent constipation.
  3. Consuming more fats in the diet (many of which hold electrolytes) will assist the body in reaching complete ketosis faster, as well.
  4. Never over-exercise and have plenty of sleep because the body is adjusting to this diet plan. Take it easy until the body has reached complete ketosis and the flu-like symptoms are non-existent.
  5. Slow down a little. If the previous recommendations are ineffective, maybe try consuming more carbohydrates (like 30 – 50 total grams daily) for several days to cushion the conversion.

Nearly everybody experiences the keto flu when they begin a ketogenic diet, but don’t worry – it will be well worth the discomfort. You’ll love the additional energy and concentration abilities that it provides and you see those unwanted pounds come off before your very eyes.

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