There’s no real scientific reasoning/explanation behind why some people start to itch when they start keto. There’s just a handful of experiences that people have written about, and so I’m basing my answer on what I’ve read.
Many studies have been done on exercise. A study was done on trained cyclists who were on a ketogenic diet for four weeks. The results show that aerobic endurance was not compromised at all, and their muscle mass was the same as when they started.
In these cases, exogenous ketones can be powerful. Exogenous ketones are a supplement that can be used to supply the body with a source of ketones that require almost no processing by the digestive tract and liver. This makes them great not only for helping someone get into ketosis, but also as a quick energy source and performance enhancer for brain and body.
Although there can be many different side effects that manifest while becoming keto-adapted, many of them stem from similar underlying issues. In this article, I outline what those underlying issues are, their related keto side effects, and simple strategies to overcome them so you can become keto-adapted as smoothly as possible.
Vegetables are tricky on a ketogenic diet because we’ve been raised under the idea that vegetables are healthy and they are. However, almost all of the vegetables that you consume today contain carbs.
The ketone blood monitor is the most accurate ketosis testing method. A blood monitor measures your state of ketosis by detecting the amount of beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) in your blood, which is one of the primary ketones.(28)
A systematic review in 2016 found and analysed seven randomized controlled trials of ketogenic diet in children and young people with epilepsy. The trials were done among children and young people for whom drugs failed to control their seizures, and only one of the trials compared a group assigned to ketogenic diet with a group not assigned to one. The other trials compared types of diets or ways of introducing them to make them more tolerable. Nearly 40% of the children and young people had half or fewer seizures with the diet compared with the group not assigned to the diet. Only about 10% were still on the diet after a few years. Adverse effects such as hunger and loss of energy in that trial were common, with about 30% experiencing constipation.
Use High Quality Salt: Use a high-quality salt in generous amounts in all of your meals, This will add back in sodium and other trace minerals that are excreted more rapidly during keto-adaptation. I like either Himalayan pink or a Celtic (gray) sea salt as they are the highest in trace minerals.
Yams and potatoes (white, red, sweet, etc.) — sweet potatoes have the least carbs, about 10 net grams per 1/2 potato; Yams and white potatoes can have much more, about 13–25 net grams per 1/2 potato/yam cooked
A survey in 2005 of 88 paediatric neurologists in the US found that 36% regularly prescribed the diet after three or more drugs had failed; 24% occasionally prescribed the diet as a last resort; 24% had only prescribed the diet in a few rare cases; and 16% had never prescribed the diet. There are several possible explanations for this gap between evidence and clinical practice. One major factor may be the lack of adequately trained dietitians, who are needed to administer a ketogenic diet programme.
Secondly, saturated fat is not shown to be harmful within the context of a low carb diet. It helps improve cholesterol levels, including increasing the amount of HDL (good) cholesterol while decreasing total triglyceride levels. These two factors help lower your risk of heart disease.
Stay away from processed meats (salami, hot dogs and charcuterie) that contain suspect ingredients, sauces or added sugars. These can unknowingly increase your carb and sugar intake and derail your efforts.
Why would you want to eat fat instead of carbs? When you eat high amounts of carbohydrates, these convert into glucose in the liver[*]. This causes your body to produce insulin (commonly referred to as an insulin spike, leading to insulin resistance), to help transport glucose through your bloodstream.
One major downside to the ketogenic diet regarding diabetes is that you’re eating a lot of fat, and that fat may be saturated, which is unhealthy. Because people with type 2 diabetes are at an increased risk for cardiovascular disease, there’s concern that the saturated fat in the diet may drive up LDL, or “bad,” cholesterol levels, and further increase the odds of heart problems. If you have type 2 diabetes, talk to your doctor before attempting a ketogenic diet. They may recommend a different weight-loss diet for you, like a reduced-calorie diet. Those with epilepsy should also consult their doctor before using this as part of their treatment plan.
Here’s the Knowledge Stage analogy: Say we are hungry and want to go out to eat. It wouldn’t make much sense to sprint to the nearest restaurant, right? Wouldn’t we be better served to take the few minutes to learn about what’s available, and then make a plan? Yes, we would take the time to Yelp or ask a friend for some knowledge and use that information to decide where we want to go.
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Everyone loves lettuce tacos. They’re very straightforward, nearly impossible to get wrong, and Keto friendly. I’m even happy to admit that I prefer them over regular tacos. But in spite of the pros of the humble lettuce taco, it still comes with the cons of a regular taco: being very messy. Lets fix that.
If you find yourself beginning to get muscle cramps or headaches, toss a bouillon cube into a mug of hot water with a tablespoon or two of salted butter. Not only will this relieve some of the symptoms, but it also provides an easy avenue for upping fat intake.
Use Adaptogenic Herbs: Although this strategy is not absolutely necessary, using adaptogenic herbs can tremendously benefit the HPA axis and help build your resiliency to stress. By supporting the HPA axis and helping to regulate cortisol levels, adaptogens may prove very helpful in mitigating HPA axis related side effects.
You can test yourself to see whether you’ve entered ketosis just a few days after you’ve begun the keto diet! Simply use a ketone test strip and it will tell you the level of ketone bodies in your urine. If the concentration is high enough, you’ve successfully entered ketosis! Note: Any change to the strip color indicates that you are in ketosis.
Soft drinks, fruit juices, sweet wines, craft beers, and flavored liquor are filled with way too much sugar and/or carbs to be allowed if you’re serious about keto. Some people will drink diet, or “zero,” soft drinks, but avoid them if you can because the citric acid and aspartame often found in them may derail your trip to ketosis.
On average people will lose 1-2 lbs. a week, but that doesn’t mean the scale will drop consistently. Take measurements as well as tracking your weight via scale, as often there can be changes in size but no change on the scale. If you’re still experiencing problems after 4-5 weeks, start looking into your dietary choices.
Instead, research shows that low-fat diets high in refined sugar and carbs are far more destructive to the heart and arteries than fat, and have a greater ability to raise blood pressure and cause inflammation (12).
The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet that in medicine is used primarily to treat difficult-to-control (refractory) epilepsy in children. The diet forces the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates. Normally, the carbohydrates contained in food are converted into glucose, which is then transported around the body and is particularly important in fueling brain-function. However, if there is little carbohydrate in the diet, the liver converts fat into fatty acids and ketone bodies. The ketone bodies pass into the brain and replace glucose as an energy source. An elevated level of ketone bodies in the blood, a state known as ketosis, leads to a reduction in the frequency of epileptic seizures. Almost half of children, and young people, with epilepsy who have tried some form of this diet saw the number of seizures drop by at least half, and the effect persists even after discontinuing the diet. There is some evidence that adults with epilepsy may benefit from the diet, and that a less strict regimen, such as a modified Atkins diet, is similarly effective. The most common adverse effect is constipation, affecting about 30% of patients—this was due to fluid restriction, which was once a feature of the diet, but this led to increased risk of kidney stones and is no longer considered beneficial.
Overall, eating a high amount of fat, moderate protein, and low amount of carbs can have a massive impact on your health – lowering your cholesterol, body weight, blood sugar, and raising your energy and mood levels.
If you want a more visual representation you can watch our Day of Eating video where we eat 20g of net carbs. Your daily 20g of net carbs should ideally be coming from vegetables. A couple servings of leafy green veggies as well as 1-2 servings of cruciferous veggies like broccoli or cauliflower. You’ll also be picking up trace carbs throughout the day in things like dairy and seasonings. Trace carbs are items that are very low carb(often even listed as 0 carb on the nutrition label) but add up to a couple of carbs per day when tallied up. The remaining daily carbs might come from a handful of nuts or a new keto dessert recipe you wanted to give a try.