Within the first two weeks of starting keto, some individuals experience adverse effects known as “keto flu.” This is the result of the sudden removal of carbohydrates from the brain and body. These are minor but uncomfortable symptoms that might include:
Water weight loss is common when you first start a low carb diet. Ketosis has a diuretic effect to it that can cause many pounds of weight loss in only a few days. While I hate being the bearer of bad news, this isn’t fat. But on a side (and more positive) note, that shows that your body is starting to adjust itself into a fat burning machine!
Now that you’ve cleaned out everything you don’t need, it’s time to restock your pantry and fridge with delicious and wholesome, keto-friendly foods that will help you lose weight, become healthier, and feel amazing!
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If the problem persists, make sure that you’re drinking plenty of fluid and eating enough salt. Typically this is sufficient to get rid of the problem right away. Though if the issue persists, it may be worth taking a potassium supplement once a day.
I changed the way I ate in 2011, when I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid. I had no energy, and I found it more and more difficult to maintain a healthy weight.
Feel free to add sweetener and spices to this if you’re not the biggest fan of the taste. Cinnamon, stevia, vanilla extract. Whatever you’d like to make it great tasting. You can even switch up the taste each and every day so you don’t get bored!
You’re transitioning. Your body is equipped to process a high intake of carbs and a lower intake of fat. Your body needs to create enzymes to be able to do this. In the transitional period, the brain may run low on energy which can lead to grogginess, nausea, and headaches. If you’re having a large problem with this, you can choose to reduce carb intake gradually.
Bulk buy and cook. If you’re someone who doesn’t like to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, this is the best of both worlds. Buying your food at bulk (specifically from wholesalers) can reduce the cost per pound tremendously. Plus, you can make ahead food (bulk cook chicken thighs for pre-made meat, or cook entire meals) that are used as leftovers, so you spend less time cooking.
Option 3: Grilled chicken served with eggplant, yellow squash, and zucchini along with a few tomatoes, sautéed with garlic in olive oil. Adding additional fats in the form of a sauce incorporating heavy cream or coconut cream is a smart choice for balancing macros.
M. E. Daly, R. Paisey, R. Paisey, B. A. Millward, C. Eccles, K. Williams, S. Hammersley, K. M. MacLeod, T. J. Gale, “Short-term Effects of Severe Dietary Carbohydraterestriction Advice in Type 2 Diabetes—a Randomized Controlled Trial,” Diabetic Medicine, 2006; 23: 15–20. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1464-5491.2005.01760.x/abstract.
Dr. David Jockers is a doctor of natural medicine, functional nutritionist and corrective care chiropractor. He currently owns and operates Exodus Health Center in Kennesaw, Georgia. He has developed 6 revolutionary online programs with thousands of participants.
When in the hospital, glucose levels are checked several times daily and the patient is monitored for signs of symptomatic ketosis (which can be treated with a small quantity of orange juice). Lack of energy and lethargy are common but disappear within two weeks.[17] The parents attend classes over the first three full days, which cover nutrition, managing the diet, preparing meals, avoiding sugar and handling illness.[18] The level of parental education and commitment required is higher than with medication.[43]
On high carb days, your body will leave a state of ketosis — but these “carb refeeds” may be more effective for muscle growth than the high protein or targeted keto diet, since glycogen is the nutrient that “feeds” muscles (29). Ketogenic carb cycling is also said to be less of a lifestyle stressor for some people, as the two high carb days make the CKD feel less restrictive and easier to follow.
Constipation is a key sign that you are not maintaining electrolyte/mineral balance during keto adaptation. The consistency of someone’s stool, and therefore the ability to pass that stool, is heavily influenced by its water content. The water content of your stool is likewise influenced by your overall hydration levels.
If you experience frequent muscle cramps while becoming keto-adapted this is likely due to mineral imbalances. As I mentioned before, minerals are crucial for proper nerve impulse conductivity. A muscle cramp is essentially a misconducted impulse brought on by poor hydration and mineral balance.
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.
There are three instances where there’s research to back up a ketogenic diet, including to help control type 2 diabetes, as part of epilepsy treatment, or for weight loss, says Mattinson. “In terms of diabetes, there is some promising research showing that the ketogenic diet may improve glycemic control. It may cause a reduction in A1C — a key test for diabetes that measures a person’s average blood sugar control over two to three months — something that may help you reduce medication use,” she says.
The ketone bodies are possibly anticonvulsant; in animal models, acetoacetate and acetone protect against seizures. The ketogenic diet results in adaptive changes to brain energy metabolism that increase the energy reserves; ketone bodies are a more efficient fuel than glucose, and the number of mitochondria is increased. This may help the neurons to remain stable in the face of increased energy demand during a seizure, and may confer a neuroprotective effect.[55]
Jump up ^ Mastriani KS, Williams VC, Hulsey TC, Wheless JW, Maria BL. Evidence-based versus reported epilepsy management practices. J Child Neurol. 2008 Feb 15;23(5):507–14. doi:10.1177/0883073807309785. PMID 18281618
Of the few studies done on keto and gallstones, most people have either improved or cured gallstone problems. The only downside is that many reported an increase in discomfort when starting out on low-carb. If you stick with it, you should notice a vast improvement.
If you experience keto flu, drink plenty of water. Increasing your salt intake can also help minimize symptoms. Another option is to lower your carb intake gradually. This will extend the amount of time it takes to get you into ketosis but will make for a much more pleasant experience.
Some blood pressure issues are associated with excess weight, which is a bonus since keto tends to lead to weight loss. If you have high blood pressure or other blood pressure issues, click here to learn how keto can reduce blood pressure >
Below, you’ll learn about the grains, legumes, sugar, starchy vegetables and fruit you should avoid on the ketogenic diet. These foods contain high traces of carbohydrates and very little fat and protein.
While it may be new to you, the keto diet has actually been around since the 1920’s, when the Mayo Clinic reported its effectiveness for helping epilepsy (that is still the case). Since then, there’s strong evidence that the keto diet helps with weight loss as well as type 2 diabetes, prediabetes, and metabolic syndrome, says Jeff Volek, Ph.D., RD, professor in the department of Human Sciences at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio and co-author of The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living.
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On a “strict” (standard) keto diet, fats typically provides about 70 percent to 80 percent of total daily calories, protein about 15 percent to 20 percent, and carbohydrates just around 5 percent. However, a more “moderate” approach to the keto diet is also a good option for many people that can allow for an easier transition into very low-carb eating and more flexibility (more on this type of plan below).
Take a multivitamin. “Because you are removing grains, the majority of fruit, some vegetables, and a significant amount of dairy from your menu, a multivitamin is good insurance against any micronutrient deficiencies,” says Jadin. Depending on what your individual overall diet looks like, Jadin says you might also need to add a calcium, vitamin D, and potassium supplement.
Experts on the ketogenic diet recommend it be strongly considered for children with uncontrolled epilepsy who have tried and failed two or three anticonvulsant drugs;[9] most children who start the ketogenic diet have failed at least three times this number.[24]
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.
If you stumble on a recipe without a macro count, you can enter the ingredients into a diet app like KetoDietApp or MyFitnessPal to get the macros and calorie count of any meal sans complicated math equation.
Like Nike says, it’s time to Just Do It! This stage is all about dealing with the common issues of transition to ketosis. Of course, there will be some minor pains and challenges, but this does not mean you should quit. Having the motivation, knowledge, and preparation in place is all going to pay off now. ????
Also Consider: For some individuals, diarrhea may be brought on by low stomach acid and/or a sluggish gallbladder. Another possibility is that you have a low-grade food sensitivity to something you are eating such as eggs, nuts, and cheese.
Can ketone production in the body get too high? Yes, it’s called ketoacidosis. Is it likely under normal circumstances? Not at all. For most people, it’s a challenge just to get into optimal ranges for ketosis. Getting into territory where you need medical intervention is just not likely.
Fat and protein are your allies before drinking. Reach for a keto-friendly meal abundant in healthy fats with some protein. This powerful combination helps slow the effects of alcohol, so it delivers less of a metabolic strike to your system.
The more common ones aren’t usually serious: You might have constipation, mild low blood sugar, or indigestion. Much less often, low-carb diets can lead to kidney stones or high levels of acid in your body (acidosis).
This week we’re introducing a slight fast. We’re going to get full on fats in the morning and fast all the way until dinner time. Not only are there a myriad of health benefits to this, it’s also easier on our eating schedule (and cooking schedule). I suggest eating (rather, drinking) your breakfast at 7am and then eating dinner at 7pm. Keeping 12 hours between your 2 meals. This will help put your body into a fasted state.
Although for most people, bulletproof coffee (BPC) refers to a cup of any “butter coffee”, the original BPC was created by Dave Asprey of Bulletproof. It’s made with high-quality coffee beans and is known for having the lowest mold toxin levels. As I found out myself, it tastes amazing even without sweeteners or cream. In fact, I can drink it black without anything added to it.
The most obvious sign that your electrolyte/mineral balance is being affected is an increase in urination. On a low-carb diet, insulin levels drop which promotes the secretion of sodium in the urine. Sodium pulls more water into the urinary system which then is excreted as well.
The modified Atkins diet reduces seizure frequency by more than 50% in 43% of patients who try it and by more than 90% in 27% of patients.[3] Few adverse effects have been reported, though cholesterol is increased and the diet has not been studied long term.[47] Although based on a smaller data set (126 adults and children from 11 studies over five centres), these results from 2009 compare favourably with the traditional ketogenic diet.[3]
Although not quite related to the three major causes we’ve discussed so far, keto breath is an unpleasant side effect that many people experience in the early stages of keto adaptation. When you begin producing ketones, you produce them in several different forms. The ketone that is released through the breath is acetone and is responsible for the keto breath that some people experience.
Possible therapeutic uses for the ketogenic diet have being studied for various neurological disorders in addition to epilepsy: Alzheimer’s disease (AD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), autism, brain cancer, headache, neurotrauma, pain, Parkinson’s disease (PD) and sleep disorders.[6]
I have found that using this Brain Calm Magnesium throughout the day to be of tremendous help during keto-adaptation. I would recommend using 1 scoop in water 1-3 times per day depending on how your body is responding.

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Additionally, constipation may also be a side effect of a change in your microbiome. Your gut bacteria makeup is largely determined by the kinds of foods you eat. When making such a drastic change in your diet, your microbiome will change which can also temporarily change your stools.
Pimpin L, Wu J, Haskelberg H, et al. Is Butter Back? A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Butter Consumption and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes, and Total Mortality. PLoS ONE. June 2016.
You might be asking, “What’s a net carb?” It’s simple really! The net carbs are your total dietary carbohydrates, minus the total fiber. I recommend keeping total carbs below 35g and net carbs below 25g (ideally, below 20g).
Both kale and lettuce are commonly used in salads across the country. Both are also fantastic low-carb options when it comes to vegetables. They produce plenty of vitamins (A and C) and show to help protect against heart disease.
Also Consider: Certain foods can tend to be more conducive to constipation. Foods like eggs, cheese, and nuts may be contributing to constipation. Reduce intake of these at least during the initial phases of keto adaptation and see if that makes a difference. You want your stool to pass easily and resemble type 3 or 4 on the chart below.
So you’ve decided you want to try out the high-fat, low-carb diet, better-known as the fat-burning ketogenic diet. Whether it’s to lose weight, have more energy, or fuel workouts differently, going keto is a popular choice right now. But figuring out a keto meal plan on your own is no easy feat, especially since eating a diet super high in fats doesn’t come naturally to many people who are accustomed to the traditionally carb-heavy American diet. (It’s especially hard if you’re vegan and want to try keto.) But this should help: Keto experts explain how to set yourself up for success, plus provide ideas for exactly what keto foods to eat when you’re first getting started. (While you’re at it, check out these Low-Carb Keto drinks That Will Keep You in Ketosis.)
Because of this response, glycogen stores are quickly burned up, hypoglycemia reoccurs, and the cycle continues. This is where HPA axis dysregulation promotes the onset of related symptoms while also exacerbating hypoglycemia-related issues.
William S. Yancy Jr., MD, MHS; Maren K. Olsen, PhD; John R. Guyton, MD; Ronna P. Bakst, RD; and Eric C. Westman, MD, MHS, “A Low-Carbohydrate, Ketogenic Diet versus a Low-Fat Diet To Treat Obesity and Hyperlipidemia: A Randomized, Controlled Trial,” Ann Intern Med. 2004;140(10):769-777. http://annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=717451.
In order to transition and remain in ketosis, aiming for about 30–50 net grams is typically the recommended amount of carbs to start with. This is considered a more moderate or flexible approach but can be less overwhelming to begin with.
Jump up ^ Henderson CB, Filloux FM, Alder SC, Lyon JL, Caplin DA. Efficacy of the ketogenic diet as a treatment option for epilepsy: meta-analysis. J Child Neurol. 2006 Mar;21(3):193–8. doi:10.2310/7010.2006.00044. PMID 16901419
This initially doesn’t seem like a problem until you realize that the body can’t store that much glucose. This becomes an issue for you because the extra glucose gets converted into fat which is then stored.
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