Keto Compulsion

The keto life style

Here I’m going to address Keto Diet concerns of many people when they are thinking about starting the keto diet, or the keto lifestyle as I like to call it.  A lot of people make a huge deal out this when in fact it really isn’t that bad.  It’s nothing compared to actually getting the stomach flu or even the cold/flu.  I personally did not get sick to my stomach at all, I did get a headache for maybe a day and I did have diarrhea for a couple of days but nothing that wouldn’t be worth it for the way I feel today.

Keto Flu

About 25% of people who begin the keto diet experience what is commonly known as the “keto flu“. I personally do not like to refer to these symptoms as the Keto flu because I believe it is your body adapting to change and some withdrawal.

keto-flu

 

Think about it, you’re taking what your body is used to burning (sugarglucose) away.  Let’s think about it this way how do you think your toddler might react if you told them they couldn’t have anymore treats or chocolate?  Not only does this affect your physical body it affects your mental state as well, sugar is an addictive substance whether we like to admit to it or not.

I wrote an article on Keto & Kids that is quite eye opening and may help you better understand why we have side affects from adapting to this way of life.  Your bound to experience some unpleasant symptoms but the good news is, it is only short term.  If you are one percent out of the 25% that experience the “keto flu”, the longest you can expect for it to last is two weeks and that’s not saying your going to experience every side affect.

I can’t stress enough how important it is to hydrate yourself thoroughly during this transition and if you can add in a table spoon of Mother Braggs apple cider vinegar, this has great benefits and will help you get through the adaptation process.

Once your body adapts to these changes, the symptoms will subside.  You can lessen these symptoms by drinking plenty of water and get as much rest as you can.  If you start to experience body cramps like charlie horses which is quite common you can eat keto friendly foods high in potassium or take a potassium supplement.  I personally always keep a salt substitute called “no salt” on hand at all times.  I talk more about nutrients we need on Keto more in my article The Importance Of Electrolytes.  

One other thing I need to add in here is that we do not need to go out and buy all these supplements, it is easily attainable through the foods we eat.  Many people do invest in supplements as it does make living this way a bit easier to have something you can grab and go.  There are many places to get these products including quick healthy snacks, even sweet tasting ones.

These symptoms may include:

  • upset stomach
  • bloating or cramping
  • fatigue or weakness
  • diarrhea
  • sleeplessness or feeling restless
  • keto rash

Keto rash as you may of heard of is not very common but it can occur but usually after your entering a state of Ketosis as we produce more acetone which also shows up in our breath.  It can be irritating to the skin and comes out with our sweat. This “rash” can also manifest if we are having a nutrient deficiency, I have written an article all about The Importance of Electrolytes should you be interested in starting this lifestyle.   I have been on Keto for two years now and I have not experienced this “rash”, I have read of other people experiencing it but not so much that they had to revert back to an unhealthy lifestyle.

If you do get the “keto rash” it may go away on its own after you’ve gotten past the transitional phase into Ketosis.  If it does not clear up with time you can try eating more than 20 grams of healthy carbs per day and see if it makes a difference.  If it does you can bounce back and forth between 50-75 grams of carbs per day as well as implementing intermittent fasting, I have also written an article on Intermitent Fasting and Autophagy that I think you will benefit from reading.

Sometimes it’s not from producing ketones at all, sometimes it can be an allergic reaction to eating new keto friendly foods and vegetables you never used to eat before. If you suspect it could be an allergy you can try eliminating each food long enough to see if it changes the rash or you can consult your Doctor.  We can’t always assume this change in lifestyle is the culprit it could just be bad timing.

 

Some people don’t experience any of these symptoms. I myself only experiences some fatigue a headache and diarrhea, it passed within a couple of days.

Your body is making a big change and it takes time to adapt. After it has adapted you will reap all the benefits the keto lifestyle has to offer.

Weight Management

weight-loss

You will hear some people say the ketogenic diet or way of life as I like to call it, is not safe long term. Well because I experienced this firsthand, I can tell you it serves better as a permanent lifestyle rather than another fad diet.

I did fall off the keto wagon a couple times and just like most diets the majority of the time you will gain the weight back. I do think this depends on a lot of factors such as your age, metabolic rate, underlying health issues and genetics.

At my age and after three children I can’t reasonably expect to eat whatever I want and lose weight, or even maintain my weight.

So my advice is to think reasonably and act accordingly. Thank you for taking the time to read this, pass it along to your friends and please leave me some feedback in the comment section below.

Keto On!

14 thoughts on “Keto Diet Concerns

  1. Thank you for your honesty! I have tried Keto but unfortunately have not stayed with it. I am currently adding more vegetables and fruits and definitely have a healthier diet now than even December! Hubs and I have decided to just add the good stuff in and slowly take the bad stuff out.

  2. Hi Amanda, I switched my eating habits to ‘keto friendly’ choices last Spring and lost about 32 lbs since then. I have a very stubborn metabolism, so I had to follow the Three day cycling routine with Keto. Day one, eat 3 full meals (keto style), Day two, eat 2 Full meals, Day three one full meal at lunch and then a light kale based smoothie at supper. We have been on a gluten free way of eating for many years as Husband and I are gluten intollerant. I use Almond flour a lot, which of course is very Keto (thankfully). For the winter months, my aim is just to keep the weight off, as I am less active. Come Spring, I hope to start losing again, as my goal is to lose another 15 lbs. After that I will just be maintaining my weight. This is a life choice for me. I cook a few more carbs for my husband since he does not need to lose any weight, but otherwise he eats what I eat (I am the cook). I snack on nuts inbetween as needed. What are your favorite snacks inbetween?

    1. That is great madeleine! Good for you and your husband you should be very proud. I too have a stubborn metabolism so I understand where your coming from, after my first big loss I had to cut the amount of cheese I was eating down a bit and I started losing again. Intermittent fasting helps too but I wouldn’t suggest forcing it. I love snacking on cucumber slices and cream cheese, or dill pickles and cream cheese. Pepperoni and full fat cheddar cheese is another favorite. Brussels sprouts sliced and fried in coconut oil til they are golden brown are delicious! Please keep me updated on how you all are doing.

      Keto ON!

  3. I have been contemplating starting going on a keto diet. I have a few pounds to lose! I’m glad I found your site as you have lots of info for the beginner!

  4. Thanks for addressing much of these concerns. I embarked on the “Whole 30” once last year, and they also describe a flu-like period while you adjust. I did suffer a lot of physical distress with it that had me quitting less than a week in (pretty much all the things I didn’t really have issues with before that they said would go away if i did whole 30 suddenly popped up during the “flu period”). This has held me back from trying keto, but since you say the flu symptoms are overexaggerated, maybe I’ll give it a try. I’m not overweight, but my husband is a Type 1 diabetic that struggles to keep his blood sugar under control, so we are always trying to find the “perfect” way of eating for us that keeps his diabetes managed well. We haven’t really found it yet. Keto is tempting and we regularly eat some keto-approved recipes, I just have hesitations about taking it on full-time.

    1. Hey Holly,

      For one you don’t need a program to start this and when done properly your not going to experience too much in the way of what some describe.  Stay well hydrated and pay attention to your body, when I started I got a headache and had diarrhea, the headache lasted two days at the max and the diarrhea was on and off for almost two weeks but its your body adjusting.  I kind of weened myself in as well I didn’t just one day say ok no more sugar no more carbs were doing this today!  I slowly took out sugar and lowered my carbs then its not such a shock to the body.

      When you really think about it, its normal…if you were like me your buying boxed foods that are processed and genetically modified.  With this way of life your putting real whole foods in and the body has to re adjust to this new food.

  5. Hi Amanda, I work in the futness industry and always find articles like this interesting.  I live in Australia and went to the U.S late last year to visit a friend.  The first thing I noticed about him was that he had lost a bit of weight.  I asked him about it and he raved for about an hour about how good the Keto diet was and how great he felt.  I watched his diet over the next few days – hot dogs without bread, salads and a rejection of deep fried food (no mean feat in the bars of Dallas I can tell you) – he even hassled the bar staff for their low carb beer.

    Then on the Sunday he got sick.. he went a deathly pale colour and couldn’t walk without feeling dizzy and nausea.  We called a doctor to the hotel room who said he was basically malnourished.  The Dr knew all about the Keto diet and said that he was eating ok, just not enough.  I have seen this with friends of mine on the Paleo diet as well.  I know if I change my diet to be more healthy I break out and feel a little ‘off’ whilst my body clears out any toxins but this was next level.

    With my friend, the Keto diet is 100% better than how he used to eat, However the point I am making is that whilst these diets are ok ( I am a beleiver you need carbs if you want to exercise) the problem is that people do not eat enough to run thier bodies (as they want to lose weight) which can cause some of the Keto Flu symptoms that you have listed.

    Paul

    1. Hey Paul,

      I guess I agree and disagree with you, your friend was not eating a proper keto diet.  If you go through my articles you will see I stress healthy low carbs, healthy fats and moderate healthy protein. 

      Of course he got sick is my response to that, myself I have been living this lifestyle for two years.  I feel amazing, have loads of energy, my depression is better, anxiety isn’t as bad, I sleep better, my blood pressure came down so far that I no longer have to take meds for it anymore, I’m not retaining fluid, my list goes on and so do many other people living it properly.  

      If you live the keto lifestyle properly you will not be malnourished, the only thing I warn about is a possibility of low electrolytes because we don’t retain fluid anymore.  I have written an article on this as well with symptoms to look out for and recommended doses.

  6. My mom has diabetes type 2 and I was contemplating on having her started with keto diet, of course, after consulting her physician. I know there are concerns for people with preexisting conditions, but these side effects that you mentioned is totally new to me. I thought any incompatible change in diet would most likely resulted in bloating or diarrhea, but rash and flu – it sounds almost like the diet is triggering the immune system in general. 

    I’ll certainly have to research more before putting my mom through this. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. 

    1. Hi Cathy,

      I think your Mom would benefit from this way of life definitely, the reason for the rash and the flu is because the body has all this foreign genetically modified and processed foods put in it for probably years and now were converting it to healthy real whole foods what the body was intended to for….the body has to detox so to speak, if someone is generally eating whole healthy unprocessed foods they wouldn’t get this side affect and not everyone does. 

      Myself I never got the rash and I’ve been on and off more times than I’d like to admit, as far as the flu for me all it consisted of was a headache and diarrhea….nothing serious.

      A lot of us have been poisoning our bodies with all this processed junk for so long our bodies have to adapt to a new food your introducing…of course there will some affects…but the end result I can assure you is worth it.

  7. Hi there, Haven’t really studied the keto diet, but from all reports and it massive following, it may be well worth a look. The food suggested in the diet is very similar to what I eat already and I wouldn’t be expecting too many side effects, and as I have found out it is a fairly healthy diet and obviously very beneficial if it is combined with a healthy amount of exercise. Thanks very much

    Paul 

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