Does it seem like everywhere you look, someone is talking about the keto diet? Or maybe you have friends or relatives who are eating low amounts of carbs and high amounts of fats. Even celebrities like Halle Berry, Megan Fox, and Kourtney Kardashian are embracing the keto diet. Once considered a cure for those struggling with epilepsy, the ketogenic diet is now also recommended for those who have diabetes, along with others who need to lose weight for health reasons.
If you are considering this type of diet, there are some things you should know before you start.
The Keto Flu
You may have heard that for people who start the ketogenic diet, they end up getting something called the keto flu. Also called the carb flu, this is the body's way of adjusting to the low amounts of carbs (usually less than 50 grams per day) that the body is getting.
The withdrawal symptoms feel a lot like a typical case of influenza and include:
- Muscle soreness
You may also experience digestive issues such as constipation or diarrhea. Some people on the keto diet have more severe symptoms than others. These symptoms can begin within just a few days of starting the diet and can last for up to one week. The keto flu may deter you from continuing the diet. However, there are some effective ways to lessen the severity of the symptoms and stay focused on your keto goals.
Because the keto diet can actually increase the risk of dehydration, one of the best things you can do is to drink plenty of water. This is especially true if you are experiencing diarrhea. By getting enough water, you can reduce fatigue and prevent your muscles from cramping. Along with drinking water, you should also ensure you are replacing electrolytes. Green leafy vegetables, avocados, and coconut water are excellent ways to balance your electrolyte levels.
Along with staying hydrated and replacing electrolytes, you should also avoid strenuous activities. While you want to stay active, you should avoid doing things like lifting weights or running until your symptoms have passed. Two more important things you can do to curb keto flu symptoms include getting enough rest and eating enough healthy fats, which are what provides fuel for your body.
Unfortunately, for some people on the keto diet, symptoms persist for several weeks. If this is the case for you, be encouraged that as your body adapts to converting ketones into energy, the symptoms will eventually disappear.
As you begin your keto diet journey, you will want to make sure you are doing a keto test in the evening before bedtime and first thing in the morning. This can easily be done with ketone test strips. A ketosis blood test is also a way to test your ketones. No matter how you do it, testing is especially important if you have a diagnosis of Type I diabetes.