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Craig on October 21, 2013

First Week: Top 3 Keto Conundrums

Ketogenic Diet > Keto Diet Information

 

The low carb lifestyle is known to sculpt some serious fat off your body. Many followers of the keto diet experience rapid weight loss, low hunger levels, and good energy levels. Since you cut out most of the high sugar foods, controlling your calories becomes a breeze. Sounds like an easy plan to success, right?

Those who joined the ketogenic army can attest that the early weight loss comes with a toll. The first week of low carb living can be daunting, both mentally and physically. As your brain and body are adapting to a life without glucose, you may become outright miserable. Don’t go shoving cake down your neck just yet – the misery passes.

To have an idea what you’ll go through, check out these common side effects that most go through when switching to a keto diet. Usually they only last for the first few days to a week, but preparing yourself for what might come will always help.

Mental and Physical Fogginess

The first major sign – coming 2 or 3 days into your ketogenic transition – will be the fogginess. You’re brain likes to take it easy and it if had a choice, would run on only glucose. As your body is switching from glucose to ketones as its main source of energy, your body will continue to burn the last stores of glycogen.

This results in a foggy haze that might make it hard to concentrate. You might find yourself staring into space or feeling lethargic, but have no fear – it will pass. Headaches might pound at your door, nausea can pit in your stomach, muscle cramps can ruin your day and irritability can spark arguments, but knowing this can help you plan. Switch your diet in the middle of the week, so you will have the weekend to fully rest and recover from your transition.
Mental Fogginess

What we suggest is to go super low carb for the first week, which means no more than 10g of carbs per day. By doing this, you will force your body to use up your glycogen stores much faster. Most people tend to slowly transition into a keto diet by lowering their carb intake over time, but this can make the side effects last much longer.

Strength and Endurance Loss

Loss of Endurance
Downing all this meat and protein is bound to make you into a hero at the gym, right? Truth be told, in the first few weeks, the opposite occurs. Some people have no problem changing to a new regimen and adapt quickly, but others find it impossible to match what they were doing before.

If this is you, consider giving your body 20-30g of instant fuel before a workout in the form of complex carbs. Make sure that you are eating fresh vegetables alongside the fats and proteins of your keto diet. Green vegetables are full of iron, potassium, and manganese which are vital to keeping your energy levels consistent.

This tends to pass pretty quickly as your body fully adapts to using ketones as energy, so don’t worry yourself too much.

Dehydration & Constipation

It’s not uncommon when you first journey into a keto diet to hear exclaims of “Wow, all that meat is going to back you up!” This shows more about their own diet than yours. Constipation isn’t caused by meat itself, but is caused from a lack of greens and fiber. Because a low carb lifestyle will usually cut out most beans, legumes and whole grains that are common in most diets, eating your vegetables becomes very important.

There are a huge number of reasons why you should be eating your vegetables, but I won’t go into them. Primarily they are packed full of soluble fiber, which helps slow the process of food through your intestines and colon. This makes sure that your body sucks up as much nutrients as possible before it’s passed. Spinach and broccoli is an addition all of you should make to your diets.

After starting a keto diet, many people jump for joy after stepping on the scale, but don’t be fooled. That weight loss isn’t burnt fat – it was water leaving your body. Ketosis can be known for the high sodium content ingested and is also well known for its diuretic effect. Dehydration is common for most people starting out, and can even aid the other side effects of the transition. If you’re prone to urinary tract infections or bladder pain, you have to be doubly prepared.
Keep Yourself Hydrated

Those 8 glasses of water we are supposed to drink? We suggest drinking those, and then more. Water plays a substantial role in our body (considering it’s made up of 2/3 water), and it’s extremely important to keep hydrated. Drink water day and night, drink it like it’s going out of fashion – just keep drinking until you can’t force another drop into yourself.
As the time passes, you will see all of these side effects magically vanish. Your body will no longer be going to glucose as the main source of energy, and your system has built enough enzymes to utilize the ketones. If you ever find yourself breaking from the side effects, just remember what the post-glucolyptic world holds!

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