Keto diet has wonderful benefits. Done strictly in its original formula, which is high-fat, low-protein, low-carbohydrate, it reduces epilepsy in children and even shows the favorable reaction for cancer and diabetes type 2 patients. Done less strictly in the modified formula, which is high-fat, medium-protein, and low-carb, it helps you achieve the healthy lifestyle and can even reduce body weight.
Of course, everything that is effective isn’t easy to achieve. Getting into keto diet comes with several side effects that can make you doubt whether to continue. It’s like climbing into a steep hill. It’s really hard and slippery, and you’ll be tempted to just slide back down. However, just like climbing, once you pass the peak, your journey will be far easier than before.
If you’re interested to try the keto diet, it’s best to collect the essential information on the subject. This article will show you several side effects that appear on keto diet during its early adaptation period, as well as how to treat them.
Keto-flu is dubbed as such because it shows influenza-like symptoms. You may feel tired and fatigued, have a runny nose and headache, and nauseous. This is, however, not a sign of virus breaking into your immune system, but your body adjusting to its new diet.
Keto-flu is very common during the first week of transition. Expect yourself to be lethargic, irritated, and unproductive even in the workplace. Some people can endure the keto-flu on their own, without needing any supplement. The key is to hydrate often because another effect of switching to keto diet is increased bladder activity, which makes you lose a lot of fluid. Besides that, make sure that you have eaten your keto-meal plan so your body would still get the fuel it needs.
If you still feel unbearably miserable even with proper hydration and nutrient intake, then adding the keto-friendly supplement for your diet is recommended. Multivitamin and minerals are usually helpful enough.
Low Blood Sugar
This one is the obvious effect. Since you’re limiting intake of carbs and sugar, your body is forced to use up all the stored glucose on your body, resulting to the lower level of sugar. Translated into body-symptoms, it means you’ll get lethargic, in the low mood, in low energy, and lightheaded. Combined with keto-flu, you may just want to excuse yourself from work and just stay at home until everything gets better again.
Tips to avoid the low energy level is to ensure you take enough fat as the replacement for sugar and carbohydrate. Intermittent fasting also helps tremendously.
You also need to know that sugar is addictive, so during the first few weeks of the keto diet, you may experience an extreme craving for something sweet. There will always be a temptation from the zero-sugar product that still tastes sweet from artificial sweetener. Don’t fall for this. While they may really not have natural sugar, the artificial sweetener could still feed your sugar addiction, making it harder for you to break completely from unhealthy lifestyle and into keto diet.
Instead, get used to keto-friendly snacks such as berries, cheese, nuts, and many other whole or minimally processed food. When you pass the first few weeks, your sugar craving would drop and you don’t have to worry about it again.
When you’re body finally slip into ketosis, it will experience hormone shift. First, your cortisol level will increase while your thyroid level will decrease. This shift will cause inconvenient symptoms like mood swing, sleep difficulty, irritable mood, and depression and even decreased cognitive function.
What you need to know is this hormonal shift is normal. After the first few weeks, the symptoms should be gone as your body get used to producing ketones. During the first few weeks, however, you can soothe your grumbling psyche by taking care of yourself. Get enough sleep, nap if possible, and embrace relaxation method that suits yourself.
More Active Bladder, Constipation or Diarrhea
Because you’re changing your diet, of course, your digestive system will be affected as well. First, your bladder. Due to lower intake of carb, your insulin level will fluctuate. This causes your body to process glucose in the liver, which releases salt water that needs to be pumped out via urinary track.
If your body still has more water to release even after this, you may experience diarrhea as well. This shouldn’t raise an alarm for you. It’s the normal part of a transition, and after a couple of weeks or so, your stool will return to solid.
Aside from your bladder, you’ll also find your bowel behaving unusually. For most of the dieter, they’ll find that they’re not pooping on the keto diet. This could be a reaction to consuming too much animal fat. Most people think that they should get all their fat needs from meat, but that’s not true. There is plenty of plant-based fat as well, such as from avocado and nuts. Also, high-fat diet doesn’t mean you shouldn’t eat any vegetables. In fact, you should still get plenty of fiber. Another cause is dehydration or combination of both.
Are all of them worth it?
So, you have to endure flu-like symptoms, low blood sugar, the frequent trip to the bathroom, and even constipation or diarrhea? Are all of them worth it for a change of lifestyle?
The answer is yes. It’s double yes.
First, the symptoms will last for a short time only. Usually, for a week, and after that, you’ll be on your way to the smooth keto diet. Of course, this is only for those who don’t succumb to yo-yo dieting. Keto diet is a lifestyle, not a quick weight loss tool you can use anytime you think your body is out of shape.
Second, those symptoms are merely signing that your change of lifestyle is taking effect. Those symptoms are inconvenient but don’t have the detrimental health effect. A week of a small sacrifice compared to a lifetime of the healthy lifestyle? Yes, I’d say it’s worth it.
Do you have any bad experience during transitioning to keto diet? What do you do to alleviate the symptoms? Share your experience below.