Taking Your First Steps With the Ketogenic Diet
If you have decided to give the Ketogenic diet a try, you’re in for an awesome journey. This is a diet that has seen a surge in popularity with thousands of people raving about it because of its effectiveness.
Numerous scientific studies have shown that a ketogenic diet will help you lose weight, and that the weight loss can be much greater in comparison to other diets.
However, as with any commitment, there can be difficulties when you’re first starting out. It can take anywhere from 5 to 20 days before you become fully accustomed to being in a state of ketosis and start to reap the benefits.
As with all things, you only reach cruising altitude after going through some initial turbulence. This is to be expected and should not discourage you. The ketogenic diet is much easier to adopt rather than a highly restrictive paleo or Atkins diet.
Below we will discuss typical difficulties that occur when first beginning the keto diet.
If you’re a coffee drinker and have ever had to go a couple of days without a “Cup-o’-Joe,” you’ll know what these types of headaches are like. Fortunately, the headaches will only last a few days after beginning the keto diet.
* Brain fog
Mental sluggishness, difficulty thinking and concentrating, mixed with lethargy. The fog will eventually lift as long as you remain true to the rules of the keto diet.
The headaches and brain fog are usually caused by dehydration and mineral loss. As your body adapts to a low carb diet, stored glucose is burned up, and retained fluids are released. The negative symptoms can be alleviated by drinking more and consuming higher levels of salt.
* Rapid weight loss.
Sounds great, right? Of course, you want to lose weight! However, the speed of the initial weight loss can be quite alarming.
There’s no need to worry too much. Your body is learning to convert fat for fuel instead of relying on carbs. The breaking down of glycogen releases retained water from the body. You may find yourself urinating more frequently as the early weight loss is, in fact, water weight.
For example, why do bodybuilders take diuretics a couple of days before a contest or photo shoot?
Because, releasing retained fluids makes quite a difference in body composition. It can mean the difference between 6 pack abs and shrink-wrapped abs. You may lose a belt size or two within your first few days from water loss alone.
* Upset stomach
Constipation may occur in some people. This is partially because of dehydration, and partially because of your new eating habits.
To help with this, consume more fiber to help with digestion. Beneficial fiber will come from non-starchy vegetables permitted on the ketogenic diet; leafy greens like spinach, bok choy, and cruciferous vegetables like kale and radish. Fiber supplements like Psyllium husks and apple pectin will also help.
Hopefully none of what was mentioned to put you off your ketogenic diet journey, it is merely to prepare you for what may lie ahead.
Everyone is different. Not all will suffer from these effects, and most of the ‘low carb flu’ will clear up within the first week, allowing you to break through the wall and experience the exhilaration of living a healthy lifestyle, and become a fat burning machine!