The Fixes At A Glance
- Drink Throughout The Day
- Make Bone Broth
- Add Electrolytes
- Try MCT Oil
- Sleep Better
Surviving Keto Initiation
Why go keto? The premise is a simple one to grasp. You lower carbohydrates and replace the loss by bringing up the fats instead. As a result, the body becomes better attuned to using fats as its main source of energy. And there just so happens to be tens of thousands of those calories waiting to be melted off the midriff.
There is an avalanche of extra benefits that follow in the wake of fat loss, but that’s better saved for its own article.
If we could just take on the benefits, then the ketogenic diet would unquestionably be a frontline choice for your next summer adventure. But unfortunately it’s notoriously difficult to adjust to. The physiological symptoms that accompany carbohydrate restriction can be brutal.
This has been affectionately named ‘keto flu’. It’s a constant nagging discomfort that can get people questioning whether the extra suffering is worth the boost. This phase of keto-adaptation can also get some to see it as a rite of passage to prove just how mentally tough they are.
Here Are The Typical Symptoms Of Keto Flu
- Brain Fog
- Sore Throat
- Muscle Soreness
- Poor Focus
- Stomach Pains
- Sugar Cravings
It’s a long enough list to warn people off ever attempting the diet. The keto flu can last the first few weeks of carb restriction, and can easily stretch further if you’re making the classic mistakes, such as having cheat meals.
So how do you avoid this? Sipping on a green tea isn’t going to have any effect other than passing the time. Waiting out the symptoms could set you up for the long ride. Accepting this as the normal state of affairs is psychologically damaging, and ruins your chances of making it past the first few months, after which the real gravy train arrives.
The real answer is by fixing the one big problem that often appears when you restrict carbohydrates. And it’s not the lack of sugar, surprisingly. Fat makes a perfectly acceptable fuel source, even during the early stages.
When carbs drop, so does insulin, which has the effect of releasing excess sodium from the body. This process often goes overboard. It won’t happen for everyone, but when the initial diet isn’t managed properly, it becomes inevitable. Carbs contain a ton of sodium, and those sources need replacing. The lack of salt also reduces potassium, your two main electrolytes, and combined they cause chaos.
The reason this doesn’t occur for everyone, is because some will prevent the flush with a few preventative measures. Practising the following steps will drastically reduce any symptoms of keto flu, and most of them by ensuring your sodium intake remains high after the carbs get stolen from the menu.
1. Drink Throughout The Day
And preferably make it a large water. Along with sources for sodium, taking in extra liquids will help combat the initial dehydrative effects of keto. A good way of figuring out how much, is by taking your weight in pounds and dividing it by two to get the ounces of water you need each day. As an example, if you’re 140 pounds, then you’ll need 70 ounces a da
2. Make Bone Broth
It’s a double win, because you’re getting a fix of sodium and liquid in the same meal. Bone broths are high in nutritional content, and go great alongside fasting and keto due to the electrolytes. If you’re wondering about recipes, I’ll be posting one later today on my blog, so check it out.
3. Add Electrolytes
It’s not just sodium and potassium you should be after, magnesium is another key player that gets reduced during the keto induction. In the latter’s case, you’re best off finding a supplement to take in during the day. But for salt and potassium, you can easily hit your quota with a serving of Himalayan pink salt. By serving, I don’t mean a pinch. Opt for a teaspoon instead.
4. Try MCT Oil
When the carbs go down, you can’t be squeamish about fat. Your body has lost its main fuel source, and it needs a replacement. If there’s a lack of fat coming in, and the body isn’t already primed for fat burning, you’re in for a bad time.
Among all the fat sources, MCT is the one that sticks out. It’s made of a shortened chain, meaning the body can break it down for fuel a lot quicker than normal. It’s not too fat behind carbs. Coconut oil is 75% MCT, so that makes a smart choice for your keto cupboard.
5. Sleep Better
The stress you experience in keto flu is dictated largely by jacked-up cortisol levels. And the best way to lower it is by sleep. Either add more time or learn to be more efficient. Sleep is an art in itself, so this is all much easier said than done. But at least you understand the mechanism, and knowing is half the battle.
With these key fixes, the keto flu can largely be extinguished, and the first few weeks of fat adaptation can be made a lot easier. You might even be able to just sit back and enjoy the lack of sugar-driven inflammation assaulting your brain. But becoming fat adapted is a long process, so it’s best to go in with patience.