The low-carb, high-fat plan promises quick weight loss, but health experts worry about these side effects and complications. The ketogenic diet—also known as the “keto diet” or just “keto”—has become the latest big thing in weight-loss plans, touted recently by celebs like Jenna Jameson, Mama June, and Halle Berry. The diet involves cutting way back on carbohydrates, to 50 grams a day or less, to help the body achieve a state of ketosis, in which it has to burn fat rather than sugar for energy. Animal studies have also suggested that the diet may have anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, and cancer-fighting benefits, as well. But as a general weight-loss plan, keto is more controversial. Here are a few things you should know about the ketogenic diet before you try it as a way to lose weight. Yes, you might drop pounds, but you should also watch out for the following side effects or complications. You may be able to minimize the effects of keto flu by drinking plenty of water and getting plenty of sleep. Axe, who sells keto-related supplements on his website, also recommends incorporating natural energy sources to battle fatigue, like matcha green tea, organic coffee, or adaptogenic herbs.
Looking for signs that you are in low-carb ketosis is one of the most effective ways to tell if that low-carb ketogenic diet is working. As with most sudden changes in your eating, some of the signs will be positive and pleasant; others not so much. Knowing what to expect can help get you through the initial adjustment period, though it might not be easy. The sense of satisfaction you feel at seeing those numbers on the scale go down might be enough to make up for the bad breath, body odor, cravings and digestive issues often experienced in the early stages of a keto diet. At the very least, making progress toward your goal might help keep you on track during the tough days. The most important thing to keep in mind is that there is a difference between the normal signs and symptoms of ketosis and the more serious symptoms of ketoacidosis. Pay attention to what your body is telling you so that you can ditch the extra pounds both effectively and safely. Broken down to its simplest explanation, there are two main types of carbohydrates, explains the International Sports Sciences Association. The first is simple carbohydrates, which are found in dairy, fruits, processed foods, refined grains such as white rice, sodas and sugar.
A quick refresher on how the keto diet works : Carbs make up five to 10 percent of your caloric intake, fat makes up 75 to 80 percent, and protein makes up the rest. This ratio puts your body into a state of ketosis, which when your body uses stored fat ketones for energy rather than the glucose that comes from carbs. To determine how widespread the effect of the keto flu might be, researchers recorded the experiences of people who had started a keto diet and described their symptoms across 43 online forums. The researchers found that when people experienced these flu-like effects, they tended to peak within the first week of a new keto diet and would eventually resolve after about a month. In addition to experiencing symptoms like brain fog and headache, other common reactions include decreased energy, gastrointestinal discomfort, feeling faint, and even perceived changes in heartbeat. And while your performance—specifically high-intensity efforts — might take a dip during the first week or two because of this, you should be able to get back on schedule after your body gets used to the diet. So why does this happen?