8 Ways the Keto Diet Can Backfire in the First 30 Days

The newly-popular Ketogenic Diet, more popularly known as the “keto diet”, is a high-fat, low carb diet that calls for drastically reducing carbohydrate intake and replacing it with fat. Reducing the carbs in your body results in your body going into ketosis, a metabolic state in which your body produces ketones out of fat and uses them for energy instead of carbs, causing faster weight loss and other health benefits. 

If you’re considering starting the keto diet, or even if you’ve already started, you have probably heard of all the possible health benefits, including weight loss, prevention of diseases like diabetes and heart disease, and the treatment of cancer symptoms. What you may not have heard of are the possible negative side effects that the keto diet can have on your body. 

In this article, we will examine the eight ways in which the keto diet can backfire within the first thirty days. These symptoms are all a result of the process of your body transferring into the state of ketosis and the goal of this article is not to scare you, but prepare you mentally, what you may experience during the first 30 days.

And it is up to you to determine whether or not the risk of temporary negative side effects is worth the possibility of the health benefits the diet can offer. 

 

1. Dehydration 

Because a main component of the keto diet is cutting back carbs, our bodies naturally lose more water while we are in ketosis. This can lead to mild dehydration. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms while on the keto diet, you may be dehydrated: 

    Dark yellow urine

    Very dry skin

    Rapid heartbeat

    Lack of energy

    Dry mouth and throat

    Feeling weak or feverish

The best way to stay hydrated on the keto diet is to increase water and electrolyte intake and eat whole foods that are high in water content (vegetables). Drinking enough water during the keto diet is vital, as you will be excreting more water than usual during the initial transferring phase.

2. Sleeping Trouble 

That’s right–a possible negative side effect of the keto diet is temporary insomnia or trouble falling/staying asleep. But how does a diet cause you to have trouble sleeping? 

Well, a couple of possible reasons for this may be lower levels of serotonin and melatonin due to ketosis, higher levels of energy at all times of the day from ketosis.

Luckily, there are several ways you can prevent insomnia that the keto diet can cause, including: 

    Limiting blue light couple of hours before bed

    Going to bed at the same time every day

    Reducing stress

    Practicing meditation 

    Taking additional melatonin 

Keep hope, because insomnia caused by the keto diet usually only lasts a short period of time, when a person is first starting to enter ketosis.

3. Brain Fog 

The term “brain fog” essentially means an inability to focus and a mental/physical exhaustion that persists no matter how much sleep you get. This is something that everyone will experience during some part of the process of your body getting used to using fat for energy.

Strangely enough, once you are keto-adapted (your body is used to using fat as a primary energy source) your mental performance will get a boost. 

You can focus way easier and for longer times. My productivity levels have skyrocketed after my body entered ketosis.

The easiest way to minimize the time experiencing brain fog is to eat more fats and bone broth. Fat is essential for ketosis and bone broth contains vital electrolytes which will make you feel way better.

 

4. Keto Flu 

What in the world is “keto flu”?! Well, the only thing it has in common with the actual flu is the name. Keto flu is a mix of symptoms that you may experience during the initial phase when your body is transferring into ketosis. 

It’s something that happens because your body loves carbs and is used to them. Symptoms of keto flu can include: 

    Nausea 

    Constipation

    A headache

    Diarrhea

    Moodiness

    Weakness/dizziness

    Sugar cravings

    Poor concentration/focus

For most people, these symptoms only last about a week or two. Okay, but how to prevent it? Well, you cannot really prevent it, but you can shorten the time you experience it but staying hydrated, eating lots of fats and bone broth. And additionally keep your stress levels low, otherwise, you will end up cheating with carbs which will make you experience keto flu all over again later on.

5. Rebound Eating 

As I stated in the last paragraph, it’s vital to keep your stress levels low. It’s because sooner or later you will start cheating with carbs, which can often result in a weekend full of cheating marathons. 

The problem with that is that keto diet is not a diet where are cheat days. If that’s your thing and you cannot live without it, then I would suggest considering other diets.

Keto diet works only because your body enters the state of ketosis, and you can get there and maintain it only by NOT eating carbs at all. There’s no cheating here.

Once things get though it’s easy to grab an ice-cream or pizza, this is often a start for a lousy binge weekend. Before you buy the next Ben&Jerry’s, then check out this keto approved snack list. Maybe you can find an alternative there that can prevent that cheat day.

6. Constipation 

The most common causes for constipation during the keto diet is that the keto diet by default lacks fiber. You need to cut out all carbs full of fiber. It’s normal and nothing to worry about.

Luckily, there are several ways that you can prevent or alleviate constipation brought on by the keto diet. 

Increase your fiber intake by adding enough fiber-rich low carb veggies to your diet. Some of them are for example broccoli, collard greens, spinach, Brussels sprouts and many more.

It’s something that you need to be aware of and keep your eye on when choosing your meals and planning ahead.

7. Constant Hunger 

While the keto diet can decrease your appetite and hunger in the long run, your appetite can drastically increase in the beginning stages of your keto journey. 

When you just start out, it will be difficult for your mind and body to ignore those candies and chocolate bars, but the more you eat fats the better you will feel.

As the last lifebelt, you can use low carb sweeteners. They aren’t a solution by all means, but they can hold off the disaster. Some keto friendly sweeteners are Stevia, Monk Fruit and Erythritol.

But the goal needs to be eating more healthy fats. Once you are in ketosis, your cravings will drop, and your energy levels will stabilize again. After experiencing that kind of stability and peace, you will never want to go back.

Like with most of the potential side effects of the keto diet, you can minimize the constant hunger feeling by eating loads of fats, not eating carbs at all and eating enough bone broth. 

8. Leg Cramps 

The reason that the keto diet can cause leg cramps (and muscle cramps in general) is that the beginning stages of the keto diet can cause dehydration and the depletion of electrolytes. That’s so important to keep yourself dehydrated and eat loads of bone broth. 

Bone broth includes all the vital electrolytes that your body is excreting with water, and that’s the reason you may experience leg cramps. Some ways to prevent or treat cramps during ketosis are: 

Easiest ways to avoid leg cramps is to drink enough water, eat plenty of Himalayan salt and bone broth. This will keep your electrolyte levels normal and your overall wellbeing will be better.

Beginning the keto diet can be a step towards a healthier you. It has many positive health and lifestyle benefits and is a great choice for many people. However, it is important that you recognize the potential negative side effects that this diet can have on your body and how to deal with those negative side effects.

Keto diet has a lot to offer, and you can reap the benefits if you follow the diet properly. This means you need to go all in with the diet. Remove carbs completely, drink enough water, eat bone broth and add Himalayan salt to your menu.

Author bio

An author and health enthusiast Alex Reed, started Bodyketosis with a mission to help you to take charge of your weight and health using the keto lifestyle. Through personal experience and extensive research, he offers insightful tips for everything keto.

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