When you go on a low-carb diet, you will feel like you have the flu. It takes about 3-6 weeks for your body to become acclimated to being on a low-carb diet. In the meantime, it will feel like you have a hangover because your muscles are no longer getting the carbs they need to produce glycogen. So when your muscles have no energy, you will feel weaker, tired, and have a total lack of desire to eat, drink water or consume anything. This is both dangerous and hard to go through mentally. It’s often been described as the ‘keto flu’ because you feel under the weather, much like when you have a cold or sinus infection. Here are some ways to make it better.
Do not go zero-carb
Some people who go on a low-carb diet take it to the unfortunate extreme by going close to zero carbs. This is very dangerous as your muscles need some carbs to make glycogen. Going to zero or close to zero carbs, will slow your metabolism down and do the opposite of what you want, which is to have your metabolism perform optimally while switching fuel sources i.e. to fat.
It’s said that for the average person, to go ketogenic you need to be below or at 50g of carbs a day. This is quite a low amount of carbs anyway, so going close to 20, 10, or 0 is unneeded. Your progress of losing weight won’t be achieved much faster but you will increase the chance of you quitting because you feel so weak and tired. To put this into perspective 50g of carbs is about 2 slices of white toast. Some find that they can still lose weight if they are at 100g of carbs but they control their caloric intake.
Not all carbs are off-limits
Not all of the carbs in the world are off-limits and nor should they be as we have just talked about. Take a look at this keto sushi that you can make at home using low-carb risotto rice. It’s made from mashed potatoes, spices, and smoked salmon which is one of the most popular fish in sushi these days. This is something you can make on Monday and leave in the fridge until about Wednesday or Thursday. Sushi tends to last long because it’s so fresh and the way it’s made, lends itself well for a lunchtime snack. Not to mention, the seaweed you use will be authentic to the Japanese style so you get to enjoy an exotic treat while keeping your carbs low. You are getting the protein you need to repair muscles and feel fresh in the morning too.
Vegetables are mainly made of water, nutrients, and carbs. They have next to no sugar, salt or fat, and this lends itself well to a diet that is low carb. You don’t want to have high sugar content in your diet in a bid to make up for the lack of energy. This can cause insulin spikes and make you feel sick. Vegetables such as swede, carrots, broccoli, and avocado are great for you while on a low-carb diet. You can make vegetable mash with butter and it tastes just as good as the regular mash. Try to be outlandish with your vegetables, eat those that you have never tried before such as zucchini or squash. Vegetables make you feel full as they have a high water content, so you won’t feel like you want a snack after dinner.
Drink more water
Your low-carb flu will get better if you drink water. It’s quite ironic, that you feel better when you drink water if you have the real flu, and it’s the same as the ‘keto flu’. Water helps you to feel fuller, it helps to break down your food quicker and this means your muscles receive the energy they need quicker. Fat will also be easier to break down if you have consumed a lot of water throughout the day. Water also helps your body to stay cool, as replacing carbs as your main fuel source over to fat, will require energy as the conversion process is complex and takes time.
We know it’s hard and it’s tiresome. You just want your body to begin to use fat as it’s main fuel source so you can start to lose weight in droves. Be patient, do these tips and you will soon be out of the flu phase.