Feeling Weak And Tired On Low Carb Diet

Eat Plenty Of Vegetables

Beating Fatigue on a Low Carb Diet

Wirtz recommends including a wide variety of non-starchy vegetables in your diet to help minimize digestive issues that often come with the keto flu. Spinach and other leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts are all great options. Plus, each of these foods is rich in essential electrolytes.

Youll Lose Water Weight

A sudden lack of carbs will make you lose weight. Its mostly water weight at first, though. This is mostly because cutting carbs also wipes out the glycogen stores in your muscles. Glycogen helps your body retain water. You may also lose some salt along with the carbs you cut out. When you start to eat carbs again, the water weight comes right back. It takes 2 to 3 weeks for ketosis to rev up and start to burn fat.

Are All Carbs Created Equal

Bananas and cookies are both carbohydrate sources. Common knowledge would lead you to believe that bananas are good and cookies are bad. So if you eat a banana, your blood sugar wouldnt go up the same way it would if you eat a cookie.

However, in the book Wired To Eat, Robb Wolf cites a study where one participant had a dramatic increase in blood sugar after eating a banana. Yet when this same participant ate a cookie, his blood sugar readings remained stable. The blood sugar readings in another participant were the exact opposite low blood sugar readings after eating a banana and high blood sugar readings after eating a cookie.

In this example, bananas would actually contribute more to this individuals fatigue levels than cookies. In theory, this individual could be quite healthy if he avoided bananas and ate cookies . I know this is an extreme example but it illustrates my point: a personalized approach to nutrition is key.

In an another incredible study, the blood sugar levels of more than 800 participants were monitored. Every participant was tested after every meal to see the effect on each individuals blood sugar- more than 46,000 meals!

Researchers found that the blood sugar reading between individuals varied widely. Even when the participants ate the exact same meal, they had different blood sugar readings! 01481-6?_returnURL=http%3A%2F%2Flinkinghub.elsevier.com%2Fretrieve%2Fpii%2FS0092867415014816%3Fshowall%3Dtrue” rel=”nofollow”> 1)

The fatigue-carb connection

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The Scale Is Starting To Creep Up

There are few things worse than going on a diet and seeing your weight actually increase. Unfortunately, this can be the case for low-carb dieters because your body is reacting to this decreased carbohydrate intake by producing sugar on its own. Even worse, your body may start to store this sugar as fact in an effort to “prevent starvation,” when you’re really just reducing your carb intake!

Not only that, but any kind of restrictive diet is likely going to lead to cravings, and trust us, bread withdrawals are a very real thing! It may be worth reconsidering your weight loss efforts if you’re becoming too tired to exercise and have lots of cravings, as it will likely cause the scale to go up and won’t be sustainable for much longer.

One Last Hidden Cause Of Keto Fatigue

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If youre still struggling with no energy on keto, this fourth cause is the hardest to uncover. It has to do with your carbohydrate tolerance. More specifically, youll find there to be certain carbohydrates that consistently contribute to your fatigue regardless of whether youre in ketosis or not.

I dont recommend trying to identify what these foods are until youve been on a ketogenic diet for at least sixty days. Once youre keto-adapted, start paying close attention to your energy levels after eating. When you feel tired after eating, make a note of the foods you ate in your meal.

If you start noticing a pattern of fatigue whenever you consume a certain food, youre on the right track! In all likelihood, its going to be a carbohydrate source that causes your keto fatigue. So pay very close attention to all the carbs in your meal.

If you struggle to identify which carb are causing your fatigue, consider my eCourse, Stop Feeding Fatigue. In it show you how to precisely identify exactly which foods cause your keto fatigue and which foods give you energy. After finishing the course, youll know your very own ideal way of eating!

Ok, now you know how to avoid keto fatigue. Now, I want to hear from you!

What strategies gave you more energy on a keto diet?

What hidden causes of keto fatigue did you experience?

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Make Sure You Are Eating Enough Fat

Transitioning to a very low-carb diet can cause you to crave foods that are restricted on the ketogenic diet, such as cookies, bread, pasta and bagels.

However, eating enough fat, the primary fuel source on the ketogenic diet, will help reduce cravings and keep you feeling satisfied.

In fact, research shows that low-carb diets help reduce cravings for sweets and high-carb foods .

Those having a difficult time adapting to the ketogenic diet may have to eliminate carbohydrates gradually, rather than all at once.

Slowly cutting back on carbs, while increasing fat and protein in your diet, may help make the transition smoother and decrease keto-flu symptoms.


You can combat the keto flu by staying hydrated, replacing electrolytes, getting plenty of sleep, avoiding strenuous activities, eating enough fat and cutting out carbs slowly over time.

People adapt to ketogenic diets differently. While some may experience weeks of keto-flu symptoms, others may adjust to the new diet with no adverse side effects.

The symptoms people experience are tied to how their bodies adjust to a new fuel source.

Usually, carbs provide the body with energy in the form of glucose.

When carbs are substantially reduced, the body burns ketones from fat instead of glucose.

Those who typically consume lots of carbs, especially refined carbs like pasta, sugary cereal and soda, may have a more difficult time when beginning the ketogenic diet.

For these individuals, symptoms may last several weeks.

Move And Exercise Gently

When you are tired, the last thing you would feel like is moving. But you still need to do it. If you give in to your tiredness and just lie on the sofa, your body will conserve energy. There will be no imperative to switch to fat-burning.

The trick is to do something below your standard level of activity, so that its easy.

If you already exercise regularly, try doing your normal workouts, but at about 50-70% below par. For example, go for a 15-minute run instead of 30 minutes, halve your weights for strength workouts, etc.

The purpose is to do something that would expend energy, without over-tiring you. Once your body adjusts to low-carb nutrition, you can go back to your normal exercise levels, and more.

What if you are not a regular exerciser? Just go for a walk. Doesnt matter how slow, or how short. Just do it. Drag yourself off the sofa and go.

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How Long Does Keto Fatigue Last

For most people, keto fatigue only lasts a few weeks, while energy levels slowly increase.

If you are dealing with keto fatigue for long periods of time, it is important to speak with a medical professional to ensure that other factors are not contributing to your fatigue.

But if youre always tired on a keto diet, you may need to dig a little deeper to find the cause.

What Is The Ketogenic Diet

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A ketogenic diet is a low carbohydrate, high fat and moderate protein diet that centers on the idea of reaching a metabolic state called ketosis. In ketosis, the body is said to increase its efficiency at burning fat for energy. Its premise is allowing the body to use fat for fuel, which is then converted into ketones, as a primary fuel source. The keto diet is often compared to the Atkins diet however, the two diets differ in their approach to fat intake.

There are many different ways to go keto, but all versions share the common aspect of carbohydrate restriction. Generally, people following a keto diet reduce their carbohydrate intake to less than 50 grams a day. To put that into perspective, many people who are not following a ketogenic diet consume upwards of 225-325 grams of carbohydrates in their normal diet.

The general breakdown of calories per day on a ketogenic diet is as follows: 70-80% of calories from fat, 5-10% of calories from carbohydrates and 10-20% of calories from protein. Unlike many diets that encourage a more drastic increase in protein consumption, the keto diet limits protein intake to a moderate amount, as too much protein is thought to prevent ketosis.

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How Long Does The Keto Flu Last

Most people find that you will feel better in a few days, or up to a week, once your body adjusts, Sharp says. Whether or not you want to put your body through that is a personal choice.

As for athletic performance, the participants in Weisss study weren’t followed long enough to see if theirs improved after more than just four days on a ketogenic diet. But other research suggests that acid levels in the body tend to normalize after a few weeks, he says, while performance remains compromised.


Track Your Food And Check Food Macros

Getting the right amounts of macros macronutrients: carbs, fat and protein is crucial. If you dont hit the right levels, your diet wont be optimal and you may get side effects like tiredness.

Make sure that:

  • your carbs intake is low enough, and coming from high-quality natural foods
  • your fat intake is high enough
  • your protein intake is sufficient, and you get some protein with every meal

Dont ever guesstimate the amount of carbs. Check all labels, and look up the values of natural foods.

In the beginning, you should definitely keep a food diary. If you dont calculate your food intake precisely, you will err on the wrong side. Thats just how our brains are wired.

Check your chosen low-carb diet plan for guidelines on exact levels of carbs, fat and protein, or use this online calculator to calculate macros.

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Low Carb Diets And Dizziness

According to MayoClinic.com, drastically cutting your carbohydrate intake can cause dizziness. Low-carb diets can also make you feel tired, weak, constipated or have headaches. Some low-carb diets may contain as few as 50 grams of carbs daily, notes MayoClinic.com. Carbohydrates are your bodys main source of energy and needed in higher quantities than protein or fat. Aim to meet carb recommendations daily to reduce diet-related dizziness.

Why Do You Feel So Tired After Being In Ketosis

When Feeling Hungry, Eat.

As you can imagine, being in a state of ketosis presents a huge change that your body needs some time to adjust to. Your body has to quickly adapt to a different way of obtaining the energy it needs, causing temporary keto fatigue. The reason for this sudden tiredness is that your body is using up all of your stored glucose and not replacing it through carbs. This means you end up with low insulin levels in your bloodstream, causing you to lose a lot of bodily fluids. This can lead to mild dehydration, stress, and mineral depletion, which are all potential reasons you might be feeling so fatigued during this time.

Mild dehydration

Mild dehydration often occurs a few days into your keto journey, as your body’s insulin levels start to drop. This drop causes your body to dispel more sodium and water into the urine and can make you experience mild dehydration.

Too Much Stress

As your body adjusts to the ketogenic diet, you may find that little things start causing you stress. This is due to the diet affecting your brain and nerve system, as it is feeding off of a different form of energy. Over time, this should naturally relieve itself and might evenbetter your stress levels in the long run!

Mineral depletion

The ketogenic diet often lacks fruits and vegetables which hold key nutrients that are needed in our bodies for energy production. This lack of minerals can increase the chances of feeling exhausted on the keto diet.

Not eating enough

Not Sleeping Enough

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The Hidden Cause Of Keto Fatigue: #1 Salt Intake

Ive solved many keto flus with the simple addition of salt to the diet. And its not just my opinion that supports this. Research suggests that the addition of salt will help to lower the negative side effects of getting your body fat adapted.

If youre experiencing keto fatigue, your first step should be to amp up your salt intake. Generously salt all your food to your preferred taste. If youre still feeling tired, try adding one teaspoon of salt to the first glass of water you drink in the morning. If the thought of drinking salted water makes you gag, opt for 1 bouillon cube dissolved in water per day or 1-2 cups of bone broth .

Amping up your salt intake often gets rid of many of the keto-related side effects including:

  • Fatigue
  • Muscle cramping
  • Heart palpitations

But sometimes low sodium is not the problem. If youve already tried increasing your salt intake and youre not feeling any better, its time to look at step number two!

It’s Becoming Difficult To Concentrate At Work

Following a low-carb diet can reduce your energy levels, impair your concentration and even make you feel grouchier than normal

High-quality carbs like sweet potatoes, whole-wheat bread, berries and quinoa are essential for not only giving you the energy you need to get through your workday, but their protein-fiber combo helps to lower blood sugar spikes and prevent you from crashing. Instead of reaching for yet another cup of coffee at 2 p.m., it might be worth strategizing your carbohydrate intake to allow for a little high-fiber afternoon snack.

Pictured recipe: Shrimp Scampi Zoodles

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What Causes The Keto Flu

The exact cause of the keto flu is unknown, but experts have a few ideas. It may be related to the body adjusting to the low-carb diet, which can be associated with sugar withdrawal and changes to the gut microbiome, says Roach.

Genetics, dehydration and substantially changing the quality of your diet in a relatively short period of time are factors that may play a role in the onset of keto flu symptoms as well, says Wirtz.

If you decide to try the keto diet, its a good idea to work with a registered dietitian to ensure youre following protocols in a safe manner, adds Roach.

An Introduction To Keto

Electrolytes: A Must-Have on a Keto/Low Carb Diet to Feel Good

The ketogenic diet is a high fat, low carb, and moderate protein diet that focuses on the idea of reaching ketosis a unique metabolic state. When the body is in ketosis, it is said to increase its effectiveness at burning fat to produce energy.

The whole premise of keto is using fat to fuel the body: fat is converted into ketones as a primary fuel source.

Youll often find people comparing the ketogenic diet to the Atkins diet, though the two differ in their approach to the intake of fat. Keto puts more emphasis on eating healthy fats than the Atkins diet does.

Whats more, many people fail with the keto diet because they dont know how to do it properly. If you feel like youre failing at keto, then you should also consider the Keto Cycle. Its a great app that helps people follow keto effectively and in a way that is healthy.

So, why is keto causing you to feel tired all the time?

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Dietary Intake And Compliance

The participants showed good compliance to the planned diets. Dietary intake, calculated from participants daily notes on deviations from planned food, is presented in . Regarding macronutrient intake, protein intake did not differ between the ketogenic LCHF diet and the NFA diet . As expected, the carbohydrate intake was lower and the lipid intake higher when eating the ketogenic LCHF diet compared to control diet. Regarding macro elements of importance for muscle function and fatigue, the calcium intake reached recommended daily intake for both diets, with a daily intake of 844 ± 8 mg with LCHF diet and 1029 ± 20 mg with control diet . Magnesium intake did not reach the recommended daily intake of 280 mg with LCHF diet however, with control diet, the daily intake was 531 ± 13 mg.

Why You’re So Tired Hungry And Exhausted On Keto But First

Look, I get it youre tired and hungry.

While you should expect at least some tiredness or hunger during a fat loss diet, you shouldnt have to slog throughout the day or daydream about food every waking second.

Unless youve dieted down to ultra-low levels of body fat like a bodybuilder that is.

The truth is, if you give it enough time and fix what Ill cover below you should feel satiated and have plenty of energy.

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How Do You Ease Or Cure Keto Flu

Whilst experiencing the keto flu, you may feel like the keto diet isn’t working. In fact, this is actually a sign that your body is successfully adjusting to this new low-carb diet! Despite this, this adjustment period can feel uncomfortable, and luckily, there are also some things that you can do to help you get over the bad patch.

Strategies For Managing Keto Flu

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Harvard Health Publishing recommends sticking with your low-carbohydrate diet, because keto flu is unpleasant but temporary. Fatigue with keto flu can be a major issue, but after it passes further low-carb diet fatigue is unlikely. However, if you really can’t cope with keto flu symptoms, you can always try gradually easing yourself into a low-carbohydrate diet.

Instead of dramatically cutting carbs all at once, try eliminating extremely unhealthy carbohydrate-rich foods, like , candy and sugary desserts. Continue by removing refined grains and baked goods, like cakes and pastries, from your diet. Then eliminate unrefined grains starchy vegetables, like potatoes and high-carb fruits.

The study in Nutrition: X also suggests making sure you’re consuming enough calories. People often don’t consume enough calories when they start a low-carbohydrate diet. It can be hard to balance your macronutrient intake appropriately. New followers of the low-carbohydrate diet may not consume enough fat, which results in this insufficient calorie consumption.

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