Keto diet side effectsYou're on a mission to lose weight. That's why you've turned to the keto diet. But, while you expect to give up a few of your favorite foods, following the keto diet takes self-restraint to a whole new level. Because of all the food restrictions involved, you might notice some serious changes in your body, both good and bad. Here are eight super weird side effects of the keto diet:

1. Fast weight loss

The keto diet works by changing your body's primary fuel source. Instead of continually using glycogen generated from carbs, your body begins to dip into its glycogen stores for energy. When those are used up, you lose the fluid that was stored along with the glycogen as well. This results in rapid fat loss that is mostly water weight.

2. Muscle loss

On the keto diet, your body enters ketosis after a while, and it starts to burn stored fats as fuel, leading to even more weight loss. Though you're losing fat tissue, you're also losing muscle tissue. This is because carbs help muscles grow and recover.

3. Low energy

As your body adjusts to the keto diet, it becomes less efficient at tapping into its energy sources, leading to fatigue. It takes time for your body to adapt to no carbs.

4. Flu symptoms

Many people experience the dreaded keto flu, which appears within the first few weeks of starting the keto diet. You might experience headaches, have trouble concentrating, feel nauseous, and have issues sleeping. The keto flu should only last a few days.

5. Constipation

Another side effect of the keto diet is bloating, gas and constipation. This is due to not getting enough fiber in your diet. To combat these effects, try to stay active and drink plenty of fluids. You can also take a fiber supplement and eat more high-fiber vegetables.

6. Carbohydrate cravings

You might experience initial carbohydrate cravings because of a blood sugar response from a lack of carbs. But, these cravings tend to go away after a few weeks.

7. Bad breath

When your body creates ketones, one of the ways it excretes them is through the lungs. The most readily excreted ketone is acetone, which is the main culprit of bad breath on a low-carb diet.

8. Leg cramps

The hormone insulin stimulates your kidneys to retain sodium. When you go on the keto diet, your insulin levels will be super low. Insulin is no longer signaling to your kidneys to retain sodium, which can lead to leg cramps. Your body should adjust to lower sodium levels over time, but you can also talk to your doctor about taking supplements to help.

You can do it!

While the keto diet might have some unpleasant and weird side effects at the start, once you get over the hump, you'll feel so much better. Remember that the keto diet can result in significant weight loss, so be sure to stick it out.

References
  1. "8 Bizarre Side Effects You Might Experience on the Ketogenic Diet," Women's Health, February 5, 2018.
  2. "12 Things that Happen to Your Body on a Keto Diet," Reader's Digest, n.d.

diet | ketogenic diet | weight loss | health | keto