So you hoped onto the keto bandwagon, cutting all carbohydrates, and beginning to feed, drink, and bathe in the FATS pool. You probably expected to gain muscle fast and feel strong; instead, you feel exhausted on the keto diet.
Why would you possibly feel exhausted on the keto diet?
REASONS YOU ARE EXHAUSTED ON THE KETO DIET
1. LOW BLOOD SUGAR
When you cut carbs and start consuming more fat, your body is forced to switch from using glucose exclusively to using fat for energy. This process is called beta-oxidation and ketones generation.
It is more challenging, and it takes more time to use fat for energy.
Therefore, when the body is in the transformation process from the use of glucose mainly to the use of fat for fuel, blood glucose may be lower than that used by the body-called hypoglycemia.
Therefore resulting in you feeling exhausted on the keto diet.
2. CARBOHYDRATE WITHDRAWAL
Switching from a high carbohydrate diet to essentially little or no carbohydrate can shock the system.
Depending on the carbohydrate intake before you get keto, it can feel better or worse for some of us.
Classic symptoms of withdrawals often include irritability and other mood changes, nausea, lightheadedness, headache, trouble focusing and exhaustion on the keto diet.
3. HORMONE IMBALANCE
There are several theories that thyroid hormones might also be momentarily altered by carbohydrate restriction.
Lower T3 levels-active thyroid hormone in your blood may lead to many symptoms, including fatigue, constipation, mood changes.
While this is one hypothesis that exists as a potential contributing factor to being exhausted on the keto diet, there still has not been enough evidence to relate low carbohydrate intake to subclinical hypothyroidism.
4. ELECTROLYTE ABNORMALITIES & DEHYDRATION
Insulin is a hormone that is responsible for storing glucose.
To maintain a steady state of glucose in the body, insulin increases as carbohydrates are ingested and retain lower levels during fasting periods.
When carbohydrates are not eaten, insulin does not grow as fast after feeding, since there is not enough glucose to store.
Because it can also affect the absorption and availability of water and electrolytes lower levels of insulin can contribute to changes in electrolytes in our body and dehydration.
So the transition to ketosis can promote diuresis-a process where you can lose sodium and water. Typically, these levels aren’t harmful, but they can positively contribute to you feeling exhausted on the keto diet.
5. KETO FLU
Keto flu symptoms include; Fatigue, Irritability, Headache, Nausea, Dizziness and Brain fog. Its onset, which usually comes on after 2 to 3 days of being on a diet, will tend to leave you feeling quite crappy and exhausted on the keto diet.
Its effects may last anywhere from 1 to 3 weeks, but it does clear after that.
6. KETO ADAPTATION PERIOD
Irrespective of what you do, the body and the brain must go through the adaptation process. This period is generally referred to as keto-adaptation or fat adaptation.
Again, this period will last from 1 and 3 weeks for most individuals, despite any preventive steps you take. Some people may feel good, though, and some may be exhausted on the keto diet during this period.
7. LACK OF FREQUENT MEALS
Some people feel that larger meals don’t sit well with them and hard for the body to process. It might be easier for you to digest smaller, more regular meals.
This will make you feel less exhausted on the keto diet and much lighter than bigger, but less regular, meals (much like those who practice intermittent fasting).
8. UNCLEAN DIET
There are a considerable number of people who adhere to the “dirty keto” technique. This can still work from the point of view of weight loss, but it lacks another significant part of the overall picture, health.
Just because you hit your macros and lose weight consuming pork rinds, bacon, sausages, and avocado or two doesn’t mean it’s sustainable.
It will be wise to keep an eye on having a sufficient amount of micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) by consuming whole “clean” foods.
Not adhering to a clean wholesome diet will surely leave you feeling exhausted on the keto diet.
9. LACK OF EXERCISE
Research shows that daily exercise increases feelings of energy while at the same time reducing feelings of exhaustion on the keto diet relative to control conditions. The effect of training on fatigue was so important that it outperformed the use of stimulant drugs.
10. LACK OF REST
Many people underestimate the real impact of sleep. Apart from living like a zombie and being exhausted on the keto diet the next day because of a lack of sleep, not having enough rest can also sabotage your weight loss efforts.
The lack of sleep limits the efficacy of both physical exercise and mindful eating. It’s best to sleep 7-8 hours consistently.
Although it’s not always possible to get that much sleep because of your life commitments, you should make it a priority.
11. YOU COULD BE ON YOUR PERIOD
If you’re about to start your cycle, you can blame the hormonal change for your being exhausted on the keto diet. Progesterone is high from ovulation to the beginning of your cycle.
That makes you feel tired. Serotonin crashes around this time too, which also contributes to the problem.
Don’t worry, though, those hormones will bounce back to normal soon, and you’ll feel more like yourself!
12. CHECK YOUR MENTAL HEALTH
Your mental health affects your energy levels. If you’ve been stressed, you might feel physically tired and mentally tired.
Sometimes you need to give yourself a break and step away from whatever is stressing you out. Get outside and get some fresh air, try a meditation app, or even take a little vacay.
Chronic fatigue is a sign of more serious mental health issues like depression and anxiety too. If you notice you’re not feeling like yourself on top of being super tired, reach a professional!
HOW TO BOOST ENERGY ON KETO
Firstly, fix any electrolyte deficiencies that can contribute to keto flu.
Second, achieve a fair weekly weight loss of approximately 0.5 – 1.5 per cent (with 1.5 per cent reserved for those who are really overweight).
Third, practice patience and permit keto-adaptation before you throw in your towel. This typically takes up to 3 to 4 weeks.
Finally, look at how stress, sleep, and other lifestyle factors are before you say that it’s your diet.
If none of the above works, a helpful experiment might be to raise carbohydrate consumption a little each day to see if fatigue starts getting better.
It is always important to seek expert medical advice before starting any new diet, especially if you experience other concerning symptoms outside of the common keto symptoms. The important thing to remember is that the side effects of starting the keto diet aren’t long-term.
Many people that push through this exhaustion phase report feeling better than they ever have.[related_posts_by_tax posts_per_page="4"]