Ketogenic Diet

There are millions of success stories of people who have attempted the ketogenic diet. Not only does this low-carb diet help lose weight quickly. It also offers mental clarity, cured digestive issues, and treats type II diabetes.

And while the ketogenic diet is pretty simple in theory…. Low carbs, high fats, and moderate proteins… It isn’t the easiest diet to get started with and stick to.

Especially if it’s your first time on a low carb diet.

But there is some good news! These difficulties are pretty common and last for less than one week or two.

And you can take some proactive steps to help you easily overcome these challenges.

The Ketogenic Diet: Challenges and Solutions

Challenge 1: Carb Flu

When you start a ketogenic diet, you might feel a headache, brain fog, crankiness and constant exhaustion. You feel like having the flu.

It doesn’t mean you are sick. You’re just cutting the carbs. These signs arise because your body takes time to adjust to using ketones as fuel after having been so dependent on carbs.

How to overcome carb flu?

While carb flu may last 1-2 weeks, you can minimize this bad feeling by:

  • Drinking more water
  • Take MCT oil or exogenous ketones (more on this later)
  • Consume healthy fats and proteins
  • Add a few clean carbs like sweet potatoes and fruits to ease the transition

It will be tough but the payoff is rewarding.

After the keto-adaption period, you’ll feel a ton of mental and physical energy. You’ll never face energy crashes in afternoons and get better sleep at night.

Challenge 2: Disrupted gut health

Consuming low carbs and high fats can affect gut health. Over 70% of your immune system is housed in the gut. So, a poor gut leads to health issues like joint pain, hair loss, allergies, joint pain, acne, trouble losing weight, migraines, etc.  

Because the ketogenic diet limits carbs, it is also reduces the amount of fermentable fiber in the body. That’s fiber that’s found in things like oats, barley and most fruits and vegetables… which are all high in carb content.

And it’s that fiber that the good bacteria in your gut feeds on your digestion may be thrown off when you first start a keto diet.

How to treat disturbed gut health on a ketogenic diet?

First things, first!

The ketogenic diet is all about cutting down the consumption of carbs. But in particular refined carbs.

But you can still include fiber rich foods like spinach, broccoli, avocado, tomatoes, peach, etc.  

Other ’low-carb, fiber-rich’ eatables include flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, wheat bran, and rice bran.

The key being getting enough fiber to maintain healthy digestion but also ensuring to keep your body in ketosis and burning fats for energy.

Challenge 3: Nutritional deficiency

Being in a state of ketosis gives you extreme focus and boosts cognitive performance. It is why the ketogenic diet is beneficial for most people to give it a try.

But as with any diet where certain foods are restricted there is always the risk of not getting enough of the basic nutrients needed for healthy living.

Remember, you’re all but eliminating a major food group. If you’re not careful it’s easy to stop giving your body the nutrients it needs to survive.

This isn’t meant to scare or deter you from pursuing a ketogenic diet, but rather by understanding this challenge you can take steps to prevent it from happening.

And by doing that you make it much more likely that you’ll stick to the diet for the long term.

How to avoid nutritional deficiencies on a ketogenic diet

Before embarking on the keto diet, it’s important to understand its basics. The ketogenic diet is all about balancing nutrition and metabolism. A well-planned keto diet gives endless energy and a pathway to losing weight.  

Remember, the ketogenic diet isn’t just about cutting carbs. It’s also using low glycemic index, nutrient dense carbs in your diet.

Avoid carbs like bread, pasta and potato and instead eat high nutrient vegetables like spinach, kale, asparagus, zucchini, cauliflower  and broccoli.

You can also take a daily multivitamin to ensure you aren’t missing any of the minor essential vitamins and minerals.

Challenge 4: Boring and bland meals over and over again  

You may feel overwhelmed in the initial stages of the ketogenic diet when it comes to cooking and meal time. It’s because you have to eat some new food items that you aren’t used to eating. Also, eating the same meals over and over can tend to get boring.

How to avoid the food intolerance?

Churn your creative wheels!

Experiment with new foods and come up with variations of keto recipes. You can have your favorite Italian meatballs, pizza, tangy salad bowls, pasta and almost everything.

All you need is to watch the carb, calories and protein counts in your recipes.

Final tips:

  • Don’t avoid salts like sodium, potassium, and magnesium. Otherwise, you will start feeling frequent cravings and fatigue. Try low-carb recipes that supply a sufficient amount of salts to your body.
  • Going to the gym seems awful in the first few weeks of a keto diet. But doing some physical workout helps you get keto-adapted faster. Walking is the simplest option. You can also try squats and pushups at home.
  • Many people wrongly interpret “eating low carbs” with avoiding all veggies. Never do this! To ensure a plenty of vitamins and minerals in your body, keep eating veggies in a limited quantity. Try salads, soups, and smoothies.
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