The keto diet is a new diet trend that is slowly gaining popularity not only for incredible results in weight loss but also for its many intended health properties. However, this diet is not for the faint of heart or at least for the unprepared. Although it has multiple health benefits it also comes with some side-effects especially since the body is adapting itself to the dramatically reduced intake of carbohydrates and higher intake of fat.
One of the most common symptoms while undergoing the keto diet is experiencing headaches or dizziness. This usually happens a couple of days after you start your keto journey. It can be cause for worry, but adjusting your lifestyle can help you get over this hump. The way you eat can help lessen the occurence of this symptom or better yet avoid them from happening altogether.
Why it happens
Headaches on a keto diet may occur for three main reasons; dehydration, going low-carb and carbohydrate or sugar withdrawals.
- Going low-carb: The main goal of the keto diet is to have a steady production of ketones in the body as an alternative to glucose in order for the body to be more efficient in fat burning.Limiting your carbohydrate intake and upping your fat intake is the key for the body to enter ketosis.However, as the body slowly produces more ketones and uses it as an alternative fuel source the body needs to adapt and therefore it might cause a little bit of strain to the body particularly to the brain.Glycogen is what usually what fuels the brain and when you limit your carbs the body produces less and less of it which makes the brain scramble to find a different source of energy which results to people experiencing light-headedness or even pounding headaches.It isn’t a cause for concern though because as the body grows accustomed to using ketones instead of glucose the symptoms may disappear over time or can be avoided by taking some careful measures.
- Dehydration: When your body undergoes ketosis, the body naturally gets rid of fluids and minerals and is known for its high-salt content and its diuretic effects on the body so it is common for people undergoing ketosis to relieve themselves often and often results to dehydration so it’s likely that the chances of you feeling ill are common.
- Withdrawals: The typical western diet is laden with food rich in carbs and are not only filling but satisfies hunger since carbs a broken down by the body is turned into simple sugar. Having gotten used to carbs your whole life and suddenly cutting it off your diet will certainly take its toll on the body.
What to do
The good news about this particular symptom is that it usually goes away as soon as the body starts adapting to fat as an alternative fuel source but there are ways to prevent them altogether so you don’t have to suffer them at all.
- Stay hydrated: extremely important when going through any low-carb diet as the body naturally secretes water out of the system.Replenishing fluids that are lost can not only lessen the chances of having pounding headaches
- Up your sodium intake: One the minerals that get flushed out of the body along with fluids when going through the keto diet is sodium. It is recommended that much like your fluid intake the amount of sodium you consume should be increased as well as it lessens the chances of induction flu symptoms you experience while on the keto diet.
- Up you fat intake: When going through the keto diet, especially when you are almost have reached ketosis, it is recommended that your fat intake be increased since it allows the body to burn up the excess glucose and start using fat to fuel itself and because it keeps you energized and full throughout the day.
When handling symptoms of the keto diet is important to bear in mind that some of them are common and not a cause for concern since the body is going through drastic changes, allowing your body to get ore accustomed to the new diet and lifestyle by being informed and making the necessary adjustments is key to making your keto journey worry-free.