6 Tips for Entering Ketosis
As we stated in the previous blog about Keto Flu, some people go through rough start which can be followed by nausea, headaches, muscle cramps, fatigue, etc. This usually doesn’t last longer than a few days, so 3-5 days for most people. Some may experience longer transition even for 2 weeks, but this is not so common. There are things you could do right from the start to help jump start your new healthy lifestyle.
Cut the Carbs, Sweeteners and Sugar-Free Snacks
If you are going to transition to a ketogenic diet, you must know that you need to cut the sweets from your diet. If your body gets even the small amounts of sugars, it won’t be able to transition to ketosis. The recommended carb intake is below 50 g per day. Stay safe and don’t go too low, so below 10 g per day can be considered dangerous. Try to count the carbs at the beginning so you can keep the track of the hidden carbs such as inside fruits and even sausages.
There are treats that are noted as sugar-free, but these products have some artificial sweeteners and are not safe for the adaptation period. You need to stay away from these treats and go for a fatty snack such as macadamia nuts or avocados or any other nuts will do. There are many recipes for your sweet tooth, but try to stay away from those at first. When you enter ketosis, we are sure you will love the “fat bomb” snacks.
The ketogenic diet is based on eating as much fat as you can imagine. So, the proportions usually go with 75% of fat, 20% of protein and 5% of carbs. As you can see, this is completely different with standard American diet where carbs take up to 50% of the diet. This can be a challenge for you if you have never eaten this kind of fat. Some may experience nausea or bowel irritation, but this is only short-term in the adaptation period. You need to make effort to ingest more fat as opposed to avoiding fat your whole life. Don’t be afraid of this process and start accepting the healthy fats from the start.
These are some of the things you need to eat:
- Fatty Meat: BACON, egg yolk, fatty fish (salmon), rib-steak, pork belly, poultry with skin, lamb chops, etc.
- Butter and vegetable oils such as coconut oil, olive oil which you can use to add to salads and you can use for cooking.
- Full-fat cream instead of milk in your coffee or tea – use butter with coconut oil or full-fat cream.
- You can snack nuts such as macadamia nuts or brazilian nuts, or even eat some high-fat cheese. Another source of healthy fat is avocado. You can incorporate it into every meal, sauce you can think of and it has plenty of potassium, magnesium, and sodium so it will be great for the keto flu and easier transition.
- If you use some kind of sauces, opt for homemade mayonnaise and some high-fat sauces such as Béarnaise.
Limit Your Proteins
You should limit your proteins from 15% to 25% of your diet. This is extremely important when you are at the beginning of your transition since the higher amount of protein can go through the process of gluconeogenesis and convert into glucose. If this happens, you will not be able to go into ketosis. You want to avoid this and so it is important to count the macros at the beginning of your keto diet to keep the levels on point. You can use Keto Macro Calculator to count those macros.
Drink Water and Replenish Electrolytes
Drinking water will come naturally since, with glucose withdrawal, you will lose water and electrolytes. You will feel thirsty and will need that water to counteract that. Another downside of the water loss is the loss of electrolytes. You will need more sodium, magnesium, potassium and other minerals to get rid of the most common keto flu symptoms such as fatigue, muscle cramps, headaches, stomach ache, nausea, etc. If you level up your electrolytes, we can assure you most of these symptoms will get better.
The most common mistake people do is lay down and wait for it to go. You should be active to spend the glucose levels and trigger the fat metabolism much faster. Don’t expect your body to feel energized for the activity so you will need to be persistent. The fat reserve will start burning its storage when you spend all the glucose. You don’t have to go to the gym or do any heavy lifting, but just make yourself go for a walk or go for a swim. You will get through this.
Don’t stray from using supplements, they can help you get the needed minerals and nutrients. This will lift your energy levels and make you feel better. It is advised to use some high-quality minerals which are optimized for low carb diet. Sodium, Potassium, and Magnesium are the most important, and vitamins such as B and C vitamins. Some supplements such as Co-Enzyme Q10 and L-Carnitine may help you as well.