Once you switch from a high carbohydrate diet to a ketogenic diet, there are a few things that will take place as your body reaches ketosis over the ﬁrst few days.
The body will continue to use available glucose and glycogen stores until they are depleted. As the glycogen is exhausted, you may see the number on the scale drop quickly; this is all water weight. Every gram of glycogen (stored form of glucose) has 4 molecules of water attached, so any extra water weight or bloating will whoosh away.
As your body gets rid of this water, you’ll probably pee a little more than usual. You’ll want to make sure you drink plenty of water and increase your salt intake during this time to prevent dehydration. Water and broth over the ﬁrst few days and weeks are a great idea! Within a couple of days, the body will make the switch to using ketones as the primary source of energy. During this time, some people experience carb withdrawal-type symptoms known as the “keto ﬂu”; nausea, headache, feeling foggy/groggy, and muscle cramps.
It can deﬁnitely scare people away from sticking with the diet. Fortunately, focusing on staying hydrated and replenishing your electrolytes can battle these symptoms!
If you start experiencing any of the symptoms as you cut carbs, drink plenty of water, sip some broth and know that it is only temporary. Do your best to avoid these feelings altogether. In order to prevent keto flu, sodium, magnesium and potassium are all important electrolytes that you’ll want to actively incorporate into your low carb eating. You can take daily supplements to ensure you get an adequate amount of each electrolyte or you can focus on eating low carb foods that are rich in each kind of electrolyte. Sodium – salt, broth & bouillon. Magnesium – artichokes, ﬁsh, nuts & spinach. Potassium – avocados, dark leafy greens, mushrooms, nuts & salmon.
Bear in mind that not everyone will experience the same outcomes at the same times – You may get a very fast initial weight loss, or it may take longer. Generally speaking, the more metabolic damage you have from previous diets or calorie restriction affects how long it will take you to actually lose weight, if this is your goal. Whatever your own results, always remember that by embarking on this way of eating your body will change shape, you will be fitter, healthier and enjoy the numerous other health benefits that this way of eating can offer.