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Getting into ketosis: what to expect? 

Today’s the day – the first day of your keto journey. You’ve started eating keto and your body is making the first steps towards ketosis. That means you’re on your way to 

🥗 weight loss 

🏃‍♀️ better performance 

⚡️ improved energy 

🧠 increased focus 

🏋️ feeling healthy and powerful!  

Yes, you have every reason to be proud of yourself: you’ve taken an enormous step towards your future self. A round of applause for you!

How long will it take?

Now at this point, you may be wondering: “So, I’ve had that keto breakfast, but I’m not feeling much different from yesterday… When is this ketosis thing going to show itself?” Well, you’ll have to wait a few days to find out.  

Your body first needs to get rid of its glucose stores, then it will begin to produce ketones and finally, it will start using them as fuel. How long this will take depends on how successfully you cut the carbs and it also seems differ from person to person. If you’ve not been in ketosis before, it’s safe to count on a range of 2 to 5 days of keto eating.  

And as we’ve seen in yesterday’s discussion about ketone measuring, ketosis isn’t something you can see or feel with any certainty. If you want to be sure, you need to measure. Nevertheless, there are some physical signs that might occur when you’re getting in ketosis.  

Let’s take a look at what you might expect over the next few days and weeks.

Possible signs of ketosis 

  • Frequent urination. Carbs retain lots of water in your body, and you will start losing that when you start limiting carbs. This is usually the earliest sign that something is changing. Note: if you lose a few pounds very quickly in the first two weeks, it’s usually the water leaving your body.
  • Watch out for constipation: you miss the dietary fibre from grain products and you lose more fluid than usual. Drink lots of water, get your exercise and eat your veggies. Nuts can also help. 
  • Some people may experience low energy, headaches or muscle pain as they get into ketosis. This stage is called ‘keto-flu’, but there is no flu involved. It means you may need to see to your electrolyte balance. We’ll go into this in more detail, keep reading! 
  • You get an appetite for salt. Salt is one of the most important electrolytes, which you may be losing, so you might need a little more than usual.

     

And from here, it gets better and better!

🤗 Hunger pangs tend to disappear. Ketosis stabilizes your glucose and insulin levels and this regulates your appetite. After a few days, you’ll probably notice how you just seem to forget all about snacks and sweets. Freedom at last! 

🧠 Improved mental clarity and focus. This comes with stable sugar levels and clean fuel for your brain. You may start noticing this after a week or two. 

 Improved energy. You may feel a bit sluggish in the beginning, but once your body gets used to being in ketosis, your energy is likely to surge.  

🏃‍♂️ Better performance. Once you are in ketosis well and good, you will probably find yourself doing great in the gym, with more power and especially better endurance. 

🟢 Improved digestion. Apart from the risk of constipation at the outset, digestion usually improves significantly as a result of eating clean, wholesome, non-inflammatory gluten-free food and fats. 

📰 Want to learn more about ketosis? Read this article!

So, what is this thing called “keto flu”?

“Keto flu” is a common name for the feeling of being a bit ‘under the weather’ in the starting phase of the keto diet. Symptoms may include muscle cramps, dizziness, headaches, fatigue and mind fog.  

But rest assured, it has nothing to do with any real flu or illness. If you know what it’s about, it’s easy to handle. Plus, it’s not something every ketonian will experience – many don’t get it at all, or just a little bit. So don’t worry if you don’t notice any of it: it doesn’t mean you’re not going about your diet the right way. It’s simply personal, and it probably has to do with your electrolyte balance.   

Electrolytes: why you need them

Electrolytes are essential minerals that spark your cells throughout your body. Chemically speaking, they carry positive and negative ions that have an electric charge when they are dissolved in liquid (your blood or sweat, for instance).

One of the most important roles of electrolytes is to keep you hydrated, but you need them also for many other vital functions, such as a healthy muscle function and nerve system.

  • Sodium
  • Potassium
  • Chloride
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Zinc
  • Phosphate
  • Bicarbonate

Electrolytes in the keto diet

Electrolytes are extra important when you’re on keto. Here’s why. When you stop eating carbohydrates and transition into ketosis, your body starts to release the carbs that it’s stored as glycogen (a form of glucose). And since glycogen retains lots of water, you lose that as well. As your kidneys get rid of the excess of water, they also flush out electrolytes like sodium, magnesium and potassium.

A mineral imbalance may present itself with the feelings and symptoms that “keto flu” refers to. They are signs that it may be helpful to see to your electrolyte balance and hydration. And it’s useful to remember that a good electrolyte balance also requires adequate vitamin levels, as many minerals work together with vitamins, especially Vitamins B, C, D and E, to do their job effectively.

So, how do you balance your electrolytes?

Without going into too much detail, here are some useful guidelines.

Healthy, natural and pure foods are best to replenish your body with electrolytes.

Focus on leafy veggies, avocado, nuts and chicken, as they are rich in electrolytes.

Try to avoid excessive sweating e.g. through exercising outdoors in the heat.

Drink enough water, but don’t overdo it. Drinking too much might flush electrolytes from your body.

Watch your electrolytes especially when you’re sick or after a heavy workout.

Not getting enough or losing a lot? A good electrolyte supplement can be very useful.

📰 If you want some indepth information on the subject of micronutrients on keto, read this article.

And take a look at our Go-Keto Supplements and the Electrolytes Mineral 20+supplement. This carefully formulated supplement  with 13 electrolytes and 11 vitamins from 100% pure ingredients can be a great help if you’re dealing with keto flu symptoms or want to replenish and stay hydrated and sharp. 

To do 👍

6 tips to avoid beginners’ mistakes

So, now that you know the ins and out of getting into ketosis, you’re probably just a little impatient to get to the next level. Don’t worry. We’re here to help you avoid all the common beginners’ mistakes, so that you will soon start reaping the benefits of ketosis! 

You can use this as a daily checklist for keeping yourself on track in the first weeks of your keto journey. 

Remember, in ketosis, your body won’t store fat, but run on it! Without it, you’ll feel weak and tired. The best type of fat for keto is MCT Oil, which is turned into ketones faster than any other fat. Super for getting into ketosis and sustaining energy!

As we’ve seen, keto flu signs may well be your body telling you that you need to see to its electrolyte balance. 

Vegetables should be your staple food on keto! You need them for their micronutrients, their vitamins and their fibre. You don’t want to get constipated.

Through so-called gluconeogenesis, an excess of protein may be turned into carbs. So unless you work out a lot, keep your protein consumption in check. Read more

In most diets, it’s not a big problem if you ‘cheat’ with just a little sugar, a cookie or carb-rich snack. But on keto, it will kick you out of ketosis, taking you back to square one. Just remember: the stricter you are, the sooner the cravings will be over!

Measuring your ketone levels will help you optimize your diet, alert you to carb-rich foods and keep you motivated on your keto journey.

And that’s it for today. Tomorrow we’ll take a look at the ways to sustain and motivate you on your keto journey and check out some keto chef’s suggestions. For now, good luck and stay tuned!



Disclaimer

The information reflected in this article is intended for educational purposes only. Please consult your physician or medical specialist before making any major adjustments to your diet.