Side Effects Of A Ketogenic Diet

Unless you were living under a rock, you may have heard about the keto diet. The keto diet is being tried all over the world by different people. Most of them have one goal – to lose weight. While the ketogenic diet has a lot of merits, it can also have its side effects.

What is the Keto Diet?

The keto diet, also known as the ketogenic diet, is a popular weight-loss technique. It is a low-carb, high fat and protein diet. In other words, you eat less rice, pasta, and bread, while you stock up on meat, beans, and vegetables.

Originally, the keto diet was created by Russel Wilder to treat epilepsy. Back in the day, the keto diet was mainly used as a diet for those diagnosed with epilepsy. When anti-epileptic pills were created, the ketogenic diet suddenly lost its popularity.

Not a few years ago, the ketogenic diet was reborn as a weight-loss technique that reinforces the burning of visceral fat by lessening the carbs a person consumes. This works when your body does not have enough carbs, so it burns the fat instead. If you have a lot of visceral fat, then this is often the kind of diet recommended.

Side Effects of the Keto Diet

Before you get convinced with the keto diet, you should also be aware of the side effects that go with it. Here are five of the popular side effects common to those taking this weight-loss technique.

  1. Keto Flu

If you’ve tried keto for the first time, you have probably felt weak and irritable. This is because your body is not used to having a lower amount of carbohydrates than it usually has. Common symptoms of the keto flu are fatigue, headache, irritability, dizziness, and even keto leg cramps. While these symptoms will pass once your body gets used to the diet, nothing is stopping you from transitioning gradually.

Starting a keto diet can be difficult so if you want to lessen the chances of getting keto flu, you have to gradually change your diet. This means that you should start lessening your carb intake while increasing your fat and protein intake.

  1. Bad Breath

Have you heard of “keto breath”? Keto breath is the term used for those who entered ketosis. Ketosis is the state where your body is burning fat instead of glucose. During this process, ketones are produced which can be seen in your blood, urine, and smelled in your breath. Most of the time, this takes on a fruity smell.

While this is not necessarily a great thing, it is a sign that your keto diet is working. To help avoid bad breath, you can take a few sugar-free gums or candies.

  1. Increased Ketones

As mentioned earlier, when you reach ketosis your body produces ketones. When your body burns fat, it produces ketones which can then be used as a form of energy. Ketones can be measured by a specialized meter. Look for the beta-hydroxybutyrate or BHB. This shows the level of ketones you have in your blood.

  1. Fatigue

Fatigue is often a side effect of the ketogenic diet. If you are used to having sugar in your body, you can immediately feel the side effects of a keto diet. First, you will feel irritable, then you will feel tired. Eventually, you will notice that your drive for food has not been that strong.

While these side effects are not at all bad and permanent, it can be hard for first-timers. Know that when you experience this, it shows that your body is adjusting.

  1. Cravings for Carbs

Lastly, there has been a debate on whether the keto diet is a sustainable diet for people. The answer is no. Nutritionists don’t recommend people to stay in the keto diet for long as they can tend to crave for carbs sooner rather than later. When this happens and the person gives in to their carb needs, they will eventually go out of the keto diet.

This often gives a yo-yo effect where the person goes in and out of the keto diet. When this happens, the ketogenic diet ceases to be as effective as it promises.

Just like any diet, the ketogenic diet has its own side effects. While these effects are not harmful, prolonged symptoms might be a sign that the keto diet is not recommended for you.