When on a diet, a big concern is energy level; after all, how much energy you have dictates the pace and flow of your entire life. This makes it quite important to know what to expect, whether it’ll ebb and flow, dip, or increase. Today, we’re covering the effects of a ketogenic diet on your energy levels, in the short term, in the event of experiencing “keto flu,” and in the long term.
After that, we’ll look at some ways to boost energy levels if you are experiencing tiredness or fatigue on the keto diet. With all that said, let’s start from the beginning!
Short Term Tiredness
First off, we have the short-term changes to energy level from adopting a keto diet. In this stage, in about the first 2 to 7 days, you can expect your energy levels to dip. This is because your body is used to getting energy from burning carbohydrates; however, on a keto diet, you’re busy cutting carbohydrate intake to a minimum.
This means that your body has to adapt to the change by changing the way it operates.
This is where the “keto” part of the diet comes from; it sends your body into ketosis. In ketosis, your body burns fat highly efficiently in your liver, producing ketones, which are said to be good for your brain. Now, the issue is, your body doesn’t adapt right away.
To change from carbs as your primary fuel to fat as your main fuel is a big change, especially considering how carb-heavy your average diet is. In this interim period where your body is adjusting, it’s extracting less energy than you need from food.
This is a temporary matter, however, and should only involve lower energy levels. If you’re experiencing more than that, however, it means you’re probably experiencing keto flu, as we’ll cover next.
Keto Flu: Adaptation isn’t Always Easy
Keto flu is the name for a particular condition that may or may not emerge in the short term period after starting keto; it’s temporary but isn’t pleasant to experience.
Among the symptoms of keto flu, you have tiredness, a foggy brain, headaches, irritability, nausea, insomnia, and constipation, though this is by no means a comprehensive list. More interestingly, this isn’t a recognized medical phenomenon; I haven’t found any medical studies on it.
However, looking it up gives you quite a few details on people’s experiences, with similar symptoms being seen from some other diets.
The mechanism of keto flu is unknown, and the intensity and symptoms vary, but it is always unpleasant when it is present. However, it isn’t bad enough to knock you out of the running; it’s not as bad as the actual flu, and if it is particularly bad, you might want to see a doctor.
Drinking water and eating more can also help with it, as well as using certain online supplements. I recommend using the Perfect Keto Bundle; I find it helps me maintain ketosis and boost my energy, including in the long run. Speaking of which, it’s now time to talk about fatigue from a ketosis diet in the long term. [You might find my Perfect Keto Reviews useful, too]
Long Term Tiredness
With any diet, particularly one as radical as the ketosis diet, which changes the way your body handles itself, you can experience many short-term changes. In the long term, however, it should all even out. If you’re still tired and exhausted after a couple of weeks, it may be a sign that something else is going on.
Perhaps you’re poorly managing your overall diet, or you haven’t adapted to your body’s new needs, or perhaps a keto diet simply doesn’t work well with your body. With that said, let’s go into a bit more detail on the various solutions that may or may not work for you.
First, eating more. When on a keto diet, you have three “mores” you should keep in mind if you’re fatigued; more calories, more fat, and more regular.
First, more calories. On a keto diet, you may not be eating enough because of how drastically you’ve changed your diet. So, if you’re fatigued, you should aim to eat more calories than you normally would, and keeping track of your weight to make sure you aren’t eating too much.
Second, eating more fat; on a ketosis diet, your primary source of energy is fat. Your body needs some form of energy-rich molecule to function properly, and with the carbs cut out from your diet, you need plenty of fat to burn for fuel. This may not be accounted for in your initial diet plan.
If more calories aren’t solving your problem, try shifting more of your diet’s calories to calories from fat, to see if that helps with your lacking energy.
Finally, eating more regularly. Eating at equally spaced intervals throughout the day, with high in fat snacks in between, and at regular times every day, helps ensure your body always has energy available. In addition, it can help your body plan around a regular schedule to burn fat evenly throughout the day to provide steady energy.
This also helps with all diets, not just keto, and while some fasting may be good for most people, it doesn’t work for everyone, so keep that in mind.
Focus on Health and Balance
If eating more calories, having more calories come from fat, and eating regularly don’t fix your problems, you may need to improve your diet further, or perhaps work on your overall lifestyle. Among these changes, you have to balance your sources of calories, exercising, and taking specialized keto supplements.
First, balancing your caloric sources; while we already mentioned increasing the amount of fats you eat, we didn’t talk about ratios. On a keto diet, about 65% fats, 25% proteins, and 10% carbs should be the approximate split of where you get your calories from, and following this ratio can help boost energy levels.
Next, we have exercise; while it may seem counterintuitive, working out and burning energy actually increases net energy levels, which may help you beat your fatigue. It may be hard to start, but even just a few minutes of exercise can help!
Now, finally, supplements; these can help boost your health and wellness if your diet doesn’t do it by itself. I already mentioned my personal favorite supplements above, but you can pick your own.
See a Nutritionist
Finally, if none of this works, I recommend seeing a genuine nutritionist and seeing what’s going on; perhaps the diet simply does not work with your constitution, or perhaps you aren’t getting enough of some dietary element. Whatever the case, a nutritionist should be able to help you figure out even the most obscure problems.
Ketosis Tiredness: A Summary
All in all, tiredness from ketosis is totally normal, especially when just starting off. You should keep in mind that both regular fatigue and some other symptoms are all normal when starting off, but if they get particularly bad, you should see a doctor.
Besides, some fatigue in the long term is also normal, but this can be remedied by fixing up your diet, working out more, paying attention to where you get calories, taking supplements designed for keto diets, and seeing a nutritionist if all else fails.
Of course, keep in mind that this diet may just not work for you; if it doesn’t, there are plenty of other diets out there. A nutritionist could help you pick out the best one for you. But, if ketosis works, it works quite well, so long as you keep this all in mind!