As those who have undergone the "low-carb switch" can attest, the early fat loss often comes at a price. Before you pay thousands to have that "ketogenic 4 life" tattoo removed, check out this list of common short-term side effects that accompany the switch to low-carb. The first major side effect that you'll likely experiencea€”usually about 2-3 days into your low-carb "induction"a€”is a mental lethargy often called "brain fog." You may find yourself staring at the wall for extended periods of time, feeling half-drunk, and unproductive at work. The good news is that if you can push through it, the cloud generally gets better after a couple of days, and mostly clears up after one to two weeks of being on the diet. This goes hand-in-hand with brain foga€”call it a "body fog." Since the typical Western diet is so carb-dependent, starting low carb can make your body feel like the rug has been pulled out from underneath it.
Seasoned ketone converts may have forgotten about the so-called "induction flu," but to newbies, it can be everything the word "flu" makes you expect. Don't underestimate the emotional impact of cutting out many of the foods you used to enjoy on a regular basis. The web is full of horror stories and pungent descriptions, but the truth is that many people don't experience this. All the meat and protein in your new diet is going to transform you instantly into a warrior in the gyma€”right? If your body is still telling you its needs aren't being met, consider if a more moderate diet is appropriate for you.
You might jump for joy the first time you step on a scale after going low-carb, but don't be fooled.
This is a contentious point in the low-carb community, but there are some researchers who maintain that reducing your carb intake can impact your brain's serotonin levels, putting you at risk for depression and mood imbalance.
It's true that most low-carb diets are rich in tryptophan, the protein from which the body derives serotonin.
You'll find plenty of low-carb converts who swear the opposite is true, but it's still worth emphasizing that there is a threshold after which a dietary system ceases to become "self-improvement" and becomes self-imposed torture. Shannon Clark is a freelance health and fitness writer located in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Many followers of the low-carb life experience quick fat loss, lower hunger levels, and stable energy. The primary reason this occurs is because your brain, if given the opportunity, will run almost entirely on glucose. If you're stuck in the middle zone where your carb intake is low but not incredibly low, you may need to decide whether you want to add a few more carbs to the plan, or take them further downward.


Headaches, nausea, muscle cramps, and a general weakness can make life kind of miserable for a couple of days, and linger in some form or another four a couple of weeks after you make the switch. Consider switching your diet on a Thursday, so that your worst symptoms will fall on the weekend. Try finding a friend to go through the process with you, and hold off on making other major changes, like embarking on a new training regimen, until you're back on your feet.
You're entering a new world that, in some ways, is fundamentally at odds with the one most people around you live in.
Millions have undergone this transformation before you, and their perspectivea€”whether online, in person, or in books and magazinesa€”can help you keep your cool. This means that as you progress further into your low-carb diet, there will be an inevitable build-up of ketonesa€”called ketosisa€”which can cause some unique side-effects. If you do, combat it by staying well-hydrated and trying some non-sugary breath cures like chewing flavored toothpicks or sugar-free gum. Their lack of insulin, the chemical that controls ketone levels, puts them at risk of developing ketoacidosisa€”a toxic excess of ketones in the blood.
Some have no problem adapting and will respond favorably right away, while others find themselves unable to toss up numbers that used to be a cinch.
However, if you're going to include intense weight training in your new lifestyle, consider working in some carbohydrates as fuel.
If you set your daily carb intake at around 100 grams per day, you won't enter ketosis, but you may still experience some of the fat-loss benefits of low-carb while preserving more dietary flexibility. Meat itself doesn't cause constipation, but constipation can be an issue if you don't have enough roughage, no matter what your nutritional system.
Their benefits are too numerous to list here, but one important one is that they are packed with soluble fiber, which slows the passage of food through the intestinal tract and colon.
We are your personal trainer, your nutritionist,your supplement expert, your lifting partner, your support group. Since low-carb lovers cut out most "cheat" foods, like donuts and candy, they also have a fairly easy time controlling total caloric intake.
As your brain and body struggle to adapt to post-glycogen life, you might be downright miserable. Once your body makes the switch from burning carbs to burning fat, your brain will begin to use ketones as fuela€”but not until you've burned up your body's glycogen stores.
Also, make sure that you're eating enough fresh vegetables alongside the bountiful protein of your new diet.


Keto-converts sometimes experience a fruity or tangy taste in their mouths, often accompanied by strange-smelling breath.
Some type 1 diabetics successfully use low-carb diets, but they should only do so with plenty of research, care, and a doctor's supervision.
They may also feel a pervasive fatigue working its way into their cardio and athletic activities. Because low-carb diets often cut out whole grains, beans, legumes, and sometimes even nuts, the major fiber sources in the normal American diet apart from vegetables are off-limits.
This makes sure that you receive all the hunger-busting help and nutrients your food has to offer.
If you're already prone to UTIs or bladder pain, there's no point in running the risk of adding those to your induction adventure.
Make it work for you and your goals, rather than trying to force your life to conform to overly strict standards that don't feel right. We provide the technology, tools, andproducts you need to burn fat, build muscle, and become your best self. This is why people often go super-low carb at first: To use up that dwindling glycogen as quickly as possible. The iron, manganese, and potassium in green vegetables are all important to keeping your mind clear and energy level consistent.
Some report developing an egg-like body odor, or that their sweat or urine smell take on a chemical or ammonia tinge. Low-carb diets can also be high in sodium content, depending on what you're eating, so staying hydrated is doubly important.
Wurtman at MIT and some other researchers maintain that some of us are "carbohydrate cravers" who need more carbs in order to maintain healthy serotonin levels. They can also help keep you regular (see side effect 6), which can have a bigger impact on mood than you might expect. For this reason, they don't recommend low-carb diets to people already struggling with depression or bipolar disorder. If you can still remember how, consider printing off this article and handing it to your boss to explain what's up.



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