Keto is a healthy diet for the majority of people, but individuals who start out after coming off of carb-heavy diets can experience some rare side effects. Instead of stopping keto, it’s important to adjust intake and lifestyle to better accommodate the new high-fat foods you eat. However, it is recommended to talk to a doctor about any sudden changes with your body to ensure keto is the right decision for you.
Potential Side Effects
In modern times, people are used to consuming many simple and complex carbs that would have been difficult to obtain throughout most of human history. This means our digestive systems have become used to eating certain foods and might be shocked by any sudden changes in diet. Many of these side effects occur whenever anyone tries a new lifestyle, not just keto, including becoming a strict vegetarian or eating fast food after avoiding it for years.
The most common side effects new keto dieters experience are:
- Muscle Cramps
- Little Fiber Intake
How to Take Care of Yourself
Many of the side effects people experience on the keto diet are caused by their body adapting to the new lifestyle. Dehydration often occurs because the body no longer retains the water it needed when digesting carbs, and it can be handled by supplementing your electrolytes and drinking plenty of plain water. If you work out while on keto, try to incorporate as much magnesium, sodium, and potassium into your diet as possible. This will also help muscle cramps, as will stretching daily.
Experiencing the effects of too little fiber happens when someone switches from a veggie-based diet to one that is high in fat. Diarrhea can also occur if your body is unused to digesting fat. Someone struggling with constipation needs to incorporate dark, leafy greens into their diet, stay hydrated, and have cyclical days when they can eat foods like butternut squash.
Someone experiencing diarrhea, on the other hand, should try taking MCT oil in small doses during the early stages of the diet. This oil helps produce ketones and further aids the body in adapting to the new diet. Adding a digestive enzyme to your routine can also help.
Finally, there is insomnia. This is a rare side effect, but can occur if someone goes from a high-carb diet to one devoid of them. To deal with restlessness, consider eating a small portion of carbs before bed rather than earlier in the day.