The first two weeks have officially been nasty to me. I’ve failed and started again, by that I mean that my first carb-up was ten days in. With weird changes in my body in full swing – toothaches, headaches, mental fog, fatigue to name a few. So, why would I continue? Because …
All change is hard at first, messy in the middle and so gorgeous at the end, so said Robin Sharma.
Realistically its because I know for a fact, considering all the data on the internet of things, that this lifestyle change is going to be eminently good for me*. Having said that, there, of course, are challenges and obstacles and here are a few reasons why the first two weeks of Keto may be a bit of a bummer for you too.
Keto is Obsessive
Imagine a world where you are constantly debating what you can and can’t eat, or how many grams of carbs do 3 cherry tomatoes have. Additionally tracking your macros and really planning your meals. I don’t care if you’re a pro at meal prepping with 5000 followers on Instagram drawing inspiration from your Tupperware meal prep pictures, believe me when I say that Keto Meal Planning is different from anything you’ve ever done before.
We are talking about substituting potatoes for the humble Cauliflower, Nachos with celery sticks all while the Kitchen weighing machine becomes your most trusted adviser.
The Mental Shift
We grow up believing that Fat is bad and it’s alright to load up on Carbs and Proteins, however, now we are changing our mind frame to start understanding that Fats are great and carbs are the prime culprits responsible for Obesity, non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular diseases, gastrointestinal issues, etc. For a better understanding go here.
It takes a while to acclimatize and buy into this new structure of eating, where essentially the original food pyramid is swapped for a Keto friendly one.
Vampire for Food
Or Zombie, if you prefer. The first week I was ravaged! All I could think of was food, it didn’t even matter if it was proteins or dessert, but I just wanted to eat .. all the time. This was very personal to me and from all the Keto Success stories on the internet, it seemed I was an oddity. The solution it seemed was to eat more fat.
It’s very confusing till the pattern is set as to what the options are and they are mostly quite limited which explains the multitude of Keto Friendly recipe books/ websites which is great once you wrap your head around it.
Keto Flu is real, the duration though, varies for everybody.
Personally, for me, it lasted a week and a little beyond, but it was an eye-opener to me because I realized how carb and sugar dependant I’ve been, its no wonder that I was getting bigger.
Some symptoms include:
- Sugar cravings.
- Brain Fog.
- Difficulty Getting To Sleep.
- Stomach Irritability.
- Cold & Clammy Hands.
- Keto Rash.
On the other hand, when your body does go into Ketosis, you feel a constant surge of energy barring the temporary fatigue while consuming inadequate fats and electrolytes. You start seeing your body firming and others notice it too; you need to pee quite a bit and are blessed with a suppressed appetite thus eliminating the constant need/greed to refuel.
The Nutritional Deficit
The severe loss of carbs is bound to hit you in some sneaky way, most of which is due to the nutritional deficit. For instance, I had excessively cold hands and was mostly dehydrated. But, both these symptoms can be fixed- for the cold hands, there’s the working out as for the dehydration – water and electrolytes are my go to.
It’s so important to understand what deficiency is causing the issue in order to seek appropriate alternatives such as MCT oil, Fish Liver Oil, D3, Magnesium, Zinc and Electrolytes.
Macros are the ticket to winning the Keto
Initially, with the brain fog and the carb cravings, it’s a bit difficult to keep below 30 g of carbs a day, for the sake of simple sanity.
I really thought I was nailing it and seeing results in my first week most of it was because of the water weight but after that, my weight seemed to plateau. The only plausible explanation was not tracking my Macros. When I did get down to it, I realized that I was consuming more carbs than my cut off and I wasn’t consuming the right amount of fats or protein, which explained the energy crash post 3 pm.
For basic help heres a link to my favourite online Macro Calculator.
Keeping Keto Simple
Keto has become a sort of a cult and while being initiated I was overwhelmed. It was the fear of not messing up that kept pulling me back till I realized that it really wasn’t a big deal. It’s was just a different way of eating and most importantly keeping track of what you’re eating.
You’ve gotta be clear about why it is that you’re on Keto and you just have to accept that there will be cheat days, because we are only human, and thats alright.
Keto is Expensive
Ever wondered why a bag of refined flour costs less than a bag of avocados? If you check the nutritional content that may explain it. Unfortunately, unhealthy and empty nutrients make most of our pantries because they are convenient and more often than not cheap.
It isn’t just money though, its time. We need to invest more time cooking as opposed to mindlessly ordering in and we will be spending more time in the kitchens. Let’s get the aprons out, shall we?
* Whats good for me may or may not be good for everybody. Things such as our lifestyles, diets and how we go about keeping our sanity is a very unique and individual process. By no means do I intend to convert you, the reader to my style of eating or lifestyle and I am not a doctor or a nutritionist. My only purpose in sharing information is to educate via personal experoences.