A ketogenic diet works wonders for many people who have traditionally struggled to lose fat. Unlike many fad diets, a ketogenic diet has scientific backing in its capacity to shift your metabolism for effective fat burning. If you have never tried a ketogenic diet before, you may have some questions about what happens to your body as you transition into fat-burning mode. This post aims to provide you with answers.
Most people on a ketogenic diet report rapid fat loss, an improved mood, and healthier eating habits. As such, if you are ready to make the leap and try out a ketogenic diet for yourself, below are some of the common physical changes that you can expect and experience under this dietary plan. Although there may be some initial hurdles, being mindful of your body’s needs during your metabolic transition will help you to reap the benefits of a ketogenic lifestyle, lose fat, and feel great as a result.
Rapid Fat Loss
One of the most appealing aspects of the ketogenic diet is its ability to stimulate rapid fat loss. While there can be a significant loss of body fat, it is important to note that as the body transitions into ketosis, a lot of the initial loss can be attributed to water. Essentially, the water held within fat cells gets released as your body transitions to using fat as fuel.
For those looking to lose fat, the initial, rapid fat loss can be encouraging. However, it’s also important to understand that the wonders of a ketogenic diet cannot be fully observed until committing to the diet for an extended period of time. People who dedicate themselves to a ketogenic lifestyle not only continue to shed fat, but they also observe drastic reductions in visceral fat and cellulite on their bodies. This is especially true of hard-to-target areas of the body like the abdominals, upper arms, and thighs.
As your body transitions into a ketogenic state, your metabolism requires time to adapt to relying on fats instead of carbohydrates as a source of energy. Depending on your typical carbohydrate intake before transitioning into a ketogenic diet, the first days of adaptation can cause some symptoms to arise.
Although some people make a seamless transition into ketosis, others have reported symptoms resembling the common flu. Some people experience:
- Upset stomach
- Mental fog
- Alow-grade fever
- A general feeling of achiness and malaise as their bodies adapt to converting fats into energy
These symptoms can last anywhere from a day or two to a full week.
If you begin to feel these symptoms, do not give up! Make sure that you care for yourself, allow yourself plenty of time to rest, and do not give up on your dietary goals. The ketogenic diet will not only help you attain tremendous results in terms of fat loss, but you will also feel much better on a daily basis in the long run.
Although some people have reported brain fog as one of the initial symptoms of transitioning into ketosis, others have reported quite the opposite effect once their bodies have fully adapted to their dietary changes. The brain relies on fats to function, and when you diet relies primarily on the intake of fat as its main macronutrient, it tends to work at optimum efficiency.
Those who have committed to a ketogenic diet tend to notice improved cognitive function. This can mean improvements in memory, processing information, and an improved awareness of one’s surroundings. Many people who have remained loyal to a ketogenic lifestyle find that they are much more lucid, attentive, and mentally sharp every day.
As your body becomes accustomed to processing fats and purging water from its fat cells as a result, you may notice the side effect of muscle cramps. Most of the time, muscle cramps can be attributed to not drinking as much water as your body requires on a daily basis.
This is especially important on the ketogenic diet, as your body needs more water in order to efficiently metabolize fats as energy. Make sure that you try to consume at least the equivalent of half of your body in fluid ounces for water per day. If you are an athlete or especially active, you should try to drink even more water.
When your body is adequately hydrated, you will prevent the onset of muscle cramps. Furthermore, if you are already experiencing cramps, taking the time to rehydrate will alleviate symptoms and help to promote optimal muscle function, allowing you enough mobility to even complete complex exercises with ease.
A Distinct Odor
When your body switches to relying on fats for energy, one of the side effects is a distinct odor that can be emitted when exhaling through the mouth or when sweating. Acetone is one of the primary byproducts when your body relies on ketones for fuel.
Some people have described the smell of ketosis as particularly strong with an almost fruity characteristic. Although the odor associated with ketogenic dieting may present itself more strongly in some individuals than in others, there are ways to combat it.
As previously mentioned, try to stay hydrated at all times. You may also want to have on hand some sugar-free mints, gum, or breath spray. These can easily help to cover up the scent of acetone released as you exhale without compromising your carbohydrate-free diet.
Furthermore, using a scented cologne, perfume, or body spray can help nullify any unpleasant scents emitted from the body that can be associated with breaking down fats as fuel.
Changes in Energy Levels
Although the initial transition to a ketogenic diet may come with some hurdles, many people who have dedicated themselves to this lifestyle report a rather drastic improvement in energy levels. When your body relies on fats as fuel, you may find that you are less tired than you used to be during your typical lulls throughout the day.
Furthermore, you may find that you require less sleep at night. Some people on a ketogenic diet become accustomed to sleeping an average of five to six hours per night. Despite this reduction in sleep, ketogenic dieters tend to feel stable levels of energy throughout the day.
This boost in energy often allows keto dieters to increase their productivity, exercise more efficiently, and stay on top of their daily obligations without feeling fatigued or exhausted. One of the primary reasons that ketogenic dieters stick to this nutritional plan is that they consistently feel more energized. As such, ketogenic dieters become less dependent on stimulants like caffeine, and they do not worry about spikes and drops in their energy levels throughout the day.
The final physical change that ketogenic dieters have reported is a decrease in inflammation throughout the body. Because many keto-friendly foods are whole foods that come from natural sources and use little preservatives, the diet in itself can provide the body with a high dosage of nutrition.
Many carbohydrates contain high-glycemic index sugars, gluten, and chemical preservatives that can increase the chances of an inflammatory response in the body. By eliminating many of these sources of inflammation, you will notice improved digestion as well as increased mobility and a reduction of aches and pains.
By choosing a ketogenic diet, many of your body’s processes will begin to work at optimum efficiency. As a result, you will begin to look better and feel better, both physically and mentally.