Article by: Karoline of Skinny Keto
Many starting out on a ketogenic journey will experience some signs of sugar withdrawal. It is important to understanding that these symptoms are completely normal. Getting though the initial stages of ketosis is critical to get you on your way to fat-adaptation.
The 4 Stages of Sugar Withdrawal
Days 1 - 2
With a new goal and change, we feel motivated. Since glycogen stores are still available, the withdrawal symptoms are minimal.
As your glycogen stores deplete, your sugar cravings will start kicking in. Now is the time to load up on electrolytes, drink more water and make sure you have low-carb foods/snacks available.
This is when the infamous keto flu
and intense cravings kicks in if you have
not supplemented with enough electrolytes!
Headaches, fatigue, drops in blood pressure, mood swings, heart palpitations and major cravings for carbs and sugar peak. Electrolyte supplements, salting your food and drinking bullion or bone broth should help alleviate these symptoms.
As ketosis begins and your body starts utilizing ketones for energy, the symptoms begin to ease. Before you know it, energy comes back and you start to feel better!
You are on your way to fat-adaptation!
Fat-adaptation (or keto-adaptation) is a state where most of your energy is coming from the ketone bodies your liver is producing.
Keeping carbohydrates between 20-25g net carbs and remaining in ketosis for several weeks is key as it can take 4 to 6 (or more) weeks to become fat-adapted.
Your body becomes very efficient at breaking down fat for fuel. Besides being a fat-burning machine, fat-adaptation has other health and performance-enhancing benefits:
1. Increased ketogenesis results in more BHB (Beta-hydroxybutyrate) being available to fuel the body. It fuels the oxidative metabolism, particularly in the brain, heart, and skeletal muscle.
We sleep better
We feel better
Naturally extending the eating window, which makes intermittent fasting easy!
2. Reduction in ROS (Reactive Oxygen Species – Free Radicals/non-free radicals) generation and other inflammation bio markers.
• Inflammation markers improve
• Ketosis health benefits begin
3. Muscle Glycogen storage improves which in turn improves athletic performance.
• More energy and endurance during exercise.
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