If you hope to lose weight fast, keeping the ketogenic diet can be uniquely challenging but also immensely rewarding. To adhere to the rules of the keto diet, one has to virtually eliminate carbohydrates from their diet and significantly increase their intake of healthy fats, like medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs).
Because the keto diet requires a complete diet and lifestyle transformation, many people have difficulty getting all the vitamins and nutrients they need from keto-friendly foods. Furthermore, many keto diet followers experience the “keto flu” at the beginning of their diet.
Demystifying the Keto Flu
The development of flu-like symptoms often affects keto dieters because the body needs time to adapt to a carb-free diet. When you replace glucose from carbs with ketones converted from fats as your energy source, the change can cause a shock to the body, not unlike withdrawal. Keto flu symptoms can include:
- Stomach pains
- Lack of focus
What can you do to combat the keto flu? First and foremost, stay hydrated. In addition to drinking more water, you can fight the symptoms by replenishing your electrolytes, getting light exercise, and upping your fat intake.
Keto Diet Support Supplements
While the “keto flu” typically only lasts a few days, some dieters continue to struggle to get the right nutrients while on the diet. If this sounds like you, you can turn to the following vitamins, minerals, and other supplements to help you through.
MCT oil consists of concentrated medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), a group of fats that the body can break down easily because of their molecular size. In the absence of glucose from carbohydrates, the liver can convert MCTs into ketones and use these ketones as an alternative energy source and prompt ketosis.
Many manufacturers make MCT oil through fractionation, where they target and extract medium-chain triglycerides from natural oils, such as coconut or palm kernel oil. The extracted product is highly concentrated and packed with medium-chain triglycerides that have a simple composition, making them easily digestible.
There are plenty of ways to incorporate MCT oil into your diets, such as using it as cooking oil or adding it to salad dressings, snacks, main courses, smoothies, drinks, and even dessert.
Keto-friendly Collagen Powder
You can try keto-friendly protein collagen supplements to help you hit your target protein intake without increasing your carbohydrate intake. Collagen powder (also known as hydrolyzed collagen or collagen peptides) dissolves in both hot and cold liquids without changing the taste or consistency, making it an ideal additive to your favorite drinks.
Manufacturers make the powder by dehydrating animal connective tissue, such as skin, tendons, and cartilage, before hydrolyzing and milling it into a fine powder.
If you’re following the keto diet to lose weight, you can benefit from the energizing effects of increasing collagen intake and synthesis. Taking collagen supplements may also make sticking to your exercise goals easier as it can help build muscle mass and relieve joint pain.
Research shows that keto dieters often experience gastrointestinal symptoms, such as bloating, constipation, diarrhea, and nausea due to their high-fat and moderate-protein diet.
One way to counteract these effects is to take digestive enzyme supplements specifically made to help your body break down fats and proteins. Typically, lipase (fat) digestive enzyme supplements are derived from animal products and fungi. These supplements most commonly come in capsule form.
According to Health, keto dieters often don’t get enough fiber because, on a standard diet, you typically get most of your fiber from carbohydrate-rich foods. Having a low-fiber diet can lead to gastrointestinal problems, producing symptoms like bloating, constipation, and diarrhea.
To compensate for the lack of fiber in the keto diet, many dieters take fiber supplements typically made from natural sources, such as plant cells, berries, and seeds.
Sticking to It
Like every other diet, the ketogenic diet isn’t for everyone. If you still struggle to satisfy your nutritional needs while on the diet or experience any severe symptoms, talk to a health professional. But otherwise, don’t give up on the diet too soon. Once you get over the keto flu and fall into healthy habits, you may find the keto diet far more manageable and well worth the hard work.